A historian devised six laws three decades ago to describe society’s discomfort with Technology’s power and pervasiveness.
The laws Working in Technology seem like a guide sheet for understanding our era of Facebook, Google, the iPhone, etc.
These principles and their originator, Melvin Kranzberg, a professor of Working in technology history at Georgia Institute of Technology who died in 1995, are probably unknown to you.
However, most of today’s innovators creating the services and products that have lifted society have never heard of them.
The text should serve as a foundation for everyone who makes things, similar to a Golden rule.
1. ‘Technology is neither good nor harmful; it is neither neutral’:
Professor Kranzberg’s first law is also his most important.
He discovered that a technology’s impact is determined by its geographical and cultural context. Which means it is frequently both good and bad at the same time.
DDT, a pesticide and likely carcinogen, saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in India as cheap and effective malaria preventative.
Today, we can see how one Technology, Facebook groups, can help parents of children with rare conditions and radicalize political radicals.
There is no absolute good or bad here; instead, it is a question of how excellent or harmful Technology is in a particular setting.
Highlights a dilemma internet corporations are too frequently afraid to address.
Bill Buxton said, “The dirty little secret of highly competent individuals is what we’ve neglected to achieve.”
He is the lead researcher at Microsoft Research and one of the developers of the multitouch interface.
Numerous examples of this failure have occurred in the last year, ranging from successful Russian social media influence tactics to Tesla’s loss.
2. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’
Yes, that’s the opposite of how you remember it. Prof. Kranzberg remarked, “Any technical invention appears to require other technical advances to be truly successful.”
In today’s world, the smartphone has necessitated many different Working in Technology, ranging from phone cases to 5G wireless.
Apple’s remedy for obsessively looking at your phone? A smartwatch that you can look at 100 times per day.
3. ‘Technology comes in all shapes and sizes.’
Prof. Kranzberg noted that understanding any aspect of a technical package requires looking at how it interacts with.
Along with being dependent on the rest of it, including the human people who are critical to its operation. While innovation destroys employment, it also creates new ones.
Steel, oil, and rail ruled the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly in America. Just as the Internet, mobile phones, and wireless networking are changing the twenty-first century.
4. ‘Although technology is a major influence in many public concerns.’
Nontechnical considerations take precedence in Working on technology policy decisions.
“People think technology as an abstraction has some kind of inherent power, which it doesn’t,” argues historian Robert C. Post, a friend, and colleague of Prof. Kranzberg’s.
“Political power, cultural power, or something else must be driving it.”
Congresspeople recently announced their plan to require Alphabet Inc., Google, Facebook Inc., and other companies to reveal who pays for political ads on their platforms.
Thereby putting them in line with television, radio, and print.
Since 2006, the Federal Election Commission has taken a gentle approach to regulating the new medium.
More broadly, politicians are concerned about everything from privacy and data transparency to national security and antitrust difficulties in the digital industry, owing to a cultural shift more than a technological transition.
5. ‘All history is important, but technology history is the most important.’
The Cold War resulted in the development of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of delivering them anywhere.
As a result, the Internet was developed as a war-proof communication medium. Following that, many similar advancements crept into every part of our life.
But does this imply that the modern world owes its existence to the existential struggle between the United States and the erstwhile Soviet Union?
Is it possible that the battle was sparked by previous technological advancements that empowered Hitler to threaten the world?
6. ‘Technology is a highly human activity,’
In his 2017 graduating speech at MIT, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook declared, “Technology can do tremendous things.
“However, it has no desire to do big things—it has no desire to do anything.” Mr. Cook said that, despite its power, we control how we utilize Working Technology.
The trick is that businesses most commonly adopt Working in Technology. Such companies must consider the implications of their activities and how they profit from them.
When firms fail to do so, regulators, media, and the general public step in.
With his tendency for public announcements about how Apple secures consumers’ data, Mr. Cook sets the tone at Apple.
Although, Google recently has implemented efforts such as:
Checklists for “inclusive design” to ensure that the broadest possible audience has tested new services.
Along with anti-discrimination procedures to make AI less racist.
Facebook now has privacy, security, and safety teams that examine new features and services before release.
“Many of our technology-related problems arise because of the unintended repercussions when seemingly benign technologies are used on a vast scale,”
Prof. Kranzberg predicted the above at the dawn of the internet age.