March 24th, 2009



A while ago I gave up on the idea that I needed to follow a news source in order to find out about important bits of news. Everything that had actually mattered in the previous few months had been mentioned on my LJ flist anyway, so I could reduce newspapers and the like to more of an entertainment/procrastination role rather than counting on them to keep me informed of important goings-on. I still read news sources, but I do so in much the same way that I read, say, IMDB or Wikipedia: it's fun and informative without having a goal of seeking out any particular information.

Yesterday, for the first time, one of those important bits of news came to me through facebook rather than LJ. Huh! I wasn't expecting useful information to come from that direction. I might have to actually start reading my facebook flist a little more regularly.

gift giving anti-meme

There's a meme going around whose intent is to encourage crafty gift-giving. I have plenty of things already, mostly think that is also true of most of my friends, and am trying to make there be fewer things in the world, not more. Part of making there be fewer things is to make it so that the things there are are more appropriately distributed. To that end, I'm making an effort to put some of the things that have landed in my life back in the thing-stream. Sometimes that's looking at some object and realizing that it would make some particular friend of mine happy, or would be useful for a nonprofit. Sometimes it's selling something cheaply (so far, at a yard sale or by consigning it to someone that's going to the MIT swapfest, but I'm planning to dive into Craigslist as well). I had an excess of window envelopes a couple of months ago and played inverse-steal-stuff-from-work with them. I give things to Goodwill or Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I know people who have "free stuff" piles in their houses, or who post giveaway items to their livejournals.

I'm posting here mostly to encourage myself to keep doing this, but also in hopes of fostering a larger gift-economy and promote simplification for its environmental impact. Maybe someone reading this can turn it into a meme and get it out there; this post is not quite that.