Friday, January 16, 2015

Amish And Cell Phones

Amish settlements have become a cliché for refusing technology. Tens of thousands of people wear identical, plain, homemade clothing, cultivate their rich fields with horse-drawn machinery, and live in houses lacking that basic modern spirit called electricity. But the Amish do use such 20th-century consumer technologies as disposable diapers, in-line skates, and gas barbecue grills. Some might call this combination paradoxical, even contradictory. But it could also be called sophisticated, because the Amish have an elaborate system by which they evaluate the tools they use; their tentative, at times reluctant use of technology is more complex than a simple rejection or a whole-hearted embrace. What if modern Americans could possibly agree upon criteria for acceptance, as the Amish have? Might we find better ways to wield technological power, other than simply unleashing it and seeing what happens? What can we learn from a culture that habitually negotiates the rules for new tools?



Ranch Chimp said...

Cant say I know much about the Amish except they seem to be "naturalists" of some sort. But I remember as a teenager once seeing a bunch of them all huddled together in the Port Authority (NY/ NJ) Bus station in NYC, a couple of them kind of looked at me weird, which I cant blame them, I looked like hammered shit, with long scraggly hair, biker jacket, worn our jeans and that, but looking at them was even weird for me ... I didnt know what to think, I was young and dumb as a doorknob on cultures ... I thought they were some kind of cult! heh, heh, heh, heh, heh {: )

Candy Minx said...

Ha ha...yes, I am sure you must have looked quite strange Ranch Chimp!

Bus stations in the United States are great places to people watch I've spent weeks at a time riding the dog....