Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology (P.S.)

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9780060570057: Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology (P.S.)
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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, 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.

Better Off is the story of their real-life experiment to see whether our cell phones, wide-screen TVs, and SUVs have made life easier -- or whether life would be preferable without them. This smart, funny, and enlightening book mingles scientific analysis with the human story to demonstrate how a world free of technological excess can shrink stress -- and waistlines -- and expand happiness, health, and leisure.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Eric Brende has degrees from Yale, Washburn University, and MIT, and has received a Citation of Excellence from the National Science Foundation and a graduate fellowship from the Mellon Foundation in the Humanities. At the insistence of his editor, he now has an e-mail account at the local library but continues to minimize modern technology for himself and his family. Eric and Mary Brende have recently relocated to an old-town section in St. Louis, where Eric makes his living as a rickshaw driver and a soap maker.

From School Library Journal:

Adult/High School–An undergraduate course in the history of technology led Brende to enroll in a graduate program at M.I.T. that contemplated the social effects of machines on human life. He then decided to test his idea that the more advanced the machine, the bigger the downside, by moving to the country to farm and live cheaply without electricity for 18 months. This is not a back-to-the-land book on how to dig a root cellar; rather, it's the Brendes' experiences on the farm they rented. He and his wife soon discovered a natural rhythm to their lives that had been missing in Boston and that they both found deeply satisfying. It seemed as if they'd stay permanently, but when they got rid of the car in favor of a horse and buggy, it turned out that Brende's wife was allergic to horses. By this time, the experiment had confirmed the author's thinking about the harm technology does to humans and society and that machines are becoming our masters. His curiosity about how much he could transfer of what he had learned to the "outside" world, plus his wife's allergy, led them to move to another undisclosed location–a small town outside a Midwestern city–where they were able to live simply, albeit with electricity, and survive, even thrive, on odd jobs, bartering, and soap-making. Brende's close look at technology's generally unnoticed harmful effects is a welcome relief from the usual how-to-get-ahead-in-the-rat-race attitude. Thoughtful teens will find much to contemplate here.–Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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, 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.Better Off is the story of their real-life experiment to see whether our cell phones, wide-screen TVs, and SUVs have made life easier -- or whether life would be preferable without them. This smart, funny, and enlightening book mingles scientific analysis with the human story to demonstrate how a world free of technological excess can shrink stress -- and waistlines -- and expand happiness, health, and leisure.This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more. Seller Inventory # AAC9780060570057

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