Question Forum 4

1. According to Kelly, each new wave of technological advances is really only fixing the problems created by the previous wave. Do you think this is true? In what ways are we better off without any modern technology? Do the advances in fields such as medicine outweigh the problems they create? (pages 191-193)

2. Kelly believes that technology is desensitizing us and allowing us to influence far more lives than we are capable of caring about. He says "We have 5,000 'friends' on our list, but only space for 50 in our heart." Do you think this is true? In what ways are things such as Facebook dehumanizing us and/or making us less aware of the human condition? (page 194)

3. Kelly writes that he agrees with the Unabomber. Kelly thinks that technology has an agenda and is out for it's own gain. Would you be willing to go this far in assigning a sentience to the technium as a whole? Do you think technology is acting in unison, as a holistic system to accomplish its own selfish goals? (pages 198-204)
Questions by Kayla Vanderlyn

Barrett Sorrells
On pages 213-214 Kelly discusses a theory of how “the technium’s rampant materialism outlaws greater meaning in life by focusing our spirits on stuff” and that “we end up needing more and more technology to feel less and less satisfied”. He then explains that this is a definition of addiction, so that must mean humanity is addicted to technology, right? Do we have an “obsessive compulsion” with technology? Should we, as he says on page 216, create new technology that can “help us reveal the costs of technology and help us make better choices about how we adopt it?” Or, should we just continue to be addicted no matter the consequences?

Barrett Sorrells
Chapter 11 discusses Kelly’s time with the Amish, who tend to stray away from the technium the rest of the country thrives on. Or do they? They have adopted the use of many technological items. Diesel engines are used to power farming equipment (218), pneumatic tools in their workshops and homes (220), and recharge batteries (221). Vehicles are acceptable, in some communities, if they are solid black with no chrome (218). They use electricity when operating refrigeration units for storing their milk (221). Perhaps the most shocking is their use of, and support of, genetically modified corn (222). Does this mean our assumptions of the Amish are wrong? Granted they don’t have Macbooks and iPods, designer clothes and the trendiest vehicles, or McDonalds and 7 -11’s, but they still use some of the biggest technological innovations ever created (diesel engines, vehicles, refrigeration, genetic manipulation). Is there any feasible way to completely avoid the technium? Would you like to give it a try?

Michele Stulga
1. In Chapter 11, Kelly discusses the way in which Amish control the progress of technology in their communities. Kelly says, “The Amish are steadily adopting technology—at their pace. They are slow geeks. As one Amish man said, ‘We don’t want to stop progress, we just want to slow it down.’” (225) According to Kelly, there are specific guidelines in the process to decide whether or not a technology will be adopted into the community (225-6). Of these includes a close consideration of the potential consequences to the community.

For us, living in a society where the refusal of new technologies is almost unheard of, do you think there are benefits to this system of controlling the progress of technology? Do you think that there are disadvantages? Outside of the Amish community, do you think that a system like this would even be possible in normal society?

2. In conclusion to this chapter on the Amish, Kelly explains “the technium’s dilemma” as he sees it from his in-depth look into Amish culture (238). He believes that with fewer distractions comes more satisfaction (229). Kelly says, “To maximize our own contentment, we seek the minimum amount of technology in our lives. Yet to maximize the contentment of others, we must maximize the amount of technology in the world…The dilemma remains in how we can personally minimize stuff close to us while trying to expand it globally.”
Do you agree that this is a dilemma? Do you agree that in order to minimize our technological use, there has to be an array of technology to actively opt out of? Do you believe that it would even be possible minimize our personal technology use while trying to expand it globally?

Elizabeth Haydu

1) Kelly predicts a lot about the future of technology and what that means for the human race. On page 245, Kelly states, "We make prediction more difficult because our immediate tendency is to imagine the new thing doing an old job better". Do you agree with Kelly that we get in the way of predictions about technology by letting old things get in the way of new ideas?

2) Kelly says, on page 263, that "technology is a type of thinking". What type of thinking do you believe he is talking about? Is it independent thinking, or thinking dependent on the person creating that technology? Why or why not?

3) This is Kelly's question, but I think it is a fair one to have answer "What choices do we have in steering the inevitable progress of the technium?".

Hailey Watkins

2. Kelly believes that technology is desensitizing us and allowing us to influence far more lives than we are capable of caring about. He says "We have 5,000 'friends' on our list, but only space for 50 in our heart." Do you think this is true? In what ways are things such as Facebook dehumanizing us and/or making us less aware of the human condition? (page 194)

I think social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are enormously affecting our capacity to “care” about all the people that these sites enable us to “interact” with. It seems to me that people with a mass following on social networking sites (such as celebrities) should be able to put the popularity contest aside and focus on the real possibilities of this widespread social communication. Celebrities and others with mass followers should remember the concept of caring that Kevin Kelly says is being forgotten, and use their influence to remind people to care. Social networking sites can be an amazing tool for spreading awareness about charities and social issues. Even people without the unusually large fan base that celebrities have are using Facebook primarily for social reasons. Kelly says that “We monitor not only our neighbors’ affairs but those of anyone we care to spy on” (193). I feel that the dehumanization is only happening more and more quickly because of sites like this that allow you to be in contact with so many people that aren’t truly in your life. On numerous occasions I have seen people scroll lazily through a newsfeed, and upon coming across a status reflecting some bad news, the person might merely comment on how sad the event is and then move on to the next update. With the ability to have so many “friends,” Facebook sure has taken away the friendship of the matter.

1. In Chapter 11, Kelly discusses the way in which Amish control the progress of technology in their communities. Kelly says, “The Amish are steadily adopting technology—at their pace. They are slow geeks. As one Amish man said, ‘We don’t want to stop progress, we just want to slow it down.’” (225) According to Kelly, there are specific guidelines in the process to decide whether or not a technology will be adopted into the community (225-6). Of these includes a close consideration of the potential consequences to the community.
For us, living in a society where the refusal of new technologies is almost unheard of, do you think there are benefits to this system of controlling the progress of technology? Do you think that there are disadvantages? Outside of the Amish community, do you think that a system like this would even be possible in normal society?

When I think of the Amish as a whole, I tend to disagree with their refusal of technology. I never understood how they could selectively decide which technologies they wanted to utilize, and which were considered too mainstream for adoption into the Amish culture. It never seemed to me as if the Amish were actually living in a world absent of modern technologies, because I would hear stories and see interviews revealing how they might use telephones, cars, and definitely farm equipment that runs on motors. After reading this chapter I definitely have a stronger understanding of their motives. According to Kelly, the Amish aren’t living void of technology; they are simply living in a slower progression of it as the rest of us (225). Even though I still don’t fully understand their choices, it is easier for me to accept why they are remaining behind our own progression. I don’t think that a system like theirs would ever be possible in normal society simply because of the number of people outside of Amish society. It’s one thing for a group to collectively agree to live with a slower progression of technology, but another for an entire nation to try it. I do think that we could benefit from some of their ideas though, mostly for monetary reasons. The rate that our technologies progress makes it almost impossible to “keep up” without spending an extraordinary amount of money. Even brand new technologies such as iPads progress at such a rate that by the time you have purchased one, another newer model is already being imagined. If we could all agree to slow down the progression of technology to a more reasonable rate, people wouldn’t be forced to realize that their year-old technology is already last-season’s model.


Kyle Zalewski

2. Kelly believes that technology is desensitizing us and allowing us to influence far more lives than we are capable of caring about. He says "We have 5,000 'friends' on our list, but only space for 50 in our heart." Do you think this is true? In what ways are things such as Facebook dehumanizing us and/or making us less aware of the human condition? (page 194)

I honestly don't think that our online network represents our real-life affection towards others. Our 5000 Facebook friends are only called "friends" because that's what Mark Zuckerburg wanted them to be called. In our real lives, 4950 of those friends are either acquaintances, business partners, or maybe neither. Maybe the point that Kelley is trying to make is that since our 50 real friends have the same Facebook title as all of the nobodies, our real-world perception of the people that matter is somehow diminished. I don't agree. I think we make "friends" on facebook for any conceivable reason we would want to connect. Business, commerce, and nostalgia are all reasons we may befriend a person we don't particularly care about, but the fact remains that they are only a friend because that's what they happen to be called on Facebook.

Chapter 11 discusses Kelly’s time with the Amish, who tend to stray away from the technium the rest of the country thrives on. Or do they? They have adopted the use of many technological items. Diesel engines are used to power farming equipment (218), pneumatic tools in their workshops and homes (220), and recharge batteries (221). Vehicles are acceptable, in some communities, if they are solid black with no chrome (218). They use electricity when operating refrigeration units for storing their milk (221). Perhaps the most shocking is their use of, and support of, genetically modified corn (222). Does this mean our assumptions of the Amish are wrong? Granted they don’t have Macbooks and iPods, designer clothes and the trendiest vehicles, or McDonalds and 7 -11’s, but they still use some of the biggest technological innovations ever created (diesel engines, vehicles, refrigeration, genetic manipulation). Is there any feasible way to completely avoid the technium? Would you like to give it a try?

It's fascinating that the Amish would have so many caveats in their supposedly pristine rejection of technology. Its almost as if the rejection is simply for the ability to claim it, rather than the freedom it affords, et cetera. Cars are accepted in only certain forms, but does that make them appreciably less technological? No. It appears that many of them understand that technology we create affords us a lot of luxury and convenience, and as a result they poke holes in their beliefs so that they can discreetly get on the wagon. What does it even mean to be Amish? Are they just people that choose to take advantage of certain technologies and not others? Where do they draw the line? It sounds like even they don't really know. I think our assumptions aren't necessarily wrong, so much as the lifestyle has become so convoluted in some of their societies that the commonality they once shared is diminishing.


Sarah Brown
1. According to Kelly, each new wave of technological advances is really only fixing the problems created by the previous wave. Do you think this is true? In what ways are we better off without any modern technology? Do the advances in fields such as medicine outweigh the problems they create? (pages 191-193)

I don’t believe that every technological advancement is fixing a previous issue. I think a lot of technology today is created for pure entertainment and pleasure purposes. Check out the Google Eye Glasses, iPhones, iPad….we don’t need these things, we just desire them for originally entertainment purposes; and then manipulate them to conform to our everyday “productive” life styles. At this point I don’t know if we’re better off without any modern technology and the perks it has provided for us? Checkout a lot of businesses today, they need these technological advancements in order to progress through their industry type, such as digital advertising. Because these technological proficiencies have become the norm of today’s society, it would probably seriously hinder the human experience as well as develop fundamental growth for businesses.

2. Kelly believes that technology is desensitizing us and allowing us to influence far more lives than we are capable of caring about. He says "We have 5,000 'friends' on our list, but only space for 50 in our heart." Do you think this is true? In what ways are things such as Facebook dehumanizing us and/or making us less aware of the human condition? (page 194)

My thoughts are very paralleled with Kyle's. I don’t think technology is “desensitizing” us to influence other people in our lives; such as Facebook friends, but instead it is desensitizing ourselves. Technology is causing individuals to desire a larger quantity of friends, then what may necessarily be needed on a social media site. For business colleagues and professionals, it makes sense to have sites like LinkedIn with a large amount of professional connections. It shows a strong company force by being connected with individuals in all departments. But when it breaks down to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook— it is altering the human experience, causing individuals to add and desire more people then what they actually need. Why is the term the more the merrier applicable in a situation such as this? Why is having more friends via Facebook desensitizing individuals to want more than they already have?


Jessie Abell
Barett #2

I think that it would be impossible for any human being to completely avoid the technium in the way that Kelly describes it. Kelly’s definition of the technium “extends beyond shiny hardware to include culture, art, social institutions, intellectual creatitons…[and] intangibles like software, law, and philosophical concepts” (11-12). There are still places where indigenous people live without any trace of “shiny hardware,” but they have culture, art, and intangibles like philosophical concepts, so they still use Kelly’s “technium.”

I think that it is very, very difficult for people to avoid using technology in its more traditional definition (electronics, medicine, etc.) when they live in an industrialized area and have access to it. I find Kelly’s example of the Amish interesting because I’m a bit cynical about how rigid their culture is about refusing technology, but I also applaud the fact that they recognize that technology affects people and ask questions about whether they want those affects within their culture. I think these are questions that many people in our society don’t often ask – as another group member wrote in a different question, our society mostly embraces any and all new technology as “good.”

I think a lot of how pervasive technology has become has to do with the blurred lines between wants vs. needs. We don’t need a lot of the technologies that we use daily (at least, not directly to survive): computers, smartphones, or cars. People lived without technologies like medicine (which we consider essential for survival) for a very long time. But we want these things because they make life easier: we complete coursework with our computers, use our smartphones to communicate with someone who isn’t near us, use our cars to get from one place to another faster and easier.

I avoided a smartphone for years after they came out. I thought they were so stupid—why would I need my phone, which I considered necessary only for communication (so, talking and texting) to allow me to go on the internet, play games, check my bank account, and so on? I thought, “We have computers for that.” But eventually I caved and got a smartphone, and now I can’t imagine not having it (although I still won’t get a newer iPhone because I don’t like or want Siri).

People like the Amish avoid technologies on a whole different level (religious), but still “caved” to some degree and are allowing the use of a few technologies in their culture. So, in short, no, I do not think it is possible for any person alive today to completely avoid the technium and no, I have no desire whatsoever to try (I lived with the Amish for a weekend and it was awful—I described it in my response to Forum 3).


Tony Pagliaro

3. Kelly writes that he agrees with the Unabomber. Kelly thinks that technology has an agenda and is out for it's own gain. Would you be willing to go this far in assigning a sentience to the technium as a whole? Do you think technology is acting in unison, as a holistic system to accomplish its own selfish goals?

I do not think that the technium can be considered sentient. However, I also don’t think that Kelly is saying that it is. Sentience means that something is self-aware, but the words that Kelly uses are “self-serving” and “autonomy,” which are different from sentience (198-99). The technium has certain needs and pushes in certain directions, “technologies that enable more technology,” but that does not mean that the technium itself is aware of these needs (198). For example, a flock of birds is “autonomous” or self-governing but, while we would consider each individual bird to be sentient, we would not take the flock as a whole to be one sentient being. In this sense, certain specific technologies have a tendency to be used in certain ways, necessitating other technologies to precede or follow their use, but this does not mean that the technium as a whole is aware of this process.

He does use the world “holistic,” however, but I do not think that he uses this to imply sentience either (198). Instead, he is referring to the inherent interconnectedness of the technium. Isolating a single specific technology, as I did in the closing sentence of my previous sentence, is essentially impossible because some other technologies certainly precede, follow, or run parallel with it, as I then expressed later on in the sentence. Therefore, it is useful for Kelly to refer to the technium in this “holistic” way, as an endlessly-interconnected series of technologies that add up to something greater than the sum of the parts, “more akin to an organism” (198).

To say that Kelly is calling the technium a sentient organism is to stretch his words; he is merely making a comparison. But it’s a viable comparison, and to say that it seeks to accomplish its own selfish goals is not too far from the truth. Saying that it is acting in unison is again a bit of a stretch because it implies a degree of sentience, pushing in one specific direction. Instead, the technium pushes in many directions at once, some of which are inevitable and adjusted by contingent factors, as he shows on page 183. However, there is a third, conscious factor in technology’s development, but it does not come from the technology because the technium is not sentient: we are. While there are some technologies that we may be “’FORCED’” to use, ultimately the decision of what technologies live and what die is up to us (204). The technium has selfish goals, but they run parallel with our own; the holistic interconnectedness includes modern humans in the technium. As we drive the technology forward, it adjusts our goals as well as its own. These adjustments, then, depend on the direction we choose to drive the technology.


Shelby Ward

Barrett Sorrells- On the Amish, Ch. 11:
It seems in the way that Kelly has defined the technium, there simply is no way to avoid it. I would argue that we are not human, in the way that we have come to define ourselves as human, without the technium. I believe that the point that we essentially became human was when we entered into language. Some people may argue that we had entered into a relationship with the technium even prior to language, using simple tools, as some animals do even now, to achieve a desired outcome. Language in my eyes is our greatest achievement, our greatest technology. We cannot think without language, we cannot create without being able to word the idea in our imaginations.

Meditation might be the only way that some would argue that we are able to step out of the technium for any certain amount of time. Meditation’s goal is for your mind to reach silence, the buzzing in your head stops, and you essentially step out of language for a bit. If we are out of language, then we are no longer functioning in direct relation to the technium. But I’m not entirely sure about this, I’ve only ever read about mediation, I’ve never actually experienced it.

So, back to the Amish. Right next to language, our other greatest invention is culture. The Amish have created a culture in which they are consciously choosing which technologies to use and which to not use. I do not believe that they are straying away from the technium, which seems impossible, but instead holding the technium at bay. I am reminded of the first chapter in this book, when Kelly describes the technium like nature. We have evolved in such a way that we cannot survive in nature without technology (yes, even Bear Grills). However, that does not mean that we have to throw ourselves into the technium, we too can choose how we use technology, as the Amish do. As Kelly says, “Sometimes we should surrender to its lead and bask in its abundance, and sometimes we should try to bend its natural course to meet our own.” (17.) So this kind of answers the question to the Michelle’s about “the technium’s dilemma.” In recognizing what the technium is, and its vastness, we can then begin to scale our uses of it on our own terms. We must find our own personal balance between our personal connections and that to the global network.


Astleigh Hobbs

Stulga #1

I think there are definitely a number of benefits of slowing the adaptation and acceptance of technology, but this type of progress will come with its own set of consequences/results. And it takes a community of people that collectively agree to embrace such results and all together encompass the set progression of technology in their lives. Some benefits of living without technological means include: having a closer connection with the community verses the online community that an online presence gives, time spent with others or doing physical activities, getting back to nature, etc. The Amish have been able to control the introduction of many technological advances in their society, but all of these decisions are based upon values and beliefs, of which I do not think most of America would follow. And people that observe those living in Amish communities would come to see the benefits they reap from their choices, but also the downside to their way of life, such as educational advantages with technology, everyday life on-goings from farm work to housework and so. Convenience is lost in our eyes, but for those slowing technology's advances, this may be the intent behind their choices.

So for those outside of the Amish, small communities such as families can monitor the use and introduction of technology into their household ultimately keeping a thumb down on the progression of technology in their immediate surroundings/settings. Anyone can control their consumption and use of technology but, I don't believe that a majority will decide to opt out of the ever-progressing timeline of technology. People want novel and the newest, and technology does just that. Using moderation when
it comes to technology is going to be the key in keeping technology at a realistic bay.


Juliane Preisser

1) Kelly predicts a lot about the future of technology and what that means for the human race. On page 245, Kelly states, "We make prediction more difficult because our immediate tendency is to imagine the new thing doing an old job better". Do you agree with Kelly that we get in the way of predictions about technology by letting old things get in the way of new ideas?

I’m not sure how I want to answer this question, because personally I believe old things can still help the world progress. I suppose it is immediate tendency to believe a new thing can do better than the old thing, but I don’t think that means you should write the old things off. After all, where would we be without them? They started the trend, you could say, and they are the building blocks for newer things. So no, I don’t think we get in the way of predictions, because I don’t think old things get in the way. To sum it up I think they are vital for learning, especially about history and past mistakes.

2) Kelly believes that technology is desensitizing us and allowing us to influence far more lives than we are capable of caring about. He says "We have 5,000 'friends' on our list, but only space for 50 in our heart." Do you think this is true? In what ways are things such as Facebook dehumanizing us and/or making us less aware of the human condition? (page 194)

I think this is 100 percent true. In my personal experience, I use technology to avoid human contact, or sometimes it completely replaces it. For example; if I’m having a bad day, I’d much rather go online and talk to one of my Facebook friends than go over to someone’s house and talk to them there. A few years ago it would have been the other way around. I sometimes think of how I got to that point, and the idea of desensitizing makes a lot of sense to me now. So yes, I think social media makes us less aware, but I think for some people it makes them more away. I have friends and families who post their good news on Facebook, and the positive feedback they receive is wonderful to see and to read. I think it mostly depends on the person, and I know that I have been getting on Facebook less and less these days because I don’t want to become too desensitized to the world around me.

3) In Chapter 11, Kelly discusses the way in which Amish control the progress of technology in their communities. Kelly says, “The Amish are steadily adopting technology—at their pace. They are slow geeks. As one Amish man said, ‘We don’t want to stop progress, we just want to slow it down.’” (225) According to Kelly, there are specific guidelines in the process to decide whether or not a technology will be adopted into the community (225-6). Of these includes a close consideration of the potential consequences to the community. For us, living in a society where the refusal of new technologies is almost unheard of, do you think there are benefits to this system of controlling the progress of technology? Do you think that there are disadvantages? Outside of the Amish community, do you think that a system like this would even be possible in normal society?

The Amish mind-boggle me. I personally can’t understand why people would not want all the wonderfulness that technology can bring. With that said, I can understand if they think that technology could A) get in the way of family life and B) get in the way of work. But it can also make the work easier. Instead of barn raising by hand, get machines to do it. Machines can churn your butter, or help you cook. Technology can provide entertaining for children so they can play together and the parents can have some alone time. The benefits aren’t obvious to me, I can’t think of any accept enjoying a simple life with each other and having nothing to distract you. The disadvantages are abundant though, in my opinion. Like I mentioned before, there are machines to help with basic house work. A washing machine, I dryer, a dish washer, an iron, a microwave, the list goes on and on. I do believe that the Amish are slowly accepting this technology, and I’m surprised that many of them don’t leave for good when they go out and see what the world is like for one year.

Katie Winand

1. According to Kelly, each new wave of technological advances is really only fixing the problems created by the previous wave. Do you think this is true? In what ways are we better off without any modern technology? Do the advances in fields such as medicine outweigh the problems they create? (pages 191-193)

It's funny, because part of me really does feel like the statement that each preceding wave of technology only fixes the problems of the previous wave is a completely true statement. This is especially evident in cell phone operating systems, such as Android and Apple operating systems, in which each operating system incorporates both changes and upgrades to existing technology as well as new programs and options. To a certain degree I find that this has to be true for every piece of technology because there has never been a perfect technology created, and therefore anything that is updated is updated not only to give you higher functionality, but also to fix problems with previous editions of technology. Because there has never been perfect technology created, editors must constantly continue to update technology so that usability continues to increase and more people will in turn use said technology.
There is an idea that some aspects of our lives would be better off without technology, and that can also be true. We may be better off without texting or cell phones, as is evident by the number of car accidents - and fatalities - that they can cause. But we also have to consider the other side, the number of lives saved by people having the ability to call 911. There will never be a simple answer to the technology debate, because there are too many factors at play in our technology driven world. We have created so many benefits to technology, the abilities of lifesaving technologies, not to mention the huge strides in all of the sciences, green technologies, space travel, alternative energies, etc. There are so many benefits to the constantly improving waves of technology that it would be hard to compare those with the consequences and accurately derive a conclusion. In my opinion, technology is both beneficial and negative, depending on the circumstances, but regardless of it's nature, it will always exist as long as we exist to drive it.


Anne Cunha

Barrett Sorrells Question:
Chapter 11 discusses Kelly’s time with the Amish, who tend to stray away from the technium the rest of the country thrives on. Or do they? They have adopted the use of many technological items. Diesel engines are used to power farming equipment (218), pneumatic tools in their workshops and homes (220), and recharge batteries (221). Vehicles are acceptable, in some communities, if they are solid black with no chrome (218). They use electricity when operating refrigeration units for storing their milk (221). Perhaps the most shocking is their use of, and support of, genetically modified corn (222). Does this mean our assumptions of the Amish are wrong? Granted they don’t have Macbooks and iPods, designer clothes and the trendiest vehicles, or McDonalds and 7 -11’s, but they still use some of the biggest technological innovations ever created (diesel engines, vehicles, refrigeration, genetic manipulation). Is there any feasible way to completely avoid the technium? Would you like to give it a try?

Now that I have read of Kelly's time with the Amish I have changed my view on Amish communities. Everything we know about the Amish says that they are a group of people who do not use "technology" as we know it and have kept their lives as simple as possible. But also, in class we have discussed that even books, hammers and other more simple tools that we have designed to help perform tasks are also considered technology. The Amish (according to the common understanding of them) do use tools to help with their farm work and other things so that means that they are still using some form of technology. The Amish do not shun the technology that will ultimately help them perform their every day tasks so I do see this as a way to say that there really is no way to completely avoid the technium. The Amish need certain technologies to preserve their food and also to keep performing their farm work (like even horse drawn tractors are technology in their own right). I am not sure that I would give Amish life a try but I also think that the Amish do have a limit on the amount of technology that they will allow into their society. Although, now I am also thinking that with time, the Amish also change their conceptions of technology (albeit slower than we do). They seem to have slowly allowed certain forms of technology into their societies so it is possible that they might actually begin to add more technology to their culture slowly in the future.

2. Kelly believes that technology is desensitizing us and allowing us to influence far more lives than we are capable of caring about. He says "We have 5,000 'friends' on our list, but only space for 50 in our heart." Do you think this is true? In what ways are things such as Facebook dehumanizing us and/or making us less aware of the human condition? (page 194)

I definitely think that social media and other forms of internet technology are skewing our conceptions of friendship and socialization. The fact that you can add someone as a "friend" on Facebook allows you to know everything about that person that they post online without ever actually having to hang out or socialize with that person. It is easier for people to spout off their extreme opinions over the internet because they feel they can be kept anonymous. They do not care who their words hurt because they never have to face the people they are hurting. Recently, I went through my Facebook page and severely cut down the amount of "friends" on my friend list because frankly, I did not really consider myself a friend with any of those people. Also, with Hurricane Sandy these past couple days, social media has blown up with posts about the disaster. Some of the posts I have seen were very insensitive and they took the entire situation as if it is a joke. I have seen many fake pictures claiming to be pictures of damage from Sandy but they were actually pictures from movies and other past storms from years ago. I feel like people use social media as a shield to say whatever it is they want and do whatever it is they want without any fear of consequences.

David Kistler
1. According to Kelly, each new wave of technological advances is really only fixing the problems created by the previous wave. Do you think this is true? In what ways are we better off without any modern technology? Do the advances in fields such as medicine outweigh the problems they create? (pages 191-193)

I sort of agree that it is only fixing the problems from the last wave of advancement. Personally, I do not think we would be better off without modern technology because it is all that I know. Especially with medicine, communication and transportation; the advancements are much better than not having those technologies. Living longer, moving faster and being able to communicate more easily is something that I really enjoy. It will be hard to argue that we are not better off. Kelly's ideas are a bit of a stretch, but I kind of buy what he is saying.

3) This is Kelly's question, but I think it is a fair one to have answer "What choices do we have in steering the inevitable progress of the technium?".

I believe that we have the choices to use the technology. I know that Kelly suggests we can not stop it and therefore we cannot slow it down. I still think we as a generation could put some control on the technium and that since we have choices we can steer the progress to a better future with technology.

Kyleigh Palmiotto
1) On pages 213-214 Kelly discusses a theory of how “the technium’s rampant materialism outlaws greater meaning in life by focusing our spirits on stuff” and that “we end up needing more and more technology to feel less and less satisfied”. He then explains that this is a definition of addiction, so that must mean humanity is addicted to technology, right? Do we have an “obsessive compulsion” with technology? Should we, as he says on page 216, create new technology that can “help us reveal the costs of technology and help us make better choices about how we adopt it?” Or, should we just continue to be addicted no matter the consequences?

I easily have an obsessive compulsion with technology, especially social media. Whenever I am bored or not entertained I immediately go to my phone see if I have text messages and then hop on twitter. Twitter keeps me entertained easier than facebook. There are a lot more tweets than facebook statuses that I can read and at a faster pace. We also don’t look to see the affect that they have on our life. We are constantly checking our emails, facebook, twitter, etc. that we are makings ourselves available 24/7, so we can never just catch a break for our own time. I do like how the Amish would have people test out new technologies to see if it would be a positive thing for their community. It would be great if we could do that, but I feel like that is just impossible to do that for general public because everyone has different needs and beliefs.

I think we should be able to take steps into adopting advances in technology. We seem to jump right into the next best thing without even thinking about it. I still have the first iPod mini and it works great, but then I wanted an iPod with more storage so I got an iPod classic and it broke a year after bought it. I feel that products today are just produced to fix flaws and that process just continues. I think because we are so addicted to the next best thing we don’t look at the consequences of what the products have on us.

2)Chapter 11 discusses Kelly’s time with the Amish, who tend to stray away from the technium the rest of the country thrives on. Or do they? They have adopted the use of many technological items. Diesel engines are used to power farming equipment (218),pneumatic tools in their workshops and homes (220), and recharge batteries (221). Vehicles are acceptable, in some communities, if they are solid black with no chrome (218). They use electricity when operating refrigeration units for storing their milk (221). Perhaps the most shocking is their use of, and support of, genetically modified corn (222). Does this mean our assumptions of the Amish are wrong? Granted they don’t have Macbooks and iPods, designer clothes and the trendiest vehicles, or McDonalds and 7 -11’s, but they still use some of the biggest technological innovations ever created (diesel engines, vehicles, refrigeration, genetic manipulation). Is there any feasible way to completely avoid the technium? Would you like to give it a try?

I don’t think there is a smart way to completely avoid the technium. The Amish still need to make a living and support their family, so if new technology is competing with their lifestyle then they should be able to dip into the technium to help their community. I am not okay with the use o genetically modified corn because a lot of research is showing that modified food is starting to affect children and their learning curve, digestion, allergies etc. With their limited used of the technicum the Amish have a very small carbon footprint and it would be great if we could take some of the pneumatic tools and apply them to our lives. I would never want to try to the live the Amish lifestyle. I am not much of an outdoorsy person, so I just wouldn't be very helpful.