Monthly Archives: November 2007

“Bugs” and Blowback: Science and American High Modernism

American policy with regard to science and technology in the twentieth century had often been canceled with what James C. Scott described in Seeing Like a State as a “high modernist ideology”: “…self-confidence about scientific and technical progress, the expansion of production, the growing satisfaction of human needs, the mastery of nature… and, above all, the rational design of social order commensurate with the scientific understanding of natural laws.” (Scott, 4) Implicit in Scott’s “mastery of nature” is one other important characteristic that he doesn’t spell out: the high modernist ideology takes previous modes of human interaction among people and with nature, and reduces these interrelations to zero-sum games. Under the ideological régime of high modernism, war becomes total war, health care shifts its focus from palliative care, abatement, and curing, to the wholesale elimination of specific ailments. Edmund Russell’s War and Nature and David McBride’s Missions for Science both explore American scientific policies that reflect this high modernist tendency toward extermination and elimination, as well as looking at the blowback from such an approach. […] Continue reading

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Architectural Reconstruction Project– Preliminary

I’m trying to do an autobiographical final project, so I attempted to do a reconstruction of the house I grew up in. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any pictures of it, so I did most of the "construction" from memory. This … Continue reading

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Architectural Reconstruction Project– Preliminary

I’m trying to do an autobiographical final project, so I attempted to do a reconstruction of the house I grew up in. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any pictures of it, so I did most of the "construction" from memory. This … Continue reading

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Herbert Hoover and the Corporatist State

One of those questions that Americanist grad students in History get asked a lot is, "What was new about the New Deal?"

At first it struck me as a pretty obvious question– of course EVERYTHING was new about the New Deal. That’s definitely the story I heard growing up… But when you look at it, things get murky– Hoover wasn’t the laissez faire capitalist he’s often made out to be. In fact, he was a proponent of an interventionist federal government. FDR outspent every president before him on social welfare, but Hoover outspent every president before HIM.

So looking to resolve the question, and looking into it a bit, I’ve come up with– well, at least a theory. Hoover was a corporatist and an associationalist. He was for intervention, but not for the type of big state programs that the New Deal ushered in. And when he needed big state programs, he didn’t like to leave their management in the hands of the state alone. […]

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What I’m up to lately…

I’m working on a lot of different things right now. […]

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What I’m up to lately…

I’m working on a lot of different things right now. […]

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments