Lecture one - Technological Determinism This note explains the main view that we should be taking throughout the course - technological determinism.
SchoolUniversity of Waterloo
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CS101 lecture 1 – September 22, 2010
Technology determines/causes social change
Ignores/obscures the role of people in both invention of tech and process of social change
Social organization (and individual experience) is dependent on dominant media
“The one thing of which the fish is unaware is water, the very medium that forms its ambience and
supports its existence.” – Marshall McLuhan
We tend to mistake medium for media content
Or we talk about the effects of media when what we are really talking about are the effects
of media content
We should focus on the social effects of media (regardless of the content)
Throughout history, all new media have changed how we interact with each other.
Throughout history, all new media have changed spatio-temporal conditions (the pace, how
fast we get info, when we’re reachable)
“For the ‘message’ of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it
introduces into human affairs.”
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