Paul Graham on Stuff

A while back Paul Graham realized that stuff is no longer valuable. Just as food used to be very expensive, and thus malnutrition and starvation were real issues, now overeating is by far the bigger danger for most people in America. The same thing has happened with stuff – it is now so easy to produce (or import) and acquire, the greater danger is having too much rather than going without.

Of course, you can’t talk about “Stuff” without a nod to George Carlin’s famous skit (NSFW: some swearing).

3 Responses to “Paul Graham on Stuff”

  1. D Larson says:

    I have been living as a total minimalist since 2003. With very FEW belongings, and a simple living arrangement it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. At present I live in a studio rental with supplied basic furniture. The only things I own are 5 days worth of all natural clothes (recycled except for socks and underwear), 2 pair of shoes, very basic toiletries (all natural), reading material, laptop, 6 cyl vehicle that I drive as little as possible. The plan is to travel as light as possible as things get worse rather than hoard things for “survival”.

    Quite frankly I don’t care how my lack of consumer spending hurts this totally false economy. I am more interested in lowering my carbon footprint as much as possible.

    Simple living is the only solution to the worlds problems. Buying food locally, bartering, and consuming less is more important than bolstering an economy based on hollow speculation and deception. My goal is to live off the grid within the next year. Once you have gotten rid of “stuff” it is easy not to be tempted to buy more.

  2. Robert says:

    Facing a choice of either buying a small house or renting a one bedroom apartment, what would a minimalist choose?

  3. Marit says:

    A case can be made for a minimalist owning a small house or renting an apartment.

    Over time, a small house becomes less expensive to live in, especially if you do your own repairs. With inflation, rents go up and the mortgage stays teh same. Less expense means less work and more leisure. Less work means less money to tempt one to buy more stuff!

    OTH, an apartment is less maintenance and allows for easier mobility if you want to relocate.

    I note that two authors of current books on minimalism each own their homes. One is a condo.

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