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Old 11-20-2013, 06:38 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,934 posts, read 4,137,700 times
Reputation: 3272

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My wife and I love history. We love old houses, old cars, old furniture, old music, old movies, etc. Furthermore, we're old enough to see how our society is crumbling... and we think... "how cool would it be to live like it was long ago?".

Thus far, we haven't figured out what our "target year" would be... as in, "we're going to live like it's [year], and the only things we will use that are newer than [year] will be medical technology on an as-needed basis, and things that have become basic necessities of survival in today's America (whatever they might be)".

I watched a video about a family that did this - their target year was 1986. I think they were only intending to do it for one year, and the only new thing they used was a newer car.

The Amish do a good job of it, as I understand... but they tend to clump together such that there is a support group inherent in the area. (Amish areas have stores that sell antique-style farming implements and the like!)

Assuming we're not going to turn Amish, do any of y'all know of anyone who is doing this? If yes, where can I find it? My Google searches turned up very little.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:00 PM
 
596 posts, read 866,174 times
Reputation: 1181
I still have a rotary phone in my basement (from the previous owners of the house), I no longer use social media (dumped facebook), I don't have a smart phone (my cell phone is over 5 years old), and I still haven't bought a flat screen tv. As far as my teenager is concerned, I might as well be Amish.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:24 PM
 
1,420 posts, read 2,810,921 times
Reputation: 2246
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
our society is crumbling... and we think... "how cool would it be to live like it was long ago?"
I think your perception of reality is crumbling. It wouldn't be "cool" at all.

Pick a year, any year, and aside from your personal situation (it sounds like you USED to be happy), society and technology are better off.

Computers
The Internet
Medical Technology
Cell Phones
Mechanical Efficiencies
Green Living
Safer cars
Safer everything in general
More distribution through the world of fresh water
Vaccines (for the US and the world)
Satellites
No World Wars since 1945
Much less pollution
Diplomacy
Entertainment and personal pleasure making up a higher percentage of a person's life
Long life expectancy
Less drudgery
Less manual labor
Easy to bathe every day
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,575 posts, read 7,947,437 times
Reputation: 37613
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
My wife and I love history. We love old houses, old cars, old furniture, old music, old movies, etc. Furthermore, we're old enough to see how our society is crumbling... and we think... "how cool would it be to live like it was long ago?".

Thus far, we haven't figured out what our "target year" would be... as in, "we're going to live like it's [year], and the only things we will use that are newer than [year] will be medical technology on an as-needed basis, and things that have become basic necessities of survival in today's America (whatever they might be)".

I watched a video about a family that did this - their target year was 1986. I think they were only intending to do it for one year, and the only new thing they used was a newer car.

The Amish do a good job of it, as I understand... but they tend to clump together such that there is a support group inherent in the area. (Amish areas have stores that sell antique-style farming implements and the like!)

Assuming we're not going to turn Amish, do any of y'all know of anyone who is doing this? If yes, where can I find it? My Google searches turned up very little.
Every generation has a contingent that confuses change for ruin.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:48 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 1,856,629 times
Reputation: 1604
Both PBS and BBC did series on families taken out of time and plunked into different eras. PBS - Frontier House: The Project
The 1900 House - Home

As to "regular people" who do this, for other than religious reason [some fundamentalist sects of LDS, Orthodox Judiasm, Amish] I would would think that without a community large enough to be supportive both socially and "technologically"[a bank with tellers, not just ATM's; pay phones - try to find one if you have a cell phone type emergency; un-pasturized milk]. 'Course the farther back you go, the harder it gets. . . .

For whatever reason I think more people want to go all the way back to "homesteading" eras rather than the 1940's or 70s - though I've see "my weird obsession "-type tv shows where people do it to a point, but don't think they gave up their technology - just clothes & retro appliances.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:38 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,934 posts, read 4,137,700 times
Reputation: 3272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheektowaga_Chester View Post
I think your perception of reality is crumbling. It wouldn't be "cool" at all.

Pick a year, any year, and aside from your personal situation (it sounds like you USED to be happy), society and technology are better off.
I used to be "happy", but then again, I used to be a blissfully ignorant child. The older I've gotten, the more I'm realizing that this world we live in is increasingly messed up and that that is increasingly impacting my own life regardless of how I live it.

I'm assuming that what you said is that society and technology are better off "now" than they used to be. That is only true in very limited cases. I'm going to address your list, item by item - my responses will be in red.

Computers

Yes, they're advanced. Is that a good thing? Ask any human being who has lost his job, and with it his sense of purpose, to automation. Ask any parent who watches his child rot away in front of video games instead of going outside to play. Ask any red-blooded American who calls some company only to be greeted by an automated system that won't send him straight to a human being when he presses zero.

The Internet

For information gathering, there's nothing better in my opinion. However, the Internet is also the facilitator of the modern social media phenomenon which has caused new forms of depression and other mental illness, as well as bred a generation of people who have no clue how to communicate with other people intelligently.

Medical Technology

Can't argue this one, apart from how it has caused the cost (and therefore the accessibility) of health care to skyrocket. Technological advances in any other field (cell phones, personal computers, televisions, audio equipment, automobiles, etc) have caused capacity to increase while price decreases (or at least stays the same, perhaps with the only change being an adjustment due to inflation)... in the field of medicine, that has not happened.

Cell Phones

Yay, now we're all expected to answer our phones at all hours of all days and nights. Businesses have to be "on call" constantly, lest they lose a potential client to another business that is on call. (I'd get calls for DJ service at 10:30 PM. If I ignored them, that person would keep calling people until he/she found someone who DID answer... and that DJ would've probably won the client's business and money!) Text someone and don't get a response back within a few minutes - sacrilege!! Sure, cell phones are useful for emergencies, IF YOU HAVE SIGNAL. At times when you're most likely to need your cell phone for an emergency, chances are you will not have signal (during severe weather, if you're lost in the wilderness, etc).

Mechanical Efficiencies

These have resulted in many people losing their jobs, and they've bred at least two generations of lazy, out-of-shape people who don't want to work because they've grown up surrounded by mechanical efficiencies and conveniences specifically designed to prevent humans from working.

Green Living

400 years ago, EVERYONE "lived green". Even 200 years ago, it was quite common. What we now call "organic", people 150 years ago called "food". What we now call "green energy", people 150 years ago called "energy". What we now call "green home design", people 150 years ago called "home design". I don't buy this one for a second.

Safer cars

150 years ago, not one person died in an automobile accident.

Therefore, whatever figure we have today does not represent "progress". I don't care if the reason why nobody used to die in automobile accidents was because there were no automobiles. Somehow, people still lived and thrived. If you don't believe that, you've never seen a late-1700's era mansion.

Safer everything in general

Everything? You think there's less crime today than there used to be? People used to walk to school several miles in one direction in all types of weather! These days there ain't a parent alive who would let his/her kid do that, except for perhaps in remote rural areas where no crime ever happens because people live as they used to live and criminals don't desire that remote type of life!

More distribution through the world of fresh water

But yet still nowhere near enough. And water would be much fresher if people and companies wouldn't dump junk into waterways and if people in third world countries wouldn't defecate into their drinking water supplies.

Vaccines (for the US and the world)

This is probably beneficial, though some vaccines are cited as causes of other maladies.

Satellites

Who needs 'em? Humankind existed perfectly fine without satellites all the way through the mid-1900's.

No World Wars since 1945

No offense, my friend, but have you been paying attention to the news for the last 12 years? We have been involved in a war which has involved military forces from countries all around the world, since shortly after 9/11/2001. Terrorism has been a global problem involving acts of war for much longer than that. After 1945 there was Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, Iraq, Iraq again, Afghanistan, Libya... all conflicts involving military forces from multiple nations all around the world, therefore qualifying them as "world wars"... need I go on?

Much less pollution

Let's compare today's average rural pollution count to the average rural pollution count in 1700. Again, I don't call this progress.

Diplomacy

Are we really that much better at this now, than we were before? Diplomacy has been happening since the dawn of time.

Entertainment and personal pleasure making up a higher percentage of a person's life

And this is really such a wonderful thing? People seek entertainment because they're dissatisfied with the rest of their lives. They seek artificial pick-me-ups through entertainment because they don't feel they get enough positivity in the rest of their lives. I should know. I'm an entertainer. I cater to that crowd - in my case it's elderly people who are largely bored, despite the best efforts of the activities staff, because they're confined to a medical institution when for decades they lived independently. I get it. At the very least, for the general public this means that their lives are getting worse outside of "entertainment and personal pleasure". This is not progress.

Long life expectancy

Adjusted for quality of life, it's probably about the same as it used to be. So we live longer but we usually suffer through our elderly years. It may just balance out.

Less drudgery

Avoidance of what you term "drudgery" has made Americans lazy, caused a whole host of health problems associated with sedentary lifestyles and jobs, and bred a sentiment of entitlement among younger generations. This is not progress.

Less manual labor

Manual labor is good for the body and often good for the soul. Where's the logic in having a job where you sit at a desk all day, when you have to pay extra to go to the gym after hours and work out for who knows how long for who knows how many days every week so that you won't become fat and decrepit?

Easy to bathe every day

You really think people were unable to bathe way back when? "Oh, they didn't have anti-bacterial soap though!" Read up on the effects of anti-bacterial soap residue getting into water supplies. Bacteria strains are becoming immune to triclosan and other anti-bacterial agents in these products... so sooner or later they will lose their effectiveness. It may be easier to bathe these days, but where there's a will, there's a way. If you've never done a full-body bath in a common sink with nothing but a washcloth, try it sometime. You'll surprise yourself at what you can accomplish.

[/quote]

Quote:
Originally Posted by nj185 View Post
Both PBS and BBC did series on families taken out of time and plunked into different eras. PBS - Frontier House: The Project
The 1900 House - Home

As to "regular people" who do this, for other than religious reason [some fundamentalist sects of LDS, Orthodox Judiasm, Amish] I would would think that without a community large enough to be supportive both socially and "technologically"[a bank with tellers, not just ATM's; pay phones - try to find one if you have a cell phone type emergency; un-pasturized milk]. 'Course the farther back you go, the harder it gets. . . .

For whatever reason I think more people want to go all the way back to "homesteading" eras rather than the 1940's or 70s - though I've see "my weird obsession "-type tv shows where people do it to a point, but don't think they gave up their technology - just clothes & retro appliances.
They want to do that because they're sick of modern society. I grant, it ain't easy to find a phone these days, but they make free cell phone plans for 911 only. As I understand it, any deactivated cell phone can still call 911. That's why there are collection boxes for old cell phones so they can be given to battered women.

I'd give up my technology. It'd be hard as heck, but what's worse - giving up something you know is bad for you, or sticking with what you know even if it rots you from the inside out?
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,726 posts, read 10,556,457 times
Reputation: 9767
It may not be the technology that's rotting you from the inside out, but maybe you should try the Psychology forum.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:08 AM
 
2,002 posts, read 2,959,189 times
Reputation: 3743
In the 1970's my wife and I lived in this tipi (see the bear?) for two years on my property in the mountains in Northern Idaho close to the Canadian border. We had no running water and no electricity and only a campfire for cooking. We did have an outhouse. We had to walk a mile through the woods everyday to get to our vehicle to drive 25 miles to work. It was snowshoes during the winter months. Temps would regularly drop below zero in dead winter. During the summer we bathed in the nearby river. In the cold months we took showers at a country store that rented showers and towels for a dollar. Does this qualify?
Sidenote: Both of our sons were born there. But by that time I had built a 'primitive' cabin. We did upgrade to a wood burning stove.


Last edited by slingshot; 11-21-2013 at 06:32 AM..
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:59 AM
 
2,002 posts, read 2,959,189 times
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The cabin.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
693 posts, read 1,018,101 times
Reputation: 611
My wife still cooks my meals and does my laundry.
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