Langdon Winner

Langdon Winner is the Thomas Phelan Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

  • Autonomous Technology

    Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought

    Langdon Winner

    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

    • Hardcover $22.00
    • Paperback $35.00

Contributor

  • Technology and Society, Second Edition

    Technology and Society, Second Edition

    Building Our Sociotechnical Future

    Deborah G. Johnson and Jameson M. Wetmore

    Writings by thinkers ranging from Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain to Bruno Latour that focus on the interconnections of technology, society, and values.

    Technological change does not happen in a vacuum; decisions about which technologies to develop, fund, market, and use engage ideas about values as well as calculations of costs and benefits. In order to influence the development of technology for the better, we must first understand how technology and society are inextricably bound together. These writings—by thinkers ranging from Bruno Latour to Francis Fukuyama—help us do just that, examining how people shape technology and how technology shapes people. This second edition updates the original significantly, offering twenty-one new essays along with fifteen from the first edition.

    The book first presents visions of the future that range from technological utopias to cautionary tales and then introduces several major STS theories. It examines human and social values and how they are embedded in technological choices and explores the interesting and subtle complexities of the technology-society relationship. Remedying a gap in earlier theorizing in the field, many of the texts illustrate how race and gender are intertwined with technology. Finally, the book offers a set of readings that focus on the sociotechnical challenges we face today, treating topics that include cybersecurity, geoengineering, and the myth of neutral technology.

    • Paperback $55.00
  • Technology and Society

    Technology and Society

    Building our Sociotechnical Future

    Deborah G. Johnson and Jameson M. Wetmore

    An anthology of writings by thinkers ranging from Freeman Dyson to Bruno Latour that focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values and how these may affect the future.

    Technological change does not happen in a vacuum; decisions about which technologies to develop, fund, market, and use engage ideas about values as well as calculations of costs and benefits. This anthology focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values. It offers writings by authorities as varied as Freeman Dyson, Laurence Lessig, Bruno Latour, and Judy Wajcman that will introduce readers to recent thinking about technology and provide them with conceptual tools, a theoretical framework, and knowledge to help understand how technology shapes society and how society shapes technology. It offers readers a new perspective on such current issues as globalization, the balance between security and privacy, environmental justice, and poverty in the developing world. The careful ordering of the selections and the editors' introductions give Technology and Society a coherence and flow that is unusual in anthologies. The book is suitable for use in undergraduate courses in STS and other disciplines. The selections begin with predictions of the future that range from forecasts of technological utopia to cautionary tales. These are followed by writings that explore the complexity of sociotechnical systems, presenting a picture of how technology and society work in step, shaping and being shaped by one another. Finally, the book goes back to considerations of the future, discussing twenty-first-century challenges that include nanotechnology, the role of citizens in technological decisions, and the technologies of human enhancement.

    • Hardcover $17.75
    • Paperback $60.00