Re-reading British historian of technology David's Edgerton's "SHOCK OF THE OLD" recently, I found it a fount of zillions of ideas, stimulating my mind into overdrive, and forcing me to look at our world anew.
Perhaps in light of my recent studies on the continuing impact of (mutated) Romanticism upon everything, I can better appreciate the force of Edgerton's main argument that histories of technology and science focus far, far, far too exclusively on 'priority' and 'original originality' ----- entrepreneurs,inventors and scientists all being obsessed with being original ,creative and 'the first'.
Historians of science - unabashed fans and cheerleaders for the most part, have uncritically taken these techie-guys at their word and not probed any deeper or harder.
THE SHOCK OF THE NEW does just that: showing by focusing on the use ,not the invention, of technology's products , Edgerton's aptly named 'things', we get an entirely re-written history of the world.
Use means adaptation and improvising and altering - all highly original but not the original original and thus ignored in the ongoing Mutated-Romantic Era.
But earlier (Classically-oriented) ages were far more inclined to honor craftsman for improving ancient skill sets -- we should do the same today, in this new Pre-Scarcity Era, preparing for times ahead that will put a premium on frugality and inventive re-use, and the creolization of things...
SVE is proud to add Edgerton to its must-read author listings....