Stefan Höhne dives into a wealth of letters—correspondence sent to the New York City Transit Authority in the period 1955–1968.
Category: Book Reviews
By Daniene Byrne on February 24th, 2023 in Articles, Book Reviews, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
In Data Feminism, authors Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein do not merely deal with data. They pair data with feminism. Here, feminism is deployed as a “shorthand for the diverse and wide-ranging projects that name and challenge sexism and other forces of oppression, as well as those which seek to create more just, equitable, and livable futures.”
Good Pictures: A History of Popular Photography
By A. David Wunsch on February 21st, 2023 in Articles, Book Reviews, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Good Pictures is about the advice given to photographers—mostly amateurs—on the techniques they should use to improve their work. Of course, the advice is intimately tied to technological developments in photography as well as the desire of camera makers to sell new products.
BOOK REVIEW: Why Trust Science?
By Jacob Ossar on June 10th, 2022 in Articles, Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Oreskes’ answer to the question “Why Trust Science” is that science is trustworthy to the extent that the social process by which scientists vet research findings and reach (or fail to reach) a consensus about them is open to a diverse community of scientists with ample opportunity to make objections and critiques and have that feedback taken seriously.
BOOK REVIEW – Scientists Under Surveillance: The FBI Files
By James R. Russell on June 1st, 2022 in Articles, Book Reviews, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Privacy & Security, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
The volume under review is a selection of declassified FBI documents, reproduced in facsimile, from the Cold War era files of 16 people (15 men and one woman) described as scientists.
BOOK REVIEW: Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States
By Vincent Mosco on May 8th, 2022 in Book Reviews, Communication Technology, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
The book documents Limbaugh’s formative role in turning an old technology into an instrument of power that transformed the Republican Party and political discourse in the United States. The talk-radio host proved to be a success as both a propagandist and a ratings builder. Station owners were quick to join his syndicated network and to hire personalities who combined Limbaugh’s smooth delivery, ability to empathize with his audience, biting humor, and relentless attack on all things liberal—real or imagined. Profit mattered but winning the “culture war” counted for as much if not more than Rosenwald cares to consider.
Electric Light: An Architectural History
By A. David Wunsch on September 3rd, 2021 in Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology
The author’s intention is to study cases that “suggest an architectural history of spaces that have been generated or extensively reconstituted by electric light.” His thesis is “the electric light changes the underlying nature of a space.”
Book Review: Edison
By Eric P. Wenaas on August 30th, 2021 in Book Reviews, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Morris’s book is difficult to read, not only because it is written in reverse chronological order, but because he does not understand the technology he is writing about.
Book Review: Techno-Fixers: Origins and Implications of Technological Faith
By A. David Wunsch on May 23rd, 2021 in Book Reviews, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
The public’s faith in science and technology has never been higher. Computer “apps” that explore things such as the frequency of, and point of origin of, COVID-related Google search terms, and Twitter posts, are being used to trace the progress of the virus and to predict the sites of further outbreaks. The United States has been roiled by the death, at the hands of the police, of George Floyd. Floyd’s killing was captured by an app that has been circulating throughout the globe that has acquired the near iconic power of the crucifixion. With the majority of the American people equipped to make audio–visual recording of police brutality and post them on social media, we expect that crimes such as this will certainly diminish.
Book Review: Hacking Diversity: The Politics of Inclusion in Open Technology Cultures
By Jenna P. Carpenter on May 21st, 2021 in Book Reviews, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Open technology communities are loosely organized, volunteer, online groups, focused on development and distribution of open or free software and hardware. “Hacking Diversity:The Politics of Inclusion in Open Technology Cultures” is a study of the efforts of open technology communities to “hack” the issues around the lack of diversity that pervades not only their volunteer communities, but also their related disciplines at large.
Book Review: Ways of Hearing
By John M. Picker on January 31st, 2021 in Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology
Damon Krukowski’s Ways of Hearing does for digital sound what Berger’s Ways of Seeing did for the reproduced image. He wants us to question what we hear, as well as what we’re no longer hearing, in the era of digital audio.
Book Review: Their Own Devices
By A. David Wunsch on January 15th, 2021 in Book Reviews, Environment, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Albright’s book focuses on a group of Americans who live a life of digital hyper-connectivity. Mostly under age 50, this would include what are called Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979), Millennials (born between 1980 and 1999), and their offspring — some, as we have seen, still infants.
The Black Skyscraper
By Charlette Caldwell on December 4th, 2020 in Book Reviews, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
It is “seeing” that is most compelling when analyzing the relationship between architecture and race, especially, for example, when reexamined in literary works such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Adrienne Brown, a professor who specializes in American and African American cultural production at the University of Chicago, takes her readers on a journey that recounts seeing racial characteristics in the early period of American skyscraper construction.
A Billion Little Pieces
By Jacob Ossar on November 21st, 2020 in Book Reviews, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
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.
Book Review: Transforming Science and Sound
By Bill Liles on June 8th, 2020 in Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
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?
My Fair Ladies
By Rachel Maines on April 24th, 2020 in Book Reviews, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
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.
Review: Films from the Future
By Katina Michael on January 28th, 2020 in Book Reviews, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
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.
By A. David Wunsch on November 29th, 2019 in Book Reviews, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
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.
Secrets and Lies
By Karl Stephan on October 17th, 2019 in Book Reviews, Case Studies, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
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.
BOOK REVIEW: The Revenge of Analog
By A. David Wunsch on September 5th, 2019 in Book Reviews, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
“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.