History

Using the following references, answer the following questions in 2-3 paragraphs:

1.Read “Sputnik’s Impact on America” by Paul Dickson. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/sputnik-impact-on-america.html

2.Watch “The Greatest Machine that Never Was” by John Graham-Cumming (12:14). http://www.ted.com/talks/john_graham_cumming_the_greatest_machine_that_never_was

3.Read “Oral History: Jack Kilby” by Michael Wolff. http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Oral-History:Jack_Kilby

4.Review IBM’s 100 Icons of Progress. http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/

5.Watch “Unintended Consequences” by Edward Tenner (16:10). http://www.ted.com/talks/edward_tenner_unintended_consequences

6.Read “Cultural Resources for Coping with Technological Progress” by Gernot Böhme. http://www.stonybrook.edu/globalhistory/PDF/CulturalResourcesforTechnologicalProgress.pdf

1. One of our themes this semester is that before several transformations, people looked to the past in order to make sense of their universe; people lived in a world with little change; people were not particularly optimistic. All of this changed, however, over the course of several centuries. In the readings this semester, where do you see people beginning to look to other sources than an authority from the past; beginning to experience and expect more and more change in their lives; and beginning to expect the future to be better than the present? This question appeared in Week 4. You may gain insight by looking at your own or your classmates’ responses there.

2.Compare the strengths and weaknesses of these two worldviews:

◦Western, experimental, scientific

◦Religious, mythical, or magical

3.While most historians believe that neither futurecasting (predicting what will happen, based on what happened in the past) nor writing “what if?” histories are appropriate approaches to professional historical research, these activities can be useful thought exercises that help us analyze the past from a different perspective and thus help us understand what happened and why in a new way. How do you predict that technology will transform human lives and worldview and over the next century?

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