Technology in Forster's The Machine Stops

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The Internet provides accuracy, productivity, and possibilities that would be devastating if suddenly missing. Because of man’s resiliency, I don’t think that we would experience Armageddon if the Internet stopped. I do believe our world would become larger for a while. The miles shortened by email would lengthen due to postage delivery. The nanosecond returns to a minute, and memory would be placed back in photo albums and diaries. All changes would be temporary until necessity, and personal desire would lead the way to new technology. In the end, one truth stands; with technology comes great responsibility.

The Machine Stops (Forster, 1909), contrasts in two main characters approach technology y. Vashti impatient with her son, Kuno, at the slightest delay as indicated when he dawdled for 15 seconds, "Be quick!" She called, her irritation returning. "(Forster 1) Kuno finds it acceptable to dawdle. Kuno finds the Machine distasteful, and scolds his mother for dependence on The Machine, “The Machine is much, but it is not everything.” (Forster 1) This is similar to the approach that was discussed as we identified if we were digital immigrants or digital natives. (01 Computing Autobiography Discussion) Most natives indicated a dependency on technology; immigrants indicated a practical need to learn technology, but reminisced about the “old ways”. Obviously Kuno has been raised in a technologically rich age yet, still resists dependence on it.

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. I am left to wonder what necessity in the life of Forster allowed him to have such prophetic insight into future technology. If a lover of the theatre; he possibly spent many evenings walking through the vomitories. How interesting that h...

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... may not be accurate. We can choose to conduct a deep search of the same Web and discover more authentic and academically certified information to help us form new and original thoughts. The environment of The Machine does not provide or condone such activity. The notion that the mind and body is a fair exchange for housing, food, and clothing became shattered when Kuno has a desire to be alive in his own ideas; he is met with this warning, “Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element - direct observation.” (Forster 11) Disturbingly in utopia there must be a way to deal with the renegades. Homelessness, a death not necessarily as barbaric as an electric chair, but sure death none the less. Kuno had a brush with this consequence once; but his personal desire and spirit was not squelched.
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