The Opt Out Weblog

The Blog for Garrick van Buren's 'Opt-Out: The Survival Guide for This Modern Age' Book

Month: April, 2012

Offline – for 1 year

“Now I want to see the internet at a distance. By separating myself from the constant connectivity, I can see which aspects are truly valuable, which are distractions for me, and which parts are corrupting my very soul.” – Paul Miller

Make Stuff Week 2012 – April 30 – May 6

I spent almost all day Sunday outside. Test driving the new BBQ coffee roasting drum, brewing up a batch of sour ale, taking the littlest one for a stroller ride, then tricycle ride, then walk around the block, read 3 chapters in an actual paper book! And today is the beginning of Screen Free Week […]

Making real connections over the web: Ze Frank on

Ze shows the internet can create powerful emotional connections. That promise is why I spent my professional life and so much of my personal life within it. Unfortunately, the powerful emotional connections are rare. Trite, heavy-handed, emotional panderings are aplenty. That’s what we’re opting out of.


“No, you’re not the only one, David. It amazes me that some of the tech blogs have so many dozens of posts each day. There just isn’t that much going on that really matters.” – Richard Bennett

The most important things are quiet

“…it’s easy to be distracted and place value on outside noise instead of focusing on the task at hand or important things in life. With this…I am taking myself out of FB and quieting the noise around me. It’s just not necessary for me to keep in touch with those that mean the most to […]

No Matter

“The news didn’t warn us about the death of the real estate market that was coming in 2008. And they weren’t suspicious about the war in Iraq. They can report on sports, but that doesn’t matter. More real people believe in climate change than network anchors. The news doesn’t echo our skepticism or pessimism about […]

You can Survive for 12 years without Money

“He has no job, no bank account and does not accept government welfare. In fact, Suelo has no money at all.”

$0 is No Longer an Innovation

“I wish there were a for-pay service I could switch to which would be easy and fast and nothing would break. I think the free email has killed off all the good for-pay email.” – Dave Winer From Opt Out’s ‘Free as in Lunch’ chapter: “An email client that can handle today’s daily onslaught of […]

I’ve Got a Theory…

My hypothesis suggests that social media engagement and macroeconomic conditions are inversely related. Meaning: as people become more professionally engaged they will naturally engage less with social media. Yes, this means the boom in Facebook and Twitter activiy etc over the past 4 years was more about people coping with interesting times than anything else. […]

Like Eternal September

“Facebook became uncool when it opened up the site to people who weren’t in your same college.” – jshintaku While I dislike Facebook, I find the possibility that, it’s popular because it once was cool, very amusing. “Eternal September is a Usenet slang expression, coined by Dave Fischer, for the period beginning September 1993. The […]