Questioning Technology Summary

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Unlike many of the writers that have been covered in this class, Feenberg does not feel the need to drown readers in a sea of senseless jargon in order to make a point (I am indeed referring to Haraway). Rather his goal is merely to challenge our common sense instincts on technology, hence the title ‘Questioning Technology’. Specifically, he is attempting to push against the initials views many may hold regarding the perceived neutrality and objectivity of technology, which leads many to envision a technocracy (a government run by technological experts) as an ideal system. His goal as I understand it, is to show that technology is not just an impartial observer, distinct from society, but an integral part of it, subject to both social changes …show more content…
As the name suggests, it refers to the fairly simple idea that technology does not necessarily move in a fixed direction, but could potentially move in one of many directions. Ultimately, the direction it ends up taking can be said to be the result of one of many social battles. Feenberg decides to break it down into two general outcomes, the first of which is the preservation of the hierarchy. This is essentially, the ‘bad’ outcome, where those with power manage to perpetuate the power by controlling the development of technology. To him this outcome is the inevitable end of a technocracy. When you base your decisions on what seems to be best for technology, you are really just allowing the system to remain the way it is, which means it will favor the groups currently in power, and allow them to stay in …show more content…
Back then, thousands of people were being injured or killed by these boilers, and yet it still took over 40 years before any safety features were added. This happened because safety features were not considered technological advances at the time, as technological advance favored those in power, who were the boat corporations, and they naturally wouldn’t want to spend money adding safety features unless it would boost their profits. During this period, the boat companies were dominant, so the hierarchy was preserved. Eventually however, due to increasing pressure from politicians, safety regulations were tightened, and the definition of a steamboat boiler changed to include these safety measures and futures boiler were all made with this in mind. This can be thought of as an extension of the change in society’s opinions on boilers, or in other words, democratic rationalization led to a change in the path of advancement of the

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