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- DescriptionTechlogy matters, writes David Nye, because it is inseparable from being human. We have used tools for more than 100,000 years, and their central purpose has t always been to provide necessities. People excel at using old tools to solve new problems and at inventing new tools for more elegant solutions to old tasks. Perhaps this is because we are intimate with devices and machines from an early age -- as children, we play with techlogical toys: trucks, cars, stoves, telephones, model railroads, Playstations. Through these machines we imagine ourselves into a creative relationship with the world. As adults, we retain this techlogical playfulness with gadgets and appliances -- Blackberries, cell phones, GPS navigation systems in our cars. We use techlogy to shape our world, yet we think little about the choices we are making. In Techlogy Matters, Nye tackles ten central questions about our relationship to techlogy, integrating a half-century of ideas about techlogy into ten cogent and concise chapters, with wide-ranging historical examples from many societies. He asks: Can we define techlogy? Does techlogy shape us, or do we shape it? Is techlogy inevitable or unpredictable? (Why do experts often fail to get it right?)? How do historians understand it? Are we using modern techlogy to create cultural uniformity, or diversity? To create abundance, or an ecological crisis? To destroy jobs or create new opportunities? Should the market choose our techlogies? Do advanced techlogies make us more secure, or escalate dangers? Does ubiquitous techlogy expand our mental horizons, or encapsulate us in artifice? These large questions may have final answers yet, but we need to wrestle with them -- to live them, so that we may, as Rilke puts it, live along some distant day into the answers.
- Author BiographyDavid E. Nye is Professor of American Studies at the Danish Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Southern Denmark. He is the author of Technology Matters: Questions to Live With and When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America, both published by the MIT Press, and other books.
- PrizesWinner of Society for the History of Technology Sally Hacker Prize 2009.
- Author(s)David E. Nye
- PublisherMIT Press Ltd
- Date of Publication02/10/2007
- SubjectScience & Mathematics: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass.
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintMIT Press
- Weight340 g
- Width136 mm
- Height203 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
- Interest AgeFrom 18
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