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Technology – savagery, barbarism and civilisation

Tech and Innovation

Posted on November 29, 2010

4 min read

Evolution is a funny thing, it has a control all of its own, or does it?

In my previous blog, Technology, addiction or evolution I asked if technology itself is addictive or is it the evolution of technology and the “newness” that creates the desire to have. So I thought I would go a little further on the evolution.

Many sociologists and anthropologists have created theories dealing with social and cultural evolutions and declare technological progress to be the primary factor driving the development of human civilization. One in particular Lewis H. Morgan, believed there were 3 major stages of social evolution, these being, savagery, barbarism and civilization.

Within these three it could be divided into technological milestones. Savagery was fire, the bow and arrow and pottery. Barbarism was the domestication of animals, agriculture and metalworking and the alphabet and writing was the civilization stage. All in all through many collective studies and historical records it had been agreed so far we are at the 11th stage of the technological evolution. These being:

photo of antique sundialAnd now we are in the 21st Century. While each stage of the technical evolution has changed the lives of the people and has led us to life as we know it today, in combining the industrial revolution, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries electronic technology has certainly evolved in leaps and bounds and is moving at a pace that seems to have its own momentum. From electricity, the light bulb, telephone and so on. Today technology has changed the way we communicate with each other; seek information and what we see on our screens.  Star Trek comes to mind here. In the show they had the capability to communicate through a wireless communicator and be able to transport from ship to other places by dematerializing and rematerializing.  In the 1960’s when this show was created it was unrealistic to communicate in this manner however not any more.  Keeping in mind, at this stage man is still working on molecular transportation.

I recently saw the movie HUBBLE at IMAX Melbourne in 3D and all I can say is it is mind boggling how far it took me into space.  The Hubble telescope was invented in the hope that man will discover how the universe started. From the very beginning evolution has worked its magic in shaping the way earth and all its inhabitants are today, albeit some creatures have not evolved in any way. Take the crocodile for example, it has remained un-changed for many millions of years.  On the other hand I think the sloth became confused somewhere in the evolution momentum. To me the Sloth has the appearance of a several animals, a couple of these being the monkey with the claws of a bear.

Technology moves far quicker than natural evolution and at times is hard to keep up with.  I only need to look at the mobile phone I purchased in January 2010 and already it has been preceded by eight models.  It is called a phone however I do wonder if that’s the correct name. The phone component appears to be a small part of what it is capable of doing.

Along with all technology, TV is rapidly evolving. A few years ago I predicted the TV would become the central HUB in the home and this is clearly happening. TVs now have NetCast that allows access to the internet, along with a USB cable from your laptop the TV becomes the monitor.  These are only two examples of the evolution of technology and I can only wonder what is next.

Me not being a tech-head and my thoughts some time ago about the TV being the HUB coming true got me thinking, does  the evolution of technology start with a thought, become a story and then invented or simply the natural strive of man is what runs the evolution of technology.

What do you think will be the 12th stage in the technological evolution?

And if man runs the evolution of technology, what runs the evolution of man?

Tags: technology, trends,