The Effects of Technology on Society

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Today we swim in a sea of ever-changing technology that affects us as much as our thoughts and actions shape it. The technology we have chosen, either by the preferences of those who use it, or the agendas of those who own and benefit from it, has had its own influence on us from gross examples such as increased pollution, or a higher Western-style standard of living, to the way one person perceives another. Some people who resist using some, or even all technology; they are often called Luddites by those who embrace all things new; another type calls themselves Neo-Luddites, such as Kirkpatrick Sale. In his book Human scale, Sale describes the slow rotting of the stones of the Parthenon and other ancient monuments to civilization from the acid pollution developed by our present Industrial civilization and compares it to the slow disintegration our industrialized society has seemed to have undergone. He identifies effects of technology which have been harmful to the human condition and the environment, but seems to not quite "get it" about the Luddites: they were not fighting the machines themselves; they were struggling against powers of society that, for the past century, through enclosure and the abolishment of commonality [and the subsequent arisal of a class of people who lived by renting their labor: the working class] (Laslett, 195), had been seeking to disempower and disenfranchise the mass of people, and were now striking anew with the latest, and most powerful manifestation of their social policies, the Industrial Factory. The men of Nottinghamshire who died as Luddites were fighting a system, not a technology, a system whose intentions were not to cut costs and increase efficiency, but to increase the co... ... middle of paper ... ... Bibliography: References Black, Bob (1987). The abolition of work. In Sylvere Lotringer and Jim Fleming (Eds.), Semiotext[e] USA (pp. 15-26). Browning, J. (1996, July). New stars for a new media. Scientific American, p. 31. Laslett, Peter (1984). The world we have lost. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Law, John, Ed. (1991) A sociology of monsters: essays on power, technology and domination. London: Routledge. Martinez, E. (1996, April). You call this service? Technology Review, pp. 64-65. Noble, David F. (1984). Forces of production. New York: Alfred A, Knopf. O'Malley, C. (1995, June). Drowning in the net. Popular Science, pp. 78-88. Sale, Kirkpatrick (1980). Human scale. New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan. Stix, G. (1994, December). The speed of write. Scientific American, pp. 106-111.
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