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have been considered in describing and accounting for structural changes and reaction mechanisms for a long time. There is then the most successful model of molecular geometry called the valence shell electron-pair repulsion theory. This model provides a simple description with great predictive power of atomic configurations in relatively simple molecules, based on the mutual avoidance of space domains around the central atom. The importance of 'densest packing' has been long recognized in crystallography, and recently a simple geometrical model was created by A. I. Kitaigorodskii (1915-1984) that can even forecast the relative frequency of various space groups for crystals of molecules of arbitrary shape. Fuller himself has recognized the fruitfulness of a chemical approach in perceiving volumes, for example, as material domains rather than as mere geometrical abstractions. He quoted Avogadro's law, according to which equal volumes of all gases under the same conditions contain the same number of molecules. Returning to the books, Edmondson 's style is simpler, more subdued than Siederr's, but even she exclaims at the end, "design science revolution is imperative". The subtitle of Sieden's book is An Appreciation,and his book contains many superlatives and expressions referring to the all of humanity. One can sense the enormous influence of Fuller over those who have been in personal contact with him. I recommend Edmondson 's book to those who seek a close look at Fuller's synergetics, but the book stands on its own and can be enjoyed by anyone interested in geometry. I would certainly recommend it to geometry teachers. The readership ofSieden's book may extend to all those who like to read captivating biographies and do not mind picking up some technical information in the process. TOWARD AN AESTHETIC CRITICISM OF TECHNOLOGY by Wolhee Choe. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Studies in Science, Technology and Culture, Vol. 2. Peter Lang, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1989. 208 pp., Trade, $37.50. ISBN: 0-8204-0654-6. Reviewedby RogerF. Malina, Center for EUV Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, U.S.A. The author states that this book aims to be a critical appraisal oftechnology as an integrating experience of the world, using an approach derived from literary criticism. Art is viewed as a subset of technology, with both having the aim of creating artifacts . Artifacts as vehicles for meaning , not simply as utilitarian tools, engage our understanding and interpretive impulse. The hypothesis of the book is that the process of making can be judged for its inventiveness , creativity and originality in terms of operative forms, whether a poem or a machine is being analysed. Indeed, states the author, an evaluating technique for assessing technology can be learned from poetic criticism, which has a long-established method of analysis. Following this hypothesis , the aesthetic concern of the book centers on a concept of form that makes style a vital component of technology. Three texts (Plato's Symposium, Pater's "Conclusion" to TheRenaissance and Barthelerne's "At the End of the Mechanical Age") are analysed. The chapters delineate processes that can be seen as parallel in poetic and technological making. The discussion continues with an analysis of the 1903 flyer airplane built by the Wright brothers. The comparison between literary texts and technological artifacts allows a natural discussion of aesthetic experience in the process of technological invention. The second part of the book deals with style. Style in artistic and technological artifacts eventually becomes part of the general making process called technique. The principle of stylization , Choe argues, is an organizing principle that selectively unites the subject with the world, be it a poem, a person or a machine. In the aesthetic context, one is no longer merely a consumer of technological products but rather a producer of experience that contributes to building a creatively habitable world. In an aesthetic criticism of technology, bad technologies are not bad just because (say) they infringe on personal rights or do not satisfy some utilitarian calculus, but also because they undermine creative humanity as it evolves in an integrating process. Choe concludes that what is oppressive is not modern technology but inappropriate technological arrangements that have made our constructive intelligence dormant. I...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 95-96
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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