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a longing for simplicity

 
Posts: 78
Location: western NY (Erie County), USA; zone 5b/6a. Can't exactly tell where the boundary line is.
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This thread was originally a long digression contained here: Winter Reading Plans and why I picked John Michael Greer's books to read. But I thought the digression devalued the point of the post and so I searched around for somewhere to put it. Hence, my first Cider Press post. 😲 It's just some points I wanted to make on technology use, or mis-use. Also, why I'm slowly longing for simpler times.

As I age (I’ll be 58 in January) and witness the technology that our society is rapidly embracing, I’m fearing the continued dependency on tech and the consequential erosion of our soul. It seems that the more we grow dependent upon tech, the more of our humanity we lose. It is not always a given; many people who embrace tech have a strong moral compass with regard to its uses. It’s a valuable tool, nothing more, and they pragmatically adapt and use the tech that is appropriate to their needs. But so many rush headlong into using more and more and disregard the loss of privacy, individuality, civility and community. A Facebook friend of mine half-jokingly called me a neo-Luddite. Not entirely true, but I do question the use of tech for tech’s sake. (Disclaimer: I’d be lost without the Internet; I met my wife in an online Catholic dating site, I run two blogs, I’ve self-published two devotional books several years ago and this Winter plan to write and self-pub more. I’ve learned so much about my religion and spirituality and also permaculture/gardening/simplicity and frugality and related things.) But I use it in a pragmatic manner. I have been known to vanish from the Internet for days at a time, just for a breather from all the toxicity and for my mental health. Anyway, this Winter, since I’m at home due to the whole COVID situation and attempting to develop work-at-home opportunities, I have time to ponder and reflect on where we are headed. This may be why I’ve taken so much to permies.com since the COVID outbreak. To me, it’s an oasis of sanity (imagine that, a community of 'goofballs’), niceness and civility while being educational in a fun and supportive manner. It may be contradictory, using an online forum for expanding my pragmatic knowledge of 'neo-Luddite' activities but hey, I did say that the proper use of tech should involve some well-conceived, intentional use. That make any sense? Permies.com and all it represents appeals to me and fills some deep longing within me for certain answers to things.

Anyway, I am personally concerned about all this and needed somewhere to vent. Perhaps it's an emotional overreaction, or just reflective of everything about 2020 with its apocalyptic tenor, adding in the increasingly vitriolic public debate that has developed over this past decade (or longer), stemming in part from access to vast information that is not very well curated along with news media that is agenda-driven (HINT: I think they're all 'Faux News.' They all ’lie’.) I do think things are coming to some type of a head and the results will be disastrous.

Oh, by the way, my use of the term ’Neo-Luddite’ wasn't intended to be a pejorative. In short, I like tech, am aware that many here use it properly and advocate for it appropriate use, but I'm just getting a little wiggy about current events and found myself writing this in another thread, but thought it deserved its own place.


 
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Hi paul,

I suspect many of us here live under a certain irony.  We seek a more simple life ..  and we share that life on the internet.

I had, actually have, a job that required a great deal of travel ( I suspect I posted this months ago).  I was working with coworker who I had never met before.  By any means, my coworker told me that his brother, whom he had not seen in 10 years had a lay over at an airport 30 miles away.  He asked if i could take him there ( my coworker had flown in.... i had driven).  We picked the brother up and went to a steakhouse.  The brother worked as executive at a major news network.   I was the designated driver. The brother drank too much and talked too much.   At some point he commented, "all news is entertainment."
 
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I tend to adventure in similar contradictory patterns and share many of your thoughts, on occasion.  Funny, when I read your reading choice, I mixed it up with another author: W Micheal Gear, who I'd read years ago.  Very different.
For me the Internet is both for research and entertainment, but it, like all tech needs an off-button and a time limit.

As for me... neo-Luddite? -perhaps.

Longing for simplicity:  Definitely.  I can relate.  

You seem like an interesting character.  

I don't mean any disrespect whatsoever by noting:  A Catholic who has decided to immerse himself in the worlds of an eco-druid/occultist for winter reading...  Now that's some balancing of paradigms and complexity of character !!  Lol.  I salute you.  
 
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I in fact often call myself a Luddite, usually in a self deprecating way with a light humorous tone when explaining to people that I don't have a cell phone, or TV, or fill in the blank tech toy.  That said I have to admit to my own tech addictions.  Earlier in the week my landline phone/internet went out.  Frankly I didn't miss the phone part and all the scam calls/political "polls".  (I have seriously considered getting rid of a phone altogether.)  However, I was quickly a bit twitchy at not being able to check my email or go on-line.  I held off until the second day before fighting with the phone company to try to get it fixed and also going into the local library to log on with the public wifi.  

In general I make an effort to spend most of my time in the real world rather than the cyber world.  On that note there is a puppy visiting me who is demanding some real world attention and love.
 
Paul Sofranko
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Location: western NY (Erie County), USA; zone 5b/6a. Can't exactly tell where the boundary line is.
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:
You seem like an interesting character.

Thanks! Maybe. Jury is deliberating.

Roberto pokachinni wrote:
I don't mean any disrespect whatsoever by noting:  A Catholic who has decided to immerse himself in the worlds of an eco-druid/occultist for winter reading...  Now that's some balancing of paradigms and complexity of character !!  Lol.  I salute you.  





I tend to disregard the source of information and focus on the information itself. I wasn't aware of Greer's spirituality until after I received the books and found him referencing his "Archdruid Report" blog. No matter, the overall description of the books indicated that they fill a need I am exploring. Besides, as a denizen of many church basements from being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I found that it is more important to focus on the messenger, not the message. Whether the AA member is a banker or lawyer still donning their office attire as they enter a meeting room, a priest in recovery daring to wear his Roman collar, or a Lesbian Wicca practitioner, I never know what that one thing is they'll say that will keep me from the drink in some dark time when I'm thinking of relapsing. Same for permaculture for any related subject. I'll take what's useful and filter out anything that I disagree with. We're all in this together, it takes all kinds.
 
Paul Sofranko
Posts: 78
Location: western NY (Erie County), USA; zone 5b/6a. Can't exactly tell where the boundary line is.
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David Huang wrote:I in fact often call myself a Luddite, usually in a self deprecating way with a light humorous tone when explaining to people that I don't have a cell phone, or TV, or fill in the blank tech toy.  That said I have to admit to my own tech addictions.  Earlier in the week my landline phone/internet went out.  Frankly I didn't miss the phone part and all the scam calls/political "polls".  (I have seriously considered getting rid of a phone altogether.)  However, I was quickly a bit twitchy at not being able to check my email or go on-line.  I held off until the second day before fighting with the phone company to try to get it fixed and also going into the local library to log on with the public wifi.  

In general I make an effort to spend most of my time in the real world rather than the cyber world.  On that note there is a puppy visiting me who is demanding some real world attention and love.


I actually appreciate the smartphone. Not into texting that much, but it serves a useful purpose in quickly checking Facebook or the weather; and there are some useful ’apps.’ Also I have Permies affixed to the Home screen so I can easily visit. I don't think I've ever posted from the phone as I hate the virtual keyboard. Phones are a necessary ’evil’ I suppose.

PUPPY!!! We have two indoor cats that are belly rub addicts. They also aid in disconnecting from the online world.
 
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