- 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!