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History of Technology

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Since the late 1960s the Internet has grown from a single experimental network serving a dozen sites in the United States to a network of networks linking millions of computers worldwide. In Inventing the Internet, Janet Abbate recounts the key players and technologies that allowed the Internet to develop; but her main focus is always on the social and cultural factors that influenced the Internet's design and use.

Classic Readings with a Contemporary Commentary
Edited by Nick Huggett

A Social History of American Energies

How did the United States become the world's largest consumer of energy? David Nye shows that this is less a question about the development of technology than it is a question about the development of culture. In Consuming Power, Nye uses energy as a touchstone to examine the lives of ordinary people engaged in normal activities. He looks at how these activities changed as new energy systems were constructed, from colonial times to recent years.

Discourses on Modernity, 1900-1939

Starting around 1900, technology became a lively subject for debate among intellectuals, writers, and other opinion leaders. The expansion of the machine into ever more areas of social and economic life had led to a need to interpret its meanings in a more comprehensive way than in the past. World War I and its aftermath shifted the terms of this ongoing debate by underlining both the potential dangers of technology and its centrality to modern life.

Technical innovation has moved to center stage in contemporary debates on economic theory and policy, and Chris Freeman and Luc Soete have played a prominent part in these debates. For this new edition of The Economics of Industrial Innovation, they have rewritten all the existing chapters and added ten new ones that address recent advances in theory and in policymaking. In the new chapters they deal with the international dimensions of technical change including underdevelopment, technology transfer, international trade, and globalization.

The Extensions of Man

with a new introduction by Lewis H. Lapham


This reissue of Understanding Media marks the thirtieth anniversary (1964-1994) of Marshall McLuhan's classic expose on the state of the then emerging phenomenon of mass media. Terms and phrases such as "the global village" and "the medium is the message" are now part of the lexicon, and McLuhan's theories continue to challenge our sensibilities and our assumptions about how and what we communicate.

The Dilemma of Technological Determinism


These thirteen essays explore a crucial historical question that has been notoriously hard to pin down: To what extent, and by what means, does a society's technology determine its political, social, economic, and cultural forms?

In this insightful and incisive essay, Eugene Ferguson demonstrates that good engineering is as much a matter of intuition and nonverbal thinking as of equations and computation. He argues that a system of engineering education that ignores nonverbal thinking will produce engineers who are dangerously ignorant of the many ways in which the real world differs from the mathematical models constructed in academic minds.

Case Studies in Science and Technology

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