Hominids started using primitive stone tools millions of years ago. The earliest stone tools were little more than a fractured rock, but approximately 75, years ago,  pressure flaking provided a way to make much finer work.
Control of fire by early humans The discovery and utilization of fire , a simple energy source with many profound uses, was a turning point in the technological evolution of humankind. As the Paleolithic era progressed, dwellings became more sophisticated and more elaborate; as early as ka, humans were constructing temporary wood huts.
The invention of polished stone axes was a major advance that allowed forest clearance on a large scale to create farms. This use of polished stone axes increased greatly in the Neolithic, but were originally used in the preceding Mesolithic in some areas such as Ireland.
Additionally, children could contribute labor to the raising of crops more readily than they could to the hunter-gatherer economy. Eventually, the working of metals led to the discovery of alloys such as bronze and brass about BCE. The first uses of iron alloys such as steel dates to around BCE.
History of transport Meanwhile, humans were learning to harness other forms of energy. The earliest known use of wind power is the sailing ship ; the earliest record of a ship under sail is that of a Nile boat dating to the 8th millennium BCE. The ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia used a complex system of canals and levees to divert water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for irrigation.
More recently, the oldest-known wooden wheel in the world was found in the Ljubljana marshes of Slovenia.
It did not take long to discover that wheeled wagons could be used to carry heavy loads. The ancient Sumerians used the potter's wheel and may have invented it. The first two-wheeled carts were derived from travois  and were first used in Mesopotamia and Iran in around BCE. Medieval technology , Renaissance technology , Industrial Revolution , Second Industrial Revolution , Information Technology , and Productivity improving technologies economic history Innovations continued through the Middle Ages with innovations such as silk , the horse collar and horseshoes in the first few hundred years after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Medieval technology saw the use of simple machines such as the lever , the screw , and the pulley being combined to form more complicated tools, such as the wheelbarrow , windmills and clocks. The Renaissance brought forth many of these innovations, including the printing press which facilitated the greater communication of knowledge , and technology became increasingly associated with science , beginning a cycle of mutual advancement. The advancements in technology in this era allowed a more steady supply of food, followed by the wider availability of consumer goods.
The automobile revolutionized personal transportation. Starting in the United Kingdom in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was a period of great technological discovery, particularly in the areas of agriculture , manufacturing , mining , metallurgy , and transport , driven by the discovery of steam power.
Technology took another step in a second industrial revolution with the harnessing of electricity to create such innovations as the electric motor , light bulb , and countless others.
Scientific advancement and the discovery of new concepts later allowed for powered flight and advancements in medicine , chemistry , physics , and engineering. The rise in technology has led to skyscrapers and broad urban areas whose inhabitants rely on motors to transport them and their food supply. Communication was also greatly improved with the invention of the telegraph , telephone , radio and television. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a revolution in transportation with the invention of the airplane and automobile.
F and F flying over Kuwaiti oil fires during the Gulf War in The 20th century brought a host of innovations. In physics , the discovery of nuclear fission has led to both nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Computers were also invented and later miniaturized utilizing transistors and integrated circuits. Information technology subsequently led to the creation of the Internet , which ushered in the current Information Age. Humans have also been able to explore space with satellites later used for telecommunication and in manned missions going all the way to the moon.
In medicine, this era brought innovations such as open-heart surgery and later stem cell therapy along with new medications and treatments. Complex manufacturing and construction techniques and organizations are needed to make and maintain these new technologies, and entire industries have arisen to support and develop succeeding generations of increasingly more complex tools.
Moreover, these technologies have become so complex that entire fields have been created to support them, including engineering , medicine , and computer science , and other fields have been made more complex, such as construction , transportation and architecture.
Philosophy Technicism Generally, technicism is the belief in the utility of technology for improving human societies. Some, such as Stephen V. Monsma,  connect these ideas to the abdication of religion as a higher moral authority. Extropianism Optimistic assumptions are made by proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and singularitarianism , which view technological development as generally having beneficial effects for the society and the human condition.
In these ideologies, technological development is morally good. Transhumanists generally believe that the point of technology is to overcome barriers, and that what we commonly refer to as the human condition is just another barrier to be surpassed. Singularitarians believe in some sort of " accelerating change "; that the rate of technological progress accelerates as we obtain more technology, and that this will culminate in a " Singularity " after artificial general intelligence is invented in which progress is nearly infinite; hence the term.
Estimates for the date of this Singularity vary,  but prominent futurist Ray Kurzweil estimates the Singularity will occur in Kurzweil is also known for his history of the universe in six epochs: Going from one epoch to the next is a Singularity in its own right, and a period of speeding up precedes it.
Each epoch takes a shorter time, which means the whole history of the universe is one giant Singularity event. Some have described Karl Marx as a techno-optimist. Luddite , Neo-Luddism , Anarcho-primitivism , and Bioconservatism Luddites smashing a power loom in On the somewhat skeptical side are certain philosophers like Herbert Marcuse and John Zerzan , who believe that technological societies are inherently flawed.
They suggest that the inevitable result of such a society is to become evermore technological at the cost of freedom and psychological health. Many, such as the Luddites and prominent philosopher Martin Heidegger , hold serious, although not entirely, deterministic reservations about technology see " The Question Concerning Technology " .
He hopes to reveal the essence of technology in a way that 'in no way confines us to a stultified compulsion to push on blindly with technology or, what comes to the same thing, to rebel helplessly against it.
In Goethe's Faust , Faust selling his soul to the devil in return for power over the physical world is also often interpreted as a metaphor for the adoption of industrial technology. More recently, modern works of science fiction such as those by Philip K. Dick and William Gibson and films such as Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell project highly ambivalent or cautionary attitudes toward technology's impact on human society and identity.
The late cultural critic Neil Postman distinguished tool-using societies from technological societies and from what he called "technopolies," societies that are dominated by the ideology of technological and scientific progress to the exclusion or harm of other cultural practices, values, and world-views.
As a setting for democratic culture, Barney suggests that technology tends to make ethical questions, including the question of what a good life consists in, nearly impossible because they already give an answer to the question: He warns that these technologies introduce unprecedented new challenges to human beings, including the possibility of the permanent alteration of our biological nature.
These concerns are shared by other philosophers, scientists and public intellectuals who have written about similar issues e. A more infamous anti-technological treatise is Industrial Society and Its Future , written by the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and printed in several major newspapers and later books as part of an effort to end his bombing campaign of the techno-industrial infrastructure.
There are also subcultures that disapprove of some or most technology, such as self-identified off-gridders. Technocriticism and Technorealism The notion of appropriate technology was developed in the 20th century by thinkers such as E. Schumacher and Jacques Ellul to describe situations where it was not desirable to use very new technologies or those that required access to some centralized infrastructure or parts or skills imported from elsewhere. The ecovillage movement emerged in part due to this concern.
Optimism and skepticism in the 21st century This section mainly focuses on American concerns even if it can reasonably be generalized to other Western countries. The inadequate quantity and quality of American jobs is one of the most fundamental economic challenges we face.
His thesis appears to be a third way between optimism and skepticism. Essentially, he stands for a neutral approach of the linkage between technology and American issues concerning unemployment and declining wages. He uses two main arguments to defend his point. First, because of recent technological advances, an increasing number of workers are losing their jobs.
Yet, scientific evidence fails to clearly demonstrate that technology has displaced so many workers that it has created more problems than it has solved. Indeed, automation threatens repetitive jobs but higher-end jobs are still necessary because they complement technology and manual jobs that "requires flexibility judgment and common sense"  remain hard to replace with machines. Second, studies have not shown clear links between recent technology advances and the wage trends of the last decades.
Therefore, according to Bernstein, instead of focusing on technology and its hypothetical influences on current American increasing unemployment and declining wages, one needs to worry more about "bad policy that fails to offset the imbalances in demand, trade, income, and opportunity.
Continuous studies have shown that increased BMI and weight gain are associated with people who spend long hours online and not exercising frequently. Complex technological systems Thomas P. Hughes stated that because technology has been considered as a key way to solve problems, we need to be aware of its complex and varied characters to use it more efficiently.
Can we consider all of them, only a part of them, or none of them as technologies? Technology is often considered too narrowly; according to Hughes, "Technology is a creative process involving human ingenuity". Yet, because technology is everywhere and has dramatically changed landscapes and societies, Hughes argues that engineers , scientists , and managers have often believed that they can use technology to shape the world as they want.
They have often supposed that technology is easily controllable and this assumption has to be thoroughly questioned. Solutionism is the ideology that every social issue can be solved thanks to technology and especially thanks to the internet.
In fact, technology intrinsically contains uncertainties and limitations. Cohen and Gwen Ottinger also discussed the multivalent effects of technology. Such an approach of technology and science "[require] technical professionals to conceive of their roles in the process differently.
The science can be leading edge or well established and the function can have high visibility or be significantly more mundane, but it is all technology, and its exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage. It was not economic-based planning. Other animal species See also: Tool use by animals , Structures built by animals , and Ecosystem engineer This adult gorilla uses a branch as a walking stick to gauge the water's depth, an example of technology usage by non-human primates.
The use of basic technology is also a feature of other animal species apart from humans. These include primates such as chimpanzees ,  some dolphin communities,  and crows. The ability to make and use tools was once considered a defining characteristic of the genus Homo. For example, researchers have observed wild chimpanzees utilising tools for foraging: Emerging technologies Theories of technology often attempt to predict the future of technology based on the high technology and science of the time.
As with all predictions of the future, however, technology's is uncertain. In , futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that the future of technology would mainly consist of an overlapping "GNR Revolution" of genetics , nanotechnology and robotics , with robotics being the most important of the three.