1. All technological change is a Faustian bargain. For every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage. (p. 192)
2. The advantages and disadvantages of new technologies are never distributed evenly among the population. This means that every new technology benefits some and harms others. (p. 192)
3. Embedded in every technology there is a powerful idea, sometimes two or three powerful ideas. Like language itself, a technology predisposes us to favor and value certain perspectives and accomplishments and to subordinate others. Every technology has a philosophy, which is given expression in how the technology makes people use their minds, in what it makes us do with our bodies, in how it codifies the world, in which of our senses it amplifies, in which of our emotional and intellectual tendencies it disregards. (p. 192)
4. A new technology usually makes war against an old technology. It competes with it for time, attention, money, prestige, and a "worldview." (p. 192)
5. Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. A new technology does not merely add something; it changes everything. (p. 192)
6. Because of the symbolic forms in which information is encoded, different technologies have different intellectual and emotional biases. (p. 193)
7. Because of the accessibility and speed of their information, different technologies have different political biases. (p. 193)
8. Because of their physical form, different technologies have different sensory biases. (p. 193)
9. Because of the conditions in which we attend to them, different technologies have different social biases. (p. 193)
10. Because of their technical and economic structure, different technologies have different content biases. (p. 193)
All of these principles being deeply, continuously, and historically investigated by students, I would then propose the following final examination, which is in two parts.
Part I: Choose one pre-twentieth century technology - for example, the alphabet, the printing press, the telegraph, the factory - and indicate what were the main intellectual, social, political, and economic advantages of the technology, and why. Then indicate what were the main intellectual, social, political, and economic disadvantages of the technology, and why. (p. 193)
Part II: Indicate, first, what you believe are or will be the main advantages of computer technology, and why; second, indicate what are or will be the main disadvantages of computer technology, and why. (p. 193)
Any student who can pass this examination will, I believe, know something worthwhile. He or she will also have a sense of how the world was made and how it is being remade, and may even have some ideas on how it should be remade. (p. 193)
Once we started using more complex tools it took us only a hundred thousand years to get here. And so on. Every new step accelerates the rate of change. The industrial age is now less than 200 years old and information technology has transformed our whole world inside a single human lifetime.