It is tempting to regard a life that takes place “off the grid” of modern culture — sans TV, sans cellphone, sans facebook, sans travel — with pity, as if the person living this way was “left behind” or just doesn’t know what he’s missing. The temptation to belittle this choice — especially when it is a choice and not simply the result of poverty and isolation — is rooted in the suspicion that the trappings of modernity have provided at best illusory improvements on our simpler past. The nagging feeling that what we have lost of the old analog way of life might be of equal or even greater value than what we have gained in our progress towards an evermore technologically complex, global society, never manifests so acutely as when we are presented with people who have “opted out” of the whole business. (continue reading)
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