Feelings, Values, Ethics and Skills

Feelings, Values, Ethics and Skills

Stephan Petrina (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-337-1.ch003


We began this book by acknowledging that the mere word “technology” provokes strong emotions or feelings from the heart. Advertisers play on these emotions by using technology and language to incite interest and action. For some people, design, skills, tools, and machines produce fear and feelings of insecurity. Others feel power and security. Some feel excitement and some dread and stress. Very few of us are unmoved by technology. While skills and technology generate strong reactions within us, we are not passively moved; technology does not merely act on us. We actively participate; we actively control, manipulate, resist, or negotiate technology. We bring our attitudes, fears, hopes, and values to bear on our skills and technologies. Our values are always present in our actions. We assert some and suppress other values when we act. We may value what technology can do for us or what we can do with our technologies. We may value what technology cannot do for us. The purpose of this chapter is to contradict the distinctions that we commonly draw among emotions, skills, and technologies. On one hand, technology provokes strong emotions and visceral responses. On the other hand, many technologists are committed to removing emotion, the most misunderstood of “human factors,” from their work and technology.

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