A traditional Amish wagonIt’s been one of those days. One of those days when I think the Amish were onto something, when I think that all of this technology (well definitely some of it) is more trouble than it’s worth. I generally have a lot of patience with technology, but I’m also really choosy with the technology that I buy or use. I don’t buy the latest and greatest just to have keep ahead of the Joneses. As a matter of fact, the Amish and I are alike that way. The Amish aren’t completely anti-technology. They first discuss and debate what technology they will actually adopt. For instance, they don’t like telephones in their homes because it interrupts their dinner and their conversations.

Howard Rheingold asks in that article about the Amish:

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?

I’m not about to become a Luddite and eschew technology. It’s all about balance. But I really am thinking about how this plays into the balance of my life. I don’t want to wake up in the future and think of how much time I gave to fighting technology when I could have been talking to friends and loved ones.

What has brought up this spate of techno-philosophical nazel gazing? I’ve just had one helluva day, at the end of a couple of hellish weeks, largely down to technology not working. Arthur C Clarke’s Third Law is:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

But too much of our technology attempts so much and delivers so little. I favour simplicity and functionality, but too often, we get complexity and fragility. I’m just writing here because out of the blogs that I actually write for or edit, this is the only blogging system that I can actually write on because the software that runs the others, Movable Type, has broken.

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