Man is a machine, but a very peculiar machine. He is a machine which, in right circumstances, and with right treatment, can know that he is a machine, and having fully realized this, he may find the ways to cease to be a machine. First of all, what man must know is that he is not one; he is many. He has not one permanent and unchangeable "I" or Ego. He is always different. One moment he is one, another moment he is another, the third moment he is a third, and so on, almost without end.
... regard this body as a machine which, having been made by the hand of God, is incomparably better ordered than any machine that can be devised by man, and contains in itself movements more wonderful than those in any machine. ... it is for all practical purposes impossible for a machine to have enough organs to make it act in all the contingencies of life in the way in which our reason makes us act.
The sensitive person's hostility to the machine is in one sense unrealistic, because of the obvious fact that the machine has come to stay. But as an attitude of mind there is a great deal to be said for it. The machine has got to be accepted, but it is probably better to accept it rather as one accepts a drug - that is, grudgingly and suspiciously. Like a drug, the machine is useful, dangerous and habit-forming. The oftener one surrenders to it the tighter its grip becomes.
A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on. Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: "You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong." Knight turned the machine off and on. The machine worked.
I've heard my teacher say, where there are machines, there are bound to be machine worries; where there are machine worries, there are bound to be machine hearts. With a machine heart in your breast, you've spoiled what was pure and simple; and without the pure and simple, the life of the spirit knows no rest.
Man is a machine which reacts blindly to external forces and, this being so, he has no will, and very little control of himself, if any at all. What we have to study, therefore, is not psychology-for that applies only to a developed man-but mechanics. Man is not only a machine but a machine which works very much below the standard it would be capable of maintaining if it were working properly.
The cycle of the machine is now coming to an end. Man has learned much in the hard discipline and the shrewd, unflinching grasp of practical possibilities that the machine has provided in the last three centuries: but we can no more continue to live in the world of the machine than we could live successfully on the barren surface of the moon.
I remember the beginnings of the Kurzweil reading machine. I was one of the first to meet Ray Kurzweil and purchase the reading machine in Boston. To think that the machine was at least two and a half large suitcases at the time, and now you have a camera and it takes a picture and you have sound.
In a sense, every tool is a machine--the hammer, the ax, and the chisel. And every machine is a tool. The real distinction is between one man using a tool with his hands and producing an object that shows at every stage the direction of his will and the impression of his personality; and a machine which is producing, without the intervention of a particular man, objects of a uniformity and precision that show no individual variation and have no personal charm. The problem is to decide whether the objects of machine production can possess the essential qualities of art.
In the case of the Web, each of us has slightly more access to a mass audience - a few more people slide through the door - but Facebook is finally a crude, personal multimedia conglomerate machine, personal nation-state machine, reality-show machine. New gadgets alter social patterns, new media eclipse old ones, but the pyramid never goes away.
Men are to be guided only by their self-interests. Good government is a good balancing of these; and, except a keen eye and appetite for self-interest, requires no virtue in any quarter. To both parties it is emphatically a machine: to the discontented, a taxing-machine; to the contented, a machine for securing property. Its duties and its faults are not those of a father, but of an active parish-constable.
You really have so little choice - so little to decide. You get put through the machine and it chops you up and spits you out. Your life, it's all mechanical, of the machine, until you have free will. You can't be accepted into the Work until you have matured -- freed yourself and take responsibility for your life, become accountable for your every action. It's not just from coming to a school. It's an active process - you have to take the responsibility for yourself. When you're trapped in the machine, it doesn't matter what you do.
E. J. Gold
If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth--certainly the machine will wear out... but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.
Henry David Thoreau
Assault weapons""just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms""are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons""anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun""can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.
There is, however, one feature that I would like to suggest should be incorporated in the machines, and that is a 'random element.' Each machine should be supplied with a tape bearing a random series of figures, e.g., 0 and 1 in equal quantities, and this series of figures should be used in the choices made by the machine. This would result in the behaviour of the machine not being by any means completely determined by the experiences to which it was subjected, and would have some valuable uses when one was experimenting with it.
Pass by the synthetic yarn department, then, with your nose in the air. Should a clerk come out with the remark that All Young Mothers In This Day and Age (why can't they save their breath and say "now"?) insist on a yarn which can be machine-washed and machine-dried, come back at her with the reply that one day, you suppose, they will develop a baby that can be machine-washed and -dried.