6. Technology and Society

I chose this chapter because I am fascinated by technology, but I never really considered how much it affects societies. Technology is a great social equalizer. Lower classes use it to raise their status, but many upper-class also use it for the same purpose in order to maintain their class gap. Following the industrial revolution, lower class workers found their quality of life greatly improved with new technologies. Clothes and dishes were washed by machines, time in the kitchen was reduced by microwave ovens, and the automobile allowed people to own larger homes further away from their places of work. The upper class attempted to maintain their gap, however, by keeping the better, more expensive technology for themselves. Even though the gap still exists, it closes every year. The lowest American class today is still far better off than lowest class one hundred years ago.
PC Magazine has an intersting article debating if perhaps current technology hasn't changed our lives for the better. I like the way it presents both good and bad points to common devices modern society uses every day.
It's important to note, not everyone feels technology has advanced society. I came across the poem on the side by William Manson which illustrates his idea that technology has slowed social growth.
For the latest in gadgets and personal tech, Engadget is one of the best sites. They cover a wide variety of items and have many exclusives, which any technology nut like myself craves.
For a broader range of technology discussion, WIRED magazine and website is the place to go. I've maintained a subcription to WIRED for the past 15 years and it never ceases to amaze me.
This You Tube clip illustrates how technology has shaped society from the begining. It's a pretty good visual representation of what I've posted