oh, okay, one more post

On these matters. This from Roald Dahl’s story “The Great Automatic Grammatizator” (1952): 

“That’s exactly it, Mr Bohlen! That’s where the machine comes in. Listen a minute, sir, while I tell you some more. I’ve got it all worked out. The big magazines are carrying approximately three fiction stories in each issue. Now, take the fifteen most important magazines—the ones paying the most money. A few of them are monthlies, but most of them come out every week. All right. That makes, let us say, around forty big stories being bought each week. That’s forty thousand dollars. So with our machine—when we get it working properly—we can collar nearly the whole of this market!” 

“My dear boy, you’re mad!”

“No, sir, honestly, it’s true what I say. Don’t you see that with volume alone we’ll completely overwhelm them! This machine can produce a five-thousand-word story, all typed and ready for dispatch, in thirty seconds. How can the writers compete with that? I ask you, Mr Bohlen, how?”

At that point, Adolph Knipe noticed a slight change in the man’s expression, an extra brightness in the eyes, the nostrils distending, the whole face becoming still, almost rigid. Quickly, he continued. “Nowadays, Mr Bohlen, the hand-made article hasn’t a hope. It can’t possibly compete with mass-production, especially in this country — you know that. Carpets … chairs … shoes … bricks … crockery … anything you like to mention — they’re all made by machinery now. The quality may be inferior, but that doesn’t matter. It’s the cost of production that counts. And stories — well — they’re just another product, like carpets and chairs, and no one cares how you produce them so long as you deliver the goods. We’ll sell them wholesale, Mr Bohlen! We’ll undercut every writer in the country! We’ll corner the market!”