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Deface the Currency, by Samuel Alexander

Diogenes of Sinope was a Greek philosopher who lived a life of radical simplicity some 2,300 years ago. While other philosophers spent their time in discussion, Diogenes turned his life into a kind of subversive performance art. He would walk backwards, heckle other philosophers, and lived in a clay wine barrel with almost no possessions. […]

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A Simpler Way – the documentary

A couple of years ago I read and reviewed Samuel Alexander’s book Entropia, a work of speculative fiction about a utopian sustainable society. At the end of the book, Alexander added an invitation – if anyone wanted to help set up a little eco-village and try out some of the book’s ideas, they should get […]

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Book review: Free, by Mark Scandrette

We’re doing a project at work with Mark Scandrette next month, so I’ve been reading his books. I thought I’d mention this one, as its themes chime rather well with the message of the blog. Free: Spending your time and money on what matters most is all about simplifying your life around what is most […]

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Book review: Stuffocation, by James Wallman

Christmas is peak ‘stuff’ time in our household. We throw away more than usual, and generally have a bunch of new things to find places for at the end of it. I’m not complaining, but it’s an interesting time to read a book like Stuffocation – Living More with Less. Stuffocation, as the name suggests, […]

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10 reasons why the future will be less materialistic

This week I’m reading a new book by James Wallman, called Stuffocation, in which he argues that there is a cultural shift away from materialism underway. The idea that a good life is measured in possessions is slowly passing into history. I suspect he is right, and as Chris Goodall has highlighted, there is evidence […]

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Book review: Simple Living in History

Simple living, paring back our lives to focus on the things that matter most, is not a new idea. All through history people have advocated simpler living – for happiness, for virtue, for God, or for the earth. It’s always been there in our wisdom traditions. It may be more important now than it has […]

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Building of the week – the tiny house

In Britain, the pressure of the current housing crisis has led to smaller homes. Developers are packing more homes into the same space, and the average house size is shrinking. In some cases, especially for families on lower incomes, this can lead to overcrowding and that can be serious. More often it’s just an inconvenience. […]

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Five pathways to a sustainable future

Last night on the train I was reading the latest paper from the Simplicity Institute. It’s called The Deep Green Alternative (pdf), and it’s by Samuel Alexander and Johnathan Rutherford. The introduction contains the following: “The global development agenda seems to be aiming to provide an expanding global population with the high-impact material affluence enjoyed […]

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The Sufficiency Economy and the King of Thailand

Yesterday I mentioned the ‘Sufficiency Economy’, as described by the Simplicity Institute. But there is another name that is more commonly attached to the phrase. The king of Thailand, Rama IX, is the world’s longest serving head of state. He has spent decades nurturing a philosophy of life in balance with nature, and the name […]

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Book review: Entropia, by Samuel Alexander

Samuel Alexander‘s new book is an unusual one. It is set in 2099, a fictional account of a small community cut off from the rest of the world and forced to adopt a self-sufficient and sustainable way of life. Founded as an experiment in living on a small island off New Zealand, the collapse of […]

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