In Operating Manual (p.101), Fuller writes:

"Tools do not introduce new principles but they greatly extend the range of conditions under which the discovered control principle may be effectively employed by man. There is nothing new in world technology's growth".

However, Weizenbaum, in his chapter "On Tools" argues that:

"prosthetic machines alone do not account for man's gain of power over nature. The clock is clearly not a prosthetic machine; it extends neither man's muscle power nor his senses." (p.24)

This is not a trivial exception to Fuller's generalization. What is at issue is humanity's relationship to nature.

The existence of tools which are not prosthetic implies that human domination over nature is not necessarily a result solely of the power afforded by mechanical extensions.

See Mechanical Time.



Paul Taylor 2001