New PDF release: A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western

By Robert Friedel

ISBN-10: 0262062623

ISBN-13: 9780262062626

ISBN-10: 026251401X

ISBN-13: 9780262514019

Why does know-how switch through the years, how does it swap, and what distinction does it make? during this sweeping, bold examine one thousand years of Western event, Robert Friedel argues that technological switch comes mostly in the course of the pursuit of development -- the deep-rooted trust that issues will be performed in a greater approach. What Friedel calls the "culture of development" is manifested each day within the methods humans perform their initiatives in existence -- from tilling fields and elevating youngsters to waging war.Improvements may be ephemeral or lasting, and one person's development won't regularly be seen as such by way of others. Friedel stresses the social procedures during which we outline what advancements are and choose which advancements will final and with the intention to now not. those approaches, he emphasizes, have created either winners and losers in history.Friedel offers a chain of narratives of Western know-how that commence within the 11th century and stretch into the twenty-first. widespread figures from the heritage of invention are joined via others -- the Italian preacher who defined the 1st eyeglasses, the dairywomen displaced from their regulate over cheesemaking, and the little-known engineer who first instructed a grand tower to Gustav Eiffel. Friedel strains expertise from the plow and the printing press to the interior combustion engine, the transistor, and the distance go back and forth. Friedel additionally reminds us that religion in development can occasionally have bad results, as enhanced weaponry makes war ever extra lethal and the force for making improvements to humans may end up in eugenics or even genocide. the main finished try and inform the tale of Western expertise in lots of years, engagingly written and lavishly illustrated, A tradition of development documents the ways that the force for development has formed our smooth world.

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A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium (MIT Press) by Robert Friedel


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