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Chapter 22 Notes

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

o Normal accidents are accidents that occur inevitably though unpredictably because of the very complexity of modern technologies o Technology is the practical application of scientific principles. Technological determinism is the belief that technology is the main factor shaping human history. o A risk society is a society in which technology distributes danger among all categories of the population. Some categories, however, are more exposed to technological danger than others are. Moreover, in a risk society, danger does not result from technological accidents alone. In addition, increased risk is due to mounting environmental threats. Environmental threats are more widespread, chronic, and ambiguous than technological accidents Neil Postman (1992) refers to the United States as a o technopoly. He argues that the United States is the first country in which technology has taken control of culture. Technology, he says, compels people to try to solve all problems using technical rather than moral criteria, although technology is often the source of the problems. o Nikolai Kondratiev was the first social scientist to notice that technologies are invented in clusters Kondratiev subscribed to a form of technological determinism, the belief that technology is the major force shaping human society and histor. Economic lures, increasingly provided by the military and big corporations, have generated moral and political qualms among some researchers. Some scientists and engineers wonder whether work on particular topics achieves optimum benefits
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