The minimalist philosophy I've assumed since last time is a simple one. It's basically come down to this: if it doesn't improve my standard of living in a quantifiable and predictable way, I don't let it into my life.

However, I've also started to morph this concept into something incorporating sustainability - both personal and social. How long will this last? It's a profound question that gets ignored a lot in our fast, self-enclosed tech industry, where the tech press isn't necessarily holding the tech industry accountable any more and largely is the industry's way of boosting its own ego and relevance.

Had I not bought the Kindle yet, I probably wouldn't buy it remembering the sustainability theory. For digital books - once you rip the DRM - the sustainability is long, but for hardware, used books not only are useful longer, but are generally better for everyone. Sure, the obvious angle is that technology contains poisonous toxins, released everywhere on production and destruction. I bought the Kindle thinking that plain text won't be obsolete, but the device itself will not last forever: batteries and corporate support will die, and meanwhile paper books still remain untouched. It's less sustainable as a platform in my life. It may increase my standard of living in quantifiable ways, but it also comes with a price and an expiration date.

I've often praised "used" purchases as a more noble and effective way to move forward, and it's going to be a large part of how I live. When the tech industry is more interested in creating disposable, short lifespan devices that lack repair capabilities (see the appliances conversation we had last year) I find it more rewarding to save a few forgotten tools of yesterday from the trashcan and the eWaste dump. I usually can assume that if it has lasted this long and can still be sold, it will probably continue to do so.

Linux helps here by making old computers useful again, but that's a blog I've already written. It's back there. Trust me.

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