The Opt Out Weblog

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

Category: Uncategorized

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.


“What are you gaining by letting Apple and Microsoft dictate how you use your computer? I suspect it’s less than you think. Don’t let them treat you like a tenant. You bought it, isn’t it supposed to be your computer?”

Blatt Free

“Maybe you’re not aware of it, but your typing is disturbing people around you. This is the Quiet Car, where we come to be free from people’s electronic bleeps and blatts.” – Tim Kreider

Other People’s Bias

“&spend more time thinking and less time reading. Too much reading leads people to think of small variations on existing studies.” – Richard Thaler

Responding to Incentives

“The sensible thing to do would be to sit down and be quiet, and reflect on what happened. But social media offers no rewards for silence or waiting.” – Daryl Lang (garrick’s note: deletion mine.)

Cubicle FUD

“‘Job security’ is a myth created by big companies to trap you in a boring and unchallenging job. You will sign an employment-at-will agreement at every job you take. ” – Ernie Miller Truth. No organization wants you to fulfill your life’s potential. They just want you to fill the round hole they’ve drawn and […]

It’s Always Something. Always.

“It’s useful when reading this kind of essay to find out what the author is selling, although it usually isn’t this obvious.” – John Shutt

My Apologies, ‘Users’ is Accurate.

I was riding the LIRR the other day from Queens to Manhattan, and everyone around me was staring into the screen of their smartphone, tapping, typing, clicking. I watched the faces. They looked like the people sitting around in the system lab at the UW Comp Sci Dept in 1978. Same damn thing. Except now […]


Brain scan research shows that our brains show more stimulation and activity when we anticipate a reward than when we get one.

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