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Dec. 25th, 2004 | 11:13 pm

I wonder if I'm the only one who feels so burdened by stuff. Yesterday two different people tried to give me something and I turned them down. The first was a group of lynden la rouche people who wanted me to take some of the pamphlets, I scanned their first handout and gave it back to them. They did try to give me a thicker pamphlet which I browsed through before returning.

They didn't believe my "minimizing resources" claim which isn't really fully true, it's more that I feel like my apartment is stuffed and any additional thing might cause it to implode into a black hole of consumer junk. (From what I can see I'm not that far off from the typical american in my level of clutter, I just feel far more oppressed by it than most. I also feel like I should be able to fit into a small apartment unlike the typical response of just moving to a larger location.)

I did decide that perhaps I'd be a bit happier with myself if I improved my personal environment so I've started trying to clean up the pile of junk mail and the bit of my bookshelf that started to colonize my floor. Hopefully tomorrow I can take another load of junk to the thrift store.

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Comments {5}

TroyToy

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from: troyworks
date: Dec. 27th, 2004 09:53 am (UTC)
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no I'm always aware anything I take I'll have to move in a year or so. Paper in particular loses much of it's value as soon as it's read, so I do the same thing, or take a digital picture if I need i.

I'm on the quest to have the minimum amount of stuff, maximum utility. Most of peoples attachments (IMO) is rather borderline junk, and people by it that way for the reason they think it will differentiate themselves from the people buying the other color of junk.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Dec. 29th, 2004 10:34 pm (UTC)
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I do like how the rapid increase in hard disk space has allowed me to be a digital pack rat in an ever decreasing amount of physical space.

Some of the critiques of consumerism I've read seem to argue that people end up defining their sense of self through their collections of stuff. It seems like this would mean that "people" might think that if they got rid of all their junk they'd no longer know who they were.

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TroyToy

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from: troyworks
date: Dec. 29th, 2004 10:56 pm (UTC)
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me too. The amount of life one can capture on a disk. Most my childhood tapes and records are now digitized and no longer decaying (nor do I have a tape player anymore), all my several hundred cd's are stored losslessy, about 60% of my junior high paper journals are scanned in.

Eventually my DVD collection will make it onto disk, Many of my video I rarely or never watch but others I watch all the time and would ideally like to watch anywhere. I also like that it's easy to duplicate for backup and sharing with others.

It's kinda funny, my photo colection has grow exponentially,yet my harddrive continues to get bigger faster. first it was film scanned in, then it was 2Mpix digital camera with 32MB ram and horrid night shots (meaning I couldn't use it at night), now a 3MPix with 128MB card and video capability. next one I buy will likely be digital SLR with 8MP and 1Gig of storage,

though i do think like any packrat that it's difficult to actually go thourgh some of the stuff, but at least I know roughly where it's at. The hardest part for me is organizing it in a meaningful fashion. Especially true of scanned in handwriting, and audio recordings which aren't simple to go through, I've been trying to convert to HTML and speech recognize, but it's time consuming and not really relevant to where I'm going.

"people" might think that if they got rid of all their junk they'd no longer know who they were.

possibly, I think it more likely that they've gotten out of touch, and stuff constantly edged on by advertising keeps them permeanently in this distracted state. My purchasing habits dramatically decreased when I stopped watching TV.

We all seem to define ourselves by collections, be they LJ friends, or kitchen magnets. I don't inherently think this is evil.

much of what i collect are tools, and shape the limits of my ability to create, and thus somewhat of my identity. Losing them (say guitar) would have to make me do things differently, but essentially the values I'd be trying to fulfill are the same. I think this might be the case for others as well. Instead of xbox video games they'd go back to board games.

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from: clynne
date: Dec. 28th, 2004 09:10 am (UTC)
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I'm very attached to my STUFF, but at the same time, I've been making an effort over the past three years (since Erich moved in with me) to stop getting new stuff. It's just silly -- there's WAY too much stuff in both our lives, so we're trying to stop acquiring it. This is terribly difficult for me, because I love to shop (I know, disgustingly girly).

Anyway, IMO, it's not freakish of you to feel burdened by stuff. I hate how when I go out dancing there's flyers all over my windshield every time, and all over every other car in the lot, and on the ground, and so forth. I hand back flyers, too, especially if it's something I'm not interested in. I hate all the disposability of our society -- all the small electronics that are so convenient, but aren't built to last (coffeepot, humidifiers, computers, mobile phones and so forth), it's very frustrating. It's very hard to live lightly upon the earth these days.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Dec. 29th, 2004 10:32 pm (UTC)
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Living lightly doesn't drive corporate bottom lines nearly as well disposable products. (Though mandatory cradle-to-grave recycling programs for businesses might help).

Yeah I also have a computer fetish, which causes no end of clutter. I have an impressive selection of old ide, serial, scsi, floppy, and coax cables in some of my drawers.

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