Meaning in Technology

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9780262161824: Meaning in Technology

In previous books Arnold Pacey has written about the role of ideas and ideals in the creation of technology, about the global history of technology, and about how the complex interaction of political, cultural, economic, and scientific influences determines the course of technological practice. In Meaning in Technology, he explores how an individual's sense of purpose and meaning in life can affect the shape and use of technology. Stressing that there is no hierarchy of meaning in technology, he argues against reductionism in interpreting technology in a human context, and for acknowledgment of the role of the human experience of purpose when it helps to express meaning in technology.

In the first part of the book, Pacey analyzes the direct experience of technology by individuals—engineers, mathematicians, craft workers, and consumers. He looks at music as a source of technology, at visual thinking, at tactile knowledge, and at the generation of social meaning. In the second part, he examines the contexts in which technology is used, relating technology to nature and society. He explores our sense of place and of our relationship with nature, environmental concerns, gender, and creativity. He concludes with a discussion of the possibilities of a more people-centered technology—a participatory, ethical experience of technology that values people as well as their environment.

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About the Author:

Arnold Pacey is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University, Britain. He is the author of The Culture of Technology (MIT Press, 1983), Technology and World Civilization (MIT Press, 1991), and The Maze of Ingenuity, second edition (MIT Press, 1992).

From Library Journal:

Most of us associate technology with science and objectivity. Writing in a conversational style, Pacey refreshingly advocates the personal experience of technology as an essential part of the larger public meaning. Thus, he focuses on the affective side and on how technology "feels" to individuals who use it. Pacey examines music as a source of technology and relates visual thinking, tactile knowledge, and social meaning (especially play) to the development of technology. He also analyzes contexts, such as landscape and place, and frames ethical concerns related to gender bias and stimulating creativity. With many examples, Pacey makes a convincing case for technology that values people as well as their environment. This work extends and complements the concepts developed in Pacey's previous books, The Culture of Technology (LJ 2/15/84), Technology in World Civilization (LJ 3/1/91) and The Maze of Ingenuity (MIT, 1992). With extensive references; recommended for academic and public libraries.ALaverna Saunders, Salem State Coll. Lib., MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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