Posts Tagged ‘consumerism’

Living in the Cloud

Living in the Cloud

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Businesswoman tearing up documents

The hippest of hipsters are slowly becoming "Techno-Nomads" or "21st Century Minimalists", the very antithesis of the old consumer materialism, and I find this very admirable.  The cloud computing revolution is making it so that we will all eventually be able to shed a lot of our proverbial baggage as more and more items can be stored online indefinitely.

Here’s an article on the BBC about this new "Cult of Less" movement.  As someone who is a former "Hoarder", I’m highly intrigued…

Let’s face it – digital files, applications and web services are replacing the need for many of the physical goods that pepper our homes, crowd our desks and fill our closets.

From online photo albums to virtual filing cabinets to digital musical instruments, hi-tech replacements are becoming ubiquitous.

But as goods continue to make the leap from the bookshelf to the hard drive, some individuals are taking the opportunity to radically change their lifestyles.

Meet Kelly Sutton, a spiky-haired 22-year-old software engineer with thick-rimmed glasses and an empty apartment in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhood – a hotbed for New York’s young, early adopters of new technology.

Mr Sutton is the founder of CultofLess.com, a website which has helped him sell or give away his possessions – apart from his laptop, an iPad, an Amazon Kindle, two external hard drives, a "few" articles of clothing and bed sheets for a mattress that was left in his newly rented apartment.

This 21st-Century minimalist says he got rid of much of his clutter because he felt the ever-increasing number of available digital goods have provided adequate replacements for his former physical possessions.

"I think cutting down on physical commodities in general might be a trend of my generation – cutting down on physical commodities that can be replaced by digital counterparts will be a fact," said Mr Sutton.

Can we all become Techno-Nomads overnight?  Of course not, there is a degree of unrealisticism here for grown ups with houses and families.  That said, going possession-less is a fantasy that may be closer than you think to being possible. 

Source:

Cult of Less: Living Out of a Hard Drive (BBC) 


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LOGORAMA

LOGORAMA

Posted at Dangerous Minds by Tara McGinley, courtesy of Dangerous Minds 

A brilliant (and terribly droll) commentary on consumer culture, “Logorama” is an Academy award-winning short film directed by the French animation collective H5 (François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy and Ludovic Houplain). First shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009, “Logorama” also opened the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. I especially like the scene where Ronald McDonald holds a gun to the head of the Bob’s Big Boy mascot.

Logorama from Marc Altshuler – Human Music on Vimeo.


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Climate, Oil, War, and Money

James Kunstler writes on climate-gate as another distraction on the way to societal collapse, as is the baloney sandwich we’re trying to make with Iran as baloney and Afganistan as a slice of white bread.  - Ilene

Climate, Oil, War, and Money

     Against a greater welter and flow of incoherence jerking the nation this way and that way en route to collapse comes "ClimateGate," the latest excuse for screaming knuckleheads to defend what has already been lost. It is also yet another distraction from the emergency agenda that the United States faces – namely the urgent re-scaling, re-localizing, and de-globalizing of our daily activities.

     What seems to be at stake for the knuckleheads is their identity, their idea of what it means to be an American, which boils down to being an organism so specially blessed and entitled that it is excused from paying attention to reality. There were no doubt plenty of counterparts among the Mayans when the weather changed and their crops failed, and certainly the Romans had their share of identity psychotics who doubted reality even when Alaric the Visigoth was hoisting off their household treasure.

      Reality doesn’t care if we are on-board with its mandates or not. The human race has to get with whatever program reality is serving up at a particular time. Are we shocked to learn that scientists fight among themselves and cheat as much as congressmen?  Does that really change the relationships we understand about parts-per-million of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and the weather?

     What the people of the world can do or will do about a change in climate is something else. My guess is that the undertow of entropy is now too great to provoke any meaningful unified change in behavior.  The collapse of the US economy is too close to the horizon, and the so-called developing nations will have problems equally severe.  In the meantime, it is unlikely that any of the major players will burn less coal and oil, or not cheat on each other even if they pledge to burn less.  People who are not knuckleheads will make the practical arrangements that they can. These will, by definition, be localized, small-scale, and non-global communities, doing what they would have to do anyway.

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