Under what kinds of conditions does technology develop?

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Posted on (Answer #1)

Jared Diamond summarizes the conditions beneficial to the development of technology in chapter 13, titled "Necessity's Mother."

Hence, all other things being equal, technology develops fastest in large productive regions with large human populations, many potential inventors, and many competing societies.

He highlights the value of having a society that is sedentary, as members then have the ability to accumulate goods.  Nomadic societies would be limited to easily portable technologies.  Contact with other societies is also beneficial in that technology can diffuse from one society to another.  Technology was (and still is) frequently inspired by other societies and then tweaked to meet a certain need, causing an evolution of the technology.

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