Thursday, May 28, 2009


Im currently reading a fantastic book called "Better Off" by Eric Brende. Its about an American bloke who after doing the usual tertiary study on the effects of electricity on humans (or technology in general), decides to embark on a wee experimental adventure (without funding) on living without electricity for 18 months.

So after randomly meeting an Amish bloke at a intercity bus depot and enquiring how might a non Amish person do the non technology sort of thing, Brende and his new wife moved to live in a community dubbed by Brende as the Minimites. A small community made up of people mainly from other Amish communities but also astonishingly enough, a few past city slickers so sick of the side effects of pollution, television and mcdonalds that they've full heartedly entered themselves into this lifestyle. The author pretty much created the word Minimites with the words Mennomites (what some Amish call themselves) and Minimalists = people who believe communal hardwork and fellowship is in fact a cool thing (I tend to agree).

One point to make is that Brende is not saying technology is awful, only his message is about doses and levels of technology in moderacy. His experiences and thoughtful insight will make you question whether or not that brand new state of the art washing machine you just bought really is time saving or is it just another machine that your family culture circulates around with a manual that gives you double the stress compared to the more"old fashioned" simple machines.

Reading this book was inspirational and made me want to go outside in the dreary Dunedin cold to create a mini farm in my backyard it also made me want to chuck my television out the window but after a while I thought - better just turn it off at the wall.

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