The Opt Out Weblog

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

Month: August, 2012

Removing the Screen

“It’s time for us to move beyond screen-based thinking. Because when we think in screens, we design based upon a model that is inherently unnatural, inhumane, and has diminishing returns. It requires a great deal of talent, money and time to make these systems somewhat usable, and after all that effort, the software can sadly, […]

Time is an Illusion

“The idea was born of a conversation with a friend about how much our wanting to know the time was useful and how much was just an addiction to some bit of knowledge that didn’t help us — something that made us feel better prepared, but didn’t make us any wiser.” – Erik Kennedy

Jim’s Paleo Media Diet

“I just believe that my brain is maladapted to the networked Skinner Box, so I want out. My brain is plastic, but not in a sufficiently adaptive way. In fact it’s probably adapting just fine, but in a fashion that creates a destructive feed forward loop.” – Jim Stogdill


“The Internet is awesome. But it will be awesome tomorrow, too. Get offline one night a week (meaning, from 5pm until you go to sleep don’t touch the Internet in anyway on computer, phone, TV, nothing) and do something you need to get done.” – Colin Devroe

The Return of RSS

“RSS is like a quiet reading room in the library and Twitter is like reading a newspaper at a tailgate party.” – virtual pants

The Future is Procrastination

“I didn’t read the article. After scanning it to get the gist, I saved it in my Instapaper account for later digestion. Maybe I’ll pull the article up on my Kindle in a few weeks if it still seems relevant.” – pwenzel

Disconnect While Dining

“Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles offers diners a 5% discount for leaving their phones with the receptionist for the entirety of the meal.” – Erin Kim,

Disconnecting the Home Line

“We are happier. We exercise more and spend more time outside. We don’t feel guilty about wasting away a day staring at nonsense. We don’t overwork ourselves, yet we get much more done when working because we are less tempted by online distractions.” – Greg Skloot

Sam Muirhead Starts a Year of Living Open Source

“For one year I am trying to go as open source as possible, in all aspects of my life – the shoes I wear, the phone I use, even how I get around. I’m not buying any proprietary or traditionally copyrighted products unless all other options are exhausted. I’m looking for and switching to more […]