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Word Count: 2,868
The advent of new technology has been a source of trepidation throughout history Just as with any change fear is often the pervasive response to new technology and developments especially amongst those who do not fully comprehend the changes It seems however that people ignorant of the true meaning and extent of technology are the most likely to place unwarranted faith in its abilities Technology becomes an authorityone that is difficult to question or rebel against After advances become accepted complacency sets in reducing the general publics vigilance against dangers to society in any form This lack of vigilance due to an unwarranted faith in authority is depicted and questioned in H G Wellss The War of the Worlds Published in 1898 the message of Wellss work remains relevant even in the present day Criticisms of an unwarranted faith in authority manifest themselves in modern culture in multiple media The Simpsons a half-hour animated television program represents such a manifestation The episode entitled Barts Comet first aired on February 5 1995 criticizes a blind allegiance to authority in any form by humorously detailing Springfields response to an approaching comet which threatens to destroy everyone in the town The episode parallels Wellss chronicle of the Martian invasion in its depiction of authority Unwarranted faith finds an unfortunate place in government religion and science in both accounts of impending disaster In themselves these three fundamental elements of society do not receive criticism The misguided trust people sometimes place in these institutions relying on them as unquestioned and unquestionable authorities receives the brunt of the censure in both works The townspeople themselves receive their fair share of reproach as well In both works the people criticized include not only the general middle- to upper-class communities but also those responsible for the criticizing In The War of Worlds the government plays a silent role that finds its reflection in the attitudes of the townspeople upon the first
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