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Tying Ideas And Concepts Around E.M. Forster's The Machine Stops

2076 words - 9 pages

The Machine Stops is the idea of the world being ruled by a machine. Due to the unsuitable conditions the people on Earth have created, the live underground where the machine rules their lives. The machine creates new concepts and ideas that eventually change the entire world and shun human interaction. E.M. Forster argues the world is going to turn catastrophic for all humans because it will be controlled by technology. The novels Orality and Literacy, You Are Not a Gadget, and Regarding the Pain of Others supports through ideas, concepts, and examples, The Machine Stop's main idea that technology is changing and will eventually rule the world. Along with the journal articles Is Google Making Us Stupid?, The Shallows, and So Many Links, So Little Time, I will tie together the concept that the replacement of technologies in today's world will continue to destroy humanization and materialization.
Human beings naturally ponder new ideas and concepts on a regular basis. In Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy he compares the written culture with the oral culture. The comparison leads to similarities and differences between primary orality and secondary orality. Ong uses the nature of sound to compare to other “human sensations.” He states the idea that primary orality is speaking “words that are sounds which can only be called or recalled as people of this culture have no place to look for them.” (Ong, 61). His explanation of the lack of text in oral culture explains why their sustained thoughs were tied to communication. “The primary people believed that thoughts must come in heavily rhythmc, balanced patterns, in repetition or antitheses, in alliterations and assonances, in epithetic and other formulary expressions.” (Ong, 62). As spoken about in a class discussion, a perfect example of this is the alphabet. Americans recite the alphabet out loud or in their head to the pattern, rhythm, or song they were originally taught growing up. It is nearly impossible to recite the alphabet you learned without some type of rhythm or pattern.
Ong continues on to compare primary culture with secondary culture, which is exactly what ties into the ideas of The Machine Stops. He states people in secondary orality are “programmatically” individuals. The history of the beginning of orality is only something the older generation can explain and talk about because the younger generation has only heard or read about it. The younger generation only have minimal detail of the oral life style and thought structure that was once in existence, but destroyed with technology. As stated in The Machine Stops, “The people who lived in the machine no longer communicated face to face but from monitor to monitor.”
A journal article written by John Horgan, So Many Links, So Little Time, begins with telling the reader to try and not check their email before they get to the end of the first sentence. He explains there are negatives and positives in the way technology is...

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