ET 100 Case Study 38
July 31, 2017
Software for a Library
The social issue raised by technology regarding privacy and intellectual property in the case software for a library. Patrons are assured that their records are confidential and are not accessible by anyone but the library personal. The problem with the system that the library has now is that all records are kept in a file drawer behind the checkout desk. When no one is looking or around anyone could easily go behind the desk and get into the file drawer getting information on everyone that has record on file.
The library is considering a software system to keep their customers records. Even with a software system could cause problems. The library might not have a software specialist to keep the system updated. What if the security system becomes outdated making it easy for hackers to leak information about customers records. The library will have to talk about what information users will need to know to be able to login to the software.
Determinism in Technology
Determinism holds that technological development has a life of its own, an internal logic that cannot be controlled by individual humans or the whole society. (Harris, pg. 80)
Technology determinism means that no matter what society thinks or feel about it if it can be developed it will be developed. If it can be put to a given use then it will be used. We can’t stop, slow down or control what is developed or used.
Optimism in Technology
Technology optimism, which holds that the effects of technology on human well-being are, on balance good. It helps save us time. (Harris, pg.82)
Technology provides for our basic needs and some luxuries and it does it without having to spend all our waking hours trying to survive. For instance, even if technology could have caused some harm such as pollution to the environment, the overall effect is extremely positive and the problems can probably be remedied by technology itself.
Pessimism in Technology
Pessimism points out the undesirable effects of technology. We get to see the disadvantages and benefits of both sides of technology.
Pessimism may help engineers make better decisions about the technologies they design and develop. Pessimists believes that technology can threaten human freedom. And that it can diminish the meaningfulness of our lives. But what pessimists don’t see is that technology can also promote freedom and meaning in may ways.