Gaffe Man / Minimalism follow-up

Hand me the Zuse Clear Etched, Computer Coded Toaster, please!

Yesterday, while at my my friend’s place in Yopougon, I managed to do a Joe Biden, by asking where the light switch for the bathroom was.  I got the answer that there is no light in the bathroom.  And shortly after that I almost asked if I could heat up a mini-pizza in the microwave.   Gahh!

So, more things to add to the list from the last post:  A reasonably well equiped kitchen with a microwave oven, and lights in the bathroom.

Joe Biden tells a man in a wheelchair to stand up:

Computer coded toaster that mimics early dot matrix printers, Zuse burns 12 x 12 pixel images on bread and can be programmed to random patterns or those of your own design.

Minimalism – follow-up

Anyhow, my take on minimalism is that material possessions are reduced and replaced by experiences, but it doesn’t mean a cut down on ambitions, aspirations and grand complex projects. On the contrary, it should be easier to focus on the latter when basic life has been simplified.

Also, it should be noted wealthy people in the developed world reducing the stuff they own is a very different thing from the involuntary minimalism of Africans living on a couple of dollars a day. There is research pointing to happiness increasing greatly with increasing income up to a certain point when necessities are met, and after that happiness doesn’t increase much as more stuff is added.

Africans living on a couple of dollars a day are below this point, and really do need more stuff, so talk of minimalism in this situation doesn’t make much sense.

Back to the grand complex plans and the previously raised (at Freestyle Mind) question of: “What would you do all day if you wouldn’t have to worry about money or other things?”

That’s a darned good question. Here’s my attempt to answer:

  • Traveling the world and meeting interesting people, while keeping some sort of base in West Africa.  And I don’t need much stuff for this; clothes, laptop, cellphone, and toiletries basically.
  • Expanding my little passive income generating real estate business.  It’s a joy in itself to set up a business like this, it doesn’t feel like doing work at all, and there is some satisfaction about building something that is likely to last beyond one’s lifetime.
  • Doing some philanthropy, possibly promoting human rights and economic freedom and opposing autocratic rule around the world. In 2006 I happened to be in the same sept-place [seven seater + driver Peugeot car] as some some small scale tradeswomen travelling from Mauritania to Senegal who had to endure multi-hour-long investigations by corrupt customs officials. It kind of sparked the (yet unrealised) idea of creating a campaign or lobby for free trade in West Africa.
Picture "borrowed" from http://freestylemind.com/
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