Topics

Experiments in Life

  • Experiments

    Downward mobility

    Istead of working in an office, I took a job cleaning an office. There’s less social status and financial security when you’re the person who sweeps the floors.

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  • Experiments

    Searching for a good trade on the coast of Carolina

    I wonder if my barter provided a more human exchange than if I had simply handed over cash. No, it’s not necessarily the money per se that dehumanizes. I could have still mentioned the weather, or made some silly comment as I handed her a dollar bill. What I like about our exchange, though, is that nothing beeped.

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  • Experiments

    Twenty simple years an interview with Jim Merkel

    Jim Merkel was an arms salesman until 1989, when the Exxon Valdez disaster changed his life (see Geez Spring, 2006). He realized that the oil spilled on those Alaskan shores was, in essence, oil spilled by his life. “I drive. I fly,” he wrote. “Fossil fuels are part of every item I consume.” So he quit his job, radically downshifted his lifestyle – cutting his income to $5,000 a year – and reduced his ecological footprint, the amount of productive land and water needed to support the resources a person uses, and absorb the waste discarded.

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  • Experiments

    To do

    I am burdened by positive motivations. I am convinced I am on this planet to spread peace, deepen truth and create joy. Unfortunately details get in the way.

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  • Experiments

    Demotorizing my soul

    We’re not meant to go that fast. It’s just too hard on the spirit. So I quit air travel. Planted my feet on the ground, tuned up my old bicycle and set my conscience at ease.

    First it was a relief. Then it became an adventure.

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  • Experiments

    Do-able ways to harmonize your home with the outside environment

    Do-able ways to harmonize your home with the outside environment

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  • Experiments

    Tiny house

    Since 1997 Jay Shafer has been living in houses smaller than some people’s bathrooms. A basic description of the place makes it sound attractive: stainless steel counter tops, cathedral ceiling, loft bed. Except for the dimensions: roughly eight feet wide by 12 feet long.

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  • A day in the life of a mad cyclist

    Yesterday was the absolute worst cycling commute to work I have had in six and a half years of living in British Columbia! I have biked in various extreme conditions: torrential downpours, high winds, falling snow and icy streets but remind me never to set out when it is plus two with a mixture of snow and rain coming down on a layer of snow and rain already there.

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