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In Neil Postman's novel, Technopoly: the Surrender of Culture to Technology, he describes a society where technology is deified and, in fact, becomes a source of rationalization in which it takes the place of humans. His basis for technological theology is attributed to whom he describes as the founder of scientism, namely the belief that empiricism or positivism grounded in pure scientific discovery would tell us all we need to know about the world excluding the need for metaphysics or religion. Science, in turn, accordingly became the new god and technology, a branch and product of science, become deified as its mirror image. Postman describes technopoly as a "totalitarian technocracy" - totalitarian in that it is worshipped as an authoritative, all-controlling voice that demands the "submission of all forms of cultural life to the sovereignty of technique and technology" (Postman, 52) - drawing on Ellul for credence. Ellul's ideas of technology were that technology was a category independent to human action that was autonomous, "self-determinative" and undirected in its growth and reducing human life to finding meaning in machines (Ellul,13). Thus Postman, elaborating on Ellul, saw technology (primarily, but not exclusively, in the shape of computer) striving for world domination and that technology has been for a long time the god of humans.Others whom Postman draws upon are Harold Innis' concept of "knowledge monopolies" that explains the ways in which technology usurps power in a technopoly: the aura of mystique and 'intelligence' of technology grant a certain allure and reverence to its practitioners secluding them from the 'ordinary folk.' Baudrillard theorizes that "technique as a medium quashes...the 'message' of the product " and Postman agrees maintaining that the glut of technical knowledge diverts us from true direction in life and from focusing on and obtaining meaningful information. Finally, some of the other theorists that Postman quotes include Marshall McLuhan who argues that the medium becomes the message since it control all human interaction hence, as Postman argued, we become tools of that which we created - Dracula-style.Postman's selection or, at least some of the selections, are one-sided whereas his selection of some of the other theorists demonstrates his point. Selection of Jacques Ellul is apt for Postman in that Ellul categorically viewed technology as an emerging tyranny over human freedom and Christian faith. He equated technological society with the reverence demanded that of a deity and vociferously spoke out against the strangling menace of technology on human creativity and humanity. Braudillard, however, was more ambiguous about technology's impact on the human. He saw it as possibly impeding human creativity and distorting the human personality but also realized that there was scope for potential and much depended on how the technology was used.To a greater degree, Postman's interpretation and understanding of McLuhan seem to be slightly skewed since McLuhan's famous aphorism about the "media being the message' speaks about the effects of communications media and that the media itself, not its contents, should be the instrument that is studied since the medium itself has little impact on society. His example given was the light bulb, or the television (extrinsic of the generated light or the TV programs). It is the bulb and TV that has the enduring effect. It is in this way that McLuhan's intent is quite different to that which Postman intended.Postman relies a lot on history, particularly history of science and technology, and the rise of progress or Rationalism as evidenced from the Enlightenment on. His history also explores the use of tool making through what he calls its three primary phases. The first culture "had only spears and cooking utensils" (22), but in this culture tools did not prevent people from "believing in their traditions, in their God.. or in their legitimacy of their social organization.." (ibid).The technological and the traditional co-existed in uneasy alliance, but gradually the traditional gave way to the technological. This is supported by literary writings such as from Twain, poetry of Walt Whitman, prose of Thoreau, fiction of Aldous Huxley, and speeches of Lincoln. Postman, in short, crosses field to make his point drawing on literature, folklore, myths, theology, anthropology, sociology, computer science (e.g. David Boulter), politics, and philosophy. With philosophy, he also seems to transverse the field from perspectives as diverse as Marxism (e.g. Ellul) too as conservative as McLuhan and as traditional as Bacon. Postman, in short, seems to proffer us the ideal example of a polyglot seeming to tread into almost every field in order to scout out material for his argument.Much of the evidence is interesting but comparatively little is science-based. Any argument that seeks to validate a point needs to be based on reliable scientific evidence that has been reviewed by credible reviewers in the field, preferably of a few fields related to that particular subjects. While the theories of diverse philosophers and the points of history may draw us close to providing validation for Postman's thesis, his basing validation of his thesis on works of literature, on poetry, speeches, mythology and the like seems to me to be irrelevant to the subject. Furthermore, some of Postman's points as indicated before with the example of McLuhan seem to misread and misapply the intent of the source. From what I know of historical figures and literary works quoted by Postman, it seems to me that he falls into this error in more places than one. In short, Postman's endeavor is to convince us that technology destructs human creativity and, being deified, has made us into a sort of Dracula-type of creature subservient to its wiles and expunged by its dominion. Postman does have certain basis to his argument, but his evidence needs to be more scientific and valid for reliability to be achievedIn Max Weber: An Introduction to His Life and Work by Dirk Kasler, Weber's thesis about rationalism is symptomatic of Postman's discussion. Weber also perceived man as alienated from himself due to the blandishment of capitalism. He saw capitalism and modernity (famously called by him as 'rationalism') responsible for producing rationalization, disenchantment, and secularization. Capitalism inspired rationalization where man become increasingly disenchanted i.e. became a cog in the wheel of the production system and lost his individuality. An increasingly rational society, that analyzed everything through the lens of cost-benefit and manifested itself through bureaucracy, eliminated the magic and wonder of man: "The fate of our times is characterised by rationalisation and intellectualisation and, above all, by the "disenchantment of the world" (Kasler,152). While Weber realized the possible benefits of rationalization in that it could benefit man's material existence in the name of technological 'progress' as well as freeign them form illogical social constraints, he also condemned it for dehumanizing indivdiuals and for trapping them in bureaucratic cages. The result is an opposite of the magic of religion where man increasingly becomes a product and cog of modernity. Other thinks such as Habermas too, percieved human existence aas being a stuggle between (in Habermas' words) the Lifeworld (i.e. human creativity) and the System (i.e. rationalism/ Technology)Technology can be used for both positive and negative ends and humans can choose to use it for their own end in order to further their goals. It is true that technology has served to divert individuals as via Twitter and chat-groups and so forth, but these same systems can also be used to disseminate charity along the globe and make the globe a better place. Ultimately, it depends on who the human is who uses the system and it is the human who can decide whether he or she is the one to control the medium or whether the medium takes control over the human. Secondly, technology transverses a vast realm of constructs. From the light bulb to, most recently, the computer the medium is different and vast. Humans can use technology (as per the computer) to organize, filter, and skim through information. Much ultimately depends on the person's resolve and skill in using the tool. Technology is a medium aside from humans and has little to do with changing their beliefs. It is the content that is to blame. And that is part of the cultural milieu again dependent on humans. Rather, therefore, than technology being the creator of humans, it is humans who create the technology.Postman, however, made a good, although not sufficient argument about today's preoccupation with the computer to the extent that the brain is compared to a computer and many more socio-scientific models are directed along such lines. The entire paradigm of human cognition, for instance, is fashioned upon a computer model. On the other hand, it depends on who the human is who uses the system and it is the human who can decide whether he or she is the one to control the medium or whether the medium takes control over the human. Technology has less control than Postman argues and his tendency to catasrophize may be just a bit overdone.

Work Cited
Ellul, J. (1964). The Technological Society, trans. John Wilkinson. NY: Random House.Kasler, D. (1988). Max Weber: an introduction to his life and work. University of Chicago Press: ChicagoPostman, Neil. (1993). Technopoly: the Surrender of Culture to Technology New York: Vintage Books.

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