Thursday, November 18, 2004

Mining the Artifacts of a Life

I'm having fun with the new discussion forums... we have about 15 registered members so far, and roughly 30 posts. I sent a message to the long-established technomads mailing list about this, and am about to do one to nomadness (to which I have not posted for over 3 years).

One of the primary themes of the forum is an increase in the efficiency of life under external stress (which can take the form of a nomadic existence, a shortage of cashflow, or a social/political/economic disaster). The basic strategy is a sort of focusing, in which the massive amounts of energy and cash that we have habitually tied up in superfluities get converted into a more deliberate and better-targeted suite of tools (ideally mobile). This is one of the things that gives me pleasure as I ship once-treasured artifacts to their new owners... like these in the past few days:

New Community Networks: Wired for Change by Schuler - $3.99 to Auburndale, Massachusetts.

It's a Breeze CD by Itzhak Perlman & Andre Previn - $8.50 to Glendale, Arizona

Khachaturian: Gayaneh & Spartacus Suites CD - $7.00 to Kirkwood, Missouri

Debussy: Music for Oboe and Harp CD - $7.50 to Allston, Massachusetts.

An ancient but functional Spa Blower - $35.00 to Jacksonville, Florida


It's such a strange little thrill on so many levels, since each item represents an investment of resources, energy, and in many cases even emotion -- a little nugget trapped in the dense matrix of stuff that clutters and defines a life. Mining these things not only recovers some value, but it bestows a little breath of freedom... one less object that has to be dealt with someday, one less entry in the cluttered intellectual catalog of possessions, one less thing taking up space (and, in most cases, losing value as the years pass). It's addicting.

So hey, want some stuff? <grin> On the "live page" that I used before migrating to this medium, I maintained a list of links to current auctions; but if I do that now, they'll be archived forever and will thus end up broken as the eBay database drops off the oldies. So instead, I'll just mention things by name as they appear and refer you to the "Items on eBay" link over there on the right if anything catches your fancy. On the block at the moment are ten issues of Linux Journal from 2001, and an old Palm PDA cradle.

Much more soon! I'm working on the new office space in the lab now.

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