Technopolies And You.
Over the past centuries, technopolies have gained hold in western society. These have replaced the tool societies, which were common in Europe before the Renaissance. Tool societies, as written in Neil Postman's essay Technopoly, is a society in which machines and tools are part of society, not controlling society. This could be something such as the wheel. This is used by people to transport goods quickly, but in ancient times, it was merely part of the culture of a society. Technopolies, on the other hand, look at technology as changing society, or even controlling it. The discovery of flight completely changed the society that people lived in at the turn of the century. It allowed people to travel quickly across great oceans, a new way for goods to get from Point A to Point B, and infamously a new way of delivering death, first used in World War I and more efficiently above Japan in the 1940's. This has given advantages and disadvantages to the discovery of flight, but it completely changed our culture last century.
A topic that has need to be looked at is nature's role in technology. Is it natural for humans to create buildings like factories and mechanisms like the automobile, or does nature only extend to the tool societies of our past? The technologies from our past such as irrigation and horse-powered carts seem to be natural; they have no mass production to make and it is the result of the environment on humans. That is to say, something such as irrigaton can be different in different places; in Egypt it was the annual flooding of the Nile that saturated the soil with nutrients and water, in East Asia rice paddies require a larger quantity of water for their staple crop, rice, and from the Incan highlands there came terrace farming (although other parts of the world developed the same system on their own). When we look at the technology of today, there seem to be so many synthetic materials and processes that must make these technologies counter to nature. Materials such as rubber are refined by humans to create other synthetic goods. Therefore, they must be unnatural. I do not agree with this.
Even in ancient times, materials were created that were not found laying around or buried within the earth. Bronze could not be found in the world without human assistance; it would exist separatly as tin ore and copper ore. Everything that humans create can be seen as unnatural, even a mud and thatch roof hut. It seems to be me that the natural path of humans is the one that we are already on. It is natural to keep looking for what we do not know. What is questionable is whether these solutions are beneficial or not. This is a subject of continued debate.