Chell's blog

Thoughts, ideas, and other things 'a bit unkempt'…

Culture and Technology, Andrew Murphie and John Potts


This reading was of interest to me, I actually kind of understood it which was a nice change 🙂

So here are my main take away points on Culture, Technique and Technology:

– The current meanings of the word technology only come about in the late 19th century, before this prominent writers including Karl Marx did not use the word.

– It came about at the same time as terms such as ‘Industrial Revolution’ to describe the radical restructuring of Western societies that was underway.

– “Words can be sites of contests between competing social groups as they attempt to assign and control specific meanings”. For example, the word ‘Technocrat’ (emerged in the 1920’s), is an adjective that could both praise or insult a person, depending on the political point of view… *Culture*

– Furthermore, all “important” words carry the traces of social changes… *Culture is ever changing beacuse societal views and values are ever-changing*

– The ever-changing definition of the word ‘Technology’: a study of the arts> the system of mechanical and industrial arts> the application of knowledge to production> even individual machines such as computers are now considered technology.

– Technique as technology: technique is the way we do something, and technology is the the equipment.. on a most natural level, the way we eat, sleep, and run are people using technique on their own technology, the human body.

– Culture: ever-changing human values and views.

– The stigma of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture: apparently, reading the Herald Sun newspaper is ‘low’ culture because it is the less prestigious and read by the less educated fraction of society… I really don’t like these terms, I started reading the Herald Sun because it was more physically managable than the Age, and now I am invested in the journalists that write for it.

– Fact I didn’t know (but feel like I should have): The internet was invented by the US military as a means of decentralising military authority incase of attack; but it became a public sphere/ a space where any citizen with something to communicate could put their ideas forward on a public platform. Hmmm…



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