I recently spoke to a close friend in San Francisco, who has a double PhD in history from Berkley, now a semi retired professor and still avid lobster fiend, who for quite a while gnawed at me to get my PhD underwritten by him of course.
He and his wife of nearly 40 years traveled the globe for ten of those years by sea vessel. Eventually "E" had enough and wanted to settle in. "M" being a lover of luxury and freedom was reluctant, but he agreed.
We had a conversation about a small group of people in northern California, who have pretty much outlawed technology of any kind as an experiment (or perhaps madness). They are people from all professional walks of life --well to do is more fitting. The experiment is this:
For 360 days, they cannot use any modern, electrical, battery powered or solar powered item --no phones, no tele, no radio, no indoor plumbing, no toothbrush, no bubble bath oils etc. They must use only natures elements to provide whatever they need. So, if they need soap, they must make it from natural items.
They are not doing this just to have a laugh, but to see if humans can sustain themselves without the use of science.
to assist in this, they have called upon the Dutch Settlement of Quakers in Eastern Pennsylvania aka Amish. Oddly, "M" remembered I schooled in Eastern Penn and had on many occasions visited Lancaster County. He asked me if I would do this experiment or if anyone I know would. I argued saying, no one would dare, especially anyone below the age of forty...
Sounds like a great plan. Wish I could be a part of it. Problem with the 'not so well to do" is that when the experiment is over, there is no money to continue living in society if one chooses. Of course they could go on with the rustic life, but someone has to give them some land or something to live on, right? At the very least. I'd bet your well to dos are not starting with nothing. Ok, they should take some clothes otherwise that would be just cruel and stupid.
Of couse we could all survive under those conditions, there are currently people around the globe that live their lives that way.
Of course humans can sustain themselves without the use of science. But sooner or later some one will pick up a stick or rock to use as a tool and "science," will be used.
Not using modern technology is not the same as not using science.
Wow, how cool is that! Imagine getting back to the basics. They would, by default, get back in tune with nature without the distractions!
I think the "no toothbrush" part is taking it one step too far.
If someone breaks a leg can they call a doctor? Oh. I guess not-- no phone.
Yeh I don't really see a toothbrush as much of a scientific contribution. No toothbrush would kind of break the deal for me. That is dumb. A year later all my teeth would be falling out. Pass on the no toothbrush thingie. No point in that.
Right-- and you couldn't call a dentist either.
well, they could make toothpaste from dried fish, mint and cranberries or other fruit.veggies.
The idea is interesting...
I have no knowledge of that. It's a very big point, however, that I would definitely need addressed before hopping onto that bandwagon.
Fish for toothpaste? Eh..
Anyway, yes, it is very interesting, which I appreciate. Recovering from a very bad spell of pneumonia here, and unable still to really focus on anything, so this one is a highly entertaining diversion.
Fish for toothpaste. That works, huh? What's the ADA have to say about that, lol? Laced with crushed mint leaves. Hmmm. Are you sure mint grows wherever this expedition is heading?
It's really such a crucial point.
Dried fish, doesn't taste or smell like fish if done correctly else eww is right. But it contains high levels of sodium fluoride and potassium. although fluorine is not a necessary nutrient. Many ancient cultures used ground fish bones with charcoal, oil and herbs for teeth, hair and nail care. The essential fatty acids were a bonus.
I would. In another time and place. Under different circumstances. If my situation allowed it. Perhaps.
Yeh okay, no, lol. Good luck with that.
Naw yeh I'd do it. Only thing would be music. I'd miss music. But I'm assuming you could have plenty of books?
to go against the natural ways civilization gave us is a heroic act. I can't bec. I cant live without my personal "chuvachienes" stuff, toothbrush, scrubs, lotions etc. I feel itchy w/o my soap, lotion and of course I can't post hubs anymore for 30 days, Geez, that is worst..
I think you guys are missing the point. You could still brush your teeth, you'd just have to devise something to do it. You could make an instrument, write on hand made paper with pieces of slate or natural chalk, make your own lotions from plant oils, scrub with sand. Of course this whole plan would be better if you were on a tropical island. I still say these guys aren't going out there with nothing.
Has anyone ever seen that documentary about the guy who lived somewhere in Alaska for 10 years in the wilderness? All he brought with him were tool heads (the iron part) and some food to keep him going for a month or so, and clothes. He literally made his own tool handles, chopped trees, hauled them to his site, made lumber, built a cabin complete with stone fireplace, built a tower to keep food from the animals, hunted, fished, gathered plants, built a freezer below the thaw line for food. It's great if you ever get to see it. Of course a plane came in every 6 months or so to check on him and he really didn't care about lotions. But he was alone for ten years.
what if I have my period,
I understand what you are saying, it takes a lot of sacrifice
No the point is taken. Ancient Egyptians made toothpaste out of ground ox hooves and hippo entrails-- but I guess that would be a kind of technology too.
100% agree. You could make tampons or stay in the water all day! I'm just guessing but since these people are older they probably don't have the issues younger people, especially women, would have to put up with.
I experienced life without technology so to speak, as a requirement at school fieldwork - Anthro and living a simple life in the Phils. it is beautiful, yes. I can do it really but I have a baby to take care to.
I did it four months in a jungle, at the age of 52, except I had cleaning body supplies and a tent, it made the TV show "survival" seems like a holiday camp and it was very spiritual.
A whole year can be done, with a certain amount of skills and mind set.
Wow. Well, honestly, after giving it some more thought,
What is the point? The technology to make friggin tampons and toothpaste isn't ruining the planet. I mean, music is a huge sacrifice for me. Tampons and toothpaste are NECESSITIES!
Sure I'd get by without them, when the much anticipated zombie wars commence and I absolutely have to. But until then, giving them up to prove a dumb point and live a year of my life with rags between my legs and my teeth slowly rotting IS JUST STUPID!
So, honestly, after this whole three minutes of serious soul searching, no, that part is a huge deal breaker due to its utter pointlessness. I could deal with the rags thingie, if I had to, but my point is why would I want to, and what would be the point? And also life is short.
No, no. Give me a cabin in the woods with all the conveniences and plenty of books and I'm there. Add music and mountains and health for hiking and it's my retirement dream.
Make it hard and starting from scratch with a few big-muscled and clever gentlemen to assist and it sounds like a great challenge I'd enjoy being in on. Yes, I will even learn to kill, clean and cook and whatever else is required to insure our survival.
If living on rags somehow adds to the atmosphere, okay I reckon, no huge deal, and I have heard of scrubbing your body and hair out with sands. I think I can live without soap.
But if I can't stash a couple of tubes of paste and a new toothbrush in my bag, that just seems incredibly stupid. I know of no acceptable replacement for toothpaste and a good brush. I really need to know that that one is covered.
What the hell are they gonna brush their teeth with? Sure they can floss with sinew or whatever, I guess. But ground up animal bones for toothpaste? How ground up? I'm not getting that part.
Sorry. Deal-breaker. Don't see the point in ruining my teeth just so I can say I lived without science for a year.
What the heck is so wrong with science anyway? I like science. It gave us toothpaste!
I don't see the point. I'd enjoy the challenge of 'living off the land'. But I don't see the point in ruining my teeth over it.
Teeth are very useful things.
"They are not doing this just to have a laugh, but to see if humans can sustain themselves without the use of science."
Its done everyday in different parts of the world and before the progressives destroyed our way of life it was done in America.
The chances of these people making it a year without the conveniences they have come to rely on is doubtful.
The mere suggestion of not having plush toilet paper for everyday use was beyond the pale.
For a moment that one also gave me pause, after you brought it up. Gosh I feel so stupid these days.
However after thinking about it for a minute it's probably not so bad, given regularity. Time your daily dip appropriately and you'd be okay on that one I'd think.
My time is precious. Why would I waste 1 year of my life on an "experiment". Do or do not. Live that way all the time or not at all. I could see a month just for fun or to have the experience but not a whole year.
I would do it for 1 year, if I was paid for it.
I like the idea of a whole year, personally. In fact, I think two would be even better for an experience of this type.
But I agree that I don't see the point really of the experi-MENT. I do however think it would be quite an experi-ENCE!
As such, I think one year would be a must almost, in order to really taste each season. But if you really wanted to get into the whole mind-set of living off the land, I think truly that only multiple years would suffice.
The seasons are viewed much differently when you're living off the land. Each one is about preparing for the next. I would think that after the first year you'd know alot more. So you stay another year to do it right, as opposed to the first year when you were just winging it.
If it went well, I'd think I'd hate leaving after the first year. It would seem like a waste. I never get anything right the first time, hah!
I second (or third, whichever) the super kudos to castlepaloma. That sounds intense. Did you have to like work for it, ya know? I mean, what I'm saying is, I think boredom could become a huge problem if one wasn't called upon to be constantly working for one's survival.
That's really quite an experience, four months in a jungle. Were you set in one place or on the move? Have you written a hub about it? I'd love to hear more.
Do tell, and tell all!
I have been studies third world natural eco living styles for 20 years now. Built an eco house out adobe clay from my land in Belize for four months. Took water from the rain as it is pure enough to live on and grew my own food and composed my own waste. Building a whole eco village and will make a film documentary in time.
People are sick of being owned by their homes, wrote a hub or two on that
I compose my own waste, too.
That's not what you really meant, huh? Yeh don't answer that.
Third world natural eco living. Wow, that's pretty ironic isn't it? That does sound interesting, and yes indeed, a mission or purpose such as that would certainly chase away the doldrums.
As great as the experiment itself sounds, the experience must be really satisfying. You were literally playing in the mud, with your hands, and creating a home.
Fantastic! I'm greatly envious. I bet there were huge bugs though...
I would do it for a month just for fun. After that I'd get bored. But I think I read somewhere that without all the processed food or refined sugar we eat, our teeth would be healthier. So the no toothpaste thing might be ok. It would drive me crazy though to have the aftertaste of food in my mouth all the time. I'd have to load up on mint plants.
I guess in todays time we're so modern we don't recognize this has been done already starting with the cave man. I'm surprise that a Phd didn't see this or the fact that we can not escape science, gravity is science, warming the planet is science, eating is science is simply understanding the that whitch is already going on around us.
Sure, I would, why not? It'd be fun, interesting, and very educational! But, I wouldn't do it on my own...somebody'd hafta come with me. Not only would I not want to be alone and lonely, but I'd need someone there with me to make sure I didn't give up after 2-4 weeks....
Sorry, learn to be a lone wolf for a time period.
lol, I am a lone wolf - that's the problem! lol I'd hafta have someone around to keep me in check, ya know? Someone to argue with so I know whether or not my thoughts are in line or if I should change my way of thinking about how to do something - cuz, I've never built a house!! lol
I'd need someone there to -everything. LOL. I could like, oh I don't know, gather loose twigs for a fire perhaps? Offer encouragement? Supervise? Tell them about what I read in a book once which might work better? I don't know.
Everything a given, I'd be happy enough by myself. Stuff requiring actual strength or manual labor, eh yeh, no. That'd be scary.
How long have they been at it? How are the faring? Any latest news from them?
I am not certain they have begun the experiment, but am certain my friends will let me know when and how.
The challenge will be finding out, as no one will essentially be able to commune with them unless they visit. I think the location, though, is near the Mendocino National Forest --which is some extraordinary countryside!
I suppose there is a lot they can learn, but I would not want to participate, not for a year.
the huge plus is their environment, it is beautiful, like another world.
The show called survival man on TV is about the closest thing I have seen toward my experience living out in a jungle for four months, and he only trips for 3 days to up to a week at a time.
They sell survival adventure packages in Sweden and they send you out in the woods for 2 week with very little supplies.
People pay them alot of money to do this.
I think most naturalist could handle it for 2 weeks to a month, that’s better than average.
Very few have enough courage (more so than heart) with certain amount of skills and mind set to last a whole year from a first world background. There are some third world eco adventure tour guilds people, I think they could do it and bugs would be their greatest challenge.
That would be in a jungle, a freezing winter country would be a different story.
I always thought naturalist were attuned to nature. If that is not the case then for sure they wouldn't last long. You would need to be at one with nature in order to live within its midst.
Kinda like the aboriginie who lived in the hot deserts of Australia. In the days they could find water by becoming one with it.
It would take time for anyone to adjust to work with nature if they are not use to that.
An Experiment or Madness
I think it is just an option of free will; it is their life however they like to spend it.
It is neither required by science nor religion.
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