Ammie's Reviews > Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology

Better Off by Eric Brende
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Nov 09, 2010

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Read in November, 2010

I loved how this started out, because I identified with the general stance taken: instead of being an out-and-out Luddite, Brende posits himself as someone who merely wants to question the role of technology and be wary of humans serving it instead of the other way around. In other words: cautious and careful use, mixed with a feeling that less than the average American consumes is probably not a bad thing. As a result, he and his new wife spent eighteen months living with a quasi-Amish community, with no electricity or running water.
And lo, they were so happy! And fulfilled! And learning so much! And so, inevitably perhaps, the book began to get preachy. I slogged my way through maybe the last third, which is when things veered sharply from actual experiences--he tells absolutely nothing of surviving the winter with a new baby on the strength of a woodstove, for instance--and into ideology. And if you'd read that far, you probably already understood.

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