Provides a comprehensive introduction to the interactions of society and technology. The new fifth edition includes coverage of such timely topics as cloning, stem-cell research, genetically modified foods, terrorism, intellectual property, and the global impact of the internet.
Author: George Basalla
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1989-02-24
Genre: Technology & Engineering
This book presents an evolutionary theory of technological change based upon recent scholarship in the history of technology and upon relevant material drawn from economic history and anthropology. It challenges the popular notion that technology advances by the efforts of a few heroic individuals who produce a series of revolutionary inventions owing little or nothing to the technological past. Therefore, the book's argument is shaped by analogies taken selectively from the theory of organic evolution, and not from the theory and practice of political revolution. Three themes appear, and reappear with variations, throughout the study. The first is diversity: an acknowledgment of the vast numbers of different kinds of made things (artifacts) that have long been available to humanity; the second is necessity: the belief that humans are driven to invent new artifacts in order to meet basic biological requirements such as food, shelter, and defense; and the third is technological evolution: an organic analogy that explains both the emergence of novel artifacts and their subsequent selection by society for incorporation into its material life without invoking either biological necessity or technological progress. Although the book is not intended to provide a strict chronological account of the development of technology, historical examples - including many of the major achievements of Western technology: the waterwheel, the printing press, the steam engine, automobiles and trucks, and the transistor - are used extensively to support its theoretical framework. The Evolution of Techology will be of interest to all readers seeking to learn how and why technology changes, including both students and specialists in the history of technology and science.
Author: James Burke
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2009-11-24
From the bestselling author of The Knowledge Web come fifty mesmerizing journeys into the history of technology, each following a chain of consequential events that ends precisely where it began. Whether exploring electromagnetic fields, the origin of hot chocolate, or DNA fingerprinting, these essays -- which originally appeared in James Burke's popular Scientific American column -- all illustrate the serendipitous and surprisingly circular nature of change. In "Room with (Half) a View," for instance, Burke muses about the partly obscured railway bridge outside his home on the Thames. Thinking of the bridge engineer, who also built the steamship that laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable, causes him to recall Samuel Morse; which, in turn, conjures up Morse's neighbor, firearms inventor Sam Colt, and his rival, Remington. One dizzying connection after another leads to Karl Marx's daughter, who attended Socialist meetings with a trombonist named Gustav Holst, who once lived in the very house that blocks Burke's view of the bridge on the Thames. Burke's essays all evolve in this organic manner, highlighting the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated events and innovations. Romantic poetry leads to brandy distillation; tonic water connects through Leibniz to the first explorers to reach the North Pole. Witty, instructive, and endlessly entertaining, Circles expands on the trademark style that has captivated James Burke fans for years. This unique collection is sure to stimulate and delight history buffs, technophiles, and anyone else with a healthy intellectual curiosity.
Author: Philip E. Auerswald
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-01-25
Genre: Political Science
Author: Thomas J. Misa
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 2013-10-23
"Misa brings his acclaimed text up to date by examining how today's unsustainable energy systems, insecure information networks, and vulnerable global shipping have helped foster geopolitical risks and instability. A masterful analysis of how technology and culture have influenced each other over five centuries, Leonardo to the Internet frames a history that illuminates modern-day problems and prospects faced by our technology-dependent world
Author: Daniel R. Headrick Professor of Social Sciences and History Roosevelt University
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2009-02-25
Genre: Technology & Engineering
Today technology has created a world of dazzling progress, growing disparities of wealth and poverty, and looming threats to the environment. Technology: A World History offers an illuminating backdrop to our present moment--a brilliant history of invention around the globe. Historian Daniel R. Headrick ranges from the Stone Age and the beginnings of agriculture to the Industrial Revolution and the electronic revolution of the recent past. In tracing the growing power of humans over nature through increasingly powerful innovations, he compares the evolution of technology in different parts of the world, providing a much broader account than is found in other histories of technology. We also discover how small changes sometimes have dramatic results--how, for instance, the stirrup revolutionized war and gave the Mongols a deadly advantage over the Chinese. And how the nailed horseshoe was a pivotal breakthrough for western farmers. Enlivened with many illustrations, Technology offers a fascinating look at the spread of inventions around the world, both as boons for humanity and as weapons of destruction.
Author: Arnold Pacey
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 1992
From cathedrals to star wars, Arnold Pacey looks at the interaction of technologies and society over the last thousand years and uses that survey to argue for a more humane form of future technological development. The second edition of The Maze of Ingenuity concentrates on Europe and North America and incorporates recent insights from the history and sociology of technology. A new series of chapters extends Pacey's discussion of the role of ideas and ideals in technology in the period since the industrial revolution. Arnold Pacey has taught the history of science and technology at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Work on this new edition has been carried on in parallel with tutorial teaching for an Open University course entitled "Technology and Change." ContentsThe Cathedral Builders: European Technical Achievement between 1100 and 1280A Century of Invention: 1250-1350Mathematics and the Arts: 1450-1600The Practical Arts and the Scientific RevolutionSocial Ideals in Technical Change: German Miners and English Puritans, 1450-1650The State and Technical Progress: 1660-1770Technology in the Industrial RevolutionConflicting Ideals in Engineering: America and Britain, 1790-1870Institutionalizing Technical Ideals, 1820-1920Idealistic Trends in Twentieth-Century Technology.
What is innovation? How is innovation used in business? How can we use it to succeed? Innovation - the ways ideas are made valuable - makes an important contribution to economic and social development, and is an increasingly topical issue. Not so long ago, there were no information technologies, commercial airlines, or television companies. Our parents were born into a world very different to today's, where television had yet to be invented, and there was no penicillin or frozen food. When our grandparents were born there were no internal combustion engines, aeroplanes, cinemas, or radios. In the last 150 years our world has been transformed - largely in part due to innovation. This Very Short Introduction looks at what innovation is and why it affects us so profoundly. It examines how it occurs, who stimulates it, how it is pursued, and what its outcomes are, both positive and negative. Innovation is hugely challenging and failure is common, yet it is essential to our social and economic progress. Mark Dodgson and David Gann consider the extent to which our understanding of innovation developed over the past century and how it might be used to interpret the global economy we all face in the future. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
A unique A-to-Z reference of brilliance in innovation and invention Combining engagingly written, well-researched history with the respected imprimatur of Scientific American magazine, this authoritative, accessible reference provides a wide-ranging overview of the inventions, technological advances, and discoveries that have transformed human society throughout our history. More than 400 entertaining entries explain the details and significance of such varied breakthroughs as the development of agriculture, the "invention" of algebra, and the birth of the computer. Special chronological sections divide the entries, providing a unique focus on the intersection of science and technology from early human history to the present. In addition, each section is supplemented by primary source sidebars, which feature excerpts from scientists' diaries, contemporary accounts of new inventions, and various "In Their Own Words" sources. Comprehensive and thoroughly readable, Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries is an indispensable resource for anyone fascinated by the history of science and technology. Topics include: aerosol spray * algebra * Archimedes' Principle * barbed wire * canned food * carburetor * circulation of blood * condom * encryption machine * fork * fuel cell * latitude * music synthesizer * positron * radar * steel * television * traffic lights * Heisenberg's uncertainty principle
Author: Charles Hill
Publisher: Hoover Press
Release Date: 2011
“A Muslim has no nationality except his religious beliefs, ” said Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, a key figure in the world of political Islam who was executed by the secular regime in his homeland in 1966. For decades, the ideologues of pan-Islam have refused to accept the boundaries and the responsibilities of the order of states. In Trial of a Thousand Years, Charles Hill analyzes the long war of Islamism against the international state system. Hill places the Islamists in their proper historical place, showing that they are but the latest challenge to the requirements that states had placed on themselves since the international system was born in 1648. The author describes the many wars on world order over the modern centuries—the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, World Wars I and II, the cold war—and gives a unique historical perspective to the Islamic challenge of the twenty-first century in Iran, Afghanistan, and beyond. He concludes that America must not give up its values; neither should we retreat by declaring that we will practice them only at home or by telling ourselves that our values are no more worthy than any others selected at random from among the world’s many cultures. The first step, he says, is to recognize the problem and then try to develop ways to deal with the exploitation of asymmetries by the enemies of world order.