Freedom

Structure of the next part of the book:
We think technology makes our lives better, but what about...?
this chapter--does it really give us more freedom?

if technology is not deterministic but rather shaped by society:

Technology and
              freedom
 How do we choose?
We can choose which technologies we want and therefore which impacts we get
managing technological choice

are recent advances in technology liberating or do they reduce our choices?
is the cell phone a liberating technology or does it take away freedom?people talking on their
              phones on the street but want privacy
computers give us opportunities, but Clemson requires everyone to have one

Think more carefully about freedom (critical thinking/ how would you think about an essay topic)

Nye asks: Technology gives us choices, but are they real choices? 
Is this just that you are given a choice what color your prison cell is painted
He is asking whether recent technologies are liberating. 
Some people would say, of course technology is liberating, it allows us to do lots of new things.  For example, as technology advances we can do more and more things on our cell phones.
But are those choices technology gives us the full range of choices we would want?
Or can we express our individuality only in a narrow box?
Model T Fords
model t fords
People used to think that technology was going to make us all the same:
If this seems silly, consider:
purple house
In the 1960s one thing that protesting students said was that they didn't want to be part of the machine

Yet since then technology has been taking us in a different direction, sometimes called mass customization:Nike free
Technology gives us some choices:
what are the relationships between freedom, having more choices, and expressing individuality
We see technology serving our individuality
But some of that is only on the surface.
small houses
small house
Consider an argument from a book by Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's DilemmaPollan considers in detail three meals:
crowded pigs in a
            barn

Still, the overall effect is that technology has come to support
  • an individuality that the public values
  • the elaboration of racial, ethnic, and regional diversity
  • increases in consumer choice
Ask about a new technology--does it increase individuality or take it away
Are there places where we want to step away from using technology to enable us to buy more things more cheaply?


This page written and copyright Pamela E. Mack
HIST 1220
last updated 11/13/17