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American Technological Myopia: How the Fascination with ‘High’ Technology leads to the Dangerous Tendency to Underestimate Simple and Effective Technologies

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Abstract:

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or roadside bombs have been a staple of guerilla and insurgent groups for more than a century since they provide weaker forces with the opportunity to strike when their adversaries are vulnerable. Given this, the lack of preparation of American forces for dealing with and responding to IEDs in Iraq is curious. One of the reasons is that American planners have a form of near-sightedness when it comes to technology, believing that American technology will invariably outperform the less sophisticated technologies of its adversaries and that context does not matter when it comes to technical performance. These assumptions have led to a tendency to under-estimate the effectiveness of technical systems that integrate elements of high and low technology in a context dependent manner.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

technolog (40), bomb (26), american (20), effect (19), use (17), forc (17), i (16), devic (14), would (14), explos (12), alexand (11), one (10), improvis (10), technic (9), troop (9), new (8), war (8), militari (8), high (8), allow (7), peopl (7),

Author's Keywords:

Improvised, Explosive, Device, IED, Iraq, IRA, technology
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Association:
Name: Theory vs. Policy? Connecting Scholars and Practitioners
URL:
http://www.isanet.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p416778_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Lewis, Jeffrey. "American Technological Myopia: How the Fascination with ‘High’ Technology leads to the Dangerous Tendency to Underestimate Simple and Effective Technologies" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Theory vs. Policy? Connecting Scholars and Practitioners, New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel, The Loews New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA, Feb 17, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p416778_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lewis, J. , 2010-02-17 "American Technological Myopia: How the Fascination with ‘High’ Technology leads to the Dangerous Tendency to Underestimate Simple and Effective Technologies" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Theory vs. Policy? Connecting Scholars and Practitioners, New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel, The Loews New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA Online <PDF>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p416778_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or roadside bombs have been a staple of guerilla and insurgent groups for more than a century since they provide weaker forces with the opportunity to strike when their adversaries are vulnerable. Given this, the lack of preparation of American forces for dealing with and responding to IEDs in Iraq is curious. One of the reasons is that American planners have a form of near-sightedness when it comes to technology, believing that American technology will invariably outperform the less sophisticated technologies of its adversaries and that context does not matter when it comes to technical performance. These assumptions have led to a tendency to under-estimate the effectiveness of technical systems that integrate elements of high and low technology in a context dependent manner.


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