Music Box

Machines have been embracing their impact on our lives more and more since the industrial revolution. Which, in fact has been more of a technical revolution. Machines are constructed by humans but are yet so different. They do what they are built for, without complaining. Is this the reason working with them such a drag?

For sure, they significantly changed the way we work and live. Among other things, thanks to them, division of labour became much more efficient. This has both positive and negative aspects. Let us have a look at a negative one:

Before, a worker was usually involved in the whole process of production. Whereas today, he only plays a tiny role by adjusting something a little bit. Lost and gone is the understanding of what he is doing. He now feels replaceable and his work appears tiresome and dreary.

As we know now, in the beginning, the first implication of machines caused much trouble, revolt and misery. Even though machines themselves can not be blamed, they played an important part. This poem of Heinrich Heine conveys the misery and rage of early industrialization:

The shuttle flies, and the loom groans loud,
By day and by night we are weaving your shroud,
Old Germany, weaving your fateful hearse,
We weave into it the threefold curse:
We weave, and weave!

Heine, Heinrich: Die schlesischen Weber, 1844, translated by Jane Howard

Now over 150 years later, the expectations to live happily in wealth and idleness, the promise that machines gave us, are still missing in fulfillment. But if fulfilled, will we then become tremendously bored?