kander – manifesto

It seemed that most of the “critical engineer” points were concerned with considering the implications of technological developments on the world. They were mainly about acknowledging that technology doesn’t exist in a bubble, and implied things like ethics and impact shouldn’t be disregard for the sake of “progress.” I found item #6 particularly interesting:

“The Critical Engineer expands “machine” to describe interrelationships encompassing devices, bodies, agents, forces and networks.”

In other words, technology shouldn’t be exclusively defined to be an item comprised of solely physical elements/hardware. The definition of technology and machines needs to take into account the space in which the item occupies in the world — an iPhone would have very different implications if it was an item owned by only the wealthiest, or was something that everyone in the world had access to. To continue with the iPhone example, it’s uses would be much different if it couldn’t connect to the Internet.

This last example brings up the interesting idea that part of the iPhone’s invention is the Internet. If we extend this principle — that all technologies that interact with other innovations include said innovations in their own makeup — then we begin to see modern technology not as a set of individual components, but a web of connected ideas and devices that build upon each other.