“Men are grown mechanical in head and heart, as well as in hand…Their whole efforts, attachments, opinions, turn on mechanism, and are of a mechanical nature.”
THOSE ARE THE prophetic words of Thomas Carlyle nearly two hundred years ago. “There is no end to machinery,” he wrote, and indeed, there seems to be no end to dominance of the digital-mechanical in modern life. Matthew Arnold a few decades after Carlyle made the same point: “Faith in machinery is…our besetting danger; often in machinery most absurdly disproportioned to the end which this machinery, if it is to do any good at all, is to serve; but always in machinery, as if it had value in and for itself…”
WATCHING OR LISTENING to the media these days is like being repeatedly subjected to one of those implicit bias tests HR departments force on employees to root out their supposedly unconscious prejudice. While the media frequently admonish us to “celebrate” our multicultural diversity whether we care about it or not, HR pretend they’re looking after the welfare of their company’s employees.