Textbook Notes (363,671)
Canada (158,525)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)


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Sheldon Ungar

Online Chapter 22 Technologythe Global EnvironmentTechnology Saviour or Frankenstein Bombing of Hiroshima divided the twentieth century into two distinct periods o period before Hiroshima the era of naive optimismDuring that time technology could do no wrongTechnology practical application of scientific principles to the improvement of human lifeJ Robert Oppenheimerfather of the atomic bomb o After the bomb was dropped people are beginning to think of technology as a monster a Frankenstein rather than a saviourThe most infamous technological disasters of the 1970s and 1980s include o Outbreak of Legionnaires diseaseBuildings can harbour toxic chemicalsdangerous germs o Dangerously high levels of toxic chemicals were discovered leaking into the basements and drinking water of the residents of Love Canal near Niagara Falls NewYork o Partial meltdown of the reactor core at nuclear facility in Pennsylvania caused lethal radioactive water and gas to pour into the environment o gas leak at a poorly maintained pesticide plant in Bhopal India killed 4 000 people o No 4 reactor at Ukraine exploded releasing 3040 X the radioactivity of the blast at Hiroshima o Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska spilling crude oil producing a dangerous slickNormal accident accidents that occur inevitablyunpredictably bc of the complexity of modern technologies o usually when rare combinations of conditions occur in the computer program o ex when your home computer crashes Risk society way in which riskdanger is distributed as a side effect of societyo Danger does not result from technological accidents aloneo Increased risk is due to mounting environmental threatsmore widespread chronic and ambiguous than technological accidents o greenhouse effect global warming acid rain ozone depletion endangered species o Tech enables the production of evermore gs butthe cost of breathable airdrinkable water st Technopoly USA US is the 1 country in which technology has taken control of culture o Technology compels ppl to try to solve all problems using technical rather than moral criteria although technology is often the source of the problemsLatest concern of technological skeptics is biotechnology o Biologists can splice genes together creating plantsanimals with entirely new characteristics o Advocates of this speak of a second genesis and the perfection of the human species o Cons wo moralpolitical decisions based on a sociological understanding of who benefits and suffers from these new techniques biotech can be a threat1These considerations suggest 5 tough questions 1 Is technology the great driving force of historical and social changeopinion of both cheerleaders and naysayerswho view technology as our saviour and those who fear it as a Frankenstein Malak PatelChapter 22
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