Distopian View Praising Second-Hand Knowledge

The first of these was the abolition of respirator.

Advanced thinkers, like Vashti, had always held it foolish to visit the surface of the earth. Air-ships might be necessary, but what was the good of going out for mere curiosity and crawling along for a mile or two in a terrestrial motor? The habit was vulgar and perhaps faintly improper: it was unproductive of ideas, and had no connection with the habits that really mattered. So respirators were abolished, and with them, of course, the terrestrial motors, and except for a few lecturers, who complained that they were debarred access to their subject- matter, the development was accepted quietly. Those who still wanted to know what the earth was like had after all only to listen to some gramophone, or to look into some cinematophote. And even the lecturers acquiesced when they found that a lecture on the sea was none the less stimulating when compiled out of other lectures that had already been delivered on the same subject. "Beware of first- hand ideas!" exclaimed one of the most advanced of them. "First-hand ideas do not really exist. They are but the physical impressions produced by live and fear, and on this gross foundation who could erect a philosophy? Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element - direct observation. Do not learn anything about this subject of mine - the French Revolution. Learn instead what I think that Enicharmon thought Urizen thought Gutch thought Ho-Yung thought Chi-Bo-Sing thought LafcadioHearn thought Carlyle thought Mirabeau said about the French Revolution. Through the medium of these ten great minds, the blood that was shed at Paris and the windows that were broken at Versailles will be clarified to an idea which you may employ most profitably in your daily lives. But be sure that the intermediates are many and varied, for in history one authority exists to counteract another. Urizen must counteract the scepticism of Ho-Yung and Enicharmon, I must myself counteract the impetuosity of Gutch. You who listen to me are in a better position to judge about the French Revolution than I am. Your descendants will be even in a better position than you, for they will learn what you think I think, and yet another intermediate will be added to the chain. And in time" - his voice rose - "there will come a generation that had got beyond facts, beyond impressions, a generation absolutely colourless, a generation

seraphically free
From taint of personality,

which will see the French Revolution not as it happened, nor as they would like it to have happened, but as it would have happened, had it taken place in the days of the Machine."


Folksonomies: knowledge empiricism distopia

/food and drink/beverages/alcoholic beverages/wine (0.577131)
/society/unrest and war (0.558481)
/food and drink/gastronomy/slow food (0.531013)

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Gutch:Person (0.791579 (negative:-0.091578)), Vashti:Person (0.627354 (neutral:0.000000)), Enicharmon:Person (0.616349 (negative:-0.741547)), Urizen:Person (0.597508 (negative:-0.741547)), Versailles:City (0.442199 (neutral:0.000000)), Paris:City (0.440914 (neutral:0.000000)), windows:OperatingSystem (0.426758 (neutral:0.000000)), Mirabeau:Person (0.417298 (neutral:0.000000)), LafcadioHearn:Person (0.403074 (neutral:0.000000)), Carlyle:Person (0.383041 (neutral:0.000000))

Psychology (0.976555): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Idea (0.902103): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
French Revolution (0.750756): dbpedia | freebase
Mind (0.744434): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Versailles (0.732374): geo | website | dbpedia | yago | geonames
Paris (0.728290): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago | geonames
Earth (0.714652): dbpedia | freebase
Thought (0.673442): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Concepts in metaphysics (0.616748): dbpedia
French language (0.611331): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Europe (0.605880): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Voltaire (0.600394): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau (0.592721): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Age of Enlightenment (0.588080): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Cognitive science (0.561098): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cognition (0.554857): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Liberalism (0.535177): dbpedia | freebase
French people (0.532564): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Respirator (0.530861): dbpedia | freebase
Abolitionism (0.516376): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
United States Declaration of Independence (0.515221): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Communism (0.510419): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
American Revolutionary War (0.507537): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Observation (0.497116): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Critical thinking (0.484124): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Class struggle (0.483987): dbpedia
Habit (0.482100): dbpedia

 The Machine Stops
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Forster, E.M. (1909), The Machine Stops, Retrieved on 2017-01-09
  • Source Material [archive.ncsa.illinois.edu]
  • Folksonomies: science fiction