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Natural Science
NATS 1775
Vera Pavri

THEORIES A) Technological Determinism - Technological determinism: is a viewpoint that regards technology as the prime agent of social and organizational change, technology determines what society looks like, defining society based on technology that is used within it - Problem: the ideas of determinism are too simplistic; this is why it is popular in the media. Once humans create the technology they cannot control it B) Technology as Applied Science - It is a theory that suggests that technology is a result of scientific research - Many of our technologies, in our modern world (late 1800’s to present), derive from scientific research - This theory isn’t true, it doesn’t make sense if we are talking about technological advancement in early eras of life C) Necessity is the Mother of Invention - Society needs something and someone makes the technology to fulfill this need o Many technologies (past and present) have been made for more then just need, perhaps love, greed or even no reason at all o The time lag argument: sometimes a technology may be created in one time period, it might not be used until later on o Leads to UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, often technology might be created for one reason and used for different reasons later on - Invention may be the mother of necessity… THEMES A) How Users Shape New Technologies (I.E. Internet) - User can shape new technology to their own needs based on social and/or cultural factors - Idea of unintended consequences - Based on popularity of the invention B) Technology and Issues of Race, Class, Culture and Gender - How have technologies have been used to exploit or oppress different cultures, especially during the period of colonial expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the US and Germany in the 20th century? - Examples: Robert Moses, highway bridges and the question of racial segregation in New York; Nazi science and WWII; eugenics and intelligence testing C) Religion and Technology - Religious points of view: to justify or downplay technology D) The Relationship Between Science and Technology - Historical relationship: Greek philosophers separated the 2 disciplines, higher status to natural philosophy - As time goes by things turn around, the two disciplines may be seen as one and now known together as applied science. Some believe they are together as one (techno science) - Has very practical implications to the real world: Atomic bomb was a technology derived from scientific knowledge, many powerful countries believe science and technology were one E) The Management of New Technologies - Who controls technology, has controlled it in the past, who does so today, how have they managed to control these systems - Technology and issues of control: patents, standards, monopolies FORD AND MASS PRODUCTION The Ford Motor Company and Mass Production - Early Years o Early 20 century, Ford starts motor company with a very different method of production, it was to resemble cars for masses, not the rich o To create a car for the masses he must: make cars cheap and make a tremendous mass of these cars - Ford and ASM o Hires engineers to create new techniques of production, very important, allowed to reach over all goal of car for the masses o Ford hired James Couzens, he says that Ford should manufacture parts as well as car, controlling production (vertical integration) o Walter E. Flanders: machine tools salesman, sowing machine industry, then to Ford. He told Ford to manufacture parts that were uniform and standardized o P. E. Martin and Charles Sorenson: making sure a proper eye was made on inventory control, the shop floor, look toward other industries for techniques of production - Highland Park o 1906 buys land (60 acres) and creates a factory in Detroit (Highland Park) to open in 1910, newest and most innovated places of manufacturing and production o Ford’s original factory was in the heart of Detroit, was not a good idea to help increase production since: there is traffic (parts take longer to come in some days), limited space, higher costs, it was a multi floor factory (hard to move things around) o Highland was home to factories which were long and wide, a place where everything was done, part production, car assembly, etc. o Mass production took some time to set in (1913) o Highland Park was successful due to: power, accuracy and economy  Power: distributed throughout factory by assembly line (mechanized)  Accuracy: since parts were standard, no car should have a problem, final product got tested, belief in process  Economy: to keep cost low, production high, Ford had control over every facet of production (budget, machines, etc.) - Development of the Assembly Line o By 1913 he was still not meeting demand of his automobiles o Cars constructed by a very traditional methods, assembly gang, problems are the time limits and delivery of materials o Assembly line work is simple and repetitive, each person has the specific part of a car to add on, instead of a car at a time o Meat packers start with carcass and pull it apart to make little pieces, reversal of the process is Ford’s idea o First introduced in 1913, went from producing 6,000 cars a year to 200,000 a year, decrease in time spent manufacturing 12 hours to about 90 minutes, before 40 parts were made a day and now 1,188 a day, only took a day of training o Cost of assembly line: mechanization, high wages, low prices and large volume output. Max profit made when max production and minimal cost PATENTS: 2 INDUSTRIAL AGE - Patent is an official (legal) document that allows an individual or company to have the sole right to make, use or sell a specified invention for a fixed period of time, help exclude other people from making, selling or using the patented invention - Advantages: gives people the incentive to invent new things, provide a means for them to safely disclose their inventions, provides avenues for investments, brings further research - Disadvantages: patents can limit competition and consumer choice, patents can prevent people from using products that might help better society, legal disputes can be costly and time consuming - Key feature to modern industry development: systematic patent procedures, organized industrial research labs and technical training programs a) Arc Lighting o Arc Lighting = electrical arc formed by leaping gap between two electrodes, used for street lights, commercial and public buildings o Arc lighting was not patentable, caused great competition between manufacturers, companies try to get control around this barrier, o Thompson Houston got around this barrier by patenting parts and pieces of the arc lighting system, creating superior products that competition could not use o Also used the idea of buyouts and merging, by doing so you gain patent rights of newly gained companies b) Incandescent Lighting o Incandescent Lighting is the idea of a light bulb, Thomas Edison took advantage of technical developments such as vacuum pumps o Created his Edison Electrical Light Company and Menlo Park Labs, creating an electrical industry, patented many things changing the role of patenting new products, w
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