Awful, awful progress

I must draw attention to this great comment by Yawar Amin, in a recent discussion on the Freakonomics blog:
Old IBM ad
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A man, speaking to another man at a construction site, says: `Look at these new-fangled earth-mover machines. If it wasn’t for them, ten men with shovels could do this work.’

`Yes,’ replies the other, `and if not for the shovels, a hundred men with spoons could do it.’

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