Early in the semester I had researched Technological Determinism and discussed the interaction between culture and technology. Whilst it was a short five minute presentation for my class Histories and Technology, the introduction to this speech- I feel- is extremely relevant when setting up the discussion of Potts Murphie and his look on theoretical frameworks. So here’s a little opening paragraph and thought train for you:

When considering Technological Determinism, two things arise, does technology drive history and if so, is the causal efficacy perceptive or absolute? Whilst the crucial historical question seems to be embedded within our culture, Marx & Smith (1994) presents the tension between technical ingenuity as a ’typified’ subject, placing ‘the machine’ as a surrogate to the events and social consequences that become ‘far-reaching, cumulative, mutually reinforcing, and irreversible.’ In contrast to this, Tenner (1997) addresses events caused by technological development as ‘unintended consequences’, challenging advances critically as ‘revenge effects’ that work by rewiring our modern sciences, entertainment and reality. These thoughts suggest one of two things as addressed by Marx & Smith (1994); that ‘the central force in the modern world’ is either a ‘soft view’- that being technology drives social change- or a ‘hard view’ – where technological development is an autonomous force to which Raymond Williams (2010) reflected.

Bouncing these ideas to Murphie, the reading also realises the multiple opinions and viewpoints surrounding technology and the cultural effects it networks. If anything, these explorations are a way of understanding how or why technology develops in the multiple contexts of culture, rather than pinpointing a singular truth. While there may be ramifications of each theories, each possess a unique kind of usefulness to which can be applied for Network Media to deepen intentions, contexts and of course, relationships.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *