Thursday, December 03, 2009

Why is technology important?

Dave Winer posted one answer to "Why is technology important?". It is an important question. Technology is a human artifact like media, innovations, language, processes, tools, clothing and any other "extensions of the physical human body - or the mind." So I will answer the question: "Why are artifacts important?" Artifacts are important because they impact our culture, our way of life. They have four effects: enhance, obsolesces, retrieves and reverses as described in McLuhan's Laws of Media. For example, automobiles enhance our privacy and travel, obsolesces horse and buggy, retrieves quests and reverses into traffic jams. You may have a different perception which is another reason why it is important to study technology and other artifacts. You can use this model to study any artifact and thus our culture.