Culture can be termed as the process of modifying or inventing way of life transmittable to another in a consistent pattern in relation to stylistic features which can recognized. The patterns spread within social units of a given population having intergenerational enduring meaning the acquired patterns must be retained .on the other hand, technology is the integration of made used, modified and known tools, techniques ,machines, systems, crafts and organizational methods to solve or advance already existing solutions to societal problems. The interaction between culture and technology is a contestable argument and the debate on which factor (culture and technology) drives the other can take both directions i.e. technology can drive the culture and vice versa. If technology is presumed to be a content like a computer or mobile phone for a specific purpose, then it’s the culture which drives technology but if technology is viewed as a process like internet as means of communication then its worth concluding that it’s the technology which determines culture and more so to a particular direction.
Technology is affecting our culture in different ways .Internet technology is a driving force culminating into net generation or the millennium generation. The innovation of internet have encouraged online interaction, search for information online, playing online games and online socialization e.g. face book, Skype etc. without social technology platform there will be no social networking or viral videos. It’s the technological innovations of information which has lessened the physical obstacles to communication making people to interact freely across the globe enjoying the digital space. The cultural inefficiencies of gaps and needs must be responded to by technological advancement .Its the new technological solutions which will full fill the desires, needs and ever increasing human wants.eg the extension of internet to wireless internet enabled electronics like smart phones or tablets. Without the culture rise for social networking and communication, the internet enabled smart phones and tablets will be irrelevant implying that it’s the way of life which determines the technology.
The technological innovations in human biology have given hope to stigmatized couples in a society making motherless to be called mothers, as reproductive technologies has been a solution to couples with medical problems of giving birth to their own children. Some of these technologies includes the in vitro fertilization of man’s sperm and woman egg in dish within laboratory environment before being implanted in the uterus, use of gestational carrier(surrogacy) to carry donor’s embryo to full term then giving back the baby to the donor upon delivery, egg donation whereby a woman donates eggs to a woman unable to conceive with her own eggs with her husband’s sperms and resulting embryo implanted in her uterus ,zygote intrafallopian transfer with woman eggs and male spermatozoa being injected into the fallopian tube through surgery. Other reproductive technologies are intracytoplasmic sperm injection and gamete intrafallopian transfer. So it’s the technological capacity of any hospital which can determine whether the couples with medical complications would be called parents and up bring their off springs. Contrary, the cultural injustices like compromising right to life, daughter discrimination or son preference. Need for gender balanced family units in male dominated capitalism have catalyzed the innovation of new technologies for sex selection. Consequently people may opt to cloning with an aim of replacing the dead to avoid persistent grief. All of these show that at times, it is the culture which determines the application of reproductive technologies.
Unethical social behaviors like crime may be determined by technology “because computer ethics is tied to evolving technology” (.Hester and Ford 44).Technology enabled crime like cyber stalking requires knowledge of soft science like internet technology, to follow and pursue their victims online monitoring every move they make. The stalkers may be individuals or organization applying information and communication technology like websites, chat rooms blogs or email while enjoying anonymity freedom encourages them to harass, threaten, accuse falsely, damage data or personal equipment, impersonate, and disrupt other peoples’ way of life .Mostly they are adult predators pedophiling children or men stalking women with courage since they know they are untouchable through cyberspace. The successful stalkers will use the information gathered to revenge or reconcile unaccepted termination of relationship, prepare for sexual attack, infringe on intellectual property rights plagiarizing the victims work, cause fear and humiliations and develop online romance since they may not be competent enough to abide by socio-cultural rules governing relationships. Meaning the cyber stalkers depend on technological prowess of tracking soft ware or wireless technologies like blue tooth to carry out their unethical pattern of life. The prevalence of crime on the other hands demands surveillance equipment like intrusion prevention system or intrusion detection system to prevent cyber stalkers. Without such crime, there will be no need for technological enhancement to prevent theft of property, meaning degree of crimes committed determines the technology to be used in curbing the vice.
The technological innovations depend ones ability to spend time energy and financial resources i.e. those who are lazy, weak, poor or doing parallel things to innovations will not progress in technology. That’s why “monopoly privilege serves an initial incentive to innovation” (Johnson and Nissenbaum 174).Other crimes such as terrorism are enhanced by technological sophistication e.g. in 2008 the lashkar-e-taib from Pakistan launched attack in Mumbai hotel with the comfort technology ,they navigated from Arabian sea to Mumbai from Karachi in Pakistan locating they target using global positioning enabled handset at the same time interacting with their colleagues back in Pakistan using satellite phones .they could study the satellite photos received from Google earth their internet phones had voice over internet features making it difficult for Mumbai antiterrorism unit to trace or intercept their calls. The technology helped terrorists to commit crime which they could not have committed. The culture of terrorism can also determine the technology to be used in fighting the crime.
Technology may determine the criteria and ways of solving societal phenomenon but the activity its self well not change. As the technological advancement adhere to culture without altering the initial construct e.g. the basic needs for socio-cultural networking and communication will not change but innovation of email and message texting will replace telegraphs and letters. Any technological innovation must have moral objectives and directions for solving cultural problems as cultural inefficiencies determine the technological innovations to be applied. The basic principle of society and technological interplay may be hard to alter; the technology will only open up new approaches for solving non changing cultural needs e.g. the need for effective and efficient economy, improved standard of living, cheaper and reliable mode of transport and communication, enhancing food security and affordable health care among others.
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Johnson. Deborah and Nissenbaum Helen. Computer, Ethics and Social value, Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River, 1995. Web 12th Dec2012 < http://www.freewebs.com/philosophyisprettyneato/Moral Foundations of Int001.pdf >
Nissenbaum Helen, “Should I Copy My Neighbor Software”, Prentice Hall, 1991 Web 12th Dec 2012 < http://www.freewebs.com/philosophyisprettyneato/Computer.pdf >
NSW Government .What is Stalking, NSW Police Force, 31st august 2012, Web 12th Dec 2012< http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_issues/domestic__and__family_violence/what_is_stalking>
Thomson, Casey. “Bill of Health, Examining the intersection of law and health care, biotechnology and bioethics”, Caseyt 26th Nov 2012, Web 12th Dec 2012< https://blogs.law.harvard.edu/billofhealth/category/reproductive-technology/>