Unbound: How Eight Technologies Made Us Human and Brought Our World to the Brink
Like Guns, Germs, and Steel, a work of breathtaking sweep and originality that reinterprets the human story.
Although we usually think of technology as something unique to modern times, our ancestors began to create the first technologies millions of years ago in the form of prehistoric tools and weapons. Over time, eight key technologies gradually freed us from the limitations of our animal origins.
The fabrication of weapons, the mastery of fire, and the technologies of clothing and shelter radically restructured the human body, enabling us to walk upright, shed our body hair, and migrate out of tropical Africa. Symbolic communication transformed human evolution from a slow biological process into a fast cultural process. The invention of agriculture revolutionized the relationship between humanity and the environment, and the technologies of interaction led to the birth of civilization. Precision machinery spawned the industrial revolution and the rise of nation-states; and in the next metamorphosis, digital technologies may well unite all of humanity for the benefit of future generations.
Synthesizing the findings of primatology, paleontology, archeology, history, and anthropology, Richard Currier reinterprets and retells the modern narrative of human evolution that began with the discovery of Lucy and other Australopithecus fossils. But the same forces that allowed us to integrate technology into every aspect of our daily lives have also brought us to the brink of planetary catastrophe. Unbound explains both how we got here and how human society must be transformed again to achieve a sustainable future.
Technology: The deliberate modification of any natural object or substance with forethought to achieve a specific end or to serve a specific purpose.”
Richard L. Currier earned his BA and PhD in social and cultural anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and taught anthropology at Berkeley, the University of Minnesota, and the State University of New York. He coauthored a ten-volume series on archaeology for young adults and published numerous articles in scholarly journals and mainstream magazines. A pioneer in the design and development of interactive learning technologies, Currier has won numerous awards for his work. He lives in Oceanside, California.
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