Logicalism Over Minimalism

Posted on
September 8, 2010

I don't subscribe to any sort of minimalist way of life. But, that word seems to have a meaning that I can often attest to my life. The funny thing about words and their meaning is that they aren't consistent across all means.

In my very limited scope of minimalist inspiration, the word often is attributed to Apple—or the other way around. I mention this, firstly, because labeling and brands are things I attempt to avoid. Secondly, when I said often I meant blindly and always. If anyone shares this limited scope with me, I would like to let them know: Minimalism is a jaded word with lost meaning, and is more keen to be a fad or popular tag. And, on the reverse, Windows is hailed as the anti-christ of minimalism. Don't be fooled.

In all senses and progressions of my life, I tend to believe I think about things logically. And especially when I started freelancing. I think logically about the way I work, and the devices used for work and communication; about food, where it comes from and how it's prepared; material items I own, like my clothing, furniture and other equipment; and, basically anything else I deal with on a day-to-day basis.

I'm going to split up each one of these things into separate posts. And, because Apple, computers and gadgets seemed to spark my definition debacle(maybe not quite that serious), I will start there:

The End Of The Branded, Labeled Minimalism In The Office

These blogs and semi-popular internet figures will have you believe that you need to own 2 to 4 Apple made products to complete your minimalist lifestyle. Now, they may not make this statement outright, but in their act of sharing their all-too-similar ways of life a very pretty, brushed-steel picture is painted. Actually, this picture. And, this one.

In multiple, thousand-word essays these authors have shown that you need an Ikea tabletop, some kind of fancy desk chair, the prominent desk lamp, a mac computer, a mighty mouse(such garbage), a cinema display, an iphone, a sleek dock, an ipod, an ipad, and no one cares anymore.

In absolute, hellish contrast I am able to Design(even for print!), write markup, code(in multiple languages!), record, produce, take notes(GASP without Word! And, without awesomely, cult loved "minimal" note taking apps exclusive for some other OS!) all with my…Windows 7 based laptop. Now, I'm not going to go into great detail about how you can work on windows just as minimally and simply as on a mac. Because you're a grown-up, and you know that you can have a happy computing life without selling your soul to some corporation or brand. You don't have to do any one thing any one way, for the rest of your life and never fell that way of life. You can adapt. You can stop caring. You can still be efficient.

Now, I'd like to believe that people will agree with me that this is a rather unimpressive yet beautiful space to work in:

My Current Workspace. I am still looking for a desk.

And now, you may argue "it would look even better with a macpro." And I retort "Suckas! I don't have an office—I just put my computer away in its hiding place, when I'm finished working."

And even now, you may think that I, the author, has gone astray, and lost his original point. But, I will emphasize that my point is to stop caring. This is so silly. If you honestly believe that you cannot share the same minimalist lifestyle of simplicity and happiness and zen and organization and flowing water and grooveshark and starbucks and meetups with a Windows based machine in place of a Macintosh, then you should add the following disclaimer to your blog and every accompanying brand hugging post:

I am unwilling to be adaptable. I am unwilling to take matters into my own hand and consider all possibilities. I believe minimalism is always the easiest most obvious solution, and let the past dictate the future. I am set in stone. I am a minimalist without logic.