Freeman Dyson

Technological advancement has its upside and downside. For instance, innovation has helped in streamlining processes in various industries, thus reducing operational costs. On the contrary, technology has directly resulted in job losses as more processes become automated. In addition, there is a widely accepted notion that technological advancements promote social injustice in the form of oppression and inequality. Those positing that innovation amplifies the social gap between the affluent and the poor base their argument on the perception that technology is an expensive and powerful tool, which is unaffordable to the poor (Winston & Edelbach, 2012). Consequently, the rich use it to accumulate more wealth and dominance at the detriment of the poor. However, Dyson argues that technology actually promotes social justice through access to education, health services, information, among others. The main objective of this paper is to discuss Dyson’s arguments that shoot down the ideology that technology promotes social injustice.

Technological advancements have contributed in a big way towards educating the society in order to increase literacy levels and awareness. It is through innovations such as televisions, Internet, mobile phones,, etc. that the society has become knowledgeable. With this invaluable amount of knowledge, society has become increasingly aware of its rights and human potential. Dyson further argues that technology provides a means for transfer of knowledge between people, hence, providing a platform to improve one’s life and those of others. For instance, Dyson cites the introduction of printers as a key breakthrough in the 14th century because it helped scholars impart knowledge to common individuals, hence, empowering them to reject being oppressed by aristocrats.

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Innovation has also made a noteworthy contribution towards healthcare with the development of sophisticated healthcare equipment for treating and detecting diseases, chemicals used in water and sewer treatment, medicine, vaccines among many others (Dyson, 1997). Studies show that access to proper healthcare increases a nation’s life expectancy; hence, credible governments strive to ensure that their citizenry has access to proper healthcare services. However, the rich can often afford better healthcare services than the underprivileged, but this does not deny the poor complete access to essential healthcare services.

According to Dyson (1997), in the earlier days there was a clear distinction between the way the nobles and the underprivileged dressed. The former wore expensive clothes made from silk and fur, while the poor wore dull colors cut from cheap fabrics. In modern day, there is no apparent distinction between the way of dressing of the affluent and the poor. Essentially, there is no clear cut between social classes based on the mode of dressing because both classes dress in fancy clothes blended from natural and synthetic fabrics. Dyson further argues that kids from wealthy homes have adapted to the way of dressing of the majority; thus, it is common to see them wearing what would have been regarded as cheap in earlier times.

It is common practice to find masters and mistresses treating their servants with disdain because servants are considered to belong to a lower class. Such an inhumane treatment towards the less fortunate in society helped to widen the social disparity. The technology era has eliminated the need to employ domestic servants as was the case a few decades back; hence, giving both the wealthy and the poor an opportunity to go to school in order to secure a decent job.

Dyson posits some weighty arguments in support of how technological advancement has reduced social injustices witnessed in the past. Actually, there is strong evidence that innovation has helped in bridging the gap between the noble and the underprivileged. Even though there is a distinction between the lifestyles led by the two classes, technology has improved the lives of the underprivileged more than it has improved those of the affluent. Nowadays, the poor have access to proper sanitation, healthcare, education, among other essential services provided by the government, which would not have been the case in the absence of technology. Moreover, they have access to information that empowers them to fight oppression by modern-day aristocrats. In conclusion, Dyson’s arguments are proof that innovation has done more good than destruction to the society by reducing the level of social injustice witnessed in earlier centuries.

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