VISIONS OF TECHNOLOGY: A Century Of Vital Debate About Machines Systems And The Human World (Sloan Technology)
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: VISIONS OF TECHNOLOGY: A Century Of Vital ...
Verlag: Simon & Schuster, New York, NY
Auflage: First Edition.
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Technology has been the blessing and the bane of the 20th Century. Human life-span has nearly doubled in the West, but no century ever killed more human beings with new technologies than this. New technology became part of the machine of war, ranging from the staggering loss of life of the First World War to the media spectacle which brought the war in the Gulf into our living rooms. Improvements in agriculture have fed increasing billions, but now pesticides and chemicals threaten to poison the Earth. Richard Rhodes attempts to answer some fundamental questions arising from the prominence which technology plays in all of our lives. These problems and paradoxes have stirred impassioned debate, yet despite the central role technology has played in this century, VISIONS OF TECHNOLOGY is the first book to represent the rich diversity of commentary about this vital subject. This provocative treasury hightlights the views of the century's most prominent technological figures from Henry Ford, H.G. Wells, Rachel Carson and Albert Einstein to Aldous Huxley and John Glenn. As the cultural ambivalence towards technology takes us into the next century, Richard Rhodes provides a timely forum of debate about machines, systems and the human world.Review:
"Technological wariness is an enduring disturbance, with roots in religion," writes popular-science interpreter Rhodes in his introduction to this welcome anthology of 20th-century scientific invention. "Prometheus stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans carries the sense of it; so does the serpent persuading Eve to taste the knowledgeable apple, and the Jewish myth of the Golem, a Frankenstein's monster animated by incorporations of holy words." Gods and monsters abound in these pages, made up of excerpts from essays, reports, articles, and speeches by both inventors and their critics. Rhodes includes, for instance, a worried editorial from 1931 by the journalist Floyd Allport, who presciently noted the community-destroying effects of technological advances such as the private car and the telephone; he also reproduces any number of warnings from the likes of Aldous Huxley, Vannevar Bush, and Edward Abbey that humankind's scientific imagination far outstrips our moral capacity. Joining these jeremiads in Rhodes's pages are more optimistic assessments, including Intel Corporation founder Gordon Moore's famous formulation, from 1965, that "the complexity of integrated circuits has approximately doubled every year since their introduction," whereas "cost per function has decreased several thousand-fold"--which explains why personal computers, among other items, have become increasingly more powerful and yet less expensive. Anyone interested in the development of 20th-century science, applied or theoretical, will delight in Rhodes's collection. --Gregory McNamee
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