43 Folders

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

Dick on Kipple

There's the First Law of Kipple... 'Kipple drives out nonkipple.'

...Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you to go bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up there is twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.

No one can win against kipple, except temporarily and maybe in one spot.
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick, 1968

I think kipple is the main problem with my computers. It’s not just adware (on the Windows box), but the weird little things that wind up in the nooks and crannies. Installers for demoware. Photographs of children. Zipfiles loaded with mp3s… of songs that I already have in other directories, or on other machines, or on CDs on the shelves on my walls.

It spills into my inbox - newsletters I should read, old notes to myself - and my bookmarks - links to sites I need to read sometime, or specific blog entries about things I need to know.

But it seems to be far worse physically. Notes, magazines, review copies of (fascinating) paperbacks, paper clips, address labels.

It's useful to me to think of this stuff not in an atomized way, as a million things to process, but as constituent parts of one thing: kipple. That way, I can actually start to act on it.

grant's picture

Re: Kipple is the same as the broken window theory

Had to look a little - the comments here parsed your underscores as meaning "italicize this!".

But the article is here.

The central thing (which I think is a good observation) is:

We feel more comfortable when we are in control of things. So we say we are detail oriented meaning that there are certain small things we like to control. Bad sign. The hard thing about managing details is focusing on the right details.

The fun part is learning how to notice the right details.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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