"In Praise of Technology," by Samuel C. Florman

1. According to Florman, who is the founding father of the contemporary anti-
technological movement?

2. How did René Dubos criticize technology?

3. What five themes seem to appear in the criticisms of the anti-technologists? (p. 150)

4. What three cultures do the anti-technologists seem to find preferable to our technological culture?

5. What type of society does anti-technology really yearn for "under the veneer of esthetic sensibility and ethical concern"?

6. How does Florman answer the charge that technology is an independent force that has escaped from human control? How is Daniel Callihan used to support Florman's point?

7. Why do human beings invent and manufacture things?

8. Why does technology "seem" to be independent of human direction?

9. How does he answer the charge that technology forces people to do tedious and degrading work?

10. What is wrong with the idyllic romanticization of work in pre-modern times?

11. What is wrong with the view that technology forces people to consume things they do not really want?

12. What do the views about work and consumption tell us about the anti-technologists' opinion of the ordinary person?

13. How does he answer the charge that technology has created a society where the masses are exploited by a technocratic elite?

14. Has exploitation increased with advances in Technology?

15. In what ways do individuals in technologically advanced societies have more freedom than in earlier ages?

16. Has the notion of "Big Brother" [Orwell's 1984] come true? Explain.

17. How can the level of exploitation in technological societies be compared to the level of exploitation in less technological societies [or the medieval]?

18. How does he answer the charge that technology has cut people off from the natural environment?

19. What does he say about the anti-technologists' view of rural life?

20. Does Florman think that frequent contact with nature is essential for human well-being?

21. How does Florman respond to the notion that technical diversions destroy human beings' "existential sense" of their "own being"?

22. What do the anti-technologists presuppose about the satisfactions and the dissatisfactions of average citizens?

23. Were primitive tribes, peasants, and medieval persons all that satisfied in comparison with persons in modern technological society? Explain.

24. According to Florman, are things better or worse than they used to be? Explain.

25. How can the condemnation of technology be compared to the condemnation of witchcraft?

26. According to Florman, what is the real contemporary problem? What is the true source of our problems?

27. What is wrong with what the anti-technologists offer? Is there anything good about their work?



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