Langdon Winner called this belief "autonomous technology," the faith that technology is and must be highly differentiated, identifiably disengaged, and objectified. While common to all industrial societies, autonomous technology occupies a peculiar place in the life of North Americans. Technology, for us, is more than an assortment of artifacts or practices, a means to accomplish desired ends. Technology is also the central character and actor in our social drama, an end as well as a means. In fact, technology plays the role of "the trickster" in American culture: At each turn of the historical cycle it appears center stage, in a different guise, promising something totally new.More excerpts
Our national storytelling is, to an unusual extent, embedded in the history of technology; it is the story, to use Leo Marx's useful phrase, of the "machine in the Garden."
… once constituted, technology, like any God, must be propitiated.
The rituals of theory are themselves ways of propitiating technology. If human imagination operates mainly by a process of analogy-a "seeing-as" comprehension of the less intelligible by the more (the universe is a hogan, the world a wedding)-the main analogy of modem thought is technology.
The consequences of technology are always profoundly contradictory; contradiction is of the essence of technology, not just some accidental byproduct of the historical process.
The more appliances that our lives require-appliances rather than our own biological capacity-the more influence their producers have over the texture of our lives.