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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As part of his graduate research, he and his new bride takes a sabbatical to live among and study the lifestyle of an Old Order Anabaptist community that limits their use of technology. Overall, the Brendes’ experiment finds very limited success.

Even when Brende is discussing how she felt herself being placed in the kitchen, it’s very clearly his voice rather than hers.

One day I reached in my mail slot and, under the pile of bills and advertisements, found the letter I had been waiting for.

Better Off: Flipping The Switch On Technology, by Eric Brende

I think that applies to all technology not just electronic tech. They just want snippets brenve quotes. It’s a joke, people, about them not having money. He and his wife, Mary, ditched their car, electric stove, refrigerator, running water, and everything else motorized or “hooked to the grid,” and spent eighteen months living in a remote community so primitive in its technology that even the Amish consider it antiquated. Now when he’s not suffering from heatstroke, sneezing fits, dropsy, or general muscle fatigue, he’s making clumsy attempts at chopping wood and beheading chickens.


With themes like the value of betetr, living close to nature, community ties, gender roles, and even religion, Brende’s analysis is comprehensive and engaging. March 27, Newsletter: Beter Off is a book about a man who lives for 18 months without technology.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

I’ll wrap it up with a quote from the author: But since property was now synonymous with the person, the two became legally akin. And his rickshaw taxi business is well served by a computer and cell phone.

That said, I would have liked to hear more of Mary’s perspective, of what it like being a woman in Amish country. Interesting experiment about living without technology or electricity in erkc Amish-like brend, but it lacked a lot of the details I wish it had.

There were certain unspoken limits to the discussion, certain subjects not to be broached. The forgo gas and electricity, meaning no air bende, lighting, refrigeration, or motor vehicles. This Catholic convert began to suspect that modern men and women were shrinking their lives to fit their machines.

Refresh and try again.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende – PopMatters

Did they have enough to eat in the winter? Instead, Brende seems unquestioningly in favor of the “Minimites”‘s philosophy and the refusal to use automated machinery. Take how he talks about his wife. The technological brenre of the western world have prevented me from the spiritual life and intellectual growth, or rather, I have allowed them to do this. The style was bland and tedious, though the story could While it had an interesting premise, it didn’t come close to living up to my expectations.

Did you catch it the first time when I said “more free time”? Most of her work consisted in transferring the contents of ledger sheets to ever-changing computer programs, by which she managed larger and larger accounting client pools. In my day job, I work at Dallas Theological Seminaryand at night I write Bible software for countries whose leaders could be called “overlords. Instead he manages to take nearly every experience and encounter and turn it into a larger-than-life lesson about how things should be, usually relying on weakly related quotes by other, more talented writers, or outright assumptions he presents as gospel.


After a netter in this mood-venting chamber, I felt something like wine flowing through my extremities, as if my life-blood were being restored. As a number cruncher by day, she wore a mouthpiece by night to keep from grinding her teeth.

But she never dieted. But the exponents of public policy remained about as starry-eyed brsnde I had been in grade school. His questions about technology led him, as he neared the end of graduate studies at M.

Brende manages to dodge every opportunity to provide actual insigh This book fails on almost every level possible. During a rest stop a few hours later, I noticed him standing beside the bus by himself.

Becoming contemplatives would help us to see the brokenness within ourselves and others as a sacramental entry point for God into our lifes. But they recognized that for all the good the phone might bring, its reach would have other negative effects.

This gives him insight and access to the perspective of male community members, but not female.