Unarguably, since technology has been introduced, it has had profound effects, permeating not only onto society, but our entire ecological system. To categorize the effects of technology as predominantly beneficial or detrimental, as Kevin Kelly and Kirkpatrick Sale claim in their interview, is difficult. "Interview With The Luddite" captures and vividly illustrates their seemingly pointless and underdeveloped ideas. Kelly, protechnology, and Sale, a contemporary neo-Luddite, discuss many technological issues, including the automation of the labor force, oral tradition, literacy, and civilization. Later, they go on to present often radical and unrealistic solutions to the issues. While at times I can fathom certain aspects of the arguments, their solutions are predominantly too idealistic. In this paper, I plan to explore the physical setting of the interview, important nonphysical aspects including the intentions of the participants, and the ideas presented, while incorporating my own perceptions of their persuasiveness and effectiveness.
The atmosphere of the June 1995 interview between Kelly and Sale is of essential importance to the initial impressions of the audience. Firstly, Kelly and Sale agreed to the interview which was published in Wired magazine. "This popular on-line magazine lacks any in-depth discussion of even the most problematic issues surrounding digital culture" (243). Obviously, the magazine offers a purely biased perspective and presents only the positive effects of technological innovations. Appearing in such a biased magazine may seem initially beneficial to the conversion intentions of Sale, the Luddite, but with deeper analysis it becomes clear that the c...
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... convincing. Still, I cannot fathom the motivations behind the interview for either participant. Perhaps Kelly's goal was to persuade Sale, which he did, and perhaps Sale's goal was to attract publicity. Nevertheless, neither was very effective or intriguing in their arguments.
I propose we invite technology and essentially the future. But we should never overstep our boundaries in this world. Instead, accept our role, have regard for nature, respect the Higher Being, and finally consider the consequences of our actions. If all aspects are considered, the undeveloped and seemingly pointless analogies illustrated by Kelly and Sale can be thankfully avoided.
Kelly, Kevin. "Interview With The Luddite." Andrea A.Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz, The Presence Of Others: Voices That Call For A Response. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997. (243-253)
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