Definition of Technology, Internet Dating, and Metrics
Somewhere in one of the descriptions I set up for this blog, when I was publicizing it on one of the website pimping sites, I stated that my definition of technology was broader than most. I am interested in technology in the more standard sense of the word (computers, applied science, industrial technology) and in fact technology in that sense is my business.
But I also feel perfectly comfortable describing low tech productivity systems, ecologically friendly lifestyle choices, even issues of dating, love, and family life as realms of technology.
Here’s my reasoning. When I did a web search on the word “technology” the first definition on the top of the list was
1. The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, esp. in industry: “computer technology“; “recycling technologies“.
Drilling down a bit further, science is defined as
1. The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
I realize there’s a danger inherent in applying those terms to concerns outside the realm of technology and science as narrowly defined. From businesses which mis-apply the notion of “metrics”, to lonely geeks attempting to bring the “scientific method” to bear on their sparse dating life, the results can resemble material for a Dilbert story arc. And there have been many attempts, with horrifying or hilarious results, to apply scientific reasoning to economics, politics, or sociology.
But on the other hand, business can benefit from good, well-considered, and consistently gathered metrics, economics, politics, and sociology does benefit from accurate observation and measurement …
And lonely geeks can bring technology, even narrowly defined, to bear on their dating life. Internet date. Just be sure to bathe, be polite and talk about things your date is interested in, and for God’s sake don’t prattle on about the Star Wars universe, World of Warcraft, Linux, or Steam-punk, unless your date is an enthusiast, too. It worked for me, big time 🙂
So in other words, technology is whatever I say it is. But mostly it’s trying to observe things in a systematic manner, learning lessons from those observations, and applying the lessons in a practical manner.
By that token Zen Habits is the best technology website out there.