Ok so we've just read Neil Postman's articles and I agreed with mostly everything he said until I came across an article this morning. Postman's article The Age of Show Business says that "every technology has an inherent bias. It has within its physical form a predisposition toward being used in certain ways and not others" (pg. 13). I, at first, pretty much agreed with that statement. I mean, a phone is used to make phone calls to communicate to one another. A computer is used for checking emails and surfing the web, etc. He even used the example about a TV being used as a bookshelf. He claims that a TV is used for entertainment and that is all. A TV shouldn't be used for anything else. I thought I agreed with him.
However, I came across a story about a double amputee who can now walk again thanks to the help of prosthetic legs made with Bluetooth technology (which is known for their hands-free cell phones- they use the little ear piece that you don't notice and think people are talking to themselves, haha). Anyway, according to the article, Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Bleill uses "computer chips in each leg that send signals to motors in the artificial joints so the knees and ankles move in a coordinated fashion. Each set of prosthetics have Bluetooth receivers strapped to the ankle area. The Bluetooth device on each leg tells the other leg what it's doing, how it's moving, whether walking, standing or climbing steps, for example." THAT IS CRAZY! Who would have thought that technology originally created for a more convenient way to use a cell phone and multi task would be helpful in the use of prosthetics?
I would think that Neil Postman would be blown away. What would he say about this? Doesn't think contradict what he is saying about technology being inherently bias? Maybe I'm not fully understanding what he is saying, but it seems to me that he is wrong. I now disagree with him. Even technology such as an iPod originally was inherently bias but now you can watch movie clips and even surf the web. That wasn't iPod's original usage. In this case of the prosthetics, are we to assume this Bluetooth technology as a medium, instead of a technology? If we did that then is Postman still correct in that technology is inherently bias but not a particular medium? I would like to hear some opinions because I'm a bit confused. I'm amazed that Bluetooth can create new technology like this in the first place! Here is the link to the story if you want to check it out!http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/01/25/bluetooth.legs/