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Poll

What's your MatMinMax (Materialistic Minimalist  / Maximalist) level?  (See below.)

Materialistic Maximalist, Level 5  (Most Stuff)
- 0 (0%)
Materialistic Maximalist, Level 4
- 2 (5.4%)
Materialistic Maximalist, Level 3
- 4 (10.8%)
Materialistic Maximalist, Level 2
- 5 (13.5%)
Materialistic Maximalist, Level 1
- 0 (0%)
Materialistic Norm (Social Average)
- 5 (13.5%)
Materialistic Minimalist, Level 1
- 2 (5.4%)
Materialistic Minimalist, Level 2
- 6 (16.2%)
Materialistic Minimalist, Level 3
- 5 (13.5%)
Materialistic Minimalist, Level 4
- 2 (5.4%)
Materialistic Minimalist, Level 5  (Least Clutter)
- 6 (16.2%)

Total Members Voted: 16


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Author Topic: My new terms for compulsive "hoarder" / "pack rat", and the opposite condition  (Read 9641 times)

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Alex Libman

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(The terms I chose were the first that came into my mind, but they don't roll off the tongue very well in English - please let me know if you have better suggestions.)


On last night's show [FTL wiki link], an article was read describing five levels of "compulsive hoarding" / "pack rat" behavior, and the attitude that was expressed toward this lifestyle choice has offended my libertarian sensibilities!

What people choose to do on their own property (or on the property which they have a contracted privilege to occupy) is their own damn business, and it's wrong to assume that their materialistic eccentricity necessarily constitutes an illness!  Even the terminology itself is loaded, and, more importantly, there doesn't seem to be a meme for the opposite condition - not poverty but deliberate avoidance of all but the most necessary and useful possessions in one's immediate proximity, which happens to describe my own lifestyle at this time.

The "Materialistic Maximalist" levels (borrowing the artistic term) in the above poll correspond to the "hoarder" levels in the aforementioned article (please post the article URL if you can find it), with 5 being the most unusual.

Level 0, the norm, would of course vary a little bit from one society to another - Americans tend to have larger houses than most other peoples, but they tend to have access to relatively high levels of trash disposal, have garages / large backyards, use many disposable items, and so on.  In urban China, for example, it might be normal to store many bags of various sizes in one's hallway to take with you when going shopping (on foot).  In some African countries, not keeping a few chickens in one's bedroom would be considered impractical.  In rural Finland, a traditional small rural home will be cluttered with jars of preserved foodstuffs by the start of winter, and gradually empty out by spring.  My father's Moscow apartment was cluttered with more aquariums and related supplies than you can imagine, including jars of fish food obtained from lakes and swamps, because breeding exotic tropical fish was as close as a Soviet citizen could come to having a passive income stream, and it was well worth the inconvenience.  Etc.  So we're obviously going by the American "norm" for the purposes of this scale, but just something to consider.


Now here's a new concept - Materialistic Minimalism, which has been popular in art and literature for quite some time, and a lot of college students start out living a fairly minimalist lifestyle, but relatively few people deliberately attempt it later in life, possibly due to economic impracticality and incompatibility of this lifestyle with having a family:

  • Mat-Min, Level 1:  Reducing the number of decorative objects, clothing, and other possessions just one level below the social "norm".  Preferring to entertain company in restaurants and other places other than one's home, which reduces the needed quantity of kitchenware and dining room furniture.  Preference for disposable kitchen and dining products.  Preference to use hired services for things like house cleaning and car oil changes rather than doing them oneself.  Commitments to home / apartment are starting to feel suffocating.

  • Mat-Min, Level 2:  Optimizing one's home for individual use (with 0 or at most 1 other family member) rather than for visitors, which further reduces the need for furniture and may facilitate moving into smaller living space.  Getting rid of dedicated "living", "dining", and "bed" rooms, confining daily in-home activities to just one room with the exception (unless living in a studio apartment) of a bathroom and small kitchen.  If driving every day isn't a necessity, considering renting a car / taxi when needed instead of owning one.  Vastly reducing use of paper and analog storage media, preferring to digitize everything instead, including preference for digital e-books / audiobooks over all paper books.  Reducing redundant electronic and other devices for fewer / smaller / more portable devices with more flexibility.  Going to a gym rather than keeping exercise equipment (including sufficient room to move around) in one's home.  Further preference for hired services: car washing, pick-up / drop-off laundry wash-and-fold services, delivery of prepared meals and groceries, etc.

  • Mat-Min, Level 3:  Getting rid of all material possessions that aren't essential for day-to-day use, and optimizing them for mobility: choosing light flat-screen TV instead of a regular one (or, better yet, a wall projector), laptop over a desktop PC, cell phone over land-line / VoIP handsets, digital media downloaded on demand over physical music / video / image / game disks, etc.  Getting rid of one's clothing items unless known for certain the item will be worn several times in the coming year.  Preference for "disposaility" grows to include underwear, socks, towels, bedding, etc.  What isn't needed in the foreseeable future is thrown away or donated to charity.  All assets are kept in liquid accounts like stocks, bonds, gold certificates, and money market accounts, as opposed to physical objects of value.  Reducing geographic commitments to one town / state / country and traveling as desired, which often encourages career changes to allow more work to be done outside one particular office / site.

  • Mat-Min, Level 4:  Further reduction in material possessions: no more than 2-4 pairs of shoes, 2-3 hats, 1-2 chairs.  Preference for inflatable mattress rather than a full-size elevated bed, and for "travel size" containers of everything rather than "family size".  At least 80% of owned clothing is worn at least once every two weeks, the exceptions including winter clothing and clothing for special occasions.  Vast majority of food is consumed within 1-2 days of being purchased / delivered.  Giving out a post office box (perhaps with a service like EarthClassMail.com) rather than your home address.  Also getting rid of "unnecessary" people in one's life, preferring prostitutes, one-night-stands, and/or highly-independent arrangements over live-in relationships, and most likely getting rid of any pets as well.

  • Mat-Min, Level 5:  Moving with all one's material possessions to a hotel / motel, yacht, or an RV, with no permanent home.  Extreme cases have been known to reduce their material possessions to just what they can carry on a motorcycle, and/or (in warmer climates) live in a camping tent.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 06:31:31 PM by Alex Libman »
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Taors

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It means you're dirty and need a shower.
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Alex Libman

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Huh?  Where did that come from?
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Taors

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I'm dirty and need a shower.
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Alex Libman

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*BUMP*
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Alex Libman

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Alex Libman

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*BUMP*

(Seriously, what's wrong with this thread?  I just hate it when I end up producing something brilliant for this forum, and no one notices.)
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BonerJoe

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That's because you're wasting your time here.
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Andy

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*BUMP*

(Seriously, what's wrong with this thread?  I just hate it when I end up producing something brilliant for this forum, and no one notices.)


Very creative and brilliant etc, etc.

I'm going on holiday for a year with just what I can carry on my back, however I'm going to leave the rest of my stuff with the parentals, is that good enough for number five?

Alex Libman

  • Guest

I guess that's a "temporary" MatMin5...  :lol:
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Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith)

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I hoard things, except for papers, I throw away papers.  But objects, I have a ton of random shit and computer parts so old they aren't worth a damn.  But I can't seem to bring myself to throw them away...  I'm not a pack rat or a hoarder though, I try to keep my living space clean and organized (I'm not OCD either)
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Alex Libman

  • Guest

Taking it to the next level:



(Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
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Taors

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No one gives a shit.
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Alex Libman

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Wherever I May Roam


And the road becomes my bride
I have stripped of all but pride
So in her I do confide
And she keeps me satisfied
Gives me all I need

And with dust in throat I crave
Only knowledge will I save
To the game you stay a slave

Rove or wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere               
And I'll redefine anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home

And the earth becomes my throne
I adapt to the unknown
Under wandering stars I've grown
By myself but not alone
I ask no one

And my ties are severed clean
Less I have the more I gain
Off the beaten path I reign

Rove or wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
I'm free to speak my mind anywhere
and I'll never mind anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home
YE' YEAH


 :D
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 10:42:33 AM by Alex Libman »
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trollfreezone

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It would be a logical fallacy to claim to be a "materialistic maximalist" below the maximum level.  "Materialistic accumulator" might be closer.
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