Hail the Maintainers: Innovation, Maintenance & Technological Fixes in Transportation
In transportation, an innovation focus often entails people wanting to introduce wholly-new systems or putting forward fantastical visions of how single technologies—like self-driving cars—will solve all of our problems. Where did the “innovation” idea come from and how did modern societies become obsessed with it? This talk will consider these questions and the uncelebrated, often overlooked maintenance, repair, upkeep, mundane labor, and incremental improvement that are the source of the majority of what we gain from technology.
Lee Vinsel is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Program on Science & Technology Studies at Stevens Institute of Technology. His work focuses on the relationship between business, government, and technological change. He is the author of a forthcoming book on the history of automobile regulation in the United States, covering the period from 1893 to the future.