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Please read the following:
Markowitz, Gerald and Rosner, David, Chapter 1 of Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution (2002, 2012).
Jensen, Robert, “Technological Fundamentalism,” Counterpunch, January 28, 2011. (Both readings available on Blackboard)
An please watch the following:
Taken for a Ride, directed by Jim Klein (1996, New Day Films). (Available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/p-I8GDklsN4 )
Modern Times, directed by Charles Chaplin (1936). (Available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/giJ0YMaAc8s )
Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang (1927). (Available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0mK46KprASM)
The advent of the Second Industrial Revolution did not succeed in minimizing the workplace dangers and public health concerns that had become a hallmark of the First Industrial Revolution. In fact, the introduction of increasingly toxic materials into the workplace environment and the greater public sphere served to exacerbate those dangers and concerns. Naturally, critical concerns arose regarding the impact that these new technological developments were exerting upon both daily life and societal development as a whole. Based on the readings by Orr, Markowitz, and Rosner, as well as the film Taken for a Ride and excerpts from the films Modern Times and Metropolis, as well as in-class presentations, please address the following points in a well-written, 300-400 word essay (feel free to exceed that amount if you have more to say):
1. According to his essay on technological fundamentalism, why does Robert Jensen believe that technological fundamentalism poses a greater societal threat than religious, national, or market fundamentalisms? How do you imagine that Filippo Marinetti would respond to Jensen’s argument?
2. According to the film Taken for a Ride, why did the General Motors corporation systematically engage in efforts to replace public rail transit with public bus and private auto transit? Why did General Motors endeavor to keep their actions hidden from public view?
3. Based on the chapter by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, why did General Motors (and other industries with which they were associated) maintain that tetraethyl gas posed no public health threat? Why did they instigate legal actions against those who offered evidence of the public danger of tetraethyl gas?
4. Opinion question (no right or wrong answer): Were there any scenes from the films Modern Times or Metropolis that reminded you of present-day society? That is to say, did you see any parallels between present-day society and the societies depicted in these two films? If so, please provide examples.
In this essay, as in all essays for this course, use examples from the readings, films, and class lectures to support your arguments. When quoting text, always include the author’s name and page number where you found the quote. When referencing films, you can simply refer to the film’s title. Feel free to include any outside sources you may have consulted for this response. Be sure to include at least two (2) direct quotes from the readings under consideration for the assignment.