Lewis Mumford (October 19, 1895 – January 26, 1990) was an American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad career as a writer. Mumford was influenced by the work of Scottish theorist Sir Patrick Geddes and worked closely with his associate the British sociologist Victor Branford.
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Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are oﬀered, without respect to their human consequences.
Arnold Bennett visited Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw in his apartment and, knowing his host's love of flowers, was surprised that there was not a single vase of flowers to be seen. He remarked on their absence to Shaw: "But I thought you were so fond of flowers."
"I am," said Shaw, "and I'm very fond of children, too, but I don't chop their heads off and stand them in pots about the house.
Flowers . . . put up no resistance to attack, suffer evil rather than inflicting it, imitate carnal love, multiply without fighting, and die without complaining. . . . They have realized the dream of Buddha: to desire nothing, to tolerate everything, to be absorbed in oneself to the depths of the unconscious will.