What are techniques ?
Examples in the readings
Ecological Design, Sim Van der Ryn
Meaning in Technology, Arnold Pacey
• Fact 1: techniques trap performance in the sense that they capture how best to implement devices to achieve a optimum affect.
• Fact 2: songs may be the earliest expression of human memories, recalled by verse of meter or rhyme.
• Fact 3: the aural or oral traditions of speaking and recitation are quite ancient in Indian, Chinese and Asia minor or Greek.
• Fact 4: writing displaced the aural or oral traditions of speaking and recitation.
• Fact 5: Recent replacement of hand tools by machinery is an example of a need to alter techniques to suit a new tool complex.
People centered technological approaches.
• Fact 6: Machinery replaced simpler, yet specialized craft organization and assisted with redefining technical skills more appropriate to the needs of automation.
Periods in history by tool's used.
Serious pollution accompanied the mechanical and mining revolutions. The challenges of conservation and preservation of water and land were needed to make that forestry and fishery resources resilient to polluted air, acidifying waters and burning up of wood, peat, charcoal and coal fuels. We had a world of new techniques to promulgate as tools were dispersed to gain mastery over natural forces and direct human or animal labor.
Eratosthenes of Cyrene.
Techniques as the access to ways to use and develop a mastery of tools.
proficiency, a practical means applied to specific tasks, the way in which an effective use of tools or machinery is practiced; a skillfull ability in some specified field of endeavor.
technique [ etymology: ORIGIN is French from Latin; technics, in early 17th cent.(as an adjective in the sense [to do with art or an art] ): from Latin technicus, from Greek tekhnikos, from tekhn? ‘art.’ The noun dates from the 19th cent.
1 "A different way to solving the problem." meaning: a method, process, approach, procedure, system, modus operandi or MO, way; means, strategy, tack, tactic, line; routine, practice, virtuosity.
2 "I was impressed with his technique of persuasion."
skill, ability, proficiency, expertise, mastery, talent, genius, artistry, craftsmanship; aptitude, adroitness, deftness, dexterity, facility, competence; performance, delivery; informal know-how.
Date: May 18, 2008
Examples of techniques referred to in the readings:
Brittle metals that fail
"often manganese is intentionally added to steel. The manganese reacts with the sulfur to form a stable compound--manganese sulfide. The sulfur atoms in this compound are immobilized and cannot move to iron grain boundaries."
Eberhart, Why Things Break: Understanding the World by the Way it Comes Apart, p. 63
Technical virtuosity is often reserved for artists and musicans to describe how they perform, but can be applied to dexterous crafts people, skilled machinists, and even those who use automated devices proficiently. See virtuosity
Textiles are due to the contributions of Richard Arkwright to textile weaving and spinning.
"Then various ways of mechanizing
the movements of the spinners arms were tried, culminating in the invention
of two separate but equally successful machines by Arkwright and Hargreaves
in the 1760s.
Pursell, White Heat, p. 99.
Thinking with your hands?
"In preindustrial circumstances much practical
knowledge may have been gained through the hands. ...Workmanship depended
on handling materials, as well as on vision
"artisans may have been thinking
with their hands."
Pacey, Meaning in the Hands, p. 67.
Date: July 18, 2011
realms of technology or aspects of technical power
on Meaning | Pursell | Technology defined | Dimensions
A technique of discovery | Photographs, impact of
Periods in history by tool's used.
The Two Cultures
Pursell | Pacey–World | Postman | Head | Tenner |Pacey–meaning| Eberhart | Snow | Kaku | Boulding | Delillo | Kranzberg
| Postman–Tech | Postman–Television |
Technology index landscape index words index photograph index