The Timeline of a Technology

The timeline of a technology is used to learn about and progress a technology further.
Jan 23, 2023
2 min

Where does technology come from?

A human creates it.

But where does the human get the idea from?

Humans have problems. Technology is one way to solve them.

Prior technology is used as inspiration for new technology that solves the same problem. When you map the times that these technologies were created on a line, a timeline of a technology forms.

The timeline of a technology is a predictable cycle:

  1. A problem occurs.
  2. A solution is created using a technology (concept, invention, automation).
  3. The solution is improved upon with new technology (inspired by the previous technological solution).

You exist at a point in the timeline of any technology. So, use the timeline to understand modern technology in the context of the past.

The Significance of a Technology's Timeline

You can use the timeline of a technology to learn about and progress a technology further.

Suppose that you are confused about the following questions.

  1. How do you put pixels on a screen?
  2. How do you access text files over the internet?
  3. What will you do with yet another JavaScript framework?

In isolation, these questions are nonsense. But with context, the answers become clear.

A Basic Example

Humans need to get from one place to another. But how?

  • You can walk.
  • Or you can use a saddle to ride an animal, which takes less effort.
  • Or you can use a car to roll to your location, which is faster and more consistence than riding an animal.
  • Or you can use a train...
  • Or you can use a plane...
  • Or you can use a jet...

And in every case, the improvement from one mode of transportation to the next creates a timeline of technology.

An Abstract Example

The study of Math follows a timeline of a technology.

  • A number system (e.g., Base 10, Binary) is created.
  • Mathematical operations such as addition and subtraction are developed using a number system.
  • Multiplication and Division (Inverse Multiplication) are developed upon these operations.
  • Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, etc. are derived from these basic operations.

These mathematical concepts — as we know them — only exist as a human invention that have taken thousands of years to discover and perfect.

Math is still being invented today.

The Computer Example

The computer is a technology used to perform mathematical operations.

  • People used electrical circuits to represent a binary number system.
  • These circuits were developed further to simulate mathematical operations.
  • Mathematical operations were used to represent information in human-readable files.
  • Files were used to run applications that other humans could use for various purposes.
  • So on and so forth.

Computers also follow a timeline of technology.

But to understand computers and programming, where do most people start?

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