February 12, 2013

Were the Luddites Right?

Ronald Bailey, Reason


AP Photo

In 1948 Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics, wrote an urgent letter to Walter Reuther, the president of the Union of Automobile Workers. Wiener warned Reuther that technologies that combined computing machines with production machinery would soon yield an "apparatus [that] is extremely flexible, and susceptible to mass production, and will undoubtedly lead to the factory without employees; as for example, the automatic automobile assembly line." Wiener ominously concluded, "In the hands of the present industrial set-up, the unemployment produced by such plants can only be disastrous."

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TAGGED: Anti-technology, Luddites, Technology

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