We are living through the Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterized by artificial intelligence, automation, interconnectivity, and genetic manipulation. These new technologies open all sorts of opportunities for humans, but also are changing the lives of workers and consumers in profound and often disturbing ways. Of course, this is not the first time that humans have experienced economic disruption through industrial change. This month, historian Matthew Smith introduces us to Ned Ludd, and the so-called Luddites, from the First Industrial Revolution. He explores how Ludd spoke to issues of work, community, and technology in ways that have remained relevant through each successive stage of technological change down to today.

Milestones

New histories on anniversaries of past events, large and small

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