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Hierarchy of modern conveniences Wed, Nov 07, 2012
Living without electricity, heat, and running water for a little while has taught me that there's a hierarchy of modern conveniences:  (1) heat, (2) plumbing, (3) hot water, (4) electricity.  This list is decidedly winter-centric, since that's when we tend to lose power, and also because winter can kill you, while summer can really only kill you if you're old.

Electricity is nice, but sitting in a cold house with the lights on (assuming you're unable to heat with electricity) is uncomfortable or unbearable.  Plumbing is nice, but if you can't take a hot shower, it's inconvenient.  At least if you have heat, you can sit around in a warm house, use bottled water to flush your toilets and wash your hands, and use flashlights to read books or watch movies on battery-powered devices.  In a cold environment, I can live with just heat; I doubt I could live with just plumbing, or just electricity (though typically if you have electricity you can have all the rest).

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