Sunday, September 02, 2007

Graham on Stuff

This summer, investor Paul Graham noted that he had too much stuff.

I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. Stuff used to be rare and valuable. You can still see evidence of that if you look for it. For example, in my house in Cambridge, which was built in 1876, the bedrooms don't have closets. In those days people's stuff fit in a chest of drawers. Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, but our attitudes toward it haven't changed correspondingly. We overvalue stuff. ... once you've accumulated a certain amount of stuff, it starts to own you rather than the other way around. ... Nothing owns you like fragile stuff. For example, the "good china"...

A historical change has taken place, and I've now realized it. Stuff used to be valuable, and now it's not.

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