This post is inspired by the essay, Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it’s necessary, published on Aeon Magazine.
Apparently, ballpoint pens don’t work in space because of the lack of gravity. It is said that NASA, troubled by this realization, spent many millions of dollars designing a ‘space pen’ that could function in the absence of gravity. The Russians used a pencil.
Whether or not this story is true, it raises interesting questions about how technology is used in modern society. Are we, like NASA, complicating life and wasting money on superfluous technology?
To what extent could we, like the Russians, find much ‘simpler’ solutions to the problems we face?
What role should technology play in living the simple life? In the 21st century, are there times when our lives could be improved by using less technology, not more? Or by using technology smarter?
My love/hate with technology is around communications. I love my computer/internet connection and have acquiesced to having a mobile phone, but the trick is not feeling like you have to be available 24 hours a day to people. They’re just tools, not the master you’re enslaved to.
To be sure, there is no ‘rule’ to follow, as such, that can tell us when technology is appropriate and when it is not. There is much, much more to say on the question of technology in future posts. But for now I will close this post with following comment:
The simple life is not just beautiful, it’s necessary. Technology can play an integral role to simplify our lives.
Life is about choices. Making the choice to live life in a simpler way is something that is becoming a necessity.