Finished this book a couple of nights ago. Interesting, and has given me a lot to think about. Basically it is the story of an MIT grad student and his new wife who go and live at the edge of a community (Amish/Mennonite strain) that uses virtually no modern technology. They stay for 18 months, experiencing life "off the grid."
It is fascinating, and there were several observations that even my relatively technologically saturated life bear out. The first one made me laugh out loud: The advent of dishwashers, those great labor savers, didn't do anything to reduce the pile of dishes on the kitchen counter. That is borne out as truth in MY house! Our dishwasher has been broken for the past 3 months, and we've been washing by hand. No more dishes are sitting around than there were before, when we simply argued about who would load them and who would unload. Go figure.
Anyway, the other observation was about time, and about how, without technological stimulation, it seemed to slow down. Now look, we have never gone without a lot of technology. But we did go for YEARS with no television on weeknights. I can vouch for the fact that nights with no tv seem longer (IN A GOOD WAY!) than those with tv. PapaC and I had discussed that, and could never put a finger on why that would be so. The act of reading, say, in a quiet house is a most satisfying experience. And hour of it is so satisfying (to me) that when it is over, you feel that it must be much later. To find out you still have another hour or so free is wiggle-your-toes-and-settle-further-back-into- the-pillows yummy. That has NEVER happened to me watching tv or videos. Then it is always "Wow! Where did the time go?" disconcerting.
I'm not rushing out to by a farm. But it does make you think about whether we are using the machines or they are conditioning us.