This paper suggests that technology is excessively ‘high’ in two senses. The first sense refers to a high level of logical or grammatical abstraction: artifacts and machines are designated (in medias, everyday and scientific discourses) as ‘technology’, a word that etymologically refers to the knowledge surrounding those artifacts. Following the Logical Types Theory, the fact of designating concrete artifacts with the level of abstraction which corresponds to the totality containing those artifacts, leads us into metonymical or “vicious circle fallacies” (Whitehead & Russell, 1962). The second sense of ‘highness’ is symbolic. Recent works on Anthropology of Technology show that machines are often perceived with a fetishistic regard. The most sophisticated innovations, in spite of being perceived as mere instruments, are raised to the symbolical status of mystical objects, or even treated as subjects. Here I will argue that this logical and symbolical ‘highness’ could reveal an implicit devotion towards modern technology.
Arregui, Aníbal García
"Too 'High' Tech: Metonymical Fallacies and Fetishism in the Perception of Technology,"
Journal of Contemporary Anthropology: Vol. 2
, Article 3.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jca/vol2/iss1/3