September 15, 2017

     In 1799, Edward Ludlum, popularly known as Ned Ludd, smashed two knitting frames in a fit of passion. (At the risk of being overly clever, I’d say fit of pique, one definition of pique being “a durable fabric of cotton, rayon, or silk.”). Or so the story goes. Some contend he is as mythical as Robin Hood. In any event, in the early nineteenth century, as the forces of the Industrial Revolution were gathering strength, textile workers rebelled against automated looms and knitting frames, calling themselves Luddites in homage to Ludd. The term has come down through the centuries to describe opponents of the dehumanizing and demoralizing effects of technology.

     While I’ve never smashed an appliance or electronic device, I’ve come close to tossing, hurling, throttling, discarding them. Curses to vent my frustration have to satisfy, mainly because I’m too cheap to replace the item in question (yes, I’m talking to you, microwave oven. A...

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