The Existential Pleasures of Engineering

Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0312141041

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 808

Describes how engineers think and feel about their work, and argues that engineering is a response to creative impulses
Posted in Science

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering

Author: Samuel Florman

Publisher: Souvenir Press

ISBN: 0285642502

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 300

View: 6878

Humans have always sought to change their environment--building houses, monuments, temples, and roads. In the process, they have remade the fabric of the world into newly functional objects that are also works of art to be admired. Samuel Florman explores how engineers think and feel about their profession. A deeply insightful and refreshingly unique text, this book corrects the myth that engineering is cold and passionless. Indeed, Florman celebrates engineering not only crucial and fundamental but also vital and alive; he views it as a response to some of our deepest impulses, an endeavour rich in spiritual and sensual rewards. Opposing the "anti-technology" stance, Florman gives readers a practical, creative, and even amusing philosophy of engineering that boasts of pride in his craft. Why, asks Samuel Florman, has engineering sunk into such disfavour? Can engineers be blamed for pollution, the desecration of the landscape, a lack of taste? Samuel Florman is himself a distinguished and erudite engineer and he sets out to dispel the myth that has darkened the image of his profession, celebrating it as a vital, living force that is an essential part of human nature, rich in spiritual and sensual rewards. We are all dependent on engineers and the benefits they can provide, in opposing the fashionable 'anti-technology' stance, Florman emerges triumphantly with a creative, practical and fun philosophy of engineering that will boost his profession. Stimulating and illuminating, this book opens our eyes to the inner need to build, invent and manipulate, which only engineering can satisfy. This is essential reading for all who seek to understand their primal instincts. An eloquent, witty and perceptive celebration of our deepest creative impulses, an informative account of the modern-day engineer's experience of his/her profession.
Posted in Technology & Engineering

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering

Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312141042

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 399

Describes how engineers think and feel about their work, and argues that engineering is a response to creative impulses
Posted in Science

Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings

A Life in Construction

Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1429941081

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 5593

Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings is an engaging memoir about one man's career in construction--rising to the top of an industry renowned for crime, corruption, violence, physical danger, and the chronic risk of financial catastrophe. Starting in the Navy Seabees at the end of WWII, Samuel C. Florman made his way as a general contractor in New York City through the period of explosive development, private exuberance and the historic growth of publicly supported housing--all amidst the rise of the notorious Mafia families, and evolution of the Civil Rights Movement. His storied career brought him into contact with a variety of personalities: politicians and civil servants, developers and technocrats, saintly do-gooders and corrupt rapscallions. Along with the rousing adventures there were satisfactions of a different sort: the enchantment of seeing architecture made real; the pride of creating housing, hospitals, schools, places of worship--shelter for the body and nourishment for the spirit.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Civilized Engineer

Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0312025599

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 4932

Discusses how science and technology have virtually become national obsessions, and covers topics as diverse as the shuttle disaster, engineering ethics, and the promise and limits of technology
Posted in Science

Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility

Author: Daniel E. Wueste

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780847678167

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 324

View: 7276

Edmund Burke: Modernity, Politics, and Aesthetics examines the philosophy of Burke in view of its contribution to our understanding of modernity. Stephen K. White argues that Burke shows us how modernity engenders an implicit forgetfulness of human finitude. White illustrates this theme by showing how Burke's political thought, his judgment of the modern system of morality and policy, and its taste for a false sublime are structured by his aesthetics.
Posted in Business & Economics

Design Paradigms

Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering

Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521466493

Category: Art

Page: 209

View: 9144

From classical temples to twentieth century towers, engineers have learned more about design from failure than from success. The concept of error, according to the author of Design Paradigms, is central to the design process. As a way of explaining the enduring aspects of engineering design, Henry Petroski relates stories of some of the greatest engineering successes and failures of all time. These case studies, drawn from a wide range of times and places, from Ancient Greece and Rome to modern America, serve as paradigms of error and judgment in engineering design. By showing how errors were introduced in the design process and how they might be avoided, the book suggests how better quality and reliability might be achieved in designed devices, structures, and systems of all kinds. Clearly written, with striking illustrations, the book will appeal to engineering students, practicing engineers, historians of science and technology, and all those interested in learning about the process of design.
Posted in Art

Engineering and the Liberal Arts

A Technologist's Guide to History, Literature, Philosophy, Art and Music

Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1466884991

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 278

View: 7536

A Technologist's Guide to History, Literature, Philosophy, Art, and Music. From the author who inspired inaugural poet Richard Blanco! Now available in ebook for the first time, Engineering and the Liberal Arts remains a fresh and provocative book, using the familiar world of technology to guide a new generation of engineers through the stimulating world of the liberal arts. Beginning with a penetrating and enlightening discussion of how exposure to the arts can enrich and reward nearly every aspect of an engineer's life, Samuel Florman—himself a decorated engineer with over fifty years' experience in the field—boldly explores the natural relationship between liberal arts and technology. Sweeping away traditional barriers separating the two fields, Florman establishes a rich and vital communication of ideas between scientist and artist. By linking the history of technology to world history, the truth of science to philosophy, utility of form to painting and sculpture, and the world of view of the engineer to literature, Florman builds a series of bridges connecting science to art. A complete survey of the arts in and of itself, this impressive volume constitutes an introduction to the infinite variety of pleasures afforded through study of the liberal arts, paving the way to a richer, fuller life for the engineer.
Posted in Technology & Engineering

What Engineers Know and How They Know It

Analytical Studies from Aeronautical History

Author: Walter G. Vincenti

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

ISBN: 9780801845888

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 4511

To solve their design problems, engineers draw on a vast body of knowledge about how things work. Examining previously unstudied historical cases, this author shows how engineering knowledge is obtained and presents a model to help explain the growth of such knowledge.
Posted in Science

Remaking the World

Adventures in Engineering

Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307773205

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 256

View: 9377

This collection of informative and pleasurable essays by Henry Petroski elucidates the role of engineers in shaping our environment in countless ways, big and small. In Remaking the World Petroski gravitates this time, perhaps, toward the big: the English Channel tunnel, the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, the QE2, and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, now the tallest buildings in the world. He profiles Charles Steinmetz, the genius of the General Electric Company; Henry Martyn Robert, a military engineer who created Robert's Rules of Order; and James Nasmyth, the Scotsman whose machine tools helped shape nineteenth-century ocean and rail transportation. Petroski sifts through the fossils of technology for cautionary tales and remarkable twists of fortune, and reminds us that failure is often a necessary step on the path to new discoveries. He explains soil mechanics by way of a game of "rock, scissors, paper," and clarifies fundamental principles of engineering through the spokes of a Ferris wheel. Most of all, Henry Petroski continues to celebrate the men and women whose scrawls on the backs of envelopes have immeasurably improved our world. From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in Technology & Engineering

Invention by Design

How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing

Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674463684

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 242

View: 6202

Presents case studies of inventions by engineers, explaining how they resolve technical difficulties, and how they make their inventions socially acceptable and economically feasible
Posted in Technology & Engineering

The Toaster Project

Or A Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch

Author: Thomas Thwaites

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 161689119X

Category: Art

Page: 192

View: 6474

"Hello, my name is Thomas Thwaites, and I have made a toaster." So begins The Toaster Project, the author's nine-month-long journey from his local appliance store to remote mines in the UK to his mother's backyard, where he creates a crude foundry. Along the way, he learns that an ordinary toaster is made up of 404 separate parts, that the best way to smelt metal at home is by using a method found in a fifteenth-century treatise, and that plastic is almost impossible to make from scratch. In the end, Thwaites's homemade toaster—a haunting and strangely beautiful object—cost 250 times more than the toaster he bought at the store and involved close to two thousand miles of travel to some of Britain's remotest locations. The Toaster Project may seem foolish, even insane. Yet, Thwaites's quixotic tale, told with self-deprecating wit, helps us reflect on the costs and perils of our cheap consumer culture, and in so doing reveals much about the organization of the modern world.
Posted in Art

The Unwritten Laws of Business

Author: W.J. King

Publisher: Crown Business

ISBN: 0307492427

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 112

View: 9925

The bestselling business classic that Raytheon CEO William Swanson made famous. Every once in awhile, there is a book with a message so timeless, so universal, that it transcends generations. The Unwritten Laws of Business is such a book. Originally published over 60 years ago as The Unwritten Laws of Engineering, it has sold over 100,000 copies, despite the fact that it has never been available before to general readers. Fully revised for business readers today, here are but a few of the gems you’ll find in this little-known business classic: If you take care of your present job well, the future will take care of itself. The individual who says nothing is usually credited with having nothing to say. Whenever you are performing someone else’s function, you are probably neglecting your own. Martyrdom only rarely makes heroes, and in the business world, such heroes and martyrs often find themselves unemployed. Refreshingly free of the latest business fads and jargon, this is a book that is wise and insightful, capturing and distilling the timeless truths and principles that underlie management and business the world over. The little book with the big history. In the summer of 2005, Business 2.0 published a cover story on Raytheon CEO William Swanson’s self-published pamphlet, Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management. Lauded by such chief executives as Jack Welch and Warren Buffett, the booklet became a quiet phenomenon. As it turned out, much of Swanson’s book drew from a classic of business literature that has been in print for more than sixty years. Now, in a new edition revised and updated for business readers today, we are reissuing the 1944 classic that inspired a number of Swanson’s “rules”: The Unwritten Laws of Business. Filled with sage advice and written in a spare, engaging style, The Unwritten Laws of Business offers insights on working with others, reporting to a boss, organizing a project, running a meeting, advancing your career, and more. Here’s just a sprinkling of the old-fashioned, yet surprisingly relevant, wisdom you’ll find in these pages: If you have no intention of listening to, considering, and perhaps using, someone’s opinion, don’t ask for it. Count any meeting a failure that does not end up with a definite understanding as to what’s going to be done, who’s going to do it, and when. The common belief that everyone can do anything if they just try hard enough is a formula for inefficiency at best and for complete failure at worst. It is natural enough to “look out for Number One first,” but when you do, your associates will be noticeably disinclined to look out for you. Whether you’re a corporate neophyte or seasoned manager, this charming book reveals everything you need to know about the “unwritten” laws of business. From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in Business & Economics

Plato and the Nerd

The Creative Partnership of Humans and Technology

Author: Edward Ashford Lee

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262341212

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 288

View: 4198

In this book, Edward Ashford Lee makes a bold claim: that the creators of digital technology have an unsurpassed medium for creativity. Technology has advanced to the point where progress seems limited not by physical constraints but the human imagination. Writing for both literate technologists and numerate humanists, Lee makes a case for engineering -- creating technology -- as a deeply intellectual and fundamentally creative process. Explaining why digital technology has been so transformative and so liberating, Lee argues that the real power of technology stems from its partnership with humans. Lee explores the ways that engineers use models and abstraction to build inventive artificial worlds and to give us things that we never dreamed of -- for example, the ability to carry in our pockets everything humans have ever published. But he also attempts to counter the runaway enthusiasm of some technology boosters who claim everything in the physical world is a computation -- that even such complex phenomena as human cognition are software operating on digital data. Lee argues that the evidence for this is weak, and the likelihood that nature has limited itself to processes that conform to today's notion of digital computation is remote. Lee goes on to argue that artificial intelligence's goal of reproducing human cognitive functions in computers vastly underestimates the potential of computers. In his view, technology is coevolving with humans. It augments our cognitive and physical capabilities while we nurture, develop, and propagate the technology itself. Complementarity is more likely than competition.
Posted in Technology & Engineering

To Engineer Is Human

The Role Of Failure In Successful Design

Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250228077

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 272

View: 7697

To Engineer is Human is a book by Henry Petroski, author of the acclaimed The Pencil.
Posted in Technology & Engineering

Blaming Technology

The Irrational Search For Scapegoats

Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

ISBN: 1466867795

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 256

View: 2128

Blaming Technology: The Irrational Search for Scapegoats is Samuel C. Florman's 1981 discussion of the state of technology and engineering in the United States, including the pros and cons, and the public's perceptions and opinions.
Posted in Technology & Engineering

Success Through Failure

The Paradox of Design

Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691122250

Category: Science

Page: 235

View: 7846

Contends that modeling engineering designs solely on past successes and ignoring past missteps is a path toward eventual failure.
Posted in Science

The Making of an Expert Engineer

Author: James Trevelyan

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1315742284

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 612

View: 1211

This book sets out the principles of engineering practice, knowledge that has come to light through more than a decade of research by the author and his students studying engineers at work. Until now, this knowledge has been almost entirely unwritten, passed on invisibly from one generation of engineers to the next, what engineers refer to as “experience”. This is a book for all engineers. It distils the knowledge of many experts in one volume. The book will help engineers enjoy a more satisfying and rewarding career and provide more valuable results for their employers and clients. The book focuses on issues often seen as “non-technical” in the world of engineering, yet it shows how these issues are thoroughly technical. Engineering firms traditionally have sought expert advice on these aspects from management schools, often regarding these aspects of engineering practice as something to do with psychology or organisational behaviour. The results are normally disappointing because management schools and psychologists have limited insight and understanding of the technical dimensions in engineering work. Little if any of the material in this book can be obtained from management texts or courses. Management schools have avoided the technical dimension of workplace practices and that is precisely what characterises engineering practice. The technical dimension infuses almost every aspect of an engineer’s working day and cannot be avoided. That’s why this book is so necessary: there has not yet been any authoritative source or guidance to bridge the gap between inanimate technical issues and organisational behaviour. This book fills this gap in our knowledge, is based on rigorous research, and yet is written in a style which is accessible for a wide audience.
Posted in Technology & Engineering

How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read

Author: Pierre Bayard

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1596917148

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 208

View: 4888

In this delightfully witty, provocative book, literature professor and psychoanalyst Pierre Bayard argues that not having read a book need not be an impediment to having an interesting conversation about it. (In fact, he says, in certain situations reading the book is the worst thing you could do.) Using examples from such writers as Graham Greene, Oscar Wilde, Montaigne, and Umberto Eco, he describes the varieties of "non-reading"-from books that you've never heard of to books that you've read and forgotten-and offers advice on how to turn a sticky social situation into an occasion for creative brilliance. Practical, funny, and thought-provoking, How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read-which became a favorite of readers everywhere in the hardcover edition-is in the end a love letter to books, offering a whole new perspective on how we read and absorb them.
Posted in Literary Collections

The Essential Engineer

Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307593207

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 6740

From the acclaimed author of The Pencil and To Engineer Is Human, The Essential Engineer is an eye-opening exploration of the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from dealing with climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the development of efficient automobiles and the search for renewable energy sources. While the scientist may identify problems, it falls to the engineer to solve them. It is the inherent practicality of engineering, which takes into account structural, economic, environmental, and other factors that science often does not consider, that makes engineering vital to answering our most urgent concerns. Henry Petroski takes us inside the research, development, and debates surrounding the most critical challenges of our time, exploring the feasibility of biofuels, the progress of battery-operated cars, and the question of nuclear power. He gives us an in-depth investigation of the various options for renewable energy—among them solar, wind, tidal, and ethanol—explaining the benefits and risks of each. Will windmills soon populate our landscape the way they did in previous centuries? Will synthetic trees, said to be more efficient at absorbing harmful carbon dioxide than real trees, soon dot our prairies? Will we construct a “sunshade” in outer space to protect ourselves from dangerous rays? In many cases, the technology already exists. What’s needed is not so much invention as engineering. Just as the great achievements of centuries past—the steamship, the airplane, the moon landing—once seemed beyond reach, the solutions to the twenty-first century’s problems await only a similar coordination of science and engineering. Eloquently reasoned and written, The Essential Engineer identifies and illuminates these problems—and, above all, sets out a course for putting ideas into action. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Posted in Science