The Impact Of Information Technology On Society

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The recent assigned reading included four essays by three authors: Yoneji Masada, Christopher May, and Neil Postman regarding the potential impact of information technology on society. This essay will (very) briefly summarize these and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of claims made by these three prominent technological futurists. Masada (1990) argues that the rise of information technology will bring about nothing short of a radically new and different society than the current (at the time of the paper) industrial society, a revolution. Most importantly, he believes that technology will be the driving force behind this, rather than humans. In his view humans adapt to the technology advancements. His 17 predictions can be grouped into three overarching themes shown in Table 1.1 in Masada’s article (1990). The three patterns are Innovational Technology, Socioeconomic Structure, and Values. In essence, led by the relentless drive of information technology, human society’s social norms, behavior, and power structures built around factories and the production of physical products will evolve to a new society that will focus on producing information and services. This change will also lead to major changes in government and power elite as well as the shattering and disintegration of social classes that are based on socioeconomic status. Humans will move towards a more utopian society of social responsibility, self-discipline, globalism, and participatory democracy.
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