The noun and adjective Luddite, as you surely know, is tossed around in American English, occasionally as a pejorative, to signify someone opposed to innovation and technological advances. I’ll hazard a guess that most people using this word aren’t aware of its origins in Ned Ludd, who destroyed a pair of stocking frames (an early technological advance in textile manufacturing) in 1779. The Luddites, who destroyed textile manufacturing equipment in England from 1811 to 1816 to protest the depredations of the Industrial Revolution, took him as their namesake. I’ve vastly simplified the story of the Luddites for this blog post, this reading is a good general introduction to the subject of the Luddites, and emphasizes how their name entered the political and social lexicon of our time.
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