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See detailCollecting Middle-Class Memories? The COVID-19 Pandemic, Technology and Crowdsourced Archives
Zumthurm, Tizian; Krebs, Stefan UL

in Technology and Culture (2022), 63(2), 483-493

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, many groups initiated crowd-sourced archives that invite members of the public to upload personal material connected to the pandemic. By archiving and publishing how ... [more ▼]

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, many groups initiated crowd-sourced archives that invite members of the public to upload personal material connected to the pandemic. By archiving and publishing how "ordinary" people experienced and perceived the pandemic, these platforms influence how the pandemic is remembered and how historians will write about it. This article presents the example of covidmemory.lu and compares contributions to this platform from Luxembourg with others from German speaking countries. Analyzing users' thoughts about empty streets and skies and their experiences with computers and phones for work and leisure at home, this article discusses the potential and the limitations of crowdsourced archives for future historians of technology. [less ▲]

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See detail“Dial Gauge versus Senses 1 - 0” : German Auto Mechanics and the Introduction of New Diagnostic Equipment, 1950–1980
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Technology and Culture (2014), 55(2), 354-389

Automobile sounds contain information on the technical state of the car; these sounds can be used to monitor the car while driving, and, in case of a flaw, to diagnose its source. For German car mechanics ... [more ▼]

Automobile sounds contain information on the technical state of the car; these sounds can be used to monitor the car while driving, and, in case of a flaw, to diagnose its source. For German car mechanics, listening to car sounds was, since the institutionalization of the trade in the 1930s, a legitimate entrance to diagnostic knowledge. The introduction of new diagnostic equipment in the 1950s contested the epistemic status of diagnostic listening. Manufacturers and trade authors claimed that these new testing instruments alone gave objective measurements, whereas old-fashioned bodily practices like diagnostic listening were too subjective and thus insufficient for automobile diagnostics. However, contesting the status of sensory diagnosis implicated the contestation of the car mechanics’ socio- technical position. This is why German mechanics did not embrace diagnostic technology until the 1980s and continued to deploy their sensory skills when diagnosing malfunctions. [less ▲]

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