Thursday, February 5, 2015

opinion: overboard on minimalism

the recent headlines this week featured the debate about whether parents should vaccinate their kids or not.

in a recent perusal of reddit, i came across a youtube video of that national geographic series called "live free or die."

while these ideas were swirling around in my head, i came to a couple of conclusions.

first, both movements (people who choose to not vaccinate their children, and people who choose to live off the land) seem to be a rebuttal of post-modern day society being overly consuming.  and these movements are an attempt to push back against consumerism and extravagant living.  the minimalism movement agrees, by and large, with the rebuttal, but maybe not so much the conclusions.

second, the conclusions of the anti-vaccination and live-off-the-land movements are not progressive.  in fact, they are very regressive and adherents to both movements have a high percentage chance of dying too early.

in my opinion, the middle-ground rebuttal to over-consumerism and extravagant living is the right way to go.  we can minimize a lot of distractions and possessions in our life.  but there is no need to go overboard and essentially quit civilization.  both over-reactions are dangerous and anti-social.

if everyone chose not to vaccinate, the impacts on society would be horrendous; setting civilization back few hundred years.

inexperienced people who decide to live off the land, put themselves at risk.  in one example of the live free or die episode, i watched in bewilderment as a man found a pack rat, killed it with a rock in a sling-shot and then when the dead rat was stuck in an upper limb of a tree, he climbed the tree and knocked the rat out.  this must have taken a few hours to kill, retrieve, skin and cook this 'snack', all while putting his life at risk.  i just shook my head in disbelief.

i'll stick to the principals of minimalism; focusing on what matters most. but i won't surrender the decades and centuries of experience our ancestors sacrificed so that we can live in a world that is free of problems that killed so many people in the past.

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