Monday, August 20, 2007

Paul Graham on Stuff

I'm recommending that everyone in America read Paul Graham's latest essay, which is about having too much stuff. It's insightful and a little inspirational. In part, it says:
...the people whose job is to sell you stuff are really, really good at it. The average 25 year old is no match for companies that have spent years figuring out how to get you to spend money on stuff. They make the experience of buying stuff so pleasant that "shopping" becomes a leisure activity.
This attitude is so ingrained that we don't even question it when our president, in response to major tragedy, tells us that the best response is to get out and go shopping and buy stuff. This was a truly terrifying statement for our leaders to make, if anyone had stopped to think about it. Laura and I have been in the process, for a few months, of throwing away crap. We've got too much, and a lot of it we'll never or rarely use, but we still instinctively hold onto it. I hadn't ever thought much about why until I read Paul Graham's essay, and it makes sense. Give it a read.

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