Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism by Steven E. Jones

By Steven E. Jones

This ebook addresses the query of what it could actually suggest this present day to be a Luddite--that is, to take a stand opposed to expertise. Steven Jones right here explains the heritage of the Luddites, British fabric works who, from round 1811, proclaimed themselves fans of ''Ned Ludd'' and smashed equipment they observed as threatening their exchange. Against Technology isn't a background of the Luddites, yet a background of an idea: how the actions of a gaggle of British employees in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire got here to face for an international anti-technology philosophy, and the way an nameless collective flow got here to be pointed out with an individualistic own conviction. offended fabric employees within the early 19th century grew to become romantic symbols of a hope for an easy life--certainly no longer the unique objective of the activities for which they turned recognized. Against know-how is, in different phrases, a e-book approximately representations, in regards to the snapshot and the parable of the Luddites and the way that fable was once remodeled through the years into glossy neo-Luddism.

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Additional resources for Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism

Sample text

No one can stop productive change in the long run because the marketplace inexorably embraces it. 26 Resistance is futile, and, besides, “[b]y and large, technology is a positive force that can help us solve even our most vexing potential problems. Frankly, I’m surprised by the pessimism many people feel about the future” (291). According to Gates, such pessimists (he doesn’t come right out and call them “Luddites” in the book) simply don’t get it. 27 Interviewer: Oh, my God. I always get mad at my computer if MS Word swallows the page numbers of a document which I printed a couple of times with page numbers.

The reason we come up with new ­versions is not to fix bugs. It’s absolutely not. It’s the stupidest reason to buy a new version I ever heard. Gates ignores the fact that it was other people (perhaps Microsoft ­support staff) who told the interviewer to upgrade to a new operating system. The interviewer obviously hit a nerve. ” For Gates, hostility to computers equals Luddism, and Luddites are techno-pessimists, inept “reactionaries,” enemies of progress. The computerized global economy, which according to its proponents “wants” to be “frictionless,” is now the backdrop against which modern neo-Luddism must imagine a position against technology.

A few years later, of course, the tech bubble burst and a kind of penitence spread among the formerly wired. By spring 2001, the idea of traditional manufacturing, “bricks and mortar,” again possessed an aura of respectability in investing circles, as if a return to rock-hard material reality could restore reason and balance to the culture. Never mind that technology companies — especially the large, established ones that had survived — continued to flourish and be taken as general economic indicators.

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