The theme of Priestley’s quote at the beginning is that governments or specifically the English hierarchy had a reason to tremble at air pumps or electrical machines for years to come. The question is why? To answer that straightforward, governments or religions feared air pumps and electrical machines because the new technologies that arrived in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries were violent. These technologies were acquired through trades with other nearby towns. These trades were fueled by coal. To be exact Steven Johnson states, ““When those technologies arrived, in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the social transformation they unleashed was swift and violent. Its lucrative metal trades fueled by nearby coal deposits in South Staffordshire and Warwickshire, Birmingham” (Johnson, pg. 157). It was thought that if the English hierarchy had reason to tremble at the sight of an air pump then steam engines would give them much more to worry about. This is because the amateur and the small societies prevailed from having these Enlightenment science. The main reason that Governments had a problem with the air pumps and electrical machines was that it separated the power within a society. Priestly suggested many times that he liked the idea of building up innovation. He didn’t like the centralized idea of the already existing societies. His idea was two split up society into different groups. He states that, ““Let philosophers now begin to subdivide themselves, and enter into smaller combinations” (Priestley, pg. 152). He thoughts there should be diversity of groups. Using these new technologies such as air pumps helped them do just that.
Johnson’s work does shed light on a number of current examples of scientific or technological research of modern day. The best example I can think of is cloning. Cloning is a hot topic now a days. This is a political consequence because some people with be for it and some will think it’s a horrible idea. There will be two sides until the end. Cloning is already being used for farming animals and producing food. By cloning chickens for example we can double the food production and save time.