Simplicity and Culture

I am a simple person.

I enjoy the complexities of technological innovation and our society because they're undoubtedly impressive, but I also feel a very strong resistance to it. I (mostly) don't appreciate material things and I don't like American culture in almost every way. The announcement of Apple's Vision Pro headset has made me fully realize how torn I am; I love the design and the idea, but it seems like it has the potential to make our mental health/societal problems collectively worse. I'm a sucker for cyberpunk media (and, for the sake of this post, especially Ready Player One) but I also know just how bad it would be for humanity if any of those universes were to be (more) real.

I've recently started learning about permaculture and permacomputing and I'm excited to learn more. One of the scariest things about the problems we face as a species are the people who are potentially (and maliciously) leading us in the wrong direction. Permaculture/computing is extremely fascinating to me because I think they're the perfect blend of simplicity and complexity. I think that to solve the climate and energy crises that are hurtling towards us (and in some ways are already occurring) a drastic change is needed and permaculture/computing can provide a framework for how we can transition everything else to a more sustainable and human-friendly future.

The random launch into conversation about the impending dystopia is a normal thing for me, so you'll have to excuse it, but I think it's important to keep myself grounded in this way. Anyways, I try to live simply because of this and I think a lot of people could benefit from doing the same - a lot of things are way more simple than they seem, or at least they should be. I think about this often and consequentially have simplified practically everything in my life. This is the opposite of the culture I live in and frankly I hate it. I feel the same way that Drew Devault does in his post about moving to the Netherlands where he says "leaving the US is a selfish choice." I'm sure I could stay here and make change happen but it feels more damaging to stay here fighting for what's right than it does to do the same somewhere less... bad, for a lack of a better word. To be honest, I'm not really sure how to navigate the future because of this and that has wrecked a lot of decisions for me. I'm glad to be where I'm at now but it is difficult to realize that I've given up a traditionally attractive lifestyle (or rather, what would be) for my morals.

If only things were simpler...