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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However, in a portentous early scene, Miller assigns greenhorn Brende the initially daunting task of mowing the lawn with a push-mower.

This book fails on almost every level possible. But then again, who doesn’t love a pompous grad student showing up and having to constantly lean on their neighbors’ generosity and expertise, rather than making the effort to become at all adept at the kind of skills one needs to subsist? It told them what the prices were, it added them together, it cued them to their duties. If that were really the case, he wouldn’t think it was worth talking about.

NOTE A colleague recommended this to me, saying it was his “favorite book ever,” so I’m hoping he doesn’t read this review. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. How did going from being a Boston accountant to an Amish housewife affect her sense of self? He mentions Catholic vs Anabaptist leanings, but talks about religion as a component of living off the grid — while he has questions about the orthodoxy of the church and boring church sermons, he doesn’t have a problem with the basic concept of religion as an integral part of life there.


These were largely Amish and Mennonites who thought that their own communities were moving too far from their traditional values, if that tells you anything. After the 18 months, Brende, his wife, and their new baby left the Minimite community to finish his degree in Boston. My daughter was ten when we went through the central Pennsylvania Amish country, and she was invited to live at and work on an Amish farm.

Anyway, I accept that it was necessary to discuss how vital the Amish work ethic and community are to an endeavor such as this; in fact, it would be nearly impossible to live such a lifestyle without many like-minded neighbors. By this innovation the machine got a toehold; it gained stature tantamount to that of its owner, even as the owner descended to the plane of the machine.

Dec 06, Thomas rated it it was ok.

Hence my ambivalence when I spied the black-hatted man. Aug 02, Jes rated it really liked it. But this was M.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology

The end of the book describes how Brende and his family are now living in an urban environment but still easily managing to have a wonderful life financed by selling homemade soap and giving people bicycle rickshaw rides around town. While it had an interesting premise, it didn’t come close to living up to my expectations.

She basically remains a card board cut out of a person whereas the author has soliloquies,adventures, grandiose observations and comes off as one of the most narcissistic people I’ve come across in recent memory. But she never dieted.


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

Even the neoclassical centerpiece of campus, the majestically domed edifice at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, somehow brought to my mind a nuclear reactor. After supper even the cars went into hibernation; the only signs of life were the faint glows cast by cathode ray tubes on living-room blinds.

Published August 2nd by Harper Perennial first published It was called bettdr, Technology, and Society.

I looked at Mary.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

Jun 14, Kari rated it really liked it. She rarely drives, but for some reason had this day dared to hazard the maze of crowded freeways and interchanges. Even so, Brende insists “going motorless was critical.

There was plenty of time to unwind betetr relax and forget. One of my takeaways from the book was how the Minimites carefully considered the effect various technologies might have on their families and community. I appreciated Brende’s focus on the centrality of community for making it all work and exposing the lie of self-sufficiency.

You do not know what you are creating. Lists with This Book.

I wish he had been more evenhanded about the pros and cons of living such a low-tech life. Take how he talks about his wife.