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NATS1775 Lecture 2

9 Pages

Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1775
Vera Pavri

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Write down, what your definition of technology is:  It‟s stuff old people and Jessie can‟t use  The application of scientific knowledge for increased efficiency and practicality in everyday life.  Most people think technology is associated by machines, etc, the STUFF YOU CAN TOUCH A. TECHNOLOGY AS PHYSICAL OBJECTS: a. Tools, machines, instruments, weapons, appliances B. TECHNOLOGY AS KNOWLEDGE a. “how how” behind technical innovation C. TECHNOLOGY AS ACTIVITY a. Skills, methods, procedures D. TECHNOLOGY AS PORCESS: a. Needs theory E. TECHNOLOGY AS A SOCIO-TECHNICAL SYSTEM a. Interaction between humans and objects i. Highly important, means exploring the relationship b/n humans and objects they create ii. Technology is shaped by human beings, and vice versa Defining technology  Term was found early as 17 century, used in conjunction with; o Technical arts o Mechanical arts o „practical‟ arts o invention and engineering  only popularized after WWII  historically, described as „applied knowledge‟, creativity + invention o whereas science is associated with DISCOVERY  regardless of language, culture, technology – „root of „tech‟ means creation, fabrication, weave, build things  history of tech is not only about revolutionary technology or inventors o often the idea of „tech‟ changing the way in which people live their lives  most technologies are NOT revolutionary in nature o Internet isn‟t „revolutionary‟ compared to the electric telegraph  can argue the telegraph was a lot more revolutionary  tech is more of an evolutionary process o development with this idea, allows us to see the connections b/n technologies that are developed, relationships b/n others o evolutionary development shows who manages and controls tech in society o we have to make sure „revolutionary‟ is sparingly  imprt to understand social and cultural factors that play a key role in success/failure of new tech o why are some successful in one area and not in another? o Accepting tech is „progress‟ while rejecting is being „not knowledgable‟ o 2 nd century AD North Africa: the wheel  rejected this new technology due to time/place  reliability issues with wheel in the desert – they stuck with the camel  they aren‟t IGNORANT, SCARED, technology didn‟t meet the needs of the people at the time th o 16 century AD Japan: introduced to guns  used guns w/ military arsenal, but not fully accepted  due to the fact of Japanese culture  samurai culture, honour, skill, bravery, facing the opponent 1 on 1, believed the gun was for pussies  another example of how tech wasn‟t necessary of the people at the time  Political, legal, geographical, factors that need to take into account before establishing the success/failure of technology  Imprtnt to distinguish b/n invention and innovation (making a technology commercially successful) o Tech is diff. from innovation o Not all tech follow the same path Popular Theories of Tech. Development A. Technological Determinism B. Necessity is the Mother of Invention C. Technology as Applied Science  Most popular theories of technological development currently, yet all very problematic  Many theories are criticized, but most useful Technological Determinism  The idea that technology determines the social, economic, political fabric of society o Prime agent of social and organizational change o „idea that technology is the driving force of history‟ o try to explain changes across societies and cultures over time by association with the advent and use of tech o suggestion that if you want to understand a society, look into the technologies that are most widely used at the time o implies technology changes all aspects of society  assumption that humans have no control over the created tech o so great, widely spread, technology controls us o an autonomous force appears to have a life of its own  ‘causation’ o technology causes social change Popularity of Theory and Problems with Determinism  why it‟s popular is why it‟s problematic  popular because it is simple o provides people with simple, easy to understand explanations, about complex events in society o when people try to understand why things happen or have happened, they refer to the use of technology  easy to understand, simple  why it is so pervasive in media  refer to technology as a deterministic way  1960s – time of great social change, and sexual revolution o the introduction of birth control pill, caused the sexual revolution of the 60s o only takes into account any other factors, ONLY technology – it CAUSES the revolution o makes sense at face value o suggests that technology single handedly caused it, o DETERMINIST EXPLANATIONS ARE TOO SIMPLISTIC, NO ACCOUNT OF OTHER FACTORS  PROBLEMATIC BECAUSE IT IS TOO SIMPLE  Suggests o When we are absolved of responsibilities for actions, it is highly attractive to societies  The idea of no control, no choice  When you suggest the introduction of technology to cause loss of jobs, TECHNOLOGY is blamed, not the implementers  No one has to be responsible for their actions 
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