Robert Friedel's A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western PDF

By Robert Friedel

Why does expertise switch over the years, how does it switch, 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 during the pursuit of development -- the deep-rooted trust that issues will be performed in a greater means. What Friedel calls the "culture of development" is manifested on a daily basis within the methods humans perform their projects in lifestyles -- from tilling fields and elevating young ones to waging war.Improvements may be ephemeral or lasting, and one person's development won't continually be considered as such through others. Friedel stresses the social procedures in which we outline what advancements are and judge which advancements will final and that allows you to no longer. those tactics, he emphasizes, have created either winners and losers in history.Friedel provides a chain of narratives of Western know-how that commence within the 11th century and stretch into the twenty-first. primary figures from the heritage of invention are joined through 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 lines expertise from the plow and the printing press to the interior combustion engine, the transistor, and the distance trip. Friedel additionally reminds us that religion in development can occasionally have awful effects, as more advantageous weaponry makes struggle ever extra lethal and the force for making improvements to humans can result in eugenics or even genocide. the main entire try to inform the tale of Western know-how 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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