It is understood by technical change or technological change the process of incorporating new technologies or technified practices (rules of use, regulations, derived products, etc.) to the human tools available to solve their different types of social and economic problems. For instance: the invention of the wheel, the invention of gunpowder.
It’s about a temporary procedure, cumulative, which involves changes in the structure and content of knowledge production and, therefore, in the way we understand the world.
Usually a technological change it is the result of a series of technologically related activities, such as invention, innovation, development, transfer and dissemination. In the long run, this type of process implies a change in technological, social, cultural and human paradigms.
This concept is particularly significant in economic matters, where it may imply an improvement or simply a radical change in the existing production dynamics, since these are deeply related to the current state of available technology.
Why is technical change important?
In the complexity of human society, the impacts and developments in a diverse area such as technical or technological affect all the others, breaking down schemes and allowing new ways of carrying out an activity, be it productive (economic), social (collective) or even intimate (relationships). personal).
Thus, if society functions as a network of senses and activities, technical change drives some of its nodes forward and eventually affects those to which it is directly connected. This, of course, does not mean that every technical change is positive or should be viewed as a beneficial advance.
In fact many bring with them new problems, unpredictable consequences and the often painful obligation to adapt to new conditions. It should simply be understood as a change, contagious, powerful and incapable of operating in isolation in the community.
Examples of technical change
Throughout history there have been numerous events of technical or technological change capable of revolutionizing social and human paradigms in a profound and irreversible way.
- The discovery of electricity. One of the most revolutionary inventions in history is the one that allowed the generation, understanding and use of electricity as a force to shape the surrounding reality according to human needs. There are many paradigms that were broken from the moment that electrical energy entered our lives and could begin not only to flow and be used, but also to be stored and recovered. All these concepts had a new meaning from the appearance of electric light, printing a permanent change in the social dynamics of man.
- The invention of the wheel. A remote and ancient technical paradigm was broken and re-founded in the distant instant when ancient man invented the first wheel. A whole civilization rests, among other things, on this invention that facilitated transportation and allowed a whole series of future machine considerations (gears, rotating parts, etc.). Productive, social and human considerations of the world varied as knowledge of the wheel spread.
- The Industrial Revolution and the appearance of the locomotive. The new transport model that meant the appearance of the steam train, later also applied to boats and other forms of movement, revolutionized the transport paradigm in the West and the entire world, allowing the much faster movement of personnel and merchandise between distances. significant, contributing in the long run to the invention of new, even faster forms of transportation and making the world much more comprehensible to the human mind.
- New communication technologies. The Internet has revolutionized practically every aspect of society in profound and unpredictable ways, that is known. Social networks, telecommunication programs and the possibility of the immediacy of data transfer allowed the emergence of new forms of social organization, interpersonal relationships, even a new notion of identity and belonging to human groups.
- The invention of gunpowder. The discovery of gunpowder and especially its massive use in the manufacture of firearms was a technological innovation that had an enormous impact on world politics, since by facilitating the arts of war and confrontation it allowed the emergence of new forms of imperialism and military domination, thus leading to other social and, eventually, world orders.