The New Luddites.
Over 200 years ago, the Luddite movement attempted to arrest technological development, by smashing weaving machines, burning down mills, rioting, even raising arms against their employers and the government.
It came to nought. The movement was broken after encountering legal and military force resulting in executions and penal relocation.
Whilst such drastic action, and disproportionate response, is unthinkable today, nonetheless it feels that some people are determined to act in a Canute like manner and attempt to turn back the tide of advancement.
And perhaps they have a point.
Because there has always been a difference between man made and machine made.
Often, man made continues to be better than its mechanical successor when the technology first comes along.
The first cars weren’t as good as the horse driven options.
Early computers took longer to programme than it would take a mathematician to deliver the answer.
Automated telephone systems created far more frustration than almost any amount of time hanging on for a human to answer.
But eventually, the technology develops to the point where it outperforms the human solution, (well apart from automated telephone services).
For me, the mistake modern day luddites make is not seizing the opportunities the new technology gives them to be even better.
Rather than seeing technology as a replacement, instead think about its application for improvement.
Great chefs love the advancements in a modern kitchen – they can create and deliver even finer dining experiences.
The world’s best photographers love how digital gives them so much more scope to experiment and to try different angles and compositions that would have been prohibitively costly with film.
Service providers now have the technology that allows them to profile customers far more accurately to enable an even better customer service , and to far more people.
Yes, be wary of the new shiny – it probably isn’t as good to start with.
But work with it. Make it better. Adapt it to your own purpose.
Be a new Luddite – enhance whatever you do with the new tech….or run the very real risk of going the same way as the originals.
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