The history of tool use and
technological innovation is a global enterprise reflecting an expression
of everything that is human, according to
Carroll Pursell, author of White Heat
and The Machine in America.
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Carroll Pursell, White
Heat. Berkeley: U C Press, 1994.
Arnold Pacey, Technology
In World Civilization (TWC). Boston: MIT Press, 1990.
Mark E. Eberhart , Why Things Break. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
Neil Postman, Technopoly. . .
C. P, Snow, The Two Cultures
Michio Kaku, Visions. . . .
Edward Tenner, Why Things Bite Back. . .
Arnold Pacey, Meaning
in Technology, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2001.
Don DeLillo, White
Noise, NYC: Penguin, 1992.
the value of the assignments
your notes and homework answers to the above questions in your essays.
I ask you to meet with me individually, at least once or twice in the term, to
discuss your project's progress.
project should be based on use of the Olin library, or College Archives
(Olin lower floor) & Government Documents (Olin “1st”
floor) where we as a group will visit to supplement themes derived from
your readings. All work must be referenced.
are expected to do your own work and to give proper credit to others
for using their ideas. Your failure to responsibly attribute ideas,
phrases and sentences of others by a note in the text -- called plagiarism--
is grounds for getting a zero on your assignment, because you have committed
fraud. Trust is the basis of academic life.
every hour in class I expect you to study for three to four hours because I reward
your hard work and revising your assignments for clearer descriptions
and logical arguments.
Name of assignment due
An interview of several different types of people asking them what they think technology is and does. Questions and responses are written up and a three page types summary of what the respondents said. 9-15: 4 to 5 pages (typed) with a table of the names, ages, gender, occupation and length of the interviews ( minimum should be 30 minute interviews).
All Essays consist of drafted and redrafted formal assignments based on all the readings. The papers may be taken
to the writing center, reviewed with a consultant at least twice per
essay, then typed, in 10 point, Times New Roman or Arial font, 27 lines
to a page, with 1” margins. All pages must be numbered and you must have sources correctly cited for me to accept the essay for grading.
Essay 10/4: 5 pages (typed) How complex is Technology? And does the convergence of technologies play a role in sustaining our lives and our contentment?
Using evidence from Pursell, Pacey, & Postman, and defining three
facets of tools.
Essay 11/7: A typed, 7 page essay that is a comparison & contrast of Pacey’s, Postman’s, Kaku’s, Tenner's, Eberhart’s & Kranzberg’s
arguments demonstrating your ability to distinguish between analysis
of factual data as opposed to opinions in the news. The essay should address what makes any technological change
a serious problem?.
10/11-18: Dramatic Debate is a demonstration of your capacity to interpret
selections from all the books based on a rehearsed oral presentation
of the argument in C. P. Snow's Two Cultures. You should pay particular attention to characteristics of good public speaking. 4 pages typed,
1st page: outlined points & text references, 2d page is a diagram
of the three facets of technology specific to your tool’s focus
as handout and a 2 page explanation. As you discuss Snow, demonstrate your understanding of four aspects or three facets of tools and how they promote or retard progress?
The themes you discuss here at the midterm in relation to Snow's essay may be used with further development and relation to all the books for your final essay and summary of that as a verbal presentation at the final exam?
Late work is
unacceptable & will be penalized. Missing assignments count
as a zero.
The focus of this
class is how technology, particularly the tools we use, help to identify
who we are, what we believe, how well we live and to what degree the
entire world is created, maintained by and infused by mechanical, technical,
automated and manual systems of tools.
class day, December 4, Exam December 12; 5-7 PM, 2008.
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