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Jus494 Politics Technology Jus494 Politics Technology Presentation Transcript

  • Politics of Artifacts
    • JUS 494: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & INEQUALITY
    • at Arizona State University
    • Tempe, 2 September 2007
    • Professor: Merlyna Lim
    politics of technology
  • the meaning of politics no, politics doesn’t equal government politics = ?
    • power
    • membership
    • authority
    • order
    • freedom
    politics refers to such things as:
    • how does particular technology change “power” relationships in society?
    • what kind of “authority” is associated with a particular technology?
    • do particular technologies exclude certain groups of people (“membership”)?
    • are there technologies that maintain “order”?
    • are there technologies that limit or enhance our “freedom”?
    how a technology can be political? can technological artifacts have politics?
  • political characteristics can be built into technology
  • power & authority
  • membership
  • order
  • freedom
    • invention, design, or arrangement of a specific technical device or system becomes a way of settling an issue in the affairs of a particular community
    • “ inherently political technologies” -- man made systems that appear to require or to be strongly compatible with particular kinds of political relationships
    ways of being political (langdon winner)
  • robert moses and the low bridges of long islands
  • baron haussmann & the wide streets of paris
  • how about this artifact? can it be political?
  •  
    • redesigned to face contemporary urban realities this bench comes standard with a center arm to discourage overnight stays in its comfortable embrace
  •  
  •  
    • technology reflects a particular political situation or political design
    • the change in power relationships or access/membership was/is intended
    • how about the unintended one?
    from three cases what have we learned?
  • a univ california’s mechanical tomato harvester $50,000
  • are there technologies that inherently political?
    • centralization or decentralization?
    • egalitarian or inegalitarian?
    • repressive or liberating?
    • authoritarian or democratic?
    characterizing political technologies
  •  
    • some technologies are always political (inherently)
    • some technologies are usually associated with particular political arrangement
    technologies and politics