By Harry Collins, Trevor Pinch
Within the greatly mentioned first quantity within the Golem sequence, The Golem: What you need to learn about technological know-how, Harry Colllins and Trevor Pinch likened technology to the Golem, a creature from Jewish mythology, a robust creature which, whereas no longer evil, should be risky since it is clumsy. during this moment quantity, the authors now think of the Golem of expertise. In a chain of case reports they reveal that the imperfections in know-how are with regards to the uncertainties in technological know-how. The case reviews hide the function of the Patriot anti-missile missile within the Gulf struggle, the Challenger house go back and forth explosion, checks of nuclear gas flasks and of anti-misting kerosene as a gas for airplanes, financial modeling, the query of the origins of oil, research of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, and the contribution of lay services to the research of remedies for AIDS. a person who perspectives know-how with a cautious eye will love The Golem at huge. Harry Collins is Professor of Sociology at Cardiff collage and Director for the learn of data services and technology on the collage of Wales. His different books comprise the approaching the only tradition (University of Chicago Press, 2001) and (with M. Kusch) the form of activities (MIT, 1998). nTrevor Pinch is a founding member of the dep. of technology and expertise reviews at Cornell collage, the place he's now chair. he's co-editor (with Wiebe E. Bijker) of The Social building of Technological platforms (MIT, 1989).
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Additional resources for The Golem at Large: What You Should Know About Technology
Thiokol engineers calculated that, on ignition, the joint would close. Marshall engineers did not agree; their calculations showed that the joint would momentarily open. The consequences of the joint opening would be two-fold: (1) the compression or ‘squeeze’ on the O-ring would be reduced and make it a less reliable seal; (2) an O-ring could become unseated. Ironically in this disagreement Thiokol and NASA engineers took exactly the opposite positions they would take on the night of the Challenger launch.
Did Patriot save lives and prevent damage to property? There is no direct evidence in Saudi Arabia because we do not know what damage would have been caused and how many lives would have been lost if Patriot had not been deployed. We know that many servicemen and women were killed when a Scud hit a crowded barracks, and we know that Patriot was not deployed on that occasion, but it is impossible to be certain that deployment would have made a difference. Therefore, the fact that the greatest loss of life occured on an occasion when Patriot malfunctioned cannot be taken to show that functioning Patriots were effective.
But during ignition this gap expands by an unknown amount because of joint rotation. The gap opens up for only about six-tenths of a second. This may not sound like a very long time, but it is, as one engineer stated ‘a lifetime in this business’. (Quoted in Vaughan p. ) Finding out what exactly happens during this six-tenths of a second takes an extraordinary amount of engineering effort. At the time the Challenger was launched the best estimates for the maximum size of the gap varied between forty-two hundredths of an inch and sixty hundredths of an inch.
The Golem at Large: What You Should Know About Technology by Harry Collins, Trevor Pinch