325--Week 9 Questions/Comments

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Nye 133-137 Nye's article describes the growing gap between the social classes during the 1920s. "[T]he automobile had created a gap between those who drove and those who rode." (133) I find that more and more, new technologies are for the privileged not for all Americans. Thinking about it today - who has the new I-phone? The people who can afford it. Basically new technology does intensify the awareness of who can afford what new gadget (for today, and apparently in the 1920s as well). --Elle

Kind of going off that, do you think that the absence of technology, or greater technology in the hands of a few, does that cause people to become angry, or to want it. The reason I say this is because in another class we've been discussing the aspects of early communism, and how the disenfranchised worker/poorly mistreated soul becomes angry and goes with the commies. Would a stranglehold on some forms of technology by the upper classes cause problems like that? --- Jeff P.

My Life and Work, 1929 - Henry Ford The way that Ford describes the Model T is somewhat disturbing to me. Simplicity being the key - I didn't realize a car could run with only 4 main parts - he may be oversimplifying for us (undoubtedly), but the intentions of car producers and marketers has definitely shifted. Imagine if this statement were still true today - "The parts could be made so cheaply that it would be less expensive to buyy new ones than to have old ones repaired..." (315) Maybe I am just a little bitter about some recent car problems, but wouldn't it be nice if people could still use the words "cheap" and "new car parts" in the same sentence? The assembly line came up several times too and all I could think about was the dis-assembly line (euw). -- Elle

I think nowadays we cherish the fact that our cars are full of parts, technolgy and gadgets. Ford came to realize during his time that Americans wanted simple, cheap and better. There was no better way to get them that then the ever-efficient assembly line and his Model T. --- Jeff P.