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Lem wrote in 1968

Our reason no longer heeds the intuitive promptings of emotion; the ideal is the harmony of a perfectly constructed mechanism, and ideal that civilization as a whole, and its every member taken separately, must meet.

“Thus the means of civilization replace its ends, and human conveniences substitute for human values. The rule whereby corks in bottles give way to metal caps, and metal caps to little plastic lids that snap on and off, is innocent enough; it is a series of improvements to make it easier for us to open containers of liquid. But the same rule, when applied to the perfecting of the human brain, becomes sheer madness; every conflict, every difficult problem is compared to a stubborn cork that one should discard and replace with an appropriate labor-saving device. Baloyne named the Project ‘His Master’s Voice’, because the motto is ambiguous: to which master are we to listen, the one from the stars of the one in Washington? The truth is, this is Operation Squeeze – the squeeze being not on our poor brains but on the cosmic message, and God help the powerful and their servants if it succeeds”.

Lem, His mater’s voice, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Illinois, chapter IX, pp. 114-115.


What do you think about this now?