Technopoly By Postman Essay, Research Paper
Neil Postman takes a pessimistic position of engineering and its hereafter in his book Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. Upon first reading of the rubric, I was prepared for yet another illustration of meaningless engineering socking. Context-free sentiments such as? Kill your Television? seem to flux unimpeded from every angle, particularly from university faculty/writers. While Postman’s bringing is surely non the Kaopectate required for this job, it does try to supply context and account for why society must maintain at least one oculus unfastened when accepting new engineerings. The chief point of this book is that society is going much excessively dependent on new engineerings. Consequently, Postman argues, technological development has reached a tableland antecedently reserved for such basiss of truth like God and ideals of morality. We have become slaves to our innovations. This is the definition of a technopoly. Postman exhaustively points out all of the negative effects and deductions of this. The quantification of everything, loss of moral governments, and the devaluation of meaningful symbols are merely a sample of the many jobs that Postman attributes to the rise of engineering. The one of import facet left out in this book is something that Postman claims to be of import in his foreword:
We may larn from this that it is a error to say that any technological
invention has a nonreversible consequence. Every engineering is both a load and a
approval, non either or, but this and that. ( Postman, 5 )
I realize that it is of import to hold a dissentient voice in a preponderantly pro-technology society. However, to reason an issue in demand of a cost-benefit analysis by merely showing costs and negative facets is silly and misdirecting. The tone of Technopoly is accordingly a small paranoiac, and at times leads to premature decisions.
The first portion of this book begins by spliting civilizations into three groups. Tool utilizing civilizations did hold innovations, but these innovations? did non assail the self-respect and unity of the civilization into which they were introduced? ( Postman, 23 ) . These civilizations were all unified by some metaphysical theory that was seldom, if of all time, disturbed by engineering. Postman claims that the patterned advance from this initial province to technocracy was facilitated by the thoughts of Francis Bacon in the seventeenth century. Bacon is credited as being the first to see the connexion between scientific discipline and the betterment of the human status. It is besides at this point that? surrender was cast out and God assigned to a particular room. The name of the edifice was Progress and Power? ( Postman, 36 ) .
In 18th century technocratic capitalist economy took clasp non merely as a good thought, but as a world that could non be reversed. Religion and tradition still existed at this point, although they were more threatened by engineering than they had been antecedently. With the aggressive advancement of new innovation, technological and traditional world-views collide and produce the job of a developing technopoly.
With the rise of Technopoly, one of those thought-worlds disappears. Technopoly
eliminates options to itself in exactly the manner Aldous Huxley outlined in
Brave New World. It does non do them illegal. It does non do them immoral.
It does non even do them unpopular. It makes them unseeable and hence
irrelevant. And it does so by redefining what we mean by faith, by art, by
household, by political relations, by history, by truth, by privateness, by intelligence, so that our
definitions fits its new demands. Technopoly, in other words, is totalitarian
technocracy. ( Postman, 48 )
Postman speaks with a overzealous romanticism of the yesteryear when depicting these world-views, but I? m still left with no apprehension of what advantages of tool-using civilizations held. Indeed, it is really difficult to state what sort of advantages something has unless you have lived in both universes. The reader is left with Postman’s biased personification of a engineering that is dragging humanity directly to hell. Reading this subdivision, I am reminded of my Grandfather’s holid
ay visits at which he spouts for hours about how much better the old yearss were without any remark on any of the betterments that have occurred in his life-time. Postman’s statement is every bit crystalline because it lacks consideration of the betterments engineering has brought. Is it a deal we can do? Postman continues to look at the negative issues of this deal in the following subdivision.
The 2nd portion of the book lineations and gives illustrations of Postman’s chief points. In? The Improbable World? he states that information is basically useless because there is so much of it out at that place. Any statement can be made credible if started with the words? A survey has shown that … ? It is clear in the chapter entitled? Scientism? how societal scientific discipline has exploited this fact to the point of going a new universe faith. Science has merely become a misused gimmick phrase used for anything that needs cogency. Postman gives the grounds for why this continual information oversupply can non be stopped in the undermentioned chapter, ? The Broken Defenses? . He says that school, faith, and household are no longer effectual defences against the surplus of bad information and that they can non be expected to make full that function anytime in the hereafter. I agree with his statement that there is a batch of useless information in the universe. This useless information is used to distribute a important sum of bunk to a really fleeceable state. If you need an illustration of this, read the chapter entitled? The Ideology of Machines: Medical Technology? in this book. However, there is besides a great trade of good information out at that place that would non hold been available prior to the new engineerings easing the spread of information. The grounds of this is easy seen. The mean individual knows a great trade more about the workings of judicial and political systems, the beginnings of adult male, and even the basic workings of the existence. This would non hold been a world without the free flow of information and new engineerings. It is non wholly clear if Postman is recommending a return of information control steered by bureaucratism. He seems to advert it as a possible solution and so reject it. In any instance, it is a bad thought for two grounds. First, it would ne’er work in a state so protective of its freedom of information. Second, it should be humanity’s occupation to set to engineering. Not the other manner around. The large job with bodying engineering is that society assumes that if we play our cards right, engineering will repair the jobs associated with it and work for us. The world of it is: We need to take some duty. Why is society so fleeceable? It’s non because there is a batch of bad information out at that place. It is non even because the rise of Technopoly has made it possible to work credulousness to a pathetic extent. It is because we have failed to fix ourselves for the new universe position that we associate with engineering. This brings me to advert an about redemptive quality for this book. Postman gets the reply right on when he says instruction is a solution to the job. His suggestion of learning semantics is something that should be considered as portion of the course of study for all schools.
It helps pupils to reflect on the sense and truth of what they are composing and
of what they are asked to read. It teaches them to detect the underlying
premises of what they are told. It emphasizes the multiplex ways in which
linguistic communication can falsify world. It assists pupils in going what Charles
Weingartner and I one time called? dirt sensors? . ( Postman, 195 )
Surely there are considerable jobs associated with the technological idea universe. However, to state that the jobs are the lone thing we should be looking at is incorrect. It is besides a error to state that the jobs are irrecoverable. The motion of a society that values faith to one that looks to engineering for truth may be a patterned advance. It may be a aside. It truly depends on who you ask and what values you assign to things lost and gained through the passage. Postman, our computing machine literate spokesman for the Stone Age, would reason that it is decidedly a aside. However, that is a subjective sentiment. It is non an sentiment that I would desire Postman to do for all of humanity.