The Nature of Technology

The Nature of Technology

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Content Summary

"More than any thing else technology creates our world. It creates our wealth, our economy, our very way of being," says W. Brian Arthur. Yet, until now the major questions of technology have gone unanswered. Where do new technologies come from -- how exactly does invention work? What constitutes innovation, and how is it achieved? Why are certain regions -- Cambridge, England, in the 1920s and Silicon Valley today -- hotbeds of innovation, while others languish? Does technology, like biological life, evolve? How do new industries, and the economy itself, emerge from technologies? In this groundbreaking work, pioneering technology thinker and economist W. Brian Arthur sets forth a boldly original way of thinking about technology that gives answers to these questions. The Nature of Technology is an elegant and powerful theory of technology's origins and evolution. It achieves for the progress of technology what Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did for scientific progress. Arthur explains how transformative new technologies arise and how innovation really works. Conventional thinking ascribes the invention of technologies to "thinking outside the box," or vaguely to genius or creativity, but Arthur shows that such explanations are inadequate. Rather, technologies are put together from pieces -- themselves technologies -- that already exist. Technologies therefore share common ancestries and combine, morph, and combine again to create further technologies. Technology evolves much as a coral reef builds itself from activities of small organisms -- it creates itself from itself; all technologies are descended from earlier technologies. Drawing on a wealth of examples, from historical inventions to the high-tech wonders of today, and writing in wonder fully engaging and clear prose, Arthur takes us on a mind-opening journey that will change the way we think about technology and how it structures our lives.


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Original Summary

[" 科学是一种观念,即自然在本质上是可知的,可以被探索、被究因的。如果以高度控制的方式对现象及其背后的含义进行探索,就可以获得对自然的理解;科学是一套实践和思维方式,包括理论化、想象和猜测;科学史一系列认识(knowings),一系列由过去的观察与思考积累起来的理解;科学是一种文化,一种关于信仰与实践、友谊与思想交流、观点与确证、竞争与互助的文化。 () —— 引自章节:技术与科学 "," 技术是对现象的驾驭,而这很大程度上是由科学揭示的。同样,科学也构建与(builds from)技术,或者说,科学是从它的技术中形成的,从哪些要使用技术的仪器、方法和实验中形成的。 () —— 引自章节:技术与科学 "]