Burdens of the Modern Beast
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:
- Things not to carry - "Do you really need your pockets to be bulging, and to lug about all of that extra weight? Don't you hate it when you sit down and feel the pinch? Here are some ideas on how to lighten up your pocket load!"
- Useful Lists (of things to carry)