Focusing on the postwar automation of the American metal-working industry--the heart of the modern industrial economy--this is a provocative study of how automation has assumed a critical role in America. David Noble argues that industrial automation--more than merely a technological advance--is a social process that reflects very real divisions and pressures within our society. The book explains how technology is often spurred and shaped by the military, corporations, universities, and other mighty institutions. Using detailed case studies, Noble also demonstrates how engineering design is influenced by political, economic, and sociological considerations, and how the deployment of equipment is frequently entangled with certain managerial concerns.
Focusing on the design and implementation of computer-based automatic machine tools, David F. Noble challenges the idea that technology has a life of its own. Technology has been both a convenient scapegoat and a universal solution, serving to disarm critics, divert attention, depoliticize debate, and dismiss discussion of the fundamental antagonisms and inequalities that continue to beset America. This provocative study of the postwar automation of the American metal-working industry—the heart of a modern industrial economy—explains how dominant institutions like the great corporations, the universities, and the military, along with the ideology of modern engineering shape, the development of technology. Noble shows how the system of "numerical control," perfected at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and put into general industrial use, was chosen over competing systems for reasons other than the technical and economic superiority typically advanced by its promoters. Numerical control took shape at an MIT laboratory rather than in a manufacturing setting, and a market for the new technology was created, not by cost-minded producers, but instead by the U. S. Air Force. Competing methods, equally promising, were rejected because they left control of production in the hands of skilled workers, rather than in those of management or programmers. Noble demonstrates that engineering design is influenced by political, economic, managerial, and sociological considerations, while the deployment of equipment—illustrated by a detailed case history of a large General Electric plant in Massachusetts—can become entangled with such matters as labor classification, shop organization, managerial responsibility, and patterns of authority. In its examination of technology as a human, social process, Forces of Production is a path-breaking contribution to the understanding of this phenomenon in American society.
Li Da (18901966) was one of Chinas most important Marxist intellectuals and a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party, yet he has been little studied in the West. In this seminal work, Knight analyzes Li Das contribution to the dissemination of Marxist philosophy and theory in China and explores his philosophical relationship with Mao Zedong. Through the lens of Lis life and thought, this book provides a detailed assessment of the introduction and dissemination of Marxist philosophy and social theory in China. Li Da (18901966) was one of Chinas most important Marxist intellectuals and a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party. He played a major role in the introduction of Marxist philosophy and theory to China and in its dissemination among Chinese revolutionaries. His works are now regarded in China as classics of Marxist philosophy, and he is numbered among the ten most influential Chinese intellectuals of this century. Yet, almost nothing has been written about Li Da in English.In this seminal study, Knight analyzes Li Das contribution to the flowering of Marxist philosophy and theory in China, examining Lis writings and placing them in the context of the Marxist tradition. Knight also explores Li Das philosophical relationship with Mao Zedong, who was heavily influenced by Lis works. Through the lens of Lis life and thought, this book provides a detailed assessment of the introduction and dissemination of Marxist philosophy and social theory in China.
Release on 2019 | by William Proctor,Richard McCulloch
Forces of Production, Promotion, and Reception
Author: William Proctor,Richard McCulloch
Pubpsher: Fandom & Culture
Category: Performing Arts
"In 2012, Disney purchased production studio Lucasfilm, which meant it also inherited the beloved Star Wars franchise. This corporate marriage sent media critics and fans into a frenzy of speculation about what would happen next with the hugely popular series. Disney's Star Wars gathers twenty-one noted fan and media studies scholars from around the world to examine Disney's revival of the franchise. Covering the period from Disney's purchase through the release of The Force Awakens in December 2015, these essays examine the significance of this transitional period from the intertwined perspectives of the studios, storytellers, marketers and audiences involved. For many, Star Wars is a vitally important cultural text. How did these fans anticipate, interpret, and respond to the steady stream of production stories, gossip, marketing materials, merchandise, and other sources in the build-up to the movie's release?"--
Wherever possible in this monograph I have referred to English trans lations of works originally appearing in other languages. Where this has not been possible, for example with Russian material, I have followed the Library of Congress system of transliteration, but omitted the diacritics. I have also retained the conventional use of 'y' for the ending of certain Russian proper names (e.g., Trotsky not Trotskii). In accordance with the policy of using existing English translations, I have referred to the Martin Nicolaus translation of Marx's Grundrisse, which is relatively faithful to the text. (The Grundrisse, although the Dead Sea Scroll of Marxism, bear all the characteristics of a rough draft, characteristics which are preserved in the Nicolaus translation.) The term 'Marxian' has been employed in the conventional way in this book, to distinguish the views of Marx and Engels from those of their 'Marxist' followers. In preparing this work I have received bibliographical assistance from Professor Israel Getzler, now of the Hebrew University, and critical assistance from Mr Bruce McFarlane of the University of Adelaide and especially from Professor Eugene Kamenka of the Aus tralian National University. Professor Jean Chesneaux of the Sorbonne, as one of the leading participants in the more recent debates discussed here, provided me with some further insight into the issues, and Pro fessor K.A. Wittfogel of Columbia also supplied some valuable in formation.
In Language and Production, Gyorgy Markus presents us with a pro found critique of contemporary social theory: of the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences; of the philosophy of language; of hermeneutics and critical theory; and finally, of Marx and of Marxisms. The sweep of Markus' project is complemented by the extraordinary detail of his analysis and the elaborately developed argument which gives the work its clear logical structure: it is a dialectical work. Markus begins with a critique of the paradigm of language and of that scientific ra tionality modeled on language, as frameworks for the understanding of social reality, and for a rational 'science of society' . After revealing what he takes to be the essential failure of that paradigm in its positivist ver sion (in the work of Sir Karl Popper, who, he argues, remains within the positivist framework despite his differences with other positivists) - Markus examines the alternative interpretations of that paradigm in the hermeneutic tradition from Dilthey through Heidegger and Gadamer, and then in the structural anthropology of Claude Levi-Strauss and in the philosophy of language of Ludwig Wittgenstein. In all of these approaches, Markus sees a systematic flaw in the at tempt to frame human action as one or another form of linguistic prac tice, or even to read human self-constitution as essentially linguistic.