Monday, February 13, 2006

off the grid

Seems like a nexus of conversations has lately arrived at what it is to live off the grid.

As in: independent of the state networks that connect and control and track and decide so much for us (often contrary to how we would have it).

Energy. Phone. Taxes. City life.

There are books out there, and it can be done. Not easily, but there are still places and ways to live a "cash only" existence.

I am not sure I am quite ready for all those ways, but I do feel pangs of discontent about the way I have to compromise my private me to participate in society.

(That I am blogging is wonderfully incongruous with the desire for a more private life.)

I'd like to see computers that just did what they are supposed to do without all the gimmicks that are so evidently not about meeting my needs.

Computer as appliance vs. Computer as marketing machine

I'd like to see the Starbucks card and the pre-paid phone card morph into cash cards for whatever we want to purchase anonymously. You can plunk down cash or load $$$ on these little babies from another card and just pay as you go. No hoo hoo. No bother. Of course they are tracking transactions on the back end, but in a pure sense, why couldn't you buy a pre-paid cash card with no linkage to your DNA and personal shopping history?

Well, so...There is always cash. And stores. There are tattoo artists. Farmer's markets. There are fishing boats at the dock. There are money orders. There's barter. Family loans. Etc. Etc.

Maybe as the pendulum swings we'll start seeing "simple" as a product feature.

Better yet, we'll stop seeing product features.


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