Machines

What is called affluence - the consequence of the type of rapid economic development which occurred from about the middle of the nineteenth century - is in a real sense an abundance not just of serious problems which machines cannot solve, but of hopeless poverty: the physical insecurity, personal unhappiness, the intensified morality, the sense of being dwarfed by vast and uncontrollable physical, mechanical and corporate structures, the hatred and contempt of other peoples, the lack of opportunity for contemplation, the loss of community life.

The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.

Machines are beneficial to the degree that they eliminate the need for labor, harmful to the degree that they eliminate the need for skill.

In all human activities, it is not ideas or machines that dominate; it is people. I have heard people speak of “the effect of personality on science.” But this is a backward thought. Rather, we should talk about he effect of science on personalities. Science is not the dispassionate analysis of impartial data. It is the human, and thus passionate, exercise of skill and sense on such date. Science is not an exercise in objectivity, but, more accurately, an exercise in which objectivity is prized.

“The last word” is the most dangerous of internal machines; and husband and wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the possession of a lighted bombshell.

[Paraphrase from “Brain and Mind” article] “Local” healing reflects information from subtle bioenergy fields. By contrast, healing that appears non-local in space and time may be mediated by “information associated with conscious intention”... In electromagnetic healing... the living human organism contains many highly sensitive natural oscillators that join to form a collective “biofield.” This field is “a collective property of the organism and cannot be reduced to biomolecular events.” In this case, information is transmitted by external fields of similar frequency, with healing occurring through a “tuning” effect... “Information is about relationship and exists only in relationship.” Therefore, information grounded in love - “the highest-quality relationship” - may produce healing by overcoming information originated from the more mechanical levels of physical organization... “For science and medicine to embrace life’s full capacity and the full human potential we need to go beyond mechanical concepts that were developed for machines.”

The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.

There may be enough poetry in the whir of our machines so that our machine age will become immortal.

Are we all just “dancing to the DNA”… or are human beings more than amoral biochemical machines?

Most of the dangerous aspects of technological civilization arise, not from its complexities, but from the fact that modern man has become more interested in the machines and industrial goods themselves than in their use to human ends.

The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men.

Words can become idols, and machines can become idols; leaders, the state, power, and political groups may also serve. Science and the opinion of one’s neighbors can become idols, and God has become an idol for many.

Darwin’s and Huxley’s picture of man’s place in the universe prepared the way for the Holocaust… Darwin the scientist directly inspired Nietzsche’s superman theory and the Nazi corollary that some people were subhuman… People have to learn to stop thinking of other people as machines and learn to think of them as men and women possessed of souls… History doesn’t need another one hundred million deaths to prove that scientific atheism is a form of mental illness.

As nearly as I can see, all the new isms – Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and especially the late but not lamented Technocracy – outdo even Capitalism itself in their preoccupation with one thing: The distribution of more machine-made commodities to more people. They all proceed on the theory that if we can all keep warm and full, and all own a Ford and a radio, the good life will follow. Their programs differ only in ways to mobilize machines to this end. Though they despise each other, they are all, respect of this objective, as identically alike as peas in a pod. They are competitive apostles of a single creed: salvation by machinery.

It is… a clear sign of modern man’s profound degradation that the idea of annihilating his precious machines, his adored machines, is so shocking to him, whereas he considers with such coldness the massacre of millions of people by the same machines.

The time that one gains cannot be accumulated in a storehouse; it is contradictory to want to save up existence, which, the fact is, exists only by being spent and there is a good case for showing that airplanes, machines, the telephone, and the radio do not make men of today happier than those of former times.

The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.

“The last word” is the most dangerous of internal machines; and husband and wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the possession of a lighted bombshell.

In the development of both capitalism and communism, as we visualize them in the next fifty or a hundred years, the processes that encourage human alienation will continue. Both systems are developing into managerial societies, their inhabitants well fed, well clad, having their wishes satisfied, and not having wishes that cannot be satisfied. Men are increasingly automatons, who make machines which act like men and produce men who act like machines; there reason deteriorates while their intelligence rises, thus creating the dangerous situation of equipping man with the greatest material power without the wisdom to use it.

Muscles are in a most intimate and peculiar sense the organs of the will. They have built all the roads, cities and machines in the world, written all the books, spoken all the words, and, in fact done everything that man has accomplished with matter. Character might be a sense defined as a plexus of motor habits.