What actually is technology? A short rant.

advertising guySomething has caught my attention on the telly recently and it’s starting to irk me not a little.  No, it’s not that weather forecasters always say “Let’s take a look”, and add an “a-” to statements for emphasis (what exactly is “Apache rain” anyway?) although in irksomeness that’s up there too. No, I’m irked by the way product advertising is using the word “technology”.

We are awash with ads that exhort product technology: Non-stick technology, Non-slip technology, Stain removal technology, Electro-optical synergy (ELOS) technology for nonablative skin rejuvenation (!) and so on.  We are becoming brainwashed to believe that because something has a technology in it then it must be really good.  “Phew! Thank god that drink’s got L. Casei Immunitas in it – I feel so much better now!”

I have no doubt that technology played a significant part in delivering these fascinating features that the brand owners are so proud of.  But removing spots is not technology; it’s hygiene.  And L. Casei Immunitas (along with Bifidus Regularis) is a bacteria.  The science that goes into creating a product doesn’t make the product scientific.  Besides, much more technology went into making the product in the first place than in adapting a new feature so what’s the take on that?

So I’ve suggested a few rules below that will help us all understand what technology really is:

  • Technology is found inside machines with lights on them and involves the exchange of data governed by coded instructions entered by people with spots wearing lab-coats.
  • The deployment of aforesaid Technology assists in the making of decisions and things by making other things happen faster and more accurately than the ham-fisted, spotty technology folks could manage as their lab-coats would get in the way.
  • Technology is not found in face-cream, socks, glasses, food, frying pans, masking tape, nit-shampoo, hair-dye, probiotic yoghurt or any other inanimate consumer good or any feature thereof nor will it ever be.
  • Everything ever made used technology of some sort not least the wheel which used a chisel
  • I’m not clear as to what technology was used to invent the chisel; this might have been pure serendipity.
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One thought on “What actually is technology? A short rant.

  1. I have been working on a blog called “bloody Technology” which is about the overuse of technology in running.

    Don’t get me wrong i like to use my iPhone sometimes to track my route etc, and I do own a Garmin.

    But some people I swear if they had to simply put on their trainers and go for a run they would struggle.

    And don’t get me started on the technology in certain running clothes…what are those long socks all about???

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