neo-Luddite

“It’s all of technology they can’t take…  living with technology without really having anything to do with it. Or rather, they had something to do with it, but their own selves were outside of it, detached, removed. They were involved in it but not in such a way as to care.” – Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance. 

Computer became personal more than 30 years ago. I have one at home for the past 25 years. Several times I have tried to entice my wife in to tapping the keyboard or moving the mouse. No success. She does not like to use technology, though she is fine with the benefits. She religiously reminds me to send emails to friends and relatives on special occasions,  look up at addresses to visit, read online map before getting out of home to a new place … and look up some recipes for exotic dishes.

She does not depend on technology. If the Internet is down for a couple of days or a broken PC is not replaced or repaired for weeks, that does not affect her happiness or efficiency. If I am not around to drive the car, she would take an auto-rickshaw. Why bother to learn driving.

At the other end, we have people who depend on technology. We advertise on several column inches of newspapers about paperless offices and e-Governance. There are hundreds of senior government officials who depend on technology, but do not like technology. It is for the PA to convert digitally born documents to physical copies and present to the officer. My emails to some such officers get a standard reply, “Letter has been given to …” The officer will read the printed email at his convenience and dictate a reply, if at all, to the PA.

Information technology is all pervasive and depending on it reduces our dependency on others to a large extent. If we despise technology on which hinges our professional effectiveness, we compromise on opportunities and deprive ourselves some joy of independence.  

The Luddites were a movement of British textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested against the changes brought about by the industrial revolution. They often destroyed machinery.

Luddite was one of the workmen who destroyed laborsaving machinery that they thought would cause unemployment

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About pgbhat

A retired Naval Officer and an educationist. Has experience with software industry. A guest faculty at different institutes and a corporate trainer with software development companies.
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