I teach a course here at the university called Tightwaddery, the Good Life on a Dollar a Day. It’s what we call an honours class, a two-credit evening class and it’s both serious and somewhat light-hearted. We read Epicurus, we read Thoreau, we read articles about consumerism and advertising. We also do classes on personal finance, and there’s some jokey classes, like one where the students learn to cut each other’s hair. There’s a banquet at the end of the term, where everybody has to produce a meal very cheaply, from a Depression-era recipe. That aspect of Stoicism, the getting by on little, eschewing unnecessary luxuries, husbanding your resources, that’s definitely me. I’m very averse to spending unnecessary money, although I’ll spend money on the things I value, like travelling…I never have my students cut each others' hair, though last week in my environmental ethics class, we did do a bottled water taste test. Unfortunately, it backfired. All but one student could tell the difference between Fiji and tap water.
The interview with Emrys Westacott comes with five excellent "good life" reading suggestions.
(via Russell Blackford)