Postman’s six
May 21, 2011, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here are six questions Postman says we must ask when someone tells us about a new technology.  And my attempt to trace it through using — hmm — the ipad.  Why not?  It’s probably the most talked about new technology we have today.

1. The problem:  lack of mobility, better access to web when on the go, people think you’re not keeping up.

2. Whose problem:   the middle class consumer.

3. New problems:  monopoly on hardware, softwares and applications; diversion from other industries as all talent jumps on the IT ship.

4. People / institutions seriously harmed:  Chinese workers commit suicide, heavy metal harvesting in dumps in Africa, middle class consumers suffer potential psychological fallout.

5. Changes in language:  the new tech dictionary – a professional language that obfuscates and dominates business culture when there may be better people / methods of managing it.

6. People / institutions who gain power:  Tech CEOs who are now making health care and education policy worldwide, nerds, IT guy at the office.

Postman’s six questions about technology:

What is the problem to which this technology is a solution?
Whose problem is it?
What new problems might be created by solving the original problem?
Which people and what institutions will be most seriously harmed by this new technology?
What changes in language are being forced by these new technologies?
What sort of people and institutions gain special economic and political power from this new technology?


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