Media, Information and Technoculture 2500A/B Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Asimo, Cybernetics, Marshall Mcluhan

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MIT 1500 MIDTERM REVIEW
TERM LIST
Cultural Determinism: technology is more determined by the human element. Culture determines the
technology
- ex. Racist scientists that designed camera that didn’t recognize black people
Technological Determinism:
- Brazil clip where everything is dictated by rules and technology
- Introduction of new technologies revolution
o Ex. Mac ad
Culture: everything we don’t have to do
Enlightenment: European concept, late 18th century, focus on human mastery over nature/people, what can the
human do/build and how can technology help us
- Reason/Rational Thinking (uni system, legal system)
- Decline of the Monarchy (French and American Revolution all around end of 18thC)
- Decline of the Church, rise of literacy
Sublime: something that induces a sense of awe, overwhelm
- consumer, natural, technological
- Technological Sublime: replaces religious or natural sublime
o Feelings are the same
o Overpowering creations of human kind
o Ex. Dam, railroad, brookyln bridge, las vegas, avatar, 3D technology
o Often used by technology ads
o “upgrades”
Technology: the apparatuses, rules, and structures
- technology is the new frontier
Actor-Network Theory: certain things can frame the way that technologies are used and thought of
Progress: movement forward, north American progress and place of new beginnings (new utopia/eden)
- changes in space, time, wage
- people forced off of their land
- what is needed to progress? Money
Technocracy: a society where scientists, experts, technology are in CHARGE. Believe that certain technologies
can solve societies problems.
Rationalization: the destruction/ignoring of information to facilitate it’s processing
- standardization and paper work
- efficient, calculability, predictability, replacement of human judgement
- ex. borat cheeses, how to grill a hamburger
MAJOR THINKERS/READINGS
Thinker
Major Points
Tenner
- technique determines our use of the technology and what it means to us
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(2003)
- meaning is frozen and constructed by society
John Law
(1992)
- technology has an effect on the way we communicate
- There are preferences and Resistance
o ex. Twitter
o ex. Actors can mediate within a system of relations
- technique is cultural
- people can identify with a technology (ex. I’m a MAC I’m a PC)
- knowledge is a product or effect of a network of heterogeneous materials (Linked
Systems)
- living and artificial are connected, interaction is mediated
- says
Thomas
Jefferson
(on the
openness of
science early
19c)
- adopted shoelaces at beginning of 19th century to defy King Charles
- progress leads to human innovation
- technology is a servant to human mind
- science is a liberating enabler (progress tied to liberation)
- America’s technology and progress inspired the rest of the world
Ben Franklin
(late 18th c)
- refused to patent his stove
- progress is a gift to humanity, if you can improve upon the stove you can
- OPEN SOURCE non-profit gift communities
ex. Firefox, if you can improve the code it’s better for
everybody else
Daniel
Webster
(American
exceptionalism
mid 19th c)
- American exceptionalism
- Science and progress are American property
- Webster is the anti-franklin
- Says we need to expand using army for people to grow, he cared about the TECH not
the people
Taylor
- mcdonalds is taylorist
- scientific management
- separates head from the hand
- brain management, brawn = labour
- second industrial evolution
- monotonous but compensated
- “one best way”
- ex. Food, stardardized way to perform tasks
Gillette
- progress is a mega American corporation, corporate “utopia”
- suggested a World Corporation
- tech determinist view, also a technocracy
- also proposed “Metropolis” (1894) center of all power on earth is Niagara falls
- could be powered by Niagara falls itself, power had to be generated on the spot
- re-make the world in a standardized, massified, efficient, corporate way
Toffler
- post-industrial
- information age
- he summarizes results of the exploration of the new “electronic frontier”
-
Marx
- crisis of control
- mid to late 19c
- discussed automation and social change
- people, technology and machines are a NETWORK
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- we are the organs of the factory, stitched in with technology
- technology (especially manufacture) can be autonomous (have a mind/page/agenda of
their own)
- division of labour
- absorbs all previous skill, experience, knowledge
- Hybrid Theory: technologies replace, now exceed what we can do systems spawn
systems and are capable of constant improvement (ex. The Matrix where humans are
fuel for the machines)
- In his book “Capital” he says Duchess of Sutherland had people removed from their
land physically during Industrial Revolution
Ford
- Ideal City proposed around same time in Muscle Shoals, Alabama
- “I will employ one million workers at Muscle Shoals”
- automated taylorism
- assembly line, contained, hierarchy, 2nd industrial evolution
- Centralized, Standardized, Mass Production, Control through Technology (Inflexible
Technologies, De-skilling, Speed), Monoculture
- Lack of variety
MAJOR EVOLUTIONS
First Industrial Revolution/Evolution end of 18th Century
- Intro to POWER (water, steam, factories, machine tools, machines that make machines, social
reorganization)
- Results:
o Social changes in space (concentration and relocation of people), time (at industrial level
“punching in”), and wage (people didn’t work for a wage before)
- Acts Passed:
o Enclosure Acts: 18th and 19th Century forced people to work for a wage
o Vagrancy Acts: says you cant be a vagrant
- Major thinkers: Karl Marx
Second Industrial Revolution/Evolution
- late 19th century to early 20th
- mass production, mass efficiency
- Steel, Electricity, Chemicals
- Linking of machines
- Major thinkers: Daniel Webster
Digital Panopticism: facebook
Digital Taylorism: separating of thinking from doing
- iTunes genius
- tracking of something to make things easier for us
“Posts”:
- Post-Industrial (Toffler) (Early 1970’s)
o Focus on immaterial goods and services (fb, google)
Enables communication
o Information age
- Post-Fordist (1960s)
o Move towards management in another country
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