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The Simple Life
An opinion piece pondering the meaning of the simplicity movement to the dot com world.
Posted Jun 18, 2000
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Proponents are telling us to simplify our lives. Rushing to the dry cleaner? Buy wash-and-wear. Three different food stores? Settle for one. Must watch your favorite sitcom? Get rid of the TV. Find recycling a chore? Buy fresh foods only. Can't finish a book? Trash the distracting junk mail littering your coffee table.

And what do they have to say about the Internet? Core VS proponents are anti-technology to a degree that would make Ted Kaczynski proud. Others spread their message online. But the fact is, if technology were doing its job right, it would be the ultimate vehicle for simple living. It would cut down on errands, reduce the number of devices in our homes, reduce the number of bills we pay as media converge (one telecomm bill for phone, cell phone, Internet, TV). We would only leave home for the positive reason of interacting directly with others.

Carried to its logical extreme, this argument suggests that the Internet is the key to a utopian society. But whose utopia? The VS utopia seeks to save the planet by reducing consumerism while the consumer utopia seeks to consume simply? Isn't that the remarkable thing about the Internet, though? It can advance the causes of two opposing philosophies at the same time. Everyone's happy, right?

It all sounds a bit too simple to me.

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