How to manage technological change
In 1997 Neil Postman had a lecture at the Arts Center in Denver Colorado on the „Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change“.
In a time were many were excessively nervous about the new millennium, Neil Postman provided his perspective on technological change by studying it for more than thirty years. And today in times of exponential technologiesand upraising dezentralized technological systems, his viewpoint is more relevant than ever.
His viewpoints are:
that we always pay a price for technology; the greater the technology, the greater the price.
This means that for every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage.
Think of the automobile, which for all of its obvious advantages, has poisoned our air, choked our cities, and degraded the beauty of our natural landscape.
The printing press gave the Western world prose, but it made poetry into an exotic and elitist form of communication. It gave us inductive science, but it reduced religious sensibility to a form of fanciful superstition. Printing gave us the modern conception of nationhood, but in so doing turned patriotism into a sordid if not lethal emotion.
So we have to ask ourselves:
- What will a new technology do?
- What will a new technology undo?
that there are always winners and losers, and that the winners always try to persuade the losers that they are really winners.