WHITE HEAT Pursell's conclusions
Write for five minutes without stopping to interpret what Pursell means by:
"We are left with, almost exclusively, bones and stone tools. From These we must infer aspirations, skills, social structures and emotions."
"It is a complex story that scientists are now constructing . . . . The story hopes to explain how human beings came to have tools and the significance of that development. But there are many ways of explaining this."
Explain what he means in your paragraph & indicate evidence of examples or photographs he uses....
Outline his first page and initial five paragraphs to discover what he believes about technology.
An example of an answer:
William Blake's drawing of the demiourgos.
A moral cautionary message: technology as represented by the tool-giver is
"not only the benefactor . . . also the creator of humankind."
Creator means to create; that is to make or do . . . that humankind has a creator shows how pervasive our beliefs are about the significance of tool-use, tool-making, and tools as objects or "texts to be read."
The image of the creator by William Blake shows the compass as the tool for creating the geometric order of the universe and its colors visually suggest the light and dark of any action.
The metaphor of light amidst the darkness could be read two ways, one is a surface meaning of "bringing light to a dark world," or the deeper haunting suggestion is that without darkness light is not the tool --such as the compass-- for which it is intended. Darkness gives meaning to the means by which the compass inscribed the circle of illumination.
This may refer to a theme where both the inventor and the receiver of a tool – tool complex – or technology are responsible for the outcome of how the device is used and spread among the wider society. Both pay the price of intended outcomes and the unintended costs of an invention. Prometheus is condemned by the gods for sharing fire (that illuminates and warms the human world).
This story's lesson is very much the same if we recollect the meaning of the Story of Thamus in Postman's opening chapter, we read & discussed last week . . ."
The great idea web site: history page
The Two Cultures
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