This Reading features a story written in 1909 that is eerily prophetic, anticipating airplanes, videophones, and even the Internet. Written by E. M. Forster (author of Room with a View and Passage to India), “The Machine Stops” depicts a future society utterly reliant on one large mechanical system that feeds, bathes, transports entertains and educates its citizens. The Machine is so revered that to speak against it or go against its ways, could mean certain exile.
While Forster’s fictional society is doomed, his ninety-year-old story raises questions meaningful to us today. Is increasing dependence on technology dangerous? How much technology is too much? While blessed with innovations, how can we overcome some of the challenges technology presents? Why is the answer not “end technology and head for the mountains?” Dan Russ, educator, writer and Trinity Forum moderator, addresses some of these current issues in his foreword.