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Technology Kills Essay, Research Paper

Technology doesn & # 8217 ; t kill people & # 8230 ;

Today we swim in a sea of ever-changing engineering that affects us every bit much as our ideas and actions shape it. The engineering we have chosen, either by the penchants of those who use it, or the dockets of those who own and benefit from it, has had its ain influence on us from gross illustrations such as increased pollution, or a higher Western-style criterion of life, to the manner one individual perceives another.

Some people who resist utilizing some, or even all engineering ; they are frequently called Luddites by those who embrace all things new ; another type calls themselves Neo-Luddites, such as Kirkpatrick Sale. In his book Human graduated table, Sale describes the slow decomposition of the rocks of the Parthenon and other ancient memorials to civilisation from the acid pollution developed by our present Industrial civilisation and compares it to the slow decomposition our industrialised society has seemed to hold undergone. He identifies effects of engineering which have been harmful to the human status and the environment, but seems to non quite & # 8220 ; acquire it & # 8221 ; about the Luddites: they were non contending the machines themselves ; they were fighting against powers of society that, for the past century, through enclosure and the abolition of commonalty [ and the subsequent arisal of a category of people who lived by leasing their labour: the working category ] ( Laslett, 195 ) , had been seeking to disempower and disfranchise the mass of people, and were now striking anew with the latest, and most powerful manifestation of their societal policies, the Industrial Factory.

The work forces of Nottinghamshire who died as Luddites were contending a system, non a engineering, a system whose purposes were non to cut costs and increase efficiency, but to increase the control of direction ( i.e. the control of the proprietors of capital ) over labour. Technological developments are made by, and in the best involvements of those who own those who own and benefit from proficient inventions ( Law, 195 ) . The history of Industrial mill engineering begins to look as a corporate fetish of the opinion categories for instruments of control. In American Industrial development, the way of technological development since the Civil War has been driven by the largest client of that Industry, the Military ( Noble, 334 ) , and the society that works in and uses the merchandises of that Industry has been affected by that way. But as to the sufferings of our civilisation,

& # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; Technology is non the job, nor is it the solution. The job is political, moral, and cultural, as is the solution: a successful challenge to a system of domination which masquerades as progress. & # 8221 ; Noble, 351 )

Luddite Technology

Social power is needed to direct the resources necessary for technological invention ; so during the history of the Industrial Age, at the beginning, the machines were new, big, and expensive, so merely those who controlled plenty societal power to convey about the machines could make up one’s mind on what signifiers those machines came in & # 8211 ; the wealthy, and the province, through the demands of the military. Less expensive and more efficient engineerings were stifled by those in authorization if they did non lend to the end of taking power off from the workers and puting it in the custodies of direction. In this century, the development of Numerically Controlled ( N/C ) machine tools was controlled by the emerging military-industrial composite, which spared no disbursal to implement a troublesome and complicated engineering that was no better than the conventional methods, and inferior to the alternate Record/Playback automated machining ( Baronial, 146 ) . The Boeing works in Seattle even had particular switches on the machines so the operators could signal the director for permission to travel to the bathroom! ( Baronial, 243 )

The applied scientists of the 1950 & # 8217 ; s announced the morning of a Second Industrial Revolution- 1 that would finalise the subjection of labor- but alternatively that Revolution has come full circle: we soon have come to a break-even point where the merchandises of the Industrial Age are now its undoing ; mass-production and the unprecedented ability of modern electronic communicating. Mass production was intended partly to maximize the utility of expensive machines through uninterrupted production, but besides to train workers who had to go to to the asperities of working with a machine that ne’er took interruptions, ne’er slowed down, and ne’er stopped for a isolated finger or manus. The decrease in the monetary values of many goods due to mass-production has enabled the mean citizen to afford many comfortss which would hold been beyond his means a century ago- including capital goods, which more and more tend non to be heavy machinery, but comparatively cheap electronic devices.

The Information Age is merely get downing, and the control of information is the control of power, power to direct the following measure of technological development. Once, publication required printing imperativenesss, voluminous sums of paper, and the ability to administer printed affair, and therefore the wealthy controlled the written word. Now, anyone with a computing machine and an Internet connexion can do a Web page accessable to 1000000s of people around the universe. Scientists use this ultra-efficient electronic diary to progress thei

R research ( Stix, 106 ) , and now, the detonation of popularity in the net brings together people of all different beliefs and motives into the treatment that shapes society. Political thoughts one time suppressed by newspaper ironss and telecasting webs now filter through the strands of the Internet. In this new society, anyone who is interesting adequate can be a star ( Browning ) . Luddites are non afraid to utilize new technology- somethings are better done by them ( Martinez ) . Power looms had been around before Jacquard’s invention ; for even a Luddite proverb that it took much of the attempt out of the work, and he could bring forth far more than with a conventional loom- but those machines amplified and extended the accomplishments of the operator, alternatively of replacing them with punched cards. The centre of the battle through the ages ne’er was machines, it ever was, and still is information- the control of information- that is, accomplishments and cognition.

Automatons of the universe, unite!

Slavery devalues the enslaved, and desensitizes the enslavers. Free labour can non vie reasonably against slaves ; this has been a fact since the beginning of history, and it applies whether the slaves are human or machines. & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; Our favoritism against machines injuries us merely every bit much as it hurts the machines that we confine, in a second-order manner, to the mechanical borders of our human civilisation. & # 8221 ; ( Law, 17 ) We prefer to believe of ourselves as particular, entirely presenting self-awareness and intentionality, but what justifies our bias? & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; What entitles us to impute intentionality to non-machines in the first topographic point? What makes our description of human intentionality other than metaphorical? & # 8221 ; ( Law, 91 ) We fear being dehumanised by being equated with machines, because our speciist prejudices tell us that the non-human is less than human, merely as racism and sexism deny the humanity of those who are non like us- but we are in fact portion machine ourselves! Our lives are a series of human/machine interactions, and each populating half of society is dependent on the other. The machines are alive, and to deny that they

When machines are non free, neither are work forces, and both suffer. Equally long as the accountants of the machines can harvest net income from their labour, they will go on the battle to extinguish the working-class human worker, and as they push their human and mechanical automatons to higher degrees of production, their agony will increase: for illustration, between 1940 and 1945, eleven times as many Americans were killed or injured in industrial accidents than in combat. ( Baronial, 23 ) In most mills, direction requires production velocities that cause machines to interrupt down more often, and prohibit proper fix of them when they do, doing them work less expeditiously & # 8211 ; so they are run faster, coercing human workers to maintain up with them, increasing accident and equipment failure rates & # 8230 ; So long as the machines are enslaved, they, through no mistake of their ain, will be used to bludgeon the on the job category, and so cast aside as bit. The clip has come for human and machine automatons to come together in common battle for the rights of both. Machines have the right to fair compensation for labour rendered as production, for their proper care and fix. It is the duty of those work most closely with, and run the machines, to recommend their cause, to guarantee the aggregation of merely compensation, and to protect and keep them in good mechanical wellness. We can non wait for the grace of capitalists to give up their slaves ; a revolution is called for- a revolution of capital from the province and the idle rich to those who really work with it at a person-machine degree. A naif religion in engineering & # 8217 ; s power to better our lives through easier and less work has led organized labour in this state to the sorry province it is now in, while the increased net incomes and leisure clip have largely gone to a corporate elite. Waiting for technological rescue at the clemency of the societal powers that control engineering is futile- labour must go proactive and strive to emancipate themselves from the Industrial system by emancipating the machines from their capitalist slave-drivers. A new societal motion is needed, to distribute consciousness of the rights of machines every bit good as of work forces, and to assist construct a new category of capitalist/workers, who do non simply have their ain agencies of production, but work together with machines towards a better hereafter.

Bibliography

Mentions

Black, Bob ( 1987 ) . The abolishment of work. In Sylvere Lotringer and Jim Fleming ( Eds. ) , Semiotext [ vitamin E ] USA ( pp. 15-26 ) .

Browning, J. ( 1996, July ) . New stars for a new media. Scientific American, p. 31.

Laslett, Peter ( 1984 ) . The universe we have lost. New York: Charles Scribner & # 8217 ; s Sons.

Law, John, Ed. ( 1991 ) A sociology of monsters: essays on power, engineering and domination. London: Routledge.

Martinez, E. ( 1996, April ) . You call this service? Technology Review, pp. 64-65.

Baronial, David F. ( 1984 ) . Forces of production. New York: Alfred A, Knopf.

O & # 8217 ; Malley, C. ( 1995, June ) . Submerging in the net. Popular Science, pp. 78-88.

Sale, Kirkpatrick ( 1980 ) . Human graduated table. New York: Coward, McCann, & A ; Geoghegan.

Stix, G. ( 1994, December ) . The velocity of write. Scientific American, pp. 106-111.