Technology is the making, modification or improvement, applied activity or behavior, use and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, methods of organization, or environmental modifications or arrangement in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, environmental arrangement and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The word technology comes from Greek τεχνολογία (technología); from τέχνη (téchnē), meaning "art, skill, craft", and -λογία (-logía), meaning "study of-". The term can be applied either generally or to many specific areas, examples of which include construction technology, medical technology and information technology.
The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. The prehistorical discovery of the ability to control fire increased the available sources of food and the invention of the wheel helped humans in travelling in and controlling their environment. Recent technological developments, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. However, not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes; the development of weapons of ever-increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from clubs to nuclear weapons.
Technology has affected society and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products, known as pollution, and deplete natural resources, to the detriment of the Earth and its environment. Various implementations of technology influence the values of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, a term originally applied only to machines, and the challenge of traditional norms.
Philosophical debates have arisen over the present and future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar movements criticise the pervasiveness of technology in the modern world, opining that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition. Indeed, until recently, it was believed that the development of technology was restricted only to human beings, but recent scientific studies indicate that other primates and certain dolphin communities have developed simple tools and learned to pass their knowledge to other generations.
The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar
was a VTOL
aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada)
as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War
. The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coandă effect
to provide lift and thrust from a single "turborotor" blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL
-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer
. Originally designed as a fighter-like
aircraft capable of very high speeds and altitudes, the project was repeatedly scaled back over time and the U.S. Air Force
eventually abandoned it. Development was then taken up by the U.S. Army
for a tactical combat aircraft requirement, a sort of high-performance helicopter
. In flight testing, the Avrocar proved to have unresolved thrust and stability problems that limited it to a degraded, low-performance flight envelope
; subsequently, the project was cancelled in September 1961. Through the history of the program, the project was referred to by a number of different names. Avro referred to the efforts as Project Y, with individual vehicles known as Spade and Omega. Project Y-2 was later funded by the U.S. Air Force, who referred to it as WS-606A, Project 1794 and Project Silver Bug. When the U.S. Army joined the efforts it took on its final name "Avrocar", and the designation "VZ-9", part of the U.S. Army's VTOL projects in the VZ series.
was an astronomer
, and literary scholar
, and lived during the Eastern Han Dynasty
(AD 25–220) of China
. After beginning his career as a minor civil servant, he eventually became Chief Astronomer, Prefect of the Majors for Official Carriages, and then Palace Attendant at the imperial court. His uncompromising stances on certain historical and calendrical issues led to Zhang being considered a controversial figure, which prevented him from becoming an official court historian. Zhang applied his extensive knowledge of mechanics and gears in several of his inventions. He invented the world's first water-powered armillary sphere
, to represent astronomical observation; improved the inflow water clock
by adding another tank; and invented the world's first seismometer
, which discerned the cardinal direction
of an earthquake
500 km (310 mi) away. Furthermore, he improved previous Chinese calculations of the formula for pi
. His fu
(rhapsody) and shi
poetry were renowned and commented on by later Chinese writers. Zhang received many posthumous honors for his scholarship and ingenuity, and is considered a polymath
by some scholars.
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