Capitalism is, among other things, an economic system that rewards continuous and often dramatic technological change. Technologies, loosely defined, are ways of turning inputs into outputs and, since the Industrial Revolution, the rate of technological innovation has dramatically reconfigured the modern world. It is important to avoid the common but simplistic error of technological determinism, which places technological change above the societies in which it is embedded and views it as an autonomous force devoid of social origins and consequences. Thus, technological change must be seen as part of a larger constellation of economic, demographic, political and cultural forces.