The Universal Amplifier: Lectures on Technology and Society

Target Readers

These readings or 'lectures' were prepared by Peter Fitzgerald-Moore for undergraduates taking a course on "Technology in Contemporary Society" at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, during the years 1984-1997. The book is now (2000) being revised for a wider readership.

Discussion by any reader on the Internet is welcomed by email to pfitzger@ucalgary.ca

For some of the lectures prior readings are advised from the two text books prescribed for the course, namely:

 Albert H. Teich. Technology and the Future. 7th Ed. New York: St.Martin's Press, 1997.

 Langdon Winner. The Whale and the Reactor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.

Document Format

The lectures are in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format. If you don't already have PDF available as a plugin to your browser you will need a copy of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. (Please note that many of the illustrations are being redrawn or are waiting to be scanned).

The Lectures

Chapter Last Revision Date
Introductory theory 1998 11 08
What is Technology? 1996 11 18
Technological Determinism 1998 12 12
The Technic Frame of Mind 1997 02 24
Intrinsic characteristics 1997 01 07
Efficiency 1997 02 24
The Techno-Economic System 1996 01 19
Technological Change: Introduction 1996 10 01
Innovation and Diffusion 1996 08 07
Trajectory of devices and systems 2000 12 05
Darwinian Evolution of machines 1998 10 30
The Garment Industry 1996 10 20
Sustainable Energy 1996 08 30
Management of Technological Hazards 1997 01 13
Accidents 1996 11 11
Information Technology 1996 11 17
Privacy 1996 11 17
Views of Nature 1996 11 17
The Green Revolution 1996 10 03
Biotechnology 1996 11 21
Human Reproductive and Genetic Technology 1996 11 28
Genetic Screening 1996 11 27
Work, jobs & technical change 2000 12 07
Resolutique 1999 04 02

Links to Other Sources

There is a very comprehensive list of sources compiled and maintained by Patrick Hamlett of North Carolina State University.