SOSC 111 - Science Technology
and Society
Today: Lesson 22
Technology at Work
November 20, 1998
Dr. Vincent Duffy - IEEM
email: vduffy@ust.hk
Q1. What are NC Tools? How do they change the workplace?
Numerically controlled machines
shape metals using tape, and repeatable
programmed motions
 automatic program language
 expensive, however represents extension of
management control in the workplace
 contributes to centralization of authority
 deskilling -worker skill designed into the
How do they affect the workplace?
managerial authority embodied in the
 unskilled workers become alienated from
the products they make
 many
workers may have
 little
knowledge of the production process
 little pride in their work
developed in pursuit of extreme efficiency
 can contribute to problems between labor
and management
Metropolis, 1927
 Fritz Lang
 most expensive film in Europe at the time
 Q.2. What does Fritz Lang illustrate in this
movie? What is he showing? How does
this related to your life in HK/China/UST?
 distinguishes between those who work with
their brains, living above everyone else
 controlling the city of Metropolis and those
who work with their hands
The Future....
In your predictions/hopes
 technology
coming : toward a push button society
You also noted w/coming of cloning
 What
will the ordinary people do
 Will we have 7.8M guards and janitors with
 200k Bill Gates, Einsteins making programs that
allow us to push buttons?
What will be our purpose?
What will be our role?
…in the future
Illustrating your future role in the face
of increasing technology:
How do we make improvements?
 economic,
social, technological, personal
Our in class exercise for Monday
 Inspired
by incident in another class
 paper airplane
You will act as a team of consultants
 Improving a paper helicopter
 Problems:
 poor
flying time
 only experts can make it work
Next time - Monday
Bring your group members
 Please bring a watch to count/measure time
 Please be ready to work in groups at the
beginning of class
 Please arrive on time so as not to miss the intro.
for the in class exercise