Evolution of Technology: What helped us change?

Lab Reports, Timelines
click to access the timeline


Throughout having a discussion with a couple of my peers in another class we stumbled upon an idea that felt interesting to the majority of us. The conversation we were having was in regard to the topic of “necessary technology vs. Unnecessary technology”. We were wondering what really defines the necessity and after a while I felt as though the necessity is felt when a technology allows us to prompt an action that we were unable to attempt before and is now within reach. But that got me interested in seeing if there is a correlation between the time span it takes from one necessary technology to be discovered, to the next. So, I decided to envision a process by which the evolution of technology could be visualized using the technologies that allowed us to have fundamental change within the structure of our lifestyle. 


I felt like the spear as a technology that was made 1.8 million years ago was a good point to start. The spear allowed us to hunt with a much greater speed and efficiency and ultimately was employed as means to conquest of more resources of any kind for the ancient human. 

The oldest shoes ever found belonged to 8000 BC and it is inevitable for us to see the importance of shoes in changing the pace of life. Shoes allowed mankind to migrate in greater distance and seek comfort and resources in a greater distance from their settlements which allowed for natural evolution of our species into what we are now. 

Lighthouses fundamentally added the ocean surface to the conquerable mass of space on earth and allowed for voyagers and ships to travel in greater distance without the fear of getting lost. It is easy to understand how lighthouses allowed for safe passage of ships and their transformation into secure means of moving shipments of goods from far off lands which boosted the economical stance of the world by a great degree. 


I used Timeline.Js to generate the timeline with the help of a sample Excel sheet. I started by forming the question and finding correlating graphics which led me to Britannica.com and from there on I started choosing the technological advancements that would be appropriate for me to use for this project. My criteria for choosing the technologies I did was based on the definition of “necessary technology”. Which in my interpretation is: “the technology that allows us to change our way of life in ways we were incapable of before”

The idea of “necessary technology” was first introduced to me by “Technology” in keywords for American Cultural Studies by Jentry Sayers although my take on its definition might differ with what Sayers had in mind while writing the piece. I have somewhat altered the definition for the purpose of creating a cohesive timeline. 

For Sayers, a flower is a “necessary technology”, but trying to explain that in the scope of this assignment did not seem reasonable to me nor the progression of my timeline which needed a beginning. I couldn’t use hyper conceptual technologies to begin with that would confuse the audience of the connection between slides.  


In order to fill up the sample excel sheet that was going to communicate the details of my timeline to Timeline.js app, I started by comparing the changes that would occur while modifying different factors in the tutorial video provided on the website to get a sense of limits and abilities of the timeline generator. After understanding the structure of the excel sheet, I started filling up necessary blocks that would allow for Timeline.js to create proper timelines from my Excel sheet. Then I experimented a bit with modifying the backgrounds and wording to see how it impacts the final outcome of the timeline. After finding images that were both high resolution and would fit my chosen white background, I continued to finalize the timeline and generate the link and embedded code. 


I had to go back and forth multiple times while finalizing the timeline and there is always something that could use a little more attention, but I was quite happy with the way it turned out. My project focuses on showcasing my ability to navigate through the variety of software’s we had to use and generate a cohesive timeline that is not trying to fix the worlds hunger problem, but is rather communicating that I have understood the concepts involved in modifying the excel sheet to change the timeline and the rest of the process involving the creation of embedded links for use in other formats. I believe my report follows accurate instruction on what to include and how to present it according to the matrix on Lab Report 1 and I am hoping that it would be a sufficient enough work for my submission.