In his 1993 book, Technopoly , writer Neil Postman declares, “a new technology does not add or subtract something. It changes everything” (18). This approach to looking at technologies new and old requires that we closely consider the complexities of these changes. Kevin Kelly takes a more optimistic stance in his 2016 book The Inevitable , where he aims “to uncover the root of digital change so that we can embrace them” (5) . The book explores 12 forces, or trends, in order that we might better prepare ourselves for our inevitable futures in how we engage in our everyday world.
For this essay you will have an opportunity to explore some of the ways in which technology is ch anging the way we do things. This may allow you to look closer at an issue we’ve covered, or examining something we haven’t.
You may choose to write about a form of technology (a device, program, tool, website, app, etc.) and the different ways it has affected (or will affect) change in the way we do things. Or you may focus more closely on one of the technological trends explored in Kelly’s book to convince your reader of its role in shaping the way we do things like work, play, learn, buy, eat, communicate, etc. My hope is that you present a solid argument that demonstrates your ability to engage in the current conversation around the technology – related topic that you want to know more about.
While the prompt may seem to be broad, you are being asked to choose something narrow and specific. Even though I feel that providing you with a list of possible topics might cause you to limit following your own interests, here are some general questions you may wish to address:
How is this specific form of technology or trend changing the way we do things?
● How is this technology or trend affected the way people respond to real
In what ways is your technology or trend working to “disrupt” a particular industry?
How are people working together using certain type of technology to effect change?
● How is this type of technology changing human behavior and relationships?
● How does this technology work to allow people to work together?
● What are some of the main ethical concerns related to this trend?
The answers to these, or any other questions, should lead you to doing a fair amount
of research from a variety of sources, both academic and popular. These sources will
be used to support the argument you present. Any of these sources may be referenced in
your Group Multimedia Project, which your contribution to may be seen as a
supplement to your essay. See Project prompt for more on this.
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