[Question] Forbidden Technology

Do you benefit avoid­ing cer­tain pop­u­lar tech­nolo­gies? What al­ter­na­tives do you use?


Some tech­nol­ogy (like flash­cards) is good for you. Some tech­nol­ogy (like heroin) is bad for you. As tech­nol­ogy ad­vances, both kinds of tech­nol­ogy are on the rise.

This is es­pe­cially ob­vi­ous with re­gard to in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy. Over the course of a few years, I ran a se­ries of ex­per­i­ments to figure out which mediums make my life bet­ter and worse. This cul­mi­nated with a one-year com­mit­ment to ab­stain from the bad stuff.

I’ve found it im­proves my qual­ity of life to avoid spe­cific non-me­dia tech­nolo­gies too:

  • Desk­top GUIs

  • Closed source soft­ware, in­clud­ing any smart­phone with­out a cus­tom ROM

  • Fresh gro­cery store tomatoes

  • Ex­er­cise machines

  • School

  • Jobs

In­stead, I use the fol­low­ing al­ter­na­tives:

Every­thing on my per­sonal list of for­bid­den tech­nol­ogy is a com­mer­cial product op­ti­mized for ease of use. My al­ter­na­tives tend to be cheap or free, but also skill in­ten­sive. It could be that the learn­ing curve keeps most peo­ple away.

But that’s not what re­ally kept me away from these things for most of my life. It’s not like grow­ing toma­toes is hard or an­timemetic. The real rea­son I didn’t grow toma­toes for so long was sim­ply be­cause I didn’t know how much bet­ter home­grown toma­toes taste. Hav­ing tasted them reg­u­larly, it’s hard to go back.