Saturday, 4 August 2007


Great little read from Paul Graham. Scooterboy sent me the link, not so much as a hint, but as a 'READ THIS AND LEARN'! :D Yes, yes, I do have a bit of stuff but they're mostly books (for which I have a 'stuff' exception - like the author), but even so, I don't have a tremendous amount of stuff.

It's just that Scooterboy's ideal home would comprise of tatami mats and maybe a cushion or two. So, as much as I agree with the author, and like the thought of Scooterboy's ideal home, I will still hold on to the stuff that gives me the little pleasures in life e.g. beautifully crafted objects that I look at every day. So, Scooterboy, nyah nyah nyah :p

I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can't afford a front yard full of old cars.

It wasn't always this way. Stuff used to be rare and valuable. You can still see evidence of that if you look for it. For example, in my house in Cambridge, which was built in 1876, the bedrooms don't have closets. In those days people's stuff fit in a chest of drawers. Even as recently as a few decades ago there was a lot less stuff. When I look back at photos from the 1970s, I'm surprised how empty houses look. As a kid I had what I thought was a huge fleet of toy cars, but they'd be dwarfed by the number of toys my nephews have. All together my Matchboxes and Corgis took up about a third of the surface of my bed. In my nephews' rooms the bed is the only clear space.

Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, but our attitudes toward it haven't changed correspondingly. We overvalue stuff."

Read more here.

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