Putting machines in their place
No humans can get away from technics altogether, and that is not our intention. We have a preference for simpler, quieter, slower and less demanding technologies. We also exclude or seek to circumscribe technics that are too intrusive.
We believe that the culture of modernity (or even of our civilization in the longer span of time) took a wrong turn when technics began to be promoted as a more or less unquestioned path to a better life. It is our aim to screen out those tools that harm community, create pointless complications, twist human beings, or damage the very soil under our feet.
We take our cues from our Plain neighbors who practice a very old-fashioned lifestyle without self-propelled machinery, electricity (apart from battery-powered appliances), TVs and telephones. We accept their way as a helpful baseline, and evolve from there. Ludda sets its own principles and guidelines but always with the eye toward preserving and extending the amazing and precious old-timey feel of our neighborhood.
But “machines” are not limited to those made of steel and plastic. There are also machines made of humans. We seek to accomplish our tasks and live our lives away from the various bureaucratizing, managerial, rationalizing institutions. We aim to create a life that our deep nature understands.
* A short clear encyclopedic entry on Luddites and luddism.
* Lewis Mumford wrote a lovely essay in 1964 called Authoritarian and Democratic Technics. it’s a bit dated and wordy; here is the gist of it.
* Look before you leap, right? Musings on the precautionary principle.
* Kevin Kelly put out a request to hear from people who believe that there are good Reasons to Diminish Technology. Many confused and some good comments.
* Question Technology is a blog with many links and resources. Worth exploring.
* Here are two examples of people struggling with guideposts to filter technology by: Wendell Berry’s essay against computers in his life, and Jerry Mander’s aphorisms.