Have technological advancements reached the point where they hurt us more than they help? Krugman, the author of “Sympathy for the Luddites” and Gladwell, the author of “Small Change: Why the revolution won’t be tweeted” both express their views on new technology we have today.
Their ideas are different because they talk about different technologies, but are similar because they both believe that they are beginning to have a negative impact on our society. The comparison of Krugman and Gladwell’s arguments give the reader a better understanding of how new technology has changed the world.
The main idea for Krugman’s argument is that modern machines are devaluing certain human skills. He says that “Modern technology is raising the demand for highly educated workers while reducing the demand for less educated workers” which would mean the solution is more education (Krugman).
The problem with this idea is that studies have shown that highly educated workers are as likely as less educated workers to find themselves devalued (Krugman). This diminishes the idea that pouring lots of time and money into education will secure a job. In this day and age, “more education may create as many problems as it solves” (Krugman).
He believes that education is no longer the answer to rising inequality and the solution is to have a social safety net, not just for health care, but also a minimum income (Krugman). This would mean that taxes will go up to support redistribution. On the other hand, Gladwell’s argument is rooted in the claim that social media has not only changed the way people interact with each other but also how we protest (Gagnon).
He claims that social media has changed protests from high-risk acts by passionate people with the drive to make a difference in the world, to low-risk acts with massive amounts of people that don’t even know one another (Gagnon). Gladwell believes that protests have gone from “strong tie” activism to “weak tie” activism due to the lack of unification from driven people striving for a common goal (Gagnon).
He is basically saying that real results and change won’t be seen nowadays because we are missing the “closeness” and “drive” that sparked revolutions in the past (Gagnon). Gladwell clearly explains that in the next revolution, we will not be using social media, but instead will have to rely on the closeness and connection to others (Zaeder).