CS213 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Luddite, Appropriate Technology, Ted Kaczynski

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13 Jun 2018
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Wrapping up received view
Received view “posits technology as the source of inevitable progress, as the vehicle for
making life better by making it more convenient, as the driving causative force of
‘civilized’ Western culture, and as the mechanism for exercising control in and over the
world” (Slack and Wise).
Limitation of received view
Even when critical, “the ‘problem’ concerning technology is the fear that technology
controls us, rather than the other way round, or that progress has undesirable ‘side
effects’ that we have to deal with. However, in the received view, these problems are
seen as playing the role of minor nuisance in an overall endorsement of the storyline
Always end up asking does technology control us or do we control technology?
What is wrong with this question?
Should talk of technology draw upon notions of:
Progress?
Convenience?
Determinism?
Control?
NEW
Critical responses to the received view
Operates outside the received view
Luddites
Appropriate technology
The unabomber
All offer some insight
The ways in which people have come to accept and internalize the received view and
the consequences of accepting it
The ways in which people have been exploited with the support of the received view
A rudimentary critical rearticulation of the story of our relations with and through
technology
Luddites
Mass movement had no real centre leadership
Weren’t actually anti technology or anti industry, were against ones that robbed people
of their livelihoods (deskilling of workforce)
Broke machines in factories etc, became capital crime to sabotage factory equipment
Capital was ultimately more important than human life
Appropriate Technology
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Document Summary

Received view posits technology as the source of inevitable progress, as the vehicle for making life better by making it more convenient, as the driving causative force of. Civilized" western culture, and as the mechanism for exercising control in and over the world (slack and wise). Even when critical, the problem" concerning technology is the fear that technology controls us, rather than the other way round, or that progress has undesirable side effects" that we have to deal with. However, in the received view, these problems are seen as playing the role of minor nuisance in an overall endorsement of the storyline . Should talk of technology draw upon notions of: The ways in which people have come to accept and internalize the received view and the consequences of accepting it. The ways in which people have been exploited with the support of the received view. A rudimentary critical rearticulation of the story of our relations with and through technology.

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