Technology can be characterized as the promotion of scientific knowledge used to address a particular need within society. We grow like technology. The arrival of the Internet, for example, has contributed to changes in people’s usual social decorum. The center of technological progress is electricity, according to Leslie White. She concluded that energy in combination with technology contributes to culture. He claimed that culture continuously changed based on developments in innovation, technology and communications from Gerhard Lenski another viewpoint. In short, he claims that the survival of civilization depends on development in technology. Alvin Toffler has another perspective, he identified that the growth and evolution of technology are so rapid that human being cannot cope with it. He came up with the term future shock to define the incapability of the human mind to comprehend the fast changing technology.
The development in the complexity of a society is determined by the advancements in technology, Lenski (1966). His focus on technology was based on the information. The more information acquired the more progressive a society is. He categorized society into five; hunters and gatherers, horticultural, pastoral, agricultural and industrial. Each society advanced with an increase in human population and settlement, however, the industrial phase saw the use of advanced sources of energy to drive large industries. This society is the most complex as it has schools, governments, and specialization of work.
According to White (1943), _x0093_Culture evolves as the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year increases or as the efficiency of the means of putting this energy to work is increased_x000c_
(p.101). Fire represent the first time man utilized energy that was not from his body. As man evolved he found ways to utilize trapped energy like coal. This led to more cultural advancements. As man_x0092_s use of energy grew so did technology. Consequently, the discovery of nuclear fusion energy represents a new milestone. White believed that if controlled this energy would usher in a new era of cultural diversity. However, nuclear energy holds unparalleled potential and its ability to cause unequaled damage could spell the end for mankind.
A pioneer of the profession of futurism. He argues that the fast changes and growth of technology is becoming uncontrollable and it will reach a point where a human being will not understand and control it. Toffler insists on the introduction of futurism into education curriculum. According to him, humans have evolved in three waves. The first one is marked by agrarianism, the second by the industrial revolution and the third one by technology which has replaced industrialization. He says that the third wave will change core human consciousness. This focus on information and knowledge will create a more democratic and equitable society.
As you can see, all three perspectives contain some truth to them, however, they contrast on the roles technology plays in our future. While White and Lenski agree that culture is influenced by the technology they differ on how these technological developments happen. Also, Toffler goes further in believing that technology might be the end of man. White is of a similar view but in her opinion, the evolution of energy, nuclear energy, may be the cause for danger. In conclusion, I find Lenski_x0092_s work to be the most compelling as he incorporated White_x0092_s views and came up with a good perspective. As for Toffler, the future is yet to be written, however, he makes valid points.
Toffler, A. (1970). Future shock. New York: Random House.
Nolan, P., & Lenski, G. (2004). Human societies: An introduction to macrosociology. Boulder, Colo: Paradigm Publishers.
Toffler, A. (1981). The third wave. New York: Bantam Books.
Dole, G., Carneiro, R. L., & White, L. A. (1960). Essays in the science of culture: In honor of Leslie A. White : in celebration of his sixtieth birthday and his thirtieth year of teaching at the University of Michigan. New York, N.Y: Crowell