Media, Information and Technoculture 2500A/B Lecture Notes - Determinism, Heterogeneous Network, Technological Determinism

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MIT 1700 Lecture 2
September 21, 2011
I. What is Culture?
II. What is Technology?
III. Determinisms
IV. Technology and Technique
VI. Stars, flow, networks
I. What is Culture
- Culture divides, classifies and orders
- Cultured vs. Uncivilized
- Binary ways t define culture (1 way or the other, e.g. alive or dead)
- Definitions of Culture:
o Culture is everything we don’t have to do.
o E.g. we have to eat, but we don’t have to have cuisines
o Culture is the meaning that we bring, it is socially constructed
- There’s only one of everything
II. What is Technology?
- What culture makes of technology
Definitions of Technology:
A) Apparatus
- E.g. tools (external things you manipulate to achieve a goal)
- Technology is deeply embedded in culture
- Incomplete definition
B) Rules
- The way we see it, that is culture has certain customs (family, church, work)
- Molds the way that we should live
C) Systems
- Organizations (e.g. a university is a system that has rules)
- All 3 can coexist
- Clusters tied together by rules
- Can’t remove technology from context
Technology = Networks of systems, rules, apparatuses
D) Frozen by society
- So much possibility but there is only one way of doing things
III. Determinisms
Cultural Determinism vs. Technological determinism
(Blame culture or blame the technology. I.e. violent video games (kids fault or the
games fault)
Reductionist Thinking Defined as not being something else
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