Would you live in a world devoid of technology, or a world where you had to be constantly transparent? This is a question that has and will remain in the mouth of many as long as the need of technological advancements are either abused or misinterpreted. David (2006), in his book Technology Matters: Questions to Live With, says that technology matters a lot to the human population since it’s inseparable from the human. He further states that we’re in an intimate contact with the tools and machines as early as at the time of birth. In his argument, he states, “Like most children of the twentieth century, I played a lot with toys such cars, railroads, and airplanes and swords, full-size fake guns and telephones” (Nye IX). We, therefore, live in a dynamic world that that is under constant imagination and construction through machines and tools. Dave also states that; “two decades ago, it was not cool to own a calculator watch. One spending all day indoors playing with your watch sent a message that you’re not doing so well socially.” (Eggers 56) At this point, we realize that there is a wrestle with the above-mentioned technological questions. Although the toys will tend to solve an imaginary problem, as adults, the complexity of a technology plus its side effects and consequences are main issues of concern that can’t be evaded.
Is the technology deterministic? This is a question that live many people talk as though it’s true. The main worry is how true is it? While some people argue that the spread of internet and TV was inevitable, some find it unimaginable the idea of the world that is devoid of automobiles. The history has, however, provided a number of counter-examples to inevitable technologies (Nye 17). The belief in technological determinism is greatly accepted in a number of individualistic societies where laissez-faire economics is embraced. People become consumers of what they have in mind. However, Fernand Braudel in his works Capitalism and Material Life, discards the technological determinism, He asserts that some cultures would slowly approve an innovation. He believes, “Technology’s only a tool, and man doesn’t always know how best to use it” (Braudel 1456).
Technology is not a system of machines geared towards given functions, but it’s more of an expression of the social world. Internet, radio, television and the likes are social processes that dynamically vary from generation to the other. These technologies didn’t come outside the society; rather, they were internal development that got shaped by their social context. For this reason, no technology can be said to exist on its own, but each of them is an open-ended set of possibilities. Each and every technology is considered an extension of human lives as someone can make it, own it, oppose it, use it and interpret it. This multiplicity diversifies the meaning of the term technology. Such insight is of great importance for looking into how the historians understand technology. Additionally, it also helps look into the relationship between cultural diversity and technology. As we get accustomed to new things, they are slowly integrated into the system of our daily lives. With time, every technology that seemed new becomes natural and inevitable because the world can’t live without it. It is, therefore, clear that naturalization of technology to a greater extent involves continual modification and transformation of human desires until the consumers can’t do without it (Nye 47-54).
In conclusion, there is no logical, no single and no necessary finish line to the preexisting symbiosis between technology and people. For centuries and centuries, people have used technology to shape themselves as well as their cultures. The main purpose for the development of technologies was to increase our productivity, protect us, enhance memory, enhance production and increase the physical power. To some extent, we can conclusively say that we have succeeded in coming up with new uses for the invention, and this has welcomed a lot of positive consequences for us. For millennia, technology has been used to create new possibilities. However, this can lead either to increasing homogeneity or differentiation. For the questions that technological advancements create, we must learn to ‘love’ such questions as they are the key to further inventions.
Braudel, Fernand. Capitalism and Material Life, 1400-1800. New York: Harper and Row, 1973. Print.
Nye, David E. Technology Matters: Questions to Live with. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2006. Internet resource.
Eggers, Dave. The Circle: A Novel. , 2013. Print.