The Machine Stops

For my Technology and Society class, I just had to read a science fiction short story that was written in 1909. It’s called The Machine Stops, and I found it thought provoking and interesting, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s  not too long so it won’t take long to read.

If you do choose to read it, share your thoughts!

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2 responses to “The Machine Stops

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting read. I really enjoyed the author’s emphasis on the connection between technology and religion. As the Machine began to grant more and more conveniences, to become an omnipresent and essential part of their lives, people began to respect the Machine and show reverence for its necessity. Is it a coincidence that this increase in religious sentiments was paralleled by a decrease in ‘first-hand ideas,’ of direct observation of their surroundings? Also, kinda of awesome reading this on a computer screen with music playing, and now a message to be sent instantly. Any ideas lately…?

    • One aspect (among many) that I found quite interesting was the idea of first-hand ideas being (essentially) bad ideas. It was much more desirable to have second-hand ideas, or even better, tenth-hand ideas. I found it horrifying when Vashti would look outside at the world, and say to herself “No ideas here.”
      To me, the thing that differentiates humans from all other life on earth is the desire and drive to seek and to learn and to develop our technology. Their society got to a point where there were no more intellectuals; there were no more new ideas. I feel that in the pursuit of more and better technology, the appeal of being catered to more and more, and having to do less and less, the ultimate result was that the human race lost their humanity. They lost the ambition for knowledge, and thus lost their humanity, effectively (in my opinion) making their lives worthless.
      I found it to be a very thought provoking and interesting story, and one that, unfortunately, is every bit as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

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