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Who managed large corporations during the first half century of their emergence? How did modernizing firms navigate periods of rapid technological change such as those that swept the U.S. economy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? What role did engineers play in the management of large corporations? This paper draws on an original database of tens of thousands of mining and metallurgical engineers who graduated from universities during this period, examining patterns in their employment records, job descriptions, and career trajectories, matching our data on individual engineers with a linked database of mining and metallurgical corporations. We trace two distinct phases in engineers’ managerial role that corresponded to periods of rapid technological change and technological quiescence in the industry. We argue that explaining the rise of the modern corporation and the historical dynamics of corporate management requires a better understanding of technical expertise in management.
IR scholars increasingly turn to the writings of Existentialists to make sense of the multiple and entangled planetary crises that characterise the twenty-first century. In this article, I argue that two postwar intellectuals, Günther Anders (1902–1992) and J. G. Ballard (1930–2009), offer a rich intellectual ancestry and inspiration to such scholarship. Both authors critically and creatively reworked central Existentialist ideas in the context of postwar technological acceleration and the development of nuclear weapons. To Anders and Ballard, nuclear weapons symbolised, and were the most extreme manifestation of, the pathologies they associated with technological modernity: mass consumption, spectacular violence, a deadening of affect, and an increased inability of humans to psychologically process and grasp the destructive capacities of science and technology. To counter these trends, they both firmly relied on Surrealism to bolster the human imagination as a catalysator for personal and social transformation. I argue that their work offers an opportunity to reconnect the study of nuclear weapons in IR to broader existentialist questions and suggest that their respective attempts to foreground human being in the nuclear age as ‘being-towards-extinction’ holds important lessons for recent attempts to recentre the study of IR around planetary imaginaries of extinction.
This chapter draws on a series of contemporary Irish novels, charting the way everyday ‘technological objects’ – phones, laptops, computers – do more than simply sit alongside fictional characters. When we see ‘Connell’s face illuminated by the lit display’ of a phone in Sally Rooney’s Normal People (2018), we see a moment of intimacy between the characters. When Sinéad Hynes is shown ‘Googling [in bed]’ in Elaine Feeney’s As You Were (2020), we learn much about the character’s desire for privacy, her realism, her sense of humour. As the boy in Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (2013) hammers the controls of a computer game, or Anne Enright’s Gina in The Forgotten Waltz manages her extramarital affair on her smartphone, we see them finding refuge, expression, and intimacy in the company of their endlessly understanding machines. These are the machines that support their users, distract them, comfort them. The console consoles.
The phonograph presented American presidential aspirants with an opportunity to surmount eighteenth-century campaigning standards and meet the challenges of an expanding democracy and electorate. Thomas Edison’s invention—with its corresponding records—arguably was the first mechanical media technology to find its way into political campaigning on a mass scale. By 1908, canned, recorded speeches were poised to become a marketable alternative to soliciting ballots in person while also facilitating a candidate’s direct engagement with voters, thus enabling contenders and media firms like Edison’s National Phonograph Company to curate personas that were sold both commercially and at the polls. As a result, the phonograph’s practical role allowed the public to hear candidates directly and in their own words, marking an important but underrecognized step forward in the democratization of access to information (and the concomitant risk of manipulation and distortion that came along with it) that one finds in today’s social media.
This essay explores overlapping and intersecting modes of communicative interchange which characterised Gaelic cultural expression in the long early modern period. For a variety of complex reasons, print failed to supplant script as a communicative mode in Irish until arguably late in the nineteenth century and early in the twentieth century. Accordingly, the present essay seeks to delineate an often elusive but nonetheless intellectually dynamic encounter between print technology and communication in Irish down to the nineteenth century. Given the potent cultural and historical resonance of Gaelic script, it is argued that early modern Gaelic Protestants were acutely attentive to the ideological implications of an alignment of venerable scribal practice with print technology in the presentation of a new and radical religious programme. It is proposed that a vibrant Gaelic scribal culture was informed and energised by a creative confluence of script, print, and orality.
Making healthy food choices is crucial for health promotion and disease prevention. While there are an increasing number of technology-assisted interventions to promote healthy food choices, the underlying mechanism by which consumption behaviours and weight status change remains unclear. Our scoping review and meta-analysis of 17 studies represents 3,988 individuals with mean ages ranging from 19.2 to 54.2 years old and mean body mass index ranging from 24.5kg/m2 to 35.6kg/m2. Six main outcomes were identified namely weight, total calories, vegetables, fruits, healthy food, and fats and other food groups including sugar-sweetened beverages, saturated fats, snacks, whole grains, sodium, proteins, fibre, cholesterol, dairy, carbohydrates, and takeout meals. Technology-assisted interventions were effective for weight loss (g=-0.29; 95% CI=-0.54, -0.04; I2=65.7%, t=-2.83, P=0.03) but not for promoting healthy food choices. This highlights the complexity in creating effective interactive technology-assisted interventions and understanding its mechanisms of influence and change. We also identified that there needs to be greater application of theory to inform the development of technology-assisted interventions in this area as new and improved interventions are being developed.
This Element asks if the arts can help us imagine a better future society and economy, without deep social gulfs or ecological harm. It argues that at their best, the arts open up new ways of seeing and thinking. They can warn and prompt and connect us to a bigger sense of what we could be. But artists have lost their role as gods and prophets, partly as an effect of digital technologies and the ubiquity of artistic production, and partly as an effect of shifting values. Few recent books, films, artworks or exhibitions have helped us imagine how our world could solve its problems or how it might be better a generation or more from now. This Element argues that artists work best not as prophets of a new society but rather as 'prophets at a tangent'.
Technology in Irish Literature and Culture shows how such significant technologies—typewriters, gramophones, print, radio, television, computers—have influenced Irish literary practices and cultural production, while also examining how technology has been embraced as a theme in Irish writing. Once a largely rural and agrarian society, contemporary Ireland has embraced the communicative, performative and consumption habits of a culture utterly reliant on the digital. This text plumbs the origins of the present moment, examining the longer history of literature's interactions with the technological and exploring how the transformative capacity of modern technology has been mediated throughout a diverse national canon. Comprising essays from some of the major figures of Irish literary and cultural studies, this volume offers a wide-ranging, comprehensive account of how Irish literature and culture have interacted with technology.
Research is a fundamental catalyst for change in our food systems, playing a key role in diagnosing problems, setting empirical targets and pathways, and developing and scaling solutions on the ground. Unlocking the transformative functions of research will require radical changes in the research agenda and the way knowledge is produced and disseminated. Research must be context-sensitive, inclusive, built on long-term strategic engagements, responsive and adaptive to emerging needs, and packaged in accessible formats. In some cases, participatory, action-oriented research with a systems approach can be combined with reductionist, technology-driven approaches to support the behavioural changes required for systems transformation. Additional efforts can unlock and incentivise the transformative attributes of research, including relevant theories of change, strategic partnerships, nested scales approaches, and a creative leadership style.
Drawing from Michel Foucault’s reading of Immanuel Kant’s essay “What is Enlightenment?,” and specifically his definition of ascesis, we associate maturity with a capacity for, and interest in, forming the self. On the basis of an empirical study of making vinyl records following the successful commercialization of digital media, we identify micro-disciplinary techniques of self-forming that emerge as enthusiasts steadily learn the craft of vinyl record manufacturing. It is, we argue, through technology, rather than against it, that organizational immaturity can be resisted. Craftwork involves testing and transforming, rather than just acquiring, traditional skills. Maturity involves an ongoing struggle of selectively and reflectively engaging with technologies via attempts to be the subject of one’s own subjection. The former contributes to the latter.
Over the last decades both 'war' and 'media' have been unleashed – both conceptually and in practice – in ways that defy conventional understanding of the terms. One obvious reason is digitization, the explosive, closely entangled growth of cyberwar and cyberspace. This make it all the more important to scrutinize the peculiar mutual attraction the study of war and the study of media tend to exert upon each other. For media studies, the study of war, and the progress of weapons technology in particular, allows for the creation of evolutionary models that privilege internal dynamics of technological supersession at the expense of external factors. The focus on new, increasingly autonomous media technologies, in turn, privileges variants of technological solutionism on the side of military experts and historians. In both cases, however, conceptual difficulties arise not only from the unprecedented growth of new infrastructures, but also from the realization that both 'war' and 'media' were never – or only in a fairly limited post-1648 European context – what the terms commanded them to be.
In line with earlier research, a multi-phase study found a significant positive association between a widely used measure of trait disgust and people’s tendency to favor absolutist (non-consequentialist) restrictions on genetically modified food (GMF). However, a more nuanced high-granularity approach showed that it was individual sensitivity to fear (specifically, a tendency to feel creeped out by strange and subtly deviant events) rather than a tendency to be disgusted (orally inhibited) by these events that was a unique predictor of absolutist opposition to GMF and other types of new technology. This finding is consistent with prior theorizing and research demonstrating fear to be “the major determiner of public perception and acceptance of risk for a wide range of hazards” related to new technology (e.g., nuclear power) (Slovic & Peters, 2006, p. 322). The present study calls attention to the importance of conducting future assessments of disgust (and other affective constructs) in a manner that, among other things, recognizes the substantial disconnect between theoretical and lay meanings of the term and illustrates how a policy-guiding result may arise from a sheer miscommunication between a researcher and a subject.
While the international zoological community is committed to enhancing the welfare of individual animals, researchers have yet to take full advantage of the tools available for non-invasively tracking behavioural and physiological indicators of welfare. We review technology currently being applied in studies of zoo, farm and laboratory animals to regularly monitor welfare status, as well as to evaluate responses to particular stimuli and situations. In terms of behavioural measures, we focus on automated assessments that offer insight into how animals — even those that are nocturnal or elusive — behave when humans are not present. Specifically, we provide an overview of how animal-attached technology (accelerometers, global positioning systems, radio frequency identification systems) can be implemented to generate activity budgets, examine use of space, conduct gait assessments, determine rates of movement and study social dynamics. We also emphasise the value of bioacoustics, as the rate and acoustic structure of certain vocalisations may vary across contexts and reflect an animal's internal state. While it can be challenging to identify non-invasive methods for investigating physiological welfare indicators, we discuss approaches (thermography, tracking measures of heart rate) that may be especially useful for monitoring affective states and psychophysiological functioning. Finally, we make a concerted effort to highlight tools that allow welfare scientists to consider measures of positive welfare. Ultimately, zoos can ensure that each animal has the opportunity to thrive by employing technology to create baseline behavioural and physiological profiles, conduct ongoing monitoring schemes and assess responses to specific conditions, events and stimuli.
This chapter surveys the evidence for the design, commission, and manufacture of prostheses and assistive technology in classical antiquity. It argues that rather than being considered therapeutic and thus the responsibility of a medical practitioner, as is the case today, acquiring a prosthesis or other type of assistive technology was the responsibility of the user, and it was up to them to enlist the services of one or more artisans in order to do so. Consequently, ancient assistive technology was highly individualised and personalised, and was used to make statements about the individual in question's wealth, status, and sophistication. It covers artisans, inspirations, materials, and meanings.
The chapter offers a reassessment of Tolstoy’s views on the role of science and technology in human life. Both in his time and in current scholarship Tolstoy has often been charged with being a Luddite. While indeed critical of some modern technologies, such as trains, Tolstoy was enthusiastic about others, such as bicycles, photography, and phonographs. Tolstoy’s attitude toward his era’s unprecedented technological advances might seem contradictory, but, as this chapter demonstrates, his acceptance of some modern technologies and rejection of others was in fact consistent with his philosophy of life and the place of creativity in it. When approached holistically, Tolstoy’s writings evince his thoughtful and sophisticated understanding of modern technology that presages some of the most influential theories of technology developed in the twentieth century.
Chapter 8 examines the ethics of community – a dominant value of the hippie movement – and points to the differences between the people who live at The Farm and those who left it. Notwithstanding, this chapter reveals the power of what may be described as the cement of powerful shared experiences in early life in forming a lifelong bond that remains stable and offers a strong psychological sense of community regardless of physical distance and frequency of contact. This chapter also highlights the challenges of community life and examines them vis-à-vis perceived advantages.
Contemporary perceptions and discourses of Arctic mining are linked to concerns of local and global futures, especially in relation to climate change and its diverse ramifications for the Arctic and the world. Both the far North and the subterranean world have been imagined as mysterious and enchanted in European mindscapes. This chapter explores how extractive industries in the Arctic, and more generally, are entwined with such beyond-the-rational conceptualizations and the associated long-running fears and dreams linked to otherworldliness and danger but also treasure and a better future. These ideas and perceptions have a substantial affective potential, which is evident in historical and contemporary discourses of mining and the North. We propose that the controversies around and affective qualities of contemporary mines and mining are entangled with the broader cultural ideas and perceptions of the subterranean. The emotional and affective power of mines and mining – their ability to elicit responses such as fear, excitement, and fascination – must be accounted for in order to unravel our complex historically and culturally mediated relationship with the world underneath.
The oral performance of history has been common to many societies from Herodotus and the histories of Beowulf, to the griots of West Africa. The lecture in Western history emerged from these histories of orality, with its name showing the close connection in its origins to reading, and to the lecturer's expertise in that domain. From this starting point, lectures grew to be associated with frameworks of academic authority, as well as markers of community and shared academic, religious and civic identity. From the late eighteenth century onwards, the role of the historical lecture widened to involve public education, and was also later incorporated into political contestations by anticolonial orators such as Maya Angelou, Amílcar Cabral and Fidel Castro. In the twenty-first century, the rise of transnational technology has seen the increasing atomisation of the lecture into a space of performative and disembodied information. As technologies change, in the future the knowledge and thematic being explored in historical lectures may change. What is embraced may prove to be demonstration of mastery of the commercial technology involved in a lecture's delivery, as much as the exposition related to the lecture or reading from which knowledge and academic communities historically have built.
Research on society and environment has a rich history that is challenging to access. We define socio-environmental research as structured inquiry about the reciprocal relationships between society and environment. It has evolved from early observational expeditions to today’s data-intensive, interdisciplinary work. We assemble readings from the late 1700s to the mid-1990s to showcase this legacy and organize readings into chapters. Each chapter is introduced by a prominent scholar, who discusses the context key insights. Considered over time, readings suggest certain research themes have endured, forming lineages: a focus on populations and their resource bases, sustainable management of common-pool resources, society and land, technology, and systems. As a guide, this anthology can help new researchers gain a basic vocabulary and overview of different research traditions. Current researchers can learn different ways to conceptualize society–environment relationships, supporting interdisciplinary teams. For specialists in socio-environmental research, the readings can stimulate new questions and illuminate the historic nature of contemporary ideas and concerns.
A distinct branch of socio-environmental research, grounded in the physical principles of conservation of mass and energy, applies a systems modeling approach to society–environment interactions, emphasizing material and energy flows. Technology and technological advancement, alongside population and resources, feature prominently in determining the metabolisms linking society and nature. This approach mostly focuses on analyzing industrial systems (e.g. Ayers and Kneese, Meadows et al., Beck, Graedel et al.) but also offers insight on agrarian societies (Boserup) and hunter-gatherer communities (Fischer–Kowalski). Across these levels of social organization, technology is variously viewed as overcoming the limits nature places on society, as facilitating the resource exploitation and production of waste that lead to social collapse, or as the basis for internalizing externalities and building a circular economy. Key readings constituting this branch of socio-environmental research draw on tools from economics and engineering, such as input–output models, system models, feedback loops, environmental impact analysis, and material and energy flow accounting.