It hurts my ear for the English language when the word “technology” is used improperly. For example, during the last few years it has become very common to hear someone say, “He works in technology”, when what is usually meant is “He works in the High Tech Industry” or more specifically, “She works in the Information Technology Industry”.
What happens to be “High Tech” (rather than Technology) is completely dependent on the time period. The photograph shown here depicts a transportation tool that was High Tech in the 19th Century, a steam locomotive. At this time, the beginning of the 21st Century, the steam locomotive is not High Tech, but it would certainly be correct to say that an engineer who operates one of the few remaining working steam locomotives works with technology.
“Working with technology” is nearly meaningless, since that statement does not currently distinguish any individual to whom it is applied from the rest of the human race. We all work with technology. Our entire race, Homo Sapiens, has been working with technology for a minimum of 100,000 years.
What Technology Is
Working with, or using technology is employing anything that is not part of the human body, such as a hand, foot, teeth, forehead, etc., which is used to complete a task.
For example, pretend that you were living roughly 200,000 years ago. You were naked, wandering through a forest looking for something to eat for the best of reasons. Because you were hungry.
You came upon a walnut tree and gathered a handful of walnuts. But you had a problem. The walnuts had very hard shells that had to be cracked to get at the food inside. To solve the problem and obtain the food that you couldn’t get to with your hands or feet, you picked up a palm-sized rock and pounded the walnuts with it until the shells cracked, then ate the relatively soft nuts inside the shells. Problem solved. The rock was a tool that could be used to accomplish something that could not be done using the human body. That was working with technology.
The above explains why I mentally deduct 50 I.Q. points for anyone who says, “she works in technology”.
There are many other statements or common word usages that hurt my ear, but I won’t continue my list in this post. I don’t want to make anyone blow a gasket or bore them senseless…
About the Photograph: I used a mix of 19th and 20th technologies to make the above photograph, employing my Nikon N90s and 28mm prime lens to capture it on 35mm film in Fairmount Park in Riverside, California.