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Soc 166 Class Notes

Day 1:
 Greek: tekne-
o “art” craft skill
 Indo-European Stem: tekhn-
o Reference to woodworking
 Latin: texere
o To weave
 Suffix - -ology
o The scientific study of something; branch of learning
 Ex. Cell Phone
o Just discussing the pros and cons of cell phone technology
The Enlightenment Concept of Progress (What is progress)
 Makes something better than the past
 Reduces social inequality
 The industrial revolution has destroyed traditional society – but it contains a new principle of
solidarity that will bring social order in due time
o Wrote a book called the division in labor in society
o It does wreak havoc on society, but if you wait a little while, it will work out
Karl Marx
 Capitalism is miserable, but the problem is not technology itself, (the forces of production) but
rather the social relations which govern it
 Capitalism is marked by internal contradictions which will eventually lead to its destruction, -
hence, progress because people are more equal
 He is skeptical of modern society, but even Marx believes in progress. Despite disliking progress,
he thinks that it will create the means to get rid of the powerful – elimination of class
Day 2
 Leo Marx
o Tech has always been here, but not always has it been seen as oohh aahh innovative
o Innovation being synonymous with tech is new to today’s society
o So what is the problem with this?
 Example: car
 Within cars, there are so many sources that go into cars
 Materials, technology, oil and gas, parts, etc…
 The hazardous part is its lack of specifity, susceptible to re-ificaiton. This
is what happens when we incur
 Know why this is bad – why the term tech is bad
 What are some of the consequences of this hazardous concept
o We view technology both as something separate from society and something that
unambiguously …
Day 3
 Talking about Bill Joy Article
o Says that technology is going to replace humans
o Talking about robots, pandora’s algorithms, medical field advances, Google Self Driving
o Loodite – anti-technology
o The new Luddite Challenge
 The machines might be permitted to make all of their own decisions without
human oversight, or else human control over the machines might be retained
 He is saying that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position
of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but
to accept all of the machines' decisions
 Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses;
and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be
superfluous, a useless burden on the system
 The 21st-century technologies - genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR) -
are so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses.
Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents and abuses are widely
within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large
facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them
 that I may be working to create tools which will enable the construction of the
technology that may replace our species.
 Talks about human cloning and genetic engineering
 Frances Fukuyama
o That I may be working to create tools which will enable the construction of the
technology that may replace our species.
Day 3
 Technology is to progress as ludditism is to regression
 Dualism
o Technology or ludditism
 Medical Technologies
 US spends two and half times the OECD average in regards to medical technology
 The US undergoes more surgeries than most industrialized countries
 The US is very good at treating disesases ie. Cancer, and other diseases are treated well
 All this spending, although it does have good results in certain areas, it doesn’t always result in
the best treatment. We are good with high-tech diseases, but for low-care (preventative care
medical treatment– obesity) we aren’t good. See obesity graph
 Preventative care comes at the expense of actual healthcare outcomes
 The US has a higher rate of asthma and COPD (primary care isn’t good in the US)
o The various health problems that can be solved by preventative care aren’t solved well.
We just throw treatments once the problem manifests itself as opposed to solving it
 We focus on advanced medical technologies
 Francis Fukuyama
o The Prolongation of Life is a chapter from his 2003 book Our Posthuman Future: The
Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution
o History is a history of progress. Society today is the best society that there will be. In this
 Technological Impact
o Medical applications of technology, among other things, prevent diseases and prolong
o Fukuyama’s point: because we are so bound up with the idea of progress, we direct
far more energy toward prolonging life than we do solving the problems that come
with prolonged life
o We can prolong life, but the quality of life isn’t good
 One consequence of older people is the social retardation of life as they don’t go away and they
continue to perpetuate old habits and ways of living
 As death becomes more and more unusual, people will cling to their lives more – so people
 One person mentioned that as the age of people increases, marketing has to change as well
since currently, we’re focused on youth, but this will definitely change
 One consequence is that because women will be the predominant people in society, our
attitudes will shift such as those towards wars – overall, he says that developed countries will be
against war
 He talked about how when dictators come into power, the only way to get rid of them is when
they die – now if people are living longer, people are going to be stuck with one leader for
Day 4
 Economic exchange is just a natural, primordial type of exchange
 Marx – The hand mill gives you society with the feudal lord – the steam-mill, society with the
industrial capitalism
 Highlbrauner – Technology makes history