Human-built World: How to Think About Technology and Culture

Human-built World: How to Think About Technology and Culture

Thomas P Hughes


To most folk, know-how has been decreased to desktops, client items, and armed forces guns; we communicate of "technological progress" by way of RAM and CD-ROMs and the flatness of our tv monitors. In Human-Built global, fortunately, Thomas Hughes restores to know-how the conceptual richness and intensity it merits through chronicling the tips approximately know-how expressed via influential Western thinkers who not just understood its multifaceted personality yet who additionally explored its artistic capability. Hughes attracts on a tremendous diversity of literature, paintings, and structure to discover what know-how has dropped at society and tradition, and to provide an explanation for how we'd start to advance an "ecotechnology" that works with, now not opposed to, ecological platforms. From the "Creator" version of improvement of the 16th century to the "big science" of the Nineteen Forties and Fifties to the structure of Frank Gehry, Hughes nimbly charts the myriad ways in which know-how has been woven into the social and cultural cloth of other eras and the guarantees and difficulties it has provided. Thomas Jefferson, for example, with a bit of luck was hoping that know-how should be mixed with nature to create an Edenic setting; Lewis Mumford, centuries later, warned of the expanding mechanization of yank existence. Such divergent perspectives, Hughes indicates, have existed part by way of aspect, demonstrating the basic concept that "in its sort, know-how is filled with contradictions, encumbered with human folly, kept via occasional benign deeds, and wealthy with unintentional consequences." In Human-Built international, he deals the hugely enticing historical past of those contradictions, follies, and results, a historical past that resurrects expertise, rightfully, as greater than gadgetry; it's in truth a minimum of an embodiment of human values.

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