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[at-l] OT-What the heck's a Luddite?! (kinda long)
- Subject: [at-l] OT-What the heck's a Luddite?! (kinda long)
- From: shellydhale at earthlink.net (Shelly Hale)
- Date: Wed Apr 6 20:48:36 2005
- In-reply-to: <014d01c53917$193a4f50$1f8d5344@JACK>
>>No self-respecting Luddite would be posting on "da 'Net".
Am I a self-respecting Luddite?! Hmmmm....ya know what? I am ashamed to say that I had not one clue as to what a Luddite was or
means, and it's been thrown around on the list quite a bit lately. I tried to come up with a meaning from the context of the
various ways that it has been used here...but I became even more confused. I felt like such an idiot ....however, I am a curious
idiot. So, I looked it up. Here's the definition from Webster online...
Etymology: perhaps from Ned Ludd, 18th century Leicestershire workman who destroyed machinery
: one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed
to especially technological change
- Luddite adjective
Ahhh....so that's what it means....huh? How in the heck does that apply to hiking? Let's see...if the Luddites destroyed
machinery...then they were somehow against it--therefore, hikers against technology on the trail would be akin to the Luddites?
Fascinating. Or, is this even a viable comparison/contrast to hikers against technology on the trail?
I don't recall ever hearing of Luddites in school at any point, or anywhere else for that matter, but it is an interesting story.
And so being the curious sort that I am, I dug a little further, and here's a link that I found for further information...
Though, I find that through my search for understanding that I do not think of myself as a Luddite. I am in fact the total
opposite. I enjoy technology and the advances and advantages it brings. I am not faced with technology bringing the wages of my
family down, instead by being trained in technology it raises our employable value. The only semblance of comparison between myself
and the Luddites is that I am somewhat of an artisan...though only a professional piddler and given to whimsy as to what medium I
would like to play with at any given time whether it be painting, writing, sculpting, photography, or etc. And, perhaps there is
the fact that I do think that there should be a protection of the ways of artisans.
And, even though I do embrace technology, I do find that there are always by-products of everything, er, rather reactions to
actions--some good and some not so good.
Nevertheless, I've never said that I wouldn't carry a cell, PDA, or any other technology on the trail. I will. However, I WILL
allow others to hike their own hike and will use my technology away from them. I only hope that they will allow me to hike my own
At any rate, for today's history lesson, here is an excerpt from the website I listed above. I thought some of you may find it
"Few groups have been more misunderstood and have had their image and name more frequently misappropriated and distorted than the
Luddites. The Luddites were not, as not only popularizers of theories of technology but also capitalist apologists for unregulated
innovation claim, universally technophobes. The Luddites were artisans -- primarily skilled workers in the textile industries in
Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Cheshire, the West Riding of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Flintshire in the years between
March 1811 and April 1817 -- who when faced with the use of machines (operated by less-skilled labor, typically apprentices,
unapprenticed workers, and women) to drive down their wages and to produce inferior goods (thereby damaging their trades'
reputations), turned to wrecking the offensive machines and terrorizing the offending owners in order to preserve their wages, their
jobs, and their trades. Machines were not the only, or even the major, threat to the textile workers of the Midlands and North. The
Prince Regent's Orders in Council, barring trade with Napoleonic France and nations friendly to France, cut off foreign markets for
the British textile industry. Even more importantly, famine and high food prices required more of each laborer's shrinking wages.
Machines and the use of machines to drive down wages were simply the most accessible targets for expressions of anger and direct
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