Going Neo-Amish (temporarily)

If you follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/r), you may have caught me mentioning I’m planning to go “Neo-Amish” for a few days. I hadn’t heard the term until earlier this week when Kevin Kelly, who coined the term many years ago, wrote about bloggers, blackberry addicts or the kind of people who stand in the line at an Apple Store, who decide to abandon the devices they use to stay plugged in. No way am I going to do that permanently, but if I wanted to, hey, no problem, I could do it — no, really.. I could quit using this stuff anytime I wanted to. Cold turkey. Really.

In reality, I’m going to be spending the next several days involved in a project that involves cutting up wood. If all goes as planned, I’ll be making a looped-back windsor chair that looks (if I’m lucky) like the one pictured. It’s going to be a full-time focus for several days during which I’ll be spending time with a very talented guy who enjoys teaching people how to keep from cutting off their fingers while making things like windsor chairs. One way to keep from cutting off ones fingers, I’ve been informed, is to avoid text-message while using a lathe. The same goes for using any power tool while Twittering, blogging, or being obsessed with loading apps onto a new iPhone 3G.

Making a windsor chair, I’ve determined, is very 18th century. So I’ll be “offline” entirely during the project.

For the record, I won’t be gadget free. I’m documenting the experience for a magazine and video project. In other words, I’ll still be digital, just not conversationally.

See you back here on July 21.