Tools aren't value neutral

It is accepted that language influences the way we think1. Language is one of the earliest technologies of communication. We don't have to make a big leap to see that all tools and technologies influence the way we think and act2.

 Therefore, it is erroneous to say things like the following:
“The internet isn’t a pro or anti-democratic technology. It is value neutral”
or
“Powerpoint isn’t good or bad. It is how you use it.”
McLuhan understood this very well. He famously said:
“We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us...Our conventional response to all media, namely that it is how they are used that counts, is the numb stance of the technological idiot.”
Why am I writing this in the middle of posts on software excellence? Because I need this for my forthcoming posts :)

1. Language influences the way we think
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/boroditsky09/boroditsky09_index.html
http://www.amazon.com/Language-Thought-Action-S-I-Hayakawa/dp/0156482401

2. Tools (and technologies) influence the way we act
http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Media-Extensions-Marshall-McLuhan/dp/0262631598
http://www.amazon.com/Shallows-What-Internet-Doing-Brains/dp/0393072223

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