Front cover image for Transports of delight : how technology materializes human imagination

Transports of delight : how technology materializes human imagination

Peter A. Hancock (Author)
This inspiring book shows how the spiritual side of life, with its thoughts, feelings, and aspirations, is intimately bound up with our material technologies. From the wonder of Gothic Cathedrals, to the quiet majesty of lighter than air flight, to the ultimate in luxury of the north Atlantic steamers, Peter Hancock explores how these sequential heights of technology have enabled our dreams of being transported to new and uncharted realms to become reality. Sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively, technology has always been there to make material the visions of our imagination. This book shows how this has essentially been true for all technologies from Stonehenge to space station. But technology is far from perfect. Indeed, the author argues here that some of the most public and tragic of its failures still remain instructive, emblematic, and even inspiring. He reports on examples such as a Cathedral of the Earth (Beauvais), a Cathedral of the Seas (Titanic), and a Cathedral of the Air (Hindenburg) and tells their stories from the viewpoint of material transcendence. By interweaving their stories he reveals how technologies can succeed in elevating human beings and, in taking them to whole new realms of being, he explores and explains why these experiences are 'Transports of Delight.'
eBook, English, 2017
Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 2017
1 online resource (xxv, 235 pages) : illustrations
9783319552484, 3319552481
Praise for the Text; Table of Contents; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; PREFACE; 1. INTRODUCTION; 1.1. Proem; 1.2. Embarking on a Personal 'Voyage.'; 1.3. The Wonder That Is Chartres; 1.4. Rheims Not Chartres; 1.5. Too Successful a Technology?; Reference Notes: Introduction; 2. GHOSTS OF THE TEMERAIRE; 2.1. Phantoms on the Quarterdeck; 2.2. A Personal Perusal; 2.3. The Temeraire at Trafalgar; 2.4. Transports of Delight; Reference Notes: Ghosts of the Temeraire; 3. WHAT A SIGHT IT IS; 3.1. Oh the Humanity!; 3.2. DEKKA: Luftschiff Hindenburg; 3.3. Leaving Old Worlds; 3.4. Reaching New Worlds. 3.5. Landing the Airship3.6. Disaster!; 3.7. The Crash and Its Aftermath; 3.8. Why Hindenburg Crashed; 3.9. The End of an Era; Reference Notes: What a Sight It Is; 4. THE LARGEST MOVING OBJECT EVER BUILT; 4.1. Introducing Titanic; 4.2. Leaving Old Worlds; 4.3. MGY: Radio Call Sign of Titanic; 4.4. "Iceberg
Dead Ahead"; 4.5. Death Throes of a Dream; 4.6. Those Who Survived; 4.7. Heroes and Villains; 4.8. Summary and Conclusion; Reference Notes: The Largest Moving Object Ever Built; 5. REACHING FOR GOD; 5.1. Gothic Creations; 5.2. The Incomplete Wonder; 5.3. Vaulting Ambition. 5.4. Another Night to Remember5.5. How Hath the Mighty Fallen?; 5.6. One Magnificent Mess; Reference Notes: Reaching for God; 6. SURVIVING SISTERS; 6.1. Introduction; 6.2. Chartres Cathedral: Beauvais' Living Cousin; 6.3. Graf Zeppelin: The Successful Airship; 6.4. Titanic's Tragic Sisters: Olympic and Britannic; 6.5. Summary and Conclusion; Reference Notes: Surviving Sisters; 7. THE RIDDLE OF THE LABYRINTH; 7.1. Augmentation to Locomotion; 7.2. The Pagan in the Sacred; 7.3. Petite Pilgrimage; 7.4. The Chartres Labyrinth; 7.5. Involuntary Transportation; 7.6. Out of the Labyrinth. Reference Notes: The Riddle of the Labyrinth8. SHIPS OF THE SOUL; 8.1. Searching Beyond Surfaces; 8.2. On Common Physical Dimensions; 8.3. Hull, Nave, and Airframe; 8.4. Locus of Control; 8.5. Commander and the 'Crew'; 8.6. Summoned by Bells; 8.7. Congregated 'Passengers'; 8.8. Looming and Awe; 8.9. The Common Ultimate Function; Reference Notes: Ships of the Soul; 9. THREADS THROUGH TIME; 9.1. Tying Things Together; 9.2. Airship and Cathedral; 9.3. Recycle and Resurrect; 9.4. Modern Reflection, Modern Purpose, Same Goal; 9.5. Toward a Conclusion; Research Notes: Thread through Time. 10. TRANSPORTS OF DELIGHT10.1. Further, Ever Further; 10.2. The Familiar Form of Failure; 10.3. From Stonehenge to Space Station; 10.4. The Quintessential Stone Circle; 10.5. A Summary of Transportation; Reference Notes: Transports of Delight; 11. AUTOBIOMIMESIS; 11.1. Mimetic Principles; 11.2 . Pathologies in Technology; 11.3. Further Eversions of the Brain; 11.4. It's All in Your Hands; 11.5. The Celestial City; Reference Notes: Autobiomimesis and Ultimate Purpose; REFERENCES; CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION; CHAPTER 2: GHOSTS OF THE TEMERAIRE; CHAPTER 3: WHAT A SIGHT IT IS