WK 1 What Technology Is According to Different Sources
Respond to one of these prompts and be clear about which one you are referring to:
Definitions Prompt #1: Can we have successful discussions of controversial topics without bothering at all about definitions of key terms? Explain your answer.
Definitions Prompt #2: Can we make words mean anything we wish? In what sense is this true and in what sense is this false?
Definition of Technology #3: Do you think that the characterization of technology as applied science is correct? Give examples that support this characterization and examples that go against it (other than ones given in the lecture).
Definition of Technology #4: What is your preferred definition of technology and why?
To a certain degree we can make words anything we wish. If I were to say something like “I got mad skills”, then the way I am using the word “mad” is different from meaning angry. I’m using the word “mad” to mean that I have plenty. Just for clarification some synonyms for the way “mad” was used in that context are many, tons, a lot, etc.… So, saying something like “I have many skills” would be the equivalent of “I got mad skills”. Another way to look at how we can make words anything we wish is when we compare US
English to British English to Australian English. The same method can be applied to Spanish from Spain compared to Mexican Spanish and Colombian Spanish. Another word to examine in comparison to British English and US English is “bird”. Besides a bird being the animal with wings that flies around, with a few exceptions (ostrich, emus, etc.) the meaning of the way we use bird here is different compared to the way Brits use it across the pond. Brits use the word “bird” to mean a female or a girl. Here stateside we use bird to mean a drone or helicopter. So, if I say, “I got birds watching me”, the Brits would take that sentence to mean they have girls checking them out, while in the US we would take it as we have drones or helicopters spying on us.
So, while it is true in a sense that we can make words anything we wish in some sense it is also false. The way it can be false is there needs to be enough people to understand you or at least get the gist of what you’re saying. In the previous examples there were enough people to understand the context of how the words “mad” and “bird” are used. Basically, someone took those words and changed it to mean what they wished. This eventually caught on to where enough people wanted to use the word in the different meaning. If you’re the only one ascribing a certain meaning to a word and no one understands what you mean, also if no one wants to use the word the way you wished, then it would be a failure. This in sense would mean it is false since there would be errors in communication. In other words, people need to be able to understand you.