The Engines of Our Ingenuity: An Engineer Looks at Technology and Culture
Millions of people have listened to John H. Lienhard's radio program "The Engines of Our Ingenuity." In this fascinating book, Lienhard gathers his reflections on the nature of technology, culture, and human inventiveness. The book brims with insightful observations. Lienhard writes that the history of technology is a history of us—we are the machines we create. Thus farming dramatically changed the rhythms of human life and redirected history. War seldom fuels invention—radar, jets, and the digital computer all emerged before World War II began. And the medieval Church was a driving force behind the growth of Western technology—Cistercian monasteries were virtual factories, whose water wheels cut wood, forged iron, and crushed olives. Lienhard illustrates his themes through inventors, mathematicians, and engineers—with stories of the canoe, the DC-3, the Hoover Dam, the diode, and the sewing machine. We gain new insight as to who we are, through the familiar machines and technologies that are central to our lives.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jcopenha - LibraryThing
So many great tidbits of engineering history. A great juxtaposition of engineering and humanity. Each chapter can stand by itself as an essay. So many interesting little stories that I'll have to buy many more books to complete them. Read full review
THE ENGINES OF OUR INGENUITY: An Engineer Looks at Technology and CultureUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
An elaboration on the NPR broadcasts made by Lienhard (Mechanical Engineering/Univ. of Houston), who contends, basically, that machines are us.Lienhard begins with history, examining the growth of ... Read full review
Mirrored by Our Machines
God the Master Craftsman
Looking Inside the Inventive Mind
The Common Place
Science Marries into the Family
Systems Design and Production
Who Got There First?
Technology and Literature
Correlation of the Text with the Radio Program