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The Social and Value Dimensions of Technology

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on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of The Social and Value Dimensions of Technology

The Social and Value Dimensions of Technology
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THANK YOU FOR LISTENING
Case 2 : Alfred Nobel - Inventer of Dynamite
Alfred Bernhard Nobel
(21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896)
Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer.

Nobel invented dynamite in 1867, a substance easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin.

In 1875 Nobel invented gelignite, more stable and powerful than dynamite, and in 1887 patented ballistite, a forerunner of cordite.
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was...
Dynamite was...
Nobel invented dynamite because of dangerousness of liquid nitroglycerin.

Due to invention, dynamite could improve safety and productivity in mine.

But dynamite be in use for war and terrorism.

Nobel knew that dynamite could be used in that ways.

But Dynamite was patented in the US and the UK and was used extensively.
Point of view in
technological optimism
Dynamite have an effect on mining and building of transport networks internationally.

So point of view in technological optimism, Dynamite contribute to the advancement of science, technology, chemistry and energy industry.
Point of view in
technological pessimism
Dynamite provided convenience in human life.

But it caused serious troubles.

It used in explosive weapons.

So it bring about more dangerous wars and terrorisms.
Technological optimism
Technologies have vastly improved the quality of our lives.

No doubt technological growth will be accompanied by harm to the environment and social disruption.

But insofar as we are considering the role of technological development in the liberation of millions of people from discase and poverty, most of us would probably consider the effects of technology to be overwhelmingly on the positive side.
Technological pessimism
Technological pessimists want to enter a cautionary note to this unbridled optimism.

There are two themes often sounded by technological pessimists.

The first theme is that technology is associated with a dominating, controlling frame of mind, obsessed with achieving ever greater efficiency.

And the second theme is that technology tends to fragment human experience and thus destroy the meaningfulness of much that we do.
Taking a critical attitude toward technology
The larger lesson is that we should adopt a critical attitude toward technology.

We should be conscious of its important and enormously valuable place in human society while being aware that its effects may not be always and altogether good.
Case 1 : Lotus 1 - 2 - 3
Most of us would probably conclude that the creator of software deserve protection for several reason.

1. Technology innovation has considerable value to society, and innovation is probably stimulated when innovators know that they can claim ownership of their work and require compensation for its use

2. If we believe that owners generally have the right to exclude others from the use of their own creations, except on terms that they specify, then it would seem that this right should extend to software.

Could Lotus 1-2-3 be protected by a copyright and patent?
Should Lotus 1-2-3 be protected?
Use the method of line-drawing
→ According to this analysis, because X’s are all on the left side of the spectrum, Lotus 1-2-3 is copyrightable and patentable.
Computer technology : Privacy and Social Policy
Decisional privacy is freedom from governmental or other outside interference to make decisions about such issue as one’s political and religious beliefs and practices or general lifestyle.

Proprietary privacy is the ability to control the use of one’s name, likeness, or other aspects of one’s identity.
Computer technology : ownership of computer software and public policy
Should Software Be Protected?

Utilitarian argument

Agreement : an owner software is that is promote the progress of technology

Disagreement : some people have maintain that there was more innovation and experimentation in the early days of software development when software was free
WHY
On June 28, 1990, an important decision was rendered with regard to a lawsuit between Lotus Development Corporation, the creator of the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, and Paperback International, the creator of the VP-Planner spreadsheet.

Lotus had sued Paperback International for infringement of its copyright on Lotus 1-2-3.

Paperback had copied the entire menu structure of the Lotus 1-2-3 program.
Lotus 1 - 2 - 3 for DOS
The spreadsheet program from Lotus Software (now part of IBM).
Paperback, in turn, alleged that only the part of a computer program written in some computer language, such as C, is copyrightable.

It argued that the more graphic parts of a program, such as the overall organization of the program, the structure of the program's command system, the menu, and the general presentation of information on the screen, are not copyrightable.

Lotus countered by arguing that copyright protection extends to all elements of a computer program that embody original expression.
The Social Interaction of Technology and Society
Most scholars believe that social forces also influence the direction of technological development so that the truth seems to be that there is two-way casual interaction between technology and society :
Technology influences society, but society also influences the development of technology.
Lotus VS Paperback
Conclusion
Technological optimism and pessimism dispute about advantages and disadvantages of each side.

Technological optimism emphasizes the benefits that technology confers on human-kind, and technological pessimism emphasizes the dangers and problems that it creates.

Engineers, in their design work. have a responsibility to design in light of the social embeddedness of technology.

Engineering as social experimentation will show the guide- line of this technological issues.


How Shall We Design?
STS researchers have often focused on design as a crucial stage of development in which value issues can arise where either decisions are made that affect society or social forces have affected the course of design.

Design problems raise many significant moral issues regarding safety, sustainability, the environment, animal welfare and health, labor conditions, and so forth.
Example of Design problem
Engineering as social experimentation
In their textbook Ethics in Engineering, philosopher Mike W. Martin and engineer Roland Schinzinger develop the idea of engineering as social experimentation.

1. Engineering works whether consumer products, bridges, or buildings have experimental subjects, like scientific experiments.

2. As in any experiment, There is always an element of uncertainty about the outcome.

3. Like experimenters, engineers must assume responsibility for their experiments. With engineering works, however, this obligation to take responsibility is especially grave because of a unique feature of engineering.
The concept of engineering as social experimentation, then, is a useful way of summarizing most of the responsibilities of engineers with regard to technology.

1. Engineers should recognize that technology is not socially neutral but, rather, embedded in a social network as both cause and effect.

2. As the debate between technological optimism and pessimism shows, technology has both conferred great goods on humankind and raised problems and issues that demand solutions. many of them from engineers.

3. Engineers and especially engineering societies have a responsibility to alert the public to the dangers and risks imposed by technology and to inform and sometimes advise the public on policy issues regarding technology.

4. As the primary creators of technology, engineers have a responsibility to design with consideration of the social and value implications of their designs.
Case1. Computer Technology
Example of Design problem
Case2. Dynamite
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