Originally Posted by dwyhajlo
I also like the concept of minimalism, but I get frustrated when millionaires begin preaching that "all you need is love" (or 400 square feet). It's an appealing idea, and it's hard to argue against from an ecological standpoint, BUT I'm suspicious of minimalism's supposed status as a panacea for the ills of consumerism. Quite often it seems to be couched in an unacknowledged assumption that you can defer or relocate your sites of consumption. For example, in this article, this gentleman talks about how he spends much of his money on travel, how he likes to throw large dinner parties, etc. Are these just different ways - which are largely inaccessible to people of lower socioeconomic status - in which consumption is instantiated?
I cleaned and organized my bookshelves the other day, and, perversely, it may be the happiest I've been in months. Maybe Mr. Hill feels happier now, because his modes of consumption are not just monetary transactions (buying/selling), but are now also transactions of time, emotional content, etc.
I think you've misunderstood. I don't think you're contradicting his point but agreeing with it. Yeah, he has the money to travel a lot, which is great for him. Most of us don't. But the underlying point is the same: it's an experience he's spending on rather than an object. His point isn't about spending less money; it's about spending it differently. Rather than spend your money on clothes or gadgets or furniture or a big house or an expensive car, spend it on things that enrich your life in a different way. Actually, you know what research finds makes people really happy? Helping others. And you can do that for free.
I would also like to add that most of us on this site aren't millionaires, but we're not exactly broke either. We do spend a lot of money on accumulating stuff. There's a lot of lusting after things on here. The point is that getting that thing isn't going to make you happy for any extended period, and that point is relevant to the SF audience, whether it comes from a millionaire or not. I actually think that's something most of us realize, but it's good to be reminded every so often.