Technological Emergence

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Joshua Welsh

The Rhetorical Nature of Technology Transfer

Author's note: This essay is the one of the responses I wrote last fall for my PhD exams for the RS&TC program here at the University of Minnesota. The question I was responding to was as follows: Discuss the rhetorical nature of technology and technology transfer. How are these two concepts constructed rhetorically? What role(s) does rhetoric play in "transferring" technology? Examining the relationships among technology, technology transfer, and rhetoric reveals the fact that rhetoric aids in technology transfer by helping to conceal technological complexity through "black boxing." Black boxing is the principle agent that makes technology transfer possible, and

Raoni Rajao

The Digital Jungle: The Role of GIS in the Sociomaterial Creation of Deforestation in the Amazon

Dr. Raoni Rajao presents his research on the intersections of technology, rhetoric, and deforestation in the Amazon rain forest in Brazil. Rajao describes the rhetorical disconnect that happens when Brazilian park rangers try to convince farmers in the Amazon rain forest to stop practices that result deforestation. However, what we in the north call "deforestation", farmers in the Amazon are likely to see simply as "farming." This results in different versions of deforestation clashing with each other. For example, farmers might claim that the deforestation is the result of accidental fire, but rangers argue that if you plant seeds where