RFID, even though it underlies electronic toll collection and other systems we interact with every day and is poised to become practically ubiquitous, is far less conspicuous. Jordan Firth’s A Billion Little Pieces aims to bring RFID into the foreground, giving readers a sense of what the technology is, how it is being and could be used, and how concerned we should be about its implications, especially those regarding privacy.
What was the place of acoustics within the discipline of physics in the period, and how should the transformations of the field of acoustics be located within the transformations of the field of physics more generally?
Julie Wosk’s My Fair Ladies is an engaging historical account of female automata, with sidelights on dolls, disembodied electronic female voices, masks, make-up, and the sexual and gender implications of efforts to create artificial humans.
Somehow at the heart of sci-fi is returning power to the people who almost always regain control before things get completely out of hand. But we learn that our freedom comes at a cost. The reassuring aspect of Maynard’s work is that justice prevails, despite the ominous lurking of some technological beast that is waiting to be unleashed.
Mann and Toles crystallize for us climate change denialism, principally in the United States, over the last generation. The core of this denial results from the confluence of several trends deeply embedded in the American culture.
Holmes’s idea of inventing a cheap, small, fast, reliable blood-testing system to creatively destroy most of the world’s existing infrastructure for blood tests ran into big problems early on. But with her chutzpah, persuasiveness, and eventually with the help of outright obfuscations and lies, Holmes kept Theranos going until a Wall Street Journal investigative reporter named John Carreyrou responded to a lead by a health-care blogger that something fishy was going on.
“From today, painting is dead!” is said to have been proclaimed by the French painter Paul Delaroche in 1839 after seeing his first daguerreotype. His was an early name on the list of people who have made fools of themselves when prognosticating a future resulting from a new medium or invention. Motivated by either techno-euphoria or pessimism they have become famously wrong.
Discrimination is “embedded in computer code and, increasingly, in artificial intelligence technologies that we are reliant on, by choice or not.”
Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) is now considered a maverick of electrical science, but he could also be considered the founder of that subject.
It’s interesting that the first major science fiction novel was written by a woman and perhaps significant that it presents a dark vision of scientific experimentation.
Peter Buse, in his The Camera Does the Rest, stakes out different territory. His focus is on the social meaning of the Polaroid camera: how did it change photography? How were the cameras used? And how did Land intend them to be used — a concept that often differed from their actual use.
When thanks to drone use soldiers rarely come home in body bags, members of the public are not often prompted to care about or even notice military activity half a world away.
Orman poses “information overload” as a paradox and gives us three mechanisms through which such paradox arises. The paradox is that technologies help us know more, but in the process, we know less.
Jonathan Rees’s Refrigeration Nation has a great deal to say about the way refrigeration technology brought about profound changes in eating habits, agricultural practices, and even entire national economies over the last two centuries.
Petrick provides historic perspectives of how computer technology was developed in the United States allowing persons with disabilities full participation in their own lives and in the society.
In today’s world of climate denial and vaccine skepticism, one would be forgiven for assuming that an anti-intellectual, anti-expertise, anti-truth wave is sweeping the globe, and that the rise of the far right necessarily spells an end for science-informed policy.
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