Monday, 13 July 2020

Kranzberg's laws of Technology (1986)

Melvin Kranzberg (1917 - 1995) was the Callaway professor of the history of technology at Georgia Tech from 1972 to 1988. He also founded the Society for the History of Technology in 1958.  In 1986, he summarised a lot of his activity in the following 'laws of technology' (HERE):

[1] Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
[2] Invention is the mother of necessity
[3] Technology comes in packages, big and small.
[4] Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions.
 [5] All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant.
 [6] Technology is a very human activity – and so is the history of technology.

Here is an appreciation by one of his colleagues.