Postman’s Fourth Idea: Technology Is Ecological, Not Additive

“In the year 1500, after the printing press was invented, you did not have old Europe plus the printing press. You had a different Europe. After television, America was not America plus television. Television gave a new coloration to every political campaign, to every home, to every school, to every church, to every industry, and so on.”

Postman, 1998

I found it really hard thinking about this idea, and I think it has to do with the fact that I am not really (that!) old. By the time I was in school, computers and the internet were not quite to the degree that they are now, but definitely integrated into society already. I think the most integral part of technology and computers that seems more ecological than simply additive is the communicative devices. So many people now have smart phones that can make phone calls, send text messages and access e-mails wherever they are, whereas before these phones were invented these jobs had to be done from home or office.


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