Jan 29, 2010 Comments Off
This reading continued the previous ideas discussed in the more general Information Society chapter. I am especially interested in three quotes from Webster Chapters 7 and 8:
“Productivity in services because it is a relation between persons, rather than between man and machine, will inevitably be lower than it is in industry” (96). – This quote illustrates that it takes more time for a person to do something than for a machine. It is logical that humans, who are complex and unpredictable, require more time for processes than machines. However, in our current society, this established fact will no longer be easily accepted. We have become accustomed to having the world at our fingertips. Are you wondering what the capital of Togo is? It is no longer necessary to drag out your encyclopedia, flip through the pages to the “T” section, and attempt to adjust your eyes to the miniscule font. All it takes is a few keystrokes at your laptop, iTouch or smart phone, and seconds later you have your answer. Instant information seems to be a given, so why should we have to spend time sitting in our doctor’s office or waiting for a slow waiter? The productivity of the service industry will have to be adjusted in order to match our expectations.
“But the fact that individuals now talk to other individuals, rather than interact with a machine, is the fundamental fact about work in the post-industrial society.” (101)- I’m not sure what society author Daniel Bell is living in, but it does not seem to be the information one. Our world has become all about automation and replacing people with machines. Instead of calling a store to ask for its hours, it seems much easier to look it up online. Even the service industry is being affected. There are now established websites that doctors can talk to patients from all around the world on. It is becoming much easier to live large parts of our lives in front of only our computer.
“What kind of ideaology is the ideology of the information society, and what are its particular contradictions?” (118) – I believe the ideaology of our society is “I want it now, I want it fast, I want it easy.” We are sick of leaping through obstacles and waiting to get the things we decide we need. We want everything to be instantaneous and to match the pace of our hectic lives. We don’t want to have to cope with the imperfections of dealing with fellow humans if a computer can make it easier. It may sound selfish, but isn’t it time we get what we want, when we want it?
Well, is it?