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Washington Post: Why do we carry so much around?

Burdens of the Modern Beast

What’s in my bag: Yes, I will cut you.Washington Post on the growing amount of crap people carry around (present company very much included).

The increased quantity of carry-on items for our flight through life, he says, reflects "the tendency of our society to dispense with sources of shared stability -- the long-term job, neighborhoods, unions, family dinners -- and transform us into autonomous free agents."

The Walkman, introduced in 1979, Hine says in an e-mail, "probably set the precedent; it allowed people to be physically in a space, but mentally detached. The plethora of 'communications' devices we carry are also tools of isolation from the immediate environment. And, in the words of the recruiting ad, we each become 'an army of one' carrying all our tools of survival through a presumably hostile world."

It's the perfect posture for the Age of Insecurity. We fret about our jobs, families, country, manhood or womanhood, ability to be a good parent. We believe someone is out to get us. And to get our things. So, like the homeless, we carry our stuff with us. Just in case something, or anything, happens.

[ via Joe Ganley on The Google Group ]

So what should you carry, hmmm?

If you're looking to shed (or, perhaps, more efficiently augment) your on-board crap pile, check out these fun pages from the 43F wiki:

Bert's picture

One of the things that...

One of the things that I did to reduce the number of things I carry was to separate the things that I needed based on the activity. I then organized them into drawers.

I have my "essential" drawer; things that I shouldn't leave home without: glasses, moleskine and pen, house keys, etc.

I have my "work" drawer: things that I should bring with me to work, ID Badge, work keys, company cell, etc.

Finally, my "optional" drawer, things that I might need to carry depending on the activity: keys to the bicycle lock, USB Keydrive, other membership ID's, etc.

A beneficial side effect is that everything gets put away (no more running around the house looking for my keys) and I don't forget to bring anything with me when I leave the house (no more having to go back home to get the forgotten badge).




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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