Lienhard 9


two kinds of consequences of technological change:
the consequences in turn lead to impacts on society

Unintended Consequences:
Some consequences of a new technology are predictable.
The impact of technology on society is often unexpected--technologies have unintended consequences (and sometimes we just don't stop to consider the whole system)

different ways automobile affected society, both intended and unintended:bump bump bump in your
          automobile

    * you need the infrastructure to support it eg. gas stations, roads, service stations
    * people can live further away from their work or their families
    * new area of entertainment--racing, etc.
    * new kinds of restaurants, lodging, ...
    * new kind of architecture
    * road trips, family vacations, national parks
    * advertising
    * did the automobile cause the sexual revolution?
    * how did the automobile change the way we see the world
    * how did the automobile change or reinforce American values

One technology leads to another, but also those technologies change what is possible and the ways we experience the world. Historical examples can help us think about present day examples.
Technologies change what is possible but society makes choices among the new possibilities, based on our values (both what we value in a practical way and by our moral standards)

Does technology have some inevitable effect on our values?
Or is it that we choose whatever technology suits our values?
Or use technologies in ways that affect our values?
Or do we make choices that are influenced by the technologies available?

roads and the road network
 road conditions in 1920s

The interstate highway system
the big duck
 the big duck

Fuel:
The Gas Station & Auto Service Collectibles Web Site
 1930s Shell Gas Station
gas station in the shape of a
        shell
Gasoline ( petroleum history sites )
map of
        Pennsylvania showing oil area in NW
Beginnings of the Petroleum Industry
 early oil refinery
early oil
        industry
energy consumption 1776 to
          2018Oil prices:
We were running out of oil that was easy to extract, but new methods of extraction have postponed the problem
 




Will something else replace gasoline during your lifetimes?
however we extract the oil, burning it still adds to the carbon in the atmosphere (because we are releasing carbon that has been locked up in the earth for geological ages). The latest figures show global warming progressing more rapidly than expected and says we have 12 years before catastrophic change cannot be stopped
Germany's planned energy
          transition


This page written and copyright Pamela E. Mack
HIST 1220
last updated 10/9/19