What is the role of technology in society?

..our inventions are but improved means to an unimproved end.

Nonetheless, as incomprehensible problems mount, as the concept of progress fades, as meaning itself becomes suspect, the Technopolist stands firm in believing that what the world needs is yet more information. ..To the question ‘What problem does the information solve?‘ the answer is usually ‘How to generate, store, and distribute more information, more conveniently, at greater speeds than never before’. – Neil [technopoly]

 

In the recent past, I have come to ponder this question with great fascination but haven’t managed to find any fulfilling answers

Specifically I ask myself:

  • Why are we scared of technology causing unemployment – because that is exactly what it is supposed to do?
  • Why are we practicing planned obsolescence – designing complexity, poor compatibility and poor usability?
“Although computers have allowed us to do things that were never possible before, they’ve not generally led to an increase in productivity growth. On the contrary, they are responsible for the decline in productivity growth in industrialized nations since the early 1970s”.

It is estimated that companies lose $5,590 per year per computer because of the time that employees waste by futzing with their computers rather than performing productive work with them – Vicente, CWA

It seems to me that technology is just meant to be an economical machine – or the underlying policies and economics of society force it to be just that and thus it cannot fulfill the foretold promises of easing life and freeing us to follow our interests which do not fall under:

  • Reading manuals, running installations or backups
  • Being frustrated time and again by these wicked machines
  • Relying on things that are just meant to fail, cost us dearly and accelerate the rate at which we pollute the environment

Time scarcity; Affluenza – the all consuming epidemic pg. 41

In 1965, a U.S. Senate subcommittee heard testimony that estimated a workweek of 14 – 22 hours by 2000.

We got the technology, but we didn’t get time. We have computers, fax machines, cell phones, email, robots, express mail, freeways, jetliners, microwaves, fast food, one-hour photos, digital cameras, pop tarts, frozen waffles, instant this and that. But we have less time than we did 30 years ago.

 

Also see 6 indiscernible effects of technology (We use technology against ourselves, we use technology against itself, when technology functions perfectly we it cease to be there-but so do we, when most effective technology will have no effect at all and we use technology against each other)

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