TheWorld Lives in a Technopoly
Thecurrent world has technology as the element of life that peoplecannot avoid during the day to day activities. In an agreement withPostman, the world today is living in a technopoly. In everythingthat people do, there is a certain influence that emanates from theuse of technology. The unavoidable influence of technology leads tothe thesis of Neil Postman’s book “Technopoly:The Surrender of Culture to Technology.”According to Postman (21), technology is the authority that isdeified in the current society. Postman (73) further argues that theculture of people is increasingly seeking guidance and authority fromtechnology. According to Seel (33), the significance of thetechnological developments is critical in everything that people do.In this regard, the discussion and the review of the book willillustrate that we live in a technopoly.
Themodern society is living in a technopoly because of the supremacybestowed to the strength of technology. In all the dimensions oflife, many people are considering technology as the only strong thingthat can control all the aspects of life (Huesemannand Joyce 9). People are losingtheir belief in the previous aspects of life that was consideredstrong authorities and now people are entrusting technology as thesource of strength. One of the main areas of strength that technologyis taking over is in the military. According to Caforio (282), theconventional military is being replaced with technology as the mainstrength of weaponry. Caforio (282) further argues that technologicaldevelopments are further replacing the human brainpower. This beliefin the strength of technology makes it an authority that rules thetechnopoly.
Thereliance of the modern society validates the argument by postman thatthe world is in a technopoly. People use technology in almost everyactivity that the society deems to be a human task. Where the taskdoes not involve technology directly` the aspects of technology areindirectly felt throughout the task. According to Restivo(209), people are either usingtechnology directly or indirectly to influence and change their livesby making work easier. The reliance on technology in all theactivities and trials by man to work everything through technologymakes it an authority to be consulted. This consistent consultationof technology makes the society a technology` just as Postmandescribes in the book.
Thereplacement of the human aspects of life of technology makes thesociety a strong technopoly that is ruled by technologicaladvancements. The use of technology to carry out the activities thatwere previously done by human beings makes it easy for peopleconsider technology as the authority (Restivo206). The concept of technologyas an authority is further compounded by the fact that technologicalapplications perform better than human efforts in many ways. At thesame time, technology is seen as the best replacement of humanintelligence through the invention of technologically intelligentdevices and information systems.
Thesociety in modern day is a technopoly due to the high dependence ontechnology in the world. Many systems in the universe today arebasing their operations on the advancement of technology. While thereare many systems in the world, most of them are basing theiroperations and description on technological systems. According toTiles and Oberdiek (21),the reliance on technology has made people trust the technologicalapplications more than they trust their own ability to handle things.The trust and reliance on technology exalts technology as anauthority in the world that people are forced to adore. According toPostman (7), this is because technology has been considered as one ofthe cultures that are guiding the perspective and behavior of people.
AlternativePerspectives and Avid Logical Fallacies
However,there are other perspectives that do not agree with the thesis byPostman. Many people still hold that human beings are still incontrol and the culture of people cannot be eroded by technology.Some of the people think that technology is just a tool for makingwork easier and cannot be the controller of the society. According toEaston (31) human will and intelligence cannot be substituted by anymeans, technology included. Easton (36) further argues that humanbeings have developed technology and cannot be subject to a tool thatdoes not have authority over human characteristics. According toHuesemann and Joyce (16), mostsocialists, religious leaders and theorists still believe in theability of human beings to rise above the dominance of technology.
Atthe same time, there are some different types of reasoning abouttechnology that are extreme in terms of reality, and can beconsidered as avid fallacies. One of the reasoning is the existenceof extremely advanced technological world that has extraterrestrialpowers. According to Parks (67), the belief of technologicallyadvanced beings in alien makes people wonder the extent of technologythat would constitute the levels of such worlds. Such a belief cannotbe verified as a true phenomenon, but can be used to show the effectthat technology can have on earth. These beliefs encompass thefallacy that there are alien worlds with high technologicaldevelopment. In this regard, technology is the ultimate authority ascontrolled by the extraterrestrial beings.
However,the current and anticipated developments in technology prove to bethreats to the culture of human beings. This is because technologycontrols almost every aspect of humanity in a manner that erodes thebasic human reasoning. The belief that human culture and reasoning isintact and cannot be influenced by technology is irrational whencompared with the reality. According to Postman (43), there is nocurrent taxonomy that fits the current or future developments oftechnology. Therefore, technology tends to change the culture ashuman beings are gradually surrendering their culture totechnological technopoly.
Therefore,the alternative perspectives on technology as an aid to human beingsare not rational. According toTiles and Oberdiek (21), thebelief in technology is the attitude that is dominating people in theworld, because it has replaced the belief in human ability. While thehuman ability is to the credit of building technology, the relianceon the same is what proves Postman correct in his argument about thecurrent technopoly.
Asadvanced by Neil Postman, technopoly is the situation of the modernsociety surrendering the conventional human culture to the culture oftechnology. As a result, technology assumes the role of an authoritythat propels the authoritative culture that dominates the human life.In agreement with Postman, technology has run the world by replacingthe basic human tasks and activities with technological applications.In addition, human beings are increasingly relying on technology asthe main source of strength and intelligence. As a result, the humanrace is increasingly exalting technology and making it an authorityin the new world that can only be defined as a technopoly.
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Easton,Thomas. TakingSides: Clashing Views in Science, Technology, and Society.McGraw-Hill/Dushkin,2011, Print
Huesemann,Michael., and Joyce, Huesemann. Technofix:Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment,British Columbia: New Society Publishers, 2011, Print
Parks,Tom. AliensUFO`s and Alien Technology. NewYork: Strategic Book Publishing, 2012, Print
Postman,Neil. Technopoly:The Surrender of Culture to Technology, NewYork, Vintage Books, 1995, Print
Seel,Peter. DigitalUniverse: The Global Telecommunication Revolution. NewYork: John Wiley & Sons, 2012, Print
Restivo,Sal. Science,Technology, and Society: An Encyclopedia. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2005, Print
Tiles,Mary and Oberdiek, Hans. Livingin a Technological Culture: Human Tools and Human Values. NewYork: Routledge, 1995, Print