Advances in technology will send humans to Mars in the near future. Internet of things, 5G, artificial intelligence, automated driving and so on, probably no one can make a list of all the new technologies that are emerging. The complexity of the tech world is overwhelming but equally confusing, and difficult to understand. However, researchers, engineers, and technicians only need to focus on their own part of the job. Complex robots consist of smaller functional units that can be managed by individual professionals. They are guided by scientific texts and in mind. Despite the complexity of the technology, they will eventually be traced to a simple origin in scientific texts.
Wikipedia defines technology as “Technology is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or the achievement of goals, such as scientific investigations.” In a bing.com search, technology is defined as “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.” The definition is broad, it seems to include all the useful ways for humans to achieve something. Indeed, technology itself is a broad term with many valid definitions. Both definitions are correct because they describe facts. But they don’t explain the meaning of terms like “technique,” “application” and “scientific knowledge,” which are vague terms that can involve anything in the universe.
Since we defined science in text terms in the paper “a new definition of science – a textual foundation representing the real world”, technology must also be defined in the text because of its scientific nature. Science and technology are closely related and cannot be separated in the modern world.
1. Scientific texts – the essence of technology
We consider text as the core of science, which must also be the core of technology because the nature of science and technology is basically the same. Now that we are not repeating the textual nature of science/technology, interested readers can refer to our article “language – the essence of science”.
Science is able to represent everything, including human behavior. Not only natural phenomena are represented and accumulated, so are human activities. Procedures, methods, details of achievement are recorded in the text, which are then designated as representations. With textual representation, human activities are organized, classified, and built on familiar technologies.
Usually technology is seen from the point of view of its influence on society, such as its relationship to culture, its practical use, its relationship to the economy, politics, etc. It manifests more than its essence. They are non-textual or non-text centered. Connecting the characteristics of technology to various aspects of society not only complicates matters, leading to endless interactions, but also diverts people’s intentions from the true nature of technology.
Faced with the complexity, the ubiquitous and ever-changing variety of technologies, we must think deeply about the common characteristics of all technologies, which texts share. Represented by text, technology gets its essential features which are common to all technologies.
Methods, skills, materials, procedures, principles, and so on, all need to be documented for the purposes of understanding, learning, communication, and recording. User manuals, technical specifications are usually the first things that customers and engineers need, either during product delivery or during the product development stage. The technical document even describes the product more accurately than the actual operation of the product. Despite the complex operation, deviations in operating conditions and by different individuals, abundant materials, changing personnel, documents are relatively stable, simple, accurate, reliable and clear.
Again, it must be emphasized that scientific texts prevail in the mind. A technical document should be valid in mind and not the same as a technology text in mind.
2. The difference between science and technology
It is necessary to find the difference between science and technology. Although they have an important core, their appearance and emphasis are different to explain various aspects of the human world.
Science and technology have the same branch and knowledge. The main difference between science and technology is their goals and objectives. The purpose of science is to observe and explain, whereas technology is to take action and make changes. Their directions are opposite to each other. Science is more about observation, while technology is more focused on action. The same texts can be considered as science or technology depending on their purpose and usage. For example, the laws of motion are themselves a science, but become technology when they are used to make and operate machines.
Technology is closely related to the man-made world. Human activities have changed the appearance of the world and the way people live. This is a direct result of technology, although it could also be argued that people applied science to achieve all of this. With intuition, science is a deeper and basic level knowledge, whereas technology is more related to direct application. Science tends to be fundamental while technology tends to be detailed. But the text plays an equally central role in its formation.
Nowadays, information spreads instantly; products are transported quickly. People are increasingly living in environments surrounded by products and constructions made by machines. It becomes easier for people to achieve their goals by using existing knowledge and tools. On the other hand, many curiosities can be answered by entering a question into a search engine, within seconds. It seems that everyone has enough knowledge. All it takes is to take action. As a result, as more people become action-oriented, the term “technology” becomes more popular than the term “science”.
3. Definition of text-based technology
Regarding the essential nature and differences between science and technology, we now give a new definition of technology as:
Scientific texts that guide human activity.
This definition contains two points:
First, technology is a scientific text.
Second, these texts are used as guidelines.
Our definition does not attempt to overturn the current definition. Instead, we look at it from a different angle, focusing on a deeper level, placing a text-centered world model.
Use of technology
Usually, human activities are goal-oriented. Therefore, technology usually has practical applications. But application rates vary depending on the particular technology. Also, technology that is useful on one occasion or for some may not be useful on another occasion or for another. These activities can be beneficial or detrimental to society.
Possibility of definition expansion
Animals and machines may use technology in the future and perhaps today, such as AI. In such cases, the scientific text exerts its influence not directly through human activities, but through animals or machines. Their use of technology is an imitation of human intelligence, without any essential differences. This definition can be extended to all human and non-human activities that are guided by scientific texts.
Unifying non-textual technology with textual technology
One might argue that illiterate and even animal society had some form of technology, though not as sophisticated as the modern form. Without going into deep confusion with endless, some ambiguous, examples, we focus on the principles. Order, clarity, and representation of reality are the three defining features of science. Modern technology that really makes sense also has these features. In essence, technology in an illiterate society also comes from sequential minds with scientific properties in primitive forms, which manipulate non-text and non-text, in a less efficient/effective way. Scientific texts actually demonstrate those properties, facilitate visual processing, and make advances in the faculties of the human mind.
4. Text-centric model of science and technology
We can now propose a text-centered model of science and technology that starts from investigative observations, which originates from scientific/technology texts, which in turn leads to action through proper application. That is, science and technology are both integrated into the text. If the goal is in a non-text-to-text direction, with a focus on derived theories, these texts are more about science. If the goal is in the text towards the non-text, focusing on taking action, these texts are more about technology. The act of changing the environment, which is the subject of new observations, leads to the derivation of new scientific/technological texts. In this way, scientific and technological activities form endless iterations, the texts around are in the middle.
With this new definition, the nature of technology is known. The relationship between science and technology is defined and integrated into the text. The complexity of understanding technology is reduced. A new basis is provided for discussion of the future of our technological world.
By defining technology in text form, the scientific strength of the various writing systems will also determine their technological strength.