Living in the Cloud
- Joshua M Brown
- August 17th, 2010
The hippest of hipsters are slowly becoming "Techno-Nomads" or "21st Century Minimalists", the very antithesis of the old consumer materialism, and I find this very admirable. The cloud computing revolution is making it so that we will all eventually be able to shed a lot of our proverbial baggage as more and more items can be stored online indefinitely.
Here's an article on the BBC about this new "Cult of Less" movement. As someone who is a former "Hoarder", I'm highly intrigued...
Let's face it - digital files, applications and web services are replacing the need for many of the physical goods that pepper our homes, crowd our desks and fill our closets.
From online photo albums to virtual filing cabinets to digital musical instruments, hi-tech replacements are becoming ubiquitous.
But as goods continue to make the leap from the bookshelf to the hard drive, some individuals are taking the opportunity to radically change their lifestyles.
Meet Kelly Sutton, a spiky-haired 22-year-old software engineer with thick-rimmed glasses and an empty apartment in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighbourhood - a hotbed for New York's young, early adopters of new technology.
Mr Sutton is the founder of CultofLess.com, a website which has helped him sell or give away his possessions - apart from his laptop, an iPad, an Amazon Kindle, two external hard drives, a "few" articles of clothing and bed sheets for a mattress that was left in his newly rented apartment.
This 21st-Century minimalist says he got rid of much of his clutter because he felt the ever-increasing number of available digital goods have provided adequate replacements for his former physical possessions.
"I think cutting down on physical commodities in general might be a trend of my generation - cutting down on physical commodities that can be replaced by digital counterparts will be a fact," said Mr Sutton.
Can we all become Techno-Nomads overnight? Of course not, there is a degree of unrealisticism here for grown ups with houses and families. That said, going possession-less is a fantasy that may be closer than you think to being possible.
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The Reformed Broker is a blog about financial markets and the economy. Joshua Brown is a New York City-based investment advisor for high net worth individuals, charitable foundations, retirement plans and corporations... More.