An André / Thoreau Move

I’ve been kind of rolling my eyes at the series by Paul Miller at The Verge on his year away from the Internet, which I’ve prejudicially thought of as a bit contrived and a little too cute by half. (I even get the unsubstantiated impression that his colleagues are just bemusedly humoring him.) But in recent weeks he’s obviously been hitting upon some genuinely interesting insights.

In the latest dispatch, Miller uses My Dinner with André and Walden to illustrate the wisdom to be gained from — as well as the unavoidable, underlying pretentiousness of — such an exercise.

My point is that leaving the internet, as I’m currently doing, is an André / Thoreau move. It’s not just ironic or laughable for me to suggest it to others, it’s mean-spirited, or at least insensitive. And after all, the problem has never been electric blankets and chicken, the problem is only one of moderation — how high should we turn up the electric blanket, and how much chicken is part of a balanced diet?

Good piece.

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