After-Class Writing: Klein’s “What is technology?”

Before our next class, write a summary of at least 25o words of Stephen J. Klein’s “What is Technology?” and today’s discussion/lecture, and post your summary as a comment to this blog post.

Separately, spend a few minutes writing down as many communication technologies in your notebook. Bring your list to our next class for an exercise that will help you figure out your research project.

21 thoughts on “After-Class Writing: Klein’s “What is technology?””

  1. Stephen J. Kline was an engineer at Stanford University and one of the founders of Stanford’s Science, Technology, and Society program. STS is the area of study that is the interdisciplinary field of study that explores the relationships between science, technology and society. In the year 1985, Stephen Kline wrote an article called “What is Technology?” that talks about what exactly is technology, and the different meanings and usages for the word technology has. Technology is something that is discussed every day and has evolved over the years. When we think about technology today we think of smart phones, computers, androids, flat screen TV’s, etc. Kline discusses in his article how the word Technology is being used to represent things, actions, processes, methods, and systems. It is also used to describe important working procedures and representing progress. Having different meanings for the same word can be a problem and will start to lose its meaning overtime. Kline describes four usages for the word technology. Usage one is hardware or artifacts. These are things that are made like a thermostat, computer, a building, scanner, etc. It is the tools that we humans make to get the work done. Usage two is Sociotechnical Systems Manufacture. In class, we discussed that the word Sociotechnical is a portmanteau, which is a blending of 2 or more words that make a new word. This usage involves many people in manufacturing a certain kind of hardware. Usage three talks about technique, the know-how, what we know and the knowledge. It is the instructions, a guide, and the step-by-step to getting things done and is all the knowledge that goes in making things. Finally, we have usage 4 which is Sociotechnical System of Use and it’s a system that combines hardware, people, and other things to do things that we human beings cannot accomplish without these systems. In class, the definition that we were given of the word technology is as follows: its tools, systems, and knowledge made by human beings to help us do work, get things done and enjoy life. Kline finishes his article by saying that we might not exist as species if it weren’t for the sociotechnical systems. We have the power to make all kinds of hardware, but the question is will we use it for good, or will be use it for bad?

  2. The article “What is Technology” by Stephen J. Kline, gives multiple definitions for the work technology. One definition is things that humans have created from the earth. Kline even goes to say it is the common use of the word. I had always thought that the common use was to name all the electronics we use. If we look at this definition the world is full of technology.

    Another definition Kline gives is how things are manufactured. What this means is how the technology that exist is used. Such as how a fork is use to eat food. I find this interesting because at the beginning of the article Kline writes “Even more important, the current vague use of the word ’technology’ hides from view two central concepts,and a central pattern of human behavior that we must have to make sense of our views of many critical questions in the current world including how we understand innovation, how we can communicate across Snow’s culture gap, and how we understand the way in which we humans make our living on the planet.” (Kline, 1985). This quote explains why technology has so many definitions and also explains the second definition. I say that because language is a type of technology we use to communicate with others.

    The third definition Kline gives is the ability to know how to use technology. Going back to language,the ability to be able to understand what someone says without them having to say it, is a use of knowing how to use technology.

    Even after Kline definines the many ways definition is used two words in this article stood out to me. The words hardware and Sociotechnical systems. Hardware is defined as “tools, machinery, and other durable equipment”, while sociotechnical systems is defined as “organizational development is an approach to complex organizational work design that recognizes the interaction between people and technology in workplaces”.

  3. The mechanical engineer Stephen J. Kline is one of the professors in Stanford’s university; he participated in technology & science field. He demands to become an engineer who is on the path of becoming an expert. Instead of being an expert, he wants to connect with science and humanity. The concept of the connection between science, technology, and society is the area of interdisciplinary study explores the science, technology, and culture. For instance, different kinds of applications installed on our smartphones transform our modern technology and society, we can scan barcodes with our smartphones to make purchases instead bringing out the wallet. The technology extends human capabilities, which is interested in STS. STS takes place in cultural studies through a variety of critical theories. For example, it involves environment and animal studies. Once upon a time, Charles Percy Snow wrote a book of two culture in the scientific revolution, sociotechnical is the combination term evolves from old words. It defines how people are working together to invent new technology. It includes mythology, further information, procedures and eventually, it transcends human’s capabilities by developing new technologies. In the article of “What is Technology” by Stephen J. Kline, Stephen mentioned several different definitions of technology. “The words are corrupt; the mind is also.” Technology doesn’t define in a word ambiguously, it relates to a variety of things. Such as human inventions of hardware, software, languages, buildings, transportation, artifacts, or even one sheet of paper. These fundamental tools made by the human is to get work done efficiently. Therefore, technology would refine tools, system, and knowledge by the human being to increase efficiency by enjoying life.

  4. The term technology has a very complicated etymology. Today, in the 21st Century, when we hear the word “technology” we think of these devices that we use every day; particularly a phone. The definition of technology has lost its meaning over the years, and Stephen J. Kline discusses this in his article “What is Technology?” This article was published thirty-three years ago, in 1985. Since then, society has changed, and so have the people interacting within the sphere of society. In this article, Kline discusses four significant types of technology: hardware, sociotechnical system of manufacture, know-how, and sociotechnical system of use. These are all significant Kline says because technology is ever changing, but these four usage of technology stays the same: hardware/artifacts, sociotechnical system of manufacture, know-how, and sociotechnical system of use.

    We discussed in class, a factor that subsets in the last usage of sociotechnical system of use; cyborgs. Cyborgs are persons that are experienced with the use of the world and is mediated with technology. In a sense, any person wearing contact lenses is a cyborg, because they need the use of technology, in this case contact lenses, to help them see the world around them. This is a real-world example that Kline discusses when he speaks about the second and usage of technology as well; sociotechnical system of manufacture. The sociotechnical system of manufacture is when a system of people and an unseen system of technology work together to make other things. To relate to the contact lenses situation, a system of people need to have an efficient production line with machinery for the contact lenses to be produced.

    Now, another real-world example that resonates with the other two usages is the structure of a house. The first usage; hardware, is defined as the tools or objects humans make to get things done. This is related to a house, because humans made the famous Caterpillar machines to help excavate and bull doze houses. The third usage is the know-how/technique technology, which is defined as: “the information, skills, and processes to get things done.” These are the little things that goes into a house, such as building a wall, or putting together the roof.

    With all these usages, we can conclude that technology can be defined as: “the tools, systems and knowledge that is made by human beings to help better our lives, in every way possible.”

  5. Stephan J. Kline wrote an interesting text titled, “What is technology?” where he explains and gives his definitions on the term technology. Kline was a member of STS, which are studies that try to figure out what will the future ahead of us bring to the population. It studies the human culture through the human studies. In addition, this brings me talk a little bit more about the interdisciplinary field of study. Stephan J. Kline was an interdisciplinary thinker, where science and technology pair up with society to form the interdisciplinary field of study. Interdisciplinary studies such as technology, science and society pair with one another and fulfill one another in a way to form a whole. This is due to the fact that science and technology affect our society.

    Moreover, the four uses of the term technology that Kline mentions are quite important to understand the term itself. The first usage is the tools that all humans use and are done by humans, the hardware. Second usage was social and technical technologies that made other technologies this usage was called the sociotechnical system of manufacture. The second usage is an example of different hardware and the people that are needed to construct one.
    The third usage was the knowledge, technique or methodology. The third usage was designed based on information, skills, procedures for accomplishing a certain task. The last but not least was usage four, the sociotechnical system. The fourth usage was the system that combined people, the hardware or systems so it could help or expand the human abilities. Lastly we also looked at Professors Ellis definition of technology which is, ” tools, systems and knowledge made by human being to help us do work, get things done and enjoy life.”

  6. The word technology can be used to represent many different things such as actions, processes, methods and systems to name a few. Having this many meanings attached to one of the central words in our language can only lead to chaos and confusion. In Steven J. Kline’s article “What is Technology?”, he seperates technology into four different sub categories in an attempt to lessen this confusion. The first usage has to do with hardware or artifacts. These are man made tools or things that humans invented to get certain jobs done. This includes a wide range of things such as, guns, instruments, cars, roads, microwaves, paper, rubber, glue, and the list goes on and on. The second usage is the sociotechnical system of manufacture. Social, meaning people and technical, meaning technology. People and technology working together. These are the technologies that go into making other technologies, such as the entire system that goes into making processed foods or the entire system that goes into making clothes. The third usage of the word deals with the information, skills, processes, and procedures for accomplishing tasks. It is the knowledge, technique, know-how, or methodology of completing projects. For example the tools to build a skyscraper are nothing without the knowledge of what to do with those tools. The fourth and final use of the word technology is called the sociotechnical systems of use. This refers to what we do with hardware after it has been manufactured. It is a combination of hardware, people, and other element that help us accomplish tasks that humans can not do by themselves. By doing this technology extends the capabilities and capacities of human beings thus making us quite literally cyborgs. The word technology can refer to many things and Kline’s article helps to lessen the confusion.

  7. In Dr. Stephen J. Kline’s piece, “What is Technology?” he works to define what technology is, how we use it and how it impacts humans. We discussed in class Dr. Kline’s background, which entailed not only being a mechanical engineering expert, but also being a proponent of interdisciplinary thinking. He was an alumnus as well as a professor emeritus at Stanford. As an engineer, his research on turbulence has shaped modern airplanes and cars. As an interdisciplinary thinker, he was one of four founding members to advance the theory of “Science, Technology and Society,” or STS. STS is the area of study that explores the relationships among science, technology and society and how different parts of these endeavors influence, and are influenced by, one another. He thought it was important to point out that science is not a discipline that exists in a vacuum, but rather is affected by many fields such as biases, politics, money, culture, etc. STS tries to bridge the gap that exists between the sciences and humanities by determining the ethics and motivations of cultures. Dr. Kline references the honorable C.P. Snow, who was a British life peer who wrote, “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.” Snow held that this divide between science and the humanities made it difficult to solve global issues. He wrote about sciences being distinct between themselves and from the humanities, but he felt that humanities needed to be applied to the sciences to have a fuller understanding.

    We also talked a little about Seneca, a Roman philosopher, who supposedly said, “When the words are corrupt, the mind is also”. During Seneca’s time, there really wasn’t a divide amongst the disciplines- people could be polymaths and this was acceptable. Seneca was a philosopher, scientist, politician, writer, etc. Unfortunately, Dr. Kline happened to quote the wrong source inadvertently. We talked about the need to validate quotations and their sources as a result.

    Dr. Kline tried to define and elaborate on the four usages of technology as follows: technology as hardware/artifacts- manmade things get work done; technology as a sociotechnical system of manufacture- combines the social aspect of people and the technical aspect of technology and the way they work together; technology as knowledge, technique, know-how or methodology- you have to know how to use technology before you can use it properly; and lastly, technology as a sociotechnical system of use- a system that combines hardware, people and other elements to help humans complete work they couldn’t otherwise do. Dr. Kline really wanted to try and define technology because he felt that when the term was misused or overused, it made it more difficult to understand.

  8. In Stephen J. Kline’s article, “What Is Technology?” Kline sets out four separate denotations associated with the word “technology.” The first, and most common, is the use of the term to denote physical objects manufactured by humans. Less frequently the word is used to refer to the working system needed to manufacture a piece of hardware, including physical and human resources, which Kline refers to as a sociotechnical system. Technology may also refer to specifically the knowledge involved in a particular study or manufacture, being in this way synonymous with “technique” or “methodology.” In setting out these first three, Kline suggests that there is a fourth important denotation behind the use of the word “technology” in modern language, beyond hardware, manufacture, or technique, combining concepts from all three. He calls this a sociotechnical system of use, and uses this to refer to any system humans utilize to perform a task we otherwise could not.
    This article is exemplary of the area of study Kline was instrumental in forwarding. Sociotechnical Studies, or STS, now refers to areas of study in which scientific, sociological, and technical fields overlap. Though academia had previously been sharply divided between sciences and humanities, with trade skills being considered a lesser area entirely, early STS proponents suggested that there are deep ideological connections between all three areas and that knowledge of each was required to properly study their broader associations and the implications thereof. Another STS proponent, C. P. Snow, published a lecture in which he pointed out the gap that had formed in academia between scientists, whose literacy was lacking, and experts of humanities, who couldn’t answer basic questions of physics.

  9. In today’s world, the term technology is used every so often, and many people put behind it many different meanings. Stephen J. Klein’s “What is technology” defines just what technology really is. Although there may be individual definitions on the term “technology”, they would all agree that technology is important. Klein uses four usages to define technology. The first usage is artifacts or hardware, which are the tools humans use to create but also can be anything from social media to buildings and automobiles. The second usage is sociotechnical systems of manufacture, when systems of people and technology work to create and manufacture. Usage three are information, skills, processes and procedures which helps us to complete a task. The last usage is sociotechnical system of use, in which a combination of hardware, people and other things are used to extend human capabilities through technology. Klein points out that “without sociotechnical system of use, manufacture of hardware would have no purpose” (p217, Klein).

    Klein’s interdisciplinary study of STS studies the relationships between science, technology and society. These relationships create a tremendous impact and influence on each other. Without any one of them, technology would not have been able to succeed in continuing to grow over the years. In the end of Klein’s article, he points out, “without sociotechnical systems, humans might not exist as a species and if we did, we’d be powerless, few in number and of little importance on the planet.” (p218, Klein). This one line sums up the power and importance of technology. However, although technology can help extend our abilities to the next level, as it continues to advance, there could be a downside to it. Nowadays people are becoming more digital and less literate and although social media can be entertaining, sometimes it can influence younger generations in a negative way. We can only hope that technology will advance into more positive influences than negative or the positive will eventually suppress the negative.

  10. “What is Technology?” is an article written by Stephen J Kline that introduces a plethora of interdisciplinary views and gives the reader a new insight on the relationship between humans, science, and technology. Years before, C.P Snow, a prominent figure in science in his book called “The Two Cultures” explained that the knowledge gap between scientist and humanities figures places both groups at a disadvantage and that interdisciplinary discussions are very important to being able to deal with conflict as a race. Kline was an engineer who was an interdisciplinary thinker and one for the founders of science, technology, and society program at Stanford University. The program analyzes the relationship between the three groups and the influences that they have on each other. As a class we discovered that science is done by humans and the influences around it are political, economic, and technological especially when observing new discoveries in nature.
    In his article Kline stressed how important it was to know the usage of the word technology and that we should not generalize the term. The first usage of the word technology deals with hardware. For example if you’re referring to computers and Buildings there is a substantial amount of hardware that goes into creating those objects. The second usage of the word implies a sociotechnical context. An example of this is a construction worker using a bulldozer to push dirt plies, both the worker and bulldozer working together to get the dirt pile out of the way. The third usage of this term is the person who has the knowledge to do certain things, someone would need to obtain a certificate or an associate’s degree if they wanted to operate or fix heavy equipment in the United States. Last but not least, usage 4 of the word technology has a sociotechnical system context. Construction workers use mines to blow up rocks and other materials that are too heavy for humans to move with bare

  11. As the father of Stanford University’s Science, Technology and Society program, S.J Kline understood the dynamics of technology. His 1985 article “What is Technology?”, was an interesting read having been originally created on a typewriter. This article, now being available on the world wide web and being interpret on a digital screen, has displayed technological advances that have occured over 33 years.

    As a class, technology was defined as tools, systems and knowledge humans created to help with labor to achieve goals that benefit well being. Kline’s article headlines four main usages for technology. The first use incorporated human made hardware. Examples include buildings, automobiles and the creation of social media. The second use of technology includes the interdisciplinary sociotechnical system of manufacture. This includes people using technology for input advancement. Therefore, people began using technology to create more innovations .These improvements usually went unseen. The third usage is knowing how to use the systems as a technique. Code enforcement gave way to a method one must follow to employ the systems output. Lastly, the forth usage is the combination of hardware, those who operated the technology, and expansion of its capability. Klein celebrates the growth in which technology has accomplish through experience and research.

    Klein states “Without sociotechnical systems, we humans might not exist as a species, and if we did we would be relatively powerless, few in number and a little import on the planet.” In other words, without innovations incorporated into our lives, we will cease to exist. Generations overtime have become more dependent on this advances. Therefore life without them is a challenge.

    Technology has affected numerous aspects in my life. It has influenced politics, money and the innovations that I use today. One aspect I have noticed a tremendous change in was social interaction. Programs like iMessage, Facebook and webcamming use computers and the internet to change the mode of conversation. Shows like “Friends” capture an ancient exchange of dialogue. Coffees shops created leeway to social interaction face to face. Now if one walks into a coffee shop, people are cyborgs. The human interaction is now medicated by a screen. No one speaks to the person next to them. They rather conversate with someone who lives miles away. It makes one wonder how life would be without dependency with technology.

  12. In class we became well informed of Stephen J. Klein who was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and an Emeritus the highest title for a retired Professor. In Klein’s “What is Technology?” he asked the titular question and states that the public agreement when it comes to technology is that it is “important’ but not an innate agreement of what does and doesn’t count as technology. Klein discusses Technology, Hardware, Sociotechnical Systems, and its applicable Methodology.

    Klein’s description of technology of affirms that technology is something engineered with the intention to ‘hopefully’ improve an existing system or situation. The document states “‘Technology’ is also used symbolically as an epithet, for important working procedures, and to represent progress.” We used the Oxford English Dictionary to find what they would put as the definition of technology and found multiple alternative definitions or restatements. As the class progressed wediscused the term cyborg and I plugged the term into the Oxford dictionary for its definition. The definition I came across mirrored Professor Ellis, who revealed to us about how glasses – as a form of technology- gives us the ability to see makes us ‘Cyborgs’. As well as the use of cellphones as an extension of self to communicate. The Oxford definition is as follows “A person whose physical tolerances or capabilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by a machine or other external agency that modifies the body’s functioning.” We spoke also of his reference to Seneca which also lead to research of Sir Roger L’estrange who wrote the line “When the words are corrupt, the mind is also” in summary to Seneca’s work.

  13. TO: Professor Jason Ellis
    FROM: Ronald C. Hinds
    DATE: February 15, 2018
    SUBJECT: Technology: What it is?

    Stephen Kline talks about the vague use, by us, of the word “technology.” He sets about to strip the allure and to make it less ambiguous. In his piece in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 1985, STC, Kline mentions Jacques Ellul, a French critic of technology.. Ellul’s bleak portrait of humanity enslaved by its own technology was examined by many people. Kline proposes, in a matter of fact way, at least four (4) uses of the term for examination. What is crystal clear is that one must recognize the audience, and context, when making a pitch to use, and explain, this term.

    Humans use hardware or artifacts, non-natural objects, to recognize “What is technology.” It was the Industrial Revolution which introduced large scale hardware to make up for the lack of skilled workers in industry. The steam boat was seen as an example of new technology and so was the sewing machine. These pieces of hardware, and more, revolutionized life for many people. In the mid 1800s, for example, it was the cotton gin that transformed the textile industry.

    In Kline’s second (2nd) usage defining technology he describes a sociotechnical system of manufacture and development. Sociotechnical is a portmanteau and, in this instance, Kline blends people and machinery with an economic and political method to foster a complete axis of development. Ellul’s view of the “wrongs” of technology can be traced to his upbringing and his austere Christian faith. He warns of a misplaced sense that the wrongs of society can be made right through the lens of technology.Ellul favors looking to the Divine One.

    Stephen J. Kline was also an interdisciplinary thinker and he observed the methodology and connection among the information, skills, processes and procedures for accomplishing tasks. That’s his third (3rd) definition of technology.

    His last usage can be described as the sociotechnical system of using combinations of hardware and people to accomplish tasks that humans cannot perform without help from these systems. Kline thinks that without some of these systems humans may find it hard to exist.

    Kline, S. J. (1985). What is Technology? Bulletin of Science, Technology, & Society, 5, 215-218. Downloaded on February 06, 2018 from:

    Steinfels, P. “Jacques Ellul, French Critic of Technology, Is Dead at 82”. Obituary Section. New York Times, 21 May, 1994.



  14. In Stephen J. Kline’s article “what is technology?” he speaks about what exactly technology is, what it means, how we use it and how it is important to us. In the article he says technology has its “usages”. When he says “usages” he means how we use it and or a definition. Usage one was a “non-natural object, of all kinds, created by humans”, things that humans create like weapons, computers, paper etc. is considered technology. Usage two said that people use technology to create more technology. Usage three was the skill needed by humans to create more and more technology. Usage four said when you combine technology with humans you can extend both of their capabilities.
    In our class discussion professor Ellis broke down all the usages of technology for us, and when we broke down number four I was shocked in a way. We spoke about a “cyborg” and how all of us are these cyborgs in a sense all because we use technology, even our phones and our computers classify us as cyborgs. Also we disused about C.P Snow who was mentioned in this article and I had no idea who he was and why he was so important or how much he had contributed to technology with this “culture gap” of sciences and humanities. Overall I think this article changed the way I look and use technology and not take it for granted as much as I do.

  15. Technology could be defined as hardware designed for the purpose of solving human problems. One could say that technology originated from the idea of an opportunity to advance or innovate. Author and Electrical Engineer Stephen J. Kline believe that technology has so many different meaning that it has become completely open to interpretation. Mr. Kline defines “Technology” by a four-step definition of precise usages, the three broad descriptions being hardware (does not occur naturally), Sociotechnical System of Manufacture (manufacturing equipment and people), and any Information or processes used to accomplish a task. The three usages constitute together the common usages of the term. His fourth description of technology is the most publicly discussed as a means of understanding human implications in technology. Systems that can complete a task that would otherwise be impossible for a man to do without the system, is a sociotechnical system. Mr. Kline makes a point of saying “these systems” and not calling it hardware because the hardware is a minor detail in the creation of these extensions of human capacities.
    Human Beings have learned to extend our physical abilities such as our senses, muscular, and mental capacities with the use of sociotechnical systems. In class, we described these extensions of our abilities as making us, cyborgs. We, humans, are the only species to make innovations in our socio-technical systems to improve our own functioning. For example, using engines and motors, we create an extension of speed and muscle power. Our species, would not exist as a large population or as a life form if we didn’t innovate in sociotechnical systems. These systems help create the physical bases of our societies past and present. In our present society, we have designed plenty of new technology to solve simple problems, for example, social networks like Instagram, Twitter, and snap chat have solved social interaction and communication issues.
    I consider Kline’s four definitions of technology, to be a broad step by step explanation for defining the word. He puts the definition in a logical and organized build that covers all forms of technology. Kline also demonstrates how we humans could not survive without technological advancements. I relate from personal experience of everyday life, that humans wouldn’t have much of a distinction from other life forms without the intellectual aspect of the innovation. Although “What is Technology” was written over 33 years ago, it is still a relevant and current representation of today’s technical society.

  16. Technology continues to advance in the modern world day by day ranging from eyeglasses to furniture, however the term is used loosely. The term, in today’s time is now regulated to the latest smart devices or the newest flat screen tv. In his article “What is Technology”, author Stephen J. Kline clarifies the how the term technology has lost its meaning as time continues to go on. He breaks that up into 4 usages, the first two are hardware and sociotechnical systems of manufacture. Within his explanation of the first usage, the reader is able to understand that “hardware” or “artifacts” is simply anything that is man made. This goes as far as paper, roads or anything that one wouldn’t be able to find naturally within the environment. The second usage, sociotechnical systems of manufacture, are explained as more than just the technological advancement that was made and the people who use it, it is more of what is required to make the for of hardware possible. The two final usages that the author discusses about is methodology and sociotechnical system of use. The usage of methodology is generally the means of how we use technology. As for the final usage, sociotechnical systems of use, it is essential the knowledge needed to use the technology that has been manufactured. The author brings up the common misconception of a majority of individuals by quoting “we have the technology to do the job.” However, that is not the case because even if we do have the technology we still need to be able to comprehend and use it correctly. Technology, as the author stated, allows human beings to extend their capabilities. It is essentially an extension of ourselves when we know how to use it properly. In a way, technology actually dictates what we do in our daily lives and the author states that we would actually be powerless without sociotechnical systems.

  17. Stephen J. Kline’s “WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY?” is rather self-explanatory and straight to the point as he attempt to break down the meaning of the word and idea of technology. He elaborates on its importance by saying “It is discussed almost as much as the weather, and sometimes it seems, with as little effect.” The broad usage of the word or its over usage even tends to undermine its overall meaning. Understanding the word ‘technology’ is a vital element to the subject of ‘Science Technology Studies,’ then Kline went to explain technology and support his point of view in four steps or main usage of it. First he explains “Hardware (or Artifacts)” which are technology create or fabricate by humans, that includes machinery and other day to day accessories we use to sustain our basic needs. Secontly, Kline discuss “Sociotechnical System of Manufacture,” which goes in depth on specific details of the combination of machinery and people to create things tailored for specific usage. For his third point he depict tech on a fundamental level, the ‘technique, knowledge, or know how.’ The overall human or natural element of technology. Lastly, the use of “Sociotechnical System of Use,” which he refer to the use of manufactured technology to create more of it, and maybe faster. Technology prime on expanding and facilitate everything else.
    In class we discuss the STS (Science Technology Society) a little, their focus and how they operates. Also Lord C.P Snow’s connection to the subject. His influence on Britain and his regard in the field of technology study. Then the vague usage of Seneca’s quote by Kline.

  18. The article “What is Technology” by Stephen J. Kline discusses a more abstract meaning of what technology is. Kline purports that there are four main usages of technology: hardware and artifacts, sociotechnical system of manufacture, the information, and a sociotechnical system of use. The first usage, hardware and artifacts, is described as things created by man that aren’t naturally made by the earth. We use this usage in almost every single facet of our lives: to cook, clean, sleep, go places, buy more hardware and artifacts. The second usage, sociotechnical system of manufacture, is described as a start to finish cycle of a particular hardware where the ingredients/parts, tools and creator come together to create a hardware. The third usage, technique, is described as the information and its implementation to complete tasks. By having the knowledge to applicate whatever it is we want to do to whatever we want, we make lives much easier and efficient for ourselves. The fourth usage, a sociotechnical system of use, is the combination of the aforementioned usages to accomplish things we couldn’t do without them. This usage practically applies to almost all of the technologies we use, even the most mundane forms. A good point Kline raises is that we learned to further our muscular, sensory, and mental capabilities through the use of sociotechnical systems of manufacture and use. We evolve and adapt, not become stagnant like some ardent detractors who believe technology is destroying our lives. These technologies make us expand those three points in order for us to truly benefit from them or else we wouldn’t be capable of using them, at least not to the fullest extent. Just like Kline says earlier in the article where not only of the technology itself, but of man’s progress to produce and utilize the technology. We’ll continue to create and adapt to these new technologies, cause we have already for thousands of years.

  19. Jessica L. Roman
    ENG 1710

    Dr. Stephen Kline was Professor Emeritus of mechanical engineering at Stanford University. He was also one of the founders of Stanford Science, Technology, and Society program (STS). As we discussed in class STS is an interdisciplinary area of study that explores the relationship between Science, Technology and Society. AN import feature of Interdisciplinarity is its ability to see and work collaboratively with other disciplines to achieve progress. In class, we were given the example of Britain. After WW2 they were in opposition to innovate and dominate the computer industry but a strict acceptance of working within ones of discipline handicapped their ability to fully realize the ideas and applications to actualize success.

    In Kline’s piece “What is Technology?”, he endeavors to clarify what we mean when we talk about and define its common usages. He breaks it down technology into four primary groups. First, the things we create as humans to fulfill a purpose or get something done, known as hardware or artifacts. Secondly, the components required to make a particular item, this includes workers, processes and even aspects like regulations and economics. Kline defines this usage as Sociotechnical Systems of manufacture. The third usage, knowledge, method, know how; is concerned with the information or process to use something correctly. Finally, the fourth usage Kline defines is technology as sociotechnical systems of use, which is the collaboration of people and technology resulting in extension of human capacity.

    The question this article is attempting to answer is how do communicate across the division we have created between the humanities and sciences in order to attain deeper knowledge and progress. In this question he references Lord Snow, who was a life peer in the UK, since his work “The Two Cultures in Scientific Revolution” exclaims the separation that has been created between the humanities and sciences has impede our ability to understand, solve problems and make progress.

    An informative part of our lecture was a discussion concerning a quote from Seneca the Younger presented in the article. The quote Kline used held the ideas of Seneca, but there were his translations and summations of his idea. We were presented out Professor’s journey on trying to validate the quote, which used various resources and tools that can used when trying to source piece of information. While it does not seem like Seneca’s standings were not complete misrepresented it is important to make sure we are vetting any information we intend to use in our work.

  20. After reading Klein’s “What is Technology?” there is absolutely no doubt that technology started becoming a major concern to people due to the amount of time it’d been used on it. Technology, like everything else, revolves around a lot in the world and would be quite difficult to endure without it or to avoid it completely.
    People say these things without even knowing the specific definition of the term. What is ’technology?’ Online it can be described as “the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts,engineering, applied science, and pure science.” But what is the actual definition, really?
    Klein’s said, “If we look with even a little care, we find this same word is being used to represent things, actions, processes, methods and systems. ’Technology’ is also used symbolically as an epithet, for important working procedures, and to represent progress. This much conflict within the usage of one of our central terms won’t do; it can lead only to chaos. Even more important, the current vague use of the word ’technology’ hides from view two central concepts,and a central pattern of human behavior that we must have to make sense of our views of many critical questions in the current world including how we understand innovation, how we can communicate across Snow’s culture gap, and how we understand the way in which we humans make our living on the planet.” Our involvement with technology is heavily influencing what we process things, how we react to thing, and the methods behind doing things.

  21. Stephen Kline was a technology prodigy that studied Engineering and was one of the founders of the Science, Technology, and Society Program at the Stanford University. In 1985 in wrote the article “What is Technology?” that explain what technology really is and that it is more complex than what we normally know about it. Technology is more that a man made object and Kline gives four explanations of what Technology and its usage. The first one is obviously that technology is hardware made by us, which means doesn’t come naturally on earth. The second one is that technology creates a sociotechnical structure that bonds us with technology to build an even more advance design of technology. The third one is third one to me is the simple statement of “Knowledge is power”. Kline explain that understanding inner of the technology like the codes use to create the system and makes everything works accordingly is the best technique to gain. The fourth one is the mixture between us and technology the emphasis that we give for technology to expand and us to expand with it.
    We are what we are because of this we can create of our minds. The advances we have made as human beings and as part of this society we owe it to the curious mind we all have. Without the ability to create we will just be another species on earth. Kline on his article “What is Technology?” bring us to the conclusion that even our own creations we don’t know how to explain it through. Unfortunately, Kline passed away at age 75 due to a liver disease.

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