The Future of an Illusion.

Sigmund Freud

discussed in Postman.

Make a presentation to answer this:

Can we adapt or are we doomed to continuously confusing our fantasies with reality by the inexorable power of accelerating automated technical change to deceive us as Simon Head has suggested?


Examine your responses to these interpretations of Kranzberg’s Laws and contrasting the arguments of Simon Head with Charles Percy Snow's Two Cultures. How you synthesize the ideas of these two authors form the substantive part of your final exam.

Then take your best evidence for support or criticism of these authors from your other assigned readings to verbally present an oral argument in four minutes that summarizes your final essay.


Do the above by fusing each of the author’s facts as evidence for recognizing the errors or correctness of these laws.*

Kranzberg’s Laws


• Technology is neither good, nor bad -- merely neutral.
• Technology comes in big (complex) & small (simple) packages. {needs dialogue}
• Technological change alters the power of people especially technocratic elites.
• Invention is the mother of necessity.
• Technological change is not inevitable. Particularly when and if people become poor thinkers!

Kranzberg’s Laws are the intellectual property of the late Melvin Kranzberg, historian of technology and culture at Georgia Tech.

Culture in an age of Automated Technology:

A critique of this legacy of gadgetry.


We are “Lost in the mechanics of everyday life.”

says social critic, Joan Didion.

1. scattered among the gadgetry may be our loss of self worth, identity, judgment, & desire.
2. we organize our lives around accumulating materials, experiencing pleasures & avoiding responsibility.
3. burdened by a domestication of space, time, energy, & matter we have forgotten to nurture our craft.

Historical antecedents that have redefined our social and intellectual heritage, according to Postman and Kaku are:


Cultural changes:


Arnold Pacey, Technology in World Civilization

Pursell | Head | Tenner | Pacey–World| Pacey–Meaning | Postman | Eberhart | Snow | Kaku | Bacon


Pacey on Meaning | Pursell | Technology defined | Dimensions of Technology | Chronology