The Coming of Ubiquitous Bandwidth?

At work, I’m often referred to as the ‘neo-luddite‘ because I don’t advocate the rapid adoption of new technologies for their own sake, nor do I adhere to the position that technologies are inherently value neutral. In fact, I think that technologies are typically inscribed with a particular value-orientation; this orientation is not necessarily the one that is expressed at the technology’s creation. I think that there should be genuine thought and caution advanced when developing technologies that could be destructive to various facets of social life. With the introduction of new technologies comes the possibilities of reshaping cultural traditions, and sure a reshaping shouldn’t be done without at least some forethought. This shouldn’t be taken to mean that I see technology as adding to, or detracting from, a culture, but rather that accompanying a new technology’s adoption is a new cultural system with its own unique environmental characteristics. The world with cellphones isn’t the world as it was, plus cell phones, but instead is an entirely different techno-cultural world. We need to be mindful of the potency of new technologies to reshape facets of our lives through the transmutation or abolition of our traditions – doing otherwise is irresponsible to ourselves and the other members of our society.

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