and now for my next trick

technology using me – neil postman

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Here’s a film from 1995 MacNeil/Lehrer on PBS.  Interesting to go back over 10 years to hear a sage like Postman speak clearly about new technology. 

From the film —

New technology, this kind or any other kind, is a kind of a faustian bargain.  It always gives us something important, but it also takes away something that is important.  That’s been true of the alphabet, the printing press, and telegraphy right up through the computer. 

Postman on how globalization has let to tribalism:


Everyone seemed to think that the world would become, in some good sense, homogeneous.  But we seem to be experiencing the opposite.  All over the world we see a kind of reversion to tribalism.  People are going back to their tribal roots in order to find a sense of identity.  We see it in Russia, Yugoslavia, Canada, the United States.  Why is it that every group now, not only is more aware of its own grievances, but seems to want its own education – an afro-centric curriculum, a korean-centric curriculum.

Questions we should ask ourselves:

The first question should be, what is the problem to which this new technology should be a solution?  And the second question should be, whose problem is it actually?  And the third question would be, if there is a legitimate problem that is solved by the technology, what other problems will be created by my using this technology?


Written by Peter Rudd

March 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm

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