Technology (VVSI)

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Technology (VVSI)

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Ranging across disciplines, Technology: A Very VERY Short Introduction links together big questions of planetary futures with practical, everyday realities. It points towards a technological practice of sustainability that does not divide facts from values or objects from subjects. And it suggests an understanding and practice of technology that we urgently need as dwellers in the Anthropocene.

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Description

This Very VERY Short Introduction begins with a question What is technology anyway? The answer seems obvious. Technology is the chair you sit on, the roof above you, and the airplane above that. A speaker fills the room with sound, wifi connects you with people around the world, a pill dissolves within you. Technology, it would seem, consists of things humans design and manufacture.

Yet computers and books are not just objects that we make and use. They arise from, and become part of, our lived experience. Their existence is lodged in human needs and wants. And every technology alters the ways in which human needs and wants take shape. Technology straddles the boundary between facts and values. It binds together objects and subjects. As a result, two vital and inseparable questions will occupy us in this book. How do we make material worlds? And how do these worlds make us?

In addition, debates about sustainability and development in the Anthropocene require new habits of inquiry into technology. Modern societies typically treat technology as neutral objects that put science into action. Experts use objective measures of development and sustainability to sort good technologies from bad. In contrast, this book argues that the Anthropocene, the technological remaking of the Earth, calls us to attend to the way technological practices shape what it means to be human. How are we made, or changed, as we alter the planet’s climate and ecosystems?

Ranging across disciplines, Technology: A Very VERY Short Introduction links together big questions of planetary futures with practical, everyday realities. It points towards a technological practice of sustainability that does not divide facts from values or objects from subjects. And it suggests an understanding and practice of technology that we urgently need as dwellers in the Anthropocene.

Author

Aidan Davison is Associate Professor of Human Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania. He has long been fascinated and troubled by questions of technology, development, and sustainability in modern societies. He is the author of Technology and the Contested Meanings of Sustainability (2001) and has published widely on topics of climate change, sustainable development, urban nature, suburban history, environmentalism, and nature conservation.

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