The truth of the matter is that our deficiency does not lie in the want of well-verified "facts." What we lack is our bearings. The contemporary experience of things technological has repeatedly confounded our vision, our expectations, and our capacity to make intelligent judgments. Categories, arguments, conclusions, and choices that would have been entirely obvious in earlier times are obvious no longer. Patterns of perceptive thinking that were entirely reliable in the past now lead us systematically astray. Many of our standard conceptions of technology reveal a disorientation that borders on dissociation from reality. And as long as we lack the ability to make our situation intelligible, all of the "data" in the world will make no difference.
—From the Introduction
About the Author
Langdon Winner is the Thomas Phelan Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
"As a source for readings and reflections on this problem, the book is rich and rewarding.... If it has a practical lesson, it is that of awareness: only by recognizing the boundaries of our socially constructed scientific-technological reality can we transcend them in imagination and then achieve effective human action.", Jerome R. Ravetz, Science
"The author, an assistant professor of political science, has read the many artists and social scientists concerned with the consequences of uncontrolled technological development. But his inspiration is also fed by the anti-technological reactions he witnessed in the early sixties..... The book is extremely well documented and written."—Sociology