Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech free

Interviews with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other tech elites consistently reveal that Silicon Valley parents are strict about technology use.

I think it’s important in today’s world for kids to become familiar with technology and know how to use it, but not have their entire world be on-screen.

Power — Off & On

Last Wednesday, California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) intentionally cut power to 500,000 customers in parts of 22 counties in to prevent wildfires. This came after huge wildfires for the past two years, both started by sparks from equipment from PG&E.

We were warned of these power outages in June and given plenty of time to prepare. But still, it was difficult for many people.


Independence & Interdependence

For me, Independence Day is about more than having a picnic and going to the the fireworks. It’s a time to bring my attention again to the concept of independence in my own life, and for the nation in which I live.

I love the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


Sunshine Through the Year

I “accidentally” found this very cool website about ten years ago and it’s one of my favorites. has very comprehensive data about the amount of sunshine for every place in the world. “Gaisma” is a Latvian word, meaning “light”.

Why would you want to know this? For gardening, for calculating potential solar energy, but for me, it very clearly shows the increase and decrease of day length (making it easy to find the longest days and longest nights), in beautiful graphs.

Handmade Bamboo Tomato Cages


I want to give you an example of what we are talking about when we say we are choosing Life over being industrial consumers.

Here is a corner of our garden where we planted heirloom tomato seedlings from the farmer’s market and raspberry canes donated by Larry’s sister, which were excess shoots that had come up aroound a single raspberry cane I had given her last year as a gift.

Beyond Consumerism

For the past forty years I have made my living as a consumer advocate. I have given much advice in the course of seven books, numerous magazine articles, and megabytes of Internet content on what to buy that is better for health and the environment, and where to buy it. Now, I am about to ask you to consider not being a consumer and instead reorient your life to Life.

I wish to be very clear that I am not asking you not to shop. The exchange of goods is a wonderful thing and not a problem in and of itself.