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  • #16
    Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
    Minimalism is the point where utility curve reaches a maximum
    Or would that be maximalism?

    In practice I think minimalism is like everything else involving humans...highly individual. However, when viewed strictly the envelope extends down to, "surviving on the bare minimum possible, without regard for utility, cost:benefit ratio, or any other factor." That's not a particularly good life plan as far as I'm concerned.

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    • #17
      Okay, agreed. I think that what everyone discusses as *true* minimalism is in essence, buying only what you NEED TO SURVIVE WITHOUT DYING. And hobo's do that quite nicely.

      I think I'll use that maximalism term to describe myself now. Haha

      FYI, my furniture in my house consists of:

      1) Hard bed (my mom forced me to buy one instead of sleeping on ground) and drawers in my bedroom
      2) Dining room table with 4 chairs, computer table with a wood ergo chair, and piano
      3) Basic toiletries in bathroom
      4) Basic cookware in kitchen

      The food in my freezer is probably worth more than any one piece of furniture, with the exception of my piano and bed XD
      The most luxurious item I have that I don't use are my shot glasses. And probably my piano, since I don't play it nearly as much as I used to want to.
      My chocolatey Primal journey

      Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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      • #18
        I strive for the William Morris approach myself: have nothing in your home you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

        To each their own.

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        • #19
          I don't consider what you described as minimalism because you seem to have a lot of stuff that you want but don't need. In other words, you haven't reached, and have no intention of reaching, the minimum. Minimum isn't your goal.

          This is your opinion/definition of what minimalism is. I disagree with this definition.

          In your description of simplicity, you describe balancing happiness/quality of life and your thinks. I define minimalism as this. Thus, when a person strives to have a minimum of things with maximum quality of life -- that striving is the minimalism, not the actual number of objects based on an outsider's interpretation of need.

          "if the minimalism manifests itself in ways that make you less happy, that's not healthy."
          To which I agreed.

          Logically, your conclusions don't follow from what I said.
          In the last line I quoted, you put the OP and your friend in the same category. The only commonality between the two for which we have any evidence is the amount of stuff they had. From there, you assert that the OP is unhealthy and shouldn't be encouraged.

          This is the problematic comparison. You are free to continue to deny that you did this, of course, but I did quote your post above where the comparison was made.

          What we don't know is whether or not the OP is unhealthy or unhappy. He may just have found a balance that works for him, and by your logic in this post, therefore, it could be encouraged, which is a turn from the statement that the OP shouldn't be.

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          • #20
            FYI, my furniture in my house consists of:
            I like that.

            I think minimalism (or maximalism) is a great way to approach acquisition. Do I need this or want it? Will I use it? Can I do the same job with something else? on and on.

            I also think it's a great way to plan for specific tasks. What do I absolutely need. What do I want. What resources do I have? I have traveled long distances, for extended periods, with bags intended for overnight travel...because I'm pretty good at sorting out what I actually need and only taking that.

            I'm cautious when it comes to pairing down useful possessions because... well, right now because there are commercial interests actively selling the idea of purging because they want people to buy new stuff. There are whole genres of TV shows that sell the idea that you will feel better if you get rid of your stuff...clothes (I saw one show where the "expert" said you should get rid of any item of clothing you haven't worn in 6 months... winter lasts 2-3 months in most of the US so they were telling their viewers to dump all their winter clothes every summer... guess what they'll all need to do when winter rolls around again???), your family heirlooms, your tools, your old furniture...basically everything you aren't actively using that day. Why? So they can sell a replacement to you when you remember why you had the thing, as far as I can tell.

            I'm not advocating holding onto old newspapers or anything. Far from it... but you should apply at least as much consideration to getting rid of a possession as you applied to acquiring it in the first place. And if you see future need...if you know that yes, there will be another winter, you should almost always forgo the short-term endorphin rush and hold onto/reuse what you already own.
            Last edited by Him; 01-10-2013, 04:35 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by zoebird View Post
              In the last line I quoted, you put the OP and your friend in the same category. The only commonality between the two for which we have any evidence is the amount of stuff they had. From there, you assert that the OP is unhealthy and shouldn't be encouraged.
              No. I made my not-so-snap judgment about the OP mostly from his introduction thread here on MDA where he described a pattern of binging (smoking a whole bunch of cigarettes, etc) followed by relatively extreme lifestyle changes. I interpreted his post in this thread as part of a larger pattern. I'm being a judgmental SOB because of that larger pattern, not because of some superficial comparison to my friend (who doesn't sound very similar at all). I'm certainly not using the absurd abuse of logic you are accusing me of.

              Originally posted by zoebird View Post
              This is the problematic comparison. You are free to continue to deny that you did this, of course, but I did quote your post above where the comparison was made.
              It would be problematic, I agree, but it isn't my comparison. You drew a comparison. I simply asserted that both individuals were in the same class. That's our disconnect. You are claiming a thought process that I didn't follow and don't agree with, and attributing logical constructs to me that I did not and would not use.

              It's like I said before, I'm perfectly happy to entertain the idea that I'm wrong, but I'm not wrong in the way you think.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Him View Post
                No. I made my not-so-snap judgment about the OP mostly from his introduction thread here on MDA where he described a pattern of binging (smoking a whole bunch of cigarettes, etc) followed by relatively extreme lifestyle changes. I interpreted his post in this thread as part of a larger pattern. I'm being a judgmental SOB because of that larger pattern, not because of some superficial comparison to my friend (who doesn't sound very similar at all). I'm certainly not using the absurd abuse of logic you are accusing me of.
                First, I am only using the evidence of this thread, so cannot speak to the other. But, I can see how that evidence could be used. Incidentally, I don't think it creates a "judgmental SOB" to put things together and construct something reasonable.

                Since you have evidence (outside of the thread) to put your friend and the OP in the same class, then I'm cool with that.

                But, as I didn't have evidence (nor was reference made to it in your response), that is where my inference lead. With that evidence -- you are right in your logical process. Without that evidence, I am right in the logical process.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Him View Post
                  Oh, but that's not how the story ends.

                  He saved a ton of money by the time he hit 40. He actually paid off the condo at 13 years into a 30 year mortgage...wrote a check for the balance.

                  Then he took an early retirement from his (fortune 100 level) employer with a golden parachute to the tune of 2 years salary.

                  Then he sold his condo to the tune of almost $300K... at that point you can imagine how his bank account is looking....

                  Oh, in selling his condo he gave away the mattress. The last time I visited him at a home he could call his own he was renting a room with someone in an apartment ... his bedroom had a blanket on the floor, he had a laptop and some clothes, plus of course his car.

                  Five years later he now has no home of his own (he couch surfs), is still living within 100 miles of where he was born, has been trying to buy a new place to live but cannot get out of the bargain hunter mode... he keeps looking at REO/bank owned (scary) places but other people always out-bid him... oh, and no job... he's been living on savings, which he's admittedly good at doing but between the 2008 financial mess zeroing out interest rates and tanking investments he is down a LOT of money even before his poverty-level living expenses.

                  At some point in there he got serious enough about suicide that I actually called his doctor to explain that the whole gamut of, "concrete plans, location, access to method, etc." screening was met. Fortunately he hasn't actually killed himself, but he just doesn't seem happy or healthy.

                  His embarrassment at his lifestyle was such that he had no serious relationships. Lived alone, will probably die alone. No wife, no kids.
                  That's an unbelievably sad story

                  It sounds to me like he's on the autistic spectrum and never got diagnosed...
                  "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                  In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                  - Ray Peat

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                    First, I am only using the evidence of this thread, so cannot speak to the other. But, I can see how that evidence could be used. Incidentally, I don't think it creates a "judgmental SOB" to put things together and construct something reasonable.

                    Since you have evidence (outside of the thread) to put your friend and the OP in the same class, then I'm cool with that.

                    But, as I didn't have evidence (nor was reference made to it in your response), that is where my inference lead. With that evidence -- you are right in your logical process. Without that evidence, I am right in the logical process.
                    I'm sticking with judgmental SOB because nobody is as crazy as they seem on the internet. Which, when you think about it, is kinda disturbing in its own right. :-)

                    Your logical process was fine for trying to refute what I was saying, which is different than describing the logic of what I was saying.

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                    • #25
                      To the OP. While I don't necessarily consider myself a minimalist, I'm not a junkie-consumerist either. Life is short. Some of it should be fun. I drive a 20+ year old car, but if I identified myself by my car, I'd probably drive something different. I don't have a cell phone, but when I do long road trips, I get a temporary one for safety. I don't have satellite tv anymore, but that started out as an experiment, and I surprised myself by being quite happy with the "tv" that I can get free online. Since almost all of my clothing is black, it really doesn't matter whether I have a lot or a little, but if I see a pair of jeans that I think rock my ass, I don't hesitate to buy them.

                      OTOH, after moving almost two years ago with what I could fit into a very small car, plus four boxes I had shipped to me, I'm currently fleshing out my kitchen. I miss some of the small things that make good food prep a little easier. I also have a luxurious bed that could never be classified as minimalist. Almost all my other furniture is thrift store finds, but that is because I enjoy the thrill of the hunt - if I didn't, I'd buy retail. I generally trim my own hair, but once a year, I spend a small fortune to have it done by one of the better stylists in the city.

                      So, for me, it's a moderation thing. I don't purchase to impress the "Joneses," but if I want something, and I can afford it, I buy it. I don't need 100 pairs of shoes, but 20 doesn't seem like a lot (I love boots). I don't spend a fortune on makeup, but I'm not going to skip it totally because I look like crap without it.

                      So, to me, moderation and minimalism are admirable. When it becomes deprivation, I think it's a waste of time. Whatever makes you happy should be what you do, no matter what anyone else thinks.
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                      B*tch-lite

                      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                      • #26
                        No matter what level of minimalism anyone lands at, it's great to at least have that framework in your mind that keeps you critical of your own habits. My home (my parent's home) is full of crap, and I hate it. Lots of unnecessary big items, every drawer filled with random stuff. Store room full of broken things. My dad is now an Amazon junkie and my mom can't get rid of things. My grandma moved back in so they have also had to throw all her stuff (very nice stuff, mind you) in as well.

                        I guess I'm conflating minimalism with tidiness to an extent too, since you can certainly own lots of useless things but still have an orderly, uncluttered home. In any case, my family definitely underperforms in both respects and home is a very unsettling place to be due to this.

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