Slow knowing

Getting connected doesn't mean staying connected. The Washington Post uses the term "neo-Amish" (blech!) to describe how people find refuge from the clicks and whistles of digital life.

Reading that article, I thought back to a slim volume I purchased about eight years ago called Plain: The Plain Reader, which is full of essays by Amish, Mennonite and Quaker authors. The introduction consisted of a report from a 1996 New Mexico meeting of Luddites called "Technology isn't Progress" and continued on with chapter titles like "Why the Amish Can Live Without Television," "Reclaiming Distance and Space" and "The Place Where We Live."

I will still occasionally reread those essays. They take me to a place I can't fully imagine using a method that by today's standards can seem maddeningly slow. But The Plain Reader, consisting of an alphabet, gathered in words, delivered to me on bound yellowed pages -- is quite literally the only technology that could get me from here to there. Books allied with the imagination can still offer powerful insight. Some librarians, apparently, agree.

Hat tip to the Innovation Insider for the link.


Technorati tags: library science, Amish,  Luddite, monasticism, progress, technology, innovation