Skip to Content

Theoretical View of Information Technology


May 11, 1999

  • To avail of the latest technology for social or personal benefit is to avail of rainwater as and when it descends.
  • Use of water and its storage has not only become a science, but is perfected in a great measure, at least in certain nations. No attempt has been yet made to ascertain the theoretical role of water in civilisation.
  • The history of all technologies is on the same footing except their own technological perfection is pursued with vigour.
  • In the absence of a theory of social development, it is natural that people use the newly developed powers and seek to develop their efficiency further.
  • A theoretical footing is essential for 1) material resources, 2) human relationships, 3) existence of human collectivity, 4) non-material resources, 5) human aspiration and idealism, 6) knowledge of the individual.
  • History of humanity is so far learning by doing. Its primary tool is trial and error, its philosophy empiricism.
  • Even after man has achieved as Asia in culture and religion and Europe in science and politics, its spread is by imitation, not based on understanding and the HOW of those achievements. That knowledge of the how is the first part of the theoretical knowledge and the why the other half.
  • If we say information is useful, it also means that so far we have been acting in those areas without information, i.e. blindly, rather foolishly. Information enlightens. We conveniently forget that our use of information is still of the same old pattern even when information enlightened within its area. Our basic approach to information remains the same old blindness.
  • How can we give a theoretical base to Information Technology?
  • First, we must classify it as technology and then fix the role of knowledge in human development.
  • Technology is a product of mind working on materials knowing the laws of those materials.
  • Human existence is based on food, shelter and security.
  • All the sources of the above three relate to the MAN who produces them, have their own laws of availability, efficient use and continued abundance.
  • To study these basic laws is to create the theory of social development.
  • Technology is an organisation of forces, materials and their functioning.
  • Having fixed the basic laws of human existence, we must ascertain the theoretical position of technological functioning.
  • Technology is the science of 1) efficient and effective use of material resources, and 2) the laws of how man and materials interact.
  • The discussion must pronounce on the basics and then on technology in general.
  • Then arises the question how a certain material enters the field of technology.
  • It occurs in two ways: 1) the material's productive role in man's existence, and 2) the human mind's creative use of that material for this purpose.
  • In this light, let us consider how Information entered this field.

- Man's education is the base.

- His capacity to observe how information increases the use value of a material.

- The social value of this use value of the material.

- The factors that can influence, enhance that use value.

- The role of the present social institutions, instruments, attitudes, laws that help avail of this use and increase it.

- The Time, Energy, Money, Material, Effort information helps to save.

- The ways in which information effectively and readily uses the existing factors and facilities.

- Its comparative efficiency over the previous instrument.

- What has officiated as that previous instrument.

  • As all information required for the above discussion is available, to organise a discussion on these lines between a very small group of people who are in the know of things will help us evolve something useful.
  • Most importantly, such a discussion will help us

- evolve the theory of Information technology, and

- enable us to use it far better than what we do now.

story | by Dr. Radut