Using the Term Luddite To Understand Where People Stand

I always make a mental note of folks who wield the term “Luddite” to describe people who in their minds are anti-technology. Luddites weren’t anti-technology. Luddites were anti-exploitative labor practices that coincided with technological shifts that were happening across the industry landscape. If you are invoking Luddism when people push back on AI, saying they are anti-technology, you are joining forces with the team who are in favor of exploitative labor practices.

I know there are hundreds of concepts like this that are used to size each of us up on a daily basis. I am just revealing one of the ways in which I am sizing folks up on social media and in casual conversation. Luddism being anti-technology is something I used to believe, but now after reading several books on Luddism and the movement, I understand not just how ignorant I was, but more importantly how this ignorance gets used to undermine our lives on a regular basis.

I would consider myself a Luddite. I am not actively interested in smashing machines, but I support those who do. I am fascinated by modern equivalents of this like AI poisoning. I am not anti-technology. I am anti technology being used to exploit people. I am fascinated by how the term Luddite gets twisted and used to manipulate us. I am fascinated by how a history deprived audience can be made to believe in the opposite meaning of a word or phrase, co-opted and twisted by those who are threatened by the phrase.

I am sure that I say numerous things that are ignorant of history, and others use to judge my awareness and position in the world. It is my desire to minimize these things through reading. Not online. Books. I am confident that our only defense against this very slippery slope where words get used against us is to ground ourselves in reading as many books, across as many different subjects, by as many diverse authors as possible. Where you stand in the future will regularly be defined into two dimensions, those who read and those who do not.