History of Technology – index of matrix tables.
Having transformed the dreams and the dreamer our inventions today surround us with a human crafted world of bewildering electrical dimensions peopled by subtle mechanical contrivances and hordes of electronic slaves.
We analyze how technology and techniques through our continuing use of implements and utensils, machines and media profoundly alters you and the world. Another goal of the class is to engage you in an ongoing conversation with me, your fellow students, and the people beyond the class as to the proper role of technology in our lives and our larger society.
Tools are the essential building blocks of any technology
Any material or other creation that allows the user to overcome an immediate obstacle. Tools therefore make an opportunity out of a difficulty that arose from an existing state of affairs.
Four ways technology influences your life:
- web of tools
- tool use and
- tool making
- Technology as art
concept map is conceived | tools are defined | web of technical relations emerges
web of tools
fire relates to axes, metal, cooking, warmth and light,
fuel relates to sources of wealth,
food relates to survival,
fiber - refers to the sources of our clothing, textiles, covering, rope basketry and any woven materials.
artifacts -- are implements we use to accomplish tasks.
tools are devices, instruments, utensils, or implements that can be used to solve problems.
All of the connections among artifacts, implements, materials & the means to handle problems weave us together into a related web.
Vocabulary of key terms:
Pursell | Pacey | Postman | Eberhart | Tenner | Snow | Kaku
Depending on the tools we use, each of us occupies one of more of these roles:
concept map is conceived | tools are defined | weekly development of concepts | web of technical relations emerges
Both of these are water lifting devices, the engine on the right had a greater capacity.
The web is the material fabric of society held in place by technology.
concept map is conceived | tools are defined |weekly development of concepts | web of technical relations emerges
Distinguishing inventions from use of tools
Tool making Tool use Defining technology moving parts machinery hand crafted tools origins diffusion Critics of and challenges of technical changes. Conflicts created by technical creations. Population shifted upward at each surge:
Each surge fo population is associated with a tool complex of related technological advantages of one stage of teh surge over another.
technological periods | tools make a complex | power stages | power of tools | technical web | tools are blocks | conceptual tetrad
Class by weekly focus:
Technology as a story of origins.
Week 1 • Week One: the story of Thamus. –the focus of the course. The story of Daedalus.
Week 2 • Week Two: Pursell question and the Greek mythological story of Prometheus.
Week 3 • Week Three: Mechanization's Chinese origins & the Arab conveyance to the west.
Week 4 • Week Four: Techniques change to machinery from handicraft. The story of Faust.
Week 5 • Week Five: If technology does not drive social history, then what does?
Week 6 • Week Six: A base of mechanization from convergence of telegraph & railways.
Weeks 7-10 -- midterm debate over the meaning of Charles Percy Snow's The Two Cultures, 1956.
Week 11 • Week Eleven: A new industrial order emerges from electricity and automation.
Week 12 • Week Twelve: Automation of contemporary electronics and their origins.
|Tools of Toil: what to read.|
|Tools are historical building blocks of technology.|
Pursell | Pacey | Postman| Snow | Kaku | Eberhart | Tenner