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The End of Minimalism

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 unexpected unemployment or overburdened supply chains. Searching for domestic perfection should be done only by those who don’t have to worry about what unforeseen wants or needs might lie ahead.

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The End of Minimalism

The End of Minimalism

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

theatlantic.com

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Key Ideas

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 set them apart.

Yes, past generations used to accumulate a lot of material things, but the process would take over a lifetime and they would value it.

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 manufacturing and transportation took off around the turn of the 20th century, so the economy of items began to centralize.

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 source of stress.

Clutter tends to accumulate in the homes those working people for whom the hope of financial stability and the lurking possibility of ruination are always present.

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 unexpected unemployment or overburdened supply chains. Searching for domestic perfection should be done only by those who don’t have to worry about what unforeseen wants or needs might lie ahead.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

What Home Feels Like
What Home Feels Like

We often confuse the structural, physical entity that is the house as home. It may be the body of the home, and just like we relate to our body, the home relates to the house structure.

Home Is A Soul

Just as we are extremely lucky if we get one great love in our lives, we should consider ourselves lucky if we get a real home. The abstract concept of a home is almost supernatural, with the house being the architecture, providing shelter. Great architecture is like the external beauty of a person, which may or may not be corresponding to what the person really is from inside.

Nevertheless, the outside is what provides a lust, a longing to see what’s inside.

Architecture Is Fascinating

Architects are creators in the real sense. They can conceptualize and implement great design and arouse deep feelings just by the work they do.

Their work is a siren call for many, both romantic and high in status.

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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.

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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The new minimalism

In part, the new minimalism is a kind of cultural aftershock of the 2008 housing crisis and banking collapse. At the same time, minimalism has become an increasingly aspirational and deluxe way ...

Minimalism for the affluent

Many people have minimalism forced upon them by circumstance. Poverty and trauma can make frivolous possessions seem like a lifeline instead of a burden.

Although many of today's gurus insist that minimalism is useful regardless of income, they target the affluent. The focus on self-improvement is more about accumulation.

Minimalism of ideas

True minimalism is not about throwing things out, but about challenging your beliefs in an attempt to engage with ideas as they are, to not shy away from reality or its lack of answers. 

Underneath the vision of “less” is a mode of living that heightens the miracle of human presence.

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The Start Of Online Shopping
The Start Of Online Shopping

While online shopping was huge enough before 2020, it has become truly mainstream due to the push provided by the pandemic.

  • It started in Gateshead, England, when an old lady used th...
Online Shopping In The 90s
  • Pizza Hut started selling pizzas online in 1994, using a flat, grey website to take the addresses and phone numbers of pizza-hungry customers.
  • Amazon.com too was launched in 1994, when we could only buy books on the site and is now the biggest online retail store, making the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people on the planet.
Online Shopping and The Smartphone Push
  • By 2017, Smartphone usage hit 80 percent worldwide, and online shopping apps became a common thing to use.
  • Since then, online shopping has been topping every sales chart, with Shopify providing the worldwide sales figure of USD 3.5 trillion in 2019.
  • A majority of stuff ordered online included electronics, books etc., with groceries not a huge priority, until this year.

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Longing For The Office Culture
Longing For The Office Culture
  • Earlier a privilege for a few, work from home became a norm for most office-goers due to the ongoing pandemic and is likely to remain for the rest of the year.
  • The shift towards wo...
Work-Life Balance When Working From Home
  • Though employees are happy to see the demise of daily commutes and parking hassles, they are finding out that there is no work-life balance at home.
  • Most workers live in apartments that aren’t suitable for 8 to 10 hours of work every day, as it was never designed to be a full-fledged office.
  • Many employees would want to get back to offices as soon as possible due to social and mental issues, like the feeling of loneliness at home.
Digital Monitoring

Monitoring software that checks time spent on different applications, chat response time, and keystroke recording is now in great demand.

HR departments worldwide are fueling the use of technology to have a way to control the employees that are now no longer in the office.

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What is existential therapy
What is existential therapy

Existential therapy concentrates on free will, self-determination, and the quest for meaning. It views experiences like as anxiety, alienation and depression as normal phases in the human d...

History of existential therapy
  • Its origins go back to the existential philosophers of the 20th century, mainly to Jean-Paul Sartre, who declared in 1943 that we are “condemned to be free.”
  • Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning in 1946, and coined logotherapy as a method of creating meaning.
  • Rollo May moved his perspective of the “existential-humanistic” approach in the 1950s from Europe to America.
  • In 1980, Irvin Yalom defined the basis of the field of existential therapy, by establishing the four “givens” of the human condition: death, meaning, isolation, and freedom.
  • Today there are a few different branches of existential therapy, but they all emphasize the fact that we can deal with existential givens in a way that can move us toward a free, authentic existence.
Existential therapy has slowly been gaining recognition

In 2016, there were 136 existential-therapy institutions in 43 countries across six continents, and existential practitioners in at least 48 countries worldwide.

Recent studies show the benefits of using existential therapy for patients with advanced cancer, incarcerated individuals, and elderly people residing in nursing homes, among others; a number of meta-analyses have gathered data on its effectiveness.

Three different sides of risk
  • The odds you will get hit.
  • The average consequences of getting hit.
  • The tail-end consequences of getting hit.

The first two are...

The tail-end consequences

The tail-end consequences of an action or event (those with low-probability, high-impact) are all that matter.

In investing, the average consequences of risk make up most of the daily news headlines. But the tail-end consequences of risk (for example, pandemics and depressions) are what make the pages of history books.

The junk drawer
The junk drawer

The "junk drawer" has become a universally acknowledged space where you store all the things that doesn't seem to have a place. It is not always a drawer - it could be a room,...

Discard before organizing

Don't think how you will organise items if you're still considering what to keep. You can only assess available storage space when you're done decluttering.

Sort and throw away first before you put back the stuff you've been collecting in your junk drawer.

Tidy by category, not location

Gather all the items of one category in one spot. You can only decide what to keep and what to discard if you know what you have and how much you have.

Categorization is important in the process of decluttering. The five main categories are clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous, mementos. Gather and assess all like items at the same time. If you have two junk drawers, tackle the objects in both spaces at the same time.

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Hoarding
Hoarding

Severe hoarding afflicts about one in every fifty people.

Their compulsion causes the hoarders to suffer mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. Relationships ...

Hoarding is a type of OCD

Hoarding is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Hoarding is accompanied by varying levels of anxiety and often, depression as well. Peculiar commonalities among hoarders include severe emotional attachment to inanimate objects and extreme anxiety when making decisions.

Symptoms of a hoarding disorder

Hoarding can be just a personal preference, but it can be viewed as a disorder when that behavior starts to negatively impact daily functioning. Symptoms of a hoarding disorder:

  • There is difficulty getting rid of possessions, regardless of their value or lack thereof.
  • The difficulty in discarding possessions is due to distress associated with getting rid of them.
  • The difficulty in discarding possessions leads to clutter and compromise of living spaces.
  • Hoarding creates clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning, including the ability to maintain a safe space.

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The two tales about houses

The one story we tell ourselves about homeownership is it is a path to a more stable, equitable future. The idea is that it is a responsible decision that requires commitment and hope. It is center...

Owning a suburban home

The idea of owning a suburban home was fed to Americans by people in power: Suburbia has always been suitable for industry.

Big houses = big appliances. This fed the coal, steel, and automaking industries. With it came cars and oil that made the postwar American suburb possible. It is all as much a creature of government as of the market.

Reconsidering the suburban house 

The climate crisis and carbon dependency make potential homeowners reconsider the effects of suburban sprawl.

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attack and the market crash of 2008 sowed a sense of instability and propagated fears.

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