Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Argument for Luddites

By Ashley Lister

Personally, unless technological innovations improve my life in a fundamental way, they are of no use or interest. So, until technology reaches the stage where I can buy myself a bigger cock that ejaculates bank notes, I’m happy to stay in the comparative dark ages.

I was one of the last people in my social circle to succumb to pressure and buy a mobile phone. There were various reasons for my slow uptake of this technology. Primarily, I’m a cheap bastard. If I don’t need it, I’m certainly not going to pay for it. And I never saw the need for a mobile phone. I seldom use the landline (which, at the time, was only known as a humble phone). I don’t receive many calls, and I had rarely found myself in a situation where I was away from a nearby telephone but needed to talk with someone whose number I knew.

So I resisted. I only gave in and bought one after an unfortunate incident with a flat tyre. Even then, I bought the cheapest mobile phone available on a tariff that allows me to belligerently not use my mobile at a price that accommodates this natural parsimony.

(Funnily, this came about shortly after a telesales call where a young man had been trying to encourage me to buy a mobile phone. This was at a time when the newspapers were filled with stories about people suffering brain/ear problems because of excessive mobile phone use.

CALLER: Congratulations, sir. Your name has been selected to receive a free mobile courtesy of our company.

ME: Mobile phones? They give you ear cancer, don’t they?

CALLER: No, sir. We’re offering you a brand new mobile phone at-

ME: EAR CANCER! EAR CANCER! You’re trying to give me ear cancer! I don’t want ear cancer. Don’t make me have ear cancer.

The telesales caller hung up shortly after my outburst).

I also have issues with iPods: not sure why anyone would need or want one of the bloody things. Discussing this with a colleague recently, he stared at me as though I was an alien visitor.

COLLEAGUE: They’re great for listening to music whenever and wherever you want.

ME: But why would I want to do that?

COLLEAGUE: Don’t you like music?

ME: I like it. But I can manage to exist for two consecutive hours if it isn’t there.

COLLEAGUE: What about when you’re driving?

ME: I tend to concentrate on the roads, try to avoid accidents, that sort of thing.

COLLEAGUE: What about when you’re walking or exercising?

ME: You don’t know me very well, do you? I neither walk nor exercise.

We agreed to disagree. Well, I told him he was a technology obsessed ‘tard and he told me I was a Luddite. And he’s not the first person to call me that.

Yes, I use a computer. Yes, I use the internet, emails and other technological marvels However, I usually find I’m using technology that is not so much cutting-edge, as nearly-obsolete. My recent foray into trying the newest version of Microsoft WORD has meant that a dozen editors I work with regularly have written letters saying, “Why can’t I open this document?” It’s a clear reminder of a lesson that I thought I’d learnt well.

So, until technology produces a device that can make my cock bigger, and enables it to start spurting banknotes on command, I’m content to be a Luddite and live without all these modern innovations.


  1. Oh, Ash, I laughed out loud numerous times as I read this. In fact I still am right now as I type!

    Thanks. :)

  2. Hi Em,

    I'm delighted to hear I've made you giggle :-)


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  4. I can relate, Ash. I especially love the exchange with the cell phone salesman!

    I too went reluctantly into the cell phone thing, and only after a "stranding incident." Turns out, even in downtown Philadelphia, it's getting very difficult to find a payphone. My wife and kids badgered me to buy one for years then gave me a hearty "told ya so" when the stranding occurred. Still, what I have is one of those cheap pay by the drink phones which, by now, I have accumulated about a bazillion points because I never use the thing.

    Thanks for giving me a good laugh!

  5. Hi, Ash,

    Got to get Steve Jobs working on that dough-spewing monster's sure to be a best seller!

    I only use my music player for one purpose--to keep me from getting bored out of my gourd while I'm exercising.

    Very funny post! (as usual)


  6. Craig,

    I also got the 'I told you so' lecture when I eventually got stranded and had to succumb to pressure.

    And, like you, I've been managing on the bare minimum of mobiles - feeling satisfied if the damned thing receives a call and holds a charge.



  7. Lisabet,

    From what Kathleen was saying, the Steve Job version is likely to work, although it won't respond to expletives :-)

    I hope you're soon feel sufficiently recovered to get on with the exercising.



  8. Ash - I'm with you. Unless I have a clear need, I don't want it.

  9. Hi Kathleen,

    It seems like the reasonable way of thinking. But it also seems like so many people are rushing out to buy the latest electronic trinket because it has a bell, or some other ridiculous excuse for advanced technology.


  10. Thanks for the laugh. I wish I could join you in Luddite-ville but alas my children won't let me.

  11. Linda,

    One of the advantages of having kids is that they can always work the technology for you. My son gave me a strict talking to this morning for leaving the DVD player on overnight. He actually got me to blush and say I was sorry and promise not to do it again.



  12. Ash,

    I didn't laugh once. I agree with everything you said and to this day, don't own a cell phone or an iPod.

    Hubby bought me a cell phone, then took it away after nearly a year because I never used it. Not once, and the minutes were adding up.

    I do exercise, doctor's orders, but I don't need music to do so. I curse well enough to entertain everyone in the vicinity.

    Lovely post.


  13. Hi Ashley!

    I like your dialogue.

    I'm the opposite of a luddite, I'm a natural born gadget freak, I love technology I just can't afford the fun stuff. So my gadgets are always what I can get on eBay on the rebound.


  14. Jude,

    To be honest, I don't think I make enough calls to justify my own mobile phone. However, the potential convenience of it being a helpline, should I ever get stranded again, makes it a necessary accessory.

    As for the exercise - don't believe your doctor! You don't really need to exercise. I'll bet he's just trying to sell you his old, used iPod :-)



  15. Garce,

    You're braver than I am, trusting eBay with all the cheats and 'Bidiots' that lurk on its pages :-)

    That said, if I do need advice on any gadgets, I'll be beating a path to your door.



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