Sunday, January 23, 2011

People finding words for my thoughts part 2 - Appropriatism

I also found this blogpost by Frank Chimero fascinating... because within it he expresses an idea that I have been considering and, potentially, living for a wee while now :: the idea of "appropriatism"...
"...There’s no name for this way of thinking, but if I had to steal a term, I’d use Merlin Mann’s Appropriatism. It’s not minimalism, it’s not maximalist, it’s just-right-ism. Goldilocks was on to something. The idea sits somewhere in the middle, exactly at the crux of whatever works the best with the least amount. The core precept of all of it is this:

“Add things until it starts sucking, take things away until it stops getting better.”

We’re looking for that sweet spot, the thing that fits just right, plus or minus zero. With that said, this isn’t a zen, simple living blog post. By being an apostle for nothingness, we lose touch with reality. Philosophy is worthless if it is not practical. My intent is to be helpful and useful, not dogmatic. Your mileage may vary, if only because of differing needs.../
He then goes on to describe some of the precepts of this idea...
"...The main ideals of the Goldilocks mindset are not universal truths, but rather a way of thinking with which anyone can agree or disagree. There aren’t many core precepts.
Again: “Add things until it starts sucking, take away things until it stops getting better.” That applies to this list.

  • Fit is paramount.
  • Access trumps ownership.
  • Matter matters. If things take a physical form, it must fill a need.
  • If there’s a choice, tend toward beauty, both in aesthetics and utility. If it’s one or the other, tend toward utility.
  • Optimize for steadfastness."
I would heartily recommend you read the article... rather than taking my interpretation as the original.

I like the idea that we need to ensure what we have fits... not just clothes but everything we have... does it fit into who we are?

I also like the idea that access trumps ownership. This is a principle that explains so much... from our public libraries to video rental to even bit torrents. Do I need to own it when I can borrow it or gain access to it?

The idea that if it takes physical form, it must fill a need and, if I can, this physical form should lean towards beauty and utility. Again, it needs to fit... it needs to work... and be meaningful.

Lastly, steadfastness is, in other words, lasting quality... it should be built to last... like the second hand Levi's I have on as I type this... they have many years left (as long as my belly doesn't get bigger).

This post has really helped me to put into words thoughts I have had. Consider this post or this one you will, hopefully, see that I've been on this journey for a wee while. I'm glad there is a third way... between rampant consumerism and unrealistic minimalism... and I am grateful that it now has a name.



Anonymous said...

"It’s not minimalism, it’s not maximalist, it’s just-right-ism."

In other's not dipping your toes in, it's not diving right in, it's just going for a swim.

Angus Mathie said...

I agree with Stuart and you. I think it has strong links with contentment as a driver for what you have and what you might wish.


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