Mander (1991). Growing Up With Technology. (In the absence of the sacred.)

Mander, J. (1991). Growing Up With Technology. In In the absence of the sacred: The failure of technology and the survival of the Indian Nations (pp. 11–24). San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

[“City, Woods, Suburbs” (p 11) …]

“My parents took a friendly view of these changes. Although the nearly rural environment to which they had escaped was virtually destroyed, they and their friends found solace in the fact that this was progress, and that someone was making money from it all.” (p 12)

[“Shopping” (p 12) …]

[“Family Doctor” (p 13) …]

[“Milton Berle” (p 15) …]

“Television was only slightly more mysterious than the radio and the telephone. The idea that pictures could be transmitted through the air and through wires was befuddling to me then, and still befuddles me today. but I had learned a modern skill: acceptance.” (p 15)

“In those days TV had the quality of movie-going: viewing was a group event, with socializing before and after. Soon, however, each family had its own set, or sets. Programming extended to all hours, day and night. A community event was transformed into an isolated experience: at first, families watched alone; then soon each individual was left alone in his or her own room, silently watching.” (p 16)

[“Family Buick” (p 16) …]

“I noticed that this Buick _apparently_ could be driven at 120 miles per hour. I wondered, Why were cars built to go that fast when 60 miles per hour was the speed limit? I think that question signaled my first inkling of the role of imagination in technology.” (p 17)

[“Florida” (p 18) …]

[“Summer Camp” (p 19) …]

“President Truman spoke to the public on radio and said it was a grave responsibility to have invented this instrument, but it had been God’s will that we produced it when we did. As a result we were able to save thousands of American lives. In the future, Truman promised, nuclear energy would be used only for peaceful, humane purposes.

“Within a few years the Russians, without the help of God, also produced an A-bomb, and we were off to the races.” (p 16)

“By the time I was thirteen or fourteen I became obsessed with the possibility of nuclear war. I kept imagining nuclear explosions with my family being ripped apart. What a stupid situation. Here I was at the beginning of my life and already the thought of annihilation was foremost in my mind. A tremendous amount of my emotional and intellectual attention revolved around how to live my life, given the existence of this one piece of technology. Worst of all, no one seemed able to talk about it — not my school, not my family, not the media. It was a profound technological experience shared by everyone in the United States and in most other parts of the world, but each person went through it alone.” (p 20)

[“Democracity” (p 20) …]

[“The American Dream” (p 21) …]

“The ‘American way of life’ became an advertising theme; it drew an explicit equation between how much you consumed and how American you were.” (p 22)

“This value system incorporated certain key attitudes: Technological innovation is good. It is always good. It aids health. It saves labor. It is the [page break] engine that drives economic growth, which in turn drives the American standard of living upward, which benefits all people. Technical innovation promotes democracy, freedom, and leisure. Technical and scientific progress will spread around the world and relieve all people of the awful toil that has oppressed them since the dawn of time.” (p 22-23)

“By our silence we gave our tacit approval. … The parameters of the discussion, even the parameters of thought, were predefined by corporate, governmental, and scientific institutions.” (p 23)

“In the absence of an alternative vision, the paradigm was confirmed that technological innovation was good, invariably good, and would he the principal means by which our society would solve its problems and produce a better world.” (p 23)

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