I just picked up "Pulse: The Coming Age of Systems and Machines Inspired by Living Things." Though I'm not deep into the book yet, the first chapter offers a nice conceptual history of technology, beginning with the Greeks and running through the great discoveries of 19th and 20th centuries. Frenay also manages to incorporate Goethe and Shelley to demonstrate how art preceded science in some instances.
In contrast to "machine thinking" Frenay develops the idea of a "new biology" in chapter one. He contends that much of today's technology - though this is changing - is based an incomplete realization of biology - "machine thinking" - and as our understanding of nature improves, a process that he tracks in subsequent chapters, our technology and systems thinking in general will be more biology-based. It is a development he believes will be to our benefit and nature's. If his biological metaphor is as durable in subsequent chapters as it is in the initial one - the chapter on economics is said to be especially good - the book will be a good read.