This is my response to @ecotrain's Question of last week - bit late with this one, but I still fanced having a crack at it!
When I hear the word 'technology' my brain-thing immediately defaults to two objects - my mobile phone and my lap-top, as I tend to associate 'technology' with such ultra-modern, intricately complex and, well, 'technical' devices.
However, the noun 'technology' actually has a VERY broad definition - it is effectively any tool which has been developed through the application of science in order to fulfil a specific purpose.
The word is usually applied to work and industry, but we have many technologies available to us in the home.....
A spade is a form of technology, so is a knife, and even a pen, a dustpan and brush even.
(As an aside, a technology I don't think has to even be physical - code, or protocols are also technologies, but I'm leaving them out of the discussion here.)
So this is a VERY broad question, which I'm going to break down into two parts......
- A consideration of the phone and laptop (these are the MOST obviously immediately significant technologies in my life so I HAVE to think about these)
- Other technologies - for this I'm simply going to outline which other technologies have had the most positive influence on my life.
Have my phone and laptop had a positive influence on my life...?
I COULDN'T live my current lifestyle without a lap-top and a mobile phone. I could probably get away with a desktop computer, but that's effectively the same as a lap top in function, just bulkier!
My computer, and behind that the whole structure of the internet are what enabled me to quit work in my mid 40s and escape the 'man in my face' on a day to day basis - they haven't helped me escape 'the man' altogether as I still have to pay tax, but not having to roll out of bed every day and go to a specific physical place in order to earn money is a definite positive affect of computing on my life.
And I wouldn't have found Hive without this computing technology either, which has opened the doors to all sorts of blockchain and crypto wonders, another benefit.
And the fact that I work online in Portugal from my laptop, well, again another very positive enabler-factor for the computer.
The same goes for my mobile phone - I depend on this for translating, living in a foreign country, google maps for getting to various new places, Whatsapp and other apps for communicating and info and also 2FA.
My life is so fundamentally bound up with these two things and I like my life, so I think these are net positives.
I guess there are downsides - not least the endless distractions on discord, and the fact that I am dependent on these devices ties me into various networks of surveillance and exploitation.
But I'm not currently in a position to be able to break free of them, so I do what I can to be free with them!
Candidates for the most positive technologies
I'm really just going to brainstorm this..... there are so many...
- The washing machine - if you've EVER had to hand wash your clothes, you KNOW IT - this is easily a T10 'time saver tech'
- My hair clippers - because they're my oldest gadget - 25 years of service and still going strong. I should really clean them at some point
- My chainsaw - trust me, having sawn logs by hand this is a real TIME SAVER.
- My head torch - getting more useful every day as the nights draw in!
- My glass water containers - for getting water - I mean, they are technologies!
- Knives of various sorts - kitchen and survival - some of the most useful tools, we all know it....
I mean I COULD go on, you get the gist, there are just so many USEFUL technologies out there that we all use day to day, it's easy to take them for granted!
Thanks to @eco-alex for putting out this post, this has actually given me a bit of direction for a certain strand of my writing, I've been waiting for that for ages!
This is a topic I'm going to keep returning to over and over again in the coming months and years: the question of what 'positive technology' is!