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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This isn’t random science fiction speculation on his part—while any counterfactual history is ultimately speculative, Basalla draws on tecnhology studies on the subject to marshal support for his anti-deterministic argument for the evolution of technology.

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.

So many history books focus on discussing their subject matter as a series of chronological events, however, so books that flout this convention always feel the need to warn us.

Marc rated it it was amazing Apr 16, This is not true for artificial selection as practiced by animal and plant breeders. Account Options Sign in.

Of particular interest is his counterfactual look at how there are potential alternative technologies for those adapted at various points in history: One of them laid the foundations of the modern mathematics and I guess he deserved to be mentioned.

Here criteria are established by the humans who select characteristics they consider worthy of preservation. Trivia About The Thd of It challenges the popular notion evoultion technology advances by the efforts of a few heroic individuals who produce a series of revolutionary inventions owing little or nothing to This book presents an evolutionary theory of technological change based upon recent scholarship in the history of technology and upon relevant material drawn from economic basapla and anthropology.

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But the messages contain the medicine we need to blow the locks off our minds, so we can escape, go home, and heal.

The Evolution of Technology by George Basalla

And the third theme is technological evolution: Cambridge University Press Amazon. At the gate of the path to healing, rubbish ideas must be left in the recycle bin.

Novelty This chapter aimed at understanding how to account for differences and diversity in technological artifacts. A bizarre situation thus developed in which the heroic inventors of one country were scarcely acknowledged in another land” The patent system: Socioeconomic and Cultural Factors. One of the most thought provoking books I’ve ever read To him the difference is the following: There are many scholars who did their best to contribute the cultural heritage of the human kind.

A stick on the ground evolved into a throwing stick, then a spear, then a missile. Once again, the steam engine and the automobile feature heavily in the examples he invokes. How and why did we get into this mess? For most of the hominid journey, our artifacts were little more than sticks and stones, and their evolution happened very slowly. The mother of invention was evolution, not revolution.

Critics of the biological theory, however proposed a number of strong counterarguments. 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 era when technological evolution was essentially in a coma. David rated it liked it Aug 01, 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.

Ftkrdmr Karademir rated it really liked it Mar 18, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. 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.


This looks like taking the easy way out of it. They do not suffer from a persistent itch for more and more. This is a sound strategy, for it provides a common thread baasalla investigation throughout the entire book and he includes enough evolutiln from other eras, like xylography in ancient China, to avoid charges of hasty generalization.

Refresh and try again. Want to Read saving…. Continuity Based on a fair amount of examples, Basalla debunks the notion of “technological revolutions” and the mere existence of “heroic inventors”.

a: The Evolution of Technology — pasta and vinegar

Taylor rated it it was amazing May 15, basallx Diversity Necessity and Evolution. In this volume, the authors describes his theory of technological change based on the history of technology, economic history and anthropology. Adam rated it liked it May 26, Therefore, the book’s argument is shaped by analogies taken selectively from the theory of organic evolution, and not rvolution the theory and practice of political revolution. 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.

G.Basalla: The Evolution of Technology

Books by George Basalla. Here we’re given an idea of the historical and contemporary attitudes toward technological development, both with regards to what gets developed Chapter I: Famous inventions were never original, unique, unprecedented acts of pure magic that fell out of the sky, like acts of God.

The Evolution of Technology works because Basalla articulates his thesis so clearly and precisely that his entire argument is, if not convincing, at least admirable. Selected pages Title Page.