The Technological View

It’s not the tool it’s the context of how technology affects our behavior and thus the way we organize our lives.

Origins of Modernity


Convergence:"One other invention which played a crucial part in the development of railroads as a transport system was the electric telegraph"

Standardization evident in American manufactures, especially in firearms parts which in 1820s were characterized by interchangeable components or parts.

This was extended to steel making and machine tools.

Mechanized technology can never be adequately understood in terms of machines and techniques alone. There were consequences we still experience as loss of control.


The railroad became a public symbol of what nineteenth century technology was doing in the world, many other artifacts had a private symbolism...

The engine was being presented as the most telling 'sign' of modern life. It was "the controlling symbol for a new kind of culture."

Pacey p. 108-167