Quote of the moment - By all means email any worthy quotes

    What does a fish know of water in which it swims all its life? What does a man know of nature of which he is an integral part? The ancient answer is: he knows and he knows not. (cited in Saraswati, 1995 (Ed) Man in Nature)

    The more I have learned in life, and I have learned a lot, the less confident I am in what I know. From this, I conclude that adamancy is a sign of ignorance. M. Ferguson 2010- Polymathica

Saturday, 27 March 2010

A basic example of technacy in action

The elements of technacy are Agent (typically human) -Technical (Physical/digital tools systems)-Environment context factors (physical/digital eco-material) .

In any technologlical activity these three factors all contribute toward a purpose in a context.
[remember: a context is defined by two words 'space' and 'time']

No 'one' of these elements can change without causing a systemic change.... that is; - all other elements necessarily adapt.

Consider this example:

A tool - a knife is used to modify....
a material - icing
the agent necessarily requires a set of knowledge and techniques
which are defined by the previous elements and also the purpose/context
purpose/context: cover smoothly over a cake

Now, change one-(1) element - say for example, the material to "steak": NOW, note the immediate shift in all other elements.

Tool- the previous knife may work but a serrated steak knife would be more effective.
Material - steak
Agent - completely different technique and knowledge
And we can predict what the corresponding change in Context and purpose might be;
context/purpose: on a plate/cut into bite size pieces

This only a very basic example of the usefulness of technacy as a theory where it provides the essential things to look for when engaging in a technological activity. These same dynamics can be scaled up to the level of a a design project, a business, a government etc... but as this happens there is a corresponding increase in complexity of the interacting elements and it requires far more sophisticated knowledge.

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