Society, Technology, Product, and Responsibility: A Dynamic Feedback Systems Perspective

By Amir Hassan Ghaseminejad Tafreshi.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 22, 2014 Free Download

This paper briefly reviews prior research on the relationship between technology and society which has shown there are reciprocal influences between scientific and technological areas and political, economic, and cultural fields. This paper shows how the choice of different independent and dependent variables has influenced former scholarly works. The paper defines technique, technology, and technological capital, and argues that we should differentiate products from technological capital accumulated in a society. Products are made by mobilizing social resources and organizing the structure of social relations in a manner that is required for their production. Their production is also made possible by resource allocations for accumulation and utilization of certain technological capital. There can be specific intentions inscribed in products and technologies; however, they can have disruptive consequences. Technological capitals—and products made using them—are organic parts of the dynamic feedback structures of societies; therefore, they are among the state variables influencing the trajectory of same societies. Moreover, since societies are open systems, technological capitals and products can act as determinants for the trajectory of other societies and nature. This paper proposes a dynamic feedback model which examines the system of social processes that influence resource allocations, set priorities and constraints for universities and research institutes, and affect what we know and what we don’t know. Social decisions on investments and resource mobilization for the production of a subset of products require certain social organizations and therefore, affect the society. The consequences of knowledge creation and production processes are new mixture of technological capital, organizations, and products. They simultaneously change the domain of possibilities for the decisions that are made in social processes. All of these variables—situated in a feedback system within a historical context—are influential on the social condition. The paper concludes that the inclusion of people and artifacts in our analysis should not distract us from noticing that non-human actors cannot be held morally responsible, and our decisions are the only variable that we may be able to change; therefore, for all the avoidable outcomes, the only factors that can be held accountable are humans.

Keywords: Technological Capital, Dynamic Feedback Social System, Responsibility

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.225-241. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 22, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 574.798KB)).

Amir Hassan Ghaseminejad Tafreshi

Faculty, School of Business, Capilano University, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Amir H. Ghaseminejad is a faculty member at Capilano University, School of Business. He has taught courses such as Statistics for Business, Business Management, Information Management, and Operations Management, Business Technology Disaster Recovery Planning, Advanced Web Design, Operating systems, Networking, Programing Languages, Database Administration and Design. He is also a researcher at The Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies (ICURS), at SFU, where he develops statistical and process models for criminal justice system. He has been a researcher at Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences (IRMACS), where he participated in healthcare modeling; as well as at the Center for Policy Research on Science and Technology (CPROST), where he studied the impact of broadband Internet on rural and remote communities. For many years, he has taught Communications courses such as Empirical Research Methods ,News Media, the Public, and Democracy, Computer Supported Cooperative Work: Critical Perspectives, and News Discourse and Political Communication at SFU; Operating Systems, Networking, Database design and Object Oriented Programming as well as Marketing and Business Computing in Computer Science and Information Systems, and Business Management Departments at Langara College and Douglas College, and Networking and TCPIP at British Columbia Institute of Technology. His current research includes “Variables Influencing Citizen Engagement in Technologically Mediated Democratic Systems” , The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Collective Decision Making and Control, as well as Process Modeling of Complex Social Systems, Philosophy of Science and Technology, Technology and Society interrelationships, Systems Analysis, Big Data and Information Management. Before coming to Vancouver in Beautiful British Columbia, he has taught Computer Organization, Switching Theory & logical design and Electronics courses in Sharif University of Technology, Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Tehran, where he got a Master of Science Degree in Computer Hardware and a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering. He has many years of experience in management and business, is a Microsoft Certified Database and Network Professional, and holds many other industry standard certifications in Internet Technologies and Operating Systems.


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