Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Values embodied in technology

I just want to share one interesting paragraph of Langdon Winner which I read some years ago.
I think what he wants to argue in the following quotation and "Who will be in cyberspace" is basically the same.

"The two hundred or so low-hanging overpasses on Long Island were deliberately designed to achieve a particular social effect. Robert Moses, the master builder of roads, parks, bridges, and other public works from the 1920s to the 1970s in New York, had these overpasses built to specifications that would discourage the presence of buses on his parkways […] The reason reflect Moses’s social-class bias and racial prejudice. Automobile-owning whites of ‘upper’ and ‘comfortable’ middle classes, as he called them, would be free to use the parkways for recreation and commuting. Poor people and blacks, who normally used public transit, were kept off the roads because the twelve-foot tall buses could not get through the overpasses. One consequence was to limit access of racial minorities and low-income groups to Jones Beach, Moses’s widely acclaimed public park." (Langdon Winner, from "Do artifacts have politics?")

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