Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm out

I just started a new book called, "Better Off" It's about an MIT grad student that moves into a 'minimite' community. He has no power, relies on his garden and land to provide food and money to support him and his new wife. I love the idea.

The book is extremely well written and unlike most 'anti-stuff' material, the guy doesn't come across as arrogant or holier than thou. At least not yet.

So far my favorite part of the book was when he described the coming of technology. It began with Locke who philosophized a lot about ownership and possessions. The idea of ownership and having something that others do not almost gives that 'something' a persona. That 'thing' is now prized as would be a relationship it is something special and different. It's something that I have and you don't and it makes us different.

As technology grew and these 'things' grew persona, they did not really play by the traditional rules. The author sites a couple of guys were were harshly punished for destroying a piece of machinery that had replaced them on the farm.

This technology was something that the land owner had and used exclusively. He didn't let others use it because it was his. This technology stole from the two men their livelihood. It stole their income and self-worth. It left them with nothing, including no skills to find employment because technology had taken it. So they destroyed their boss' technology so they could have what they felt was rightfully theirs, their jobs.

Had the two men injured someone who had stolen from them they would have been able to make a plea for self-defense, but because it was a machine that plays by different rules, that almost seems an inapplicable plea.

We have Deified technology. We have placed it above the law and we spend most of our waking hours (and in many cases sleeping hours) worshiping it. Technology has become the god that we don't understand, yet that we depend upon completely. It's a true crutch in a world that often considers religion a crutch.

Some of those ideas were the authors, others I expounded on. If you really want to know what he said, read the book.

Here's where I'm going with this. I think it is time for me to take a leave from the internet. Honestly, this falls on my wife's birthday (tomorrow) and that is not a coincidence. I will spend at least a week away from this blasted computer (although I still have to use one at work). I haven't been blogging a ton recently, so I have no idea when I'll be back. I would still like to post pictures and express ideas here, but I want to spend less time surfing and otherwise worshiping a god that I don't believe should have any power in my life.

So ultimately as a birthday present to my wife I'm going to spend more time building relationships with family and less time doing whatever it is that I do on the computer.


Heather said...

Interesting post Garrett. I'm not anti-technology. I admit it has it's downfalls, but I also think it has been priceless in accomplishing so much good in the world too. Anywho, getting back to your post, when we came to Germany it took them 3 weeks to set up the internet in our apartment. I'm so glad I went those weeks without it. I spent so much more time with my family and our relationships grew stronger during that time. I felt like a better mom. Ever since we got the internet I have been so much better at regulating my time online and making sure that I don't fall back into my "internet rut". :) Good luck on your time off, let us know how it goes. :)

Alyssa said...

Thanks, Sans!

Heffalump said...

Good for you!