Evolution of Technology (TEC 154 2014S) : EBoards

TEC 154 2014S, Class 13: Perspectives (1)




Notes from ZS

  1. Women have been underrepresented in terms of both their numbers and values in the world of technology.

  2. Technology itself is a mechanism for expanding upon and pushing the technocratic ideal forward.

  3. The technocratic ideal is closely related to Manifest Destiny-esque notions that progressive thinkers from the 18th century were the pinnacle of human development, and that it was their god-given right to expand their influence.

  4. Women have also been underrepresented in the world of technology by not being given proper credit for their inventions and by technologies associated with what has historically been viewed as women's work having been largely ignored in scholarly writings.

  5. Futuring techniques are logical, rational, and scientific methods that can be used to improve society, and the futurists that use them play a large role in the creation of new types of technology.

A Feminist Perspective

What is Wajcman's thesis?

What related issues does she raise?

What questions does W ask us to ask about technologies?

Futuring Methods

What is Cornish's goal?

What is Cornish's thesis?

Why do you think Teich included this article in Technology and the Future?

Cornish lens?

Future stuff

Small-Group Discussion

How do Wajcman’s definitions of technology on page 69 challenge or expand the definitions we came up with earlier in the class? What would we change about our definitions after reading Wajcman?

On page 73 Wajcman says, "Labor-process analysts were especially critical of a technicist version of Marxism in which the development of technology and productivity is seen as the motor force of history. This interpreteation represented technology itself as beyond class struggle." What does the author mean by that?

Wajcman argues that many technologies are inherently patriarchal. This reminded me of Winner's argument that technologies can also be inherently political. Do you think there is a way to design a technology that does not have some sort of inherent bias? Would including women in the design of such a technology be sufficient for alleviating Wajcman's concerns? (Which I don't think it is, but why not)? It seems like no matter what humans do, we always exclude a group/many groups of people.

Much of Wajcman's chapter focuses on society's failure to recognize women's contributions for inventions throughout history. Of course women should be accredited for all of their work, but don't most people use technology 99% of the time without giving the inventor of the item a single thought? Will women receiving rightful credit for inventions help dismantle the male dominated tendencies of technology?

Proliferation of personal computers and nuclear desalination plants were both predicted but only one came true. What are some predictions today that you think will not become reality, what about those that you expect to see? Why?

Copyright (c) 2014 Samuel A. Rebelsky.

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