The Myth of the Machine: Technics and human development
An in-depth look at the forces that have shaped modern technology since prehistoric times. Mumford criticizes the modern trend of technology, which emphasizes constant, unrestricted expansion, production, and replacement. He contends that these goals work against technical perfection, durability, social efficiency, and overall human satisfaction. Modern technology fails to produce lasting, quality products by using devices such as consumer credit, installment buying, non-functioning and defective designs, built-in fragility, and frequent superficial "fashion" changes. "Without constant enticement by advertising," he writes, "production would slow down and level off to normal replacement demand. Otherwise many products could reach a plateau of efficient design which would call for only minimal changes from year to year."
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abstract accepted achieved activities actually already ancient authority automatic automation became become beginning brought century civilization collective communication complex continued culture demands Descartes destruction direct economy effect effort energy environment equally established existence experience exploration expression fact final forces functions further future give hand human idea improvements increase industrial institutions intelligence invention knowledge later least less limited living machine man's mass material means mechanical megamachine megatechnics merely method military mind mode moral nature necessary never objective observed once operation organic original past perhaps physical possible power system practical present production progress proved remained result scientific scientists seemed sense single social society space subjective success sufficient symbolic taken technical thought tion turn ultimate United universal whole world picture York