Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

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Society and Technological Change

From Rudi Volti’s book on technological society that I was skimming through today,

Distrust flourishes when people have no ability to participate in decisions that shape their lives, and the inability to affect the course of technological change can produce a mixture of naïve hope and paranoid reaction. A realistic sense of control, including a sense of having some control over technology, is essential for an individual’s mental health. No less important, widespread participation in the shaping of technology is essential for democracy. Technology’s benefits cannot be separated from its costs, and thus it becomes necessary to determine if the former justify the latter. If a society is truly democratic, such decisions will be made with as much citizen participation as possible. Moreover, the benefits and costs of technology are not shared equally, and once again the apportioning of costs and benefits should be done in as participatory a manner as possible.

Rudi Volti, Society and Technological Change. 4th ed. New York: Worth Publishers, 2001. (pp.14-15)

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