Category Archives: umwelt

under construction


handbag with key hiding in plain sight in 'Dial M for Murder' by Alfred Hitchcock.

more Meno

An unexpected encounter with an old question on pages 21-22 of Michael Polanyi, “The Tacit Dimension”, University of Chicago Press, 2009: “It is a commonplace that all research must start from a problem. Research can be successful only if the problem is good; it can […]

the first operational "numeric control" milling machine at MIT in 1951.

roads not taken

    Some time ago I referred to one of David Noble’s books, since it led me on to the writings of Lynn White, but since a couple of days I have been reading the book for which David Noble himself is most well-known: “Forces […]

cover of the 1967 edition.

fine distinction

Since I wrote my somewhat longish post on analog computing, many things have happened. For instance, I have become the proud owner of an EAI TR-48 analog computer from 1963, a machine to which I will devote a future longish post with plenty images as […]

a scan with the scanner upside down.

scanning electrometer

At the moment I am working to improve a rather elementary sensor for electrostatic fields, in an attempt to use it to make images. Since I do not really know what these images should look like, that brought me to an interesting and unexpected philosophical […]


Bachelard on measuring

Reading the second chapter of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger‘s ‘Epistemologie des Konkreten’ triggered me to start reading Gaston Bachelards writings on the philosophy of science and epistemology. I started with his ‘Essai sur la connaissance approchée’ (1927), which is in fact his doctoral thesis and (I suppose) […]

Temperantia with a clock, bridle, spectacles and windmill as attributes (1450), Bodleian Library MS Laud 570, fol 16r.

virtuousness of technology

Recently I’ve been reading Langdon Winner’s wise “The Whale and the Reactor” and David Noble’s great “The Religion of Technology“, books that I can not recommend enough in their own right, but which I only mention here because they led me to the subject of […]