History of technology


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Future of technology
The golden quarter

Some of our greatest cultural and technological achievements took place between 1945 and 1971. Why has progress stalled?

Michael Hanlon

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Global history
How Europe became so rich

In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?

Joel Mokyr

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History of technology
The Soviet InterNyet

Soviet scientists tried for decades to network their nation. What stalemated them is now fracturing the global internet

Benjamin Peters

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Computing and artificial intelligence
It’s complicated

Human ingenuity has created a world that the mind cannot master. Have we finally reached our limits?

Samuel Arbesman

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Information and communication
The bit bomb

It took a polymath to pin down the true nature of ‘information’. His answer was both a revelation and a return

Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni

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Information and communication
The world wide cage

Technology promised to set us free. Instead it has trained us to withdraw from the world into distraction and dependency

Nicholas Carr

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Design and fashion
Losing the thread

Older than bronze and as new as nanowires, textiles are technology — and they have remade our world time and again

Virginia Postrel

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History of science
Forging Islamic science

Fake miniatures depicting Islamic science have found their way into the most august of libraries and history books. How?

Nir Shafir

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Automation and robotics
Preternatural machines

Robots came to Europe before the dawn of the mechanical age. To a medieval world, they were indistinguishable from magic

E R Truitt

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History
Future perfect

Social progress, high-speed transport and electricity everywhere – how the Victorians invented the future

Iwan Rhys Morus

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Engineering
A fault in our design

We tend to think that technological progress is making us more resilient, but it might be making us more vulnerable

Colin Dickey

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History of technology
It’s not all lightbulbs

If we abandon the cult of the Great White Innovator, we will understand the history of technology in a much deeper way

W Patrick McCray

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History of technology
Into the mystic

From Stonehenge to Silicon Valley: how technology nurtured New Age ideas in a world supposedly stripped of its magic

Benjamin Breen

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Childhood and adolescence
Brilliant impersonators

We prize originality, yet humans are natural-born copycats and only good imitators survive. Is it time to celebrate the rip-off?

Kat McGowan

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History
Guns and the British empire

Eighteenth-century Indian arms were as sophisticated as European. Then came the British Empire to drive industry backwards

Priya Satia

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History of technology
Web of war

How the hair-trigger nuclear age and fears of Armageddon inspired visionary cold warriors to invent the internet

Sharon Weinberger

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History of technology
Buck to the future

He’s a forgotten hippie idol, a sage of 1960s counterculture. What can we learn from Bucky Fuller’s faith in technology?

Samanth Subramanian

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Stories and literature
What War of the Worlds did

The uncanny realism of Orson Welles’s radio play crystallised a fear of communication technology that haunts us today

Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey