when looking at any technology, (at least) 6 questions are important:
- “What is the problem to which this is the solution?”
- “Whose problem is it?”
- “Suppose we solve this problem, and solve it decisively. What new problems might be created because we have solved the problem?”
- “Which people, and what institutions might be most seriously harmed by a technological solution?”
- “What changes in language are being enforced by new technologies, and what is being gained and lost by such changes?”
- (eg. “community” and “conversation” have changed meaning wrt internet)
- “conversation” – “email isn’t a conversation, it’s just 2 guys typing messages to each other.”
- “community” – on internet, people of similar interests. traditionally, people who do not necessarily have similar interests, but who must negotiate and accommodate their differences for the sake of social harmony.
- “What sort of people and institutions acquire special economic and political power because of technological change?”
- the transformation of a technology into a medium – the exploitation of a technology – always results in a realignment of power.
- eg. television gives power to some, while depriving others.
- media entrepreneurs are the most radical force in culture.
“The answers one gives may have an ideological cast, but the questions [are universal].”