Response to Information, Technology & Society

The three principal uses of the term ‘information’ according to Buckland are information-as-process, information-as-knowledge, and information-as-thing. These terms help provide structure and are unique from one other. For example, Information-as-process is the notifying of new facts or updates. I participate in the process by talking to my peers by explaining our math homework After our conversations, my peers gain a new understanding calculus and can better their studies. The news and facts that get communicated are information-as-knowledge. Buckland separated information-as-knowledge from information-as-thing by categorizing information as intangible. One cannot touch the theories of calculus because it is a concept. On the other hand, information-as-thing are physical materials reporting evidences and data that are helpful for gaining knowledge. It is the vessel for the information-as-knowledge and gets analyzed by humans. As I describe a math solution for my peers, the document containing visual graphs and equations I transcribed are information-as-thing.

According to MacKenzie and Wajcman, ‘technological determinism’ states that the development of technology influences society and its changes either rely on the improvement in science or are independent from other factors (Introductory Essay, Page 3). This theory is accurate in expressing that there is an important relationship between technology, science, and society. However, it is misguided because focus its attention on merely cause and effects. The complexities of technological determinism are incorporated into our society by cultural, monetary, and political issues. The authors think it’s important to recognize the flaws of technological determinism because it doesn’t tell the whole story, lacks civic debate, and direct society towards passivity.

Changes in technology are fundamentally political as it improves the lives of some while disadvantaging other groups so people must shape it towards social justice instead of submissively reacting to the changes. Science and technology have a mutually beneficial relationship as each contribute to the advancement of the other. They are resources for each other. Another flaw with the theory was that technology shape technology and new completed ideas comes to genius creator’s kind of like the light bulb moment we see so often in cartoons. Instead, “inventions were inevitable (Introductory Essay, Page 8)” New inventions are modification of old technology put through imaginative lens and the development is a communal process because new inventions arise as component parts of already developed system. The flaws of theory of technological determinism is that it does not incorporate societal pressures. Technology is not alien from society, it is an integrated part because the market competition within our economy influence the inventor’s decisions. The government also influences technological changes because the state’s desire to improve military create a demand for warfare centered technology. Societal relations influence the what kind of technology get created.