March 22, 2016

On minimalism not being optimal.

After every Apple event, a battle is fought in my head: should I rearrange my setup to embrace whatever new amazing, magical, revolutionary, great, incredible, beautiful device/software/service is introduced?

It always seems that not embracing the new it™, would be like leaving productivity on the table. A suboptimal state that could be improved if I just buy tablet X, and switch to smartphone Y. Of course, it goes without saying that either the laptop will need to be exchanged for a proper desktop or… and this goes on-and-on for many permutations.

To balance all this — in addition to fiscal responsibility — there’s the voice of minimalism. The one that is a bit worried every night when it notices how many of the things you will take to a dessert island need to be charged. The one that reminds you how happy you were 20 years ago when you had equivalent toys with 1/100th of the speed, capacity and connectivity. The one that twitches when it notices the ebook version is more expensive than the same book’s paperback.

I struggle with minimalism because I hide my consumerism behind the banner of optimization. Sometimes I try to remind myself that real minimalism is not about a minimal and elegant process that make things easy. But rather about a well worn set of tools that allow to make things — it’s up to you to make it easy or not.


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