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#556#557#558#559 Episode #560 - Cyberluddism
(Reclaiming Luddism on the Bicentennial)


Is it possible to damage hierarchical technology 'harmful to the common good', not with hammers, but simply by creating a decentralised alternative?

Sat 16 July 2011  Brendan McCooney, BBC, Ned Ludlam
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2This week we look at the goings on in England which started 200 years ago this November, headed by the mysterious figure of Ned Ludd. Why did the Luddites break certain machines but leave others? Why did central government send more troops to crush Luddism that to fight Napoleon in France? But first, the soundtrack of two videos, Robots vs. Luddites and New Technology Whose Progress?'
This week, we aim to reclaim the word 'Luddism', looking at the political aspect of their ideas. We start with two soundtracks. Firstly, from Brendan McCooney's 20 minute video, Robots vs. Luddites, which looks at the Luddite rebellion of 1811-1816 from a Marxist perspective, examining the importance of the social relationships and the social power structure in the history of the Luddites. Secondly, a 1980's BBC program entitled New Technology Whose Progress? continues the focus on robotics, and looks critically at the ongoing computerisation of business, encouraging thinking beyond narrow confines of 'increased productivity' into the broader context of wider effects of technologies upon society. Our second hour starts with The Triumph of General Ludd by Chumbawumba. Then we hear some thoughts on how 'Luddite', like 'hacker' is a word that has is maligned by a corporate controlled media unwilling to acceptable its political dimension. I briefly explain some software I've been working on this Summer, Wikipedia Plus. Then its our main speaker, Ned Ludlam from the Luddites 200 Organising Forum, who gives a historical account of Luddism, focusing on the political aspects relevant to the 21st century, looking at which technologies modern day resistance in the spirit of Ned Ludd might oppose.
Music: The Triumph of General Ludd by Chumbawamba
Thanks to Chris for recording the Luddites 200 organising forum and sending it my way. Thanks to Brendan McCooney for his beautiful video.
Two other shows on similar lines which might appeal, New World Notes #174 and #175.
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