Re: Deep Blue colmun in TIME, May 19th

Steve Witham (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 22:18:44 -0400

Eivind Berge <> writes of the term

> ^^^

to whit:

>I am getting tired of seeing this pleonasm on this list. All dictionaries
>I have checked list "any opponent of new technologies" as the second
>sense of "Luddite"; the "neo-" is completely redundant.

I love etymology.

Luddites were the friends of Ned Ludd, right?
So, after that, "neo-Luddites" *might* have been used to mean,
"anybody who hates tech like the Luddites did," right?
And then the "neo" got dropped because "Luddite" by itself meant
was sufficient?

Only I don't think that's how it went. People didn't used to love adding
"neo" to words.

So it was more like, there were the original Luddites, then people
stretched the term to mean tech-haters in general.

And for generations that's what "Luddites" has meant.

But recently, (say since 1990? 1985?) there has been A NEW CROP.
Or, a crop middle-aged writers have given anti-tech a new push.

I forget these esteemed ones' names at the moment, but the term
"Neo-Luddites" refers to this recent crop, not tech-haters in general.
What they're doing that's considered fresh or new I'm not sure,
maybe it's just having the audacity to write screeds against tech on
Ms. Word 6 instead of the electric typewriters the previous generation

Or maybe this coinage is older than I thought, but always having that
implication of "oh no, *more* of them!?" Dope springs eternal, especially
around both sides of binary-choice "issues".

As I understand it (*yawn* mmm, a nap would be *nice* right now),

--           Steve Witham          web page under reconsideration
"Let him who is without sin correct me if I'm wrong BUT..."