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03/05/2005 Archived Entry: ""Amish Tech""

WEEKEND READ #2. "Amish Tech."

Turns out, that's not an oxymoron. This article helped me understand how the Amish use technology without becoming hypocrites -- and without destroying their community values. Don't expect to agree with everything (or perhaps anything) in the article. What's interesting is that they think hard and consider both the benefits and drawbacks of technology before they adopt it.

But the Amish concern is not just over how technology might change the community, but also the individual. One man noted that it's not just what or how you use a technology, but "what kind of person you become when you use it." When I asked an Amishman why an electric refrigerator was not acceptable, but a propane gas one was, he simply said, "You've never seen a bottled gas television set, have you?" The implication here was not that electricity was bad. The concern was what would come with it --- TV, radio, computers, the internet, and all the influences of the modern world and media. "Electricity is a hotline to the modern world."

(Thank you again to Sensei, whose original link to the Amish and social security led me to "Amish Tech.")

Posted by Claire @ 09:25 AM CST

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