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- The development of technology has been a controversial and complicated set of paradigm shifts. The economic and sociological effects that have come about as a result of the shifts in demands for labor have had huge cascading effects. Some of these are: decreased leisure time increased demand for education, as well as an innumerable number of tiny shifts. One of the greatest effects of these changes has been a large class fragmentation, as those who have the increasingly esoteric knowledge necessary to develop important technology gain status and power.
- The debate over the normative consequences of these changes is still controversial. Some view the progress of technology as a representation of man’s importance in the universe meaning that those cultures which have the ability to create technology are superior; they are more human.
- This viewpoint has problematic aspects, and many have accused it of being ethnocentric, but there is some truth to it. As asserted by the textbook, Societies that developed around the principles that lead to the development of technology tend to behave within a more rational framework which has many benefits. I personally would question if that is true, whether, on a societal level, cultures really differ meaningfully in terms of their net rationality or irrationality, but it is inarguable that some societies have developed more technology than others. The viewpoint that technology is such a powerful sociological force that it overpowers all other forces, and becomes a goal for the sake of itself, rather than for its effects, this is known as technological determinism.
- Though it is debatable over whether or not our current degree of investment in technology through a capitalist framework is optimal in terms of general utilitarian goals; it is undebatable that technology, in general, has had positive net effects. At the very least, advances in hygiene, medicine, and agriculture are undebatable positive. What is in question is the sociological organization around technology, and some certain technologies that could have net negative effects.
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