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Knowing Machines: Essays on Technical Change (Inside Technology) Paperback – July 31, 1998

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Editorial Reviews


These are stunning essays. MacKenzie's history of supercomputers and inertial navigation systems shatters the economists' belief that technology developed along 'natural trajectories' in the past; his analysis of the importance of tacit knowledge in the development of complex technology, however, also challenges the political scientists' belief that nuclear weapons, once constructed, can never be 'uninvented' in the future.

(Scott D. Sagan, Stanford University)

The essays collected in Knowing Machines are enormously impressive: for the quality of the scholarship, for their wide range and for what they indicate about Donald MacKenzie's grasp of the demanding technical issues under discussion.

(Steven Yearley Times Literary Supplement)

About the Author

Donald MacKenzie is Professor of Sociology (Personal Chair) at the University of Edinburgh. His books include Inventing Accuracy (1990), Knowing Machines (1996), and Mechanizing Proof (2001), all published by the MIT Press. Portions of An Engine, not a Camera won the Viviana A. Zelizer Prize in economic sociology from the American Sociological Association.

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Knowing Machines: Essays on Technical Change (Inside Technology)
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