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Technology Matters: Questions to Live with

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
'Technology Matters' discusses, in nontechnical language, ten central questions about technology that aim to clarify what technology is and why it matters. This book addresses questions such as: can we define technology? Does technology shape us, or do we shape it? Is technology inevitable or unpredictable?
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by MIT Press (MA) (first published 2006)
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Victor Gonzalez
May 14, 2013 Victor Gonzalez rated it liked it
Technology is part of our life and even if people try to scape of it will follow them. Let’s pretend a person goes to wood to live from nature and scape from the technological society we are involved in. As soon as that person takes a stick and sharpens one end to be able to hunt, or to create a hole in the ground to plant some crops, or even if he just use the stick to pick a fruit from a tall tree he is already using some type technology. There is no argue that there are some technologies that ...more
Rob Nelson
Oct 18, 2010 Rob Nelson rated it really liked it
Nye, David, Technology Matters; Questions to Live With; MIT Press, Cambridge Mass. 2006

David Nye poses ten essential questions in his book Technology Matters. Drawing on history, economics, political science, and sociology, Nye provides the reader with an analysis, not only of how different types of technologies have impacted society, but an analysis of the word itself. Nye deftly demonstrates how the word “technology”, encompasses more than a computer and computer applications (although it does
...more
Mike Hankins
Sep 06, 2014 Mike Hankins rated it liked it
Shelves: hist-of-sci-tech
Great intro text for the history of technology. The first half especially is useful for how it summarizes main themes of the historiography. Nye differentiates between internalists and contextualists -- the former interested in the inner workings of technology itself, the latter interested in how technology interacts with society and culture. He also creates a dichotomy between determinism and externalism. Deterministic thinking about technology views technological change on a linear path, where ...more
Bryan Kibbe
May 10, 2011 Bryan Kibbe rated it really liked it
This is a great introductory text to some of the major questions/issues relating to the use of technology in the 21st century. Written in an accessible manner, Nye makes the case against technological determinism, and, instead, taps into a growing trend to regard technology as fundamentally ambivalent. As such, Nye presents a fascinating arrays of stories about technological development that illustrate the tremendous benefits, burdens, and surprises of technology. Without being intimidating, Nye ...more
Khalil James
Sep 10, 2016 Khalil James rated it really liked it
Nye rejects Technological Determinism in favor of the softer Technological Momentum - and places emphasis on culture and human nature - to help tell the story of mankind's relationship with his tools and machines. This is done in a very digestible lecture style. A testimony to this is the book being required reading for one of University of Waterloo’s Society, Technology and Values introductory courses – The perfect collage of interpretations and case studies. One look at the bibliography reveal ...more
Elizabeth
Jun 11, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
There's nothing earth-shattering in this historical review. Nonetheless, it provides a cogent survey of historical scholarship regarding technology and makes a compelling case for why determinism is wrong, but also how technology and its effects might be productively studied in other ways. It looks at various arenas of life that technology touches and covers the vast changes across time. As someone who has been reading far more academic takes on many of these issues for years, there was nothing ...more
Joshua
Sep 07, 2012 Joshua rated it liked it
Great introduction to the history of technology - concepts such as technological determinism and momentum, etc - although the middle third is weak. He tends to overreach in the chapters on environmentalism, globalization and culture, as he relies more heavily on popular sources (novels, movies) in these chapters than in the first third of the book, which is much more historiographical. Finally, his argument for increased individual agency in decision making regarding the adaptation of particular ...more
Leonardo
Oct 19, 2012 Leonardo rated it liked it
If you just want a shallow understanding of technology it works. However, the perspective is too westernized.
He applies examples rather than theories, which diminishes the attractiveness of the book.
Ryan Chynces
Sep 30, 2011 Ryan Chynces rated it liked it
The writing was a bit convoluted sometimes, and the narrative wasn't as clear as it could have been. Also, the material he referenced could have been a bit more explicit.
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Technology Matters: Questions to Live With by David E. Nye (2007)
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Cora's Oratory Bo...: Technology Matters 1 2 Feb 01, 2012 07:51AM  
David E. Nye is Professor of American History at the University of Southern Denmark. The winner of the 2005 Leonardo da Vinci Medal of the Society for the History of Technology, he is the author of Image Worlds: Corporate Identities at General Electric, 1890-1930 (1985), Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940 (1990), American Technological Sublime (1994), Consuming Po ...more
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