Hss 105 – Technology and Culture
Chapter 5: Diffusion of Technology
“Technology is of no use, unless it is put to use.”
How is technology adopted/adapted by individuals and organizations
That actually put them to use?
-- It is human to believe that we’ve invented everything.
said that it did – from the steam engine to baseball.
-- No nation (one that is technically dynamic) is insulated from the in-
fluence of other lands.
: Continued advances
infusion of ideas, tools,
materials, people and the ability to make good use of them
In 1500 AD, China
had the greatest inventive achievements!
-- Their technologies (compass, paper, gunpowder) influenced Europe.
Also, the segmental bridge, chain-driven transmission, spinning
wheel, waterlight bulkheads for ships, printing, fishing nets,
paddle-wheel boats, earthquake detection devices, fine porcelin,
-- In two centuries, Europe surpassed China!
= Europe wisely adopted China’s inventions.
) paper: essential for printing, circulation of ideas,
) stirrup: revolution of warfare
) Horse Collar: horsepower
= Europeans were willing to accept and make use of technology
from foreign lands.
= China was a CLOSED country; the Middle Kingdom.
) China had a “superior” attitude towards Westerners
) China had a self-sufficient economy; they didn’t need
anyone or their products!
) This attitude persisted until 1898 when the elite advo-
cated a combination of Western techniques with
) Then, suddenly, the combination was aborted when
dowager empress, Dzu Xi took over.
China’s chance to “Westernize.”
) 1912 – 1949 Chinese Republic = infusion; then, this
was eclipsed (aborted) by Chiang Kai-shek’s
“New Life Movement,” a return to traditional
Chinese thinking (Confucian virtues).
) 1950’s – 1960’s, Arrogant Russia shared some of its