We understand technology as a systematic and structured knowledge about interactions with universe, aimed at obtaining predefined outcome. Broadly, it includes also ways of social interactions. Strictly taken, it focuses on circulation and conversion of matter and energy.
On the input side, technology will specify:
- Materials (matter or energy), being acquired from the surrounding environment (sometimes themselves an output of another technological process). Materials are used through the process, converted into product and waste.
- Tools and equipment, being material infrastructure for the process. They are used in the process, but they are not converted (except for wear and tear). They can be specialised or universal, then providing infrastructure for various processe, as needed.
- Information, being immaterial part of the process. Knowledge provides control patterns (algorithms) for the process. Data provide feedback between material and immaterial parts of the process.
On the output side, we will identify:
- Product — intended (useful) output of the process, in material or immaterial form.
- Waste / byproduct — the part of output that is not needed for intended purpose (but still can be useful input for other processes).