How to Live Off the Grid

off-grid-log-cabin-918x516Open frontiers, freedom to live one’s life without restrictions, and the romance of living in harmony with nature have long been part of the American psyche. Authors and filmmakers have captured the desire to live independently and rely solely on one’s abilities for centuries.For example:

Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau, a 19th century poet, writer, and naturalist, explained the fascination with a simple life in his 1854 book “Walden“: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Ayn Rand

The Russian-born American author, writing “Atlas Shrugged” a century later, detailed the success of a community of industrialists and inventors who rejected the strictures of society to build Galt’s Gulch, a hidden community in the wilds of Colorado with little law and where everyone worked.

Ned Buntline and Prentiss Ingraham

The pair, best known of the dime novel authors, wrote fictional stories that focused on the frontier with fictional accounts of strong, self-reliant Western heroes from Daniel Boone to Wyatt Earp, finding huge audiences between 1860 to 1920.

Lee Child

The pseudonym of author Jim Grant is best known for his more than 20 novels featuring his nomadic Jack Reacher character. Reacher, a retired military policeman, travels the United States by walking or traveling by bus. He stays in cheap motels using made-up aliases, has no possessions other than the clothes on his back, and eschews such modern conveniences as credit cards, cell phones, and computers.
The idea of escaping societal obligations has appealed to certain Americans since our country’s formation. Many historians characterize the Plymouth Colony, established in 1620, as the nation’s first commune, its founders leaving England’s restrictive laws to create a community in the wilderness on a new continent an ocean away. The colony initially depended on upon collectivism, and each individual’s sense of personal responsibility to sustain the colony.
Much more recently, Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, has proposed a new nation-state composed of banded-together platforms floating in the ocean 200 miles from San Francisco. Known as Libertarian Island, the community would have “no welfare, loose building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.”

The Meaning of “Living Off the Grid”

The term “living off the grid” appeared in the mid-1990s and is credited to environmentalist Nick Rosen, founder of Some define off-grid as being independent of electrical utilities and having a smaller carbon footprint (“going green”). Some claim it to be a self-imposed exile from the modern world and its conveniences (“dropping out”), while others define it as being anonymous (“being untraceable”). Andrew McKay, a journalist with Survival Mastery, calls it “living without any dependence on the government, society, and its products.”
Read more . . .

Understanding the Dark Net

dark-web-user-918x516British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a new police/intelligence agency on December 10, 2014, to monitor the “Dark Web,” as reported by The Independent. According to Cameron, “The dark net is the next side of the problem, where pedophiles and perverts are sharing images, not using the normal parts of the Internet we all use.”
Independent web consultant Mark Stockley concurs, claiming in Naked Security that the dark web “attracts people who want to engage in things like robbery, sex trafficking, arms trafficking, terrorism and distributing child pornography.” In the International Business Times, writers Charles Paladin and Jeff Stone claim electronic goods, contract killers, guns, passports, fake IDs, and hackers for hire are readily available on the dark web, in addition to illegal drugs and child pornography.
For most of the general public, the 2013 arrest of Ross Ulbright – known online as the “Dread Pirate Roberts” and the founder of a dark website, Silk Road – was the first evidence of a hidden, anonymous web. Silk Road was one of many websites outside the search capability of ordinary web browsers such as FireFox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. While the majority of products sold on Silk Road were illegal drugs, the success of the site led to other dark websites such as Sheep Marketplace and Black Market Reloaded with minimal restrictions on the products and services for sale.
As a consequence of the lack of regulation, David J. Hickton, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, called the dark web the “Wild West of the Internet” in a Rolling Stone interview. IBM’s Managed Security Services Threat Research group calls the hidden web a marketplace for drugs, weapons, stolen data and “anything else a criminal entrepreneur might need or want to sell,” and advises its customers that the dark web “is not a neighborhood you visit for any legitimate reason.”

Web Strata

While the terms “Internet” and “World Wide Web” are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. The former refers to a massive network of networks, linking millions of computers globally where any computer can communicate with another as long as each is connected to the Internet. The World Wide Web is an information sharing model built on top of the Internet that uses the HTTP protocol, browsers such as Chrome or Firefox, and webpages to share information. The web is a large part of the Internet, but not its only component – for example, email and instant messaging are not part of the web, but are part of the Internet.
To read more . . .