Dan S. Wang on Wed, 20 Apr 2005 05:35:01 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> pulling the plug on WiFi

It's far from the point of the forwarded article, but the use of the term
"Luddite" seems rather misplaced, if not outright Orwellian. It confuses a
term appropriated from what was originally an anti-capitalist expression,
and in this case makes it into exactly its opposite: those who hoard control
of, and then wield, technology only for the purposes of private profit. I
think we are all probably accustomed to the contemporary use of the term,
usually meaning "one who hates or fears new technology." But such an
inversion as the Miami Herald's I don't believe I've ever seen.

The frame-breaking followers of the mythical General Ned Ludd were fighting
against the technology's role in making wage labor (though they didn't call
it that, of course) of the skilled craftsmen, and not just the fearsome
novelty of the new weaving technology. The "modern primitivists" and
activists like those in ELF, influenced by thinkers like John Zerzan and
others, might be considered legitimate heirs, if you want to stretch it a
little (some would say a lot). But the bought-out legislators in Tallahassee
seeing dollar signs? "Luddites"??? The aspiring muckraking authors of the
article would be better served using the time-honored and still relevant
terms born of their own journalistic tradition:  swine, slime, scum, etc.
Dan w.

> This article was forwarded to me by Gerald Jones.
> - Alan
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 21:29:30 -0700 (PDT)
> To: Alan <sondheim@panix.com>
> Subject: pulling the plug on WiFi
> This appeared a few days after we spoke on the phone:

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