Browse Definitions :
Definition

78 Questions to Ask About Any Technology

“78 Questions to Ask about Any Technology” is a list designed to inform users as to the advisability of developing or continuing to support a given technology, based on the person's answers to the questions. The list was first written about in Stephanie Mills’ book “Turning Away from Technology.” Mills adapted her list from 76 questions created by the philosopher and sociologist Jacques Ellul.

Mills' 78 questions list was created in acknowledgement that technologies are often developed without adequate thought as to the effect they will have on people and their environments. The purpose of asking 78 questions is to try and ensure that  thoughtful and ethical technology developments will lead to more positive effects.

The questions on Mills' list are organized into nine areas of concern:

Practical: For example, how much does it cost; how may it be dealt with at the end of its useful life?

Aesthetic: For example, is it ugly; how will it affect the user’s quality of life?

Ecological: For example, how might the technology impact the health of users and their natural environments?

Ethical: For example, what other technologies might it lead to; can we be responsible for its effects?

Social: For example, does it serve community; how does it or will it affect the social relationships of users?

Vocational: For example, what are its effects on human creativity; does it aid or replace humans?

Political: For example, does it require military defense; does it foster groupthink?

Moral: For example, what will the effects be on the least advantaged members of society?

Metaphysical: For example, what might it be said to represent in terms of the human inner self; does it express love or anger?

Watch Jacques Ellul’s commentary on the 78 Questions list, in his video series, The Betrayal by Technology:

This was last updated in September 2019

Continue Reading About 78 Questions to Ask About Any Technology

SearchCompliance

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • cyber espionage

    Cyber espionage, also called cyber spying, is a form of cyber attack that is carried out against a competitive company or ...

  • virus (computer virus)

    A computer virus is malicious code that replicates by copying itself to another program, computer boot sector or document and ...

  • honeypot (computing)

    A honeypot is a network-attached system set up as a decoy to lure cyber attackers and detect, deflect and study hacking attempts ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close