Amish Break the Golden Rule

(p. 237) If we apply the ubiquity test–what happens if everyone does it?–to the Amish way, the optimization of choice collapses. By constraining the suite of acceptable occupations and narrowing education, the Amish are holding back possibilities not just for their children but indirectly for all.
If you are a web designer today, it is only because many tens of thousands of other people around you and before you have been expanding the realm of possibilities. They have gone beyond farms and home shops to invent a complex ecology of electronic devices that require new expertise and new ways of thinking. If you are an accountant, untold numbers of creative people in the past devised the logic and tools of accounting for you. If you do science, your instruments and field of study have been created by others. If you are a photographer, or an extreme sports athlete, or a baker, or an auto mechanic, or a nurse–then your potential has been given an opportunity by the work of others. You are being expanded as others expand themselves.
. . .
. . . as you embrace new technologies, you are indirectly working for future generations of Amish, and for the minimite homesteaders, even though they are not doing as much for you. Most of what you adopt they will ignore. But every once in a while your adoption of “something that doesn’t quite work yet” (Danny Hillis’s definition of technology) will evolve into an appropriate tool they can use. It might be a solar grain dyer; it might be a cure for cancer.

Source:
Kelly, Kevin. What Technology Wants. New York: Viking Adult, 2010.
(Note: ellipses added.)

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