Textbook Notes (231,416)
CA (157,633)
UTSC (19,957)
Sociology (1,094)
SOCA02H3 (322)
Mc Kinon (31)
Chapter

SOCA02H3 Chapter Notes -Recombinant Dna, Technological Determinism, Ozone Depletion

7 Pages
102 Views
Winter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Mc Kinon

This preview shows pages 1-2. Sign up to view the full 7 pages of the document.
Technology and the Global Environment
TECHNOLOGY: SVIOUS OR FRANKENSTEIN?
Scholars interested in the relationship between technology and society recognize that
the bombing of Hiroshima divided the twentieth century into two distinct periods.
Technology was widely defined as the application of scientific principles to the
improvement of human life.
oIt seemed to be driving humanity down a one-way street named progress,
picking up speed with every passing year thanks to successively more
powerful engines.
Most people regarded technologists with reverence and awe. They were viewed as a
sort of priesthood whose objectivity allowed them to stand outside the everyday
world and perform near-magical acts.
Oppenheimer organized the largest and most sophisticated technological project in
human history up to that time.
Oppenheimers misgivings continued after the war. Having witnessed the
destructive power he helped unleash, he wanted the United States to set an example
to the only other nuclear power at the time, the Soviet Union. He wanted both
countries to halt thermo-nuclear research and refuse to develop the hydrogen bomb.
North Americans value science and technology highly.
In the postwar years, a growing number of people have come to share Oppenheimers
doubts about the bomb. Indeed, they have extended those doubts not just to the
peaceful use of nuclear energy but also to technology in general. Increasingly, people
are beginning to think of technology as a monster run amok, a Frankenstein rather
than a savior.
The term normal accident recognizes that the very complexity of modern
technologies ensures they will inevitably fail, though in unpredictable ways
Complex programs cannot be tested for all possible eventualities. Therefore, when
rare combinations of conditions occur, they have unforeseen consequences that are
usually minor, occasionally amusing, sometimes expensive, and too often dangerous.
A risk society is a society in which technology distributes danger among all
categories of the population
To many people, technology seems to be spinning out of control. From their point of
view, it enables the production of ever-more goods and services but at the cost of
breathable air, drinkable water, safe sunlight, plant and animal diversity, and
normal weather patterns.
Neil Postman refers to the United States as a technopoly. He argues that the United
States is the first country in which technology has taken control of culture.
Technology, he says, compels people to try to solve all problems using technical
rather than moral criteria, although technology is often the source of the problems.
www.notesolution.com
Technology and People Make History
Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev was the first social scientist to notice that
technologies are invented in clusters.
Kondratiev argued that these flurries of creativity cause major economic growth
spurts beginning 10 to 20 years later and lasting 25 to 35 years each. Thus,
Kondratiev subscribed to a form of technological determinism, the belief that
technology is the major force shaping human society and history.
James Watt invented the steam engine in Britain in 1766. It was the main driving
force in the mines, mills, factories, and railways of the Industrial Revolution.
Gottlieb Daimler invented the internal combustion engine in Germany in 1883. It
was the foundation of two of the worlds biggest industries: automobiles and
petroleum.
John Atanasoff was among the first people to invent the computer in 1939 at Iowa
State College (now University). It utterly transformed the way we work, study, and
entertain ourselves. It also put the spurs to one of the most sustained economic
booms ever.
If we probe a little deeper into the development of any of the technologies mentioned
above, we notice a pattern: They did not become engines of economic growth until
social conditions allowed them to do so.
The British computer, Colossus, helped decipher secret German codes in the last two
years of the war and played an important role in the Allied victory.
Technology and society influence each other. Scientific discoveries, once adopted on a
wide scale, often transform societies. But scientific discoveries are turned into useful
technologies only when social need demands it.
How High Tech Became Big Tech
Enjoying a technological advantage usually translates into big profits for businesses
and military superiority for countries.
In the nineteenth century, gaining technological advantage was still inexpensive. It
took only modest capital investment, a little knowledge about the best way to
organize work, and a handful of highly trained workers to build a shop to
manufacture stirrups or even steam engines.
Mass-producing cars, sending a person to the moon, and other feats of twentieth-
and twenty-first century technology require enormous capital investment, detailed
attention to the way work is organized, and legions of technical experts.
The time lag between new scientific discoveries and their technological application is
continually shrinking.
Personal interests, individual creativity, and the state of a fields intellectual
development still influence the direction of inquiry. This is especially true for
theoretical work done in universities, as opposed to applied research funded by
governments and private industry.
www.notesolution.com

Loved by over 2.2 million students

Over 90% improved by at least one letter grade.

Leah — University of Toronto

OneClass has been such a huge help in my studies at UofT especially since I am a transfer student. OneClass is the study buddy I never had before and definitely gives me the extra push to get from a B to an A!

Leah — University of Toronto
Saarim — University of Michigan

Balancing social life With academics can be difficult, that is why I'm so glad that OneClass is out there where I can find the top notes for all of my classes. Now I can be the all-star student I want to be.

Saarim — University of Michigan
Jenna — University of Wisconsin

As a college student living on a college budget, I love how easy it is to earn gift cards just by submitting my notes.

Jenna — University of Wisconsin
Anne — University of California

OneClass has allowed me to catch up with my most difficult course! #lifesaver

Anne — University of California
Description
Technology and the Global Environment TECHNOLOGY: SVIOUS OR FRANKENSTEIN? Scholars interested in the relationship between technology and society recognize that the bombing of Hiroshima divided the twentieth century into two distinct periods. Technology was widely defined as the application of scientific principles to the improvement of human life. o It seemed to be driving humanity down a one-way street named progress, picking up speed with every passing year thanks to successively more powerful engines. Most people regarded technologists with reverence and awe. They were viewed as a sort of priesthood whose objectivity allowed them to stand outside the everyday world and perform near-magical acts. Oppenheimer organized the largest and most sophisticated technological project in human history up to that time. Oppenheimers misgivings continued after the war. Having witnessed the destructive power he helped unleash, he wanted the United States to set an example to the only other nuclear power at the time, the Soviet Union. He wanted both countries to halt thermo-nuclear research and refuse to develop the hydrogen bomb. North Americans value science and technology highly. In the postwar years, a growing number of people have come to share Oppenheimers doubts about the bomb. Indeed, they have extended those doubts not just to the peaceful use of nuclear energy but also to technology in general. Increasingly, people are beginning to think of technology as a monster run amok, a Frankenstein rather than a savior. The term normal accident recognizes that the very complexity of modern technologies ensures they will inevitably fail, though in unpredictable ways Complex programs cannot be tested for all possible eventualities. Therefore, when rare combinations of conditions occur, they have unforeseen consequences that are usually minor, occasionally amusing, sometimes expensive, and too often dangerous. A risk society is a society in which technology distributes danger among all categories of the population To many people, technology seems to be spinning out of control. From their point of view, it enables the production of ever-more goods and services but at the cost of breathable air, drinkable water, safe sunlight, plant and animal diversity, and normal weather patterns. Neil Postman refers to the United States as a technopoly. He argues that the United States is the first country in which technology has taken control of culture. Technology, he says, compels people to try to solve all problems using technical rather than moral criteria, although technology is often the source of the problems. www.notesolution.com
More Less
Unlock Document

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

You've reached the limit of 4 previews this month

Create an account for unlimited previews.

Already have an account?

Log In


OR

Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit