|Realm||level of conflict||power relations||control|
|collective sphere||institutional relations||elites|
Realms in which technology exercises power, influence & asserts behavioral control:
personal <------------------------------------> private
We make judgments based on experience, mediated by other people,
elites and authorities.
These decisions are either
incorrect -- mistakes
Technology has material and psychic qualities and it can rob us of reality. Postman
Symbolism even when devoid of "understanding of how a tool works." p. 86
Technology has given Americans a new constitution at once more centralized and more based on entitlement than ever envisioned in the 18th century. p. 88.
"Technology is a major part of the human response to nature.", p. 98
"tool also produces meaning"
Ties multiple meanings to Kant
"for as much of what is claimed as progress is merely coordinated change lacking clear goals"
Shortcomings in the chapter:
1) media ignores the profound impression it makes though he discusses symbolism as conveyed by marketing.
2) reductionism, though he discusses the "plurality of meaning"
derived from the same objects he does not fully develop in this chapter
that by dividing and subdividing component parts of a product or production
system, the participants need never ask what their role is in a devastating
Nuclear weapons work
Animal testing of cosmetics & drugs
Nader's "unsafe at any speed" Corvair's design
Anti-personelle bombs and land mines
"Inevitably , advertisers and designers take up and manipulate
these shifting meanings."
"All varieties of hardware and their corresponding forms of social life
must be scrutinized to see whether they are friendly or unfriendly to the
idea of a just society."
there is an eternal tension between democratic and technological
pluralism vs. autocratic control
decentralized vs. Cenrtalized
We are on the verge of losing our capacity to judge the appropriateness of tools with respect to our traditions, our ethical choices and moral imaginations.
Birth control technology and soaring populations
Technological systems have the power to reshape our experience, behavior, imaginations and institutional relations:
Pursell's electronic warfare
Pacey: Three Industrial Movements as a case study in technical meaning and changes in meaning.
the role of dreams in technological change.
|Tools of Toil: what to read.|
|Tools are historical building blocks of technology.|
Technology, Conclusions about | Pacey, in World Civ. | Pacey, Meaning | Pursell | Kranzberg | periods
Related concepts: historical relations of tools and society, defining technology, significant events in history