What exactly do you do?

Today a bunch of us gathered in the ACT Lab with Andrew Feenberg for an interview with the Faculty of Applied Science’s FAS Thinking, a newsletter used to promote the various research activities and projects of the different schools within the faculty. It is an interesting task to try to explain philosophy of technology, critical theory of technology and technology studies, as well as their divergences, in under 25 words (the obvious critique of journalism would go here if one had the time or interest). Anyhow, it was, well fun is not the right word, but once we all got going, it was interesting. I mean, academics typically like talking about their work, and since we all start from the same theoretical foundation or reference point (that is, Feenberg’s critical theory of technology) we can communicate, and understand, basically, what each other is saying. The interviewers, on the other hand, have no such reference point, and further, are unfamiliar with the jargon (some obvious toughies were rationalization – democratic or otherwise, hermeneutics, phenomenology and the like). There were a lot of gaps in their notetaking, when talk turned technical, and who could blame them. We’ve been at this stuff for years, they’re attempting a crash course, with no similar motivation. We’ll see how the article turns out. I’ll link to it when it’s published.

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