Thoughts on technology

Below is a categorized list of types of technologies that humans have invented.

Highlighted technologies are currently undergoing large value-creating transformations.


Weapons - For hunting

Fire - For making less edible foods more edible and for burning landscapes to aid hunting

Agriculture and plowing - Manipulation of regional environments to produce more abundant crops

Breeding - The genetic modification of species by screening for organisms randomly having preferred traits

Genetically engineered organisms - The design of organisms with preferred traits such as drought resistance, higher yield, or controlled production to provide affordable, sustainable carbohydrates and proteins.


Treatments for trauma - Stopping blood loss and stabilizing limbs after falls or attacks

Pharmaceuticals - Poisons consumed in small doses that provide beneficial effects

Surgery - Intentionally cutting open the body to perform internal manipulations

Vaccines - Carefully configured antigens to train the immune system for known diseases

Gene editing - To cure genetic diseases and remove predisposition to behavioral diseases in the bodies of people and other organisms


Food - Indirect solar energy directly into the body

Fire - Combustion of carbohydrates to produce heat and light

Oil - Combustion of lipids to produce more heat and light from less mass and volume

Water wheel - Conversion of solar energy to motion by way of evaporation and condensation (rain)

Windmill - Conversion of wind motion to motion of solids for grinding and pumping

Fossil fuels - Combustion of hydrocarbons to produce heat, locomotion, and electricity

Nuclear fission - Degrading larger atoms into smaller ones to produce electricity

Biofuels - Carbon neutral, biodegradable energy storage from genetically designed organisms

Nuclear fusion - Fusing smaller atoms into larger ones to produce electricity


Shoes - Moving quickly over rough terrain

Domesticated large animals - Moving people and larger loads with less effort

Wheels - Moving people and even large loads

Boats - Moving people and large loads with a lot less energy

Motors - Moving people and and even larger loads faster using fuels or electricity

Rails - Moving people and large loads over land faster and with a lot less energy

Airplanes - Moving people and loads much faster over much larger distances

Autonomous vehicles - Moving people and loads without human operators

Spaceships - Moving loads and people over much larger distances


Tents - Portable shelter made of animal skins

Wood buildings - Stronger, stationary shelter

Brick & mortar - Stronger buildings without drafts, giving improved heat efficiency

Steel - Tall buildings with many floors

Information & communication

Complex spoken language - The expression of ideas outside of the listener's experience using ordered combinations of atomic units of conceptual information

Writing - Preservable, reproducible, expressions of language

Printing - Massively reproducible written information for wide distribution

Postal service - A network for communication of information from anywhere to anywhere else

Electrical and radio signaling - Communication of information over long distances without physical or line-of-sight contact

Binary digitization - Storage or transmission of information in a format that is reproducible with a very low probability of error

Internet - A fast binary electronic postal service

Statistical models - "AI" using models trained from large amounts of data by machine learning techniques

Neural interfaces - Extracting information from and putting information into the human brain by machines

Quantum computing - Data processing using quantum mechanics

Art & entertainment

Stories - Literal expressions

Singing and dancing - Abstract expressions

Games - Non-lethal activities requiring strategies

Drawings - Preservable visual expressions

Plays - Realistic portrayals of stories

Photographs and recording - Reproducible tangible representations of expressions

Digital media - Perpetual representations of images, sounds, and videos

Virtual reality - Renderings of synthetic 3-dimensional environments


Exclusionary rights - The ability to control who can use valuable goods

Barter - The trading of goods and services

Currency - Tokens of value to be exchanged for goods and services

Real estate - Ownership of land

Accounting - Recording ownership in a ledger

Stock - Ownership of things to be produced in the future

Intellectual property - Ownership of ideas and knowledge

Collective ownership - A utopian idea that fails miserably in practice

Blockchain - A distributed digital ledger for recording exchanges of currency or other goods