Technology and Contemporary Human Condition: Cultural Expansion and Technological Intervention through Politics?
Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics, and Policy 2013; 4: 55-60
In our everyday lives, we come into contact with a series of technological objects and we employ technology in a number of ways. Usually, the “relation” we develop with these objects works, on a first level, for our benefit. On the other hand, we actually know little about the technologies we use in order to accomplish various activities. Technologies have neither been developed, nor do they exist independently, even though we tend to perceive them as natural objects in themselves. Perhaps they are as much defined by causal laws, which are relevant to their “behavior” as specific artefacts, as they obtain ad hoc characteristics through our significations, which already belong to a specific social system. This ignorance of common sense often leads to the exclusion of a number of topics that are intertwined with the technological phenomenon from the everyday agenda of political debate. Moreover, the errors that stem from our unsophisticated or even unconscious attitude towards these artefacts have important consequences on various areas, including “development” and “work”, education, the environment, and human communication itself. This paper will try to present elements of a critical theory of technology in order to illustrate the need to link the technological phenomenon with everyday political practice.
Keywords: technical rationality, mediation, critical theory, culture, politics