The Machine Stops, a story ahead of its time being published in 1909, foretells of a society in which individuals are almost completely physically isolated from one another in an underground enclave where communication is achieved only with technology and all life’s necessities are attended to by a vast, unseen network of tubes.
What happens when, as always must happen, the machine stops?
I’ve taught technology courses for over two decades now. Always, I challenge my students to think outside the present to find moments when society felt the future looming and cycles where those anxieties repeat. Some stories are universal and some worries are unavoidable. All that is, was and will be again.
There are many adaptations available; some better than others.