Human-Built World: How to Think about Technology and Culture
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Human-Built World: How to Think about Technology and Culture

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  4 reviews
To most people, technology has been reduced to computers, consumer goods, and military weapons; we speak of "technological progress" in terms of RAM and CD-ROMs and the flatness of our television screens. In Human-Built World, thankfully, Thomas Hughes restores to technology the conceptual richness and depth it deserves by chronicling the ideas about technology expressed b...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 13th 2005 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 2004)
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David Lamp
This is an important book for everyone who's been taken in by e social networking world like those of us in GoodReads. Hughes helps to paint the technology backdrop of the "human built world" in which we live. He begins with the first such world when coal-fired boilers created the Steam Age with its Industrial Revolution moving people to the sources of power and the machines that were run by it. This sense of power and control gave us the Victorian Age with its moralism, Utopianism, and mechanis...more
This was a lucid literature review that covered an incredibly long time period. Hughes clearly defines technology at the beginning and also talks about the relatively recent adoption of the term. He goes on to describe the major philosophical and theoretical trends that characterize ideas about technology, both idealistic and pessimistic, overtime. Despite the fact that he has to work incredibly synthetically, he does not shy away from delving into important detail or harping at others judgmenta...more
Jim Stogdill
The money quote comes on the last page...

"A technologically literate public might reject technological determinism and accept the current social science argument that technology is malleable and subject to social control."

Meanwhile, in the world we live in, technological determinism remains the moral escape valve for any technology-driven outcome.
school requirement. This author really, really wants the term "human-built" to become part of the vernacular. It's used on every page. Not worth my time, in class or out.
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