Shh! We may be helping start a neo-Luddite movement

Imagine my surprise to discover The Unplugged Club could be considered a neo-Luddite movement. 

Once you understand the historically correct meaning of Luddite, which few people do, you might even consider yourself a Neo-Luddite or at least be a bit more sympathetic. 

Machine smashers, yes, but so much more

Most people know the Luddites smashed machines, which is true, but they weren’t anti-technology or anti-progress. Quite the contrary. They were working-class weavers in the textile factories of England in the pre-industrial early 1800s, a period of increasing industrialization, economic hardship and widespread unrest.  

From an article in The Conversation

Luddism was a working-class movement opposed to the political consequences of industrial capitalism. The Luddites wanted technology to be deployed in ways that made work more humane and gave workers more autonomy. The bosses, on the other hand, wanted to drive down costs and increase productivity.

It wasn’t the invention of these machines that provoked the Luddites to action. They only banded together once factory owners began using these machines to displace and disempower workers.

So, being labeled a (neo-)Luddite doesn’t necessarily mean you’re anti-technology (although some people are) or a complete doofus about how to use technology. 

No sacred tech cows

It means you hold no technology – or technological progress – as sacred in itself, but judge it based on its benefits to society.

Numerous paths we could go down to argue this belief: Amazon warehouse workers, Uber and labor law, Facebook (and other social media platforms) flagrant use of user data.  And now, what changes unregulated AI might bring down on society. 

To quote The Conversation again:

A neo-Luddite movement…would confront the harms done by digital capitalism and seek to address them by giving people more power over the technological systems that structure their lives.


We don’t have to wait.

Let’s start with using the power we already have to rein in the phones and computers in our hands and homes. 

3 Resources for You

2 Questions for You

Reflections, questions and ideas to break the digital spell.

1st Q: Do you have any hidden, neo-Luddite inclinations?

2nd Q: What tech do you want to smash?

Hit reply and let me know what you discovered this week. I’ll use some of your feedback in next week’s newsletter (first name only.)

Reflection Feedback

From Nancy: (More to a walk than meets the eye)
I am more creative/insightful in the morning. But I am the most creative/insightful when I am madly typing away trying to meet some kind of deadline that requires submission of some kind of document. The insights/creations almost always have nothing to do with whatever I am writing, so I keep a text file open and jot them down and then get back to work.

One trigger that works sometimes is music. I just discovered hang music, which I had never heard of before. A friend shared a YouTube link of a hang pan master playing  one of his compositions, and I think this could become a trigger. Many, including me and my sister, think it is beautiful and ethereal.

For creative problem-solving, if I think about a problem at night, I will often have an answer the next morning. Sometimes I have to repeat the process. Sometimes it doesn’t work.

Hit reply, let me know how it goes and I’ll include feedback in next week’s newsletter

1 Action for You

One small step to start the change.

A question to consider while walking or journaling: Who’s really in control of my time? Me, or my tech?

Hit reply, let me know how it goes and I’ll include feedback in next week’s newsletter.

Nature View

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott