Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Notes on Huggins and Postman

Both of these articles mention the two-facedness of technology, how every benefit derived brings problems as well. "Culture always pays the price of technology" says Postman. My question is who is deciding what is better for culture? Just because our culture is different doesn't mean it's worse; just because our culture as it exists now is not the same as the one we grew up with, does not make it bad. Are technology naysayers merely uncomfortable with change?
I understand some of the arguments made in these articles, but some statements, especially ones made Postman's article, are simply absurd. "We can say that the computer person values information, not knowledge, certainly not wisdom. Indeed, in the computer age, the concept of wisdom may vanish altogether." This statement, needless to say, is pompous and inaccurate. I would say that wisdom and computers are two very unrelated things. Certainly the former can be propagated by means of the latter, but the existence of computers in no way undermines the persistent need of wisdom.
I find the point to be quite valid that Postman makes about how technology changes our culture rather than adds to it. American culture with television added does not equal old American culture + television; contrarily, our culture now is completely, entirely different now than it was when we had no television. With that in mind, it is important to consider if our new technologies are actually improving our culture rather than simply providing another way to spend money.

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