Science, Technology and Society
Technological marvels; technological failures. Basic features of technology: do things not otherwise possible; do things cheaper, faster, easier. Application of implements and techniques allows humans to transcend meager physical endowments. Group effort: many energies & skills come together. System: combination of devices, skills & organizational structures – think of the light bulb itself and all the systems that need to be in place for its usage. Some new technologies create their own needs.
Does improved technology mean progress? The change in seeing progress as negative rather than positive stems from WWI, WWII, Holocaust, Stalinist terror, nuclear threats; many examples of unforeseen disastrous effects of new technology; improved machinery was expected to improve all the conditions of life: social, political, moral and intellectual, material. Authors/poets writings show foreboding of machinery taking over lives and depersonalizing human interactions.