Technology, Pessimism, and Postmodernism

Sampul Depan
Yaron Ezrahi, E. Mendelsohn, Howard P. Segal, Howard Segal
Springer Science & Business Media, 1994 - 216 halaman
HOWARD P. SEGAL, FOR THE EDITORS In November 1979 the Humanities Department of the University of Michi gan's College of Engineering sponsored a symposium on ''Technology and Pessimism. " The symposium included scholars from a variety of fields and carefully balanced critics and defenders of modern technology, broadly defined. Although by this point it was hardly revolutionary to suggest that technology was no longer automatically equated with optimism and in turn with unceasing social advance, the idea of linking technology so explicitly with pessimism was bound to attract attention. Among others, John Noble Wilford, a New York Times science and technology correspondent, not only covered the symposium but also wrote about it at length in the Times the following week. As Wilford observed, "Whatever their disagreements, the participants agreed that a mood of pessimism is overtaking and may have already displaced the old optimistic view of history as a steady and cumulative expansion of human power, the idea of inevitable progress born in the Scientific and Industrial Rev olutions and dominant in the 19th century and for at least the first half of this century. " Such pessimism, he continued, "is fed by growing doubts about soci ety's ability to rein in the seemingly runaway forces of technology, though the participants conceded that in many instances technology was more the symbol than the substance of the problem.
 

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Introduction
1
The Idea of Technology and Postmodern Pessimism
11
Technology and the Illusion of the Escape from Politics
29
Or How to Delay the Rise of Modern Science
39
Lightning Protection and Technological Pessimism in the Nineteenth Century
53
Three Phases in the Diffusion and Perception of American Telegraphy
77
Prospects
93
Technology and TwentiethCentury German Conservative Intellectuals
115
Time and Technology in Heideggers Thought
137
Science and Technology Circa 1968
151
Or the Many Ironies of Contemporary Technological Optimism
175
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