Friday, September 28, 2007

voluntary simplicity

Source: A Perfect World


It has been an overwhelming week for me, school-wise. Suddenly everything is due at once, and I have not only piles of reading but also a lot of writing to do - writing I care about doing well and thoroughly. However, in my explorations of the literature surrounding blogs, homesteading, and simplifying our lives, I came across a few things that might be of interest to others.

First, if you are not aware of Duane Elgin's work on the idea of voluntary simplicity, his website, Awakening Earth, is definitely worth checking out. I especially recommend scrolling down to his articles. The first part of of Voluntary Simplicity (1977) is a good place to start.

The second recommendation unfortunately requires either a good library or a subscription to an online journal source. Teresa Heinz Housel also did an ethnography of technology and homesteading, although she has a somewhat different emphasis than I do. She is exploring homesteaders' selective uses of technology, and identifies four ways that those selections are informed by homesteading values:

1. the relationship between technology and capitalism;
2. the influence of technology on loss of personal control;
3. the impact of technology on the home's domestic sphere; and
4. the effects on interpersonal relationships in capitalistic, technologically-oriented societies.

Here's the citation:

Housel, T.H. (2006). Solar panels, shovels and the 'net: Selective uses of technology in the homesteading movement. Information, Communication & Society. 9(2), 182-201.

Finally, I uncovered an Emerson essay I wasn't aware of: Self-Reliance. I haven't finished digesting it, but will publish my thoughts when I have.

portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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