Inventing Accuracy

A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance
Author: Donald A. MacKenzie
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262631471
Category: History
Page: 464
View: 4567
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"Mackenzie has achieved a masterful synthesis of engrossing narrative, imaginative concepts, historical perspective, and social concern."Thomas P. Hughes, Mellon Professor of the History and Sociology of Science, The University of Pennsylvania

Mechanizing Proof

Computing, Risk, and Trust
Author: Donald A. MacKenzie
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262632959
Category: Computers
Page: 427
View: 3915
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A sociological approach to the history of proof, as applied to and performed by computer systems.

Material Markets

How Economic Agents are Constructed
Author: Donald MacKenzie
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191608513
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 240
View: 3865
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Financial markets, processes, and instruments are often difficult to fathom; the credit crisis highlights both their importance and their fragility. Donald MacKenzie is one of the most perceptive analysts of the workings of the financial world. In this book, he argues that economic agents and markets need to be analyzed in their full materiality: their physicality, their corporeality, their technicality. Markets are populated not by disembodied, abstract agents, but by embodied human beings and technical systems. Concepts and systematic ways of thinking that simplify market processes and make them mentally tractable are essential to how markets function. In putting forward this material sociology of markets, the book synthesizes and contributes to the new field of social studies of finance: the application to financial markets not just of economics but of wider social-science disciplines, in particular science and technology studies. The topics covered include the development of financial derivatives exchanges (non-existent in 1970, but now trading products equivalent to $13,000 for every human being on earth); arbitrage; how corporate profit figures are constructed; the crucial new markets in carbon emissions; and a case-study of a hedge fund (based, unusually, on direct observation of its trading). The book will appeal to research students and academics across the social sciences, and the general reader will enjoy the book's explanations and analyses of some of the most important phenomena of today's turbulent markets.

From Polaris to Trident

The Development of US Fleet Ballistic Missile Technology
Author: Graham Spinardi
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521413572
Category: Political Science
Page: 253
View: 6465
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This book provides a complete history of the US Fleet Ballistic Missile programme from its inception in the 1950s and the development of Polaris to the deployment of Trident II in 1990. Writing in an accessible yet scholarly manner, Graham Spinardi bases his historical documentation of FBM development on interviews with many of the key participants. His study confronts a central issue: is technology simply a tool used to achieve the goals of society, or is it an autonomous force in shaping that society? FBM accuracy evolved from the city-busting retaliatory capability of Polaris to the silo-busting 'first strike' potential of Trident. Is this a case of technology 'driving' the arms race, or simply the intended product of political decisions? The book provides a comprehensive survey of the literature looking at the role of technology in the arms race, and seeks to explain technological development using a 'sociology of technology' approach.

Knowing Machines

Essays on Technical Change
Author: Donald A. MacKenzie
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262631884
Category: Science
Page: 338
View: 8829
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Ranging from broad inquiries into the roles of economics and sociology in the explanation of technological change to an argument for the possibility of "uninventing" nuclear weapons, this selection of Donald MacKenzie's essays provides a solid introduction to the style and the substance of the sociology of technology. The essays are tied together by their explorations of connections (primarily among technology, society, and knowledge) and by their general focus on modern "high" technology. They also share an emphasis on the complexity of technological formation and fixation and on the role of belief (especially self-validating belief) in technological change. Two of the articles won major prizes on their original journal publication, and all but one date from 1991 or later. A substantial new introduction outlines the common themes underlying this body of work and places it in the context of recent debates in technology studies. Two conceptual essays are followed by seven empirical essays focusing on the laser gyroscopes that are central to modern aircraft navigation technology, supercomputers (with a particular emphasis on their use in the design of nuclear weapons), the application of mathematical proof in the design of computer systems, computer-related accidental deaths, and the nature of the knowledge that is needed to design a nuclear bomb.

Knowing Machines

Essays on Technical Change
Author: Donald A. MacKenzie
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262631884
Category: Science
Page: 338
View: 3615
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Ranging from broad inquiries into the roles of economics and sociology in the explanation of technological change to an argument for the possibility of "uninventing" nuclear weapons, this selection of Donald MacKenzie's essays provides a solid introduction to the style and the substance of the sociology of technology. The essays are tied together by their explorations of connections (primarily among technology, society, and knowledge) and by their general focus on modern "high" technology. They also share an emphasis on the complexity of technological formation and fixation and on the role of belief (especially self-validating belief) in technological change. Two of the articles won major prizes on their original journal publication, and all but one date from 1991 or later. A substantial new introduction outlines the common themes underlying this body of work and places it in the context of recent debates in technology studies. Two conceptual essays are followed by seven empirical essays focusing on the laser gyroscopes that are central to modern aircraft navigation technology, supercomputers (with a particular emphasis on their use in the design of nuclear weapons), the application of mathematical proof in the design of computer systems, computer-related accidental deaths, and the nature of the knowledge that is needed to design a nuclear bomb.

Political Construction of Technology

Nuclear Waste Disposal in the United States, 1945-1972
Author: Adri August Albert de la Bruhèze
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Radioactive waste disposal
Page: 249
View: 9328
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Beyond Imported Magic

Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America
Author: Eden Medina,Ivan da Costa Marques,Marcos Cueto,Christina Holmes
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027453
Category: History
Page: 410
View: 1701
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The essays in this volume study the creation, adaptation, and use of science and technology in Latin America. They challenge the view that scientific ideas and technology travel unchanged from the global North to the global South -- the view of technology as "imported magic." They describe not only alternate pathways for innovation, invention, and discovery but also how ideas and technologies circulate in Latin American contexts and transnationally. The contributors' explorations of these issues, and their examination of specific Latin American experiences with science and technology, offer a broader, more nuanced understanding of how science, technology, politics, and power interact in the past and present.The essays in this book use methods from history and the social sciences to investigate forms of local creation and use of technologies; the circulation of ideas, people, and artifacts in local and global networks; and hybrid technologies and forms of knowledge production. They address such topics as the work of female forensic geneticists in Colombia; the pioneering Argentinean use of fingerprinting technology in the late nineteenth century; the design, use, and meaning of the XO Laptops created and distributed by the One Laptop per Child Program; and the development of nuclear energy in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile.ContributorsPedro Ignacio Alonso, Morgan G. Ames, Javiera Barandiarán, João Biehl, Anita Say Chan, Amy Cox Hall, Henrique Cukierman, Ana Delgado, Rafael Dias, Adriana Díaz del Castillo H., Mariano Fressoli, Jonathan Hagood, Christina Holmes, Matthieu Hubert, Noela Invernizzi, Michael Lemon, Ivan da Costa Marques, Gisela Mateos, Eden Medina, María Fernanda Olarte Sierra, Hugo Palmarola, Tania Pérez-Bustos, Julia Rodriguez, Israel Rodríguez-Giralt, Edna Suárez Díaz, Hernán Thomas, Manuel Tironi, Dominique Vinck

Technological Utopianism in American Culture


Author: Howard P. Segal
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 9780815630616
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 321
View: 9366
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Featuring twenty-five writers in all, this book includes Howard P. Segal's acclaimed work on utopian visionaries.

Chains of Finance

How Investment Management Is Shaped
Author: Diane-Laure Arjaliès,Philip Grant,Iain Hardie,Ekaterina Svetlova,Donald MacKenzie
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198802943
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 224
View: 1038
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Investment is no longer a matter of individual savers directly choosing which shares or bonds to buy. Rather, most of their money flows through a 'chain': an often extended sequence of intermediaries. What goes on in that chain is of huge importance: The world's investment managers, who are now almost as well paid as top bankers, control assets equivalent in value to around a year of total global economic output. In Chains of Finance, five social scientists discuss the ways in which the intermediaries in the chain influence each other, channel the flows of savers' money, enhance investment decisions, and form audiences for each other's performances of financially competent selves. The central argument of the book is that investment management is fashioned profoundly by the opportunities and constraints this chain creates. Whether chains constrain or enable, however, they always entangle, tying intermediaries to each other - silently and profoundly shaping the investment management industry. Chains of Finance is a novel analysis that will make students, social scientists, financial professionals, and regulators looking at the workings of financial markets in a new light. A must-read for anyone looking for insights into the decision-making processes of investment managers and those influenced by and working for them.

The Outsourcer

The Story of India's IT Revolution
Author: Dinesh C. Sharma
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262028751
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 296
View: 1058
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Originally published as: The long revolution.

Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs

Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change
Author: Wiebe E. Bijker
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262522274
Category: Science
Page: 380
View: 7277
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The stories of the safety bicycle, the first truly synthetic plastic, and the fluorescent light bulb -each a fascinating case study in itself- reflect a cross-section of time periods, engineering and scientific disciplines, and economic, social, and political cultures. The bicycle story explores such issues as the role of changing gender relationships in shaping a technology; the Bakelite story examines the ways in which social factors intrude even in cases of seemingly pure chemistry and entrepreneurship; and the fluorescent bulb story offers insights into the ways in which political and economic relationships can affect the form of a technology.

The Taming of Chance


Author: Ian Hacking
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521388849
Category: History
Page: 264
View: 5611
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This book combines detailed scientific historical research with characteristic philosophic breadth and verve.

Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces


Author: Oleg Bukharin,Frank Von Hippel
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262661812
Category: History
Page: 692
View: 4941
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A comprehensive databook of technical and institutional facts about the Soviet and Russian nuclear arsenal.

The Social Shaping of Technology


Author: David Owen Edge
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Technological innovations
Page: 20
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The social shaping of technology


Author: Donald A. MacKenzie,Judy Wajcman
Publisher: Open Univ Pr
ISBN: N.A
Category: Social Science
Page: 462
View: 7640
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Technological change is often seen as something that follows its own logic -- something we may welcome, or about which we may protest, but which we are unable to alter fundamentally. This reader challenges that assumption and its distinguished contributors demonstrate that technology is affected at a fundamental level by the social context in which it develops. General arguments are introduced about the relation of technology to society and different types of technology are examined: the technology of production: domestic and reproductive technology; and military technology. The book draws on authors from Karl Marx to Cynthia Cockburn to show that production technology is shaped by social relations in the workplace. It moves on to the technologies of the household and biological reproduction, which are topics that male-dominated social science has tended to ignore or trivialise -- though these are actually of crucial significance where powerful shaping factors are at work, normally unnoticed. The final section asks what shapes the most frightening technology of all -- the technology of weaponry, especially nuclear weapons. The editors argue that social scientists have devoted disproportionate attention to the effects of technology on society, and tended to ignore the more fundamental question of what shapes technology in the first place. They have drawn both on established work in the history and sociology of technology and on newer feminist perspectives t

Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Signal
ISBN: 9780771038518
Category:
Page: 464
View: 840
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Destined to become a modern classic in the vein of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Sapiens is a lively, groundbreaking history of humankind told from a unique perspective. 100,000 years ago, at least six species of human inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo Sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical -- and sometimes devastating -- breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power...and our future.

An Engine, Not a Camera

How Financial Models Shape Markets
Author: Donald Mackenzie
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262250047
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 392
View: 7955
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In An Engine, Not a Camera, Donald MacKenzie argues that the emergence of modern economic theories of finance affected financial markets in fundamental ways. These new, Nobel Prize-winning theories, based on elegant mathematical models of markets, were not simply external analyses but intrinsic parts of economic processes.Paraphrasing Milton Friedman, MacKenzie says that economic models are an engine of inquiry rather than a camera to reproduce empirical facts. More than that, the emergence of an authoritative theory of financial markets altered those markets fundamentally. For example, in 1970, there was almost no trading in financial derivatives such as "futures." By June of 2004, derivatives contracts totaling $273 trillion were outstanding worldwide. MacKenzie suggests that this growth could never have happened without the development of theories that gave derivatives legitimacy and explained their complexities.MacKenzie examines the role played by finance theory in the two most serious crises to hit the world's financial markets in recent years: the stock market crash of 1987 and the market turmoil that engulfed the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management in 1998. He also looks at finance theory that is somewhat beyond the mainstream -- chaos theorist Benoit Mandelbrot's model of "wild" randomness. MacKenzie's pioneering work in the social studies of finance will interest anyone who wants to understand how America's financial markets have grown into their current form.

The Golem at Large

What You Should Know about Technology
Author: Harry Collins,Trevor Pinch
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107688280
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 4335
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The authors demonstrate that the imperfections in technology are related to the uncertainties in science described in the first volume.

Inventing the Internet


Author: Janet Abbate
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262261332
Category: Science
Page: 268
View: 3373
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Since the late 1960s the Internet has grown from a single experimental network serving a dozen sites in the United States to a network of networks linking millions of computers worldwide. In Inventing the Internet, Janet Abbate recounts the key players and technologies that allowed the Internet to develop; but her main focus is always on the social and cultural factors that influenced the Internets design and use. The story she unfolds is an often twisting tale of collaboration and conflict among a remarkable variety of players, including government and military agencies, computer scientists in academia and industry, graduate students, telecommunications companies, standards organizations, and network users.The story starts with the early networking breakthroughs formulated in Cold War think tanks and realized in the Defense Department's creation of the ARPANET. It ends with the emergence of the Internet and its rapid and seemingly chaotic growth. Abbate looks at how academic and military influences and attitudes shaped both networks; how the usual lines between producer and user of a technology were crossed with interesting and unique results; and how later users invented their own very successful applications, such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web. She concludes that such applications continue the trend of decentralized, user-driven development that has characterized the Internet's entire history and that the key to the Internet's success has been a commitment to flexibility and diversity, both in technical design and in organizational culture.