Blood in the Machine

Brian Merchant is a tech reporter, and he’d been covering the industry for years when he started to notice a term that kept coming up. Especially when he wrote a story that was critical of tech, he’d be accused of being a “Luddite.”

Like most people, Brian knew at least vaguely what the term “Luddite” meant. But as time went on, and as Brian watched tech grow into the disruptive behemoth it is today, he started to get more curious about the actual Luddites. Who were they? And what did they really believe?

Brian has a new book out about the Luddites called Blood in the Machine. And it explores how English textile workers in the 19th century rose up against the growing trend of automation and the machines that were threatening their livelihoods.

The history feels a little too relevant today, and so we wanted to have Brian on the show to tell us what we can learn from the original Luddites. Take a listen, then be sure to grab his book (in print form, of course!), Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech.

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