Luddites revisited

Our current historical moment is one wherein a space is opening wider and wider in which a movement critical of technology (which is not the same as being anti-technology [as such]) can grow. From the threats of automation looming over once “safe” career fields, to the recognition that our digital devices are empowering a massive surveillance operation, to new devices that strike people as transparent examples of tech designer’s lack of interest in what people think, to a world threatened by ecological destruction (much of which is the result of thoughtless use of technology) – this is a moment at which people are primed to hear a critique of technology. Especially as tech firms drown in money whilst venture capitalists and Wall Street froth at the mouth – people can see that behind the shiny ideology of modern technology sit the descendents (at least in spirit) of the machine owners who have been enriching themselves by “disrupting” the lives of the less powerful for hundreds of years. At a time when a dense economic tome about inequality can become a surprise best seller even as tech firms merrily purchase competitors for billions the old Luddite saying “no general but Ludd means the poor any good” returns with a certain unnerving truth. After all, the tech firms might happily bring out all manner of new “goods” but their “disruptive” mantra makes it clear that they have no interest in “the good.”

via Who’s Afraid of General Ludd? | LibrarianShipwreck.