Pursell | Pacey–World| Pacey–Meaning | Postman | Tenner | Eberhart | Snow | Kaku
On our last meeting day we talked about a three different perspectives when viewing certain tools and their relation to the inherent power of technology.
These three facets of all tools are both in Pursell and in Pacey; in addition they are explained on the web site:
Three ways the tools create powerful influences!
Three distinct elements in any tool are: material, social, & symbolic.
The material differs from the social organization required to make or use the tool or associated tools and its related technology. Both of these facets differ from the cultural constraints as expressed in language or the symbolic significance tools possess based on what people do with them (adapt and exapt).
In the history of technology, changes in the use of tools have had profound impact on power, accumulation of wealth, success in raising agricultural and manufacturing production, and land-use.
Pursell, Pacey and Postman insist that technology has such great power in our hands, society, and in our heads and souls that Eberhart insists we ar too confused to know the difference between why and when tools and materials fail us. Pursell explores the social, Pacey the material, and Postman the symbolic; though all three authors analyze all three facets.
We are aware of the three aspects of technology but how has that shaped history and why, for example in film –a form of modern technology that is widespread and influential—are we unaware of what motion pictures really are?
See a film at the Global Peace Film Festival and explain what the film is about, how it is evocative, and how the images convey that meaning to you.
How are documentary films real in a way that other commercial films are not?
material, what a tool does, how it does it, and effectiveness is determined by what it is made from and how it fits together into a technical complex,
social: organizational, political, cultural in terms of how labor performs as a team, or we economically adapt to a technology, technique
symbolic: metaphors, cultural icons, images, imagination, stories.
Technology has always been an extension of the human capacity for language, thought and action -- so it finds a place --if not a home-- "in the dreams and fantasies of a society or its rulers."
Other kinds of inspired thoughts with a technical outcome:
That is a term of historian Donald Hill that "denotes small but relatively sophisticated mechanisms of which we may note two kinds, one connected with gardens and the other with astronomy."
These were technologies that allow for some predictive change or a capacity to predict changes more accurately.
These adaptive mechanisms led eventually to water raising wheels and turbines and weight driven clocks and watches.
Current examples of fine technology.
Dreams too are enormously important motivators of invention.
Current threads in existing tool complexes or technical webs:
By analogy and application of Hill's ideas about "fine technology," we can look at 19th century developments in dynamos or radios and 20th century developments and suggest that thermostats, diodes, transistors, cyclotrons, and lasers, are examples of the refinements essential for technical innovation. All are examples of fine technology and the role of components in developing new applications such as mobile phones, PCs, CDs, wireless and music players.
Current examples of.
Mechanization through the application of fine technology ushered in automation.
|Gears transfer power vertically and horizontally to the main drive shafts|
This gearing is an example of fine technology.
Motion is transferred perpendicularly from one plane to another.
|Can you discover more examples of fine technology in the Kaku book and, also, in the last chapters of Pursell or Pacey?|
|Automobile engineering is a trigger.||What makes machinery a key step in automation?|
As automation made gender less of an obstacle to work women were portrayed as denizens of leisure.
Make a list of these refinements that you find and their page numbers:
Bring your lists to class to compare.
Artificial Intelligence | Robots | mechanization
Pursell | Pacey–Meaning | Pacey | Tenner | Postman–Tech | Postman–Television | Eberhart | Snow | Kaku
|Tools of Toil: what to read.|
|Tools are historical building blocks of technology.|
Technology index landscape index words index photograph index