Marx, Leo not Karl, is one major specialist of technology. The latest issue of the vital Technology & Culture journal has just published an essay called : « Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept« .
The history of technology is one of those subjects that most people know more about than they realize. Not so the history of the word itself. Why is that important? The emergence of a keyword in public discourse—whether a newly coined word or an old word invested with new meaning—can be in itself an illuminating historical event. What prompted the emergence of technology—the concept, the word, the purported thing itself? What changes created the conceptual void that needed filling?
In addition, the other from David Edgerton called « Innovation, Technology, or History: What Is the Historiography of Technology About?«
In the last generation, public policies in the United States, Europe, and the rest of the rich world have placed enormous rhetorical emphasis on the need for increased “innovation,” which has been reflected in increased institutional support for implicitly instrumentally useful social and historical studies of technological change. In the historiography of technology too there has been a strong focus on novelty, on radical breaks with the past. We in the academy are supposed to have got past unreflexive progress-talk, and are now (in theory, and in Theory) eclectic, playful with time, and open to the marginal. But, in historiographical pronouncements that introduce and summarize new work, a very old-fashioned and narrow progressivism is prevalent. What is the history of technology the history of? What, in practice, is meant by technology in histories, and what is meant by history in histories of technology?
– STS (Science Technology Society) @WebOL.