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Technology, Government, and the Law

BEHS 103: Technology in Contemporary Society

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Week Five

Credit: Katherine Im (2021, July)

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definitions

Government: the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it

 

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

2

 

Politics: the art or science of government

 

 

Law: a binding custom or practice of a community : a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are government and law forms of technology?

 

 

 

 

3

 

Yes!

 

Both are social structures created to serve humankind

Both evolve as needs change

 

 

4

 

Why government?

‹#›

 

 

 

Pre-Civilization

 

Nomadic existence

Traveled in small groups

Everyone contributed to the welfare of the group

No need for a structured government or laws

‹#›

 

 

 

Early Civilization

 

 

Agriculture and domestication of animals – allows for permanent settlements

Required many hands doing the same tasks

Natural leaders emerge in small groups and tribes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology leads to the need for government and laws

 

 

 

Technological advances in agriculture (e.g., plow) lead to better crop yield

Better crop yield led to population increases

More workers available to do non-farming work

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.ancient.eu.com/image/112/

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fpeople.howstuffworks.com%2Fpopulation-six-billion.htm&h=0&w=0&sz=1&tbnid=KLQCap6blHwhOM&tbnh=204&tbnw=248&zoom=1&docid=d_RTuYppuZgWvM&hl=en&ei=19TuUfLcKa-84APsw4GYDA&ved=0CAIQsCU

 

8

 

 

Emergence of a

crafts-based industry

 

Craftsmen controlled their own yield (production)

Craftsmen had portable skills

Highly skilled craftsmen had higher status and were in greater demand – beginning of market economy

Motivated to innovate to stay ahead of the competition

Rules were needed to establish fair practices

Leaders were need to enforce rules

 

 

 

 

 

http://gnc3.wordpress.com/category/middle-ages/

 

9

 

Beginnings of Government and Law

 

Need for government to manage increasingly specialized society

Hammurabi code (1772 BCE) – King of Babylonia – 1st set of laws organizing society, establishing punishments for crimes (“eye for an eye”)

Required that all members of society agree to adhere to the law

 

 

Ancient Greece (8th – 5th C. BCE)

 

Birth of democracy

One man, one vote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://library.thinkquest.org/26466/history_of_democracy.html

 

11

 

What is the role of law?

 

Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE)

The “rule of law” is the principle that no one is exempt from the law

“the rule of law . . . is preferable to that of any individual”

 

Image source http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/84/87984-004-5ADE9ACA.jpg

http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-26-1-plato-and-aristotle-on-tyranny-and-the-rule-of-law.html

 

12

 

Ancient Rome (509-27 BC)

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