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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:

Deicidus's picture

I don't want people to...

I don't want people to know who I am, and I don't want to know who anyone else is.

Bert, I do the same thing. I have all of my essential stuff in my ScotteVest that I never leave home without, and then the rest of my stuff is divided into modules that I usually take or don't take as a unit by tossing into the main pocket of my messenger bag (which I otherwise leave at home).

I love carrying tons of stuff with me ^_^. I don't mind the weight - if anything, it's strength training - and I feel prepared for any situation. I do try and be efficient with what I carry, though: I own only one copy of any given possession type, and I carefully choose what goes in the pocket coat (as my friends call it) and what new things I buy. Getting rid of stuff is a hobby of mine ^_^.

It does a lot to reduce the complexity in my life.

(Oh, and of course, on the computer, piles of messy stuff is perfectly fine, because you can always search for what you need and don't have to worry about storage space.)




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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