Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Connecticut Shooting and the Amish


The tragic incident in Newton, Connecticut is on my mind.  

We've had several such incidents this year -- frequency seems to be going up.  I wonder why.  

I have to think it must be the economy: frustrated people with no where to go building up pressure.  The pressure destabilizes emotionally unstable people. 

It makes me think back to when I was an associate at Kenyon & Kenyon, and I was doing litigation support for a case involving recipes for cookies.  This work curiously involved my going to interview Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite people about their cookie recipes.

It was a strange juxtaposition, the patent attorney from New York City with the fancy education, and the simple people who don't want education past the eighth grade, and who reject technology -- or at least some technologies.

They turned out to be far more intelligent than I had expected.  They told me that one of their problems with technology was that it put people out of work, and they felt that work was a good thing to be doing: good for people psychologically as well as financially.  They particularly objected to automating people out of agricultural work, naturally.

Hard to argue with that.

Sort of a challenging assignment for a patent attorney, talking with people about that -- eh?  Oh, did I mention that some of them were in Canada?  

I wonder, when I see these mass shooting incidents, most of which involve men with work problems, whether the Amish don't have a very good point.

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