From a philosophical viewpoint, it may be stated that the autonomy of a human being became reduced with each large technological leap. With the increased complexity of technology, the economy became just as complex in turn, which severely limits the participation of a regular, non-specialized, human being in the economic system. In the industrial sector, the automation of factories and mining equipment severely reduced the role of human beings. This issue is likely to be exacerbated in the near future. However, it is difficult to apply this notion to the scientific process as Jacques Ellul does.
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While science often relies on previously discovered technologies, it is far from a linear process. New technologies and approaches to their creation often occur from unexpected ideas, innovative solutions, and other unexpected sources. Moreover, the agency and autonomy of scientists and engineers should not be underestimated even when the introduction of technology seemed inevitable. There were numerous times in history where outside factors created distinct changes in technological advancement. For example, the burning of the Alexandria Library resulted in an almost permanent loss of technological solutions information which was stored there. A similar situation may happen in the modern era through an EMP event, and it is likely that the technological progress after it would result in a much different path than the current one. The technological imperative may state that if something is possible, then it would be done, but it is just as possible to prevent it from happening, which makes it difficult to call technology autonomous.