Friday, July 05, 2013

The New Luddites

Wikipedia reminds us that:

The Luddites /ˈlʌd.aɪts/ were 19th-century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817. The stocking frames, spinning frames and power looms introduced during the Industrial Revolution threatened to replace the artisans with less-skilled, low-wage labourers, leaving them without work.

The professors now protesting the onset of the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) have a lot in common with their counterparts two centuries ago. Like them, they have a well-founded fear that their highly skilled occupations could disappear. Unfortunately, that seems to be the designated doom of a lot of middle class jobs today. I am disappointed in the quality of many of their protests. I'm old enough to know that professors have most of the vices of their fellow humans, but damn, they should at least be smart.