Blog Post #4

'This 'wheel' thing of yours - does it have to be round or will any shape do?'

‘This ‘wheel’ thing of yours – does it have to be round or will any shape do?’

Read Chapter 3
From Black Inventors to One Laptop Per Child

Rayvon Fouche examines race and technology in chapter 3 by using four different eras. His first era being the technologies of production and dominant communities controlling meanings of race in the U.S. Era number two was the development of early electrical devices and early computing. Era number three being the first digital technologies and the supposed end of racial discrimination, racism becoming harder to see as devices become smaller. The fourth ear the nostalgia of in-need others to be saved(62). The fourth era being the we have been asked to focus in. Like Fouche says this era allows for the sorting of the changing dynamics of race in what scholars are calling a new “multicultural” century (63).

These new changes in this new so called multicultural community, there has been as much advancement such as the 44th president being black, that it has left the dominant cultural community with a sense or nostalgia to help other cultures. The United States becomes this too cultural and racially risky (80) location for technology studies. The first two eras still allowed for the dominant communities to categorize and classify people into categories and oppression. Changing these dynamics leaves room for an opportunity to be the savior once again but to assume that an American technology is saving their culture is repeating history all over again. It’s like imposing religion on Native Americans, but now we are doing it with technology.

Let’s take for example the founder of One Laptop Per Child, we have a privileged male who feel the need to save the children with a computer. Here’s a prime example of an ethnocentric act imposed onto another culture in which culture is “seemingly meaningless” (80). For this man to assume that these communities need technology in order to develop sets us back as a country again by hundreds of years. We go back past the first era to the colonial years where we dominated the “savages.” Like we talked about in class the founder of One Laptop Per Child didn’t think about the labor that goes intro getting the supplies to make these laptops. How they connect directly to the physical impediments that some kids from these countries suffer due to attaining these supplies. All the laptops that didn’t work and the earth having to deal with this tech that will be lying around without purpose.

Technology is a man made concept, we can go back to the Black Inventor and still it is a man made concept. If we have technology that will allow for advancement then why not use and share it? However I think that we sometimes impose these new technologies on people making them believe that they need this new technology in their everyday life to help them advance in their life to be successful. For example is having 230+ contacts on a mobile cellular phone more useful than having ten memorized phone numbers? I know that if I go to jail right now I could not recite a single phone number to be my one phone call. I also cannot depend on old technologies like reading a map or take directions because I have this “new great” technology that Siri is that will tell me exactly how to get to my designated location.

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