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March 28, 2006

Groupwise Email And Ned Ludd (Not Intellectual)

Once upon a time there was a man. His name was Ned Ludd and he was a nonentity in historical England who may or may not have smashed up a weaving loom or some other mechanical device. Whatever the reality of Ned's life, his 'actions' were adopted as iconic for a movement of working class men (and a few women) who feared that machines were going to steal their jobs away. They attacked machines and damaged them. They made life for those who depended and owned the machines awkward. No work could be done using said machines as a result. In the end the machines won and we ended up with toasters, ipods and Space Invaders.

So here's the question.

Who the hell let Ned Ludd loose on the internet and why is he so determined to break my email?

Yes, another moan about the crappy email and no, you don't care, and yes I will move to an email system that works (by walking to the people I want to speak to and bellowing at them). But I just want to register this in a historiographical way. To place it in context.

  • The Luddites were afraid of a future which they couldn't expand their minds to comprehend a useful place in.
  • Groupwise email is shit.
  • Their protests were the tip of a larger iceberg of dissatisfaction.
  • Groupwise email is shit.
  • Luddism was a northern and midlands phenomenon, possibly reflecting the areas' isolation from those in power (in both the poltical and economic sense) in London.
  • Groupwise email is shit.
  • Lord Byron was pro-Luddite.
  • Groupwise email is shit.
  • EP Thompson disputes the traditional view of Luddites and argues that they were defending the rights of the people, doing so in a controlled manner, and weren't retrograde but trying to police a future they accepted but were concerned about and willing to affect.
  • Groupwise email is shit.

So one is a complex issue and the other can kiss my arse if it's even bothered to wake from its slumber and give me my emails. Ever. I just want to print something off. Is that too much to ask.

Is it?


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