Living Small

Living in a world where consumerism appears to be the predominant behaviour it seems more and more exciting to me to live a less materialistic lifestyle. What follows are some of the things that stimulated my thinking — maybe they do the same for you.

After stumbling upon Bruce Hauman’s blog while trying to figure out some Clojure stuff I discovered another post on his blog where he talks about building a geodesic dome in which he’s now (partly?) living for 3.5 years. It’s an amazingly analytical post about building something and simplifying it to it’s purest, most functional form. Motivated by spending less money on rent he iterated on his idea resulting in this construction:

In case you were wondering what this “geodesic dome” thing looks like

In his post he also mentions the Tiny Housing Movement through which I found a TED talk that nicely illustrates the pitfalls of the idea of living “a good life” once you have your own income. The key line in the talk is: What does freedom mean to you? I wanted to give a small summary here but, as it is with TED talks, the talk itself does it’s job pretty well.

I believe as thoughtful members of our society we should rethink our relationship to stuff. How can we, as a society, make better use of the things we have at our disposal? What do I really need to own to live my life? Ideas like the share economy seem like a logical step with the increasing ease of sharing/routing information.

Purposely living with less is obviously not a new idea and so it happens to be part of things like the 100 Things Challenge. Coming across the 100 Things Challenge again and again I want to try it myself. In February I'm going to create an inventory of the things I own. Let’s see if the number of things I own is going to be above or below 100.

Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, but our attitudes toward it haven't changed correspondingly. We overvalue stuff. Stuff by Paul Graham