Overhype

by Mike Masnick




Rage Against The Machine - The Luddites Are Back

from the this-sounds-familiar dept

Every few months, it seems that another Luddite book comes out, talking about how much better off we are without technology. These books all take one-sided looks at ways that technology makes peoples' lives worse, without any consideration to how they also make lives better. Technology is a tool. It makes some things better, and some things worse. You can whine about it, or you can figure out how to incorporate the good aspects into your life. Salon is running a review of what appears to be the latest in the "whining" category, called Against the Machine. From the review, it sounds like many other Luddite tracts. Just because their lives were made worse off by the technology, and they couldn't figure out how to adjust, they think everyone needs to suffer without the technology. In the end, everyone has a choice. If you don't want to use the technology, that is absolutely your choice. However, if you think that you need to force others not to use technology, you're going too far. The woman who wrote the book complains that she needs to use a computer, but hates every minute of it. So, don't use a computer. Just don't whine about it. She also says that she uses a hand coffee grinder. What makes this bit of old technology "ok"? Shouldn't she have to mash up coffee grounds between two rocks like they did in the old days?

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    satarc, 3 Feb 2003 @ 10:53pm

    No Subject Given

    i think the problem is that we dont really have a choice any more.

    If you dont wont to use technology then you cant function in the west. which forces people into using techs that they dont wont to,

    Actually, I havent got a clue what im on about...I talk dribble all day long at work and I just cant help myself.

    I pretend I know it all but really I can barelly tie shoelaces....For christ's sake I cant even spell god damn it!!

    :;

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ned Ludd, 4 Feb 2003 @ 1:31am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Absolutely right. The whole point is that technology is forced on us. I like technology so it doesn't bother me that much, but you really can't avoid it. Our society has a ridiculous overreliance on technology - the power goes out and we're screwed. Systems just aren't that reliable either and probably never will be.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mike (profile), 4 Feb 2003 @ 1:52am

        Re: No Subject Given

        So we should get rid of it entirely?

        I don't see the point. I will agree that there are negative impacts to technology, but I can't justify the argument that we should just get rid of it. First off, it simply won't happen. Arguing for the impossible may be a fun way for some people to waste time, but I won't bother. Too many people want new technologies, and technologies (once invented) simply don't go away until something better comes along. Second, most of these Luddite tracts ignore the good side of technology, and don't mention any way to replace them. They simply assume that everyone wants to suffer along with them in a technology-less world.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2003 @ 8:28am

    No Subject Given

    I can't help but think that an awful lot of this "Voluntary Simplicity" crowd would change tunes fast after a few months of INvoluntary simplicity in the world they tout as their Utopia...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Math Is Not A Crime
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.