It’s often tempting to see technology and humanity as two separate domains. In this week’s podcast, A good day at the office? The role of IT and the central office in Deep Transitions, Ed Steinmueller tells the unexpectedly compelling story of the intertwined development of workers and the technological aids they developed for record keeping across the 20th century.
As a science-fiction aficionado with an deep academic interest in technology, Ed is the perfect teacher to explain how our deep co-constitution with technology, and the choices our businesses and societies make now, will determine whether our future relationship with these tools we produce will diminish or enhance humanity.
Read Ed’s Working Paper, Transition in the Socio-Technical System of Data Processing During the 20th Century
Ed also wrote the blog Computing: A Change in Rules for the Deep Transition? which discusses the tension between innovation and sustainability through the past and future of conventional office systems.
For more discussion on the ethical challenges technology will make us face, Ed mentions the following books in the podcast:
- Wiener, Norbert (1954). The Human Use of Human Beings: A Cybernetic Approach (2nd revised edition). New York: Houghton Mifflin.
- Zuboff, Shoshana. (1988). In the Age of the Smart Machine. New York: Basic Book