The Uncertainty Mindset 2019-2020

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#45: Civilization is weightless

Vaughn Tan3rd January 2021 at 4:06pm

This issue is about forcing functions (such as moving to another apartment or country) for doing unpleasant but necessary things (such as getting rid of Stuff).

Moving is both an opportunity and an excuse to finally acknowledge the problem of working weight (which is the weight of an object multiplied by the number of times you have to lift it)) in relation to Stuff.

Stuff appeals because it comforts—it is habit-forming. Stuff comforts because it creates the deceptive feeling of being ready for anything. In fact, the opposite is true: the more you know and the more flexible you are, the less Stuff you need. Most Stuff is useless, an albatross disguised as a security blanket.

Admitting that Stuff is useless and deciding to shed it is difficult. To do this requires confronting the reality that uncertain futures require not more Stuff (easy to acquire, ultimately low-value) but more knowledge and flexibility (hard to acquire, ultimately high-value). This confrontation with reality is what makes moving potentially liberating.

You can find it here: #45: Civilization is weightless