Symposium #8

Some critics argue against technological determinism on the grounds that technology is ‘neutral’ or ‘value-free’, and that what counts is not the technology but the way in which we choose to use it. As the folk saying has it, ‘poor workers blame the tools’. Technology is presented as amoral. If we choose to use technologies such as literacy or computers for repressive rather than liberatory purposes we have only ourselves to blame.

I found the discussion of the neutrality of technologies an interesting angle of thought. Adrian explored different categories of technologies – how they are designed to be used in comparison to how they are used in actuality.

My takeaway idea from the lecture came from the quote “nothing exists abstractly by itself”. It makes a lot more sense when I put this thought in parallel to the neutrality of technology.

My initial thought was that technology could be neutral if it’s not being used, but in fact technology is designed to be used, therefore it cannot exist by itself. It’s just waiting for a user.

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