The Opt Out Weblog

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

Architecting Distance

“Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn’t have to experience it.” – Max Frisch

Mobile Mushrooms

Lepp and Barkley decided to conduct the study to see whether using cellphones — despite their portability —shared the same ties to inactivity as playing traditional video games and watching TV. “There’s been evidence that those types of behaviors that are defined as sedentary are inversely related to fitness,” Barkley said. “The phones now, especially […]

A Simpler Time

“…Actually, the only facebook posts I can stomach are from the Amish–sad, but true.” -dano414

Apple Ressurects AT&T’s “You Will” Ad Campaign

“In what should be a warm, humanizing montage, people are constantly directing their attention away from one another and the real, panoramic world to soak in pixels. They’re choosing the experience of their products over the experience of other people several times in quick succession. And Apple has a warm voice in the background, goading […]


“Hell is Other People is an experiment in anti-social media. Using FourSquare, this site will track your “friends” and calculate optimally distanced locations for avoiding them.”

What’s the Opposite of Distracting?

“Spending time trying to distract other engineers is a lot worse than spending time figuring out how to sell an extra pair of sneakers. Somebody might use the sneakers.” – Drew Crawford

No, There is No Pony. Never Was.

Worried that their son was too optimistic, the parents of a little boy took him to a psychiatrist. Trying to dampen the boy’s spirits, the psychiatrist showed him into a room piled high with nothing but horse manure. Yet instead of displaying distaste, the little boy clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to […]

Stop Being Such a Good Host

“An optimally adapted parasite takes as much from its host as possible without damaging the viability of the host. In order for us to stay viable hosts for the media parasite, we need only enough waking hours away from media to make money and to spend that money on advertisers’ offerings and/or media’s costs (and […]

Data Baggage

“Don’t collect data. If you know everything about yourself, you know everything. There is no use burdening yourself with a lot of data. Once you understand yourself, you understand human nature and then the rest follows.” – Kurt Gödel, A Logical Journey, MIT Press, 1996 reminds me of the Greek gnōthi seauton.

“Sell out, and you’re really buying into someone else’s system of values, rules and rewards.”

Selling out is usually more a matter of buying in. Sell out, and you’re really buying into someone else’s system of values, rules and rewards.… Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person […]