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The pursuit of a simpler time

The pursuit of a simpler time



One of my favourite channels on Youtube involves a completely silent half naked man making bricks. Hear me out. 

It's called Primitive Technology, and it's pretty much as the name suggests. Here's the description in the channel's About section: 

Primitive technology is a hobby where you build things in the wild completely from scratch using no modern tools or materials. These are the strict rules: If you want a fire, use a fire stick - An axe, pick up a stone and shape it - A hut, build one from trees, mud, rocks etc. The challenge is seeing how far you can go without utilizing modern technology.

It is utterly fascinating to me. 

And this isn't just one man's eccentric hobby. 'Bushcraft' is a not insignificant industry (especially and expectedly in places like America and Australia), and you will even find several 'primitive technology' imitators on Youtube. 

But this man is the OG, and easily the best. A channel with no talking and nothing more than the sound of rain falling, tress rustling and fire bellowing has 10.9m subscribers, and each video has millions of views. 

Build your own Crocs

What exactly is the appeal? 

On one hand, I think it is precisely because his entire endeavour is simple, unpretentious, and in some ways purposefully boring. There's no attempt to be entertaining or exciting - even his commentary (turn on subtitles) are purely matter-of-fact. It feels like a stark departure from every other Youtuber trying so desperately and shouting so loudly to grab peoples' attention. 

It is also quite relaxing and calming, almost zen-like. In our world of constant stimulation, its refreshing to have a break from all of it. To watch one man do one thing laboriously but simply. I find it quite meditative. Often, it would be the last thing I watch before going to bed. 

And the outcomes - through sheer labour and time - can sometimes be inspiring. The man builds a whole tiled roof hut with literally his bare hands! 

And perhaps in our hyper-modernised society where we take for granted how convenient and easy life can be, this is a worthwhile and stark reminder of how harsh and difficult life used to be. It offers important perspective: Be appreciative of the things we have, and don't take for granted just how easy technology has made our lives. And it also offers interesting perspective on technological advancement. We now tend to think of technology in terms of the Internet and the latest iPhone, AI and Blockchain are the buzzwords of tomorrow, but let's not lose sight of the fact that technological advancement has been consistently happening over time. One could make the case that fire might have been Man's greatest technological invention (though some may argue farming is). 

And of course, I'm also fascinated by what he does next. Considering he has metal, he's at least reached the Iron Age. How far will he go? Will he reach the Medieval Era? When will he invent the Internet? Also, the comments section? Hilarious. 

"We have entered the Iron Age."

~ Desmond


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"we take for granted how convenient and easy life can be, this is a worthwhile and stark reminder of how harsh and difficult life used to be."

Please speak for yourself!

My life is hardly easy and convenient!

I have to slog 2 jobs to put food on the table to feed the kids!

I have bills to pay, water, gas, electricity etc etc

Who needs a life of extra hardship?

I can pass you my MIL and you want to experience how harsh and difficult life can be!


"how harsh and difficult life used to be?"

My parents lived in houses and had jobs.

My grandparents lived in housed - actually bigger ones and had jobs.

My grandparents had running water and electricity.

Might have to go back quite a bit where my ancestors did not have any modern tools and lived in mud brick homes and had to hunt with stones and sticks!

And maybe wear animal furs as clothes?

  • Haha! 1
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Monkey see, monkey do!

People see Naked and Afraid

Die die must try!


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