Garrison on the Technological Milieu
February 06, 2013
Dr. Kevin Garrison, assistant professor of English, has recently published “Ellul’s Alternative Theory of Technology: Anticipating the Fourth Milieu of Virtuality” in Explorations in Media Ecology.
In this article, Dr. Garrison argues that “the Technological milieu, designed to lead us past all the problems of the Social milieu, did not give us an unbridled utopia, but only compounded the fear of war through nuclear disaster, compounded the fear of disease through a networked people and compounded the fear of famine through the use of stop-gap measures to insure that agriculture did not fail. The question for us today is simply this: what makes us think that escaping the problems of our current world (with its lack of water, land degradation, long work days, poverty for billions, lack of energy, depletion of the atmosphere, economic unrest, changing of the ozone layer and on and on) for a virtual existence where we interact with digital information and other posthumans will be better in the long term? That is the only question that should matter in studies of technology, and it is a question that few are grappling with.”