Monday, August 31, 2009

Postman on Technology and Society

Tony Reinke links to a video (broken up in seven parts on YouTube) of Neil Postman lecturing on technology and society, delivered in Grand Rapids in 1998.

Here are the six questions Postman says we must ask about a particular technology:
  1. What is the problem to which this technology is a solution?
  2. Whose problem is it?
  3. What new problems might be created by solving the original problem?
  4. Which people and what institutions will be most seriously harmed by this new technology?
  5. What changes in language are being forced by these new technologies?
  6. What sort of people and institutions gain special economic and political power from this new technology?