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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When I reached my early teens, I never failed to watch an episode of Star Trek, and I read almost every piece of science fiction Isaac Asimov wrote. For example, one tongue-in-cheek remark occurred when the author and his wife were having their first child and they went to a local store to buy baby supplies.

In my life, it has only cheapened the interactions I could have been having with family and friends in person. The other half was fruity, obnoxious philosophizing about Amish culture and religion. Brende’s writing – and thinking, eruc – is full of over-generalization, assumption, and hypocrisy, mixed with occasional befter of his neighbors or the natural world that read like passages from a terrible 19th-century novel. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. So after twelve long months of trial-and-error experimentation, the shaken Brendes finally bolt from Amish brdnde.

You could tell English was not his first language from the way he clipped his syllables and sometimes groped for a word. I fill it with more tech usage. Perhaps the most despicable facet of his writing is his near-total omission to the point of disdain of details regarding his wife’s experience as a woman in such a segregated community. Mary hadn’t been kidding, either, when she said she wanted to live on a farm.


And to be completely fair, he didn’t truly have zero net wattage, because he cheated occasionally and drove a car. The result left me with the impression that he was a deluded, lazy, ignorant asshole who was more concerned with delusions of being treated differently because of his religion, rather than that he was a presumptuous outsider ofd almost no dedication to mastering the local lifestyle. The application of technology should be measured and deliberate and balanced, no one would deny the value of medical machines and the advances they bring, but does techology go to far, and cheapen the value and quality of life?

The 80 Best Books of Jun 30, Sharon rated it it was ok. But rather than being afraid of technology or religiously opposed to it, the Minimites are composed of men and women who chose to leave their former high tech lives because they believed bettsr with fewer devices would ultimately make them better offallowing them to live more whole, complete, and fulfilled lives.

With themes like the value of wor Better Off is as close to a contemporary ‘Walden’ as I’ve come across. This book also linked well to otf recent reads including Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and The City in Mind- which discuss selfsustaning practices and the need for walkable, community oriented cities sighting Boston as the only big American city ready for the new wave of ideals respectively.

Better Off is a book about a man who lives for 18 months without technology.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology

Was he Amish or not? Eric and Mary are joining a community that already has many of these systems figured out. I was trying to move some heavy rocks in the backyard. Anyway, this autobiographical story by Brende is a great one and I hope many will read it. In my grade-school years, the neighborhood seemed alive with children out in the street playing stickball and hide-and-seek.

I’m not sure how this book is so split between excellent reviews and poor ones. He is also very candid about the difficulties that arise from not having things like refrigeration, and the marital conflicts that sometimes came out of those difficulties. Lists with This Book. There I noticed a bettee getting on the bus with a full dark beard and wide-brimmed black hat. Fifty years later the political theorist John Locke handed the latter rights.


I found much here that interested me. There was plenty of time to unwind and relax and forget. Instead, he quietly asks a series of questions about how we use technology and how technology takes from us in terms of time, money and social skills.

I am a fan of this new “a year in the life” movement among memoirs. This lifestyle isn’t a hardship at all, but more like freedom than being a slave to your belongings. I made new brnde.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

Refresh and try again. By the old life, I am of course referring to Midwestern US in the s. Retired farmers often moved to Florida and congregated in special Amish condominiums. What would our lives look like without internet and cell phones, refrigeration and modern laundry facilities, alarm clocks and fast food? The style was bland and tedious, though the story could have — should have — been intriguing.

The rric boob doesn’t seem to grasp the irony of this sly gesture until much later. Ironically, the final crushing defeat comes when the couple trades their car for a horse and buggy. Or if there was no such absolute mid-point, was there perhaps a rule of thumb or a formula for arriving at practical compromise in varied circumstances?