Automation is the most recent stage in this development, which indeed "illuminates the whole history of mechanism." It certainly will remain the culminating point of the modern development, even if the atomic age and a technology based upon nuclear discoveries puts a rather rapid end to it. The first instruments of nuclear technology, the various types of atom bombs, which, if released in sufficient and not even very great quantities, could destroy all organic life on earth, present sufficient evidence for the enormous scale on which such a change might take place. Here it would no longer be a question of unchaining and letting loose elementary natural processes, but of handling on the earth and in everyday life energies and forces such as occur only outside the earth, in the universe; this is already done, but only in the research laboratories of the nuclear physicist. If present technology consists of channeling forces into the world of the human artifice, future technology may yet consist of channeling the universal forces of the cosmos around us into the nature of the earth. It remains to be seen whether these future techniques will transform the household of nature as we have known it since the beginning of our world to the same extent or even more than the present technology has changed the very worldliness of the human artifice.