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Science & Technology or Political Correct Guide to Industrialization???
on December 6, 2013
This is a massively disappointing book! The authors’ main theme is that science and technology did not develop together but rather were isolated and compartmentalized from one another until the Industrial Revolution and the second half of the 19th century. In fact, we seem to owe almost everything to the technology side of things when it comes to useful and important development in civilization until the1800s. This in itself isn’t so bad but what ruins this book is the political, politically correct agenda and gross bias inserted annoyingly throughout the chapters with little relevancy to the main points in each section.
Just one small example is the forced, contrived, obligatory lines put in at the end of a discussion on the automobile, electronics, and modern (20th century) that talks about the disparity of wealth, uneven use of resources, and exploitation of our modern lifestyle. In the same vein, however, the authors assert that the rise of industrialization outside of the West proves that it is not a culturally unique phenomenon to the West and is much like the parallel developments of hydro civilizations that worked out ancient marvels and systems around the work independently (China, Mayans, Egyptians, etc.). This is extremely disingenuous as the have not/non Western nations required colossal amounts of Western assistance, education, materials, organization, and procedures in order to have their own industrialization. If one is to maintain that the West got to where it is by enslaving and exploitation the rest than at least acknowledge that the West was then the only region in position to create and manage unique systems and inventions to their own culture and region.
While the authors have little criticisms throughout the book for the West, they have absolutely none for the non-West. Considering today that China steals more intellectual property than it ever developed in the last 200 years is evidence enough about who are the leaders of science and technology – although the right criticism never voiced is that our children in the West do not educate themselves about science and technology so there will be a natural transition to non-Western cultures of Western scientific and technological inheritances.
If you are going to write a global history of something, make it global in its criticism as well as praise. A book on science and technology should be a book on science and technology and not little political diatribes about exploitation.