February 22, 2024

Captain It’s Wednesday – Episode 065 – Lowtech

Wednesday, December 6, 2023, Ralph Hersl

Minimalism and low technology

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CIW – Episode 065 – December 6, 2023 – Lowtech

introduction

  • Welcome all minimalists to Episode 65 of Captain it’s Wednesday, the podcast about free software and free society, recorded by Tobias Zangerli and Ralph Hersel on December 2nd. In this episode we talk about simplicity and low technology.
  • My name is Tobias Zangerli and I am from South Tyrol (Italy). I belong to the German language group. I am an IT specialist / IT system electronics engineer. I am currently self-employed.

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Theme: minimalism and low technology

  • Minimalism * Doctrine (Tobias)
    • The smallest, the very little, just the bare minimum, the basic
    • Meet us in all areas of life (culture, lifestyle, technology, etc.)
    • Minimalism is referred to as “the simple life.”
    • It encourages you to think about what you really need
    • This also includes the idea of ​​sharing, lending, recycling (recycling) and donating
    • “Digital Detox” is very popular on social media.
  • Lutke (Tobias)
    • It is an attempt to solve a problem in an understandable way using the simplest means.
    • To develop technologies that are in tune with our world.
    • He wants to share and spread knowledge about technology.
    • It encourages you to think about yourself, the world and how we communicate.
    • It takes the idea of ​​the KISS principle, with something similar to the Unix philosophy.
  • Minimalism Ralph
    • When I got divorced nearly 20 years ago and had to move out of my home, I cut back on all my commitments. I canceled all subscriptions, insurance and contracts and gave the car to my ex-wife. So to speak: go back to the beginning and do not collect 4,000 euros. From this liberated position, I decided what things I really needed to live a happy life; And they were very few.
    • Since my financial condition is good, I can afford such decisions. This seems contradictory. However, it varies whether you are forced to the minimum (keyword: poverty) or whether you decide to do it of your own free will.
    • Today I’m used to a pared-down (not minimalist) life and I don’t miss anything. I go shopping by bike with a trailer, commute to work by public transit, or stay in the home office 50% of the time. I recently sold my motorcycle and replaced it with a scooter. I’m not giving up flights completely. Every few years there is also an overseas trip.
    • I might be accused of pursuing simplicity from a vantage point. This is correct. I can afford almost anything I want, but I don’t because it means nothing to me.
  • Ralph Lowtech
    • Tobias has previously given examples of low technology that I would like to respond to:
    • When it comes to solving problems using the simplest means, the UNIX philosophy I wrote about recently comes to mind. A means to an end, but a good one.
    • As listeners know, I replaced my old smartphone with a Fairphone with a Google-free operating system (eOS). In this way, I contribute to the sustainability of the devices and to my personal freedom.
    • The fact that knowledge transfer is also an aspect of low technology was new to me and surprised me. One of my favorite things is passing on knowledge. That’s why I work for FSFE, GNU/Linux.ch, and for all other projects in the last decades.
    • To me, low-tech also means technical reduction and improvement. Three years ago, I replaced my old Synology NAS with a Raspi 4 with thick tape storage. This is not a RAID solution, but it serves its purpose. It’s faster, easier, cheaper and under my control.
    • I don’t have an account on Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, Google, Sky, you name it. I don’t need this because in my free time I meet friends, be in nature, or take care of GNU/Linux.ch and FSFE-Zurich. There is no time to indulge in soap operas.
    • You may be wondering why my smartphone battery lasts for four days. The simple answer is: because I rarely use it. I pity all the zombies sitting on the train or walking around the city without taking their eyes off their digital prison for a moment. It stands to reason that I enjoy listening to podcasts on the go; I can look into people’s eyes and not get run over. It also protects me from thieves who want to sell me the bail I already have at the train station.
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