Better Off

Better Off

Flipping the Switch on Technology

Book - 2004
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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 -- one that dramatically changes the way they live, and proves entertaining and surprising to readers.

Better OFF is a smart, often comedic, and always riveting book that also mingles scientific analysis with the human story, demonstrating how a world free of technological excess can shrink stress -- and waistlines -- and expand happiness, health, and leisure. Our notion that technophobes are backward gets turned on its head as the Brendes realize that the crucial technological decisions of their adopted Minimite community are made more soberly and deliberately than in the surrounding culture, and the result is greater -- not lesser -- mastery over the conditions of human existence.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2004.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780060570040
0060570040
9780060570057
0060570059
Branch Call Number: 303.483 Bre
Characteristics: 233 pages

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Freebird12 Feb 12, 2012

This was an intriguing read. A man and his wife go Minimalist for 18 months, changing perspectives on how much we really need to get by. This challenges our consumerism lifestyles and makes us realize we really could be 'better off' without so much technology.

c
c_anderson
Oct 31, 2011

A humane and thought-provoking book. Doing more with less, reconnecting with people and with one's own abilities. I recommend it highly!

h
heather333
Jan 27, 2010

I love this book. It inspired me to take a closer look at how much I personally used technology that was unnecessary at best and more trouble than it's worth at worst. For instance, did I really need an electric can opener? Was opening a can with a manual opener really that taxing?

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