Steps in knowing how beneficial tool complexes can also have negative consequences.


write one bookwrite two


Write for five minutes: 

What sorts of lasting changes does automated technology make that mechanical tool complexes did not?

PaceyMeaning in Technology is surprising.
Postmaneverything you ever knew is wrong.
Basic Tenneranything you have can extract revenge, on you!


The substitution of automated for mechanical devices to sustain mass consumption of textile, lumber, food, fuel and household appliances was not always complete but was sufficient in scope and breadth to leave lasting changes in technical relations – organizational behavior, and the cultural imagery of progress.

 early car



Distinguishing hand-made, manufactured, and mechanical from automated means of production.


      Mechanized agriculture vs. automated factory

      Garden vs. Frederick Winslow Taylor,Principles of Scientific Management. 1911

      Pacey on Landscape

      Pursell – Dirt and Disorder

      Tenner Medicine


Pacey conclusionremoval from reality because we do not well understand automation.  

Postman   Scientism is a signal, a clue to the profound alteration of our senses and intelligence.  


Technopoly describes the existing world we live in.  



Write for five minutes:  


If technology and science, have altered or eclipsed traditional guardians of our culture, then how can we tell when technical systems, or automated tool complexes turn from promoting a positive end into vehicles for negative outcomes?


  Pursell defined science and technology as having switched in meaning.

     They do not mean what you think they did originally     They do not mean what you think they mean today



     Changes in landscape are a clue     Changes in the character, organization and meaning of work are indicators



     Scientism, or the misapplication of science to humanistic and ethical questions is a real signal of technological disruption.

     Misplaced concreteness:

o    Three stories in the New York Times are ludicrous   

o   Milgram experiment

o   Kinsey on sexual behavior

o    a profound misunderstanding of the aims of the natural and social studies

pp. 160-161.

     The emperor (authority) has no clothes, but no one has the courage to point that out.     Thus technology, as a system of automated responses, dominates decision-making, instead of our relying on human mental analysis.


 There is a moral crisis today, because we wont or cant reason, we let machines reason for us and we fail to grasp the enormity of our situation. We are poised on the verge of four scientific and technical revolutions that are unprecedented in history: electronics, digital data, fission, genetic engineering.

(see Kaku, Visions.)


At the very time we have damaged the capacity of the Earth to sustain our ever growing, frequently insatiable, and often unrealistic appetites.

(see Tenner, Bite Back.)


Tools of Toil: what to read.
Tools are historical building blocks of technology.