14-03-27_MILINT_Neo-Luddites

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Nedd Ludd – Luddite Triangle – 11 March 1811

Ned Ludd, possibly born Edward Ludlam, is the person from whom, it is popularly claimed, the Luddites took their name. In 1779, Ludd is supposed to have broken two stocking frames in a fit of rage. After this incident, attacks on the frames were jokingly blamed on Ludd. When the “Luddites” emerged in the 1810s, his identity was appropriated to become the folkloric character of Captain Ludd, also known as King Ludd or General Ludd, the Luddites’ alleged leader and founder. Supposedly, Ludd was a weaver from Anstey, near Leicester, England. In 1779, either after being whipped for idleness, or after being taunted by local youths, he smashed two knitting frames in what was described as a “fit of passion”. This story is traceable to an article in The Nottingham Review on 20 December 1811, but there is no independent evidence of its truth. John Blackner’s book History of Nottingham, also published in 1811, provides a variant tale, of a lad called “Ludnam” who was told by his father, a framework-knitter, to “square his needles”. Ludnam took a hammer and “beat them into a heap”. News of the incident spread, and whenever frames were sabotaged, people would jokingly say “Ned Ludd did it”. By 1812, organised frame-breakers became known as Luddites, using the name King Ludd or Captain Ludd for their mythical leader. Letters and proclamations were signed by “Ned Ludd”.

The Luddites were a group of English textile workers and weavers in the 19th century who destroyed weaving machinery as a form of protest. The group was protesting the use of machinery in a “fraudulent and deceitful manner” to get around standard labour practices. Luddites feared that the time spent learning the skills of their craft would go to waste as machines would replace their role in the industry. It is a misconception that the Luddites protested against the machinery itself in an attempt to halt progress of technology. However, the term has come to mean one opposed to industrialisation, automation, computerisation or new technologies in general. The Luddite movement began in Nottingham and culminated in a region-wide rebellion that lasted from 1811 to 1816. Mill owners took to shooting protesters and eventually the movement was brutally suppressed with military force.
– IG: 14-03-27_milint_neo-luddites

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Fukushima – 11 March 2011

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (Fukushima Dai-ichi) was an energy accident at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, initiated primarily by the tsunami following the Tōhoku earthquake on 11 March 2011. Immediately after the earthquake, the active reactors automatically shut down their sustained fission reactions. However, the tsunami disabled the emergency generators that would have provided power to control and operate the pumps necessary to cool the reactors. The insufficient cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen-air chemical explosions, and the release of radioactive material in Units 1, 2 and 3 from 12 March to 15 March. Loss of cooling also caused the pool for storing spent fuel from Reactor 4 to overheat on 15 March due to the decay heat from the fuel rods.

The Fukushima disaster, was the most significant nuclear incident since April 26, 1986 the Chernobyl disaster and the second disaster to be given the Level 7 event classification of the International Nuclear Event Scale. Though there have been no fatalities linked to radiation due to the accident, the eventual number of cancer deaths, according to the linear no-threshold theory of radiation safety, that will be caused by the accident is expected to be around 130–640 people in the years and decades ahead. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and World Health Organization report that there will be no increase in miscarriages, stillbirths or physical and mental disorders in babies born after the accident. However, an estimated 1,600 deaths are believed to have occurred due to the resultant evacuation conditions. There are no clear plans for decommissioning the plant, but the plant management estimate is 30 or 40 years.
– IG: 14-03-27_milint_neo-luddites

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