Technological Determinism

Read Complete Research Material


Technological Determinism

Technological Determinism

For and against 'technological determinism'

Technology inevitably changes the culture and its dynamics. Especially with the technological advancements, which are in the area of communication, this can be understood much better. Internet, for instance, is an ideal medium to witness this, as everything changes so fast. By the emergence of information networks, the way people are connected was dramatically changed. Just because of the existence of the Internet, we became exposed to countless amounts of people over the world and by extension, their own cultures and ethics. This immense amount of interaction and the blurring of the boundaries between countries and people inevitably creates the need for a new set of unspoken rules as the conventional and already existing rules become obsolete in this additional condition (Brown 2000, 109).

Where technological determinism is correct, is the fact that new technologies change the way we think. Recently there have been videos of a baby, who tries to interact with printed magazines the way she would normally use an iPad. What used to be our motor functions in our babyhood are now being replaced with pinch zoom and swipe. A fundamental change like this unquestionably changes the wiring of our brains, and by extension the way we think and perceive the world around us. Again, in order for iPad to change the way we interact with the information, the preceding condition is the acceptance of iPad itself.

Technological determinism" is the notion that technology inevitably follows a predictable path, uninfluenced by culture or politics. With nuclear missiles primarily employing inertial guidance systems for decades now, it would appear as if no competing technologies ever existed. The incremental improvement of the gyroscope appears to be the natural path that guidance systems should take. This paper will examine the powerful social forces behind the development of guidance systems in nuclear missiles, and how a tech- no logically deterministic point of view gives an inaccurate perception of this technology's evolution.

The notion of "technological determinism" is the most pervasive and paralyzing determinism". During the era in which nuclear weapons were being produced in vast quantities, advances were described by their inventors simply as the "modernization" of the United States arsenal. The introduction of a new weapon presented as "modernization" makes it seem as if the weapon came about naturally as a result of technological progresses". The general public assumes from this that "modernization" is an unstoppable force. It is in the face of this force, then, that we feel helpless or paralyzed to stop (Gere 2002, 140).

Technological determinism inclines the general public to passivity. Coupled with a sense of political determinism, a belief that the world of government, can not be altered as well leaves people feeling hopeless to affect change. There are, however, many divisions in the political world. The politicians and the technologists involved in the development of our nuclear arsenal regard their jobs as remarkably ordinary, despite the extraordinary products they are making.

IT is changing the social world

One reason we are ambivalent about the ...
Related Ads