“In a technocracy, tools play a central role in the thought-world of he culture. Everything must give way, in some degree, to their development. The social and symbolic worlds become increasingly subject to the requirements of that development. Tools are not integrated into the culture; they attack the culture. They bid to become the culture. As a consequence, tradition, social mores, myth, politics, ritual, and religion have to fight for their lives” (28).
In this passage, Postman starts by explaining his theory that tools and technology help mold the way we think; therefore, inevitably they have played an inexorable main element in our obligation to be enslaved to certain technologies today. Over many years our culture has become more, and more, reliable for the creation of new technologies—or the “upgrading” of older ones. He believes the tools we use, and come to rely on, will overpower—as has been proved throughout other ages of civilization—the importance of spiritual growth, the arts, and ultimately, the individual. Any part of the cultivation of a society is open to “attack” when it comes to the creation of a new invention having habitually accepted paramount importance to social traditions, beliefs, and anything considered “less than creation of a product.” He warns that these tools we use are threatening to replace the improvements of the mind, and define society, as a culture, by the tools they count on to exist. Lastly, Postman states that consequently, (due to this technocracy,) our aspects of belief in myth, religion, socially embedded ideas that shape societies “norms,” and many other mediums that shape our culture, are struggling to survive, and stay prominent. With these type of arts and histories being threatened by technocracy, and not having as broad a platform to share, there is a very real and serious threat of the eradication of important elements to a healthy society.
This passage opened my eyes to the reality that society just plain doesn’t want to learn from past mistakes; mistakes which have caused the loss of certain culture and history. Though since the tool-using culture, (which is the term Postman uses for the medieval ages, and other past civilizations that relied on their hands and tools for production and creation,) members of society have looked back and established that individuals who wished to live a “civilized” life, within a steady social establishment, must conform to the tools that specific community held supreme. This is happening much more extreme in today’s society, since an individual can not consider getting an education without the invention of the computer—especially the Internet—yet, there are “anti-everyone’s,” including technologists. I learned from this passage that today’s culture is either indifferent, ignorant, or happy by the convenience of their enslavement to electronic devices. These devices bring about with them the loss of more personal communications, meaning literally person to person. And, even worse, some of the most influential aspects of today’s society are jeopardized of their rightful place in the importance of our culture.
This passage explained the significance of when every citizen of Paris was forced to go by the mechanical clocks time, and live their lives by by the Royal Palace clock’s bells. In that one order, religion was undermined by a technological invention. I am not a religious person, but I do believe in fully respecting someone who is. By that order, what I always considered the all-powerful—the Church, became “second-in-command” to a technological invention. I can’t say it doesn’t make me feel as if we’re losing what could, (and sometimes should,) be valued by a higher standard than a tool; a tool that is just used in the creation of something else, or to make something “easier.” When such important conditions to improving our culture’s right to all facets of creation, and the preservation of our history: such as traditions, myths, social causes, politics, and arts—is at the possibility of eradication, it is the peoples, as humanity, obligation to bring about reform. This passage makes me feel it is a duty to “attack” back, and awareness (or understanding,) seems to be severely lacking.