PANNA: >Resource Pointer #345 (Understanding Technology: Developments and Impacts)


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Resource Pointer #345 (Understanding Technology: Developments and Impacts)
12, 2003

For copies of the following resources, please contact the appropriate publishers or organizations directly.

*Living with the Genie: Essays on Technology and the Quest for Human Master, 2003* Alan Lightman, Daniel Sarewitz, and Christina Desser (editors). Reviews the coevolution of humans and technology and how this unique relationship shapes our world and perceptions. Questions the pace of technological implementation, the notion of progress, and the power associated with technology. Discusses technologies from primitive stone tools to nanotechnology and genetic engineering. Includes 16 independently authored essays. 347 pages. US $27. Contact Island Press, 58440 Main Street, P.O. Box 7, Covelo, CA 95428; phone (800) 828-1302; fax (707) 983-6414; email; Web site

*Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion: A Raucous Tour of Cloning, Transhumanism, and the New Era of Immortality, 2003* Brian Alexander. Recounts the history of human cloning and regenerative medicine focusing on such futurist science cultures as the extropians and transhumanists. Argues that the ideas of these “fringe” groups are starting to merge with those of more traditional scientists to form a new discipline. Looks at the lives and careers of several key players from a wide spectrum of roles in the movement including William Haseltine, considered the father of regenerative medicince; Durk Pearon, anti-aging guru; and John Sperling, Arizona billionaire funding a biotech start-up. 289 pages. US $25.95. Contact Basic Books, c/o Perseus Books Group Customer Service Dept., 5500 Central Avenue, Boulder, CO 80301; phone (800) 386-5656; fax (720) 406-7366; email; Web site

*The Big Down: Atomtech — Technologies Converging at the Nano-scale, 2003* ETC Group. Charts a history of technological development to reduce size, materials, and costs and manipulate smaller elements of matter ultimately leading to atomtechnology, or, technology operating at and below the nano-scale and manipulating molecules, atoms, and sub-atomic particles. Examines the funding sources and corporate research propelling these technologies forward and discusses the potential ramifications. Notes a lack of awareness and interest from governments and regulatory agencies of these technologies and prompts further research of the environmental and social risks. 80 pages. Available for free download at: Contact ETC Group, 478 River Avenue, Suite 200, Winnipeg, MB R3L 0C8, Canada; phone (204) 453-5259; fax (204) 284-7871; email; Web site

*Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More About Technology, 2002* National Academny of Engineering and the National Research Council. Discusses the complex relationship between technology and society and provides definitions of technology and technological literacy. Seeks to empower non-scientists to learn more about existing and emerging technologies and inform public debates around the development and implementation of technology. Uses three case studies – car air bags, genetically modified foods, and the California energy crisis – to urge Americans to adopt a more active role in understanding technologies and their societal, economic, political, and environmental impacts. 156 pages. US $19.95. Contact National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington D.C. 20418; phone (202) 334-1902; fax (202) 334-2793; email; Web site

*Industrialized Nature: Brute Force Technology and the Transformation of the Natural World, 2002* Paul R. Josephson. Examines a number of massive technological projects currently being considered or implemented such as the damming of the Yangtze River and storage of nuclear waste in the Yucca Mountains in Nevada. Focuses on the scientific, technological, political and financial aspects of these projects across many different countries and cultures. Concludes that projects employing technologies to manipulate nature result in diminished resources, disruption to the local societies, environmental degradation and a vicious cycle in which these technologies are relied upon and less disruptive alternatives are not considered. 311 pages. US$25. Contact Island Press, 58440 Main Street, P.O. Box 7, Covelo, CA 95428; phone (800) 828-1302; fax (707) 983-6414; email; Web site

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