~e; learning from electrification

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 24 May 2002 16:12:27 -0500

  [have been at a loss from EM words, as a flurry of info
  related to various aspects of electromagnetism in varying
  areas and in variant details makes it a contemplative act,
  how to send/compile info. the following is unique, though,
  in that it is new to me, from academics, for the most part.
  in that it is directly applicable to social, economic, and
  political relations between human beings and EM technology.
  which has always been the (hoped) focus of electronetwork.org
  and subsequent endeavors, yet it seems being on the outside
  of cultural systems long enough makes them opaque in inter-
  acting, and possibly, collaborating. it also brings into
  account the issue between pubilc and private valuations of
  research, but that it can have multiple interrelated effects
  that are open and yet benefit those who develop them further.
  in any case, the below could be applied to just about any EM
  tech rollout/deployment, although it studies 1880s-1930s USA,
  in that some things do not change, in dealing with complexity.]

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 12:05:33 EDT
>From: Brent Goldfarb <goldfb@rpi.edu>
>Reply-To: abstracts@eh.net
>To: Abstracts@eh.net
>Subject: AEH: AMER.TECH: Adoption of General Purpose Technologies:
>     Understanding Adoption Patterns in the Electrification of US Manufacturing
>     1880-1930
>                      (c) 2002 EH.Net
>Name: Brent Goldfarb
>Email: goldfb@rpi.edu
>Institution: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
>Co-author: none
>Title: Adoption of General Purpose Technologies: Understanding
>Adoption Patterns in the Electrification of US Manufacturing 1880-1930
>Internet Address of abstracted work:
>By mail:
>110 8th Street
>Troy, NY 12180-3590
>Language: English
>Past study of the diffusion of pervasive technologies, such as the
>electric motor, has failed to take into account the varied
>technological challenges in their application. In a careful
>examination of the adoption patterns of the electric motor in three
>industries, automobile manufacture, printing and paper-making, I
>establish that the technological difficulty of adapting the motor to
>particular tasks has central explanatory power in the order of
>adoption. I also find significant variation in the level of
>difficulty in developing and implementing much trumpeted
>organizational changes documented by other economic historians. A key
>finding of the study is that significant variation in adoption rates
>can be found not only between industries, but also between different
>processes within industries and firms. A failure to investigate at
>the micro-level has led some authors to making sweeping and incorrect
>generalizations about the diffusion process. The analysis suggests
>that an understanding of diffusion patterns of new technologies is
>highly dependent on an understanding of their varied uses.
>Bibliography: Goldfarb, Brent . "Adoption of General Purpose
>Technologies: Understanding Adoption Patterns in the Electrification
>of US Manufacturing 1880-1930."  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
>Working Paper 2002.
>Subject: M
>Geographical Area: 7
>Country/Region: USA
>Time Period: 8, 9
>Visit the library of Abstracts in Economic History or submit your
>abstract at: http://www.eh.net/abstracts

  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization