Adventures with Impossible Figures by Bruno Ernst

By Bruno Ernst

Describes the tools that are used to build fascinating very unlikely figures that may tease the attention and baffle the mind's eye. Copious examples are drawn from the author's personal paintings and the fertile mind's eye of Escher and Oscare Reutersvard.

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Optimistic claims of productivity increases were common, despite the fact that it was difficult to measure productivity in industry for any but the most repetitive tasks. During the course of my research, I heard or read dozens of optimistic portrayals of CAD/CAM technology that pictured increases in the productivity of design activities as high as one hundred to one, or one hundred times as much output for a given amount of labor input. A standard assessment in one area of CAD work became three or four to one.

Some of the force was automotive: I had my picture taken in the cab of a Mack truck, parts of which had been designed with CAD/CAM software from McDonnell-Douglas, the sponsor of the event. Some of the force was athletic: After standing in a long line inside the Intergraph booth, I shook hands with Jim Everett, then quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. Some of the force lay in controlling virtual space: I put on the famous PowerGlove and goggles and experienced the joys of flying through the Parthenon in virtual reality, although I did feel a little foolish standing there pointing all over the place with two dozen people watching me.

For example, routine technology development and use become largely indistinguishable as phases of some more pervasive controversy, and differences among proponents or among opponents in a controversy either become sub-controversies themselves or get omitted from the account. A final set of pathways for generalizing from society to technology involves extrapolating a specific hierarchical power relationship, particularly distinctions by class,46 race,47 or gender. 48 These pathways bring to technology studies the analysis of power by shOWing how new technologies reproduce existing power differences.

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