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Balabanian bears thoughtful rereading today

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1 Author(s)
Cutcliffe, S.H. ; Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA

Balabanian suggests that an "ideology of technology" has emerged, one that assumes a value-neutrality for technology while ignoring political power and economic interests, one that blames "man" when things go wrong. The author thinks Balabanian is correct to argue that there are many different "we's" in society who bear responsibility for technological choice and that as such we should distinguish levels of responsibility that may range from corporate production decisions to individual and collective consumer choices. Balabanian is also correct to suggest that technology is not neutral, that it is inherently value-laden. That is, there is inherent in the decision to design an artifact in a certain way a specific set of human needs, desires, and values. This is inescapable and has little to do with "proper/improper" use of the product or process, even though the latter may well happen, and more often than we might wish or recognize. Thus, technology is neither autonomous, nor is it neutral

Published in:

Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 4 )