“Do Artifacts Have Politics?” – Langdon Winner
“At issue is the claim that the machines, structures, and systems of modern material culture can be accurately judged not only for their contributions of efficiency and productively, not merely for their positive and negative environmental side effects, but also for they way in which they can embody specific forms of power and authority:”
This quote stood out to me not only because it was one of the first important points in the passage, but because while reading it i started to align this passage with Neil Postman’s “The Judgement of Thamus”. One of the key points of Postman’s passage was to recognize that even though technology may help people in many ways there are still unforeseen consequences for the near future. One of these consequences is that people have willingly given up nearly all the rights to their privacy in this generation. People feel it is necessary to inform anyone who will listen about every single move they make through social media. We feel that if we don’t concede to mass media’s grip on us we will become irrelevant or even non-existent . We have given technology and mass media the power to tell the story of our society in anyway they want.
Another way we have collapsed under the power and authority of technology is that we have allowed it to change our beliefs and epistemology. This quote also relates to another one of Postman’s passages “From Tools to Technocracy” that expressed this same idea. In this piece Postman basically said that before in the tool-using culture the purpose of the tools was to help aid humans in their daily activities, but with the introduction of new technology it now seemed to battle with the original beliefs of humans to become the culture itself. Technology become a power hungry machine, whose goal was eventually to become the complete authority over human kind.