Tag Archives: luddites

The Great Technology Dance

The following is a guest-post from Tom Rowley of A Rocha USA. A Rocha and Care of Creation partner in various ways in the interest of creation care and Tom blogs regularly at the A Rocha USA website. Here he tackles a fundamental question: How do we dance around the problem of modern technology when almost all the tools we have to deal with creation care issues are, in fact, technological? Enjoy and offer a comment.

This piece started with me feeling rather smug over a major technological breakthrough at our house—namely, setting up the hand-me-down Wii that my sons got for Christmas and then, hold on to your hats, connecting that to Netflix for family movie nights. All without uttering an expletive (at least none that my dear ones heard). Before putting fingers to keyboard, however, the smugness gave way to heartburn over what we had unleashed on ourselves—yet again. Continue reading

Lessons from the life of a wood-worker

James Krenov (NY Times photo)

James Krenov died recently.

No, you don’t remember him.  It would be quite surprising if you’d ever heard of him, unless you are one of the dwindling number of genuine ‘cabinet makers’ in the world today.  I hadn’t heard of him either – but his obituary in the New York Times this week makes me wish I had known him. Continue reading

Three cheers for Luddism

In my hometown lives a baker.  The very ordinary name of his business (“Madison Sourdough”) hides the fact that he’s a European trained master pastry chef.  Croissants, danish, brioche – the stuff is, if not worth dying for, certainly worth driving several extra miles across town early in the day to grab the last items before someone else gets them.

Still-life with Brioche by Chardin (Wikipedia Commons)
Still-life with Brioche by Chardin (Wikipedia Commons)

Now, I’ve been a fan of most of what he makes for quite a while, but his brioche are some of the best pastry I’ve ever eaten.  Which has led to a couple of very interesting conversations:

About a month ago my faithful readers may recall I was in Washington DC during the time of the Inauguration.  One of the mornings there I found myself, with Daughter #1, in a very authentic french patisserie in Bethesda Maryland.  Guess what was in the pastry case?  Brioche!  But these looked a bit different from those I’ve become accustomed to  in Madison.  A long conversation with the woman who ran the shop followed.  She had baked everything in the shop herself.  She had serious doubts as to whether the so-called brioche from Madison was the real thing, and in what would have to be described as a passionate defense of her craft, grabbed a brioche, sliced it in half, and stood there while we sampled it, with the following (please imagine a strong French accent):  “If this is not the best brioche you’ve ever had, I want to know it…”

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