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Although the output of the logger is constrained to some extent by secondary instrumentalizations, it is far less so than the work of the carpenter who uses the logs after they are turned into boards to build the house. Thus there is a dynamic process in which the materials and simpler technical elements are mediated ever more thoroughly. This dynamic is especially developed in differentiated modern societies. Some of the functions of the secondary instrumentalization get distinguished institutionally in particularly striking ways. Thus the aesthetic function, an important secondary instrumentalization, may be separated out and assigned to a corporate design division.

Artists will then work in parallel with engineers. This partial institutional separation of the levels of instrumentalization encourages the belief that they are completely distinct. However, because I do not ontologize those categories, nor treat them as a full account of the essence of technology, I believe I am able to avoid many of the problems associated with substantivism, particularly its antimodernism. Analysis at the second level is inspired by empirical study of technology in the constructivist vein.

I focus especially on the way actors perceive the meanings of the devices and systems they design and use. But again, I am selective in drawing on this tradition. I do not accept its exaggerated and largely rhetorical empiricism and its rejection of the categories of traditional social theory. Instead, I attempt to integrate its methodological insights to a more broadly conceived theory of modernity.

In the s, the constructivist turn in technology studies offered a methodologically fruitful approach to demonstrating this in a wide range of concrete cases. On these terms the technocratic tendencies of modern societies could be interpreted as an effect of limiting the groups intervening in design to technical experts and the corporate and political elites they serve. A technical code is the realization of an interest or ideology in a technically coherent solution to a problem. Although some technical codes are formulated explicitly by technologists themselves, I am seeking a more general analytic tool that can be applied even in the absence of such formulations.

More precisely, then, a technical code is a criterion that selects between alternative feasible technical designs in terms of a social goal. Feasible here means technically workable. Socially desirable refers not to some universal criterion but to a hegemonic value such as health or the nuclear family. Such values are formulated by the social theorist as technical codes in ideal-typical terms, that is, as a simple rule or criterion.

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Information Technology in Librarianship: New Critical Approaches

A prime example in the history of technology is the imperative requirement to deskill labor in the course of industrialization rather than preserving or enhancing skills. This is what it means to call a certain way of life culturally secured and a corresponding power hegemonic.

Just as political philosophy problematizes cultural formations that have rooted themselves in law, so philosophy of technology problematizes formations that have successfully rooted themselves in technical codes. I believe Marx had important insights for philosophy of technology. He focused so exclusively on economics because production was the principal domain of application of technology in his time. For Marx the capitalist is ultimately distinguished not so much by ownership of wealth as by control of the conditions of labor.

The owner has not merely an economic interest in what goes on within his factory but also a technical interest. Control of the work process, in turn, leads to new ideas for machinery, and the mechanization of industry follows in short order. Eventually professional managers represent and in some sense replace owners in control of the new industrial organizations. Marx calls this the impersonal domination inherent in capitalism in contradistinction to the personal domination of earlier social formations. It is a domination embodied in the design of tools and the organization of production.

The whole life environment of society comes under the rule of technique. In this form the essence of the capitalist system can be transferred to socialist regimes built on the model of the Soviet Union. The operational autonomy of management and administration positions them in a technical relation to the world, safe from the consequences of their own actions.

In addition, it enables them to reproduce the conditions of their own supremacy at each iteration of the technologies they command. Technocracy is an extension of such a system to society as a whole in response to the spread of technology and management to every sector of social life.

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The technocratic tendency of modern societies represents one possible path of development, a path that is peculiarly truncated by the demands of power. In subjecting human beings to technical control at the expense of traditional modes of life while sharply restricting participation in design, technocracy perpetuates elite power structures inherited from the past in technically rational forms.

In the process it mutilates not just human beings and nature but technology as well. A different power structure would innovate a different technology with different consequences. Is this just a long detour back to the notion of the neutrality of technology? I do not believe so. If we assume that technology as we know it today is indifferent with respect to human ends in general, then indeed we have neutralized it and placed it beyond possible controversy. Alternatively, it might be argued that technology as such is neutral with respect to all the ends that can be technically served.

But neither of these positions make sense. There is no such thing as technology as such. The larger implication of this approach has to do with the ethical limits of the technical codes elaborated under the rule of operational autonomy. The very same process in which capitalists and technocrats were freed to make technical decisions without regard for the needs of workers and communities generated a wealth of new values, ethical demands were forced to seek voice discursively.


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A fuller realization of technology is possible and necessary. We are more and more frequently alerted to this necessity by the threatening side effects of technological advance. In a society such as ours, which is completely organized around technology, the threat to survival is clear. Only the democratization of technology can help. The spread of knowledge by itself is not enough to accomplish this. Such a broadly constituted democratic technical alliance would take into account destructive effects of technology on the natural environment as well as on human beings.

Democratic movements in the technical sphere aim to constitute such alliances. But this implies restoring the agency of those treated as objects of management in the dominant technical code. How to understand this transformation? It will not work to simply multiply the number of managers. Subordinate actors must intervene in a different way from dominant ones.

He distinguishes between the strategies of groups with an institutional base from which to exercise power and the tactics of those subject to that power and who, lacking a base for acting continuously and legitimately, maneuver and improvise micropolitical resistances. Note that de Certeau does not personalize power as a possession of individuals but articulates the Foucauldian correlation of power and resistance. Some manage, while others are managed. The world appears quite differently from these two positions. My most basic complaint about Heidegger is that he himself adopts unthinkingly the strategic standpoint on technology in order to condemn it.

He sees it exclusively as a system of control and overlooks its role in the lives of those subordinate to it. It is the everyday lifeworld of a modern society in which devices form a nearly total environment. In this environment, individuals identify and pursue meanings. Power is only tangentially at stake in most interactions, and when it becomes an issue, resistance is temporary and limited in scope by the position of the individuals in the system. Consider the example of air pollution. Pollution controls were seen as costly and unproductive by those with the power to implement them.

Eventually, a democratic political process sparked by the spread of the problem and protests by the victims and their advocates legitimated the externalized interests. Only then was it possible to assemble a social subject including both rich and poor able to make the necessary reforms.

This is an example of a politics of design that will lead ultimately to a more holistic technological system. An adequate understanding of the substance of our common life cannot ignore technology. And we are making more and more choices about health and knowledge in designing the technologies on which medicine and education increasingly rely. Furthermore, the kinds of things it seems plausible to propose as advances or alternatives are to a great extent conditioned by the failures of the existing technologies and the possibilities they suggest.

The once controversial claim that technology is political now seems obvious.

New Critical Approaches

The attitude lingers and inspires a certain haughty disdain for technology among intellectuals who nevertheless employ it constantly in their daily lives. Today the approach continues in proposals for transforming biotechnologies and computing. The instrumentalization theory suggests a general account of the strategies employed in such movements. Of course no decontextualization can be absolute. The process is always conditioned by secondary instrumentalizations, which offer a partial recontextualization of the object in terms of various technical and social requirements.

Thus the favored recontextualizations tend to be minimal and to ignore the values and interests of many of the human beings who are involved in capitalist technical networks, whether they be workers, consumers, or members of a community hosting production facilities. But this opposition is factitious; current technical methods or standards were once discursively formulated as values and at some time in the past translated into the technical codes we take for granted today. This point is quite important for answering the usual so-called practical objections to ethical arguments for social and technological reform.

It seems as though the best way to do the job is compromised by attention to extraneous matters such as health or natural beauty. A refrigerator equipped to use an ozone-safe refrigerant achieves environmental goals with the same structures that keep the milk cold. What goes for devices may be even more true of living things and human beings enrolled in technical networks.

I have been involved with the evolution of communication by computer since the early s both as an active participant in innovation and as a researcher. Their theories emphasized the role of technologies in dominating nature and human beings. Its deworlding power reaches language itself, which is reduced to the mere position of a switch p.

But what we were witnessing in the early s was something quite different, the contested emergence of the new communicative practices of online community. Subsequently, we have seen cultural critics inspired by modernity theory recycle the old approach for this new application, denouncing, for example, the supposed degradation of human communication on the Internet. The terminal subject is basically an asocial monster despite the appearance of interaction online. But that critique presupposes that computers are actually a communication medium, if an inferior one, which was precisely the issue 20 years ago.

The prior question that must therefore be posed concerns the emergence of the medium itself. Most recently the debate over computerization has touched higher education, where proposals for automated online learning have met determined faculty resistance in the name of human values. Meanwhile, actual online education is emerging as a new kind of communicative practice Feenberg, , chap.

The pattern of these debates is suggestive. Approaches based on modernity theory are uniformly negative and fail to explain the experience of participants in computer communication. But this experience can be analyzed in terms of instrumentalization theory. Users are decontextualized in the sense that they are stripped of body and community in front of the terminal and positioned as detached technical subjects.

They are called to exercise choice in this world. The poverty of this world appears to be a function of the very radical deworlding involved in computing. But most modernity theorists overlook the struggles and innovations of users engaged in appropriating the medium to create online communities or legitimate educational innovations.

In ignoring or dismissing these aspects of computerization, they fall back into a more or less disguised determinism. The posthumanist approach to the computer inspired by commentators in cultural studies suffers from related problems. This approach often leads to a singular focus on the most dehumanizing aspects of computerization, such as anonymous communication, online role playing, and cybersex Turkle, Paradoxically, these aspects of the online experience are interpreted in a positive light as the transcendence of the centered self of modernity Stone, The effective synthesis of these various approaches would offer a more complete picture of computerization than any one of them alone.

The lifeworld of technology is the medium within which the actors engage with the computer. In this lifeworld, processes of interpretation are central. Technical resources are not simply pregiven but acquire their meaning through these processes. As computer networks developed, communication functions were often introduced by users rather than treated as normal affordances of the medium by the originators of the systems. The contests between control and communication, and between humanism and posthumanism, must be the focus of the study of innovations such as the Internet.

In opposition to this vision, faculty mobilized in defense of the human touch. This humanistic opposition to computerization takes two very different forms. There are those who are opposed in principle to any electronic mediation of education. This position has no effect on the quality of computerization but only on its pace. But there are also numerous faculty who favor a model of online education that depends on human interaction on computer networks. On this side of the debate, a very different conception of modernity prevails.

In this alternative conception, to be modern is to multiply opportunities for and modes of communication. The meaning of the computer shifts from a coldly rational information source to a communication medium, a support for human development and online community. These approaches to online education can be analyzed in terms of the model of deworlding and disclosing introduced above.

The new world disclosed on this basis confronts the learner as technical subject with menus, exercises, and questionnaires rather than with other human beings engaged in a shared learning process. The original positioning of the user is similar: But the machine is not a window onto an information mall but rather opens up onto a social world that is morally continuous with the social world of the traditional campus.

The terminal subject is involved as a person in a new kind of social activity and is not limited by a set of canned menu options to the role of individual consumer. This is a more democratic conception of networking that engages it across a wider range of human needs. The analysis of the dispute over educational networking reveals patterns that appear throughout modern society.

In the domain of media, these patterns involve playing off primary and secondary instrumentalizations in different combinations that privilege either a technocratic model of control or a democratic model of communication. Capitalism has survived its various crises and now organizes the entire globe in a fantastic web of connections with contradictory consequences. The Internet opens fantastic new opportunities for human communication and is inundated with commercialism.

Human rights proves a challenge to regressive customs in some countries while providing alibis for new imperialist ventures in others. Environmental awareness has never been greater, yet nothing much is done to address looming disasters such as global warming. Only through an approach that is both critical and empirically oriented is it possible to make sense of what is going on around us now. Critical theory was above all dedicated to interpreting the world in the light of its potentialities.

Empirical research can thus be more than a mere gathering of facts and can inform an argument with our times. Philosophy of technology can join together the two extremes—potentiality and actuality, that is, norms and facts—in a way no other discipline can rival. The concept of concretization was introduced by Gilbert Simondon For further discussion of this concept see Feenberg , chap.

Crossing the postmodern divide. Een kwestie van beheersing [A question of control]. Academisch Proefschrift, Vrije Universiteit. A novel design approach for livestock housing based on recursive control—with examples to reduce environmental pollution.

Information Technology in Librarianship: New Critical Approaches

Livestock Production Science, 84, — A critical theory revisited. Modernity theory and technology studies: The catastrophe and redemption of technology. Looking forward, looking backward: Community in the digital age. The technical codes of online education. E-Learning, 2 2 , — Traditional language and technological language W. Journal of Philosophical Research, 23, — A social theory of personal computing.

Politiques de la nature: How to enter science in a democracy]. Life on the screen: Identity in the age of the Internet. Critical theory of technology. Building a global network: Computerizing the international community pp. The technical turn in philosophy and social theory. University of California Press. In Herbert Marcuse schriften: Tailor-made biotechnologies for endogenous developments and the creation of new networks and knowledge means.

Biotechnology and Development Monitor, 50, 14— One error involves the common tendency to see surveillance as the opposite of privacy. Another is to associate it only with government and law and order activities in particular. Privacy and surveillance can be interwoven. Viewed in social process terms, they are different sides of the same coin. Surveillance may be the means of crossing borders that protect privacy.

Yet surveillance can also be the means of protecting privacy. Consider the passwords and audit trails required to use some databases or various defensive measures such as a perimeter video camera to protect the home. Whether we see surveillance or privacy invasion partly depends on the point of view taken. They can be socially desirable, as well as destructive. Surveillance can serve goals of protection, administration, rule compliance, documentation, and strategy, as well as goals involving inappropriate manipulation, restricted life opportunities, social control, and spying.

A version of this chapter appeared in the Encyclopedia of Privacy, W. Staples, editor, Greenwood Press, The increased availability of personal information is one strand of the constant expansion in knowledge witnessed in recent centuries, and of the centrality of information to the workings of contemporary society. Consider examples such as an individual suspected of bank robbery who is discretely followed by police and is apprehended after robbing another bank or the discovery that a leader of an antiglobalization protest movement is a police informer.

Yet it is too narrow. The focus of surveillance goes beyond suspects, crime, and national security. To varying degrees surveillance is a property of any social system—from two friends to a workplace to a government. Each of these also involves surveillance. Information boundaries and contests are found in all societies and, beyond that, in all living systems. Humans are curious and also seek to protect their informational borders, even as they must also reveal their information.

To survive, individuals and groups engage in, and guard against, surveillance. However the form, content, and rules about information vary considerably. In the case of surveillance, for example, contrast relying on informers, intercepting smoke signals, taking satellite photographs, gathering information from socalled cookies placed on the computers of Internet users, or mapping the spread of a contagious disease. The traditional forms of surveillance contrast in important ways with what can be called the new surveillance, a form that became increasingly prominent toward the end of the twentieth century.

Examples include the following: The use of technical means to extract and create the information implies the ability to go beyond what is offered to the unaided senses or what is voluntarily reported. Much new surveillance involves an automated process and extends the senses and cognitive abilities through the use of material artifacts or software. Yet the eye as the major means of direct surveillance is increasingly joined or replaced by other means.

The use of multiple senses and sources of data is an important characteristic of much of the new surveillance. Traditionally surveillance involved close observation by a person not a machine. But with contemporary practices surveillance may be carried out from afar, as with satellite images or the remote monitoring of communications and work. Nor need it be close or detailed. Surveillance has become both farther away and closer than it was previously. In a striking innovation, surveillance is also applied to contexts geographical places and spaces, particular time periods, networks, systems, and categories of person , not just to a particular person whose identity is known beforehand.

For example, police may focus on so-called hot spots where street crimes most commonly occur or seek to follow a money trail across borders to identify drug smuggling and related criminal networks. The new surveillance technologies are often applied categorically e. Traditional surveillance often implied a noncooperative relationship and a clear distinction between the object of surveillance and the person carrying it out. In an age of servants listening behind closed doors, binoculars, and telegraph interceptions, that separation made sense. It was easy to distinguish the watcher from the person watched.

Yet for the new surveillance, with its expanded forms of self-surveillance and cooperative surveillance, the easy distinction between agent and subject of surveillance can be blurred. Inmates could never be sure when they were being watched and hence through self-interest and habit it was hoped they would engage in self-discipline. Well-publicized contemporary warnings e. A general ethos of self-surveillance is also encouraged by the availability of products that permit individuals to test themselves e.

Implanted chips transmitting identity and location, which were initially offered for pets, are now available for their owners and others as well. In some work settings smart badges worn by individuals do the same thing, although not with the same degree of voluntarism. Beyond the individual forms, surveillance at an aggregate level is central to social management.

The new surveillance relative to traditional surveillance has low visibility or is invisible. Manipulation against direct coercion has become more prominent. Monitoring may be purposefully disguised, as with a video camera hidden in a teddy bear or a clock. Or it may simply come to be routinized and taken for granted, as when data collection is integrated into everyday activities e. With the trend toward ubiquitous computing, surveillance and sensors in one sense disappear into ordinary activities and objects—cars, cell phones, toilets, buildings, clothes, and even bodies.

The remote sensing of preferences and behavior offers many advantages such as controlling temperature and lighting in a room or reducing shipping and merchandising costs, while also generating records that can be used for surveillance. There may be only a short interval between the discovery of the information and the automatic taking of action.

The individual as a subject of data collection and analysis may also almost simultaneously become the object of an intervention, whether this involves the triggering of an alarm or the granting or denial of some form of access e. The new forms are relatively inexpensive per unit of data collected. Relative to traditional forms, it is easy to combine visual, auditory, text, and numerical data. It is relatively easier to organize, store, retrieve, analyze, send, and receive data.


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  • Simulated models of behavior are created. The new surveillance is more comprehensive, intensive, and extensive. The ratio of what the individual knows about him or herself relative to what the surveilling organization knows is lower than in the past, even if objectively much more is known. One way to think about the topic is to note that many of the kinds of surveillance once found only in high security military and prison settings are seeping into the society at large. Are we moving toward becoming a maximum security society where ever more of our behavior is known and subject to control?

    Some features of the maximum security society are the following: These tell us where to look and what to measure. This can help in identifying the variation that is central to explanation, understanding, and evaluation. Organizational surveillance is distinct from the nonorganizational surveillance carried about by individuals. As James Rule has noted, modern organizations are the driving forces in the instrumental collection of personal data. As organizations increasingly use personal data for what David Lyon calls social sorting, the implications for many aspects of life are profound—whether involving work, consumption, health, travel, or liberty.

    At the organizational level, formal surveillance involves a constituency. Organizations have varying degrees of internal and external surveillance. Here, individuals belong to the organization in a double sense. First, they belong as members. But they also in a sense are belongings of the organization.

    They are directly subject to its control in ways that nonmembers are not. We can often see a loose analogy to the ownership of property. External constituency surveillance is present when those who are watched have some patterned contact with the organization, e. Those observed do not belong to the organization the way that an employee or inmate does. Credit card companies and banks, for example, monitor client transactions and also seek potential clients by mining and combining data bases.

    The control activities of a government agency charged with enforcing health and safety regulations is another example.

    In this case, the organization is responsible for seeing that categories of persons subject to its rules are in compliance, even though they are not members of the organization. In the case of external nonconstituency surveillance, organizations monitor their broader environment in watching other organizations and social trends.


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    One variant of this is industrial espionage. Personal surveillance, in which an individual watches another individual whether for protection, strategic, or prurient reasons apart from an organizational role, is another major form. It may involve role relationship surveillance, as with family members parents and children, the suspicious spouse or friends looking out for and looking at each other e.

    The person about whom information is sought is a surveillance subject. All persons of course play both roles, although hardly in the same form or degree. This changes depending on the context and over the life cycle. The roles are sometimes blurred and may overlap. Within the surveillance agent category, the surveillance function may be central to the role, as with police, private detectives, spies, work supervisors, and investigative reporters. Or it may simply be a peripheral part of a broader role whose main goals are elsewhere.

    A distinction rich with empirical and ethical implications is whether the situation involves those who are a party to the generation and collection of data direct participants or instead involves third parties. Third parties may legitimately obtain personal information through contracting with the surveillance agent e. Surveillance can also be analyzed with respect to whether it is nonreciprocal or reciprocal.

    Changing the Conversation About Librarians

    Surveillance that is reciprocal may be asymmetrical or symmetrical, and that surveillance itself may be asymmetrical or symmetrical with respect to means and goals. In a democratic society, citizens and government engage in reciprocal but distinct forms of mutual surveillance. In bounded settings such as a protest demonstration, there may be greater equivalence with respect to particular means e. In these cases the individual makes a claim or seeks help and essentially invites, or at least agrees to, scrutiny. With agent-initiated surveillance the goals of the organization are always intended to be served.

    Public health and medical surveillance have multiple goals, protecting the community as well as the individual. Providing a limited amount of personal information on a warranty form and having a chip record usage of an appliance, such as a lawn mower or a car, may serve the interest of both consumers and businesses e. Consider some protection services that have the capability to remotely monitor home and business interiors video, audio, heat, gas, motion detection or health systems for remotely monitoring the elderly and ill e.

    As forms more likely to involve informed consent, these are less controversial than secretly generated agent surveillance. What is good for the organization may also be good for the individual, though that is not always the case and of course depends on the context. The myth of surveillance involves creating and sustaining the belief through the mass media that a technique is omnipresent and omnipotent. The desire is to have people think that the police are everywhere at all times, knowing everything. This is presumed to be a deterrent. New conditions may appear, and efforts to resist surveillance are common.

    A number of behavioral techniques of neutralization—strategic moves by which subjects of surveillance seek to subvert the collection of personal information—can be noted Marx, Among these are direct refusal, discovery, avoidance, switching, distorting, countersurveillance, cooperation, blocking and masking. Responses to drug testing illustrate most of these. Social systems often leak, and the date of a supposed random or surprise test or search can sometimes be inferred involving a discovery move.

    Employees may receive notice of a test. Such foreknowledge permits avoidance moves involving abstinence, the hiding or destroying of incriminating material, not going to work on that day, or leaving early because one is ill. Given empathy and the multiplicity of actors and interests in complex organizations, various cooperative moves, in which controllers aid those purportedly controlled, may also be seen. Countersurveillance involves an ironic turning of the tables in which the very technologies used to control others come to be used to advance the interests of those controlled.

    The resulting data can be used defensively or to coerce those in positions of authority. Consider for example the potential for the documentation of unwanted sexual advances and police abuse. Another set of processes involves decisions about whether or not to surveil, and if so which technique to use, how to apply it, and to whom e. The social scientist seeks to identify and explain these patterns and their prior correlates. Such decisions have consequences. Subsequent developments can be contingent on the choices made.

    A decision to watch everyone categorical suspicion avoids claims of discrimination in targeting but is more expensive and can lead to a sense of privacy invasion, as there is no predicate for the watching. Another aspect of the process involves the path or career of surveillance events. In many, perhaps a majority of, cases no action follows from surveillance, as nothing of interest is discovered.

    The surveillance is intended to serve a scarecrow function or simply to generate a documentary record. Information may be saved until it is needed or a critical amount has been obtained. Or occasionally too much is discovered to act on, or the surveilled can exert counterpressure to prevent action from being taken. Yet techniques, too, have careers. The surveillance appetite can be insatiable and often shows a tendency to expand to new goals, agents, subjects, and forms.

    There may be new uses for the data. New surveillance agents and subjects may appear. A common process is a progression from use on animals to prisoners, criminal suspects, noncitizens, the ill and children, and then throughout the society. Tactics developed by government for defense and law enforcement spread to manufacturing and commercial uses and then to uses in interpersonal relations by friends, family, and others.

    Consider the expansion of drug testing from the military to sensitive categories such as transportation workers to the workforce at large, and then even to parents testing their children. The patterning of the use of global positioning satellite data is equivalent. Yet expansion is only one path. A technique may be developed but not widely used for example, the case with handwriting analysis—graphology—in the United States, although not in France.

    Or, if adopted, a tactic may diffuse slowly rather than rapidly throughout the social order. Television, for example, has been available since the late s. Various adoptive patterns can be seen. We can sometimes note a rarely studied phenomenon of surveillance contraction. Widely used tactics may come to be less used as a result of political controversy, the development of regulations and unintended consequences, or as better tactics are developed. For example, congressional legislation in severely restricted the use of the polygraph for employment purposes.

    What Is to Be Done? Social understanding and moral evaluation require attending to the varied contexts and goals of surveillance. The many settings and forms and processes of surveillance preclude any easy explanations or conclusion. In addition, because it develops out of an inequitable social context, it is seen as likely to reinforce the status quo.

    A more optimistic view places great faith in the power of technology, which is seen to be neutral. Clearly, surveillance is a sword with multiple edges. For example, we value both the individual and the community. We want both liberty and order. We seek privacy and often anonymity, but we also know that secrecy can hide dastardly deeds and that visibility can bring accountability, and we value freedom of expression. But too much visibility may inhibit experimentation, creativity, and risk-taking. But more often compromise if rarely a simplistic perfect balance is required.

    When privacy and civil liberties are negatively affected, it is vital to acknowledge rather than to deny this, as is so often the case. Such honesty can make for more informed decisions and also serves an educational function. Surveillance practices are shaped by manners, organizational policies, and laws and by available technologies and countertechnologies.

    These draw on a number of background value principles and tacit assumptions about the empirical world that need to be analyzed. Whatever action is taken there are likely costs, gains, and trade-offs. The following questions based on Marx, are of help in making those distinctions and decisions: This involves a transparency principle. Is consent genuine i. Are the announced goals the real goals?

    Can harm be easily discovered and compensated for? At the same time, librarianship as a field has adopted a more skeptical perspective; libraries are feeling market pressure to adopt and use new innovations; and Information Technology in Librarianship: Leckie , John Buschman. In the last 15 years, the ground - both in terms of technological advance and in the sophistication of analyses of technology - has shifted. At the same time, librarianship as a field has adopted a more skeptical perspective; libraries are feeling market pressure to adopt and use new innovations; and their librarians boast a greater awareness of the socio-cultural, economic, and ethical considerations of information and communications technologies.

    Within such a context, a fresh and critical analysis of the foundations and applications of technology in librarianship is long overdue. Critical Theory of Technology: An Overview Chapter 2: Contexts and Distinctions Chapter 3: A Quick Digital Fix? A Critical, Contextual Analysis Chapter 5: