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“Ford CEO Henry Ford II and United Automobile Workers president Walter Reuther are jointly touring a modern auto plant. Ford jokingly jabs at Reuther: "Walter, how are you going to get these robots to pay UAW dues?" Not missing a beat, Reuther responds: "Henry, how are you going to get them to buy your cars?”—Why The 1% Could Ruin the Economy
“From Descartes's time on until the present century, to all but the most penetrating minds in science, a 'mechanistic' explanation of organic behavior was accepted as a sufficient one. And as machines became more lifelike, Western man taught himself to become in his daily behavior more machinelike. This shift was recorded in the changing meaning of the word 'automaton,' which was used in English as early as 1611. At first this term was employed to describe autonomous beings with the power to move alone; but it soon came to mean just the opposite: a contrivance that had exchanged autonomy for the powers of motion 'under conditions fixed for it, not by it' (New Oxford Dictionary)”—Lewis Mumford, Pentagon of Power: The Myth of the Machine, Vol. II (1970), p. 95.
“There is no reason to think that technology creates unemployment. Over the long run we find things for people to do. The harder question is, does changing technology always lead to better jobs? The answer is no.”—Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software
D.H. Lawrence - The Rainbow
Follows several generations of the Brangwen family centering largely on Anna and her daughter Ursula as their small world expands. Frequent reference to darkness, unity, eternal, ecstasy, ruins, fecundity, consummation. Lots of soul wrenching love and not love, unfulfillment and deep satisfying connections. Very clear why it was difficult to find a publisher.
Useful in contrast between colliers and farm work, Skrebensky and Ursula as primitive life force and modern rationality.
Ursula, only woman without children in the entire novel. Illegitimate baby lost to presumed miscarriage. Rainbow implies wonder still left in the world despite the stripping of all mystery by modernity.
The women were different. On them too was the drowse of blood-intimacy, calves sucking and hens running together in droves, and young geese palpitating in the hand while the food was pushed down their throttle. But the women looked out from the heated, blind intercourse of farm-life, to the spoken world beyond. They were aware of the lips and the mind of the world speaking and giving utterance, they heard the sound in the distance, and they strained to listen. (8)
But the woman wanted another form of life than this, something that was not blood-intimacy. Her house faced out from the farm-buildings and fields, looked out to the road and the village with church and Hall and the world beyond. She stood to see the far-off world of cities and governments and the active scope of man, the magic land to her, where secrets were made known and desires fulfilled. She faced outwards to where men moved dominant and creative, having turned their back on the pulsing heat of creation, and with this behind them, were set out to discover what was beyond, to enlarge their own scope and range and freedom; whereas the Brangwen men faced inwards to the teeming life of creation, which poured unresolved into their veins. (9)
The building of a canal across their land made them strangers in their own place, this raw bank of earth shuttering them off disconcerted them. As they worked in the fields, from beyond the now familiar embankment came the rhythmic run of the winding engines, startling at first, but afterwards a narcotic to the brain. Then the shrill whistle of the trains re-echoed through the heart, with fearsome pleasure, announcing the far-off come near and imminent. (13)
The eldest boy ran away early to sea, and did not come back. After this the mother was more the note and centre of attraction in the home. (13)
…but that child [Anna Brangwen] is a changeling. (34)
A daze had come over his [Tom Brangwen] mind, he had another centre of consciousness. In his breast, or in his bowels, somewhere in his body, there had started another activity. It was as if a strong light were burning there, and he was blind within it, unable to know anything, except that this transfiguration burned between him and her, connecting them, like a secret power…He submitted to that which was happening to him, letting go of his will, suffering the loss of himself, dormant always on the brink of ecstasy, like creature evolving to a new birth. (39)
The swift, unseen threshing of the night upon him silenced him an he was overcome. He turned away indoors, humbly. There was the infinite world, eternal, unchanging, as well as the world of life. (81)
Tom Brangwen was now the fairy godfather. he was never happy unless he was buying something…Tom Brangwen, with more particular thought, spied out what he called handy things for her. He appeared with a set of new-fangled cooking-pans, with a special sort of hanging lamp, though the rooms were so low, with canny little machines for grinding meat or mashing potatoes or whisking eggs. (131)
And she was indeed Anna Vitrix. He could not combat her any more. He was out in the wilderness, alone with her. Having occaison to go to London, he marvelled, as he returned, thinking of naked, lurking savages on an island, how these had built up and created the great mass of Oxford Street or Piccadilly. How had helpless savages, running with their spears on the riverside, after fish, how had they come to rear up this great London, the ponderous, massive, ugly superstructure of a world of man upon a world of nature! It frightened and awed him. Man were terrible, awful in his works. The works of man were more terrible than man himself, almost monstrous. (193)
Away from time, always outside of time! Between east ad east, between dawn and sunset, the church lay like a seed in silence, dark before germination, silenced after death. Containing birth and death, potential with all the the noise and transition of life, the cathedral remained hushed, a great, involved seed, whereof the flower would be radiant life inconceivable, but whose beginning and whose end were the circle of silence. Spanned round with the rainbow, the jeweled gloom folded music upon silence, light upon darkness, fecundity upon death as a seed folds leaf upon leaf and silence upon the root and the flower…Here in the church, ‘before’ and ‘after’ were folded together, all was contained in oneness. (201-2)
In describing Tom’s drowned body
He was a majestic Abstraction, made visible now for a moment, inviolate, absolute. And who could lay claim to him, who could speak of him, of the him who was revealed in the stripped moment of transit from life into death? Neither the living nor the dead could claim him, he was both the one and the other, inviolable, inaccessibly himself. (251)
Ursula was frightened, hearing these things. Her heart sank, she felt she had no ground under her feet. She clung to her grandmother [Lydia Brangwen]. Here was peace and security. Here, from her grandmother’s peaceful room, the door opened on to the grater space, the past, which was so big, that all it contained seemed tiny; loves and births and deaths, tiny units and features within a vast horizon. That was a great relief, to know the tiny importance of the individual, within the great past. (261)
It pleased her [Ursula] to know, that in the East one must use hyperbole, or else remain unheard; because the Eastern man must see a thing swelling to fill all heaven, or dwindled to a mere nothing, before he is suitably impressed. She immediately sympathized with this Eastern mind. (277)
So the children lived the year of Christianity, the epic of the soul of mankind. Year by year the inner, unknown drama went on in them, their hearts were born and came to fullness, suffered on the cross, gave up the ghost, and rose again to unnumbered days, untired, having at least the rhythm of eternity in a ragged, inconsequential life. (280)
Emily and subaltern secret romance 297-300
She [Ursula] liked to wear white. With her black hair and clear golden skin, she looked southern, or rather tropical, like a Creole. She wore no colour whatsoever. (308)
why the semi-exotic polish heritage and now link to southern-creole-subaltern?
What did personal intimacy matter? One had to fill one’s place in the Whole, the great scheme of man’s elaborate civilization, that was all. The Whole mattered - but the unit, the person, had no importance, except as he represented the Whole. (328)
Discussion of nature of coal miners between Ursula, her uncle and Winifred (347-8)
“It is the same everywhere,” burst out Winifred. “It is the office, or the shop, or the business that gets the man, the woman gets the bit the shop can’t digest. What is he at home, a man? He is a meaningless lump-a standing machine, a machine out of work.” (349)
Then she recovered, felt herself in a great loneliness, wherein she was sad but free. She had departed. Nor more would she subscribe to the great colliery, to the great machine, which has taken us all captives. In her soul, she was aginst it, she disowned even in power. It had only to be forsaken to be inane meaningless. And she knew it was meaningless. But it needed a great, passionate effort of will on her part, seeing the colliery, still to maintain her knowledge that it was meaningless. (350)
He wanted to propagate himself. He knew what he was doing. He had the instinct of a growing inertia, of a thing that chooses its place of rest in which to lapse into apathy, complete, profound indifference. He would let the machinery carry him; husband, father, pit-manager, warm clay lifted through the recurrent action of day after day by the great machine from which it derived its motion. (352)
But there was something spurious about his domesticity, Ursula did not like him any more. Something ugly, blatant in his nature had come out now, making him shift everything over to a sentimental basis. A materialistic unbeliever, he carried it all off by becoming full of human feeling, a warm, attentive host, a generous husband, a model citizen. (434)
This was no religious retreat, no seclusion of pure learning. It was a little apprentice-shop where one was further equipped for making money. The college itself was a little, slovenly laboratory for the factory. (434-5)
“As time went on, they accepted everything with some fatal satisfaction. Gerald was their high priest, he represented a religion they really felt.... There was a new world, a new order, strict, terrible, inhuman, but satisfying in its very destructiveness. The men were satisfied to belong to the great and wonderful machine, even as it destroyed them. It was what they wanted. It was the highest that man had produced, the most wonderful and superhuman. They were exalted by belonging to this great and superhuman system which was beyond feeling or reason, something really godlike. Their hearts died within them, but their souls were satisfied.... this participation in a great and perfect system that subjected life to pure mathematical principles. This was a sort of freedom, the sort they really wanted. It was the first great step in undoing, the first great phase of chaos, the substitution of the mechanical principle for the organic, the destruction of the organic purpose, the organic unity, and the subordination of every organic unit to the great mechanical purpose. It was pure organic disintegration and pure mechanical organisation. This was the first and finest state of chaos. ”—D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love
Just when all DHL starts boring me to tears with his man/woman/will to death stuff, he whips out one of these.