Science Fiction Studies

#3 = Volume 1, No. 3 =  Spring 1974

John Huntington

The Unity of Childhood's End

Childhood's End is a novel which on one level may be merely an exercise in satisfying a special market but on another engages ideas of deep concern to the author himself. Quite aside from its frequently banal slickness, the novel renders with clarity and completeness an idea of the nature and importance of progress that lies at the center of Clarke's imagination. But an idea alone does not create successful art. In Childhood's End Clarke succeeds in a way he does not in any of his other novels, for, though he develops versions of the same myth of progress in other works, only in Childhood's End does he overcome the myth's intrinsic duality and create a unified work which does justice to the complexity of the issue by expressing the exhilaration of progress and at the same time giving full recognition to the limits of mere human aspiration and to the tragic sacrifice involved in transcending the human. The serious myth behind Childhood's End gives the novel weight, but it is in its shaping of that myth that the novel stands out as a special work of art.

Clarke's myth of progress consists of two stages: that of rational, technological progress, and that of transcendent evolution.1 Many of his novels remain on the first stage and render technological speculations in painstaking detail. As his numerous non-fictional essays on the future attest, Clarke finds such speculation satisfying in itself, and ideologically he seems to have complete faith that an efficient technology will produce a better future. But in his most far-reaching novels technological progress fails to satisfy, and mankind advances, not by inventing more competent machinery, but by mutating into a higher form of being. This transcendental vision offers, not the detailed ingenuity of mechanical invention, but powerful hints of modes of understanding and perception and of mental powers and controls that so completely surpass those which we ourselves experience that they are incomprehensible to us. Such a realm of being can only be hinted at; it needs a language of symbol and suggestion in place of the technological vision's concrete detail. Whereas the latter offers the excitement of comprehension, the former, offers the excitement of obscurity.

In Clarke's myth the transcendent state is not simply the highest stage of technological progress. Though there exists a sequential relation between the two worlds—the transcendent always follows the technological—there is no structural similarity which would allow for communication between them. The transcendent world represents a completely different order of being and perception, an order which, instead of subsuming the technology that has preceded it, obliterates it. The model for the relation of the two visions is that of the Pauline promise that forms the basis for Childhood's End: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face."2 Just as the mature man "put away childish things," transcendent consciousness completely dispenses with the attainments of rational science and the inventions of technology. The children, having entered the Overmind at the end of Childhood's End, destroy the Earth. This higher state is thus very different from that of the Platonic seer who, after he has escaped the cave and seen the sun, is still able to return—is even obliged to return—to his benighted fellows and to communicate his insight as best he can given the limits of language and the prejudices of his hearers. In Clarke's scheme no such communication is possible between the two states of insight; they represent steps in an evolutionary progress, but they have nothing structurally in common.

There is also an important difference between normal technological progress and the kind of evolutionary leap that leads to the transcendent vision. Clarke repeatedly describes the elevation from normal human reason and perception (i.e. the technological state) to the transcendent state as generated, not by the powers inherent in man, though without those powers nothing is possible, nor by man's own achievements, but by a genetic transformation in man caused by the interference of some higher being. The leap from human to Overmind is achieved by grace, not by man's own works. We see the basic pattern in 2001: A Space Odyssey when higher being by impressing a vision in one ape's mind changes his brain's structure and makes him a man (§3). Clarke implies that the laborious process of natural selection is insufficient for true progress, that any progress an ape or a man achieves on his own merely earns the privilege of attaining higher states and does not actually lead to that higher state.

The gratuitous nature of transcendence and the fact that it always follows the technological state leave man no choice but to pursue the technological vision,3 but with the important awareness that technological progress is not true progress, merely a test of man's moral and intellectual energies. As we shall see, technological progress alone leads to a dead end. True progress comes only as a kind of reward infused by the Overmind into man's history. At the end of "The Sentinel," the story that forms the basis for 2001, this is made explicit: higher beings, the narrator tells us, would not be "concerned with races still struggling up from savagery. They would be interested in our civilization only if we proved our fitness to survive—by crossing space and so escaping from the Earth, our cradle.4 Technology does not itself lead anywhere important; it merely proves "our fitness to survive." Thus, at the end of 2001, when Bowman reaches Saturn, he simply leaves behind the fancy machines that have occupied his and our attention for the major part of the novel. He doesn't need them.

This myth of progress functions as a given in Clarke's work. While we may object to the myth as an interpretation of actual reality, it is part of the fictional reality that we accept when we begin reading and agree to suspend disbelief. It seems to me, therefore, that the myth itself lies beyond criticism insofar as we are interested in the artistic pattern of the novel as opposed to its ideology.

2001: A Space Odyssey eloquently renders Clarke's basic myth of progress, but it does not make it clear why, if technological progress itself delights him as much as it seems to, Clarke should find the transcendent stage necessary. In that novel we experience the myth without any sense of what its absence might entail. In an earlier novel, The City and the Stars, Clarke explores more explicitly the insufficiency of technological progress alone, and, though the novel itself stumbles around a lot, its failure to create a coherent myth illuminates, perhaps better than a more successful work might, Clarke's need for a mythology that will value technology without limiting itself to it.

Clarke begins The City and the Stars by imagining technological perfection, the eternal, self-sufficient city of Diaspar, which caters to all its citizens, creates every imagined pleasure, and in which men do not die but merely return to the "memory banks" of the "Central Computer" for a few thousand years to be reissued from the "Hall of Creation" full grown and capable of remembering all their past existences. On one level Clarke seems to admire this technological marvel in which the various sciences have worked together to create a world in which everybody—except Alvin, the adolescent hero of the novel—is happy. But, if Clarke can admire Diaspar as an engineering feat, he finds it morally repulsive. He accuses its inhabitants of being "sick" and "insane." We are told that Diaspar represents a "cowardly" "fear" of the unknown. It is man's retreat from "reality." The problem with Diaspar is that the activities that went into the utopia's creation, the scientific experiments and the intellectual daring, have been rendered useless by the city's success. Diaspar, in depriving man of "that spark of curiosity that was once Man's greatest gift" (§7), represents a paradox that is inherent in the very notion of technological progress: the more successful such progress is, the less need will there be for more of it. The very activity that proves man's "fitness to survive," as it achieves its perfection, undermines that fitness.5 Let me make it clear that Clarke does not condemn Diaspar because it is totalitarian. The theme of the perfection of machinery leading to some kind of political repression is a common one in science fiction, but what is curious here in terms of the tradition is that Clarke does not attribute any such tyranny to this machine. The Central Computer of Diaspar is much less totalitarian in its enforcement of its own idea of order than is the machine in Forster's "The Machine Stops" or the "Well-Doer" in Zamiatin's We. The computer never obstructs Alvin; when he learns to use it it even aids him. Thus the usual political objection to such a utopia seems irrelevant here.

Nor is the problem Clarke envisions a result of any kind of misfunction of the machine. Forster's machine stops, but the Central Computer of Diaspar seems truly eternal. Some years before Clarke invented Diaspar, John W. Campbell had created situations roughly like Clarke's but with two important and illuminating differences. First, Campbell's stories make it clear in a way that Clarke's never does that the very survival of the race is in danger. Second, Campbell solves the problem simply by improving the machine.6 For Clarke, however, the problem is not so easily described or solved. There is no flaw to technological perfection here which needs correction; it is technological perfection itself that is objectionable.

Clarke does not claim, however, that all technological progress necessarily leads to such a paradox. At the end of The City and the Stars he places the blame for Diaspar's failure on the shortsighted cowardice of that conservative element of mankind which, when millions of years ago the chance was offered man to leave the galaxy in the company of some incomprehensibly transcendent being, refused to go and tried to protect themselves from higher realities by building Diaspar. Finally, therefore, the bind of perfection derives, not simply from the nature of technological progress itself, but from the conscious plan of the founders and their fear of transcendence. Technology is a trap only when it tries to preclude higher realities. In 2001 and Childhood's End man's transcendent metamorphosis restores the openness that the technological perfection of Diaspar obviates. In The City and the Stars, however, transcendent possibilities are treated more ambivalently, for though they are clearly outlined, they are finally envisioned as totally alien and incomprehensible: "To Alvin, the thoughts of Vanamonde were as meaningless as a thousand voices shouting together in some vast, echoing cave" (§24). At the end of the novel Alvin, weary of the stars, turns aside from seeking transcendent being in favor of the more modest task of restoring the Earth, now a desert, to fertility.

"No; I want nothing more of space. Even if any other civilizations still survive in this Galaxy, I doubt if they will be worth the effort of finding. There is so much to do here; I know now that this is my home, and I am not going to leave it again."

He looked down at the great deserts, but his eyes saw instead the waters that would be sweeping over them a thousand years from now. Man had rediscovered his world, and he would make it beautiful while he remained upon it. And after that—

"We aren't ready to go out to the stars...... (§26)7

The higher forms of progress are now open in a way they never were so long as Diaspar was a success, but they are not conceived of as really possible objects for contemplation yet, and the novel fans back on a version of the technological vision.

The disjunction that exists between the two stages of progress raises a serious aesthetic problem, for, since there is no structural connection between the two stages, any novel that tries to encompass both will probably find itself falling into two distinct and unconnected parts. In The City and the Stars Clarke tries to avoid this artistic problem by having Alvin decline the transcendent level and remain on the technological level while the potential for transcendent progress is left open. The effect, however, of going back to the beginning and starting again, whatever may be said for such humility in real life, is partly to render irrelevant the space travel and the search for higher being that have gone before. Ironically, a somewhat similar criticism holds for 2001 where the successful shift into the transcendent vision, in effect, junks the technological vision that has occupied us for most of the novel. Just as from Alvin's point of view Vanamonde is incomprehensible, from the perspective of the Star-Child at the end of 2001, technology is merely trivial.8 We can see the rationale for the shift from one stage to the other, but neither novel offers a satisfactory artistic rendition of the myth.

Childhood's End, while by using the two-stage myth of progress it satisfies the demands of progress and avoids the frustrations of attainment, escapes the disabling dichotomy of structure of 2001 by introducing a middle term which joins the two states of vision. In Childhood's End the transcendent evolutionary leap both opens new prospects and, importantly, conserves past achievement; the final destruction of the Earth, while it calls up tragic emotions, also represents a continuation of the human spirit.

The plot element in Childhood's End that importantly distinguishes it from 2001 is the presence of the Overlords.9 They function as both a prospect of the possibilities of technology and as figures of tragic limitation, and in doing so they mediate between the two stages of progress. At the beginning of the novel they represent an advanced technology, admirably rational, a model for mankind, a goal for progress. By the end of the novel we discover that they represent the dead end of technological progress, and they become admirable mainly for their refusal to succumb to despair. While we can admire their superior science and morality at the start, we can admire their stoicism at the end.

The Overlords are masterful themselves, and yet they are mere servants of the Overmind. This servitude of Titans raises some difficult problems. A parallel with Satan, suggested by the situation itself, is underlined in the novel by the physical appearance of the Overlords10 and may at first make us pause and seek for darker purposes in their seemingly benevolent actions. But the Overlords, unlike Satan, for all their frustration with being limited to a technological state, and for all their envy of the mysterious heights of transcendence, ultimately acquiesce to their fate:

For all their achievements, thought Karellen, for all their mastery of the physical universe, his people were no better than a tribe that had passed its whole existence upon some flat and dusty plain. Far off were the mountains, where power and beauty dwelt, where the thunder sported above the glaciers and the air was clear and keen. There the sun still walked, transfiguring the peaks with glory, when all the land below was wrapped in darkness. And they could only watch and wonder; they could never scale those heights.

Yet, Karellen knew, they would hold fast until the end: they would await without despair whatever destiny was theirs. They would serve the Overmind because they had no choice, but even in that service they would not lose their souls. (§24)

Though both Devils and Overlords are denied Heaven, in place of Satan's vow of everlasting war, his heroic non serviam, the Overlords assert a spirit of stoic resignation. They understand the Overmind enough to acknowledge the futility of rebellion. Ducunt Fata volentem, nolentem trahunt.12 Like Stormgren who in the first section of the novel, in spite of doubts, submits to the overwhelming power of the Overlords, they submit to the Overmind.

The basic structure of Childhood's End can be represented by an equation: Humans/Overlords = Overlords/Overmind. Whereas the first two sections of the novel develop the Human/Overlord relation, the last section develops the Overlord/Overmind relation. When the Russian rocket scientist, Schneider, first sees the ships of the Overlords, "for the first time in his life he knew despair" (§1). We discover that this same despair in the face of the unattainable is what the Overlords themselves have to fight. But the novel as a whole does not preach despair because, while it repeats the initial situation on a higher plane, it also performs the miraculous transformation of human into Overmind so that the first and the last terms of the proportion are seen as spiritually the same. The Ovemind is both a mysterious transcendence and an expression of qualities potential in mankind.

The important point is that logically Clarke is having it two ways here. If human and Overlord are not equal, then human and Overmind cannot be equal; and yet they are. The Overmind, thus, represents both progress and stasis. While on the one hand we are moving higher and higher, from man through Overlord to Overmind, on the other we are also returning to the same level. The Overmind here represents a kind of magical solution to the problem we discover at the end of The City and the Stars. In that novel the transcendent being, Vanamonde,12 is a creation of man, but because he is seen as something completely other than man Alvin loses interest in him. In Childhood's End it is as if Alvin had made the effort to accept and become Vanamonde with all the denial of human concern that such an act entails.

What in the basic structure of the novel constitutes a logical inconsistency generates an artistic whole, and this unity is mirrored and supported by the smaller details of imagery and character. My purpose here is not to interpret in detail these lesser structures, but simply to suggest a line of analysis which, if developed fully, would reveal that the novel resolves logical inconsistency on many levels, not merely on the level of the large structure with which we have been concerned. Throughout the novel, for example, images of destruction are associated with progress: just as the Overmind destroys earth, so too the rocket "Columbus," at the beginning of the novel, will, in achieving its breakthrough into space, destroy the atoll from which it is launched. The volcano of the novel's opening line recurs as the presence of the Overmind on the Overlord's planet, and in their communal suicide the New Athens people imitate the volcano. It is thus thematically important that man's potential for self-destruction should be the mark of his potential for transcendence. The Overlords, who arrive to prevent the former, due to their complete rational competence, are denied the latter. The question whether chaotic self-destruction and creative progress are so related in actual fact does not really apply here; we are concerned at this point, not with thematic truth, but with thematic pattern. The images of the novel engage contradictory ideas and repeatedly unify them.

The major human characters in Childhood's End share the Overlords' doubleness, but because they fail to generate the unified response that would allow us simply to accept them, they make us aware of the inadequacy of our conventional solutions to the problems the novel raises. Stormgren seems a wise man, and yet at times one is made to wonder whether he is not simply a quisling.13 On the other hand Wainwright is a religious fanatic and, in part, an object of satire, but at the same time, as an advocate of independence, he is a spokesman for attitudes close to Clarke's own as expressed elsewhere. The humans engage the same issues we see in the situation of the Overlords, but when put in purely human terms these issues become irresolvably ambiguous. The Overlords, perhaps because their intellectual and moral superiority seems to lift them above the dichotomies that torture Stormgren and Wainwright, do not generate ambivalence. The Overlords mediate between rival positions of independence and service and reconcile the dilemmas that we experience when faced with the human figures.

Similarly, the paradox that the magical structure of the whole novel resolves appears as a problem, another source of ambivalence, in the middle sections of the novel. Before the existence of the Overmind has been revealed and before the midwife function of the Overlords is apparent, Clarke makes us puzzle through some of the conventional solutions to the problems of technological progress. In essence, he offers us two possible, but unsatisfactory, solutions to the challenge of the boredom of perfection. One, the New Athens Community, attempts to reinvigorate the creative activities that have constituted man's glories in the past by retreating from the smooth-functioning and technologically sophisticated world run by the Overlords and setting up a consciously primitive society. The other possible solution is embodied in Jan Rodricks, an Alvin-like character who, frustrated with a world without adventure, sets out to explore despite the prohibitions of the Overlords.

The idea behind New Athens is to preserve the spirit of humanity by a kind of artificial primitivism and an artistic focus. Clarke's ambivalent attitude towards this attempt is revealed in a small joke he makes when George and Jean, the young couple we watch throughout this section, arrive in the colony. Jean wonders whether she will be able to stand cooking in a kitchen after a life of being able to dial "Food Central" and getting her order five minutes later (§15). The joke here is an easy one, but like many jokes it conceals an uneasiness, an ambiguous attitude, on its maker's part. On the one hand, by expressing contempt for the pampered future which judges what we consider luxury a curse, the joke implies that the technology of the future has been not only frivolous in creating such worksavers as "Food Central," but has actually weakened man's ability to face even the most trivial hardship. At its center the joke engages an important theme that we have looked at already in The City and the Stars: that technology, insofar as it creates luxury, beguiles man of his basic moral fiber and leads him to avoid struggle, risk, and adventure. Like Marie Antoinette dressing up as a shepherdess, the technological aristocrat needs to get away from his ease and back to some real, human identity. But the other side of the joke ridicules this whole attempt at recovery of the primitive integrity. Just as Marie Antoinette's pastoralism is ultimately a sentimental escape from reality, so the self-conscious primitivism of technologically sophisticated people is false. The New Athens attempt to get back to nature is here revealed to be, in part, a denial of technological reality, a kind of sentimental and reactionary pastoralism. The joke about Jean's kitchen holds together diametrically opposed insights into the debilitating effect of technological progress and the liberating possibilities of it.

The other human escape from utopia is viewed less ambivalently than the New Athens experiment, but it too has a futile resolution. Jan Rodricks, like Alvin in The City and the Stars, frustrated by the limits put on his curiosity by the Golden Age imposed by the Overlords, breaks free to explore other worlds. His heroic and brash act obviously has the author's sympathies, but it leads to tragic isolation, not to renewal, for Jan returns to an Earth completely empty of human beings. The whole episode would seem merely a nostalgic excrescence to the main theme of the novel were it not that at the end Jan offers us a human perspective for the final metamorphosis and thereby powerfully brings to bear the awareness of loss that man's triumphant progress into higher being entails. The annihilation of mankind in the form we know it, a catastrophe which at the end of 2001 Clarke dismisses as an ominous and conventional joke, is here given a more considered weight by the presence of a human figure who finds value in the technological vision and who devotes himself to exploring the unknown. Jan gives us a scale by which we can measure the sacrifice transcendence involves.

Pastoral retreat and individual daring both fail to resolve the dilemma of progress. While the inquiry into their potentials sheds light on the problem and gives urgency to the issue, it takes the transcendent stage to save the human energy that leads to progress from futilely wasting itself. And, then, it takes in addition the magical agency of the plot to create an image and a situation which, while recognizing their incompatibility, can unify the two stages of technology and transcendence. The Overmind, which conserves the human spirit as it destroys it, and the Overlords, who are both masters and servants, combine to render a complex paradox which expresses our hopes for progress as well as our doubts about it. That the literary solution Clarke has arrived at should be so profoundly paradoxical need not alarm us; it is, after all, a commonplace of literary criticism that paradox of sorts works at the center of much literature, and the disciplines of psychology and anthropology, to say nothing of philosophy, have repeatedly shown us how often imaginative fictions, whether they be dreams, primitive myths, poems, or stories, accept and resolve the contradictions experienced in life. The first question that has to be asked of the artist is not, have you appealed to contradictory truths but have you created a pattern of meaning that is coherent in itself ?

That we can view the basic structure of the novel as coherent and can perceive how other elements of the novel may support that coherence does not mean that Childhood's End is without faults. As Samuelson well notes, the banal style of the novel is not adequate to the theme. The characters, while one doesn't expect fine detail in their portraits since the main concern of the novel is with larger issues of progress, are alternately pretentious and trivial. One might argue that the frivolousness of much of the middle section of the novel is intended as an ironic foil to emphasize the gap between human and Overmind, but, even if that is the intention, the device remains clumsy and distracting. Most important, as a presence the Overmind, inevitably, frustrates. We can have only vague hints of value and power; we can know it only by its consequences. But, given the coherence of the novel's large structure, these specific complaints diminish in importance. Childhood's End, whatever detailed faults we find, seems to succeed at the end. Though after numerous readings, as I can attest, the basic structure may no longer surprise and delight and the flaws may begin to distract, the conclusion of the novel still brings together in a powerful way the thematic threads and solves the problems that, however mechanically and clumsily, Clarke has raised. None of his other novels succeeds so well.


1David N. Samuelson in his article "Clarke's Childhood's End: A Median Stage of Adolescence?" SFS 1(1973):4-17, uses the word mystic to describe this state. I prefer the term transcendent because it seems less prone to misinterpretation as being opposed to reason. The transcendent state is not irrational; it is superrational. The distinction is important.

2The language of the Pauline text is echoed early in Childhoods End, though the radical implications of "maturity" are not at that point understood: "'What does anyone know of Karellen's powers?' retorted Stormgren. 'When I was a boy, the Federation of Europe was a dream—but when I grew to manhood it had become reality. And that was before the arrival of the Overlords. Karellen is merely finishing the work we had begun'" (§2).

3Samuelson argues that in Childhood's End "the reader is almost forced to make a choice between two positions," that of the "scientifically oriented" "Devil's party" and that of the "mystically-oriented" Overmind-God (p9). In fact, though one can contemplate the two modes of cognition, there is little room for choice here. According to Clarke's myth, we have no choice but to follow reason and science, for only by holding on to reason now can we hope to transcend it in the future.

4The story appeared first in 1951 and is reprinted in Clarke's collection Expedition to Earth (1953).

5The theme is not at all new to science fiction. Wells's Time Traveler, meditating on his first experiences in the future, postulates that the decadence of the Eloi results from technological success. "We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity" (The Time Machine, §4/§6).

6In "Twilight" (1934) a time traveller simply reprograms the machine to generate curiosity. In "The Story of the Machine" (1935) the machine is so wise that when it sees that man has become overly dependent on it, it simply turns itself off.

7The City and the Stars varies the basic myth we have traced by suggesting that perhaps man may be able to attain some form of transcendence on his own. Vanamonde, the childish supermind, is a human creation. Also, at the end of the novel Alvin sends his space ship, piloted by the robot, out beyond the galaxy: "One day our cousins will receive my message and they'll know that we are waiting for them here on Earth. They will return, and I hope by then we will be worthy of them, however great they have become" (§26). Though the concern for worthiness echoes the concern for fitness at the end of "The Sentinel," the situation is importantly different. First of all we initiate the signal and invite them to find us. Second, it's a kind of by-your-own-bootstrap theory of evolution, for the superior race who will elevate us if we are worthy is a branch of the human tree, our "cousins."

8At the very end of 2001 Clarke reverts to one of the oldest clichés of science fiction: the vague threat of awful things to come. If we take the threat seriously we must conclude that the novel constitutes a warning against engaging in the kinds of scientific activities and explorations that will lead ultimately to transcendence. Since such a moral seems highly unlikely given Clarke's ideology, and since nothing else in the novel supports such a reading, one suspects that the end of 2001 merely signifies a turning away from the real issues that the novel might raise. Not only does the novel end up trivializing technology, it trivializes transcendence too.

9Hal, the computer for the Jupiter probe in 2001, might be seen as structurally similar to the Overlords, but though Hal is technologically marvelous, he merely parodies the humanitas that allows the Overlords to unify Childhood's End.

10Samuelson (p7) notes other parallels, among them the similarity between the Overlords' home planet and Hell.

11So Spangler concludes The Decline of the West, quoting Seneca's translation (in Epistle 107) of the Stoic philosopher Cleanthes.

12Vanamonde is a high form of being, but The City and the Stars posits the presence of much higher beings so that, on the scale we are used to from 2001 and Childhood's End, Vanamonde is quite a modest level of transcendence.

13The issue is raised obliquely in chapter three when Stormgren ponders whether in supporting the Overlords he isn't acting like an Indian tolerating British control and thereby destroying his own culture.



Despite its frequently banal slickness, Childhood’s End renders with clarity and completeness a contradictory myth of progress that lies at the center of Clarke’s imagination. Though Clarke develops versions of this myth of progress in other works (including The City and The Stars and 2001: A Space Odyssey), only in Childhood’s End does he overcome the myth’s intrinsic duality and create a unified work that expresses the exhilaration of progress while recognizing the limits of mere human aspiration and the tragic sacrifice involved in transcending the human. The serious myth behind Childhood’s End gives the novel weight, but it is in its unified shaping of that myth that the novel stands out as a special work of art. Clarke’s myth of progress consists of two stages: rational, technological progress and transcendent evolution. Many of his novels dwell on the first stage, rendering technological speculations in painstaking detail. But in his most far-reaching novels, and most especially in Childhood’s End, technological progress fails to satisfy, and mankind advances not by inventing more competent machinery but by mutating into a higher form of being. Such a realm of being can only be hinted at; it needs a language of symbol and suggestion in place of the technological vision’s concrete detail.

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