I’d hammer out Freedom
October 17, 2011
In the article, “I’d Hammer Out Freedom: Technology as Politics and Culture, written by Richard Sclove, tells the almost hidden truth about technology and its effects and functions upon mankind. Sclove stresses how important it is to find other know-hows that will keep ideals and hopes humane and not to allow our inventions to override our human morals The word “Polypotency” means potent in many ways. Sclove used it in the context that states that society’s technologies such as the telephone, computer, military gadgetry and something as so simple as the hammer, all have underlying functions that effects society in many different ways. In his lengthy example of the hammer and the effects of the use of it, he elaborates on the concept of polypotency from every angle. Taking the ordinary hammer’s meaning and its function to levels that are unseen by man. In the article, he writes that when man uses the hammer, he will better himself physically, mentally and become more confident from only a few uses of it. Stating the use of the hammer will resonate with mans’ semi-conscious memories of a black smith or its symbolism of justice. Sclove explains how technologies are seen as social structures but are independent of their individual intended purpose.
With having the view of society being “polypotency”, Sclove feels that it is vital to look for alternative technologies to keep ideas and aspirations humane. He feels that technology has and will influence society but it does not dictate or determine how society develops and will function. I do agree with Sclove’s position of technology carrying that trait. The way that he describes the concept of “polypotency” in societies various forms of technologies, to me, is like unveiling the world’s 10th Wonder. To take some of man’s simplest inventions such as the hammer and to expand on it in such a way that it stems from the origin of man’s need to survive and it’s psychologically evolvement is amazing. There are some many inventions that I use on a daily basis, like the television, that has shaped society’s means of receiving information. However, with this newer and better way of receiving and viewing information faster and easier, it has also created a generation of sluggish, weak-minded and overweight adults and children. Even though television has improved itself with better quality of picture, larger and flashy sizes and providing more of a variety than before (Internet, 3D and social networking, etc.) It has catered to destroying the idea of exercise, quality time with family and the belief by some parents that television is a “good babysitter”. Before reading this article, it would not have cross my mind that the television would have more effects than its intended function. Yes, I do agree with Sclove that is important that technology is address as far as the relationships that we hold with them. As a society grows and expands, there will always be new technologies created, whether big or small, with the intent to better man’s life and survival. But I think we as a society must keep in mind the real impact of these inventions of technologies for the reason that mankind will always be its own greatest downfall.
As a direct result of the September 11 terrorist attacks, both government and law enforcement officials have implemented surveillance technologies designed to deter future terrorist attacks. Officials continue to scrutinize whether the implementation of these technologies will in fact prevent another national tragedy. As a nation, we are now faced with the reality of having to sacrifice individual ...