Thinking About Technocracy

Where to from here?

America by Design — David F. Noble

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I was influenced during a History of Engineering course taught by Stuart Leslie at Johns Hopkins by a book called America by Design.  It’s still wonderful history.  David F. Noble, the author, was accused of all sorts of malice when he wrote the book.  I think it is fair to see Noble in a light with Ralph Nader, who he has associated with at times, but Noble has his own brand of anti-establishment, pro-logic format. 

I don’t think America by Design advocates technocracy as most modern technocrats mean the term.  But it does illuminate the early scientific management / techno-utopianism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries quite well.  It’s important reading for those unfamilar with the rise of technical management, engineering as a government theory, and several trends that mostly crumbled with the Hoover Administration.

Worth reading.


Written by ryanlanham

January 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm

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