Get Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism PDF

By Steven E. Jones

ISBN-10: 0415978688

ISBN-13: 9780415978682

This publication addresses the query of what it could possibly suggest at the present time to be a Luddite--that is, to take a stand opposed to know-how. Steven Jones the following explains the background of the Luddites, British cloth 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 heritage of an idea: how the actions of a bunch of British staff in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire got here to face for a world anti-technology philosophy, and the way an nameless collective stream got here to be pointed out with an individualistic own conviction. indignant cloth staff within the early 19th century turned romantic symbols of a wish for an easy life--certainly now not the unique objective of the activities for which they turned well-known. Against know-how is, in different phrases, a publication approximately representations, concerning the photograph and the parable of the Luddites and the way that fable was once remodeled through the years into sleek neo-Luddism.

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

Sample text

The boom was based largely on a collective ideation (you might say hallucination) about the infinite power of technology (“You will,” one ad campaign promised vaguely). Yes, companies did lay miles of fiber-optic cable (some of it even now going unused), and they did hire programmers and create new Web sites and software applications, but it was the abstract idea of technology as an autonomous, inevitable force, as much as it was actual applications, that fueled the economic and cultural effects of the boom.

Bill Joy’s Epiphany The use of “Luddite” as a synonym for “technophobe,” or even “anticomputer,” is a defensive reflex built into today’s technology-based business culture. This means that any defection from this culture counts as news worth reporting. Thus it was with Bill Joy, a former head ­scientist at Sun Microsystems, prophetic voice in the wilderness, and most recently venture capitalist. His essay in Wired magazine for April 2000, the one cited by Stephanie Mills at the IFG teach-in and by countless neo-Luddites after its appearance, was lavishly photo-illustrated, the first illustration a stark, full-page photograph of the author theatrically dressed in black against an all-black backdrop.

Government to nineteenth-century working-class radical activists. indd 35 2/13/06 12:03:21 PM 36 Against Technology the tech-mad climate of 1998 Microsoft could assume that the term Luddite would count as a profound insult. It’s patently absurd to refer to Netscape and the rest of Microsoft’s technological competition as Luddites, but it is in keeping with Bill Gates’s own faith in technology and the inevitability of progress. In his 1995 bestseller, The Road Ahead, he declared, “One thing is clear”: We don’t have the option of turning away from the future.

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


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