This past semester, I taught a graduate class at Jackson State University titled, “Communications Media In Society” where we spent a good portion of the course discussing issues relating to the neutrality of technology. We started the discussion with how Heidegger defines the term technology, “Technology is nothing technological.”
Is technology neutral? I don’t think it is and the CNN report doesn’t seem to believe that technology is neutral either. Most folks, I’ve surveyed, believe that technology is neutral. The classic gun debate is often the example we use in such conversations. “Do guns kill or do people kill using guns?” Let’s go one step further… We should be asking another questions in addition to the former — Did the Colt family had a motive for making and manufacturing guns? Or are guns just tools? Depending how you use them you have different outcomes.
There is no right or wrong answer to the question of the neutrality of technology but hey… it is interesting. How we answer the former questions is heavily influenced on how we see the world and the experiences we have had in life. The case for technology is an interesting debate that we all should pay attention to.
So, do you think that technology is nutral or bias? What are your thoughts? Tomorrow, we can maybe chat about technology determinism! Stay tuned.