- Slides: 8
COMP 2903 AI- Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change Danny Silver JSOCS, Acadia University
Neil Postman • Delivered this talk in 1998 to a gathering of theologians and religious leaders in Denver, Colorado • An American author, media theorist and cultural critic http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Neil_Postman • He is speaking to concerns regarding “faith” in the new millennium • Presents a fear of technology creating false absolutes • But notes that this always existed
The Five Things 1. Culture always pays a price for technology. 2. There always winners and losers in a technological change. 3. Every technology embodies a philosophy, an epistemological, political or social prejudice 4. Technological change is not additive, it is ecological. 5. Technology becomes mythic - seen as part of the natural order of things.
First • • Technological change is always a trade-off It giveth and it taketh away We always pay a price for technology The greater the technology, the greater the price • Think of a technology - its pros / its cons ? ?
Second • That there always winners and losers from a new technology • Technological advantages are never distributed evenly • The winners always try to persuade the losers that they are really also winners • The printing press enabled the masses, but hurt the church • Other examples … ?
Third • Ebedded in every technology is a powerful idea - an epistemological, political or social prejudice. • Sometimes that bias is greatly to our advantage; sometimes it is not: – The printing press annihilated the oral tradition – Telegraphy annihilated space – The computer is affecting our communities • “The Medium is the Message” Marshall Mc. Luhan – To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail – Every technology has a prejudice
Fourth • Technological change is not additive; it is ecological • Consequences are always vast, often unpredictable and largely irreversible • Capitalists seen as radical culture changers: Bell, Ford, Edison, Goldwyn, Berners-Lee • Is tech. change too important to be left entirely in the hands of Bill Gates? • Consider the impact of ICT on politics (think Obama)
Fifth • Technology tends to become mythic perceived as part of the natural order of things - eg. The alphabet was invented – it is not natural • Always dangerous because it is then accepted as is, and not easily susceptible to modification or control. • Tends to control more of our lives than is good for us - eg. the hours of the day TV is on