Home > Community, Society, Technology > On Use: Determinism v. Instrumentalism

On Use: Determinism v. Instrumentalism

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

How does one classify the role that technology plays in his or her life? To what depth has tech become entrenched in daily life? Is it merely a tool, a minor assistant in the daily challenges that strike us through the day? When looking to our devices should we categorize them as we do our hammers and our nails which, it seems, too few of us have continued to utilize?

Or, does tech play a far more significant role in our existence? Does technology in fact exist not as device or assistant, but rather as the controlling force that drives us into a deeper state of dependence. Where does the authority lie in such a situation?

Technological determinism argues that our technology drives the evolution of our values. We are blind to tech’s great influence and allow our devices to determine how society interprets and implements our progress with technology. In such a form we are beyond the control of tech and merely let the saddle take us where it desires.

Or, we can subscribe to the ideas of the instrumentalist philosophy which categorizes tech in a level of our hammers and nails and deems the human mind the single driving force. In such a system it is the human mind that remains in control and which utilizes the array of technological goodies to achieve a greater good.

In both there stands a single driving issue: the source of power.

Who is in control? Do our gadgets frame our mind or does our mind define our gadgets? Are we drowning in an endless sea of obsession and being driven ever further down a stream of lost awareness. Do our gadgets leave us blind and dumb. Are we lost and numb- unware that tech’s great assistance comes with an ever greater burden?

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