43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

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:

disconnect's picture

As an experiment, I started...

As an experiment, I started leaving my wallet at home and just taking my license, debit card, and money. After a month, I made the change permanent. The only addition to the pocket is a laminated copy of my health insurance card. Everything else stays in the wallet: SS, liberry, credit cards; student ID; pistol permit; EIT license. It forces me to consider where I'm going and what I'm going to do, and it's one less place to accumulate crap (receipts, business cards, whatever).

Regarding those motherhumping $UPER DI$COUNT $AVING$ CARD$!!!!1!one!!, I put them on their own keyring and threw it in the glovebox. The freaking things make a pile about half an inch thick (!). When Wifey saw mine, she was all over it. So I had to make a second one.

My next project is thinning out my bags. A typical day will see my carrying a shoulder bag, gym bag, lunchbox and thermos from my car into work. I want to get to the point where I'm comfortable just bringing in one bag and maybe the thermos.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »