Machine Age in the Hills Malcolm Ross

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286 pages


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Machine Age in the Hills  by  Malcolm Ross

Machine Age in the Hills by Malcolm Ross
| Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 286 pages | ISBN: | 3.32 Mb

This illustrated volume was published in 1933. Excerpts from the book. A machine age twilight has settled over the coal hills of the South. There, during the past two decades, a region of small farmers was made momentarily prosper- ous by a suddenMoreThis illustrated volume was published in 1933. Excerpts from the book. A machine age twilight has settled over the coal hills of the South. There, during the past two decades, a region of small farmers was made momentarily prosper- ous by a sudden invasion of industry- then the wave passed, leaving them spoilt for the old way of life and helpless to face the new.

Here, in miniature, is a cycle which technology seems to be working out in America at large. We cannot forecast the effects of technology in all the interlocking industries of the United States. But in the coal fields we have an isolated social research laboratory where we can examine the already com- pleted cycle from agrarian stability to industrial col- lapse. In so doing we are struck by the persistence of the old patterns of bungling and bloodshed. This, we had thought, is a scientific age- yet we act as though no better tools than tooth and claw had ever been in- vented.

Inside our laboratories we know how to apply the scientific spirit- but when we take the results of research into the marketplace we squabble over them in emotional unrestraint. In this there is grave danger, since technology is an impersonal factor, not answering to emotional treat- ment. Its tendency is to put men out of work faster than we can succor them, and it does this quite inde- pendently of human moods. This phenomenon has long been under observation. Morose prophets have been predicting for a decade that machines would eventually create a surplus of human hands for which society will never be able to find work.

Others supposed that increased production could keep pace with technology.



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