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By Thomas DeGregori

During this provocative paintings, Thomas DeGregori explores the various innovative technological advances of the previous century, particularly these in agriculture.

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Sample text

Discourse became conceptual, artifacts and ideas were preservable without recourse to memory, and it released ‘‘mental energies . . contributing to an immense expansion of knowledge available to the human mind’’ (9, 87). Philosophical ideas such as ‘‘atomism and the alphabet alike were theoretic constructs, manifestations of a capacity for abstract analysis, an ability to translate objects of perception into mental energies’’ (82). Another important attribute of the Greek alphabet was that it democratized literacy or made democratization possible.

Even if there were no other explanation for these discrepancies, it does not provide proof for a ‘‘technological imperative’’ unless Postman can explain why European medical practitioners are less susceptible to it, particularly since an ‘‘imperative’’ presumably leaves us no choice (Postman 1992, 94–95). Postman unwittingly suggests an institutional explanation when he asserts that if a physician in the United States does not use all the ‘‘available technological resources, including drugs,’’ he or she could be deemed incompetent or even subject to a liability lawsuit if something goes wrong.

In the United States, data regarding museum attendance, independent theater, and dance productions point to a growing enthusiasm for the arts. If critics of modern science and technology wish to argue a decline in the quality of contemporary arts, then they have a more subtle and difficult case to make. Rasula (1990) says, ‘‘The postwar debate on mass culture reflected a troubling realization that unchecked circulation of high and low has the effect of transforming all culture into mass culture, regardless of who claims custody of it’’ (51).

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