Warning: I'm bluntly honest here—even downright insulting—so if you can't live without your friggin' smartphone, back out now.

Welcome to one of the lowest-tech new homes you're likely see. My choice to go low-tech is not because I'm some technophobe or Neo-Luddite. I've actually been a technogeek from way back; I was an early adopter of Betamax, MiniDisc and Videodisc, I always had top-drawer digital photographic gear, high-end PCs, and so on. Professionally, I've worked in a broad array of high-technology fields, plus I'm generally very science- and technology-oriented.

That said, I also adhere to the KISS Principle, and so I adamantly oppose making things more complicated than they need to be. Unfortunately, with the virus-like spread of ever-cheaper microprocessors and related tech—not to mention altogether too many fad-driven technology trends—unnecessary complexity is growing exponentially. Products are emerging that nobody asked for; tech developers now do many things merely because it's fashionable (hence profitable), not because it serves any real purpose. They're creating needs by inducing susceptible consumers to buy all of their latest crap. "You need this to work with that in order to do thus-and-so!" And more often than not, "thus-and-so" is utterly useless nonsense.

And so, with my house I've consciously and deliberately gone low-tech. Here are some highlights (lowlights?) and the reasons for my choices:

No cable. I don't watch broadcast or cable-distributed commercial programming—i.e., television. While I do have a voracious appetite for film and enjoy a select few TV series, I purchase them all on disc, so I have no need for a cable connection. And cell phones have finally become robust enough to make landlines unnecessary (although I still have my doubts on occasion), so the only physical wires entering my house carry 200 amps of electricity.

No broadband. No cable also means no hardwired broadband internet access. I don't do all that much online as it is, and I don't bother with streaming. For the little I do online, I have a hotspot tied to an unlimited data cell phone account. This has proven to be perfectly adequate for my needs (including those of my guests), and costs no more than cable-based broadband combined with normal phone service. It also means having to deal with only one big, greedy corporation instead of two or more.

No dish. See "no cable." Besides, being surrounded by trees, a line-of-sight shot at a satellite is out of the question.

No "smart home" devices. I regard any product that's branded "smart" to be just the opposite. Consequently, my home is 100% "dumb," as I have absolutely zero interest in or need for any "smart" devices, many of which are utterly absurd. What happens when tech devices become obsolete, as they inevitably will? Much worse, the Internet of Things is beyond stupid: it's seriously frightening. Hackers are aggressively multiplying, and I refuse to put my privacy and security at risk just for the sake of being able to open and close my garage door from my living room. Give me a goddamn break! Besides, I do not, nor will I ever, own a so-called smartphone. (Been there, done that, returned it a week later. My "dumbphone" cost <$50, does everything I need, and has worked fine for many years.) Consider, for instance, the horror stories about people losing control of their smart devices because of bugs or Internet service interruptions; how embarrassing is it when you can't turn your lights on and off while standing in the same friggin' room? Sorry, but of all the latest technology trends, "smart homes" are likely the very worst. Get off your fat asses and throw the goddamn wall switch!



I was forced to buy a smart phone. The network on which my old dumb phone operated was being discontinued. But I only use it as a phone—no smart stuff.


Copyright © 2017-2022 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
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