Bruce Sterling is always provocative, an interesting writer-thinker-talker. His Viridian Ave atque vale, The Last Viridian Note, will not disappoint you. Seven pages or so, lots of cunningly-worded and highly relevant bits of observation, analysis and advice. Here’s a sample:
You will need to divide your current possessions into four major categories.
- Beautiful things.
- Emotionally important things.
- Tools, devices, and appliances that efficiently perform a useful function.
- Everything else.
“Everything else” will be by far the largest category. Anything you have not touched, or seen, or thought about in a year — this very likely belongs in “everything else.”
You should document these things. Take their pictures, their identifying makers’ marks, barcodes, whatever, so that you can get them off eBay or Amazon if, for some weird reason, you ever need them again. Store those digital pictures somewhere safe — along with all your other increasingly valuable, life-central digital data. Back them up both onsite and offsite.
Then remove them from your time and space. “Everything else” should not be in your immediate environment, sucking up your energy and reducing your opportunities. It should become a fond memory, or become reduced to data.
It may belong *to* you, but it does not belong *with* you. You weren’t born with it. You won’t be buried with it. It needs to be out of the space-time vicinity. You are not its archivist or quartermaster. Stop serving that unpaid role.
Now, mind you, I can’t actually follow this advice myself, but I know GOOD advice when I see it, and it’s worth thinking about.
(via Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing –he quotes different bits, equally trenchant)