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. What is the least we need to achieve the most? With this question in mind, MIT graduate Eric Brende flipped the switch on technology. He and his wife, Mary. The Paperback of the Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $ or more!.

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I didn’t finish it.

Although I only read the excerpt, I am concerned that the critique the author makes of technology leaves the door open for millions of “simple tools” to be manufactured out of petroleum, for example, replete with toxic chemicals such as in plastics.

I wish I had read Brende first, however, because many of his quite spiritual reflections on the value of work and community might have helped sustain me through the more difficult hours. It told them what the prices were, it added them together, it cued them to their duties.

NOTE A colleague recommended this to me, saying it was his “favorite book ever,” so I’m hoping he doesn’t bettter this review. I think self-sufficiency is just another iteration of American Individualism.

If you want several hundred pages of introspective, self-congratulatory blather about a hypocritical, boring non-experiment in technological simplification, this is the book for you. Hence my ambivalence when I spied the black-hatted man.

Better Off: Flipping The Switch On Technology, by Eric Brende

He and his wife, Mary, ditched their car, electric stove, refrigerator, running water, and everything else motorized or “hooked to the grid,” and spent eighteen months living in a remote community so primitive in its technology that even the What is the least we need to achieve the most? My wife and I have talked about living off in the wilderness or the countryside after graduation, so we could learn to live without our technological crutches.

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I am compelled to reduce my dependance on machinery and technology myself as I type this on my laptop which is probably why this book appealed to me in the first place. What had begun as car sickness in boyhood had developed, by adolescence, into a deeper case of cultural indigestion. I think the solution lies within our entry into a contemplative horizon, –a horizon in which we all begin to experience the irrefutable presence of Christ in our neighbour that leaves us unable to turn away.

Feb 25, Ensiform rated it really liked it Shelves: Then we learn that his poor wife is violently allergic to horse dander. It took a while for my proposition to sink in: That was the big attraction for me in reading Better Off.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology

The style was bland and tedious, though the story could While it had an interesting premise, it didn’t come close to living up to my expectations. He looked a little lonely, so I sidled over to him. You may right this off as mere fantasy, but I can cook. The trouble may have begun when Brene signed up for a political philosophy course taught by a young professor from India named Uday Mehta. In general, the substance Better Off was addressed living off When did 3 paragraphs of “what I did on my summer vacation” turn into a genre of “goofy stuff I did for a year”?

The end result of a lot of our gadgets, is they take away our physical involvement, cost lots of money for the upkeep, and finally isolate us from our neighbors and community in our self-sufficiency. Most of her work consisted in transferring the contents of ledger sheets to etic computer programs, by which she managed larger and larger accounting client pools. Fear of silence, our own thoughts, emotions, and the state of our souls, keep us comming back to the flickering glow of numbing technology.


The 60 Best Songs of Beetter the last short chapter pulled it up to a solid 4 star. For Mary’s part, the arrangement was also less nuisance than it might have seemed; she told me it was hardly more difficult cooking two plates of food rather than one, or doing two loads of laundry instead of one. For example, they eri use a hand-made, wooden washing machine to manually wash their clothes. How did going from being a Boston accountant to an Amish housewife affect her sense of self?

Only when pressured by a customer did the manager at last realize that she had the power to act of her own accord and, in a flash of recognition, overrode the mechanical spell. As I became more familiar with the route, a erc of carelessness caught up with me.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

Everything in this god-awful book. The author took a potentially interesting subject and ruined it with trite, cloying, overwriting. Sep 07, Erin rated it it brrende ok Shelves: