The Evolution of Technology / Edition 1

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Overview

Three emerging themes challenge the popular notion that technology advances through the efforts of a few who produce a series of revolutionary inventions that owe little or nothing to the technological past.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Presents a theory of technological change as analogous to biological evolution. Basalla (history, U. of Delaware) asserts that from an array of existing innovations, each culture selects according to its values and perceived needs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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"Mr. Basalla argues his case ingeniously and cites a variety of examples...the reader is astonished again and again at the ease with which Mr. Basalla overturns many cherished prejudices and preconceptions about inventors and their creations." New York Times Book Review

"George Basalla has done scholars a valuable service...(his)own insights at an intermediate level of analysis may well provide the building blocks for a more rigorous and sophisticated theory of technological change." Science

"A thoughtful and thought provoking analysis drawing on a wide range of historical examples that will be of use to scholars and students." - Science, Technology and Society

"a refreshing book...a lively and revealing perspective on the history of technology. This book should find its way into undergraduate courses." American Scientist

"Both the tech-happy and the tech-wary will find news in this view of technology as an evolutionary system. Fascinating case studies show how society-bending inventions - even 'breakthroughs' - proceed from small, incremental variations upon earlier inventions." Whole Earth Catalog

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521296816
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in the History of Science Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Diversity, necessity, and evolution; 2. Continuity and discontinuity; 3. Novelty: psychological and intellectual factors; 4. Novelty: socioeconomic and cultural factors; 5. Selection: economic and military factors; 6. Selection: social and cultural factors; 7. Conclusion: evolution and progress; Bibliography; Sources of questions; Index.
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