Does technology help or hinder the advancement of society, especially the development of political and economic systems?
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The difficulty with this question is that it is too broad to be answered in any reasonably accurate fashion. Before you can actually consider asking it, it's important to realize that different types of technology have different effects. Also, that different societies are affected in different ways be a given technology. Finally, it all depends on what you consider an advance.
China, for example, invented gunpowder and used it in the middle ages for entertainment (fireworks); the west discovered it and used it as a military technology. Which represents and advance depends on whether killing people efficiently or artistic creation is more important. Similarly, communication technology can be used to increase or restrict individual freedom. As to which you consider a political advance, that depends on whether you consider individual liberty or effective state control a more "advanced" political system. Again, for economic, has the use of complex computing technology to create complex derivatives, created a more advanced or more inequitable society?
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