Ascetic purity of food, ascetic unidirectionality of electricity

Rob Rhinehart, the creator of Soylent, the fungible foodstuff, has now turned his simplifying attention to electricity. He explains, on his “Mostly Harmless blog:

How I Gave Up Alternating Current

Soylent, in a bottle, in a hand.
Soylent, in a bottle, in a hand, in a photo.

The walls are buzzing. I know this because I have a magnet implanted in my hand and whenever I reach near an outlet I can feel them. I can feel fortresses of industry miles away burning prehistoric hydrocarbons by the megaton….

Now I don’t need any of them. I am electrically self reliant. My home life runs comfortably on a single 100W solar panel, which cost $150 and was available on Amazon Prime…. I have been living on this system for a few months now and am thrilled how well it works…. Here is how I did it….

I buy my staple food online like a civilized person. It takes me mere seconds to order enough soylent for a month, and version 2.0 does not require any preparation, so I got rid of my noisy blender. At less than $2.50 / meal it also saves me loads of cash, and I appreciate the use of more soy and less rice, finally bringing a nutritionally optimal PDCAAS score of 1.0 while improving the taste and especially texture….

To me the real upside is the pleasure in being electrically self reliant. Nightmares about being trapped in a coal mine have been replaced by pleasant dreams of basking in the sun’s glory. It got a little weird when I had to prove my existence to a local government and they asked for a utility bill. Good thing I still use water, for now. If you can strip wires you can set this up yourself. Everything I used is available on Amazon except for soylent 2.0, which is only available at

Rhinehart last year delivered a 24/7 Lecture, at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, on the topic “Metabolism”, in which he concluded that “Thanks to enzymes, humans are solar powered”. You might enjoy watching it again.