“Amish tradition disallows electricity, cars, and television. It shuns modern lifestyle, culture, and values. But they aren’t total Luddites — in fact, the Amish community has developed a tech gadget culture all its own,” Justine Sharrock writes for BuzzFeed. “‘In the Amish mind, technology itself is not considered sinful or immoral,’ writes Donald Kraybill in his new addendum to his book The Amish. ‘Like a knife which can cut bread or kill someone, tools can be used to help or to harm, to build up or tear down communities.'”
“So, instead of flat-out rejecting all technology, modern Amish just hack it to fit their needs,” Sharrock writes. “With major technological advancements, from the car to electricity to the telephone, different Amish churches have come up with their own methods of adaptation. Each church community votes on their guidelines and rules, dictated by Amish tradition… Amish prohibit electricity, largely because connecting to the grid literally connects Amish homes to the outside world, through electric wires. So, instead of plugging in, they rely on ‘Amish electricity’: combinations of diesel generators, batteries and car batteries, solar panels, hydraulic pumps, and compressed air pressure to run appliances, pump water, and power electric fences.”
Sharrock writes, “One of the most recent — and most controversial — hacks is the Amish computer. Allen Hoover, an Old Order ‘horse and buggy’ Mennonnite, invented what he calls the ‘Classic Word Processor’ that’s ‘made specifically for the plain people by the plain people.’ …The lack of connectivity was the draw of the Classic. But that was six years ago. Today, it is nearly impossible to run a business without being online… As with the car, phone, and electricity, each Amish community now has to decide whether to accept the web. History suggests a compromise.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ishmael” for the heads up.]