I keep hearing the millennials using “Amish” as a sort-of soft pejorative for someone who is failing to keep up with technology in some way.
But I kinda dig the Amish. Indeed I hail from similar, parallel roots. I love all the Pennsylvania Dutch food and whatnot, which of course is not Dutch but German. And they were but one of the myriad of political dissidents that were seeking refuge in the New World. That, and scrapple, is my heritage and a proud one, thinking back on Thoreau and Emerson, as I read Thomas Mann, (and considering reading Goethe someday.) At any rate, seeking an independent, new, religious sect is as American as my Rock ’n Roll Protestant Atheist up-bringing, hail Woody Guthrie, Coltrane and Hendrix! And it’s time, by Dylan, that we form a new sect, a new community out here on the frontier, with a new ethos.
Anyhow, the Amish are somewhat erroneously characterized as people who decided to stop updating their technology in the 1860’s - they often ride around in horse and buggy, you know? It’s obviously more complex than that (it’s not really a beef with tech), but the stereotype persists. So as I type this on my MacBook the millennials are networking their GoPros to the cloud and monitoring on the iPad, and I hear G. Love over my shoulder saying, why do you even have a laptop anymore? (He does all his business on the latest iphone of course.) And yes, it’s kind-of an antiquated technology - it’s got a keyboard, no touch screen . . . my god, I am old, I touch type (1) (learned it in high school!)
But I like it, it’s comforting and familiar, as I’m sure the horse and buggy is to a real Amish. And you know what? It’s a MacBook Pro with “Mid 2012” as an identifier, praise Jobs! It’s got a DVD drive - the Firewire connector for my dated audio gear, and I quit updating the software to protect said audio gear, and it got me thinking, “maybe that’s it. Maybe this is another spot where we should freeze our technology.”
Amish 2012, it is the end of the Mayan Calendar - and a fine a point as any in the cycle of good and bad technology design. And by good, I mean good for humans, not the machines, or as we call them today Corporations.
Mark my words - digitized trading, the supra-consciousness of Wall street, and our stupid meta-programing of ‘fiscal responsibility’ and ‘maximized profit,’ when they spontaneously gain consciousness, that is, when a sufficient number of AI systems interact on a multidimensional stochastic network - a nervous system; when that number hits a critical mass, it will suddenly have an independent consciousness with a far superior intelligence and physical capability.
One day we think the corporate oligarchs are our overlords, then we realize they have no control of the evil profit-machines they have spawned. Sky-net is already in place, and it doesn’t matter how many times we bring back the ’80s, the Terminator is not coming to save us.
The only way to save the humanity and lifestyle of the first 13 Baktuns (2) is to create a religious sect, cult, whatever, and scorn the use of any technology that came into use after Mid 2012, praise Wozniak.
Amish 2012! For Quetzalcoatl's sake, let’s build a new community! Maybe somewhere out near the Dalles, right?
These are footnotes!
(1) “Touch typing” is when you are typing like a typist, not hunting and pecking.
(2) The Mayan unit of time which, like, rolled over in 2012.
Portland, OR, Sunny and Nice.