"Sixteen thousand and twelve in this Centre," Mr. Foster replied without hesitation. He spoke very quickly, had a vivacious blue eye, and took an evident pleasure in quoting figures. "Sixteen thousand and twelve; in one hundred and eighty-nine batches of identicals. But of course they've done much better," he rattled on, "in some of the tropical Centres. Singapore has often produced over sixteen thousand five hundred; and Mombasa has actually touched the seventeen thousand mark. But then they have unfair advantages. You should see the way a negro ovary responds to pituitary! It's quite astonishing, when you're used to working with European material. Still," he added, with a laugh (but the light of combat was in his eyes and the lift of his chin was challenging), "still, we mean to beat them if we can. I'm working on a wonderful Delta-Minus ovary at this moment. Only just eighteen months old. Over twelve thousand seven hundred children already, either decanted or in embryo. And still going strong. We'll beat them yet."
The novel repeatedly explains that the reason for such advanced technology is to keep workers busy manufacturing products. Interestingly though, the citizens of the World State could enjoy significantly better devices. In a conversation towards the end of the novel, World Controller Mustapha Mond explains to John that countless plans and designs for more advanced technologies already exist. The World State could, he explains, synthetically manufacture all of its food products and use highly efficient labour-saving machines. However, more advanced technology is not developed, as the World Controllers fear that high-tech machines would result in people having too much time on their hands. This, explains Mond, is not in the World State's best interests, following a previous experiment in Ireland , which revealed that more advanced technology simply led to widespread boredom and increased use of soma . Although the citizens of Brave New World enjoy apparently very advanced gadgets, they are unaware that human technology has in fact been limited artificially.
John the Savage rebels against this notion of utilitarian happiness. He argues that humanity must also know how to be unhappy in order to create and appreciate beauty. The use of soma is an example of the opposite. People take the drug in order to go on a "holiday" from any kind of unhappiness. Because they refuse to experience unhappiness, the drug keeps them from wonder and the appreciation of beauty, as in the scene when Lenina and Bernard fly over the tossing English Channel. He sees a beautiful display of nature's power; she sees a horribly frightening scene that she wants to avoid.