While short of being referred to as a curmudgeon, it's been called to my attention that I'm a non-conformist. Naturally, most atheists are categorized as evil non-c's. In a sense, we're rebels.

I've never thought of myself as any one of those. It's not on purpose that I'm "different". Perhaps, it's just a part of my personality. I can blame it on genetic predisposition or something, but I won't. That's not fair to my parents (both believers in god, by the way).

My non-conformity manifests itself in many ways. I especially eschew modernity. It's quite a list! I watch TV on an old set--not flat screen, which I despise--using an old-fashion antenna and "conversion box". My VCR (not DVD) is not hooked up. My radios have cassette tape doors. When I walk, I listen to music on an old transister radio. I have an old vinyl record player. My computer is an old desk top. I don't do Kindle (sp?)--library books are fine. And thanks to my daughter, I recently got a cell phone. No I-phone/pad or whatever they're all called. The list goes on. 

I'm quite satisfied with what I have, and don't miss or regret not playing with all the new-fangled toys available. Perhaps it's because I live a spartan life or because I'm careful with my money. Perhaps it's because I'm not good with technology (my cell phone drives me crazy). I'm incompetent for sure. I think it's more of my "give me the simple life" mindset. I enjoy splitting firewood by hand, for example.

At my age (71), I really don't care what people, including my own 4 children, think of me. It's who I am. And I'm comfortable in my own skin. That definitely includes excluding a hovering god. My god is myself.

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Comment by Michael Penn on October 12, 2014 at 10:07pm

I do drive a 10 year old car. It doesn't bother me a bit that someone has a newer car. They also have the payment for it and my car is paid for. When it falls apart for any reason, then I will get a different car.

Comment by Michael Pianko on October 12, 2014 at 8:10pm
An i-phone is just a brand of smart phone, made by the apple computer company. There are other brands of smart phones. A smart phone is just a combination toy/ cellular phone and hand held computer. I actually only have the cheapest model of cell phone. You are right that you are not missing anything by not having a smart phone.

An i-pad is just a brand of tablet computer also made by apple computer company. There are other brands which do not have a built in camera which would do the job just fine for me and many people too. You can use a tablet computer as an electronic book reader. I personally would not buy one with a screen less than 7 inches. I did not mean to have the 9-3/4 inch i-pad I own but it was a gift from work and if I had been paid money instead of this gadget the government would have stolen 33 or 35% in taxes. But 9-3/4 inches is a good size.
Comment by Michael Pianko on October 12, 2014 at 7:46pm
I am less than half your age. I want to say a few things about technology from my viewpoint having the master of library science degree and having taken a class in library preservation.

From approximately 1850-1990 many books were printed on cheap acidic wood-pulp paper, which decays easily, especially if not stored well. Some effort has been made to digitize certain materials in certain archives and university libraries, and you can find free books on the internet whose copyrights have expired. If scanned well, at least, they can be read on a computer. Printing them is possible but is is cheaper to read scanned materials on a computer, and actually in general reading a book on a computer saves trees and saves resources. A kindle is just a brand of tablet computer which is meant for reading books.

Optical disks read by a laser (DVD's or blue ray for movies, CD's for audio only) can last longer than vinyl discs and magnetic tapes. A laser reads the optical discs and the laser causes less damage than a needle rubbing through the grooves of a vinyl disc. magnetic tapes (VHS and Betamax for movies, reel to reel tapes and cassette tapes for audio only) will not last more than 50 years if stored well and they will noticeably degrade after 15-20 years, due to humidity and stray magnetic fields... And you could break your VCR if you put a tape in that is sticky due to chemical reactions between moisture in the air and the tape.
Comment by jay H on October 10, 2014 at 5:07pm

There's plenty of us retro folks around. I drive a 25 year old Jeep, pretty much devoid of electronics or any luxury of any kind and love it. I enjoy mechanical things and working with my hands.

Not really a luddite though, by day I do database administration for a multinational corporation.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 8, 2014 at 11:09am

Me too, Just being happy with what I have, not wanting things around that confuse me or interrupt what I am doing, is just fine. I have a cell phone in my car but only because I sometimes can't find my way home, even on familiar streets. My son-in-law asked if he could install a GPS unit on my car and I most gratefully said yes. I have never used the cell phone they gave me. 

I like my house the way it is arranged ... hadn't been rearranged in 40 years. I like my garden, weed and all, with all the lovely things that happens out there. I don't want a phone there because it would interrupt my meditation/gardening.

All my furniture was purchased in the 1960s. Even most of my electrical appliances were bought before 1974, except the washer, drying, dishwasher, and hot water heater. 

I'm 78, Everything I have is all I want or need. Even my old car should hold up for the rest of my journey. All my clothes were purchased when I was 50 pounds heavier. I guess I do need to update my wardrobe ... but those old things are so comfortable. 

There is one thing I can't do without and I replace every few years, my computer. Everything about it is just a miracle. I have a built in dictionary, maps, spelling and grammar checks, photo albums, camera, weather reports, mail, calendar, word processor, statistical analysis program, music, videos, books, kindle, and daily contact with those who matter to me. I even have a delete and block button. I don't have to tolerate nonsense. I wish I had that feature for dealing with family.  

Comment by Michael Penn on October 8, 2014 at 10:04am

You are very much like me, but I am a little more modern than you. At least in some ways. I'm maybe 20 years behind the times right now and don't give a damn about every gadget out there. I only went fully digital about 5 years ago and that's mostly in a computer sense. My cellphone is usually on the counter and i forget it a lot. (I don't like the either.) Some people have their Internet and all the music, etc. on a handheld phone-like device that they carry around with them. That doesn't interest me at all.

I guess what's most important is just being happy and content.

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 8, 2014 at 3:43am

Randall, soon after I retired I found myself ignoring the rules I had once followed. My ignoring them became reflexive--requiring no conscious thought--and I started describing it to others as an benefit of age. I always add that I try to avoid attracting the sheriff's attention.

Borrowing from Bertold, I'm living my good life but it requires a bit more hi tech stuff than your good life requires. The older I get, the more electronics I have.

Comment by Luara on October 7, 2014 at 10:52am

I'm a non-conformist too.

Although by eschewing new technology, perhaps you're conforming to the past. 

Comment by Luara on October 7, 2014 at 10:51am

excluding a hovering god

God as a remote-control hovering helicopter :)

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on October 7, 2014 at 10:13am

>It's the good life, Randall, because you're happy with what you have and with what you are.

Very well said!

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