The use of basic technology is also a feature of other animal species apart from humans. These include primates such as chimpanzees, some dolphin communities, and crows. Considering a more generic perspective of technology as ethology of active environmental conditioning and control, we can also refer to animal examples such as beavers and their dams, or bees and their honeycombs.
The ability to make and use tools was once considered a defining characteristic of the genus Homo. However, the discovery of tool construction among chimpanzees and related primates has discarded the notion of the use of technology as unique to humans. For example, researchers have observed wild chimpanzees utilising tools for foraging: some of the tools used include leaf sponges, termite fishing probes, pestles and levers. West African chimpanzees also use stone hammers and anvils for cracking nuts, as do capuchin monkeys of Boa Vista, Brazil. Read the rest of this entry »
In 1983 a classified program was initiated in the US intelligence community to reverse the US declining economic and military competitiveness. The program, Project Socrates, used all source intelligence to review competitiveness worldwide for all forms of competition to determine the source of the US decline. What Project Socrates determined was that technology exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage and that the source of the US declining competitiveness was the fact that decision-making through the US both in the private and public sectors had switched from decision making that was based on technology exploitation (i.e., technology-based planning) to decision making that was based on money exploitation (i.e., economic-based planning) at the end of World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
Meanwhile, humans were learning to harness other forms of energy. The earliest known use of wind power is the sailboat. The earliest record of a ship under sail is shown on an Egyptian pot dating back to 3200 BC. From prehistoric times, Egyptians probably used the power of the Nile annual floods to irrigate their lands, gradually learning to regulate much of it through purposely built irrigation channels and ‘catch’ basins. Similarly, the early peoples of Mesopotamia, the Sumerians, learned to use the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for much the same purposes. But more extensive use of wind and water (and even human) power required another invention. Read the rest of this entry »