CIRCA:Postman, Neil. "Invisible Technologies", in "Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology"


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Postman, Neil. "Invisible Technologies" in "Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology", (New York: Vintage Books, 1993), pp. 123-143.

Reviewed by Ugochukwu Udemezue Onyido

The author, Postman (1993) in “Invisible Technologies”, highlighted the various hidden tools which may not be classified as technologies. Postman firmly insisted that some technologies are viewed in disguise, which he likened to language, statistics, opinion polls, accounting procedures, IQ tests, and management. These invisible technologies go on and do their work in the society for good or bad without criticism or awareness.

He pointed out that language is an invisible technology because it assumes absolute control of our thoughts and ideas, and that technology relied so much on statistical calculations in order to make meanings to its findings, yet statistics is not vastly recognized like technology itself. More so, Postman stated that statistics create room for new ideas, perceptions, and realities by making visible large scale patterns. Even at that, opinion polls which is also a statistical framework is so much relied upon by politicians for major political and public policy decision making.

Management is yet another concept of invisible technology, which the author stressed and explained as a technology in disguise. Management in itself uses the technique of organizing, arranging, and controlling to strengthen organizational growth and development. Through this invisible technology, organizational goals, aims, vision, and objectives are actualized. Management is technically organized in a hierarchical structure to arrange work flows from bottom top and vice-versa. It is through this technologically arranged concept of management that quality control, and inventory accounting's are developed, which the author classified as new ways of doing things. These two factors are however prominent for increased productivity and cost effectiveness in organizations, businesses, as well as government sectors.

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