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Recent Thoughts on Minimalism

I'm always thinking about minimalism. A lot of why I think about it is because I have both very minimalistic tendencies as well as some on the opposite side of the spectrum. That sits well with me, because I consider it cause for alarm when one subscribes entirely to the dogma of any group. It's a sign of not thinking for oneself.

So I think a lot about that balance. Am I becoming too minimalist? Am I swinging too far in the other direction? What's right for me?

A common thread for me is to think about what will make my life the simplest. That doesn't mean that I'll have the fewest possessions or fewest relationships or fewest responsibilities, it just means that I'll remove barriers from my life. I try to think a lot about what I want my life to look like, what will enable me to do the most, and how to minimize friction on that path.

For example, I only wear one outfit. This simplifies my life drastically as I never have to choose what to wear, laundry is always quick and easy and can be done in a sink if necessary, etc. With the exception of trying out new gear (which is both my hobby and business), I must think about clothing less than almost anyone.

Introducing Price-Gouging's Uglier Side: Time-Gouging

On DROdio

Uber, a San Francisco startup, is ruffling lots of regulatory feathers, as reported recently in the New York Times.  I also wrote about my experience with Uber back in 2010.

I'll be the first to agree that car sharing services like Uber and Lyft present difficult problems for regulators.  But that's not what this post is about.

My problem is with a statement made by Matthew Daus, the former chairman of NYC's taxi & limousine commission.  He said, "New Yorkers deserve an apology from Uber for price-gouging them during the hurricane."  Besides having a hopeless conflict of interest as the former commissioner, he's throwing out the bully phrase "price-gouging" as if basic supply & demand economics didn't apply to him or his industry.

If Uber doubling its rates (or more) after hurricane Sandy to adjust supply with demand is price-gouging, then I'd like to coin an equally demeaning term:  "time-gouging." 

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