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Oppressive minimalism vs. joyous clutter




The Farnsworth House, located in Plano, Illinois, was designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1945.
The Farnsworth House, located in Plano, Illinois, was designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1945.
Flickr/Timothy Brown

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In a scathing piece in the New York Times magazine over the weekend, Kyle Chayka took aim at the notion that minimalism, or what he refers to as “an ostentatious ritual of consumerist self-sacrifice” reserved for elites of Silicon valley, who along with the likes of Marie Kondo espouse owning fewer things but more gadgets.

In it, he calls out James Altucher’s “How Minimalism Brought Me Freedom and Joy,” as emblematic of a budding genre for which “as with watching birds or going Paleo, talking about the material purge is just as important as actually doing it.”

Is there a happy medium?

Guests:

James Altucher, entrepreneur and author of several books; his blog post “How Minimalism Brought Me Freedom and Joy” is mentioned in the NY Times Magazine piece; he tweets from @jaltucher