Here's another document that is cross-referenced in a book I found on the Internet (the book was called 'Democracy in a Technological Society' - and it basically goes into how to control the masses in a technological control grid).
In case you want to check out the book I mentioned earlier, here's a Google Books preview. I won't go into it, however - this post is about the 'PC' - the computer we all use to interact with each other on this forum.http://books.google.com/books?id=emKoAdUAsHsC&dq=Democracy+in+a+Technological+Society,+in+Philosophy+and+Technology,&source=gbs_navlinks_s
The document is called 'The Social Meaning of the Personal Computer: Or, Why the Personal Computer Revolution Was No Revolution'.
Here's a book review.http://ocw.mit.edu/NR/rdonlyres/Anthropology/21A-350JFall-2004/3200F7F9-5CCC-49D8-B24E-B376B4932363/0/anthr_of_comp9.pdf
Now, this is highly interesting. What it says is that prior to the Personal Computer, people thought of computers as insidious machines that enabled hierarchical or oligarchical control. (think back to IBM, the Nazis and their Hollerith punch card systems)
The 'PC' (Personal Computer; Political Correctness
) was meant to rebrand computers as a tool for the 'people' that enabled true grass-roots democracy and was an 'individual thing'. But in the very same document, it is also pointed out that such a tool could be co-opted very easily.The Social Meaning Of The Personal Computer: Or, Why the Personal Computer Revolution Was No Revolution
OK, the personal computer. Let’s cut straight to the question: WHY was the personal computer revolution NO revolution?
“new technologies frequently reproduce existing social and meaning systems”
The move from CENTRALIZED COMPUTING to PERSONAL COMPUTING
The emergence of the personal computer against the backdrop of social contests for what this new machine would mean and whom it would serve. The personal computer (and perhaps more importantly, its design and marketing) carried meanings important in American political culture.
PCs went up against image of corporate computer as a tool of hierarchical control; PCs would be about individuals, grass roots politics, networking, ‘user-friendliness,’ democracy.
PAGE 44: “Symbolic inversions or reversals, the tools of reconstitution, figure prominently in the early personal computer industry’s self-depictions. If computers are signifiers of corporate centralization, patriarchal authority, and a sterile life kept apart from nature, then the new home computer companies would reverse such meanings by associating the technology with decentralization, democratic autonomy
and the restoration of nature”
PC builders were ‘heterogeneous engineers.’ Pfaffenberger’s tale of ‘no revolution’ maintains that resistance is always within the frame of power and can be easily co-opted; “Just as the agents of regularization sought to build domination, patriarchy, and centralization into computer systems, only to find that in many cases the technology backfired on them by providing new roles for skilled labor, so too did the agents of reconstitution — seeking this time freedom, autonomy and decentralization — find that the new technology they created was all too easily brought back within the frame of domination” (p. 46).
What does Pfaffenberger mean by Technology’s Double Life? This from Noble:
“technology leads a double life, one which conforms to the intentions of
designers and interests of power and another which contradicts them —
proceeding behind the backs of their architects to yield unintended
consequences and unintended possibilities… technologies rarely fulfill the
fantasies of their creators”
So everything turns out to be a con in the end - even this idea in people's minds that the computer and the Internet together are this wonderful thing that enables the people to have a true say in politics - or 'expose' them, or whatever.
I think I'm going to be searching for this article/book (whatever it is) this week because it looks to be highly interesting.