The Amish are steadily, slowing adopting technology. They are slow geeks. As one Amish man told Howard Rheingold, "We don't want to stop progress, we just want to slow it down," But their manner of slow adoption is instructive.
1) They are selective. They know how to say "no" and are not afraid to refuse new things. They ban more than they adopt.
2) They evaluate new things by experience instead of by theory. They let the early adopters get their jollies by pioneering new stuff under watchful eyes.
3) They have criteria by which to select choices: technologies must enhance family and community and distance themselves from the outside world.
4) The choices are not individual, but communal. The community shapes and enforces technological direction.
The Amish call this pneumatic system "Amish electricity." At first pneumatics were devised for Amish workshops, but it was seen as so useful that air-power migrated to Amish households. In fact there is an entire cottage industry in retrofitting tools and appliances to Amish electricity. The retrofitters buy a heavy-duty blender, say, and yank out the electrical motor. They then substitute an air-powered motor of appropriate size, add pneumatic connectors, and bingo, your Amish mom now has a blender in her electrical-less kitchen.
as someone who's become intimately acquainted with a small flock of chickens, i speculate that "cuddling" is a way to persuade the human/chicken killer to find a new victim.
I am biased against the amish, yes, because their society/religion as a whole condone an act that I find reprehensible. How does that bias manifest itself? I don't buy anything amish. I don't support them. I don't think that they are quaint or charming, and I open my mouth about puppymills whenever they get brought up.
One clever Amish fellow spent a half hour telling me the igneous way he hacked up a mechanism to make a buggy turn signal automatically turn off when the turn was finished, just as it does in your car.
« Older Say goodbye to Blockbuster, Sbarro's, Rite Aid, Kr... | Jennifer Figge a 56 year old m... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt