.
book book
Home awards catalogs newsletter calendar resources exam about
.



Search the Site
.


Enter keywords, ISBN, author, or book title

 
.
Search the Site

Art
Art
College Planning
Education and Teaching
Language and Literature
Foriegn Language Instruction
Performing Arts
Reference
Science and Mathematics
Social Studies
Test Prep
Writer's Workshop

Search the Site
.


Sign-up for the High School Newsletter:
   

.
Search the Site

.

online catalog --
--
title info
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
READ AN EXCERPT
order this title
ordering info for teachers
--
Email this Page
Print this Page
Search Again
--
Our Own Devices
How Technology Remakes Humanity
Written by Edward Tenner

Our Own Devices
Enlarge View
.

Category: Technology; Science - Applied Sciences; Social Science - Anth/Cultural
Imprint: Vintage
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: June 2004
Price: $18.00
Can. Price: $21.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-70707-0 (0-375-70707-7)
Pages: 336
Also available as an eBook.



 
From the author of Why Things Bite Back—which introduced us to the revenge antics of technology—Our Own Devices is a wonderfully revealing look at the inventions of everyday things that protect us, position us, or enhance our performance.

In helping and hurting us, these body technologies have produced consequences that their makers never intended:
• In postwar Japan traditional sandals gave way to Western-style shoes because they were considered marks of a higher standard of living, but they seriously increased the rate of fungal foot ailments.
• Reclining chairs, originally promoted for healthful brief relaxation, became symbols of the sedentary life and obesity.
• A keyboard that made the piano easier to learn failed in the marketplace mainly because professional pianists believed difficult passages needed to stay difficult.
• Helmets, reintroduced during the carnage of World War I, saved the lives of countless civilian miners, construction workers, and, more recently, bicyclists.

Once we step on the treadmill of progress, it’s hard to step off. Yet Edward Tenner shows that human ingenuity can be applied in self-preservation as well, and he sheds light on the ways in which the users of commonplace technology surprise designers and engineers, as when early typists developed the touch method still employed on today’s keyboards. And he offers concrete advice for reaping benefits from the devices that we no longer seem able to live without. Although dependent on these objects, we can also use them to liberate ourselves. This delightful and instructive history of invention shows why National Public Radio dubbed Tenner “the philosopher of everyday technology.”

“Edward Tenner puts together knowledge compactly. He knows so much and seems to have such fun divulging it.” —Alexander Theroux

“With humor and insight, [Tenner] demonstrates just how oddly a lot of ‘can’t-live-without’ gadgets have affected our bodies.” —Bill McKibben



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
Edward Tenner has been a visiting scholar in the Departments of Geosciences and English at Princeton University. Recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, he is currently senior research associate at the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He lives in Plainsboro, New Jersey.





.
.
.
.
.
.