By Margaret Wente
The no-impacters, it seems to me, are the modern version of religious ascetics, who practised various forms of self-denial and self-torture to prove their devotion to God. Some lived on top of poles for 40 years. Some went naked, and some ate only nuts and fruits, and some lived on air. “Those who practise ascetic lifestyles often perceive their practices as virtuous and pursue them to achieve greater spirituality,” says one authority. They believe their actions purify the soul.