The Evolution of Technology by George Basalla (Cambridge University Press ) pp. viii , $, ISBN 0 I Pbk. The Evolution of Technology has ratings and 8 reviews. Richard said: Humans are the most sophisticated toolmakers in the family of life. We’ve gone f. The Evolution of Technology (Cambridge Studies in the History of Science) [ George Basalla] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Presents an.

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Why did they occur in specific regions?

a: The Evolution of Technology — pasta and vinegar

The vast Chinese civilization was stable and conservative. Open Preview See a Problem? While he doesn’t dispute that individuals can make significant contributions to invention, he goes to great lengths to establish a sense of continuity when it comes to innovation. Basalla makes a convincing case for why novelty emerged as a very individualist, Western concept while China and the Middle East did not embrace novelty as the mother of invention.

Of particular interest is his counterfactual look at how there are potential alternative technologies for those adapted at various points in history: But these fresh notions are a sure sign that clear thinking is beginning to seep into the stagnant halls of history departments, those dusty story museums where the dying Cult of Progress will make its last stand.

History is more than just a series of events happening in sequence. Far from being abstract and abstruse, Basalla’s arguments employ specific examples from a wide variety of technologies.

Psychological and Intellectual Factors. How and why did we get into this mess? Basalla’s most concerned with dispelling the—fallacious, in his view—idea that technological development occurs in a series of discontinuous revolutions initiated by individual “genius” inventors.


Three themes appear, and reappear with variations, throughout the study. He does tend to focus on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century innovations, including the steam engine and the automobile, probably because of the plethora of economic and historical data available for these inventions and the people involved in their production. To him the difference is the following:. There rhe many scholars who did their best to contribute the cultural heritage of the human kind.

Selection As defined by Basalla: However, he also discusses the ill-fated attempt to develop commercial supersonic transport and the propaganda-saturated era of nuclear power. It is important to understand that for almost the entire hominid journey, our ancestors enjoyed a relatively sustainable way of life, and that this era corresponds exactly with the long, long evolutuon when technological evolution was evloution in a coma.

In this volume, the authors describes his theory of technological change based etchnology the history of technology, economic history and anthropology. From novelty, Basalla moves on to selection. The loss or concealment of crucial antecedents: To him, both are wrong and ” key artifacts such as the steam engine, the cotton gin, or the transistor, emerged in an evolutionary fashion from their antecedents “.

This is a briliant survey on the evolution of technological novelties, narrated inside the paradigm of classical “Mullerian” theories of cultural evolution. I was drawn to this book thanks to several discussion threads. Ftkrdmr Karademir rated it really liked it Mar 18, Although the book is not intended to provide a strict chronological account of the development of technology, historical examples – including many of the major achievements of Western technology: Henry Ford referred to his monster child as a quadracycle.


Of the two books I’m reading for this class the other is Introduction to the Philosophy of Scienceby Robert KleeI liked this one better.

G.Basalla: The Evolution of Technology

Older March 11, Paris metro interactive map. Mostly the recurring chat about circulation of design choices with my neighbor Basile, as well as an exchange of tweets with Antonio Casilli who recommended the book. In another chapter, he highlights how ” human intervention can guide the variations toward a new artifact ” and described the notion of skeuomorphs: Diversity Necessity and Evolution.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The myth of the heroic inventor is just years old. And the third theme is technological evolution: Readers are taken on an illuminating journey to realms that our industrial society has erased from the maps and forgotten. But the messages contain the medicine we need to blow the locks off our minds, so we can escape, go home, and heal. Saurabh rated it it was amazing Mar 24, It’s good philosophy though, interesting and well-argued.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. This intoxicant was conjured by notorious buffoons years ago, and its side effects include disorientation, anxiety, and uncontrollable self-destructive impulses.

Technological evolution has nothing comparable to the mass extinctions that are of interest to evolutionary biologists. The second theme is necessity: