Signs of the Times

Saturday Review

Emmanuel G. Mesthene, Executive Director of the Harvard University Program on Technology and Society in the Saturday Review
New York, New York

Technology—the development of tools—need in the long run worry only those who are themselves no more than tools, and who thus do violence to the greatest moral insight of Western civilization, that Man is always an end and never a means alone. The more machines can take over what we do, in other words, the more we are freed to do what machines cannot do. That is the promise of our age to history's slaves: their liberation, finally, to be people.

"Stop automation!" we hear from some quarters.... "Stop the senseless race to the moon!" The cry "Stop change!" is an old one, and was first heard, no doubt, when the wheel was invented.

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July 15, 1967

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