๐ŸŒTechnology and society

Is technology good, bad, or neutral? Can technology be neutral at all? These are questions still puzzling many researchers.

โ€œDeterminism inhibits the development of democratic controls on technology because it suggests that all interventions are futile. This is as true for science as it is for technology (Bijker, 1985; Collins and Pinch, 1993).โ€ (Bijker, 1995, p. 281)

Kranzberg's laws

In 1986, Melvin Kranzberg published an article where he outlines the so-called Kranzberg's laws or "a series of truisms deriving from a longtime immersion in the study of the development of technology and its interactions with sociocultural change." (Kranzberg 1986: 544)

Kranzberg's laws state the following:

  1. "Technology is neither good or bad; nor is it neutral." โ€œ...technical developments frequently have environmental, social, and human consequences that go far beyond the immediate purposes of the technical devices and practices themselves, and the sameโ€ (Kranzberg, 1986, p. 545)

  2. "Invention is the mother of necessity."

  3. "Technology comes in packages, big and small."

  4. "Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions.โ€

  5. "All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant."

  6. "Technology is a very human activityโ€”and so is the history of technology."

(Kranzberg 1986)

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