Mikkel Bille

Seminar:  Is being incompetent and ignorant all the bad? Insights from the transition to energy saving light bulbs in Denmark.

Tuesday 24th May 16.00-18.00, D72/MR11 FASS, Lancaster University -All Welcome

When new technologies are introduced there is a learning process involved where people need to adjust or invent practices, meanings and knowledge. For instance, as this presentation discusses, the new energy saving light bulb has forced us to think in new ways about light: From the black-boxed Watt to the white-boxed lumen, kelvin, ra. But such adaptation of new technologies does not always come easy. Research on uses of technology often assume that if people are not competent in using a technology they are at least in the process of becoming so. This presentation takes a closer look at the introduction of the energy saving light bulb in Denmark and discusses how lack of knowledge has become a feature in the animosity against energy-saving lighting technology in Denmark. It is argued that there is a need of understanding how incompetence and ignorance, rather than being a cognitive lack ready to be filled, may both have emotional effects on what people do and be an evaluative term allowing for social positioning. The presentation thus focuses on the fact that everybody are technologically ignorant about something, and this ignorance takes part in shaping social and emotional lives.



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