Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do people need more "real life"? Forced and voluntary downsizing makes us wonder

It looks like some people are downsizing in order to be “out in the world.” A young man in this MSNBC video says that without many possessions, you’ll go “out in the world”.  (He gets his possessions down to what fits in a backpack.) That is, the “real life” world, not just “being alone together” on Facebook or Twitter. Brian Williams called it “Back to Basics” on NBC Nightly News. Most of the replies the next day were from women.

Maybe this goes along with “eliminating desire” or “minimalism”.

Sometimes, though, one needs to be alone, with enough tools to create some sort of works – music, writing. Curiously, arts have sometimes flourished after real hardship, such as in Beirut after all the destruction of the 1970s (as in Lawrence Joseph’s book, on my books blog Nov. 9). But, of course, producing and publishing work without the feedback of people suggests real conceit.

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