- Fundamental principles:
"Technology is not created in a vacuum."
"Engineering is a human activity."
Understanding the historical context is crucial to knowing the history of technology.
Need to look beneath the surface to see the social/political/economic imperatives behind technological change.
Study how technology affects society
But also the reverse
Study how society affects technology.
Social ideas, priorities, assumptions about technology.
Popular myths about the history of technology:
- Image of the "lone inventor" (Edison) NOT!
(team effort corporatization)
- "Technology is neutral" NOT!
(artifacts have politics)
- "Necessity is the mother of invention" NOT!
- "Technological determinism" NOT!
- Technology = progress NOT always!