Mar 25, 2006

'Every day do something that won't compute'
and other excursions into neo-Ludditism

Nietzsche's typewriter, the first owned by a philosopher.

Thomas Pynchon's "Is it O.K. to be a Luddite?"
Jacques Ellul's "Man in the Technological System."
Mark Twain's typewriter.
Review of J.C. Hertz's "Hacker in the Rye."
Review of Friedrich Kittler's "Gramophone, Film, Typewriter."
Donna Haraway's cyborg-feminism.
Andrew Kimbrell's "Techno-topia."
Peter Kreeft on the non-political aesthetic.
Inventor of the first encyclopedic effort to index the internet dies.
An interview with a self-proclaimed Luddite.
Wendell Berry's "Mad Farmer Liberation Front."
"This is what's wrong with the world. Everything is explained now. We live in an age when you say casually to somebody 'What's the story on that?' and they can run to the computer and tell you within five seconds. That's fine, but sometimes I'd just as soon continue wondering. We have a deficit of wonder right now."
- Tom Waits

"Our writing tools are also working on our thoughts."
Friedrich Nietzsche
"We have made it our overriding ambition to escape work, and as a consequence have debased work until it is only fit to escape from. We have debased the products of work and have been, in turn, debased by them. Out of this contempt of work arose the idea of a nigger: at first some person, and later some thing, to be used to relieve us of the burden of work. If we began by making niggers of people, we have ended by making a nigger of the world."
- Wendell Berry
Neo-Luddite: One who raises the technology question, who wants to consider the effects of a technology before adopting it, who does not think that technology is necessarily amoral. One who wants to stay put and live in relationship to a place, who values work, "un-useful" beauty, economically unprofitable activities, and simplicity. One who worries about being explotative, structural violence, materialism, dehumanization, and social decay. Neo-Luddites are often critizied for being anti-technology, anti-progressive, nostalgic, idealisitic, and anti-future. Neo-Luddites are on neither the right nor the left of the polical spectrum.