What has technology wrought?

Date of publication: June 15, 1995

Author: Hazel Kahan

Abstract:

This paper takes the view that it is not fanciful to think of computers as a new breed, one that has inhabited the spaces between us and that has woven a global community out of the most fragmented and far-flung colonies. If that is not fanciful, then nor is the metaphor that interconnected computers worldwide are the global brain, a term first used by Peter Russell, a British sociologist, but in a slightly different context. The penetration of technology into our lives has been so rapid and pervasive that we have become somewhat blase about its advance and somewhat blunted to the ways it has changed us. The United States is more thoroughly technologized than Europe or Japan if the incidence of computers in one-third of homes is any indication. From the US perspective then, this paper will examine how this powerful technological radiation has changed us individually, as workers, as citizens and as consumers.

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