“Alfred North Whitehead summed it up best when he remarked that the greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the idea of invention itself. We had learn how to do things and the question of why we invent things receded in importance. The idea that if something could be done it should be done was born in the nineteenth Century. “-Page42
Literally: In a literal sense, this passage is describing the effect of the nineteenth century. The nineteenth century was a time where industrialization took place, which meant that many domestic business started to grow into companies through the use of machinery. This technological advancement allowed everything to be done more efficiently and people started to build and invent things just because they could. Therefore, in this passage Postman is pointing that the nineteenth century brought the invention process and since we knew how to create things we began to create without ever having a reason for it, whether it was a necessity or not, it was created just because it was possible. Which became a dangerous thing for America.
Intellectually: In an intellectual way, this passage makes me think of how some people do things without having a good reason for it. For example, In our society, people commit a crime or hurt someone else without asking why they did it. People work in a job just because they have the skills it requires without a good reason on why they are there, people post things on social media just because they have the freedom to do what they want yet, they don’t have a good explanation on why they do those things either. In our society, so many people find themselves unhappy just because they have the ability to feel that way but they cant find a reason on why they feel that way.
Emotionally: Emotionally, I’m not sure how this passage makes me feel. It doesn’t make me feel a particular way about the concept it is trying divulge to the reader. I do feel as if it holds a great amount of truth pertaining to our current society because so many people seem to be searching for their why and spend their lives continuously searching for why they feel the way they do or why they want to do something rather than another thing. But this piece does not strike me as an emotionally relative piece.
Relationally: This passage made me think of am article towards the end of the packet, “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs” by David Graber. In this article, Graber Discuss this sort of epidemic in our society where people are working in a particular field or job just because they have the skills to work there but, they are not happy in that job. Graber discusses how many people feel like their job is completely useless and they should be spending their time doing something better and bigger yet, there aren’t. Graber also discusses how people use technology instead of being more productive in their free time. This article relates to this passage because the bullshit jobs that people are doing don’t really serve a purpose. They don’t have a reason on why these jobs exist, they just know that they exist and they are the ones stuck completing the useless job. These bullshit jobs have been created by the concept of the nineteenth century because with the use of technology and machinery we began to invent things just because it was possible we never asked why and these jobs that people hate don’t have a why aspect, they’re just there because they can be.
“It makes them invisible and therefore irrelevant. And it does so by redefining what we mean by religion, by art, by family, by politics, by history, by truth, by privacy, by intelligence, so that our definitions fit its new requirements. “-Page48
Literally: In a literal sense, this passage in discussing the way in which technology changes our belief system. Its discussing how the old-world view that once believed in their laboring skills and kept their faith in god and religion, is now in a internal conflict between their view and the new-world view. Postman is pointing out that the new-world view which, leaves its laboring skills behind and puts in faith in technology and it’s advances, has substantially diminished the values and belief in the old-world view. It has done so by changing what our definitions of our values are. Technology has changed our meaning of religion, of art, of our families, of politics, of our history, of truth, of privacy, and intelligence. It has changed all of these things so that they fit into the new view of putting ourselves and our faith into technology.
Intellectually: This passage makes me think of society today because there are so many different meanings for the things that we value. What family meant in the old-world view is not the same thing now. Now, family can mean so many different things like not the people that we live with but the people we grew up with or not the people that we have next to us but the people that we find on social media and through the internet. Intelligence can mean many different things to, in the same way that art does not only mean a painting made by an artist, it can mean graffiti, it can mean words that has been composed in a particular form, it can mean something digital, something that has been created through the tools embedded within a particular program on a computer or even a phone. The new view has embedded so many meanings, so many values that were never once thought of in a time that valued God and skills that were crafted through practice. Technology has changed who we are in a way that no one really notices because people just think that the world is moving forward.
Emotionally: This passage makes me feel a number of different ways. It makes me angry, it makes feel pity, it makes me disappointed in people, in our society. This passage displays the change that has taken place throughout our society, it describes people’s beliefs and values today. People don’t value who they are anymore, they value who technology and social media makes them out to be. It doesn’t matter if you love your family, you have to show in a digital sense for it to be true. People believe everything they see on the internet to be fit and true when in reality, the internet is a big lie. It makes me disappointed to know that people are willing to invest their time, their money, their values, and beliefs in technology because it makes them look better or it makes things moving forward easier. We have allowed technology to determine who we are, what we value, what we believe in. We have surrendered our culture, our life, our history, our absolute all to technology. That is the saddest realization of all.
Relationally: This Passage relates to the previous chapter, Postman’s “Form Tools to Technocracy.” I decided that this passaged related to the previous chapter because in that chapter postman is describing the change in ideology. He is constantly discussing the way in which technology has transformed the things that we believe in and what we think is true. In this particular quote, Postman is also referencing to the idea that technology is changing our values, our belief system, and who we are. In “From Tools to Technocracy,” Postman gives multiple examples of inventions that seem small at first but turn out to change the entire world’s ideology like, The printing press, the clock, and the stirrup. These inventions changed the way literature was composed and delivered, they changed the way we perceived time, and changed the way we fought at war. These inventions had an intended purpose but went beyond that purpose changing our definitions of religion, money, goals, and our beliefs and values all together. This concept is being referred to again in this particular passage by Postman.
“The system would do their thinking for them. That is crucial, because it led to the idea that technique of any kind can do our thinking for us, which is among the basic principles of Technopoly. “-Page 51
Literally: This particular passage is displaying literally, that the invention machines and any sort of technology will do our thinking for us. It has the ability to allow us to sit back while it figures out how to function, how to do a particular task, how to work and think in the same way that humans would. This invention leads to the generalization that any type of technology or machinery created contains the ability to think and function just like humans. Therefore, we expect those particular characteristics in every machine or technology invented.
Intellectually: In an intellectual sense, this passage makes me think of the current technology that we have in our society today. It makes me think of how almost all of our society depend upon their phones, tablets, smart TVs, computers, and other technological advances to do their thinking for them. We expect our phones to know more than we do. we expect them to take us to a specific address, we expect them to answer every single question we have, we expect to them tell us how to make a meal, how to build something, even how to write something correctly. This passage makes me think about how even in the 1990’s when Postman wrote this essay, the concept and belief that we put into technology was so transparent that it could not be ignored, which really relates to today’s society more than ever.
Emotionally: In an emotional sense, this passage makes me pity our society and even the human race for being so naïve and willing to give ourselves to the digital age. Its something that continues to happen throughout our history and will continue to happen. It makes me feel like there is no way to stop the continuous flow of technological advancements, I feel like no matter what people will continue to give into the development of technology because it makes meeting and communicating with each other easier, it makes moving a business forward easier, it just makes every aspect of our lives easier. Therefore, people will continue to move with technology, continuously leaving pieces of our memory behind.
Relationally: This passage made me think of Nicholas Carr’s “Vital pathways.” I thought to relate this passage to vital pathways because I think It really display the effects that technology has on our brains and our minds. In “Vital Pathways,” Carr’s main point throughout his piece is bringing awareness to the fact that the neuroplasticity in our brains has the ability to be altered by our habits. Therefore, if we continue to use digital technology such as the internet, it will become something that is embedded into our brains. It becomes a subconscious routine to turn to the internet if we don’t know something or if we want to learn something new. Therefore the internet is becoming apart of our vital pathways because we expect it to always function for us, to continuously think for us which, is the same idea that Postman is pointing out in this particular passage.