Media/Technology/Politics – Discussion Topics
I complained about the girls in my class yesterday, and must retract [SOME] of my commentaries.. since i got off by butt to answer the questions the professor posted, i kind of suppose maybe they had some relativity BUT to be fair – they also told the prof. not to argue with them!
Figured i would post the questions we had to answer this week for our online discussion group along with my answer – see what you think…
Is political power affected by technology? Reworded: Do the enframing qualities of technology act as structural determinants for power?
The development of technology has its history in military funding, and therefore, politics and power are inherent within its materiality. Structural form and function were, by design, intended to benefit the power structure of those funding the research and development. The relationship between power and technology is apparent in how we determine a nation’s position within the global hierarchical power structure. The most “powerful” nations are those with the furthest technological advances.
Food for thought…In Z. Bauman’s foreword to his work “On being light and liquid” (2000) discussing [political] power in post-modern times, he writes;
Power can move with the speed of the electronic signal – and so the time required for the movement of its essential ingredients has been reduced to instantaneity. For all practical purposes, power has become truly exterritorial, no longer bound, not even slowed down by the resistance of space…This gives the power-holders a truly unprecedented opportunity: the awkward and irritating aspects of the panoptical technique of power may be disposed of…
Many bemoan the impoverishment of language. Is the capacity of thinking affected by this possibility? Reworded: If language is impoverished, is thinking likewise lessened?
As stressed by the commentaries in class last week, the debate appears to be whether language is indeed impoverished or simply in its natural state of change. IF language is impoverished then the capacity for thought is as well, [based on pure logical deduction of the question – following the idea that language is a tool of expression] IF language is evolving so must the thought process. Better or worse is again open for debate; is the “bemoaning” simply a nostalgic cry for traditional use of language?
The question above must be contextualized to be answered fairly. Who is the question addressing, the ‘general population’ of western society? Who determines whether language is in a state of impoverishment – the elite? If rhetoric and metaphor in the traditional sense is lost, what is replacing it?
I do not believe that such generalizations can be made, seeing as rhetoric and metaphor appear to be alive and kicking within many academic fields and contemporary writing. If there is disintegration of language structure and quality therefore potentially affecting the ability to think we have to ask ourselves to what extent], I cannot believe that technology is ‘impoverishing’ language but rather the lack of government support for basic education.