The Evolution Of Technology

Author: George Basalla
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316101584
Size: 46.59 MB
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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.

Evolutionary History

Author: Edmund Russell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139496476
Size: 67.75 MB
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We tend to see history and evolution springing from separate roots, one grounded in the human world and the other in the natural world. Human beings have, however, become probably the most powerful species shaping evolution today, and human-caused evolution in other species has probably been the most important force shaping human history. This book introduces readers to evolutionary history, a new field that unites history and biology to create a fuller understanding of the past than either can produce on its own. Evolutionary history can stimulate surprising new hypotheses for any field of history and evolutionary biology. How many art historians would have guessed that sculpture encouraged the evolution of tuskless elephants? How many biologists would have predicted that human poverty would accelerate animal evolution? How many military historians would have suspected that plant evolution would convert a counter-insurgency strategy into a rebel subsidy? With examples from around the globe, this book will help readers see the broadest patterns of history and the details of their own life in a new light.

Science And Selection

Author: David L. Hull
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521644051
Size: 26.79 MB
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This 2001 book brings together many of David Hull's most important essays on selection in one accessible volume.

The Grand Designers

Author: John D. Anderson Jr
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108340563
Size: 23.81 MB
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The airplane has experienced phenomenal advancement in the twentieth century, changing at an exponential rate from the Wright brothers to the present day. In this ground breaking work based on new research, Dr John D. Anderson, Jr, a curator at the National Air and Space Museum, analyzes the historical development of the conceptual design process of the airplane. He aims to answer the question of whether airplane advancement has been driven by a parallel advancement in the intellectual methodology of conceptual airplane design. In doing so, Anderson identifies and examines six case histories of 'grand designers' in this field, and challenges some of the preconceived notions of how the intellectual methodology of conceptual airplane design advanced. Filled with over one hundred illustrations which bring his words to life, Anderson unfolds the lives and thoughts of these grand designers.

Making Sense Of Illness

Author: Robert A. Aronowitz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521558259
Size: 32.90 MB
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In Making Sense of Illness Robert Aronowitz offers historical essays about how diseases change their meaning. Each of the diseases or etiologic hypotheses in this book has had a controversial and contested history: psychosomatic views of ulcerative colitis, twentieth century chronic fatigue syndromes, Lyme disease, angina pectoris, risk factors for coronary heart disease, and the type A hypothesis. By juxtaposing the history of the different diseases, the author shows how values and interests have determined research programs, public health activities, clinical decisions, and the patient's experience of illness.

From Polaris To Trident

Author: Graham Spinardi
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521413572
Size: 44.43 MB
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This book provides a complete history of the US Fleet Ballistic Missile programme from its inception in the 1950s and the development of Polaris to the deployment of Trident II in 1990. Writing in an accessible yet scholarly manner, Graham Spinardi bases his historical documentation of FBM development on interviews with many of the key participants. His study confronts a central issue: is technology simply a tool used to achieve the goals of society, or is it an autonomous force in shaping that society? FBM accuracy evolved from the city-busting retaliatory capability of Polaris to the silo-busting 'first strike' potential of Trident. Is this a case of technology 'driving' the arms race, or simply the intended product of political decisions? The book provides a comprehensive survey of the literature looking at the role of technology in the arms race, and seeks to explain technological development using a 'sociology of technology' approach.

The Encyclopedia Of The Industrial Revolution In World History

Author: Kenneth E. Hendrickson, III
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0810888882
Size: 28.86 MB
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The Encyclopedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History is a three-volume work of over 1,000 entries on the rise and spread of the Industrial Revolution across the world. Entries comprise accessible but scholarly explorations of topics from the “aerospace industry” to “zaibatsu.” Contributor articles not only address topics of technology and technical innovation but emphasize the individual human and social experience of industrialization. Entries include generous selections of biographical figures and human communities, with articles on entrepreneurs, working men and women, families, and organizations. They also cover legal developments, disasters, and the environmental impact of the Industrial Revolution. Each entry also includes cross-references and a brief list of suggested readings to alert readers to more detailed information.