On Quartz, Michael J. Coren interviews Jameson Wetmore, an engineer turned social researcher at the Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, who explains what technology has done to society and why the Amish seeing the negative consequences they had on us opted out.
After observing a given technology’s effect on outside society, Wetmore explains, each Amish community can vote on whether to accept or reject it. If a person is seriously ill, checking into a hospital is acceptable. So is accepting a ride in a Ford F-150. But the Amish refuse to own television or automobiles because they’ve decided those technologies erode their community and neighborliness.
For the rest of us, the cost of technological convenience may be coming due. Wetmore, who has studied the Amish intensively (pdf), suggests that contemporary society needs to take a new approach to technology—one that weighs the value of our new tools before welcoming them into our lives. Quartz spoke with Wetmore about the lessons that the Amish, a religious group of just 200,000 in the US, hold for the rest of the world.
|How Leicas are Made|
|Unwise Microwave Oven Experiments|
|"After that they tend to dodge."|
|3D Printed $10,000 House|
|“Self-driving trucks will begin hauling mail between USPS facilities.”|
|“For the first time in the history of life, we can affect the future of our evolution.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|“A driverless electric truck began daily freight deliveries on a public road.”|
|“A deep fake sex video emerges in a Google search of your name.”|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|“We are undergoing the greatest economic transformation in our history, and we are dealing with it by pretending nothing is happening.”|
|“The company is losing billions, has essentially no underlying value, and its business could be hammered overnight.”|
|“You can often hide from an AI video system with the aid of a simple color printout.”|