Village Praxis: Dumb Phones Make You Smarter by Bill Buppert

Do you have a smartphone? Get rid of it. Rationalize it all you want but it is robbing you of some of the best aspects of being alive and in the now and present. Reading doesn’t take place until your eyes are off the page. It disturbs mindfulness, ruins cognition and simply makes you distracted to advancing as a human being.

Those aren’t friends on the ‘net, those are distant acquaintances who behaves in a way distinctly different from their meatspace proclivities.

Once you’ve liberated yourself and gotten a dumb phone, buy a Faraday bag and you are set. Talk to people with your mouth, write letters, as a matter of fact, write. Writing makes you smarter, more contemplative and simply brighter in apprehending the world you.

You will relish the newfound return to “unavailability”.

I’m not a technophobe but I am one of a handful of humans who has never had a FaceBorg account and I am the better for it.

My editor told me to have a Twitter account and that constantly fights for my attention and may very well be my existential albatross to bear instead of FB or a smartphone.

You will discover that if you take the leap from smartphone to dumbphone, keep a careful eye on your provider bills. People have learned the hard way that when it comes to cell phones, it’s easier to get into the system than to get out of it.

You may become nomophobic. Fight it. Coined by researchers in the United Kingdom, nomophobia is defined as “the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.”

According to Nicholas Carr:

“It’s not only deep thinking that requires a calm, attentive mind. It’s also empathy and compassion. Psychologists have long studied how people experience fear and react to physical threats, but it’s only recently that they’ve begun researching the sources of our nobler instincts. What they’re finding is that, as Antonio Damasio, the director of USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute, explains, the higher emotions emerge from neural processes that are “inherently slow.”

Some very savvy tech folk don’t use smartphones for a variety of reasons. One of them is Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of Kaspersky lab, the most prominent antivirus software company. I  know a few regional business leaders who for security reasons prefer an old very basic Nokia. I happen to have three Nokia “candy-bars” sitting in my desk from my time overseas.

Your phone is rewiring the way you make human connections and not for the better. There are some smartphone researchers who are suggesting that the technology is physically altering brain wiring and activity.

You want a camera? Buy a camera and carry it in your EDC. Want to stay in touch? Buy a dumb phone. Want to be connected but not addicted? Get a pager. I carry an encrypted Spok T5.

And don’t forget your Faraday Bag.

And you do realize you are doing all the heavy lifting for the surveillance state to compile an incredibly detailed diary and archive of your life, who you are and who you associate with? You’re the battery they’ve been lusting after for millennia. You cooperate with own once and future enslavement.

Jenna Woginrich put it nicely:

“I got a landline and I got more sleep. I look people in the eye. I eat food instead of photographing it and am not driving half a ton of metal into oncoming traffic while looking down at a tiny screen. My business, social life, and personal safety have not evaporated overnight either. Turns out a basic internet connection and laptop is plenty of connectivity to keep friends informed, weekends fun and trains running on time. And while I might be missing out on being able to call 911 at any moment, it’s worth the sacrifice to me. Alcoholics can clean wounds with 100 proof vodka, but that doesn’t mean they should have it in their back pocket just in case.”

Embrace the unplugged life.

Next step, unplug from all cable and satellite services for your glass teat.

If you disconnect, do write me and tell me of the experience.

61 thoughts on “Village Praxis: Dumb Phones Make You Smarter by Bill Buppert”

  1. Every summer when I hire a couple of young guys as laborers that piss and moan about me locking all of our phones in the truck. If the phones weren’t in the truck – they would spend most of their time checking farcebook or twatter or whatever other social media they use and little to no work would get done.

    I started the phones locked in the truck about 7 or 8 years ago.

    It ain’t just social media- it’s talking to friends and girlfriends or arguing with girlfriends.

    Amazing how much faster they learn without their face in a damn phone all day.

    I got a “smart phone” last year and wish I never got it. I have very few apps and have almost all notifications turned off. I’ll check for calls, e-mails and texts when I take a break. I’m going back to a dumb phone as soon as smartphone dies which should be by middle to end of June going by past phone life. I see people that are like zombies because they’re on the phone checking farcebook or whatever constantly all day long. Some of them probably sleep with the damn things right next to them so they don’t miss a tweet or farcebook post.

    Smartphones are without a doubt making people dumber.

    1. GGII,

      This is precisely my experience and the more digital the native, the worse the cognition and following basic instruction and direction.

      Just look around in your day to day travels wherever you go.

      1. It gets annoying when they can’t read a tape measure,or cut a board to anything other than full or half inch because they were thinking about farcebook or whatever when I explained for the 4th or 5th time how simple it is to read a tape.

        For a lot of them,I actually have to draw out an example of an inch on a tape-and label what each line represents. Granted,some of that is they had no shop classes,and no one at home to teach them to read a tape,but it ain’t that complicated.

        Some go for the phone instead of eating lunch-that’s sad.

        Others realize all the time they have been wasting,and how they can’t give their full attention to anything because they’re thinking about the phone and farcebook.

        The lost causes are just phone zombies who will never be able to work a real job or learn anything new unless they put the phone down.

  2. People are taken aback and even refuse to believe it when I tell them to not call me at home on the cell phone because there is no signal near the house. I turn the thing off when I’m still 5 – 10 miles away from home. Plus, I don’t find a “smart phone” to be particularly useful. I don’t text. If it’s that important, I’ll call. All I need a mobile pone to do is make phone calls, period! Can’t wait for it to die.

    Drove a semi-truck for a little while, delivering mostly palletized goods in city environments. Many, many times, when stopped at a red lights I’ve seen 100% of the other drivers with their heads buried, playing with their phones. I might be wrong, but considering the potential lethality of the wheeled metal boxes strapped to one’s butt, when driving, I always kind of thought it might be more important to look around and keep your SA up.

    1. You bet it is. I also notice that if someone is focused on the little screen they are also not listening. Twice in my years of driving hearing impending danger saved me before I actually saw what was coming.

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  4. I have an old Samsung ‘slightly smart’ phone. Funny thing is the only functions I use are phone and calculator. Every other app has been disabled.

    Point of order: Do not assume a land line phone improves your security. Somewhere in the PSTN your traffic is digitized and just as available to NSA/CIA as a cellphone. Its only advantage is that it is not a single point of discovery for probable cause.

      1. I assume all logic bearing devices connceted to power with transmission capability have been hacked by the overlords, hence the use of a Faraday Bag. Either turn off the dumb phone or put it in airplane mode when securing it in the bag.

  5. I got into smartphones late (still on my first one). I don’t have a lot of the problems others report. Some days I never look at the thing. I do find the camera handy at times, and before the smartphone I just never seemed to have a camera when I needed one. I finally have seen the utility of texting, I might send one every day or two or three. I often just let it ring and assume the person will text or leave a voice message – certainly while I am driving. I like having a calculator handy too.

    The security aspects are disturbing but if I ever go into revolution mode I will just throw the thing away. Until then my life is rather tame, and my unconventional opinions just end up posted in forums anyway, so it’s not helping NSA too much at my expense.

    When this one dies I may go back to a dumb phone. I guess I don’t care much one way or another. Sure won’t go back to a landline though. Maybe the problems aren’t the smartphones per se, but peoples’ addiction to them. A distinction without a difference?

    1. The camera feature is sort of okay. I often have the problem of not being able to frame the shot because the image on the screen gets washed out by ambient light, especially outdoors. Now I just carry an older, cheap but capable enough digital camera.

      If you ever do decide to toss a cell phone for “revolutionary” reasons either remove the battery first (use a hammer as required), give it away to someone else, or leave it on and toss it in a vehicle going someplace where you won’t be. Just don’t turn it off and not worry about it. It can be turned back on remotely with no indication of this except for battery depletion.

  6. SemperFi, 0321

    I had an old black rotary wall phone until about 2 yrs ago, my whole landline shorted out somewhere and the phone company unhooked since it didn’t work anymore, however, it did RECEIVE calls. I could talk all night and not radiate my skull.
    I have a small Trac phone for yrs now, hardly ever know where it is since I never carry it with me.

    Almost all of my friends have smartphones, whenever I’m having a face to face with someone and it rings and they put me on hold, I walk away. Fuck them and their rudeness.

    People who ride in my Jeep with me, or go hiking and spend all their time staring into their phone never get a 2nd trip with me. I live in some of the most beautiful country in this nation, and these idiots can’t find anything better to do than look at their screen every 30 seconds?
    Serious mental disorders!

    Society as a whole has lost everything from manners to direct contact due to cell phones, they’ll pay heavily in the coming yrs for this.

    1. Centurion_Cornelius

      SemperFi, 0321! We must be brothers, separated at birth!

      When I retired in 2008, at my “going away party,” they ridiculed me as a “Man of the ’90s–1890,” since all I had a black bakelite rotary phone.

      They howled and laughed when they learned I had poop-canned ALL my tee vees. None–no demon-box in my homestead. Tree lawn trash.

      I still have the rotary phone but have now also added a TracFone to my “arsenal” of commo. What FED GOV don’t know, won’t hurt me.

      Same with unmannerly people and phone callers–put me on hold? CLICK! Got your face in a “device,” then OUT you go.

      Social media–NONE! Friends, relatives, neighbors hound me to join the madness. Nope.

      If I can’t talk to you face-to-face and look into your eyes and heart, feel your commitment and truth to what you’re saying, and size you up–then, BUGGER OFF!

    2. ” I live in some of the most beautiful country in this nation, .,..”

      Not being nosy or doxxing, just curious … where generally? Idaho, Montana?

      Certainly not Iowa. My corollary to Douglas Adams’ quote, “It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the phrase, ‘as pretty as an airport.'” is similar. Just replace the word “airport” with Iowa.

        1. Knew you’d say something like that. Know the area a little bit. The missus and I used to make an annual pilgrimage to that neck of the woods. It was our Shangri la / Rivendell recharge/reset. Monetarily, things are just too tight to take that get away. Stuck in the wilds of Iowa.

          Your Jeep wouldn’t be an older CJ-5 or CJ-7 by chance?

  7. I don’t own a smart phone. I have never had nor will have ANY social media account. So I don’t text, I don’t twitter, I don’t facebook, I don’t do any of that crap. I have a basic dumb cell phone which has worked just fine for over ten years. Never even had to buy a new battery for it but I do keep it charged up all the time. I have an email account or two and a laptop. I’d kill the cable TV but the wife wouldn’t stand for it… she’s addicted to her programs. That spell is harder to break than alcohol or heroine.

    The good thing about a LL is that while the traffic can still be vacuumed up by the THREE letter agencies, most of those OLD SCHOOL LL phones don’t have a remote backdoor built into them and can’t be activated by a remote “radio/wifi” connection.

    Grey Ghost

    1. Unfortunately this is not correct. There are control tones that can be used to cause a remote landline phone to go offhook and accept an incoming connection without ringing. The person at the other end can just sit there and listen or record to his/her heart’s content.

      There is a universe of interesting things one can do to mere landlines. Search terms: phreak 2600


      1. nunnya bidnez jr

        A very high freq signal, when sent down the line into your phone, causes the hook (a mechanical switch) to behave as a capacitor, allowing current to go through the nominally “open” switch. when current goes through the line, the microphone can pick up ambient sounds; the earpieces should also work, if you’re so inclined to scare the bejesus out of folks but I believe you can’t do this remotely, you must be somewhere along the twisted pair that goes into the house.

  8. Way ahead of you. I only have a land line and only answer during business hours or when a legitimate caller knows the “signal” where one calls and allows phone to ring a specific # of rings then hangs up and calls back within specified time gap. Anyone remember those days?? Don’t be too jealous but I have NEVER, EVER owned a mobile phone and have only used one maybe 20 times to this point in my life and no, I am not over 100 years old. I just don’t need it since I was was taught reliance on one’s self during my childhood.

    Kind of ironic that I get a nice check every month for a cell phone tower lease on my property that you all get to help pay for. I even have a rotary dial phone in operation which I used many times in a month just to irritate the local phone service provider who, by law, has to continue to provide for recognition of its use.

    1. Centurion_Cornelius

      Yepper. Those were the days–three rings and the “real” call! Thanks for the memories!

  9. Bill, I have begun disconnecting and would like to write you about it, as you requested. I actually begun my disconnection backwards though, from what you suggest. I have disconnected the cable/satellite first, and will probably be attempting the smart phone disconnection first.

    My family and I have have recently (last year) purchased some rural property and a house far outside of any large metros, or even mid-sized metros. We made a plan to keep the cable off after our move and we are doing well so far. Even the kids are fine. Go figure.

    We spend more time outside, at the river, with family, building things, shooting in the backyard, etc.

    Something I’ve noticed (it took barely a couple weeks) is the amount of sheer TRASH on television. I thought we were avoiding the crap and watching only decent stuff, but I found very quickly that there is almost ZERO decent stuff on TV today.

    Political opinions, political opinions EVERYWHERE! Even the children’s shows aren’t immune from political slant, and it’s all the same slant. Collectivist, progressive, communist slant. But besides that, the level of intellect on TV today seems to be at about an IQ of 85.

    The characters on TV reinforce bad behaviors in society, and although people should not allow TV to dictate how they act, they DO allow it.

    When you’ve gone without any sort of TV programming, sitting in a restaurant or airport or doctor’s office and watching the TVs in there, what you see is entertaining simply because of how purely ridiculous it is as a whole. The news is ridiculous, the cartoons are ridiculous, the sitcoms are ridiculous, the food shows are ridiculous. The people in these shows are completely fake, characatures of what I can only assume they want us to think the ideal person is like.

    Very quickly after dropping all TV programming, it went from being difficult to fill the extra time, to being difficult to watch it for even a few moments in passing, in less than a few weeks!

    I plan on disconnecting from the smart phone addiction as soon as I get some sort of Internet connection to the house for the laptop. I have my own blog and also a little bit of my work requires some internet use. Currently I do all of that from my smart phone so it’s necessary to have it for now. Once I get Internet to our rural home, the smart phones can be traded for the dumb phones.

    1. Centurion_Cornelius

      Great post! Our family has been “without” tee vees for the ninth year.

      We wait in lines at the grocers, Dr’s Office, or restaurant–and we are forced to view today’s TV–it literally disturbs us. Diabolical stuff.

      How sentient beings can imbibe this unhealthy force-feeding is beyond us. No wonder the world is in such a state.

      Years ago, (and I mean YEARS ago), one of our Grand Mums was shown her first TV. She looked at it rather quizzically and said in her best Polish-American English: “Foolishness!” and went back to tending her chickens out back.

      Recently, an old, retired neighbor bought the largest plasma screen TV available and brought me over to see it. He fired that beast up. And the first thing his dog did was (quite literally) was to attack the images on the screen! That K9 hurled himself at the dancing demons on the screen.

      They say dogs have great instinct for recognizing latent evil which we humans overlook or are too stupid to see.

      That dog has more sense than my neighbor….

      1. Truth, all of it. I do have a universal remote that can turn off TVs in public venues. Quite amusing.

        Some restaurants don’t get my money. I remember going to a Buffalo Wild Wings once and they had TVs at the urinals.

    2. JB,

      Why do you think they call it programming.

      Thanks for the fascinating story of your journey. We cut the cable umbilical in 1996 and haven’t looked back. We stream and I am able to select some great programming. I do think we are in a golden age of documentaries. For instance, Chef’s Table on Netflix is a great unintentional exercise inwhat the market can deliver when unfettered from the government nonsense.

      We experience the same thing on travel and visiting restaurants, the shows are insipid, anti-intellectual and hollow. You’ll notice all men are boobs and women are always the sainted and anointed ones who have the solutions to all problems. Not to mention the consistent narrative of worshiping of the coproach in the endless parade of badged Orc shows. I simply don’t watch it.


      1. I have long been exhausted of seeing how men are portrayed as the dumb, immature, bumbling idiots who parade around like macho three-year-olds while the intelligent and mature women in their life keep them in line. Men are basically a bunch of mindless monkeys as far as the media is concerned. Eff them.

        1. Indeed but the war on masculinity is wide and deep and may very well be job one for a government that wishes a compliant and useful slave plantation.

          Television may be the primary tool to actually radically feminize a society. It punishes physicality and the manual mastery of skills & crafts and flat-lines critical thinking faculties.

        2. SemperFi, 0321

          Noticed the same thing myself yrs ago. All the TV shows have the bosses as women now, as is in reality. Go look at BLM/USFS/NPS and check out section heads, they’re making them all women and the neutered males just follow along. And everyone thinks it’s great to see women get ahead these days, they deserve it (actually the lesbian types climb to the top and the gay males do what they’re told, from my observations around these gov’t offices).

          I have a newer 4′ TV screen, and use it to watch my own DVD movies or YouTube (laptop and HDMI cable). Also works great for studying and plotting GoogleEarth photos. There is nothing wrong with a TV, it’s what you watch on it that matters.

          Haven’t been connected to cable/sat for a decade.

    3. Quit watching TV years ago. Was deployed to a location where there was no TV. Noticed, after a while, that I didn’t miss it and realized it did nothing useful or has any value. Did really miss access to an ice machine though. 🙂

      1. Same here. I was deployed to Afghanistan and despite having access to TV some of the time, I always found other things to do, like staying outside the wire as much as possible. You’re right though, ice would have been ok.

  10. I cut the cord years ago once I realized my cable bill was going to entities that despise me. Simple $60 a month broadband Internet and streaming. Roku, plex media server, OTA for local HD channels. Once you get the family some of what they think they need, they actually watch less over time. Local channels still suck because of the big three networks. Such garbage. The smartphone is another story.

    1. Agreed, when I was deployed to AFG, we had very limited streaming but tremendous opportunities for mother-lodes of pirated material for filling up hard drives.

      1. I did a little bit of hard drive filling in AFG but most of the pirated material I got was during my time in Korea. But I’ll tell you what… That part of the world is made of eyes and ears… Be very careful with any electronic programming you picked up in the Far East. That coming from an intel guy…

  11. My “smart” phone took literally 5 minutes to dial my wife’s number one day. I thought to myself that if I were trying to dial 911 I’d be dead by time the call went through. Got rid of it and got a retro ghetto flip phone. I’d like to get rid of the damn thing altogether, except I need it for work.

    1. If I may, dialing 911 is something you should deeply consider before doing so for reasons I have written about before. You simply don’t want American policing in your life at all.

      Yes, I am in the same fix but I have refused offers of a smart phone for work.

      1. I agree. One thing I’ve been considering heavily lately is the mindset required to handle things on your own. I don’t fault anyone for calling 911 of course, as I wasn’t in your shoes, Rusty. But I’m just saying that these days, it really does take some thought. Can I handle this incident myself? Is this something I can fix? Do I know any like-minded friends or family who could help? Etc.

        Sad, but what can you say?

  12. Hmm. I happen to agree with the underlying values, a peaceful life with simple pleasures. Very Epicurean, rationally hedonistic. OTOH socially I think it far more important that each person choose–and live–his or her own values. Hence I reject the declarative/imperative tense wholesale. But that’s just style.

    As to substance, there can be a strong argument that forward is the only proper gear for humans…not a great argument for dial phones and CBs. There’s an additional argument that doing things based on how others are going to respond, is a form of sacrifice or maybe, as with many current issues about technology, even a bit of surrender. Let’s not forget that the problems about privacy are less about the privacy itself than they are about what anyone can do about it. IOW it’s the thuggery that’s evil, not necessarily the transparency. Generally transparency is a two-edged sword and IMO the sharper edge strongly favors the Good Guys.

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting privacy of course, just like any other value. I may drop and “cut and run” myself, if I decide that’s what i want most. But still, on this planet at this time, fighting information is like fighting gravity. That’s a plain fact and overall, it’s probably a good thing. After all, information is what rational people use. Hell, it may prove to be the only thing we get to use; I suppose that beats an AR against a Hellfire.

    1. Jim,

      You and I have known each other for years and I respect your opinion but simply can’t grok the meaning of your first sentence. No other human can declare for you. As a practicing Stoic it makes no sense.

      But still, on this planet at this time, fighting information is like fighting gravity.

      Th isn’t about fighting information, this is about managing the information you’re capable of influencing and your interactions on bowel movements and the taste of your bacon is your business. That is one of my observations, we have so trivialized the value of conversation and information, we plug in valueless information and data that doesn’t advance us as human beings. Substantive conversation entertains rational discourse, reasoned disagreement and logical examination.


      1. “…your interactions on bowel movements and the taste of your bacon is your business.”

        Right. In fact everything of yours is your business. That’s why in a free world, absent the incentive to extort or regulate you, nobody would care. So the answer isn’t to hide where you shit, but rather that you alone should choose the capacity of the bowl. Even if you disagree, you still aren’t hiding anything…if someone seriously wants to know badly enough, they’ll know where you shit.

  13. A couple comments from the cognitive psychology camp:

    1. A blinking stimulus is one of the most captivating, that’s why we have blinking red and yellow lights as traffic signals. Make that blinking rhythmic and it becomes hypnotizing. Now, put a television in a dark room, step outside the room so that all you see is the light coming out of that room. It will blink bright, then dark, bright, then dark. Try it. After eliminating television for a while, look at the people watching it, and tell me they’re not hypnotized. For grins, turn on a newscast, turn off the sound, don’t read the banners, just look at the newscaster’s facial expressions – hilarious in a sad sort of way. This is language independent and applies globally.

    2. It takes a minimum of 20 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted thought to begin creating a solution for a complex problem. It is impossible to achieve while sitting in front of a computer with a point-and-click user interface, because you’re being constantly interrupted. And people wonder why we have an ADD epidemic.

    3. Look at the majority of website page designs and you see lurid “click-bait”, oftentimes with attractive young women in various states of undress and in provocative poses. It is a very effective way of subtly (or not so subtly) demoralizing your psyche.

    4. Take one full day and do not turn on any computers or cell phones. See if you aren’t in a better frame of mind – now try it for 2 or 3 days in a row. Rinse and repeat.

    1. Thanks Ralph, very insightful. And I think that men are especially prone to this because we are wired as hunters to use movement as an indicator of prey opportunities hence the contrasting colors attract our attention.

      I have a small device I use at home when we are away that mimics a TV by flashing these different colors.

      It makes it appear someone is home b/c the TV is on but I know it speaks to a deeper hypnotic effect also.

      When working I tend to go into full screen mode and play brown noise in the background to increase concentration.

      I highly recommend this book on focus.


      1. Thanks Bill, I read the excerpt and it does look spot on. If I may return the favor, I suggest “The Art of Thinking Clearly” by Rolf Dobelli – an excellent treatise on cognitive bias structured in very brief chapters of only a few pages each, so it’s easy to read in short snippets of time whilst waiting in lines, etc.

        Another, at the more philosophical level, is “Against the Machine” by Nicols Fox – she draws the connection between rise of the industrial revolution, with its attendant benefits, and the price of those benefits, i.e., forcing formerly artisan minds into the repetitive tasks required by an industrialized society.

        Our “information society” is, at its core, just an extension of that. And of course, just about any of DeBono’s works on creative thinking.

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  15. Sir Lord Baltimore


    I couldn’t agree with your article more. It is amazing when one breaks free (or even just loosens the shackles a bit) how fulfilling, happy and productive life is. Your observations in regards to cell phone use are dead on. Due to the nature of my work I require a “smart phone”. At least a phone that easily sends and receives text messages. I have an old iPhone that fills this niche perfectly. The ability to listen to podcasts while out driving is also quite nice (Freedom Feens…Dan Carlin). Awhile back I realized what a zombie constant internet access was allowing me to be. My solution was to take the internet off of my phone and lock it in such a way to not allow access. This for me has worked well.

    Another observation. I decided a little while ago to return to school (no liberal arts…healthcare). It is presupposed that one needs the internet to be get ahead academically. I would posit this is not the case. About a month ago my old laptop died. I was most definitely worried…I mean “How would I write papers?”. “Without google, how will I study???”

    The answer was pretty easy I would actually read my text books. Compose papers manually and type them at the library. If I had anything that I actually needed google for. Again I could go to the library. You know what? I actually received better marks this semester than I have previously. Not sitting down to a computer and pretending to work, and instead surfing the net…I’ve also been able to slay a number of literary dragons that I wouldn’t have otherwise, “The Gulag Archipelago” for instance.

    Not having a laptop has been a godsend. The constant funnel of negative BS into my psyche was really draining. We all know which way the wind blows. I really don’t need specifics on the matter. Doesn’t matter if the boot stomping on my head is black or brown. It’s still stomping. Checking my usual haunts 2-3 times a week (you, Remus, Western Rifle) suffices. Getting out into “meatspace” is the way to go. Enjoying time with friends and family while I can.

  16. Two things not addressed by your article, Bill:

    1. Mapping software. Whether Google Earth, or OsmAnd, or something else… navigation software is a modern day critical crutch. It is possible to obtain equivalent functionality from a Garmin or similar device, or to use older-fashioned solutions such as Thomas-guides for your particular urban area, or even print up directions for your destination while at home and in front of a traditional computer. But, none of these are as convenient as that Android or iPhone device giving you a route that takes into account current traffic conditions and road closures.

    2. Firmware updates and code review. Does anyone here think that the NSA doesn’t have a backdoor into brick/flip/dumb phones? Android’s OS is open source and it is possible to flash-update it’s OS even after the manufacturer has stopped pushing automatic updates for your model. You can obtain a flash update for your phone that has been peer-reviewed by the open source community that makes efforts to protect privacy. You simply aren’t getting that with your dumb phone.

    A good friend of mine, way back in High School in the early 90’s, had a cell phone when a teen having one was an oddity rather than the norm. He told me something that I took to heart and still follow to this day: own the phone. It doesn’t own you.

    My phone doesn’t go everywhere with me. My phone doesn’t stay on all the time. My phone isn’t in the same room as me when I’m home, most of the time. I never make financial transactions on my phone. I never use FB or FB Messenger on my phone.

    1. KC,

      Thanks for the valuable information. I use a Garmin and know the tracking ability when powered up. But that is my primary means of navigation in places I don’t know.

      In Orwell’s America, I treat every conversation as a postcard to the NSA or the other three letter agencies. It’s one reason I have never used a “code name” in my internet travels. Why bother?


  17. No TV, “smart” phone, twitter, FB, or even much “social” life at all. I’m mostly deaf, and maybe get a call on the land line (required for my internet) once a week, or less. My dumb phone is purely for me to call out in an emergency, and only the telemarketers have the number somehow. I don’t answer it. Don’t even have it on me unless I go out… on my gunbelt. 🙂

    I do get a kick out of imagining someone listening via my land line phone. Must drive them nuts to hear me talking to the dog. “Who’s a good boy?” You can’t want out AGAIN! Do you want a cookie?” And if anyone comes to visit, we can just pull the plug on the only LL phone in the house.

    I write and edit for a living. I don’t have time to talk on the phone, even if I was the least interested in what someone else had for breakfast, etc.

  18. I’m down to a dumb phone and a satellite internet connection.

    Off grid solar/wind powered house, except for the fabrication shop because of 220vac equipment. 3 connections in total.

    All my vehicles are lovingly rebuilt dumb vehicles.

    There is nothing like it. The freedom, and the monetary savings is indescribable.

    Living debt free, by working our ass’s off to pay everything down to zero. No mortgage, No credit debt, No loans, Nothing owed, but our good word to our tribe in our AO.

    It is amazingly awesome what living within our financial means is like. We – trade – grow – barter – hunt – fish – raise approx 80% of our food supply. Heat with wood. Next is a whole house roof water cistern system with solar hot water and off grid powered pressurization.
    Would you believe our monthly base expenses including land tax and vehicle reg/ins, not including the minor funds for food we buy at the supermarket, is under $500 a month?

    And we keep finding little ways to save more and unplug from the matrix. Bit by bit. Frugality and conservatism of resources becomes second nature. “Don’t waste nuthin’,” is my mantra. We are rich now, everything we have we own outright. Nobody can touch it no matter how the economy goes.

    The only things we do not have a currently viable alternative for, “yet”, is our land taxes, and vehicle registration/insurance.

    But the greatest thing, which we never gave it much consideration, is all those things, from the off grid system, (I built myself), to the reliable practical rebuilt vehicles, to our food sources, is it is money in the bank. As all those things keep rising in cost while the greenback is deliberately devalued to strip mine it of it’s dirt people wealth, because what we have done is an investment in us, ours, tangible wealth, we have more now then ever, everything is ours lock stock and barrel. Wealth that pays you the interest while you use it to be free.

    So maybe we haven’t seceded from the state as people of a nation, we have a seceded from the economic trappings and industrial slavery of the state.

    Didn’t even have to fire one boolit either, yet.

    Now just imagine, if lots of dirt people did similar, that’s abolition right there.

    And don’t even dare fucking tell me it will never work or resistance is futile. I’m living breathing proof secession begins with the moral precept in your heart and mind, the audacity and motive power, you will not be denied. I’m pretty close to being a character in Eric Frank Russell’s masterpiece, ‘And Then There Where None

    That all begins with each of us.

    If I can, then so can another.

    Because Fuck You Thats Why

      1. Look up “inspiration” in the dictionary and you’ll see his picture. Truth is it’s way better than money in the bank, because it’s wealth. My prediction is that in the end, the whole thing will come down to that…the distinction between wealth and money. I say let ’em have all the money; all that matters is that we keep our wealth.

        1. Absolutely Jim, the wealth, it’s what they are strip mining, the fiat is the shiny lure.

          It should all burn to the ground in any case. Money can be gotten back. It’s the prosperity we have to protect and defend, intrinsic wealth of ones labor and property. Prosperity is one of the prime components of everyone’s liberty.

      2. OK, hows this grab you?

        Bill you are one of my most inspiring philosophers. Much of the essence of your thinking and leadership defines, in our age’s terms, is the lynchpin upon which individual secession is possible. Not for nothing, secession from the state, it really is guerrilla war of hearts and minds before it is anything else. One needs to grasp the underlying precepts in context to ones relative myriad of variables, both mentally and physically, in order to abolish that slavery one is under.

        It is really a zeitgeist. And it only becomes a movement, beginning with individuals first attaining that liberty on the most personal grass roots level. That is the seeds of abolition of the leviathan state. Those seeds as the stoics put it, grow out of all proportion to their diminutive origins.

        Liberty and it’s motive power is essentially a determined persevering plurality of audacious individuals who are undeniable in their hearts, minds, and actions. The crux of which is it begins with each of us.

        Not for nothing, if you read the unvarnished accounts of individualism from prior to the French Indian war, through to the penultimate insurgent warfare in the Carolina’s at the end of the War of Independence, it is indeed inescapable that no matter what all happened, what events transpired, it is always individualism and self determining character, and acts of audacity that not only save the day, it defines everything in ways no entity of power beyond self determining Men of The West or God, that any construct of any form of state or collective of political power can ever achieve.

        So it begs the question, not that in light of how things turned out since the signing of the instrument of administrative tyranny, but the question of why, after the mind blowing audacity of a tiny plurality winning so much against almost insurmountable odds, how did it all that was attained, get swept away by a few drops of ink on a piece of vile parchment?

        And I say most pointedly that the germane events stop at that signing. Lets put aside all that comes after, because it is the most important thing imaginable in context of the question of the day, than, and now, what happened up to ratification. Where did that audacity and motive power go? Figure that out and you find the key to the Rosetta Stone of Abolition and Liberty.

        Me, I think in simplest terms, there just wasn’t enough Abolitionists around, many of the rank and file dirt people who fought went home to tend their families and land, aside from those who died in battle and where left wounded in body and soul from war: on the other hand the statists, the slinking and cunning loyalists, the corrupt, the cultural marxists and Fabien’s of the day by any other name, where numerous, they predominately resided in the metropolitan enclaves of the day, they where the majority of the moment, the war was over, they where left essentially in relative terms, unscathed by war, they filled that vacuum the virility of audacity of secession left in it’s wake. Of course, hind site is 20-20. But the rock bottom truth is what it is.

        In many ways, this is the circular nature of history. So here we are again, the rock bottom truth is not much different.

        If there are answers, I know where we find them, at the time and source of Liberty and the audacity, the motive power inherent, and how they relate in relative terms to here and now.

        There are qualitative and quantitative differences in the here and now, the ideas and principles of liberty remain inviolate, but people and circumstances are different in ways that portend a different outcome on this orbit of history.

        I think it cannot be overstated, it is very important to avoid being bogged down in the intricacies and nuances of time and history of Rancid Parchment A.D., the answers reside in time before and right up to the Conspiracy in Philadelphia, and the contemporary parallels of present day.

        There is one period of time Rancid Parchment A.D. which violates my rule, the 2nd war of secession. It is instructive to today in what not to do, and subtly but sublimely reveals how the insurgency of self determination, the audacity and motive power, is best when it is free from entanglements and restrictions of any system of state regardless of it’s composition.

        I’m trying to sneak up on something here. I feel in my bones, got this intuitive sense of something which not only defines the great question of secession/abolition/liberty, but within is the key to the riddle and mysteries of practical, obtainable, liberty.

        I’ll leave it at that for the moment.

        Except for there is one thing though.

        The West is heading straight into a existential crisis of legitimacy. Really, we are deep into the beginning stages.

        It’s Ragnorak in the West of the end of the old order of the State. It is long past any act of stopping. So goes America so goes the rest of the West.

        The State is going to end as we Men of The West know it. Trump, really not the man, but what his coming represents, is no accident of fate, it is the equation of tyranny and liberty trying to balance itself.

        The State as we know it is done, regardless of it’s seeming proportions and usurpations, it really is Kaput. It is mighty in its inertia that gives it the appearance of longevity.

        It is decomposing from the inside out bottom to top. As it does it leaves a vacuum in its wake.

        Another thing that is germane is it is at the stage where it’s consuming resources on a logarithmic scale to survive its crisis of legitimacy. Pretty soon, it acquires so much gravity of illegitimacy and irrelevance, it reaches black hole stage and consumes itself, a singularity if you will, collapsing in on itself.

        The basic premise behind that is a very important dynamic to everything liberty and abolition. A vacuum is the absence of anything. The thing is to understand how and why something will always try to fill that vacuum.

        I’ve got some insights and intuitive theories on all this beyond the obvious relative things above, they are in some ways just out of my reach to define succinctly in written words at the moment. But I’m thinking hard on them. I’d probably mess up trying to explain them, but I’m close to the crux of it.

        1. Preach it, Doug!

          Another thing that is germane is it is at the stage where it’s consuming resources on a logarithmic scale to survive its crisis of legitimacy. Pretty soon, it acquires so much gravity of illegitimacy and irrelevance, it reaches black hole stage and consumes itself, a singularity if you will, collapsing in on itself.

          Masterful summation, little brother.

  19. The technology is wonderful, except it has consumed one’s daily life. As a tool, it is great to instantly have information at your finger tips. Occasionally, my wife doesn’t have any ideas for dinner. There are recipe sites that you can enter the ingredients you have on hand and up pop meal ideas. It is just a good tool that has been abused.

    I remember a few things growing up in the late ’50s and ’60s, I remember the phone number RA8-****. RA was worded as RAndolph. When we moved up with my grandfather in the wilderness 18 miles north of Duluth, the party line had 3 homes on it. We had the single ring.

    My kids bought me a cell phone after I retired. It is a simple one by today’s standards.

    It is a small brick that opens to expose a keyboard for texting. The camera function I have not used. I do find that the texting function to be the single greatest advancement in phone communication. I can pass a message to my wife without having to have to wait for her to answer (if she can). If there is an event that results in overloaded phone lines, a text is more likely to get through when voice communications are near impossible.

    The prices for the new smart phone are way out of line. It is really just a small computer with limited memory and functions. Yet, they are priced higher than a good laptop.

    The radiation hazard from the cell phones and BlueTooth head sets are no longer conspiracy theory. The new 5G technology coming out appears to have an even greater radiation hazard, I do not need a micro-wave emitter close to my body or near my head at night. I am glad I no longer need the beast as I did for work. It interrupted my work and it compelled being answered when one was driving. My co-workers could not grasp the idea of shutting the thing off when driving.

    I am not very attached to the phone. It winds up being down stairs when I am up. It also is in the house when I am out.

    I got off FB a long time ago when I found myself arguing with people I hardly knew (a relative). There are social networking sites that are more useful. “Nextdoor” is one that is localized to the surrounding community. It keeps the community informed of things like the condition of the road equipment, when the roads are to be graded, who has moose in the yard or missing or found pets. The really important stuff. is still fairly new and some bugs still need to be worked out.

  20. When I was 5 or 6 (I am 31 now) my brother and I got our first NES. I was hooked. the SNES, Gameboys, Super Gameboys and N64 and games Followed. We also had Television when I was a kid. After my parents got exposed to cable on a vacation, they got satellite.

    I got my first cellphone when I was 2006. When I got a internet connected phone in 2008, that’s when things changed. I got on Facebook, which introduced me to Austrian Economics and finally here.

    I have a Facebook account and log in less than once a month right now. I have not had any television service for the past 8 years. I got rid of my television about 4 years ago and my Xbox went too. when I went to see my nephew for Christmas of 2014. 80 percent of everything that he was doing was a direct reflection of my childhood, it was very difficult to interact with him.

    The 2 jobs that I had recently where I worked around other people regularly plugged into the Matrix they it seemed as if they where always looking at there phones. What really got me is when the cooks would prepare food and touch phones without washing their hands, that’s really gross and so are menus. If I dicked around with my phone on the job I would lose my job or get a pay cut.

    I now try to limit my screen time to 1/2 an hour in the morning and the evening. that has been a good challenge for me considering my past history with screens. I currently work about 50 hours a week starting a farm and another business I am going to school to be a volunteer firefighter. I have very little time for screens now.

    I am told cellphones as a requirement to participate in this modern economy. I would like to explain to people that is not the case. I think I will send them here.

    Thank you for the post Bill.

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