An experiment in simplicity

For an interesting, first-hand analysis of what an economic collapse in the US might look like in comparison to what happened to Russia a few years ago, pick up a copy of Dmitry Orlov’s book Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects at your local library.

You can also head over to the Energy Bulletin website to read through his slide presentation on this topic. Strangely enough, he’s made a dire topic actually enjoyable to read about.

Simplicity certainly plays a large role in this new Emergency Planning world, whether it is forced (as described in Orlov’s descriptions of Russia) or voluntary (back-to-the-land folks).

In other realms, I’ve experimented with forms of voluntary simplicity, usually related to technology since I’m a computer geek. A year ago I switched to Macs for the first time in my life. Definitely a more streamlined user interface reflecting Steve Job’s passion for “less is more”. I’m using only the standard “out of the box” applications for most of my productivity (Mac Mail, Address Book, iCal, etc).

More recently, I’ve begun using a smart phone (iPhone 3GS) instead of laptop to run my company (and most of the rest of my life). It certainly makes business travel simpler and multi-tasking easier (e.g. weeding my vegetable garden while talking to my salespeople after reviewing a spreadsheet).

I certainly hope we can retain the “simple life” as a voluntary experiment, rather than a forced scenario.