Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as pollution and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's environment.Innovations have always influenced the values of a society and raised new questions of the ethics of technology.The simplest form of technology is the development and use of basic tools.
In this usage, technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems.
It is a far-reaching term that may include simple tools, such as a crowbar or wooden spoon, or more complex machines, such as a space station or particle accelerator.
This new-found knowledge may then be used by engineers to create new tools and machines such as semiconductors, computers, and other forms of advanced technology.
In this sense, scientists and engineers may both be considered technologists; the three fields are often considered as one for the purposes of research and reference.
Not all technology enhances culture in a creative way; technology can also help facilitate political oppression and war via tools such as guns.
As a cultural activity, technology predates both science and engineering, each of which formalize some aspects of technological endeavor.The exact relations between science and technology in particular have been debated by scientists, historians, and policymakers in the late 20th century, in part because the debate can inform the funding of basic and applied science.In the immediate wake of World War II, for example, it was widely considered in the United States that technology was simply "applied science" and that to fund basic science was to reap technological results in due time.Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar reactionary movements criticize the pervasiveness of technology, arguing 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.The spread of paper and printing to the West, as in this printing press, helped scientists and politicians communicate their ideas easily, leading to the Age of Enlightenment; an example of technology as cultural force.Developments in historic times, 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.