Re: Living Below Your Means (was: Re: The Pause that Refreshes)

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Sat Jun 10 2000 - 19:29:39 MDT

>In a message dated 6/5/00 3:45:10 PM Central Daylight Time,
> > I wonder if extropians have resistance to consumerist memes, if only
> > we pay attention to information sources other than consumerist media?

I know that has played a big part of it for me. When my kids were born, I
knew I didn't want them raised in front of the TV like I was; so I cancelled
the cable TV subscription. It has been about 4 years since we were able to
get network TV in my house and I have found that this has had substantial

(Fortunately) the only channel that our set can clearly pick up is PBS. If
there is a channel that I *do* want my kids to watch its PBS. Not having
been raised on typical Saturday morning TV, they don't miss it. In fact
they actually *enjoy* watching PBS, but (naturally) not enough to veg out in
front of it all day. Not being subject to continual commercial ads, they
don't fall for every toy, fad, whatever marketed to kids by TV advertisers.

This has ended up saving us tons of money. First the cable bill (~$40/mo.
for programming that I hardly enjoyed anyway). I have also found that being
out of the loop in terms of current cultural trends has saved me bucks too.
I've never been much of a fashion maven, but when I watched MTV a lot, I
found myself (subconciously or not) trying to stay up with those trends
(buying the latest music, clothes, concert tix). Now I find that I only buy
clothes when mine wear out. As long as the shoes fit, who cares if they're
the latest Nike, or whatever?

Perhaps most importantly, I realize that I enjoy reading much more than I
ever enjoyed TV -- and my kids are beginning to feel the same way. That IMO
is probably the biggest benefit of all.

Suffice it to say that, even if they gave it away for free, I'd never get my
cable TV hooked back up. Plus, I spent the money I'd otherwise be spending
on TV on a high-bandwidth net connection, which I also find more useful and
enjoyable than I ever found TV to be.


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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