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Exploring Electrical Technology (IDST 300) Technology Perspectives: Anti-technology Position.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring Electrical Technology (IDST 300) Technology Perspectives: Anti-technology Position."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring Electrical Technology (IDST 300) Technology Perspectives: Anti-technology Position

2 Anti-technology Advocates Ask Whats wrong with Technology? Ask Whats wrong with Technology? Includes leading scholars Includes leading scholars Jacques Ellul ( , authored > 40 books) Jacques Ellul ( , authored > 40 books) The Technological Society (1954) The Technological Society (1954) The Technological System (1980) The Technological System (1980) Neil Postman ( , authored 18 books, > 200 articles) Neil Postman ( , authored 18 books, > 200 articles) Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) Informing Ourselves to Death (1990) Informing Ourselves to Death (1990) Argued role of computer in propagating info. today should be considered more critically for its impact on society Argued role of computer in propagating info. today should be considered more critically for its impact on society

3 Anti-technology Position Technology is out of control! Technology is out of control! Because... Because...

4 Anti-technology Position: Technology is... Insatiable: breeds desire that cannot be satisfied Insatiable: breeds desire that cannot be satisfied & IM do more than facilitate comm., they beg people to send more & shorter messages & IM do more than facilitate comm., they beg people to send more & shorter messages Large screen, high-resolution TVs entice people to watch more shows longer than otherwise Large screen, high-resolution TVs entice people to watch more shows longer than otherwise Microwave ovens encourage people to cook more food quickly with less preparation Microwave ovens encourage people to cook more food quickly with less preparation Computers suggest a need to save more data, copy more files, connect to the web at the highest rate, calculate at Gb/sec and replace the old model soon Computers suggest a need to save more data, copy more files, connect to the web at the highest rate, calculate at Gb/sec and replace the old model soon

5 Anti-technology Position: Technology... Benefits the wealthy and elite at the expense of the poor and powerless Benefits the wealthy and elite at the expense of the poor and powerless As evidenced by the Digital Divide, a gap that continues to grow between generations, economic statuses, geographic locations, etc. As evidenced by the Digital Divide, a gap that continues to grow between generations, economic statuses, geographic locations, etc. Tends to shut out those not in the know about it companies willing to teach only enough to make a sale & create dependence Tends to shut out those not in the know about it companies willing to teach only enough to make a sale & create dependence Given the great advances available today, why hasnt poverty and disease been eliminated? Given the great advances available today, why hasnt poverty and disease been eliminated?

6 Anti-technology Position: Technology is... Often politically motivated by Often politically motivated by Accumulating more capital and its associated power prevails as the prime motive for investing in a new technology on individual, corporate and national levels Accumulating more capital and its associated power prevails as the prime motive for investing in a new technology on individual, corporate and national levels Catering to the constituents of a district (e.g., by advancing new technologies) without accounting for real individual needs Catering to the constituents of a district (e.g., by advancing new technologies) without accounting for real individual needs

7 Anti-technology Position: Technology... Deals with the material world Deals with the material world Electronics & robotics equipment replace human labor & personal touch on assembly lines in factories, making manufacturing less inefficient, yet more impersonal Electronics & robotics equipment replace human labor & personal touch on assembly lines in factories, making manufacturing less inefficient, yet more impersonal Phone receptionists have been replaced not only by recorded messages, but automated, voice-activated, speech-synthesized, menu- driven systems (e-people!) Phone receptionists have been replaced not only by recorded messages, but automated, voice-activated, speech-synthesized, menu- driven systems (e-people!)

8 Anti-technology Position: Technology... Always mediates reality Always mediates reality Puts more distance between people and... Puts more distance between people and... Other people Other people Nature Nature A thermostat controlled environment insulates people from outside weather and elements A thermostat controlled environment insulates people from outside weather and elements TVs, computer & virtual reality games simulate the world and natural laws so as to distort a proper sense of perception TVs, computer & virtual reality games simulate the world and natural laws so as to distort a proper sense of perception

9 Anti-technology Position: Technology... Creates dependence as evidenced by frustration when Creates dependence as evidenced by frustration when The power goes out at a bad time The power goes out at a bad time A battery goes dead, unexpectedly A battery goes dead, unexpectedly A computer loses files, or cant print A computer loses files, or cant print People have to revert to older technology People have to revert to older technology

10 Anti-technology Position: Technology... Dictates its own use Dictates its own use Widespread possession of cars (esp. in US) precludes use of more mass transportation Widespread possession of cars (esp. in US) precludes use of more mass transportation Extensive use of , IM & mobile phones decreases face-to-face communication Extensive use of , IM & mobile phones decreases face-to-face communication Handheld computer games encourage more solitary and/or sedentary entertainment Handheld computer games encourage more solitary and/or sedentary entertainment

11 Anti-technology Position: Technology is... Indiscriminate: it doesnt determine who uses it Indiscriminate: it doesnt determine who uses it Despots, criminals and terrorists doe more evil than good Despots, criminals and terrorists doe more evil than good Even good people cant avoid its lure Even good people cant avoid its lure

12 Summary: for the Anti-technologist The bad outweighs the good. The bad outweighs the good. The best we can do is learn to cope with it. The best we can do is learn to cope with it. As a clincher, Technology replaces God. As a clincher, Technology replaces God. By replacing the wonder & marvel of creation By replacing the wonder & marvel of creation By tempting us to be more God-like than is good for us By tempting us to be more God-like than is good for us


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