9780898628616 / 089862861X

Democracy and Technology (Conduct of Science Series)


Publisher:The Guilford Press



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About the book:

The profound effects of technology on society occur mostly without our say-so, much less our blessing. People tend to take the changes technology brings about for granted; we are seldom, if ever, given a say choosing the technologies that become part of our everyday lives. Arguing that it need not be so, Sclove makes a case for cultivating "strong democracy," giving communities a say in choosing which technologies they will live with. This involves making people aware of the unintended consequences that accompany technology designed for a specific narrow purpose. One of his models is the Amish community, which holds town meetings to discuss the effect of introducing any innovation. Is the bringing of indoor plumbing to every home in a village universally desirable if it may atomize a thriving community? Should we allow loud car alarms to keep our cars safe? Why is that such decisions tend to be made ad hoc by individuals instead of by the community? Sclove's idealistic program is provocative.

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