Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Is 'stuff' good, bad or indifferent?

And the answer is, of course, indifferent, obviously.

One of the things I appreciate about a certain Mrs. Croes is that she does challenge conventions. Whether that works all the time may be open to debate, but in this society where the aim appears to be to own as many toys as possible I very much appreciate an alternative view.

Why now?

Well, when we do birthdays & Christmas round here there is a basic requirement to produce a list of things you'd like, so that your friends and family will buy useful stuff instead of useless junk that requires carefully constructed mis-direction so you can pretend you're grateful instead of really being grateful for something you like. Hope that makes sense.....

So I've just put together a list. Useful things, stuff I'd like.

I've never had an allergy to toys, and yet my life seems full of them in some ways. A shed full of mostly worn out bicycle stuff. A livingroom full of guitars, amps and effects pedals. More amps in the cupboard under the stairs. Amps, amp parts and effects pedals upstairs. Then there's the computers, including the main home base unit, (3 years old, freebie) the retired main base unit (6 years old) the previous retired main base unit (9 years old - still works for mechwarrior under W2000/XP) the Macbook (due to be retired some time in the next 12 months) and the little Philips machine I took to Zim, now with replaced keyboard and 2Gb RAM (the RAM is a story in itself - ebuyer had it on offer for £16.50, but I didn't buy it to not spend the money. Went shopping next day & picked up a winebox only to realise that was the same price as the memory that would make the computer work better. Put wine back, bought memory).


I'm enormously grateful to have been able to own and enjoy all these (and so many more) things, but it is starting to seem like a lot of stuff. I did give away a bunch of photographic D&P stuff a few years back, because I knew I'd not play those games any more.

A friend has several times related of his days in Africa, where people would continually buy things, play for a little while, then store them. Eventually they'd run out of space and need to build bigger storage to keep everything. If that has biblical overtones for you then that's probably a good thing. But is there a better biblical model of clearing stuff than simply giving it away?

So as I'm swapping HDDs around trying different things to optimise a toy/tool I keep thinking about 'stuff' and the good, bad and indifference of it.


  1. Suddenly a line from Depeche Mode comes to mind: "Is simplicity best or simply the easiest?" Not sure why it came to mind or whether it has any bearing on the question of "stuff".

    We are overcome with stuff here, partially because we really haven't had a chance to settle fully into our place. But there are stacks and piles all over the place. It really becomes quite oppressive sometimes. For me simply putting it in its place doesn't deal with the psychological end of "stuff".

    We're not sure how we should approach it either.

  2. Simplicity is probably just easiest, rather than having to face questions about whether it's right/good/helpful etc. That's not necessarily bad, but can also be a bit narrow-minded. However there are days when the idea of joining the Amish seems like a good one.


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