Home > Uncategorized > The good and bad of technology – Blog post 3

The good and bad of technology – Blog post 3

A passage in Kelly’s book that really interested me and I chose to write about was in Ch. 10 on called “The Unabomber was right”, on page 192-193. In this passage, Kelly is talking about how even though technology has its benefits, every time a new technology is created it brings more problems along with it. “Most of the problems in the world are problems created by previous technology”, (Kelly, 2010, p 192). He talks about how if we embrace technology; we need to acknowledge the costs it also brings into our lives. One example he gives is how well educated people now prefer digital/technological jobs over low technological work, such as manual labor.

I thought this passage was interesting because I have always thought of technology as a positive thing but now that I have read this, I see how most of our problems actually do come from technology. I also feel like this is where our past discussions of rhetoric come in. We have talked about the weak defense of rhetoric and how things are not good and bad; we make them good or bad. I see this as the case with technology in this passage. Technology is both beneficial and problematic, but it’s how we use technology that makes it bad or good. Even though we like the strong defense of rhetoric rather than the weak, I think this ties in with our conversation about the weak defense of rhetoric.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 26, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    I think you are right to connect the view you develop here to the Weak Defense of rhetoric. However, when you write “Technology is both beneficial and problematic, but it’s how we use technology that makes it bad or good,” you depart somewhat from Kelly’s actual argument. In stating that technology often creates new problems in solving old ones he is granting technology creative, determinative power (i.e., the Strong Defense). It is not simply that we can do good or bad things with technology, but that technology creates things that we can then find or see as either good or bad. Recall Wall-E: he is not simply a tool that we can make either good or bad; Wall-E is a thing unto himself, with his own wants and values. Obviously, the movie presents a dramatized account of technology and its wants, but it does make the same point as Kelly (and as I make in my podcast): technology has wants beyond those we give to it. And this view, that technology wants, is the Strong Defense of technology.

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