Theory of technological evolution
The technology evolves in three stages: tools, machine, automation. This evolution, he says, follows two trends:
The pretechnological period, in which all other animal species remain today, apart from some species of birds and primates, was a non-rational period of primitive prehistoric man.
The emergence of technology, made possible by the development of the rational faculty, paved the way for the first stage: the tool. A tool provides a mechanical advantage when performing a physical task, such as an arrow, a plow or a hammer that increases physical work to achieve its objective more efficiently. Later, tools driven by animals such as the plow and the horse increased the productivity of food production approximately ten times more than the technology of hunter-gatherers. The tools allow you to do things impossible to achieve with one’s body, such as seeing minute visual details with a microscope, manipulating heavy objects with a pulley and cart, or carrying volumes of water in a bucket.
The second technological stage was the creation of the machine. A machine is a tool that replaces the element of human physical effort, and only requires controlling its function. Machines were generalized with the industrial revolution, although windmills, a type of machine, are much older.
Examples of this include automobiles, trains, computers and lights. Machines allow humans to tremendously exceed the limitations of their bodies. Putting a machine on the farm, a tractor, increased the productivity of food at least ten times more than plow and horse technology.
The third and final stage of technological evolution is automation. Automation is a machine that eliminates the human control element with an automatic algorithm. Examples of machines that exhibit this feature are digital clocks, automatic telephone switches, pacemakers and computer programs.
It is crucial to understand that the three stages describe the introduction of the fundamental types of technology, so the three are still widely used today. A spear, a plow, a ballpoint pen, a knife, a glove, a chicken and an optical microscope are all examples of tools.
The process of technological evolution culminates with the ability to achieve all material values technologically possible and desirable by mental effort.
An economic implication of the previous idea is that intellectual work will be increasingly important in relation to physical work. Contracts and agreements around information will be increasingly common in the market. The expansion and creation of new types of institutes that work with information, such as universities, bookstores, patent trade companies, etc. it is considered an indication that a civilization is in technological evolution.