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Social Shaping Technology: Critical Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Military
Wordcount: 2914 words Published: 3rd Dec 2020

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2. A – The American Army and the M-16 rifle (James Fallows)

2.1 Introduction of the essay

2.2 Argument and reasoning

3.B The weapons succession process – Mary Kaldor

3.1 Introduction about the essay

3.2 Argument and reasoning

4.C Theories of technology and the abolition of nuclear weapons – Donald Mackenzie

4.1 Introduction about the essay

4.2 Argument and reasoning

5. Conclusion


1. Introduction

This assignment provides critical analysis about The Social Shaping Technology, more specifically, military technology. Social relations thus influence technological change by defining the market. However, the market is far from being the only social institution that determines technological change. The fourth part of this book is military technology and given a point that concerns the extent of the military developed civilian technology.

Military technology has been shaped and developed throughout history. War and its preparation likely coincide with economic considerations as factors in the history of technology. The threat of war, like international economic competition, is forcing technological change and overcoming the expected punishment of those who remain.

However, military interest in the new technology is often crucial for the development and application of technology is inevitable obstacles to overcome economic, military concerns are usually determined the pattern and design details of the new technologies. Three of these cases are in the fields of nuclear energy, aeronautics and electronics. The military directly inspired initial work on nuclear technology, and the economic disadvantages of nuclear power had often obliterated by state interests in the supply of fissile nuclear materials and independent national energy supplies.

Furthermore, that provision was particularly vital in the early stages of development, when, for most commercial purposes, solid-state devices were lower than existing valve technology.

2. A – The American Army and the M-16 rifle

2.1 Introduction of the essay

Fallow illustrates the ability of a set of military organization, the American military to develop American rifles. He also talks about the M-16 rifles, which are catastrophic in combat. Fallow’s story presents itself as an abnormal abuse of power. Purified by some extraordinary properties, such as deliberately and intentionally recording the test result, can be generic.

In the American Army, as somewhere else, organizations develop technology styles and preferences that have built into the criteria used to measure technical change. The definition of rifle in the projectile body has heavily influenced by gravel-bellies. The sharpshooters first approach was the accuracy of the weapon during intentional, long-range shots to find the best range. Since it is impossible to test any technology for every possible circumstance or to adapt it to every possible requirement, the organization must select the criteria. The criteria you prioritize then it depends in part on your past and your relationship with other competing organizations.

The peculiarities of competition between organizations became the focus of military technology, the most advanced approach to developing a bureaucratic political model. Many military decisions have used this model.

2.2 Argument and reasoning

The US military uses the M16 rifle instead of the M14 rifle. The M16 promised lightweight and higher lethality. In this segment, we follow the Vietnamese rifle, where the weapon has gained an unreliable reputation. US soldiers committed to the Vietnam conflict launched a new arm for the Marine Corps and the US Army. Developed by Armalite and legendary weapon maker Colt, the M16 assault rifle was smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the relatively new M14 rifle. American special forces use it. The M16 of the South Vietnamese Army received a lousy description of usability and lethality.

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In the summer of 1966, rumours began filtering out gun problems in Vietnam. The stories contained weapons that were not fed, defeated and could not have repaired. Over the years, the accumulated complaints increased. During the first week of October 1966, for example, the Battalion 1 commander and so on. Thus, no one can deny that the soldiers should have provided lower equipment during their stay. An American soldier died in this execution: why did it happen?

Fallows paid great attention to the timely analysis of the U.S. Government defence worked in the National security. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt transcribed in the New York Times: "I want everyone who knows the alphabet to read the National Defense of James Fallow, a concise analysis of the current state of the United States in the army." (Encyclopedia.com, 2019) The detractor shows approval Fallow for "putting an emotional problem on such an unusually general level of the senses." (Encyclopedia.com, 2019) According to Fallow, in the United States, the issue of national defence is about the quality and effectiveness of the weapons purchased, not the amount spent. That is probably the case, says Fallow, if less has paid, a stronger arsenal can be achieved if the defence dollar has distributed in a more practical and less theoretical order. Fallow explains his conclusions based on the story of two American weapon systems, the M-16 rifle.

3.B The weapons succession process

3.1 Introduction about the essay

The weapon succession process has based the analysis of technological-military changes, based on the latest theories of classical economics and bureaucratic politics. The analysis emphases on the institutional mechanisms the need for weapons and the compatibility of the arsenal of weapons. The need for weapons recognised in the war is transforming technological-military change. In peacetime, the various styles of technological-military change depend on transport institutions; Military-technological change is called baroque in the West and conservative in the Soviet Union. The essay guesses on the impact of different styles of technological-military changes on economic development and arms restrictions.

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According to Kaldor, the armament industry is unusual in Western economies because it mainly involves one buyer, the state, and few competitive arms suppliers. (Selling weapons is economically vital). Competition between suppliers and the need for political justification for new weapons suggests, for example, that a new aircraft has better features. The fundamental discussion of the military institution freezes its more certain substances. This institutional environment results in an innovation style: the weapon system becomes more complex and expensive.

Kaldor arguments the process of developing a technology in which economic factors play an essential role: defence contractors are certainly no less motivated by profit considerations than other companies. Due to the military nature of the contract, companies are not focusing on innovation and the arms management process. Competitive pressure has decided to focus innovation on product development, to the detriment of significant increases in production costs.

Kaldor transforms his ideas into a model to transform military technology. Identify the two characteristics of the technology organization. (sovereign and baroque) That may facilitate some revolutionary changes in military technology.

3.2 Argument and reasoning

Also, weapon systems have made to order non-military production, even without limited technological capability. The problem lies at the heart of the United States, but this extends throughout the world as Kaldor noted. The Soviets, who were technologically underdeveloped at the start of World War two, used weapons to modernize their economies; and also reached the baroque stage. For instance, the creation of an airbase leads to the construction of highways.

Kaldor ends up with ideas for simple and reliable mobile weapons (similar to James Fallow in National Defense) that do not necessarily support the essence of her argument. They seem to say that old technology is obstructing the economy; the new technology does not work well - that seems to be the only decommissioning. This essay nonetheless serves as an exhaustive study dilemma of arms and economic growth.

4.C Theories of technology and the abolition of nuclear weapons – Donald Mackenzie

4.1 Introduction about the essay

This article applies three technological aspects: the theory of technical systems, the method of actors’ networks, and the perspective of local and implicit knowledge on the problem of the final destruction of nuclear weapons. The mechanisms proposed by each aspect are not waterproof, but their interaction is much better in terms of elimination. It seems justified that the destruction of nuclear weapons can change permanently at carefully planned stages around the world.

Mackenzie examines the possibility of a global decommissioning of nuclear weapons. He asks how theories of technological change can contribute to the analysis of their viability: specifically, how nuclear weapons can have permanently and irreversibly destroyed. For example, it suggests that conventional wisdom that nuclear weapons cannot have discovered is misleading. 

Mackenzie also uses Tom Hughes' system and the perspective of a network of actors to destroy nuclear weapons. The system recommends looking for a way to remove those weapons. Emphasizing the actor-network on an extraordinary night seems to indicate caution and pessimism, as broken agreements would be dangerous. Still, Mackenzie explores how less optimistic lessons can have drawn from the theory of actors' networks.

Not all technological alteration is desirable, and comprehensive technology policy should address and support the issue of technological dismantling, which in any case involves technological innovation.

4.2 Argument and reasoning

The statement that nuclear weapons should not have invented defines the possible parameters of a global nuclear security policy. Although the prospects and difficulties of disarmament, the possibility and importance of nuclear devaluation, stabilizing or criticizing the relationship between weapons and deterrence, etc. The debate in the nuclear arsenal never goes beyond and rarely yes, the main limitations of the invention of nuclear weapons.

Michael O'Hanlon says for disarmament as centre between non-invention and the status quo, without irreversible deletion.

“Simply put, nuclear weapons will always be within reach of mankind, whatever we may do, whatever we may prefer. Even as they improve, verification methods will almost surely be incapable of fully ensuring that all existing materials are dismantled or destroyed . . . not only is permanent, irreversible abolition unwise, it is also probably impossible.” (Invention and uninvention in nuclear weapons politics, 2016)

Many critical practitioners and scholars have pointed out that the legitimacy of nuclear weapons is inherent in the fact that they have not been invented and therefore cannot be destroyed (Berry et al. 2010, 5). Nevertheless, it is to accept the impossibility of non-ingenuity but to make each technology a feature and thus declare it irrelevant, as it does not mean that it is impossible to delete.

In my opinion, I consider these changes to be critical. One is the pure destructive power of modern warfare. As each type of weapon became more deadly and more accurate, the final military victory became more and more difficult.  The magnitude of the devastation of the World War (about 50 million people died) is almost unbearable. The Cold War can have interpreted as emphasizing or psychologically suppressing the consequences of this destructiveness. Through the deterrent system, the notion of modern war survived and contributed to maintaining the legitimacy and discipline of current states.

5. Conclusion

In summary, four significant trends in the US military have expected to continue: 

  • the increasing globalization of business, with relatively rapid technology transfer;
  • improving access to hostile foreign governments and non-governmental organizations for relatively sophisticated weapons and weapons of mass destruction;
  • tensions within and between nations that require the rapid deployment of US military capabilities;
  • increasing pressure to reduce defence spending in the United States.

Technological change continues at an accelerated pace, particularly in the field of military technology, through extensive traditional research and development. Technologies to be deployed soon include real drones, robotic weapon systems, war nanotechnology, and autonomous weapon systems. The conclusion shows that while war technologies are more efficient, there is less war in the world, in the percentage of loss, in the interest of the population than ever before. Armed conflicts between developed and underdeveloped states remain mostly asymmetric. But it is not possible to predict which technologies advanced nations will use or which long-running innovations will use low technology innovations. The symmetrical arsenal of nuclear weapons and advanced countries is likely to delay the interstate war indefinitely, thus avoiding technological advances.



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