JF Ptak Science Books Post 2637
There is little doubt that scribes and woodblock cutters and such absorbed the stab of the movable type printing press, and that stationers felt the stab of modernity when the telegraph came into play threatening sales of paper generally used for letter-writing, an art form that they felt would be diminished by the new technology. At about the same time though came the second revolution in mail delivery, which made it cheaper and more regulated in using a more-competent mailing system, which meant an increase in letter writing. Ditto that for the telephone, which again would threaten written communication. Movies too threatened the theater, and on and on. That what comes to mind in viewing these ads unearthed by Matt Novak at Smithsonian.com for the American Federation of Musicians who were protesting the arrived-future in theaters of "robotic" or "canned' music--that is, recorded music that would replace the in-house small orchestras/organists that would play during live shows or movies.
The ad extols the reader to join "in rebuking the proposal that mechanical music is adequate fare for the American intellect" by joining the Music defense League. At this point the musicians do have a case--even though the recorded music is just music recorded, which would be as good as the musicians who made the music, there was a larger issue of playback for the performance, which is where the "canned" part of "canned music" partially comes from. The quality of the speakers and so the so of the recording was not very high at this point, around 1930, so the clarity and richness and color of the music must all have suffered compared to its live performance.
This also speaks to the "emotional" part of robots, as well as their influence on emotional/social aspects of the human experience--in this case, interpreting music (though there is no mention yet of creating or writing the music. But the robots-doing-our-creating-for-us part may be inherent in these ads, and this part of the history of Our Future Robot Overlords goes back a long but skinny and limited way, at least as far as the seemingly never-disappointing Daniel Defoe--that part of this story will have to wait for another day and a different two cups of coffee.
[Source via Matt Novak/Paleofutre http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/musicians-wage-war-against-evil-robots-92702721/]
[Source: Hack the Union, http://www.hacktheunion.org/2013/09/]
[Source: Matt Novak/Paleofutre http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/musicians-wage-war-against-evil-robots-92702721/]
[Source: Matt Novak/Paleofutre Smithsonian.com http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/musicians-wage-war-against-evil-robots-92702721/]
Many more images and history from this campaign are located Novak's Smithsonian.com's "Musicians Wage War Against Evil Robots" at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/musicians-wage-war-against-evil-robots-92702721/