20th Century
The Real World of Technology


Academic Profile Testing | Informational Question Results | Group presentations | Survey results - Summer 2003 | Free Will | Chaos Theory | Library research information | Words of Wisdom | The Real World of Technology | A Primer on Postmodernism | Einstein Revealed | A Relativistic World | Three Psychologies | Sigmund Freud: Analysis of a Mind | Martin Luther King Jr. | Letter from Birmingham Jail | Perspectives on Moral Responsibility

Review Questions

Chapter 1

1. What does Franklin mean when she says, "technology has built the house in which we all live"?

2. Pacey describes technology practice as having three aspects: technical, organizational, and cultural. Is this how Franklin describes technology practice? Explain. Cite examples from the text to support your argument.

3. In what ways does technology create an "us-them" mentality?

4. Explain the difference between work-related and control-related technologies.

5. What are holistic technologies? Give examples. Why are they important?

6. What are prescriptive technologies? Give examples. Why are they important?

7. "Prescriptive technologies are designs for compliance." Explain.

8. What are economies of scale? Why are they important?

9. Distinguish between growth and production models.

10. Is education typically viewed as a production or growth process? Is this how it should be?

Chapter 2 - Technology and its impact on reality.

1. Define the four levels of reality.

2. "The message-transmission technologies have created a host of pseudorealities." Explain this statement.

3. Explain how message-transmission technologies create pseudocommunities.

4. What is reciprocity and give an example of how technology reduces or eliminates reciprocity.

5. How does Franklin view the use of "communication" technologies in the classroom? What are some examples of "communication" technologies? (for additional insight into this question, read pages 169-172 in chapter 10).

Chapter 3

1. "Any task tends to be structured by the available tools." Explain and provide examples.

2. What concept does Franklin use speeding and radar traps to illustrate?

3. Describe how discipline begins to be applied within secular groups in the 18th century and how this impacts the 19th century. (This question relates to the work of Michel Foucault).

4. Describe Franklin's view of the battle between British manufacturers and workers in the 19th century. Is this how Marx saw it? Explain.

5. In what ways does Franklin see similarities between our time and the period of the Industrial Revolution (with regard to technology)? In what ways were they different?

6. How have the promoters of technology dealt with the problem that machines can produce, but it is people who consume?

7. What is infrastructure? Give some examples and describe how it relates to technological development.

8. In addition to providing infrastructure, what other ways has the public sector (government) provided for the expansion of technology?

9. Explain Franklin's concern regarding the public (government) promotion of technology.

Chapter 4

1. Why is the military a hot spot for technological development?

2. In the real world of technology, what are the two tasks for the state if government wishes to use arms production as a rationale for technological development?

3. Why does the collapse of the Soviet Union cause concern for Franklin?

4. How has technology changed the role of citizens in war preparations and warfare?

5. Large modern cities fulfill two internally contradictory functions. What are they?

6. Why does Franklin oppose the use of the word "environment"? What word does she prefer?

7. How does the real world of technology "deny the existence and reality of nature"?

Chapter 5

1. What are the stages in the introduction of new technologies into society?

2. Describe the early stages of invention. How do the latter stages differ in terms of attitudes toward the technology?

3. Franklin uses the introduction of the sewing machine in 1851 to illustrate a process that often occurs with the development of new technologies. What is that process?

4. Describe the unusual development of the typewriter.

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