Building a Bridge to the 18th Century

How the Past Can Improve Our Future

Author: Neil Postman

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307797287

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 8098

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At a time when we are reexamining our values, reeling from the pace of change, witnessing the clash between good instincts and "pragmatism," dealing with the angst of a new millennium, Neil Postman, one of our most distinguished observers of contemporary society, provides for us a source of guidance and inspiration. In Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century he revisits the Enlightenment, that great flowering of ideas that provided a humane direction for the future -- ideas that formed our nation and that we would do well to embrace anew. He turns our attention to Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Kant, Edward Gibbon, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Jefferson, and Franklin, and to their then-radical thinking about inductive science, religious and political freedom, popular education, rational commerce, the nation-state, progress, and happiness. Postman calls for a future connected to traditions that provide sane authority and meaningful purpose -- as opposed to an overreliance on technology and an increasing disregard for the lessons of history. And he argues passionately for specific new guidelines in the education of our children, with renewed emphasis on developing the intellect as successfully as we are developing a computer-driven world. Witty, provocative, and brilliantly reasoned, Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century is Neil Postman's most radical, and most commonsensical, book yet. From the Hardcover edition.
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Reclaiming the Enlightenment

Toward a Politics of Radical Engagement

Author: Stephen Eric Bronner

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023150098X

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 2120

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This book tackles an obvious yet profound problem of modern political life: the disorientation of intellectuals and activists on the left. As the study of political history and theory has been usurped by cultural criticism, a confusion over the origins
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Surviving Technopolis

Essays on Finding Balance in Our New Man-Made Environments

Author: Arthur W. Hunt

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1621899217

Category: Religion

Page: 128

View: 5314

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Technopolis has no end in view other than bigger, faster, newer, and more. While giving us many material benefits--at least in the short run--in its wake are spiritual loss, alienation, and devastation. These essays not only evaluate Technopolis, but also seek wisdom to cope with our new human-made environments. Positively stated, they offer suggestions on how to bring us back into balance. Some of our best wisdom in analyzing Technopolis can be found in the voices of the Christian humanists. Unlike Enlightenment humanism, which tends to be human-centered, Christian humanism is concerned with the role of humankind within God's created order. G. K. Chesterton, T. S. Eliot, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis represent this tradition. They, and others like them, understood that technological progress with no clear telos obscures what Eliot called the permanent things. Surviving Technopolis means restoring the things closest to us--those old identity-forming institutions of home, church, and community.
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Envisioning the Future

Science Fiction and the Next Millennium

Author: Marleen S. Barr

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press

ISBN: 9780819566522

Category: Fiction

Page: 205

View: 1175

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Writers speculate on the future and the role of science fiction.
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Mechanics of Pre-industrial Technology

An Introduction to the Mechanics of Ancient and Traditional Material Culture

Author: Brian Cotterell,Johan Kamminga

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521428712

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 325

View: 1172

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First general account of the mechanics behind pre-industrial technology, combining the skills of an engineer and an archaeologist.
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Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-garde

War, Civilization, Modernity

Author: Christine Froula

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231508786

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 456

View: 5848

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Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde traces the dynamic emergence of Woolf's art and thought against Bloomsbury's public thinking about Europe's future in a period marked by two world wars and rising threats of totalitarianism. Educated informally in her father's library and in Bloomsbury's London extension of Cambridge, Virginia Woolf came of age in the prewar decades, when progressive political and social movements gave hope that Europe "might really be on the brink of becoming civilized," as Leonard Woolf put it. For pacifist Bloomsbury, heir to Europe's unfinished Enlightenment project of human rights, democratic self-governance, and world peace—and, in E. M. Forster's words, "the only genuine movement in English civilization"— the 1914 "civil war" exposed barbarities within Europe: belligerent nationalisms, rapacious racialized economic imperialism, oppressive class and sex/gender systems, a tragic and unnecessary war that mobilized sixty-five million and left thirty-seven million casualties. An avant-garde in the twentieth-century struggle against the violence within European civilization, Bloomsbury and Woolf contributed richly to interwar debates on Europe's future at a moment when democracy's triumph over fascism and communism was by no means assured. Woolf honed her public voice in dialogue with contemporaries in and beyond Bloomsbury— John Maynard Keynes and Roger Fry to Sigmund Freud (published by the Woolfs'Hogarth Press), Bertrand Russell, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield, and many others—and her works embody and illuminate the convergence of aesthetics and politics in post-Enlightenment thought. An ambitious history of her writings in relation to important currents in British intellectual life in the first half of the twentieth century, this book explores Virginia Woolf's narrative journey from her first novel, The Voyage Out, through her last, Between the Acts.
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Public Passion

Rethinking the Grounds for Political Justice

Author: Rebecca Kingston

Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP

ISBN: 0773586067

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 8294

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Taking a broad historical perspective, Public Passion traces the role of emotion in political thought from its prominence in classical sources, through its resuscitation by Montesquieu, to the present moment. Combining intellectual history, philosophy, and political theory, Rebecca Kingston develops a sophisticated account of collective emotion that demonstrates how popular sentiment is compatible with debate, pluralism, and individual agency and shows how emotion shapes the tone of interactions among citizens. She also analyzes the ways in which emotions are shared and transmitted among citizens of a particular regime, paying particular attention to the connection between political institutions and the psychological dispositions that they foster. Public Passion presents illuminating new ways to appreciate the forms of popular will and reveals that emotional understanding by citizens may in fact be the very basis through which a commitment to principles of justice can be sustained.
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Seduced by Logic

?milie Du Ch?telet, Mary Somerville and the Newtonian Revolution

Author: Robyn Arianrhod

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199986924

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 8316

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Newton's explanation of the natural law of universal gravity shattered the way mankind perceived the universe, and hence it was not immediately embraced. After all, how can anyone warm to a force that cannot be seen or touched? But for two women, separated by time and space but joined in their passion for Newtonian physics, the intellectual power of that force drove them to great achievements. Brilliant, determined, and almost entirely self-taught, they dedicated their lives to explaining and disseminating Newton's discoveries. Robyn Arianrhod's Seduced by Logic tells the story of Emilie du Chatelet and Mary Somerville, who, despite living a century apart, were connected by their love for mathematics and their places at the heart of the most advanced scientific society of their age. When Newton published his revolutionary theory of gravity, in his monumental Principia of 1687, most of his Continental peers rejected it for its reliance on physical observation and mathematical insight instead of religious or metaphysical hypotheses. But the brilliant French aristocrat and intellectual Emilie du Chatelet and some of her early eighteenth-century Enlightenment colleagues--including her lover, Voltaire--realized the Principia had changed everything, marking the beginning of theoretical science as a predictive, quantitative, and secular discipline. Emilie devoted herself to furthering Newton's ideas in France, and her translation of the Principia is still the accepted French version of this groundbreaking work. Almost a century later, in Scotland, Mary Somerville taught herself mathematics and rose from genteel poverty to become a world authority on Newtonian physics. She was f?ted by the famous French Newtonian, Pierre Simon Laplace, whose six-volume Celestial Mechanics was considered the greatest intellectual achievement since the Principia. Laplace's work was the basis of Mary's first book, Mechanism of the Heavens; it is a bittersweet irony that this book, written by a woman denied entry to university because of her gender, remained an advanced university astronomy text for the next century. Combining biography, history, and popular science, Seduced by Logic not only reveals the fascinating story of two incredibly talented women, but also brings to life a period of dramatic political and scientific change. With lucidity and skill, Arianrhod explains the science behind the story, and explores - through the lives of her protagonists - the intimate links between the unfolding Newtonian revolution and the development of intellectual and political liberty.
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User Error

Resisting Computer Culture

Author: Ellen Rose

Publisher: Between the Lines

ISBN: 1926662431

Category: Computers and civilization

Page: 216

View: 5708

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User Error explodes the myth of computer technology as juggernaut. Multimedia educator Ellen Rose shows that there is no bandwagon, no out-of-control dynamo, no titanic conspiracy to overwhelm us. Instead, there is our own desire to join the fraternity of users, a fraternity that confers legitimacy and power on those who enter the brave new world. Rose exposes how we surrender decision-making power in personal and workplace computing situations. As users we willingly grant authority to the creators of software, support materials, and the seductive infrastructure of technocracy. “Smart” users are rewarded; reluctant users are pathologized. User identity is deliberately constructed at the crossroads of industry, consumer demand, and complicity. User Error sounds a timely alarm, calling on all of us who use the new technologies to recognize how we are being co-opted. With awareness we can reassert our own responsibility and power in this increasingly important interaction. Savvy, accessible, and up-to-date, User Error offers insight, inspiration, and strategies of resistance to general readers, technology professionals, students, and scholars alike.
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Arch Bridges

Author: A. Sinopoli

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 9789058090126

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 450

View: 5594

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Modern structural engineering surprises us with the mastery and certainty with which it plans and carries out daring projects, such as the most recent metal or concrete bridges, whether they be suspension or arch bridges. On the other hand, little is yet known about the state of knowledge of construction science and techniques which, well before the arrival of modern methods based on the mechanics of deformable continua, made it possible in the past to erect the vaulted masonry structures rthat we have inherited. The fact that these have lasted through many centuries to our time, and are still in a fairly good state of conservation, makes them competitive, as far as stability and durability are concerned, with those constructed in other materials. Although it is known that the equilibrium of the arch is guaranteed by any funicular whatsoever of the loads, contained inside the profile of an arch, finding the unique solution is not such a certainty. In other words, the problem of the equilibrium of vaulted structures is 'Poleni's problem', the one for which the Venetian scientist was able to give an exemplary solution on the occasion of the assessment of the dome of St. Peter's. Arch Bridges focuses on the main aspects of the debate about the masonry arch bridge: History of structural mechanics and construction, theoretical models, analysis for assessment, numerical methods, experimental and non-destructive testing, maintenance and repair are the topics of the Conference. The breadth and variety of the contributions presented and discussed by leading experts from many countries make this volume an authoritative source of up-to-date information.
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