Man's physical universe

xanabras

UNIT V

MAN HAS DISCOVERED AND HARNESSED

DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY

INTRODUCTION TO UNIT V

Today every man, woman, and child in the United States has, on

the average, more than ten slaves to work for him. These mechanical

slaves, operated by the energy which man has learned to harness,

are equivalent to ten man-power units of work per person in the

United States.

This situation is not true throughout the world, for the 127 million

people in the United States accomplish as much mechanical work

aided by power machinery as the rest of the 1875 million people on

the earth. A one-horsepower motor can do the work of ten or more

average laborers for only a few cents a day. It has been calculated

that the average American family employs the equivalent of fifteen

able-bodied men for forty hours a week, at the total cost of about

$75 per year.

It is through the labor of these mechanical slaves that modern

man is acquiring more and more leisure time and more and more timesaving

devices. These slaves transport him from place to place with

ever increasing speed; they dig his ditches, till his soil, reap his crops,

prepare his foods, and make his clothes.

These developments have made modern life more complex, because

man has to control these machines. As he gains more and more power,

it becomes more important that he should determine what to do with

it. Shall he use it for war or peace? Shall he use it for exploitation

or for the betterment of his fellow-men? What will modern man do

with his leisure time? Will it contribute to a more ideal life on earth

or not?

These problems did not exist for any man two hundred years ago.

His main problems were the elemental problems of securing food and

clothing sufficient to keep himself and his family alive.

In past ages, human slavery was common, and even today a few

people and nations can gain power, luxury, and leisure by this ex-

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