The History of Techniques Volume 2: Techniques and Sciences by Bertrand Gille (ed.)

By Bertrand Gille (ed.)

Bringing jointly a wealth of formerly scattered info, this vintage paintings strains the background of ideas and analyzes its dating with different parts of knowledge.-Parts 1 and a pair of supply historic assurance, from prehistory to the 20th century, of man's makes an attempt to grasp his setting. half three examines this activity from the perspective of different significant disciplines: economics, geography, technology, sociology, legislations and politics. jointly they supply a distinct reference software that places ahead a stimulating new standpoint in this more and more vital and fascinating box.

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To increase the model's realism one can concentrate on two areas: to separate the economy into different sectors which in their own way are subjected to the effects of technical progress (for example , production and consumption goods); or to incorporate into the technical progress additional contributions of factors, especially capital. It is thus that models called "generations of capital, " are born where the capital created at different times corresponds to the different technical conditions.

New discoveries can also favour the poorer countries like Gabon for example, or Northern Canada, or Siberia. The geography of the production of electricity is a fertile subj ect for reflection on the changing lines of nature and techniques. As soon as a product is completely homogenised by industry - here it is a form of energy - and as soon as it can be produced from various sources , the resulting map changes constantly according to the new innovations . The alpine mountains were soon furnished with hydro-electric dams , and for several years it meant that these regions enj oyed the profit reaped from a veritable "annuity" - once more - since it was not yet known how to transport electric currents .

The stakes are not only the movement of products, but also that of people and information. The world railway network is much less dense than that of the roads ­ some put the figure at ten times less dense - but it was nevertheless the first network to be entirely industrialised. The railway was used straightaway for a heavy volume of traffic, of mining products, and heavy goods. It can transport large amounts for a correspondingly small amount of energy, and this has meant vast savings for heavy industry.

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