Bruce Sterling on Viridian

November 21, 2008

Frugal reader Julian pointed me at this today. It gratifies both my nerdy AND my frugal faculties.

Sample para:

You will need to divide your current possessions into four major categories.

  1. Beautiful things.
  2. Emotionally important things.
  3. Tools, devices, and appliances that efficiently perform a useful function.
  4. Everything else.

Food for thought.



  1. It’s similar to a criteria I’ve used for a while now.

    It’s also worth applying to non-physical objects, such as webpages. It works to great effect.

  2. He’s the speaker that tipped the ledger to GO! for me for Webstock in February. Really looking forward to it.

  3. When I was at tech, one day in our intercultural studies class, we had to bring along a taonga. I forgot to bring something, so I took my Walkman out of my bag and said it was special and precious to me because it let me listen to my favourite music wherever I was.

    Reading the last Viridian post, it appears I was right! Sterling says that the things we use every day are the things that are valuable, not the stuff that’s shut away. And indeed today I really value my iPod and use it almost every day.

    And it’s made me think about the “precious” things stored away. I think I’d better do some sorting out.

  4. I have a lot of time for the guy, and this last message is probably the best piece he’s written on the topic. Thanks for the link.

  5. I have been having a huge sort out in prepapration for a move and a freind who has been helping me pointed out that I was hanging on to a lot of things out of obligation. They were gifts or family items that had no personal meaning and I didn’t even like. This article has clarified the issues even more for me. I am still finding it very hard to ditch things that I have emotional attachment to though and various ‘collections’

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