Sunday, March 06, 2011

Is technology value neutral?

I've come to the conclusion that technology is not always value neutral.

It's only value neutral if you believe that a Glock is no different from a radio or a brick or a typewriter. The nature of the instrumentality and what it invites by its very nature controverts the 'value neutral' notion.

A typewriter can be used as a weapon but its primary purpose is to make a neat job of writing.

A brick can be a weapon but its primary purpose is to become part of a wall.

We've seen this during last summer's tea bag ragefest where one crank urged his adherents to hurl bricks through Democratic windows and presumably at Democrats themselves. Some of them did.

Here's what he said:

We can break their windows,Break them NOW. And if we do a proper job, if we break the windows of hundreds, thousands, of Democrat party headquarters across this country, we might just wake up enough of them to make defending ourselves at the muzzle of a rifle unnecessary.

This demonstrates that bad intent is, in fact, in the mind of the user-but that doesn't divorce the object from the primary purpose.

A radio can be a weapon but its primary purpose is to inform, entertain and educate, so 'tis said-although I have problems with radio talk shows.

A Glock, on the other hand, has no purpose but to hurl a projectile downrange and hurt whatever gets in its way-that's what it does and that's why it exists. There is no other reason at all for its existence.

A guillotine has no purpose but to kill people. You can't re-purpose it as the word of the week has it.

There's an old saying: If you have a hammer, sooner or later everything starts to look like a nail.


At 6:31 PM, Blogger albertwui said...

Hi Robert.

I have read your post at Vintage Amps Forum, knowing that you repair a Marshall 4140 before.

Could you tell me what's the bias voltage you set for the amp?

I'm searching through forums but fail to locate this info.

Anticipating your reply, thanks. Below is my email:



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