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The End of Minimalism

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/the-triumph-of-the-slob/612232/

theatlantic.com

The End of Minimalism
Keeping a cluttered house has long been considered a little tacky, a little weak. But now it’s looking very wise.

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Clutter across generations and cultures

Clutter across generations and cultures

Victorians lived in houses that were overflowing with artsy items and other kinds of things. So clutter is not entirely an American notion, but modern Americans cultivate its presence in ways that ...

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The shift from accumulation to consumption

It happened between the 1880s and the 1920s. Before that, most belongings were either made at home or bought from local craftspeople or general stores.

American manufacturi...

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Why we cling to material things

Psychologists found that people cling to material stuff as a response to a form of anxiety (about loss, financial instability, even body image) and that clutter itself is often a s...

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When minimalism doesn't help

Tossing everything that isn’t just right in the moment is its own kind of privilege.

Living light may have its benefits, but it’s not a strategy that’s really adaptable to unexpect...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations of modern times are cars and airplanes. At first, every new invention looks like a toy. It takes decades for people to realise the potential of it.

  • Adolphus Greely, a brigadier general, was one of the first people outside the car industry to consider the usefulness of a "horseless carriage." He bought three cars in 1899 for the U.S. Army to experiment with. It was envisioned to be used as transportation of light artillery such as machine guns, to carry equipment, ammunition, and supplies.
  • The Wright brothers saw the prospects of their new flying machine to be used as a reconnoitering agent in a time of war. The U.S. Army purchased the first "flyer" in 1908.

Innovation is driven by incentives

There are three types of incentives:

  1. "If I don't figure this out, I might get fired." It will get you moving.
  2. "If I figure this out, I might help people and make a lot of money." It will produce creativity.
  3. "If we don't figure this out now, our very existence is threatened." Militaries deal with this, and it will fuel the most incredible problem-solving and innovation in a short time.

During World War II, there was a burst of scientific progress that took place. The government was in effect saying that if a discovery had any possible war value, then it had to be developed and put in use, regardless of the expense.

The conditions for big innovations to happen

The biggest innovations seldom happen when everyone's happy or safe. They happen when people are a little panicked and worried, and when they have to act quickly.

In 1932, the stock market fell by 89%. It was an economic disaster where almost a quarter of Americans were out of work. However, the 1930s was also the most productive and technologically progressive decade in history. Economist Alex Field writes that in 1941, the U.S. economy produced almost 40 percent more output than it had in 1929, with little increase in labor hours or private-sector capital input.

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Declutter Your World

Declutter Your World

Takumi Kawahara and Marie Kondo, a couple from Japan, are co-founders of KonMari Media. They have a bestseller (authored by Kondo) about decluttering and cleaning your world, and also a highly popular Netflix series of the same topic: Decluttering and Cleaning.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

The Netflix Show ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ is the most-watched non-fiction show on the platform. She is now at par with Martha Stewart, Oprah, and Gwyneth Paltrow, as a goddess of wellness and domesticity.

She has an e-commerce website, blog, newsletter, and does consultation work in over 40 countries through her personally created brand. 

The Criticism

Marie Kondo’s decluttering philosophy, which became a rage, invited critics to label her as someone who has an anti-capitalist agenda that can cripple the economy. 

She was also labeled as someone who only appeals to the rich. This unwanted attention resulted in even more business opportunities.