Commit bab13bf2 authored by Ev Bogue's avatar Ev Bogue

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title: Is minimalism a dead unicorn?
date: 2015-08-01
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Over the past few days I've been mulling over a return minimalism. JFM seems to have dropped the torch I discarded to him all of those many years ago in 2011 when I my writing went off its' rocker into bullshit Singularitan "THE FUTURE WILL BE BETTER" territory.
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But four years later I still find myself self-identifying as a minimalist. All of my stuff still fits into a bag in the overhead compartment.
The big issue for me is whether or not anyone cares anymore. When I'm writing about programming and Node.js I get feedback. People care. There's some sense that if you get Node.js down then you can build things on the web that the baby boomer and gen-Z screenthumbers cannot.
Does minimalism have any teeth, or is it a dead unicorn? If I hit minimalism again in a series of posts, am I just kicking a dead unicorn? Did minimalism die when I said 'fuck minimalism' in 2011 and never quite get back on it's feet no matter what anyone said?
Will Tyler Durden have to continue to be the most famous minimalist with his line about your stuff owning you? After rewatching Fight Club a few months ago, I wonder if he's an aspirational guy to look up to in the modern era.
I'm not sure. I want to believe, but I know believing isn't necessarily jiving with the reality of the cultural situation right now. Perhaps minimalism was a fad sandwiched between the plentiful office jobs of the 90s and the unemployable rate of the post-2008s.
Or perhaps minimalism is fundamentally unimplementable. People don't want to change, they want to remain the same. That's why people cling to their mortgage payments telling themselves that the house belongs to them until the repo man shows up to tell them to get out of the bank's house. At that moment minimalism is foisted upon them, and all of their things have to fit into a shopping cart and a storage locker. And then the storage locker gets repoed, all of their stuff comes on the market for a dollar, and Good Will gets to have it whether wants them to have their stuff or not.
But my stack is pretty much where I want it to be right now. I have this goal in the back of my mind that I should learn how to clone any modern web application using Node.js and Koa, but nothing seems to incentivize me to prioritize that goal other than my own selfish interest in becoming a rockstar programmer someday.
Arch Linux advertises itself as a minimalist Linux distribution. Having used Arch Linux on my local machine since 2013, I have to agree with that. If Arch Linux is the backpack, and the `base` and `base-devel` packages are everything you need to have in your backpack to live, then that's a pretty minimal way to live in the digital world. It might be an interesting experiment to try to use Arch Linux without installing anything above and beyond `base` and `base-devel`. But I'd miss Vim and Node.js.
Or perhaps minimalism just lacks decent leadership. Minimalism run by the collective seems to get co-opted by hoarders who don't want anyone to know the true meaning of simplicity. If minimalism had decent leadership, perhaps the unicorn would rise again. A pheonixacorn.
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  • don't just mull over it, just do it!

    there are still plenty of minimalists out there, enjoying their lifestyle choice. Add yours to the mix, help others see the benefit for themselves. Don't make it about withdrawal from society, but embracing about what life has to offer. Make it a positive thing that you're encouraging others to embrace because of how it will help those that align with it. Recognise it's not for everyone, but write for those who want to learn more about it.

  • One of the things I know about myself is if I 'just do it' sometimes I go all in on something that's an incredibly dumb idea. Such as Google+ in 2011-2012 or traveling to the hellhole that is Singapore. Or writing a book about cyborgs.

    I want to figure out if minimalism is a dead unicorn, and I haven't seen that much evidence that it's not yet.

  • don't be afraid to experiment to see what ends up working for you. No shame in going all in on something that doesn't work out. Just keep looking for what will work out

  • Deep.

  • Was totes twerpy around these parts yesterday. Left, then deleted, three dumb comments. Gotta get that trigger finger looked at by a professional.

  • Minimalism doesn't seem at all like a dead unicorn to me. Changes in personal living space makes for a powerful tool. There's always a shortage of people who are actually walking their talk, I was disappointed to see you throw away the platform (though the 'fuck minimalism' approach did crack me up, anti-precious as it was). Not very many people have enough courage to really take on their baggage, at least without a storage locker or parent's basement. Kudos to you and GB.

  • @dovernan Thanks for weighing in. One of the things I've been thinking about of late has been WHY I fucked minimalism in 2011 for 'cyborgism'. In hindsight it seems as if my writing went off the rails around that time. Half of it was probably that I was incredibly bored about writing about minimalism after doing it for 1.5 years. The other half is I didn't know what to do next with myself. These days I've traded 'cyborgism' for actual programming skills, which seems to be much more grounded in realidad to me.

    But does anyone care about minimalism now? Or is it just nostalgia for the minimalism movement in 2010 when there was so much excitement about traveling and getting rid of stuff?

  • But does anyone care about minimalism now? Or is it just nostalgia for the minimalism movement in 2010 when there was so much excitement about traveling and getting rid of stuff? Are you kidding?????? Stuff-ism and OverStuffed-ism is still as much of an epidemic as ever. I'm heartened by the popularity of Marie Kondo's book, which shows that people are at least considering releasing some of their detritus. Holding up an extreme example of minimalism works as a great wake-up call, showing everyone something very different. Refreshing!! I've always found your writing on minimalism to have the effect of a power-washer moving through my consciousness.

  • @dovernan I think it's cool that you call it stuff-ism. The other day I told @alansjourney that he was a nonminimalist, but now I will refer to him as a stuffist.


  • I guess everyone who doesn't live out of a backpack could be described as a stuffist. You've got quite a target audience there. :)

  • I live with my three children. We ride bicycles, have enough baking equipment to satisfy my twelve-year-old baker, there's a sewing machine in the mix, and I'm pretty sure our STUFF wouldn't fit in one overnight bag. Don't see how these facts would disqualify me from finding value in considering Ev's point of view. (My kids do make a spontaneous practice of helping their friends and neighbors pare down their belongings, and a frequent refrain heard in my house is a vocal complaint that I've thrown out yet another object/thing/dish/whatever.)

  • @dovernan I wasn't being critical of you. I'm a big follower and supporter of Ev's point of view. If I was 20 years younger, I'd probably be a minimalist myself instead of the stuffist that I am today...

  • Ah! Sorry for misunderstanding the prior comment. :)

  • Ok, checking in on this thread. I see there's at least one minimissunderstanding, which I seem to remember being common back in the olden days of minimalism.

    Can you be a practicing minimalist and still have tons of stuff? Because that'd make Alan a minimalist, and he doesn't identify that way.

    Can kids be minimalists? Does having kids disqualify you from being a minimalist? Do you have to count your kids as things? Are your kids things your things until they turn 18? If you have 18 things and your kids/husband have 100,000 things are you still a minimalist?

    These are some of the questions I'd love to have answers for. I'm tempted to do a semi-qualified rant that declares everyone with more than 100 things is NOT a minimalist and will never be, but then I'm throwing around absolutes without any backup from the local population of the Internet.

  • As I mentioned to you a few days ago in an email, I think it was, I do believe I'm a minimalist, but it's more in my thinking and attitude than in the number of items I have. Everything I have is practical, to be used. I have a car, technology items that allow me to function in my chosen life and lifestyle, and clothes to wear for work and casually. If I have something that isn't used after a year, I give it away, sell it or bin it. My wife likes having 'stuff', I don't. She has items around the house to make things look pretty, or to feel homely. To me, they're not practical, not useful. To her, they're essential.

    So I think I'm a minimalist, I just don't travel with a backpack. I travel with my car.

  • @alansjourney All of your things fit into your car?

    Have you ever counted them?

  • Yes, all of my things would certainly fit in my car. Including the TV and Blu-ray sound system. But I could easily leave them behind if I needed to.

    No, I've never counted them. It'd probably be less than 100 things, but it'd be close.

  • I'm going to do a '100 things challenge'. Itemise all my stuff to count them, and then get rid of everything that I haven't used in over a year. It's going to be interesting...

  • This conversation has inspired me to write and do this: The 100 things challenge. Thanks Ev :)

  • If you get link juice off that, let me know and I'll do a 25 things challenge.

    When are you uploading pics of your 100 things?

    Are you going to offload all of your kitchen stuff on your wife? Because if that is true I'll offload my kitchen stuff on my landlord.

  • I do have a 'bare minimum' kitchen setup of

    1. Cutting board
    2. Pan/pot
    3. Knife
    4. Coffee cup
    5. Spatula
    6. French press
    7. Water pot

    The water pot could probably be consolidated with the bigger pot. But I think it saves gas to use the smaller one.

  • Twelve years ago I lived in a 3,000 sf beach house and had all the requisite stuff. Two years into that existence I downsized to a 2BR apartment and freecycled, sold, and dumped all of my belongings save what I deemed as essential. I was a single parent at the time raising a young boy. The young boy is now a man living on his own, and I'm living in a 192 sf space that holds everything but my two (yes, two) BMW motorcycles. I count myself as a minimalist, not to Ev's standards perhaps, but definitely to my own. It's a daily practice for me to evaluate what I purchase to make certain is isn't redundant. Elephant in the room: two motorcycles...though one is currently for sale because of the redundancy factor. I'm not sure who was I fooling when I bought the second one. I conflicted about it immediately after purchasing it and that feeling never left. Hence, its presence on Craigslist.

    Ok, the point, Barry...I don't think minimalism is a dead unicorn. There are some who keep redefining it and giving it a whitewashed, black-and-white feel, but it's not dead. Ev, you always wrote from experience. That's seems to be missing in the minimalist landscape. Even this comment thread is evidence that it remains a pertinent issue.

  • Ev, when I've finalised 100 things, then I'll do pictures. Maybe. Since those 100 things are unlikely to be taken out of the apartment and put in or around the car (which is 1 of those 100 things), there might not be pictures, unless I just have a few pictures to grab all of them.

    Also, other minimalists who do this 100 things challenge seem to have collections of things which they count as '1 thing'. These collections include kitchen utensils as 1 thing, and kitchen cutlery as 1 thing. Etc.

  • Hey @BarryMorris! Thanks for weighing in. I can see that it'd be difficult to ride two motorcycles at the same time.

    I agree that minimalism has a lack of leadership, hence the dropped torch. Minimalism for everyone is nothing. But what are the rules? How can we include some people who are doing the minimalist thing while excluding people who have a hoarding problem? Adding lots of things to your 10,000 things just doesn't seem to fall under the minimalist thing to me. And also I think there's gotta be some rules about being a hobo too. If you live out of doors or in a shelter, you must be a hobo, right? I tried being a hobo at one point and it wasn't as great as being a minimalist. But when did I become a hobo? Was it the night I slept without a roof? These days I pay rent, so I have time and energy to pontificate on minimalism.

    As for @alansjourney: some of the most famous minimalists just offload their stuff on their wife and then put up their < 50 things. Just don't ask them about it, they will avoid the question. However, I think the honorable thing is to count them all, even if it's unflattering. Kitchen shit is stuff too.

    I think disposables don't count though. You don't have to count the onions in your kitchen and you don't have to count the beers in your fridge. But you have to count your toothbrush. But that's my rules, not necessarily the torch-dropping rules.

  • Why does minimalism need leadership? It's not like people who choose to be a parent need a leader. Or people who choose to be a vegetarian need a leader. Choosing to live a minimal lifestyle doesn't need a leader either. Also, having a leadership structure means that someone's idea of what it means to be a parent, or a vegetarian, or a minimalist is being enforced on others who might want to identify similarly. It's fraught with disaster to even consider having a leadership for a lifestyle choice.

    Minimalism isn't for everyone, it's only for some. There doesn't need to be any rules for people to follow if they want to identify as minimalists. They can set their own rules according to their own personal, unique and individual values, and live life according to their own personal rules. Minimalism is not about telling others how to live their life, but about living your own life in a way that is meaningful to you.

    I won't count my toothbrush and toothpaste and shaver as 3 items, but I will count my toiletries bag and everything that fits inside it as 1 item. That's good enough for me. If you want to count every single item, then that's great, and is good enough for you. :)

    Caring about what others do and how they do it is not minimalist. Letting others do what they want is minimalist.

    Just my thoughts on the matter, of course. We can all make our own rules, and have our own thoughts and opinions, and it's all perfect.

  • Well, I don't know if minimalism needs leadership. We should probably throw the damn thing away and go code something.

    @alansjourney You go right ahead and count all of your items as one thing. In the meantime I'll count all of my items as seperate things.

  • Well, even though I try not to care what others do, I do think more people need to become minimalists, because too many people have too much stuff, and are imprisoned by their possessions, and have forgotten what it means to embrace the relationships they have with the people in their lives. Letting it all go will be good for them. So I think that the more who write about their own experiences with minimalism and why they make those choices, the more of an impact we're going to have on the people that stumble upon our work.

    We can even build up our own community. You know, like a decade ago, with blog rolls and stuff. Or something like that. Or something new even. But sharing our own life and experiences as minimalists will be good for us and others.

  • @ev Personally, I think you should write about it, develop the community and take it over. I know few people that go out on a limb for the subject whether you admit it or not.

    I was thinking about the 100 Item Challenge after reading @alansjourney post, because being married and with kids, I could not practice it, at least in the normal sense and as you mentioned I did not want to say I had 100, only having had quick deeded the items over to my wife. So I am coming up with a sort of hybrid, i'll let you know soon as I come up with something.

    Maybe a 30 day live using only 50 things challenge, you select 50 things and live using only those items. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to share :)

  • I would think it's a problem to 'quick deed' items to your wife just because you don't want to get rid of it, but you also don't want others to think you're keeping something you don't need... Honesty is important, to ourselves most of all. We need to be honest about what's of importance to us, and why, and I think that doing this 100 things challenge is great to help us get honest about what things we want in our lives and why we want them. As long as we're being honest about our wants and needs, everything else will come naturally.

    There's also '50 things challenge' and '25 things challenge'. Why don't you just make up your own challenge to look at what you have and work out what's of value to you and what's not, even if you call it 'the 500 things challenge'. It doesn't really matter how many things you have, as long as it inspires you to be honest about yourself and your possessions. That's the real challenge.

  • @alansjourney I'll update soon as I can come up with a good idea.

  • Once, on my way to a rainbow gathering in 2011, I said to my friend "I wonder what's the minimum amount of stuff someone could take to the gathering..."

    His response: "Nothing"

    That really struck a chord with me. Because after you get there, you can barter, find food, sleep under the stars, clean your teeth with ash and conifers, use leaves to wipe your ass after you take a shit... You really don't need anything.

    Living out of a bag is a type of activism. It exposes the non-stop, omnipresent assault of consumerism. When everyone around you has a bunch of stuff, it doesn't force you to think about the amount of stuff you own.

    I'm pretty interested in the idea of digital minimalism too. It's easy for someone to sign up for 100s of accounts, have their information spread out to the point that they can't leep track of it all, and hoard digital files on terabytes of drives that collect in a drawer.

  • Ok. Thanks for weighing in @mil3s and @jcpst.

    I just put another post up at and I directed comments here. The piece, I think, sums up what we've been talking about here. The nutgraph is minimalism needs to be about stuff, and for it to be about stuff we need to list ours. Boring, I know.

    I'm still not convinced the unicorn isn't and the torch is lost on a highway somewhere.

    For my part I'm probably going to have to figure out how many things I have, and maybe even take photos of all of them. Then people can troll me about my electric toothbrush and ask why my underwear has bleach stains on it.

  • Minimalism is not and will never be merely a fad. Just like "eating mindfully" could never be disregarded as a diet craze. Come back. You have much to share (and many to correct) on this subject.

  • I believe minimalism is as essential as it ever was, not necessarily to see how low you can go but to eliminate the excess to make room for the important.

    That said, I have one teen at home and a while back (year or so, maybe?) I counted up my stuff: furniture, etc. -- not including the kid's stuff. I can't recall the exact number but I had like 300 things and that was dishes and all (I've allowed my possessions to grow since moving here). The big stuff would be left if I moved again but when I moved here everything we owned fit in a van on a single trip (and most of it belonged to the kid).

    I may not be in the running for the pissing contest of who has the least but I definitely self-identify as a minimalist. I have what I need and want with little excess.

  • I think minimalism should be measured by how much do you need in order to live a fulfilling life, rather than by how many things you own. If you don't need much (and really, it doesn't take much to live well) you will end up owning relatively few things. But owning few things is the consequence, not the end in itself. Minimalism is not a competition where he/she who owns less stuff is the better minimalist. Getting rid of stuff is easy. It is harder to develop an attitude of contentment where you don't need much to be happy.

    I can also tell you that minimalism is far from mainstream. I hold a traditional job in a Fortune 500 company and if one day I decide to talk to my coleagues about minimalism they would look at me like an alien. They are very much invested in the rat race, the quest for the bigger house, the fancier car, the VP title, and all the trappings of consumerism. Minimalism may look like it has run it's course in the blogosphere, but for the average Joe it is still an alien concept.

  • Minimalism can be just as compulsive as consumerism. The notion that minimalism (owning very few items) will lead to a clear head is not true. I would rather have a clear head to create, than an exact number of how many items I own. This is where a system like Getting Things Done is very useful because ultimately you get to a point where your head is clear and you can focus and create/receive new information. By implementing a system that allows me to clear my head, I can solve more headaches. Even if those headaches are "where can I store this stuff?" Stuff is just one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is you have to clear your head in order to truly be able to receive new/more stuff.

  • @donktar I agree it is not a fad, many of the worlds biggest influencers have led a minimal or simple lifestyle. They are a motivation and good example to me.

    It is not easy and as @mariosc mentioned, people look at you as an alien, but that is ok. I have found that being different keeps you on your toes, keeps you sharp and I have enjoyed life much more. I have gone through my phases - being different joining the herd then feeling the noose tightening around my neck, then jumping off the bulwark.

  • You could count the number of files on your filesystem:

    sudo find / -xdev -print | wc -l

    Mine? 1061004. For comparison, I made a new partition and bootstrapped it with the base package. 33893 files. That's 123 packages. I've seen people making it a point to not have more than 200.

  • There's no question that Ev's journey started me down many roads: minimalism, minimalist business architecture, untethering, and experience telling. I'm a different person due, in part, to Ev's writing. All of these are still valid concepts and are definitely not dead unicorns. I know this because the changes I effected using these concepts and experiments produced results that still persist today.

    I think what Ev's role was, a few years back, was more standard-bearer than leader. He lived (and continues to) with far less than most of us who followed; he experimented and shared his results; he lived an extreme version (that descriptor is debatable in this thread) of minimalism. But that's what gained him attention and a following. I'm on the Mailing simply because I don't want to lose touch with him, not because I'm a technical person interested in his newer expertise. I think I bought every book he wrote a few years ago and I still read them.

    Is minimalism a dead unicorn? No. Is Ev a dead minimalist? No, but in that regard there is only a blinking cursor.

  • The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. -Alvin Toffler

  • Ev, regarding the commenting system, curious if you've evaluated any of the Disqus alternatives listed at this link

    Maybe you could use some of the code as inspiration to build your own.

    One idea: Ditch the email address requirement at registration, and let people create an account by paying a nominal bitcoin fee, say between 25 cents and one dollar.

    That preserves user privacy by eliminating an NSA surveillance 'selector' (the email address), generates a little cerveza revenue for you, and eliminates spammers.

    Also, @jcpst raises an important issue, the distinction between digital minimalism and physical possession minimalism. I think it's obvious based on your programming style and choice of operating system that you have already embraced digital minimalism.

    Is a person who likes to save every single email from the past 15 years a minimalist? I would argue no. Are software developers who like to leave all sorts of chat conversation and packet logging enabled by default in their application, just because it might be needed someday, minimalists? (I'm talking about YOU Jitsi devs!) Of course not.

    My nickname for these sorts of people is 'digital packrats'. They are essentially the hoarders of the digital realm.

    At any rate, my point is that a person could eliminate almost all of their physical possessions, and yet still be raging hoarder in their digital life, so it makes sense to address both realms.

  • @mariosc "Minimalism may look like it has run it's course in the blogosphere, but for the average Joe it is still an alien concept." I completely agree. A friend of mine laughingly told his wife that I don't have anything at all in my bedroom, and I know that he thinks it's really weird. (I do have some stuff, I'm not a 100 item minimalist at this point in my life)

    Anyhow, the wife was quite indignant on my behalf, and said that her parents also don't have anything besides a bed and a lamp in their room, (and they are extremely well off, which he totally respects...), so that shut him up, lol.

    But yeah, it's not a concept most regular people are familiar with. It's as if some people think you resort to minimalism out of necessity, which isn't true in most cases.

  • Ev I don't know if your plan is to continue using your platform for pesos. But the internet is big and you've still got a voice. And I can point you to plenty of individuals who have found a path to success by showcasing their lifestyle. But I'm not buying anymore ebooks. yuck.

    Minimalism is for minimalists. So can we stop trying to convert the non-believers? The Harley Davidson Tribe doesn't try to convert. We -- all of us here -- already believe. Always have. Preach to the choir. The choir is the only one who actually wants to listen.

    Secondly, Extreme minimalism is the all we have left. Anything more than a backpack doesn't cut it because its not interesting and therefore not inspiring. I'd also like to add, since Ev -- you moved away from Minimalism, you've found no traction elsewhere because your original community was entirely based on minimalism.

    Moving forward, minimalism can be much more than stuff-ism. The topic can easily cover about stoicism, lifestyle experimentation, technology and simplicity even in the digital realm.

    As for me, My issue is money.

    As a millennial, and someone who already lives with under 10 things and is looking for a location -independent job, I have to say that I believe my generation would find a great deal of interest in this subject, much more than anyone above 35 years of age who is much more likely to be 'stuck in their ways'. My generation isn't buying houses, cars, or getting married and most significantly, is flat out broke or worse.

    The future is obviously not in mansions and hummers. Its in self-driving car services, location-independent workers, Virtual Reality, and Human beings with Platforms leading the masses away from the past and into this new millenium with hope.

  • TL;DR - I think it's a half-dead unicorn, but you could resuscitate it. I don't think there's any money there, but I do think there is around related topics.

    This is a conversation I've been wanting to have for years, because the world I started blogging in had much more excitement around it than the one I blog in today. I think there were a lot of reasons minimalism took off the way it did, from the recession to the right people to blogging being on trend but not quite inundated.

    I think stuff is central to any discussion around minimalism, and I think trying to make it accessible and mainstream has watered it down into something that's a shadow of what it could have been by this point.

    For your questions, you know I've got opinions about them. I've got kids, and we don't have a lot of stuff (less than 100 items a person) because I think it's a fucking waste of time, space, and energy. When they turn 18, I'm buying each of them a backpack and a round-the-world plane ticket, because I want them to understand exactly why we live this way.

    We live in a small space because that's what I want and what makes sense to me. Next up for me is finally building a tiny house as part of an ecovillage because that is the next logical step as far as I'm concerned. I think building communities make more sense than individualism tied up in minimalism.

    I think if you do this, sure, Tyler Durden is a great touchpoint. But there are other movements that would be easy to loop in here that would give it even more depth.

    As for fucking minimalism, you did go off the rails. Everyone thought you were crazy, and a lot of them probably still do. Regardless, I think it was a pretty goddamn interesting tangent. But I think you could make minimalism happen again. I think there are enough of us who aren't afraid of the implications of making radical choices.

    At any rate, I hate this comment system, so if you want to keep talking, email me.

  • Wow, lots of comments. I'm going to attempt to jump back to the stream?

    I've picked out two threads through the past dozen or so comments, which are...

    1. The things other people own. How do we account for those? Why does your wife/kid have so much stuff, and are you allowed to use it?
    2. Digital minimalism. How much mental weight does that full 1TB drive take up?

    Specifics in reverse order.

    @dusti-arab I agree that there's probably no more money to be had in minimalism. I'm not even quite sure why there was any there to begin with. Did a lot of people get into minimalism because they wanted to capitalize on the enthusiasm around it at the time? How did that work out? As for going of the rails, I seem you remember you being into the cyborgism thing at the time. Sooner or later I started to ask myself 'if The Singularity is so fucking near, why can't I see it?' and then I started staring at code until I realize there's nothing intelligent down there at all. It's only a machine, and AI is a bloated codebase.

    @Annienygma Why doesn't your kid have 100 things similar to @dusti-arab's kids?

    @heather221 You're right about my 'big pivot' off the rails in 2011 didn't take off because my entire audience was minimalism based. I also think it was because cyborgism is a bunch of bullshit. Coding however is an actual measureable skill. I should have pivoted into coding instead, as I was bored and needed something to do with myself. When are kids these days going to learn how to make money?

    @sysfu Bitcoin auth is a fascinating idea. I keep hearing about it. I hope someone does a bitcoin auth module that is regular and people can use all over the place. They only need to look at how Twister did it, and then yank out all of the rest, and I think we'd be there. Me, that's way over my head right now I'm afraid.

  • @jcpst I have 178877 files on my system. I need to do a reinstall right now.

  • @BarryMorris Don't blow me so hard in public! It's awkward.

    I think you should buy my Node.js book and learn to code a bit. Only because I think you'd be into it.

    Do you work on your motorcycle?

  • @ev Bite me. :-) And yes, I do work on my bikes.

  • @BarryMorris CHOMP.

  • @ev I refuse to force my daughter to accept a lifestyle just because I may choose to do so. That is what tyrants have done throughout history and cultists do to control their followers. I want my daughter to think and make decisions for herself, not follow others (including me) blindly. I have, however, set limits on the things that I will personally purchase. For instance, I refuse to purchase a TV or gaming system. If she wants these and certain other things she must earn the money herself.

    As for your "going off the rails" a while back, I believe there was value in what you said about Cyborgism (you certainly gave me some things to consider) but that your delivery was lacking, perhaps, or maybe the world wasn't ready.

  • @Annienygma Ok. You get to let your kid do what she wants.

    As for cyborgism, the more I looked at the world of CPUs, memory, and hard disks, the less I saw any intelligence down there. I think for right now anyone who theorizes about AI is a theorist. Machine learning is just another word for a bloated closedsourced codebase maintained by a programmer who runs 'gem install rails' over and over again to look busy.

    If AI does come around, I hope that the people who invent it are programmers so it doesn't reorganize my molecules into a powersource for the machine.

    Today might be minimalism day again on my blog, but I can't decide what to write about.

    Is there anything that hasn't already been cleared up about minimalism?

  • I'd love to hear about minimalism as 'normal', not as Minimalism. Minimalism without obsession, or being a Thing (identity).

  • @dovernan Maybe you just hit on why minimalism (might?) be a dead unicorn. It's normal.

  • it's not normal. I suspect @dovernan was just requesting that it be discussed as if it IS normal, instead of making it a thing. It's a lifestyle choice, and in today's western world of 'let's have more stuff', it's a refeshing revisit of how a life could (and should) be lived instead. There are plenty of people who are looking for inspiration, encouragement and support to break their chains and embrace a minimalist approach to their life.

    You can add your voice to those that are providing information, encouragement and support by writing about why you choose to be minimalist, and why you think it's an essential part of life.

    But you have to make sure you're not pushing 'be a hobo' compared to 'be a minimalist'. :)

  • What @alansjourney said. Minimalism shouldn't be a pissing contest over who has the least stuff.

  • @alansjourney @Annienygma Alright, I'm going to start a minimalist blog that is about everything for everyone and write about how everyone can be a minimalist if they do everything. It'll be so inspiring.

  • @alansjourney Hopefully it won't turn me into a hobo.

  • Is minimalism dead? No.

    r/minimalism has 175,000 readers. And r/onebag has 7,000. And r/simpleliving has 69,000

    there are a lot of places to write and share. But, I'm a different person because of Ev's writing.

    Ev has the guts to write with an edge : "...I will keep my backpack packed and survive all of the badness. Because I’m the last minimalist motherfucker alive."

    I've never gotten angry at Ev in the same way I don't get mad at rappers for talking dirty. That's what they are supposed to do. That's the whole point of the art form. To push our buttons. And I don't take it personally or attack the guy with the mic, I celebrate the bravery. the honesty. the willingness to share.

    I still show up all these years later because I want more minimalism.

    And if Ev is the standard-bearer for minimalism than I do want minimalism to be a pissing contest over who has the least stuff.

    That inspires me. Get dirty. Get pissed off. Write whatever.

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