IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 75

complexity of the transferred instrument. The second
level occurs when there is no cultural overlap between
the devices transferred with the culture of the target
community. Therefore, one cannot expect an initial
communication with the technology transmitted in the
target community. In this case, the culture of the target community places the instrument in its own culture in a way that is quite different from its use in the
culture of origin [14, p. 128]. To clarify further, Ihde
mentions Joseph Needham's studies regarding the
transfer of gunpowder technology from China to
Europe. Needham explains in his book that what led to
increasing conquest and enslavement by the Europeans was the power of gunpowder that was invented by
the Chinese to be used in their national and local celebrations, a century before Europeans started using it.
Military applications of gunpowder were very limited
for the Chinese but the transfer of this technology to
Europeans who were seeking to expand their domination of the oceans and to destroy the fortifications of
target countries made gunpowder a very practical and
destructive weapon [33, pp. 70-71].
Ihde's idea regarding the ambiguity of technology
and multistability that clearly opposes substantivist
thought does not intend to consider technology as neutral or to advocate instrumentalism. By mentioning the
effects of writing with " the dip ink pen, a typewriter, and
the word processor " on the writing style of their users,
Ihde shows that not only is the technology not neutral,
but rather it has special " intentionality. " However, this
intentionality does not necessarily imply substantivism.
Rather, it strengthens certain tendencies in using technology. In the example of " writing style " in the evolution
from ink pen to word processor, writing speed increases
with the growth of technology, and focusing on word
choice decreases. This decrease does not mean that the
writer is no longer capable of thinking or that he cannot
focus on writing by using a word processor, but that
these technologies lead to higher speed and less accuracy [17, pp. 141-142].
So far, it might seem that multistability paves the way
for any technology to link to the culture of the target
community. Describing the thoughts of Don Ihde in an
article, Peter Verbeek explains that technology, by
means of multistability, opens various ways of interacting with a community before facing it. However, as soon
as the target community finds a way of communication
with technology, multistability turns into a kind of stability. In this case, it is the technology that affects the community in a non-deterministic way. What forms the new
communication of the target community with the technology is the " technological intentionality. " Thus, one
cannot consider community and technology in a state
of ambiguity to one another after this interaction [39].
DECEMBER 2020

∕

Does Ihde's Theory Answer the Fundamental
Questions of the Conflict between Culture and
Technology in Destination Societies?
After giving a summary of Don Ihde's theories regarding
the relations of culture and technology in a social setting, we shall now clarify our questions a bit. Do Ihde's
ideas serve as a model for analyzing culture and technology in societies that are the target of technology
transfer? As mentioned before, according to Ihde, technology and culture affect each other in a dialectic connection. This does not cause problems in superficial
areas where technology does not have a profound
impact on the culture of the target community, nor in
societies where conflicts do not arise between the
impact of the transferred technology and the culture
that has given rise to the technology in the first place.
The problem arises when the culture in which the technology has developed has fundamental contradictions
and conflicts with the culture of the target community.
In this situation, contradictions arise that are rooted
both in the traditions of the target society and in the
new culture of transferred technologies. Can Ihde's
thoughts still be useful in these situations?
Ihde classifies the relations between technology and
society into four categories based on the culture of the
societies and the effect of technology on them. The first
category is the small tribes and cultures that Ihde refers
to as " Monoculture. " These tribes have become extinct
as a result of their interaction with the modern world
and technology. The second group is societies that have
been able to maintain their cultural principles in their
interaction with technology with some modification. The
third group is societies that resist the transfer of technology and do not allow it to change their culture. Finally, the last category is societies that openly embrace
technology, set aside the conflicting aspects of their traditional culture for developing technology, leaving nothing of their past but a name [17, pp. 151-155].
The first group has become almost extinct because
they have not been able to interact with different cultures and thus could not resist the all-embracing effects
of a given technology when confronted with it. Among
these tribes are the inland aboriginals of Australia, the
Inuit, and the Tasaday. There is barely any trace of the
third group, according to Ihde. Full-scale resistances
generally took place in the past and the societies that
took that approach, like Japan before 1853, later
merged into one of the three other models. The fourth
group has given up on technology and in fact, has sacrificed its cultural foundations as the price of becoming " developed. "
Analysis of the three categories of technology-encountered communities shows that Ihde's ideal response to
the relations of societies and new technology is the

IEEE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY MAGAZINE

75



IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020

Contents
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - Cover1
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - Cover2
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 1
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - Contents
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 3
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 4
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 5
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 6
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 7
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 8
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 9
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 10
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 11
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 12
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 13
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 14
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 15
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 16
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 17
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 18
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 19
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 20
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 21
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 22
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 23
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 24
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 25
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 26
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 27
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 28
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 29
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 30
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 31
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 32
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 33
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 34
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 35
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 36
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 37
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 38
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 39
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 40
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 41
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 42
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 43
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 44
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 45
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 46
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 47
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 48
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 49
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 50
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 51
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 52
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 53
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 54
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 55
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 56
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 57
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 58
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 59
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 60
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 61
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 62
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 63
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 64
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 65
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 66
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 67
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 68
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 69
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 70
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 71
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 72
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 73
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 74
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 75
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 76
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 77
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 78
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 79
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 80
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 81
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 82
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 83
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - 84
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - Cover3
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2013
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com