Does Technology Change Culture or Culture Change Technology

Topics: Technology, Semantic Web, Culture Pages: 3 (1799 words) Published: August 20, 2011
| Does technology change culture or culture change technology?« Diane Rehm radio show on Social Networks on the WebWhat ever happened to KQML? »Does technology change culture or culture change technology?Tim Finin, 1:00pm 10 July 2006 TweetI attended the CRA’s Snowbird Conference last month. The most interesting talk was a keynote from Genevieve Bell (also see here) who is an anthropologist who works at Intel Research. One of her messages was that while we tend to think that technology changes culture, it’s more often the other way around. Cultures are very robust and change slowly. It’s typical for a new technology to be adapted within a culture and used to support existing patterns of behavior.For example, she said that mobile phone manufacturers have developed popular phones for Muslim users that support their religious practices by (1) reminding them when it is time to pray, (2) orienting them towards Mecca and (3) disabling incoming calls for 20 minutes. She gave many other examples from Africa and Asia that showed how new technology is being used in ways that fit into the existing cultures.I found the message reassuring. It’s easy to get worked up into a state of anxiety about what our modern world is doing to our societies. Human cultures are apparently more resilient than we naively assume.Related posts: 1. Computer Science publication culture 2. Interest in Computer Science and Engineering for college freshmen declines 3. On Larrabee and how multi-core computers will change CS education 4. Top technology brands 5. An introduction to Geospatial Semantic Web technologyCategories: Uncategorized Comments: 1010 Responses to “Does technology change culture or culture change technology?” 1. brad mccaul Says: December 21st, 2007 at 3:22 pm I would take exception the notion that technology is not changing culture. Simply put it changes it by controlling. Technology is the predominate medium by which we are increasingly getting things done. It is in...
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