Now that we’re accomplished opening up Christmas presents, we are one particular step closer to the greatest new revolution in technology mankind has ever skilled. Critics of the notion of technological autonomy argue that technology is itself shaped by society and is subject to human manage. But once the machine is built, we uncover, constantly to our surprise – that it has ideas of its personal that it is quite capable not only of altering our habits but… of changing our habits of mind’ (Postman 1983, p. 23). Animistic accounts are specifically applied to the complex technologies, and to reifications of technology as an interdependent ‘system’. The second characteristic shows us the close bond amongst humans and technology.
For such theorists technological autonomy may refer mainly to the methods in which a technologies apparently under manage for the objective for which it is utilised can have unpredictable and cumulative knock-on influences on the use of and ‘need’ for other technologies. The idea of Technology as itself autonomous is occasionally criticized as ‘mystification’ (e.g. Benthall 1976, p. 159, re. Ellul). Not all of these noting the non-neutrality of technology also present technologies as autonomous.
The personal computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum notes that ‘today even the most hugely placed managers represent themselves as innocent victims of a technologies for which they accept no duty and which they do not even pretend to understand’ (1976, p. 241). A serious concern of the critics of technological determinism is that a belief in the autonomy of technology may deter these who feel helpless from intervening in technological development. As Raymond Williams puts it, ‘if technologies is a trigger, we can at best modify or seek to manage its effects’ (1990, p. 10).
Our role as accountable forward-looking citizens is to accept, adjust and adapt with out protest to the new technologies as a fact of life. Margaret Thatcher insisted in 1982 that ‘Information Technology is friendly: it offers a assisting hand it should be embraced. This, of course, presents some issues in McLuhan’s case because of his nonlinear style and the complexity of his tips.
From the premise that media, or technologies (McLuhan’s strategy makes media” and technology” more or less synonymous terms), are extensions of some physical, social, psychological, or intellectual function of humans, flows all of McLuhan’s subsequent concepts. In McLuhan’s theory language as well is a medium or technology (although 1 that does not require any physical object outside of ourselves) because it is an extension, or outering, of our inner thoughts, ideas, and feelings—that is, an extension of inner consciousness. The view that technology is ‘ethically neutral’ is often referred to as an instrumental view of technologies.