Technopoly By Postman Essay Research Paper TechnopolyNeil — страница 2
- Просмотров 191
- Скачиваний 5
- Размер файла 16 Кб
has unless you have lived in both worlds. The reader is left with Postman?s biased personification of a technology that is dragging humanity straight to hell. Reading this section, I am reminded of my Grandfather?s holiday visits at which he spouts for hours about how much better the old days were without any comment on any of the improvements that have occurred in his lifetime. Postman?s argument is equally transparent because it lacks consideration of the improvements technology has brought. Is it a bargain we can make? Postman continues to look at the negative issues of this bargain in the next section. The second part of the book outlines and gives examples of Postman?s main points. In ?The Improbable World? he states that information is essentially useless because there is so much of it out there. Any statement can be made believable if started with the words ?A study has shown that…? It is clear in the chapter entitled ?Scientism? how social science has exploited this fact to the point of becoming a new world religion. Science has simply become a misused catch phrase used for anything that needs validity. Postman gives the reasons for why this continual information glut can not be stopped in the following chapter, ?The Broken Defenses?. He says that school, religion, and family are no longer effective defenses against the excess of bad information and that they cannot be expected to fill that role anytime in the future. I agree with his argument that there is a lot of useless information in the world. This useless information is used to spread a significant amount of nonsense to a very gullible nation. If you need an example of this, read the chapter entitled ?The Ideology of Machines: Medical Technology? in this book. However, there is also a great deal of good information out there that would not have been available prior to the new technologies easing the spread of information. The evidence of this is easily seen. The average person knows a great deal more about the workings of judicial and political systems, the origins of man, and even the basic workings of the universe. This would not have been a reality without the free flow of information and new technologies. It is not entirely clear if Postman is advocating a return of information control steered by bureaucracy. He seems to mention it as a possible solution and then reject it. In any case, it is a bad idea for two reasons. First, it would never work in a nation so protective of its freedom of information. Secondly, it should be humanity?s job to adjust to technology. Not the other way around. The big problem with personifying technology is that society assumes that if we play our cards right, technology will fix the problems associated with it and work for us. The reality of it is: We need to take some responsibility. Why is society so gullible? It?s not because there is a lot of bad information out there. It is not even because the rise of Technopoly has made it possible to exploit gullibility to a ridiculous extent. It is because we have failed to prepare ourselves for the new world view that we associate with technology. This brings me to mention an almost redeeming quality for this book. Postman gets the answer right on when he says education is a solution to the problem. His suggestion of teaching semantics is something that should be considered as part of the curriculum for all schools. It helps students to reflect on the sense and truth of what they are writing and of what they are asked to read. It teaches them to discover the underlying assumptions of what they are told. It emphasizes the manifold ways in which language can distort reality. It assists students in becoming what Charles Weingartner and I once called ?crap detectors?. (Postman, 195) Certainly there are considerable problems associated with the technological thought world. However, to say that the problems are the only thing we should be looking at is wrong. It is also a mistake to say that the problems are unrecoverable. The movement of a society that values religion to one that looks to technology for truth may be a progression. It may be a digression. It really depends on who you ask and what values you assign to things lost and gained through the transition. Postman, our computer literate spokesman for the Stone Age, would argue that it is definitely a digression. However, that is a subjective opinion. It is not an opinion that I would want Postman to make for all of humanity.