Thursday, January 24, 2008

Better Off

I pretty much felt like a weenie the other night after I wrote that VCR post and then retired to bed to read my newest (library) book, "Better Off, Flipping the Switch On Technology" (A title which prompted my husband to ask, "Who are you, the unabomber?!?!?")

From the book jacket:

What happens when a graduate of MIT, the bastion of technological advancement, and his bride move to a community so primitive in its technology that even Amish groups consider it antiquated? Eric Brende conceives a real-life experiment: to see if, in fact, all our cell phones, wide-screen TVs, and SUVs have made life easier and better -- or whether life would be preferable without them. By turns, the query narrows down to a single question: What is the least we need to achieve the most? With this in mind, the Brendes ditch their car, electric stove, refrigerator, running water, and everything else motorized or "hooked to the grid" and begin an eighteen-month trial run.

I'm loving this book, though don't get me wrong, I don't want to be Amish! And I don't really want to live without running water or electricity either. This is a wonderful and thoughtful book regarding living with less (way less) and loving it. Through the book the Brendes learn a lot about themselves and the world (the natural world) and come to a lot of great conclusions on how less IS more. I'm not done yet but I'm assuming some of these changes stuck as the back cover tells you that he's now a rickshaw driver and soap maker rather than a high Tech MIT graduate. Apparently he has found what his "least" is and is living it.

Apparently my "least" includes a VCR.


The Nester said...

I too, am a unibomber type. I think that I would love that book! I've always felt as if I were born in the wrong century. Although, if I were born 150 years ago, my sister probably would have died in childbirth. So, i guess the 20th century is good.

Christine said...

It's a great read! I finished it just a few days after I started it.

I'm caught somewhere between wanting to churn my own butter and having a hot shower every morning.