Monday, May 18, 2009

I love stuff (a stream of consciousness)

Mostly musical stuff, of course (although I did collect bottle caps as a kid). I love the artifacts (CDs, LPs, books) of my addiction.

I know it seems messy to you. But, in the words of WB: "what else is this collection but a disorder to which habit has accommodated itself to such an extent that it can appear as order?"

Yes, I love collecting, and (somewhat related) I love cataloguing my own compositions. (I love making lists of the tunes I've finished. It gives a concrete quality to the accomplishment.)

And yet increasingly I find this approach compelling too. Enough to create a fairly significant level of cognitive dissonance.

Every item is now judged harshly as a major burden that better have a damn good explanation why I should carry it around with me everywhere as I travel.

Of course, I wonder if one has to have been incredibly successful in the "material world" (as the good Mr. Sivers no doubt has) before one can come to this "enlightened" perspective.

Also of course, at some point in the near future we might not even be having this debate:

Very likely, in the near future, I won't "own" any music, or books, or movies. Instead I will have immediate access to all music, all books, all movies using an always-on service, via a subscription fee or tax. I won't buy – as in make a decision to own -- any individual music or books because I can simply request to see or hear them on demand from the stream of ALL. I may pay for them in bulk but I won't own them. The request to enjoy a work is thus separated from the more complicated choice of whether I want to "own" it. I can consume a movie, music or book without having to decide or follow up on ownership.

Maybe the real question is whether it is possible for we humans to "value" something that we don't actually "own."

Or maybe that's a stupid question, I dunno.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Carlin did a fairly thorough exegesis of this topic.