Essay, 2 pages (250 words)

Technological determinism: lag

Technological determinism: Lag – Technology advances but society lags – Can be technological, not just social – Social and political pressures can impose restrictions on technology – Technology is always pushing forward, while everything else drags behind – William Ogburn: “`There is often a delay or lag in the adaptive culture after the material culture has changed”‘ (Nye, p. 26) – Alvin Toffler … argued that technological change had accelerated to the point that people could scarcely keep up” (Nye, p. 27) Technological determinism: Convergence – Technology creates social and cultural convergence – Convergence doesn’t always happen – Technology and use can go down different paths and have unequal effects (remember Levittown) – “ The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” William Gibson – An argument that different social groups will become more similar as each makes use of similar technologies in similar ways – According to David Riesman: “ It seemed obvious that the more technological a society became, the more uniform was its cultural life”, (Nye, p. 69) Technological determinism: Inevitability – Technology is inevitable – Technology is not always inevitable – Societies can reject technology (rejection of the US SST) – Various versions: technology is autonomous, unstoppable, out of control; technology is an end to itself, “ progress is inevitable” – According to Jacques Ellul: ‘‘‘ Technique’ had permeated all aspects of society. [It is] an autonomous and unrelenting substitution of means for ends. Modern society’s vast ensemble of techniques had become self-engendering and had accelerated out of humanity’s control. ” (Nye, p. 28) – According to Theodore Roszak: Technocracy is society governed by technical experts appealing to scientific knowledge; it is ‘‘‘ ideologically invisible’’’ if you accept rationality and efficiency without question (Nye, p. 29)

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