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Article
April 1929

THE MECHANISTIC ERA IN DERMATOLOGY

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1929;19(4):607-619. doi:10.1001/archderm.1929.02380220076003
Abstract

Utopia might be imagined as an automat with slot machines for all human needs. It would not, however, be altogether Utopia until three voluntary manipulations had been mechanistically supplanted: loading the machine, depositing the coin and removing what had been delivered. A dusky aborigine's Utopia might be a somnolent idyl under a tree, with waking moments and the foreordained descent of peeled and predigested bananas so timed that his mouth is agape ready to receive them. There is only a superficial difference between the two fantasies. Aside from being man made, the first would affect human character precisely as the second would. Intelligence, initiative and progress would languish because there would be no reason for their being. Overstandardization, the by-product of overmechanization, tends toward such a state, and is incompatible with individuality. The purpose of machinery is to soften the rigor of life by conquering time, space and effort, but

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