Margins for Survival

Margins for Survival

Overcoming Political Limits in Steering Technology

1st Edition - January 1, 1979

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  • Author: Edward Wenk
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483279299

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Margins for Survival: Overcoming Political Limits in Steering Technology examines the political limits as revealed by institutional behavior in the deliberate act of steering technology to produce socially satisfactory outcomes. This book provides an awareness of the predicaments toward which technology-intensive public policy must be generated and tuned. Organized into 11 chapters, this book begins with an overview of the common features of war, poverty, social injustice, ecological instability, and dehumanization. This text then examines the peril of brutality through psychological–emotional threats of deprivation of basic human rights, dignity, and freedom. Other chapters consider the deprivation individual opportunity for equanimity and self-expression and deprivation of equitable access to resources. This book discusses as well the various step of progress toward risk reduction that involves techniques of social machinery. The final chapter deals with the meaning of life with freedom, dignity, and self-esteem. This book is a valuable resource for political leaders.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    1 Introduction

    The Precarious Situation

    The Politicizing of Knowledge: Integrating Technology, Society and the State

    Survival: A Neglected Governmental Responsibility

    2 Threats to Survival

    An Inventory of Global Dangers: From Nuclear Terror to Loss of Freedom

    The Nuclear Example

    Scales of Lethality

    Coping with Risk: Safety and Self-Preservation

    Social and Technological Risk Abatement

    Recent Rehearsals and Close Shaves

    3 New Enigmas

    The Emerging Trap of Complexity

    The Technological System

    Interdependencies and Side Effects

    Ignorance, Blunder, Folly and Mischief

    4 Political Dimensions of Public Policy

    Government as a Steering System

    Decision Intelligence for System Guidance

    Political Power and Political Will

    Miscalculations from Political Process

    Testing Decisions by Political Results

    A Political Focus to Survival: A Summary

    5 Truth and Consequences in Failing to Look Ahead

    Stress in Decision Making

    The Ticking Clock

    Pathologies of the Short Run

    Clocking and Ranking of Policy Outcomes

    Unraveling Kinetics of Political Choice

    Underlying Causes of Nearsightedness and Tunnel Vision

    6 Coping with Future Threats

    An Anthology of Prescriptions

    An Anthology of Prescriptions

    Refocusing the Inquiry

    People and Personhood

    7 New Scarcities

    Scarcity of Time

    Scarcity of Activists

    Scarcity of Reserves

    8 Strategies of Technological Choice: New Social Learning for Collective Security

    Appreciating the Situation: A Cultural Stance

    Survival Training: Education for the Future

    Coalition Politics: New Collaboration between Scientists, Engineers, and Citizens

    Prizes of Anticipation: Crisis Avoidance by Technology Assessment

    Interinstitutional Networks: A Metaphoric Fourth Branch of Government

    Mechanisms for Conflict Resolution

    9 Margins for Survival

    Engineering Lessons for Public Safety

    Organized Vigilance

    Resolute Liquidity

    Offsetting the Coercion of Time

    10 Global Security

    11 Epilogue

    To Be Alive and Free, Rational Humanism Is Not Enough



Product details

  • No. of pages: 214
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 2013
  • Published: January 1, 1979
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483279299

About the Author

Edward Wenk

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