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

By Steven E. Jones

This booklet addresses the query of what it could possibly suggest this day 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 fabric works who, from round 1811, proclaimed themselves fans of ''Ned Ludd'' and smashed equipment they observed as threatening their alternate. Against Technology isn't really a historical past of the Luddites, yet a background of an idea: how the actions of a gaggle of British employees in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire got here to face for a world anti-technology philosophy, and the way an nameless collective circulate got here to be pointed out with an individualistic own conviction. offended fabric employees within the early 19th century turned romantic symbols of a wish for an easy life--certainly no longer the unique aim of the activities for which they turned well-known. Against know-how is, in different phrases, a ebook approximately representations, in regards to the picture and the parable of the Luddites and the way that delusion was once remodeled through the years into sleek neo-Luddism.

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

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Augustine to Dante to Rousseau — in which reading a sacred or profane text leads to a sudden conversion (or damnation). indd 37 2/13/06 12:03:22 PM 38 Against Technology fall of 1998, Joy tells us, he was attending a conference on technology. While hanging out in the hotel bar, he talked to the philosopher John Searle and Ray Kurzweil, who had at the time written but not yet published The Age of Spiritual Machines. Kurzweil was talking to Searle about artificial intelligence and sentient robots, with Joy listening in.

Indd 34 2/13/06 12:03:21 PM The Boom, the Bust, and Neo‑Luddites in the 1990s 35 Though the contexts have radically changed — from early-nineteenth-century Britain to early-twenty-first century global capitalism — proponents of free trade today might with good reason, at least by way of historical analogy, refer to those who would restrict the freedom of technologized capital in the global marketplace as Luddites. Conversely, many neo-Luddites in this age of global capital, especially those coming out of left-activist or socialist traditions, might well counter by identifying with those early fair-trade activists, by naming themselves Luddites.

Luddism is both a historical and a mythical construct, and it is sometimes hard to tell the difference, since the resistance to technology has been reconstructed over time under a series of changing cultural horizons. The next chapter reexamines the early-nineteenthcentury events that introduced the world to General Ned Ludd and his potent, if protean, myth of resistance. indd 44 2/13/06 12:03:23 PM Chapter 2 The Mythic History of the Original Luddites Once upon a time, masked rebels lurked in the forests of Nottinghamshire.

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