Rajesh Kumar

Optimizing life, one day after the next

Simple Lives

08 Feb 2010

When I was sitting in my room pondering the most random things in life, I took a look around me and noticed I only had a handful of technologies around me at home to get through everyday life:

  1. Laptop and internet*
  2. Hair dryer
  3. Cell phone
  4. Wrist watch
  5. Alarm clock
  6. Graphing calculator
  7. SLR Camera
  8. Hole punch
  9. Paper
  10. Electric lights*
  11. iPod Touch

It turns out that only the starred items are really necessary. The others are actually pretty dispensable. If you took them away from me for a week, I may not even realize they were gone!

I have no smart phone, and I have no gaming consoles like Xbox, PS3, or Nintendo. I don't even have an external monitor, let alone a dual screen. I don't own a car either.

What surprises me the most is that at least in a University environment, I can compete on a level field with everyone else just with this small subset of technologies. It seems like the above list is the smallest subset you'd need before you start to lose out on competitive advantage. The mathematicians among you may realize that this smallest subset is what you might call an ideal.

As this juncture, the astute readers among you will perhaps ask what my point is, and if I ever had one to begin with. And my point is this. Just because you have the money to purchase all the gadgets you can think of or get your hands on, must you? Do you always need to own the most cutting edge technological devices? Do you really want to rely so much on technology to get your life going? What if I took them away from you?

Think of the technologies you own, and think how much of them you actually use, and actually need. You'll find that you can actually get away quite well with not owning at least half of what you own currently.

Keep it simple.

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