Wednesday, February 01, 2006
An early techno-critic.
The sole use of watches however, is to tell us what o'clock it is, and to hinder us from breaking any engagement, or suffering any other inconveniency by our ignorance in that particular point. But the person so nice with regard to this machine, will not always be found either more scrupulously punctual than other men, or more anxiously concerned upon any other account, to know precisely what time of day it is. What interests him is not so much the attainment of this piece of knowledge, as the perfection of the machine which serves to attain it.
The trouble with anthropology and economics is that they meet only at an intersection, and then proceed, without a second thought or a fare thee well, in different directions. So it's charming when we may suggest, however dubiously, that this was not always so, that a founding economist saw us whole.
How many people ruin themselves by laying out money on trinkets of frivolous utility? What pleases these lovers of toys is not so much the utility, as the aptness of the machines which are fitted to promote it. All their pockets are stuffed with little conveniencies. They contrive new pockets, unknown in the clothes of other people, in order to carry a greater number.
posted by back40 |
2/01/2006 01:52:00 PM
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