A Luddite’s journey.

Samwise Gamgee (while he created a blog for the first time..)

It’s not that I dislike technology, I have no disdain towards computers or the time that people spend with them. In fact I am often very impressed with new tech and how it is changing our day to day life. However, I am slowly drifting further from the mainstream, like a boat on the edge of a current I spin between the still waters behind and the fast paced ones ahead. The lack of a rudder on my metaphorical boat is a draw that I always felt towards the old, the traditional, the forgotten and often impractical ways of doing things.

Growing up on a ranch in southern Saskatchewan was a childhood filled with love, hard work, family, learning, hard work, long bus rides, hard work, and hard work. There will always be a special place in my heart for doing things the old fashioned way. Saddling up a horse and bringing in the heard takes a lot more time and effort than jumping in the truck, but you’d never know the sweet smell of saddle soap or the connection to that old horse by sitting in the truck.

I sat and listened to my grandfather and his friends talk about the “good ole days” , never thinking that I would look back at it with such tenderness. He taught me to problem solve and look at things very differently than most people. We lived 70 miles from the nearest town with a parts store, so when something broke we fixed it with what we had on the farm. The internet wasn’t even a thought, if you didn’t know how to do something, you would phone a neighbour, or read a book and try your best. This mentality of ” I can do that” has stayed with me and has been the foundation of a great deal of successful undertakings… and also a great deal of failed attempts, but I chalk that up to the learning curve!

I often think of what Grandpa Claude would think of technology. Would he hate it? I honestly don’t think he would. I find most people misplace their frustrations with technology. A lack of understanding manifests itself onto the physical presence of a computer or tablet. It isn’t the computer that created the angst, but people can’t yell at an invisible internet, (That would look kind of funny) so they take their frustrations out on the physical portal of technology, ex.- the computer.

The reason I believe he, like most innovators would have embraced it is this. He religiously read magazine, newspaper articles and watched things like Prairie Farm Report. PFR was a television program that featured farmers from across Canada and showcased their inventions, ideas and unique perspectives. A lot of things on our farm were inspired by these types of informal lessons.

I argue that youtube and other online formats of learning are not new, they are just modern version of popular science, or Prairie Farm Report or the many other ways people would learn and explore new ideas. Youtube has compressed all of that information into one place, making an infinite number of questions immediately answerable to anyone with a wifi signal. To make my point even further, I learned how to make this blog from the internet. A seemingly perpetual motion of knowledge, to learn about the internet from the internet.

So, as I continue my journey deeper into the internet, with each step venturing further away from the comfort of my own ignorance, I find comfort in the idea that I am simultaneously becoming more like my grandfather. Seeking information to follow an idea and turn dreams into reality.

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Published by

bradraes7578

Teacher at Central Collegiate in Moose Jaw, Sk.

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