Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Perhaps not that: Off The Grid

I'm seeing what appears to be a reactionary (the literal sense, not the right wing kind) trend with some people wanting to withdraw from modern life and not be so plugged in. Some even want to live completely off the grid meaning as self sufficiently as possible.

While in some senses I find that admirable I find it a bit of an over reaction, and probably a new implementation of Futureshock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Shock) which the author Alvin Toffler in 1970 defined as: a personal perception of "too much change
in too short a period of time."

Sometime ago I wondered if we were now impervious to Futureshock since we come to expect change especially when it comes to technology. I think I am wrong. While we are pretty impervious to the things that Toffler was writing about, some of us still appear to get a bit touchy
about not feeling as in control of our circumstances as we'd like.
These days I've been reading about people now trying to live "off the
grid." This means many different things to people.
Ones I've seen are
The Slow Food groups
- grow your own food
- go to the farmers market and organic food market more, grocery store less
- raise your own livestock
The chop wood, carry water Firefox (not the web browser) types
- build you own home/shelter
- make your own clothes
The types on overload
- not be so internet/cell phone/tv dependent
And the alternative energy/tell PGE to go away
- create your own power (who tend to be a different group - they literally mean the electrical grid)

What's fascinating to me is that all these groups are not the same though they have a lot in common.

I'm very much a slow food type, but while I grow a little food, I more spend a lot of time in food tores figuring out how to make it a nutritious, usable experience.. And I don't have livestock.

Also many of those wanting theiir own solar power are not really interested in withdrawing, they ust think that they can generate power by themselves than PGE could ever do it for them and hey even give some of it back. (Show offs. Hats off to them.)

I think some of the off the grid movement (for lack of a better phrase) is over reaction. Walking away from such things as phones and email and social networking internet sites, robs you of a global village that you could have and make excellent use of. And this is yielding some very wacky contradictory scenarios like those people who blog about living off the grid (no citation as I don't want to single anyone out). What they have to say is useful information perhaps, but I think they have to be a skoch more honest with themselves that just maybe perhaps they are not really "off the grid." :)

No comments: