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The Machine in Me: An Anthropologist Sits Among Computer by Gary Lee Downey

By Gary Lee Downey

First released in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Additional info for The Machine in Me: An Anthropologist Sits Among Computer Engineers

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L The most visible story in the show was a competition between two companies selling CAD/CAM software for personal computers, Autodesk 34 I WE PUT YOU IN CONTROL: THE TRADE SHOW and CADKEY. Autodesk was Hertz to CAD KEY's Avis. Although the Autodesk booth covered 3,000 square feet, advertising claimed more than 7,000 square feet, the difference pointing to the many software developers who built their applications on Autodesk's primary product, AutoCAD, and the many dealers who sold AutoCAD to their customers in bundled packages with other hardware and software.

In fact, the main effect of technological development becomes maintaining and expanding existing inequalities. For example, the story that provoked me most to rethink my own theorizing about technology and society was one of the low bridges on Long Island. " the political philosopher of technology Langdon Winner describes how designers of the road system on Long Island purposely built bridges high enough for automobiles to pass but low enough to prevent buses. 49 The explicit goal was to prevent inner-city blacks, who could not afford automobiles and had to use buses, from disrupting the predominantly white, middle-class communities that the road system was helping to construct.

Some of the force lay in controlling virtual space: I put on the famous PowerGlove and goggles and experienced the joys of flying through the Parthenon in virtual reality, although I did feel a little foolish standing there pointing all over the place with two dozen people watching me. Some of the force lay in acquiring tools: I loaded my plastic show bag with giveaways that included five pens, two mechanical pencils, a compass, two screwdrivers, four big erasers, two rulers, and a small T square.

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