I agree with you, but don't understand the OP. Why does he stick to the "life hacker" term at all? The lifehacker blog is terrible, but we have always defended the term "hacker" against popular interpretations (=cracker). Can we still save the term "life hacker"? For me, that'd be someone without a cellphone.
There's a actually an established term for most of your list: Early Adopters. A marketing euphemism for people who waste their life and money trying out products you throw at them. It can be fun, but when I see people on Twitter with that term in their bio, I can't help but facepalm.
And then there's another group of people - those who tune their tools forever.
Both obsessions are incredibly common on HN. One harmless case in point, this submission on the front page left me clueless:
How many people on this planet have that many management duties that exchanging all stock apps is worth the time? Is it a Zen garden thing? (Sorry author - I have actually at half of those apps too :) )
Can we still save the term "life hacker"? For me, that'd be someone without a cellphone.
That would be me.
I don't own a cellphone since 2004. I've got tired of being constantly available (and disrupted), so I ditched the damn thing. It may not be practical for everybody, but it works for me. The world has its own pace and I have mine.
For me, the biggest inconvenience of not having a cellphone are those businesses (websites) that insist on a "cellphone #" being a required field during a sign-up or when requesting a quote.
Good for you! If it wasn't for my 3 year old daughter I'd have done the same thing and gone completely phone-less. As it stands I like knowing that in an emergency, I'm reachable. Instead I use a family plan that equates to about 20 dollars a month for my share which includes unlimted calls and texts.
I think with 'smartphones' being so expensive that phone contract prices in general have gone up. So far I've never owned a smart-phone and hopefully I can stay away from that bloated cost.
Disclaimer: I live in suburban amerika in a moderate-sized city with a low(er) cost of living. (Think LA is 1.5 x more expensive then here.)
While I see the appeal of not having a mobile phone, I'd say that if you never had a smart-phone, you could give it a try before you say it's a bloated cost. It can actually improve your life in many ways and on my side it's definitely worth the cost even if I don't call anyone that often. I'd be even glad to own a smart-... thing. It doesn't have to have a phone function.
I do appreciate having a map with me, being able to transfer money wherever I am, take a photo without carrying a full camera, read a book on a plane without adding the weight to the luggage, have some music available when I'm bored, not having to print tickets when possible, having all my notes/calendar without carrying an actual notebook, and a number of other things that simply improve my life without any downsides.
You can say that Knuth went of the grid to accomplish something extraordinary, but I did it once I've realized that my life is actually mine to live and that the world would not end if I'm not reachable. I quit being Atlas and the sky didn't fall.
<raises hand /> I don't have a cellphone either. I can't think of anything to add to the annoyances you already mentioned, but I would just like to point out that in terms of not being interrupted, ditching my cellphone is about the best thing I've ever done.
Well in the link you pointed to, the author did it over a period of years. We'll assume he's drunk and it's only 1 year and a day. He seems to mention 6 default apps. That means he replaced 1 default app every ~2 months. That doesn't really indicate a bunch of time spent on it. It's just changes over a significant period accruing. Personally, I just don't give a shit enough to do that to my phone, but I do with Emacs.