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The Surrender of Culture to Technology
Neil Postman in his book “Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology” published by Alfred Knopf focuses on the relationship between the technology and the society. In chapter 5, Broken Defenses, Postman argues that humans that are referred to as “technopoly” depend solely on technology to find the information that they require. People believe that easy access to different data offers freedom, growth, and peace of mind, but Postman admits that control of information ensures successful social systems. He states, “In reality, human beings drive comes from technology because of the abundance information that it avails, but with this huge information, it is important to implement control measures even though this has led to bureaucracy” (Postman 71).
The Surrender of Culture to Technology
The chapter Broken Defenses argues that technology is a central part in human society, and a flood of information comes with it. People approve of the huge amount of data available because it offers direction, development, and freedom. However, it is important to have control measures when disseminating it so that it is received by the right people and in the right way (Postman 71). When information is not controlled effectively, it leads to chaos just as Postman claims giving an example of an immune system that is defective since “it becomes disordered and destroys the delicate interconnectedness of essential organs” (Postman 72).
In an effort to control the distribution of information, the society has asked social institutions to serve this role. For instance, in courts, the judges do not allow certain information like “hearsay” or personal convictions to condemn an accused person. In schools, there is a curriculum followed to ensure that students do not get exposed to the unnecessary material that deviates from the course. Family institutions protect children from certain kinds of information to preserve their innocence and keep them away from the harmful information. On the other hand, religions have their manuscripts like the “Bible” in Christianity that dictates how its followers should act, what they should read, and offers moral guidance in order to as Postman puts it, “seal them off unwanted information” (Postman 79). Despite the control of information, there is a problem of bureaucracy which justifies the release of data but takes no responsibility when it causes harm. Bureaucracy as stated in the chapter is the idea of institutions allowing access to information but not being accountable when it poses a danger to the society (Postman 83).
The chapter offers great teachings such as the value that information brings to the society. This data allows access to various levels of knowledge but it should be controlled to ensure harm does not befall the society. For instance, through technology children and teenagers face the danger of cyber bullying and, therefore, it is the responsibility of institutions like schools or family to block such material. The young people should not be given full control of technology but, instead, guided on how to protect themselves from predators. Additionally, the chapter teaches that one should observe if the responsibility for the information dissemination by any institution is taken. An establishment serving children should not claim that they do not care about how children decide to use their free time in computer classes (Postman 77). It was stated in the chapter, “We are still incapable of understanding that the only genuine backbone of our actions is responsibility” (Postman 82).
I am a user of technology and prefer being able to access a wide range of information whether from a laptop, a smartphone, or from the media. I appreciate the data because it offers an extensive range of class materials that I require while completing assignments or chatting with friends. I support the idea that institutions and the society should control the amount of information shared because there are many people who abuse it (Postman).
The chapter Broken Defenses mentions the rampant access to technology and information that has engulfed the society. Today, people can easily get information from the television, the Internet, and newspapers as well as magazines among other forms of the media. The argument that Postman brings forth is that this data should be controlled and spread in a responsible manner. It is important to ensure that schools, families, courts, and even religious institutions take part in monitoring the material accessed by the public so that it does not harm the society. Additionally, institutions like the government need to be accountable for the information, projects, and other things that they present to the public. The purpose of the chapter is to shun bureaucracy in favor of responsibility while offering data in a controlled manner (Postman 82).
This chapter also enhances understanding of the duties that institutions and individuals hold when being given the power and information. Postman uses the example of Adolf Eichmann who