this part of the world fascinates me--here we have some of the harshest conditions on earth, yet the people there live so simply. i think we can learn alot from cultures like these. even the amish in the states have been subsisting without high technology for hundreds of years--and while we typically think of the amish as living in the past, perhaps we're getting a glimpse of the future as well.Aside: I saw a really interesting special about Bhutan, a buddhist nation in the eastern himalayas where they have very little 'advanced' technology, are rather isolated, and live a happy peaceful exitence tucked away in the mountains. Beautiful scenary, looked like a really chill place and exemplifies what I mean by simple natural existence.
with all things, there seems to be a happy medium between the extreme ends of the spectrum...a buddhist might call this following the "middle path".