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December 20th, 2018 by: Eric SchatzbergLee Vinsel

Kranzberg’s First and Second Laws

Kranzberg’s First Law By Eric Schatzberg “Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral.” This gnomic pronouncement is probably the best known of Kranzberg’s six laws. A search on this phrase produces over 9000 hits on Google, and almost 400 hits on Google Scholar. And who knows how many times it has been…

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December 20th, 2018 by: Dagmar SchaeferJonathan Coopersmith

Kranzberg’s Fifth and Fourth Laws

Kranzberg’s Fifth Law By Dagmar Schaefer “All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant.” The farmer and the frog: or how Chinese farmers know all about Kranzberg’s Fifth Law. Before I even knew what the history of technology was, I learnt from a farmer and some frogs what the relevance…

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December 20th, 2018 by: Laura Ann TwagiraMara Mills

Kranzberg’s Third and Sixth Laws

Kranzberg’s Third Law By Laura Ann Twagira “Technology comes in packages, big and small” In 1986 Melvin Kranzberg wrote: “If we look into the history of any mechanical device, we find that the basic invention required other innovative changes to make it fully effective and that the completed mechanism in turn necessitated changes in auxiliary…

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December 20th, 2018 by: Hannah Rogers

Curating Art, Science, and Technology

Shadows and Ashes: The Peril of Nuclear Weapons Exhibits on the history of technology make arguments for the future of technologies. Along with the turn toward material practice in a variety of humanities fields and the urgency of science and technology policy for academic fields, exhibits in the area of technology are interpreted as social…

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August 20th, 2018 by: John Dean Davis

Levees, Slavery, and Maintenance

Why is the U.S. Army in charge of the levees on the Mississippi River? There’s no one-sentence answer to this question. Even answering it in a paragraph would be difficult. The story of how the military became entwined with the great river goes back to arguments over the republic’s founding documents, and what amount of…

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August 20th, 2018 by: Daniel Levinson Wilk

A Brief Episode in the History of Dusting

Cleaning kicks up dust, and dust takes its time to settle. In the early twentieth century, as business boomed and corporations clogged the sky, skyscraper managers scheduled a gap of hours between cleaning and dusting. They wrote about it in trade journals like Buildings and Building Management. It was definitely the best system. The women…

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