Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Luddite

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

Luddite

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:14 pm

• Luddite •


Pronunciation: lêd-ait • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, proper

Meaning: 1. An English workman toward the end of the Industrial Revolution who was a member of a movement that sabotaged innovative machinery that it thought threatened jobs. 2. An opponent of technological progress.

Notes: The Luddites made up a movement that opposed the technological innovation that had come to the textile industry as a result of the Industrial Revolution. They resorted to actual sabotage, rendering inoperable as much of the new machinery as they could. Their movement and attitude was known as Luddism or Ludditism.

In Play: Today's Good Word is used mostly in the metaphorical sense of someone opposed to anything new: "Andy Belham is a luddite who opposes any innovation at the company." However, it still applies to those who would sabotage new equipment: "Security is still looking for the Luddite who hacked our database and changed everyone's password."

Word History: According to George Pellew's Life of Lord Sidmouth (1847), Ned Lud was a person of weak intellect who lived in a Leicestershire village about 1779. In a fit of rage he rushed into a weaver's house and completely destroyed two modern stocking looms. The saying "Lud must have been here" came to be used throughout the hosiery districts when a modern loom had undergone extraordinary damage. This story lacks confirmation, though. The nicknames 'Captain Ludd' and 'King Lud' were commonly given to the ringleaders of the Luddites from 1811 to 1813. (Jeremy Busch proved himself no Luddite by his long-standing participation in our web-based Alpha Agora and his electronic suggestion of today's Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3622
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: Luddite

Postby David Myer » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:24 am

Nice to see this one. It is a word that I am using more and more in Australia. Luddite attitudes abound to forestry and mining industries. Despite desecration of the environment, the industries are continuing to expand on the basis of the need for employment. I am not against the industries in themselves, but the 'employment opportunities' justification is deeply worrying. They are talking of mining and clear-felling in pristine wilderness in Tasmania - for short term gain. It is very sad and very Luddite. The alternative is to re-train people and encourage them into alternative more sustainable occupations.

Sorry to get political, but I do feel better after my rant. Now there's an interesting word - rant.
David Myer
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Luddite

Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:32 am

I believe the Luddites fighting the logging industry would be the Earth First types (US Pacific Northwest environmental activist group) that put large nails in the logs so as to destroy the saws that turn the logs into lumber. The industry itself and the people happily employed in the industry would not be Luddites.
bnjtokyo
bnjtokyo
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:11 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: Luddite

Postby call_copse » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:07 am

I will firmly side with Mr Myer on this one bnjtokyo. In this case it is an antiquated and short term world view that believes the despoilation of Australian wilderness for immediate gain, as opposed to leaving it available for current and future generations, is a good way forward. It cannot just be remade - see George Monbiot's article below (of course Abbott has been elected as expected):

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... e-election

This phrase is telling "Like Canada, Australia is slipping back down the development ladder, switching from secondary and tertiary industries towards primary resource extraction." The slide described is clearly a backwards step towards "removing the social and environmental protections enjoyed by all Australians, to allow the filthy rich to become richer – and filthier."

By the way, of course a sustainable and responsible logging operation need not be Luddite, but this was not the situation described.

On a more light-hearted note I heard the portmanteau 'lingdite' (lingua + luddite) coined the other day - someone opposed to neologisms and evolving language. I'll confess to a few lingdite tendencies!
Iain
User avatar
call_copse
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 321
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: Luddite

Postby David Myer » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:15 am

That's a very interesting perspective, bnjtokyo.

I think what I meant was that proponents of logging are short-sighted and Luddite because although it can provide jobs in the short-term, they are destroying the environment that could serve them sustainably into the future in say eco-tourism.

But I take your point about the activists spoiling the sawmill. On the face of it they are Luddites, but actually there may be a sense to it because they are not trying to hold back the inevitable. They are just trying to change behaviour and who knows, they may be successful. The Luddites had no chance - mechanisation was inevitable.
David Myer
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Luddite

Postby David Myer » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:19 am

Love the lingdite word! Well done, call_copse.
David Myer
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Luddite

Postby Slava » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:38 pm

I'm going to have to disagree on both the above usages of Luddite. Neither one really fits the meaning, not even the nails one. A true Luddite is someone against new technology, not someone trying to protect trees or using an old economic model.

I'd say people like me and my brother are closer to the meaning. Neither of us has a cell phone, digital camera, or TV. My brother's younger computer is 14 years old, meaning it's not even from this millennium.

We don't vandalize, but we don't see much benefit, either.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4829
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Luddite

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:38 pm

No benefits? Even though I am retired and at home most of the time, my kids can get hold of me anytime anyplace. Likewise I can call them without waiting for them to get home. Matter of fact, one of them has no home phone, and the other two very seldom use it or answer it. There are also friends and relatives who can usually be reached only by text. If I want to talk to them, and get a response quickly I have no choice. I have to text.

On the other hand, at my last high school class reunion, 60 years!, Almost no one used email to a great extent nor texted. A former state Supreme Court judge admitted that he had to use email and check it for work every day, but beyond that he didn't use the Internet much at all. Out of the 40 or 50 people there, I found only one fellow Facebook user. This is incredible to me! I have always eagerly embraced advancing technology. And by the way, I am dictating this by Siri on an iPad. It's a whole lot easier than typing, even though I have to make a few corrections.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Luddite

Postby Slava » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:33 pm

That's pretty much what I was trying to say in calling myself a bit of a Luddite, Perry. My brother is actually worse than I am. He has e-mail but never responds via it, preferring to call if he has anything to say. His phone even still has a dial. :D

I'm not saying certain technologies are worthless for everyone, just that for the Luddites and semis among us they have little to no meaning.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4829
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Luddite

Postby MTC » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:14 pm

Fascinating exchange. One of the best.

Let me join the Luddite party with a short poem:

“They said Ned Ludd was an idiot boy
That all he could do was wreck and destroy, and
He turned to his workmates and said: Death to Machines
They tread on our future and they stamp on our dreams.” – Robert Calvert in “Ned Ludd”

(The Terminator, anyone?)

Lord Byron himself spoke out on the Luddite's behalf in the House of Lords. He also wrote a three stanza poem which you can read here: http://orion.it.luc.edu/~sjones1/byr1.htm

From what I know about the Luddite Rebellion, it was fueled less by animus toward machines per se than it was by general discontent with the economic conditions of the working class during the Napoleonic Wars. Whatever the motivation, Luddites have become a symbol of man's war with his own creation, the machine.

And how quickly mention of the Luddites ignites discussion about the environment! Why, ask yourself? Ned Ludd who may have been a myth did not carry a Sierra Club membership card. (I do.) By the way, come to China if you want to see "industrial strength" despoliation.

Extrapolating into the political realm, I was struck by the close analogy between Doc's words describing Mr. Ludd as "a person of weak intellect" and members of the Tea Party in the U.S. Congress intent on destroying the machinery of government.
I'll leave you with that.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Luddite

Postby Slava » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:50 pm

"Members of the Tea Party in the U.S. Congress" is why I changed my signature/tag line. :twisted:
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4829
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Luddite

Postby call_copse » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:46 am

@MTC
You're a dark horse alright, nice link to Robert Calvert there - I had to have a quick listen to that one.
Iain
User avatar
call_copse
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 321
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: Luddite

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:58 pm

Suddenly dawned on me that no one on this thread is a true Luddite. Doc originated this thread in Pennsylvania. The first comment came from Australia. The next one came from Japan, then from England. This is a virtually universal website. Totally fascinating,apart from learning a great deal, I am in contact with people from literally all over the world.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Luddite

Postby MTC » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:15 pm

Dr. Goodword, the Sherwin-Williams of etymology.
(http://www.sherwin-williams.com/)
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Luddite

Postby David Myer » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:49 pm

Got it! Took me a while. Sherwin-Williams "Caring in full colour"?? But then I saw "Cover the earth".

Nice one.
David Myer
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Next

Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 11 guests