Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/283

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THE STUDY OF SOCIOLOGY.

its innumerable products and processes, but also the slowly-moulded moral and intellectual natures of masters and workmen. Has nothing: now been forgotten? Yes, we have left out a whole division of all-important social phenomena—those which we group as the progress of knowledge. Along with the many other developments that have been necessary antecedents to this machine, there has been the development of Science. The growing and improving arts of all kinds have been helped up, step after step, by those generalized experiences, becoming ever wider, more complete, more exact, which make up what we call Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc. Without a considerably developed Geometry, there could never have been the machines for making machines; still less this machine that has proceeded from them. Without a developed Physics, there would have been no steam-engine to move these various automatic appliances, primary and secondary; nor would the many implied metallurgic processes have been brought to the needful perfection. And, in the absence of a developed Chemistry, many of the requirements, direct and indirect, could not have been adequately fulfilled. So that, in fact, this organization of knowledge which began with civilization had to reach something like its present stage, before such a machine could come into existence, supposing all other prerequisites to be satisfied. Surely we have now got to the end of the history. Not quite; there yet remains an essential factor. No one goes on year after year spending thousands of pounds, and much time, and persevering through disappointment and anxiety, without a strong motive: the "Walter Press" was not a mere tour de force. Why, then, was it produced? To meet an immense demand with great promptness—to print, with one machine, 16,000 copies per hour. Whence arises this demand? From an extensive reading public, brought in the course of generations to have a keen morning-appetite for news of all kinds—merchants who need to know the latest prices at home and the latest telegrams from abroad; politicians who must learn the result of last night's division, be informed of the latest diplomatic move, and read the speeches at a meeting; sporting-men who look for the odds and the result of yesterday's race; ladies who want to see the births, marriages, and deaths. And, on asking the origin of these many desires to be satisfied, they prove to be concomitants of our social state in general—its trading, political, philanthropic, and other activities; for, in societies where these are not dominant, the demand for news of various kinds rises to no such intensity. See, then, how enormously involved is the genesis of this machine, as a sociological phenomenon. A whole encyclopædia of mechanical inventions—some dating from the earliest times—go to the explanation of it. Thousands of years of discipline, by which the impulsive, improvident nature of the savage has been evolved into a comparatively self-controlling nature, capable of sacrificing present ease to future good, are presupposed. There is presupposed the