(updated 16 Jan. 2014)

Leonardo to the Internet:

Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

Thomas J. Misa

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011; 2nd edition
L2i 2nd cover

WWW sites:

  • Misa's Means of Destruction bibliography
  • Chapter 7. Means of Destruction (1936-90)

    How was the timing and character and outcome of World War I (1914-18) shaped by mass production

    How was the timing and character of World War II (1939-45) shaped by technical innovation?  Which innovations did the Germans achieve? Which ... the Americans and allies? 

    There are three accounts of why two atom bombs were dropped on Japan in August 1945: EVALUATE Truman's, PMS Blackett's, and Misa's. (What is the evidence for each account?)

    How did the U.S. civilian nuclear energy program reflect -- in technical details, bureaucratic structure, and organizational culture -- its origin in military uses for atomic energy?  What are the "legacies" of the atomic age?

    Why did Bell Labs fund work on the transistor?  Why did the military fund work on the transistor?  How did Cold War military projects influence transistor development at Bell (and elsewhere)? 

    How did military priorities and civilian priorities steer the development of electronics? 
    silicon transistors high-frequency transistors integrated circuits
    Explain the impact of the massive Whirlwind-SAGE project on MIT, IBM, and computing. 

    Discuss the impact of the Defense Department's ARPA-IPTO on computing.

    ASSESS the role of military funding in solid-state electronics and computing technology.  Did military funding make a difference (in the pace of development and/or types of technologies chosen)?

    This page created with SeaMonkey 2.17 up to top