After reading Five Things We Need to Know about Technological Change by Neil Postman, I am able to see a very clear image of the author dousing his hands in sanitizer after he had to touch that nasty beast of a computer when he wrote that article. While the article desperately tries to tell us that its purpose it simply to inform the reader of the effects of technological change to our society, it has very obvious underlying messages of how technology should be feared. After all, “technology is a strange intruder…[and] is not part of God’s plan.” Kind of a strange idea if we are supposed to embrace that red drop of dye.
I think what bothers me most about this article is that it refuses to see that the pros of technology vastly outweigh the cons. It bashes all types of technology and uses examples such as how the printing press “reduced religious sensibility to a form of fanciful superstition.” Well I’ve got a few examples of my own. The printing press largely helped revolutionary movements for civil and women’s rights. It consistently informs the public on political and social issues and vastly cut down the time it took to spread this information. The computer people who only “value information, not knowledge, and certainly not wisdom” are the people with access to online dictionaries, encyclopedias, and language learning portals. The computer will not “degrade human life” but will help everyone to share their human experiences.
This article was created to push the author’s religious agenda and for some reason, his views on capitalism? I’m not quite sure why that was included, but then again, I’m not sure why this article was included in our book in the first place.