Presentation on theme: "Using Technology as a Window on the World Professor David Kleykamp Department of Economics Tamkang University."— Presentation transcript:
Using Technology as a Window on the World Professor David Kleykamp Department of Economics Tamkang University
Outline of Todays Talk I. Introduction II. The Nature of Technology III. Individual and Social Technology IV. Can Technology Make Collectively Us Worse Off V. The Dangers of Social Media VI. A Summing Up
I. Introduction To each man is given a key that opens the gates of Heaven. That same key however opens the gates to Hell. --- ancient Buddhist saying
Technology is All Around Us. It is Integrated into Our Very Being.
But Technology Can Fail As in the Great New York Blackout of 1965
Most of Us Spend Little Time Thinking About Technology…We are so Busy Using It
Prior to the Internet We had to Search Diligently to Understand the World. We used Libraries, Books, Newspapers, Television, Radio, All Very Costly, Limited, and Separated.
After the Growth of the Internet We Have Tremendous Amounts of Information Cheap, Centralized, and Ready to Use.
The Technology That We Use Makes Life Seem So Much Easier. But, Are We Changing Ourselves Socially and Psychologically? Are There Dangers to This New Media?
II. The Nature of Technology What is the Defining Characteristic of ALL Technology? Technology is anything which improves our productive or consumptive capabilities, given our fixed resources. We Must be Able to Produce Better or Consumer Better than Before.
Assembly Line Help Make Us More Productive Air Conditioner Was a New Product That Cooled Us During Hot Weather (Improved Production) (Improved Consumption)
You Can Read More About How these Technological Advances Work at
How Do We Get More and Better Technology? As A Nation We Must Save, and then Rely on…
What is the Role of Government in Promoting Technological Growth? The major role which government has to play is to ensure a positive business environment through --- low taxes (let them keep their earnings), --- less regulation (less red tape), --- market-based rewards for risk-taking (profits!!), --- enhancing the competitiveness of schools (merit pay), --- guaranteeing of property rights (whats mine is mine), and --- promoting the harmonization and integration of technology. Naturally, the government must play a role in ensuring that technology does not create harmful externalities that society must ultimately bear and that individual firms and people may not fully appreciate. Also, there will always be large and valuable spinoffs of long run pure and applied research being done by publically funded government agencies such as the Defense Department and NASA.
III. Individual Versus Social Technology Some Types of Technology Require Many Users Before They Becomes Valuable – This Type of Technology Is Called Social Technology Other Types of Technology Require Only One User To Be Valuable – This Type of Technology Is Called Individual Technology
An Electric Toothbrush is Individual Technology – Good for Me – who cares about society A Smart Phone is Social Technology – Good for Me, but even Better If Lots of People Have One Like Me -- since I can call them
Much of Our Technology is Becoming Socialized in the Sense that It Is Becoming More Valuable to the User as Other Users are Added Interactivity is the Key…This is the Difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
But, as Technology Becomes More Social, Does it Alter Us Psychologically and Socially. Are We Controlling the Technology or Is The Technology Controlling Us? What About Privacy Issues?
IV.Can Technology Make Us Collectively Worse Off? Technology Can Be A Tool for … Good Evil or
The Same Holds for Social Technology… Only It Can Affect Us in Many More Ways
(2) There are approximately 2 Million internet addicts in South Korea, a country with a population of 48.6 Million. It has been estimated that eight hundred and seventy seven thousand of those affected are between the ages of 9 and nineteen. (Korea IT Times) (3) Readers of hypertext often click haphazardly through pages rather than reading content thoroughly, and their recall is low. University students were found to skim academic articles, reading just one or two pages; they power-browsed for quick wins. These studies, and others, support the hypothesis that the internet promotes shallow, distracted thinking, in spite of delivering some cognitive benefits. Heavy internet usage seems to chip away at our ability to concentrate, to reflect, to make connections and to develop new thinking. (1) Harvard researchers estimate about one in 20 U.S. traffic accidents involve a driver talking on a cell phone, but say laws banning cellular phone use while driving would cost society about as much as it would save. "We calculate that around 2,600 people die each year as a result of this use of the technology," said researcher Joshua Cohen of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Another 330,000 are believed injured.
In short, the trend is for more and more connectivity with greater reliance on social media, both in the developed and developing world.
V. The Dangers of Social Media Our Social Technology Is Getting More and More Difficult to Understand and Is Changing Our Behavior – both Individually and in Groups
What Dangers Are There to this Increased Reliance on Social Media?
Bessière et al. (2010) found that when people use the internet to study their own health problems, this can lead to higher depression. Whereas, if the internet is used to communicate more with family members during a health crisis, depression tends to be lower. Stepanakova et. al (2010) found that young people who browse the internet incessantly tend to be lonelier and have less feeling of satisfaction, although much depends on the way surveys are given. Yoo et.al (2004) found that children who suffer from attention deficit disorder tend to be more prone to internet addiction and therefore should be watched more carefully.
Christakis (2010) wrote an interesting paper on "Internet addiction: A 21 st Century Epidemic? In it he writes…. In the 20th century, commentators spoke of a digital divide. In those days, it existed along economic lines. That divide has narrowed, or even disappeared, but the 21 st century digital divide separates parents from their children. A recent 2011 Times of India article states… In China, they already have specialist clinics for internet addicts; in the UAE, a team of researchers has asked educators and parents to ensure that youngsters develop healthy habits when using modern technological devices; and in the Philippines, authorities are now working on measures to address online gaming addiction among children.
Major Issues with the New Interactive Social Media 1.Identity Theft 2.Flash Mobs, Flash Crime, and Instant Protests 3.Instant Libeling, Slandering, Innuendos, Lies, and Private Information Released 4.Increasingly Difficult to Be a Public Figure 5.Information Blowout, Photo Explosion with Tagging, Spam, Changing Interfaces 6.Continuous Battle with Hackers and Malware 7.Massive Gaming, Gambling involving Waste of Time and Money
VI. A Summing Up The talk today was not designed to come up with definite facts showing clear linkages that of the harm social media is having on society. Rather, it was intended to serve as a wakeup call to the potential dangers that social media presents.
We all must learn to use the new media responsibly and be wary of its effect on us psychologically and socially. We must guard against its intrusions into our privacy. We must protect the sanctity of our freedom of privacy and expression. We must be prepared to do without our media for awhile to see if we can function well without it. We must be prepared to confront just how productive we are without our media backing us up. We must ask whether we are the one making the true contribution or whether we are using the internet and social technology as a crutch to hide our own shortcomings. Above all we must realize that social media is not a replacement for real person to person interaction. Humans with all their troubles and imperfections, with all their foibles and shortcomings, are still the real treasure of the world and will always be so, regardless of how beautiful and enticing the virtual reality may become.