Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Modernity and Technology

It sounds quite strange that there exists a ‘gap’ between modernity theory and technology studies. Even authors of this week say that the gap can be bridged. Can we imagine modern world without technology? It is not possible according to our daily experience of life-world. Modern life begins with modern experience, whatever it may be, and the modern experience occurs when we encounter modern technology, such as ipod. However, modernity ‘theory’ and technology ‘studies’ cannot be explained solely based on our daily experience. According to readings, the definition of ‘modern’ and ‘modernity’ are extremely diverse, so that one can never confine modernity in a single perspective. For this reason, Misa urges readers to understand the fact that “the concepts of technology and modernity have a complex and tangled history” (p.5). Since the concepts of modernity and technology have not been clearly established, even making a link between these concepts produce more complex theoretical problems: linearity in the concept of modernity cannot be applied to multi-directional evolution of technology. Here is the irony: Linearity that characterizes modernity cannot be applied to technology on which modernity is based on. However, isn’t linearity in modernity refers to the operational principle of modernity, not the evolutionary process of it? And does linearity of technology still play a crucial role in the logic of technology’s operation, though not in the evolutionary path of technology? It seems that linearity in both area – modernity and technology – refers to totally different things.

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