Creating a Taxonomic Tool for Technocracy and Applying It to Silicon Valley
Technology in Society, Vol. 38, p. 161-168 (August 2014)
15 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2014 Last revised: 26 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 10, 2014
Although much criticism has been leveled against technocracy, the multi-layered problem has been analyzed in piecemeal fashion and has yet to be subject to robust classification. Consequently, it can be difficult to determine when allegations of technocracy are true, and the extent to which new instances of technocracy perpetuate longstanding problems. To close this gap in scholarship, we have created a taxonomy of technocracy that identifies three things: 1) the central domains where technocracy emerges, 2) the basic means by which technocratic power is instantiated, and 3) the quintessential types of harms technocratic discipline engenders. To demonstrate the explanatory power of the taxonomy, we apply it to Silicon Valley and clarify how this contemporary example of technocracy relates to past instances.
Keywords: technocracy, Silicon Valley, technology ethics, politics of technology
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