book 'em danno

April 14, 2006
Well, glad to see yesterday's interview got a little bit of feedback... I realize that it's rather esoteric for the bulk of the regulars here. It's nice to have a place to put stuff like that though, where it can get a little attention.

Link of the Moment
The sheer chutzpah of OneRedPaperclip is a wonder to behold. A guy starts with a single red paperclip and a plan to try to use it to barter his way to a house. A house! He got some sweetheart deals, especially early on, but through 10 trades he's already up to a year's free rent in Phoenix. Like million dollar homepage, this is probably one of those "why didn't I think of that" one-time-only tricks. Still pretty cool, and the writeups are fun to read.

Decluttering of the Moment
This past weekend I helped EB and his wife move. There were some extenuating circumstances that forced us to get everything moved in a hurry without all the weeding out they had hoped to get to. Although I don't think I'm as clutter-iffic as that, I'm trying to capitalize on an undercurrent of wanting to get rid of the extraneous stuff. I'm trying to foster a mantra that getting rid of the cruft will leave more room for the stuff I really love. I can almost envision my personal belonings get a little nervous as I give various shelves the evil eye, envisioning what I could live without...

Of course, the toughest thing has always been books. I've gone through a few weedings, but never a major purge. (Part of the difficulty is, of course, that I think of books as kind of a hallmark of being a smart person.) I've been trying to think of what harsher criteria I could apply:
  1. If I can recall quoting the book, or feel I have a non-trivial emotional response when I see it now, it stays.
  2. If I have an honest expectation of being able to read it within the next few years, it can stay.
  3. Books that might not meet those criteria, but are in a collection of other books by the same favorite author can get a pass.
  4. Books that are there mostly because they look impressive should not stay.
  5. Everything else should probably go.
Books usually aren't too clutter-iffic beause they stay neatly on shelves for the most part, but my thinking is a bit warped by the amount of moving I did last weekend, and realizing how bulky and heavy they can be en masse. Again it comes down to thinking I could scale down into a room or two as a living arrangement if there was some reason to do so.

Politics of the Moment
Retired Generals against Rumsfeld. S'funny, last night "En Pointe" (I think) had a thing on the 31 days of the Gerald Ford presidency, and they mentioned how the neocons, especially Rumsfeld and Cheney, were just begining to gather power and formulating an ideology to replace the Realpolitik of Kissinger. (I love the fundamental ideal of realpolitik, that practical concerns and goals should outweigh broad ideological ideals, though in practice there are some big questions with acting on that.)