Question the Steps We Take Through the Door

Technology “merely opens a door, it does not compel one to enter.”
First Law: “Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.”
Second Law: Invention is the mother of necessity. “Every technical innovation seems to require additional technical advances in order to make it fully effective.”

Third Law: Technology comes in packages, big and small. “The fact is that today’s complex mechanisms usually involve several processes and components.”

Fourth Law: Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions. “… many complicated sociocultural factors, especially human elements, are involved, even in what might seem to be ‘purely technical’ decisions.” “Technologically ‘sweet’ solutions do not always triumph over polit- ical and social forces.”

Fifth Law: All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant. “Although historians might write loftily of the importance of historical understanding by civilized people and citizens, many of today’s students simply do not see the relevance of history to the present or to their future. I suggest that this is because most history, as it is currently taught, ignores the technological element.”

Sixth Law: Technology is a very human activity-and so is the history of technology. “Behind every machine, I see a face-indeed, many faces: the engineer, the worker, the businessman or businesswoman, and, sometimes, the general and admiral. Further- more, the function of the technology is its use by human beings-and sometimes, alas, its abuse and misuse.”

Dr. Melvin Kranzberg

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