The above links demonstrate a basic structure to this course.


defining technology

First lesson

Second lesson

spinning ball marks this weekThird lesson:

Fourth lesson:

Fifth lesson:

Sixth lesson:

Seventh lesson:

Eleventh lesson:

Twelfth lesson:





Postman (structure) Pursell (clarifying collage): how do these author's arguments differ?

  Myths about inventors, inventions and meeting human needs.

16             Pursell     2, pp. 36-63.

Pursell: Out of the Loop

What are three prevailing and widely assumed beliefs that get in the way of understanding technology?

        1. The widespread faith in ?
        2. the enduring reification of ?
        3. the ignorant assumption of ?

Can we organize an approach to technology based on Pursell's approach?


How do Pursell and Pacey compare and yet, diverge?

standard practices

the social achievement

necessary sequence of contingent developments

Inventions four essential steps

Mental agility is the basis for technical proficiency


The Bar code reader as a fundamental case study is an exception to the rule of linearity; that one inventive step follows on the heels of another.

The handy, intuitive, and tactile capabilities had given way to the efficient, rational, and informed expertise as the dominant traits in mechanized techniques.

Three qualities that have always made for technical success

Pacey: The Asian origins of just about, or nearly everything

The Asian sources and origins of modern western technology: China, India and Persia.

18             Arnold Pacey     1,2,3; pp. ix-57.

Pacey's basic themes:

Population growth and technical capabilities

Survival technology

tool complexes

Fine technology, iron and weaving

Advanced capability, 1100- 1430s, the source

specific inventions

Buddhism as a cultural innovator of technology



Three aspects when defining technology.

Three facets, or three dimensions of technology are essential to understand the complexity of what we use.


Interviews due 18 Sept.

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Tools of Toil: what to read.
Tools are historical building blocks of technology.