Joy Lisi Rankin, “A People’s History of Computing in the United States” (Harvard UP, 2018)
We know, perhaps too well, the innovation-centric history of personal computing. Yet, computer users were not necessarily microelectronics consumers from the get-go; rather, earlier efforts to expand mainframe computing as a public utility made elite information technology accessible to a wide audience. In A People’s History of Computing in the... Read More
Jieun Baek, “North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society” (Yale UP, 2016)
With recent events having raised hopes that significant change may be afoot in North Korea, it is important to remember that DPRK society has in fact been undergoing steady transformation for a considerable period of time. Among the most important dimensions of this are the changes that have occurred in... Read More
Peter Hotez, “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2018)
Dr. Peter Hotez is a pediatrician-scientist who develops vaccines for neglected tropical diseases affecting the world’s poor. He is also the father of a daughter who was diagnosed with autism. The alleged link between vaccines and autism has long been disproven, but it is still a belief held onto by... Read More
Adrienne Mayor, “Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology” (Princeton UP, 2018)
The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by the MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, long before medieval automata, and centuries before technology made self-moving devices possible, Greek... Read More
John Torpey, “The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental” (Rutgers UP, 2017)
Since its initial postulation by Karl Jaspers, the concept of an “axial age” in the development of human thought and religion has exerted enormous influence in the fields of history and sociology. In The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental (Rutgers University Press, 2017), John Torpey develops the concept further by identifying... Read More