September 12th, 2010



I've been reading some blogs about "minimalism" recently. Living with fewer possessions seems to be something of a trend or fad these days, albeit an extremely "niche" trend or fad. Part of the minimalism trend, at least among the bloggers, is counting possessions.

Along those lines, I was sitting here looking at my iPod. It's an iPod Nano, whichever was the last "generation" to be sort of "big" and "square" and sport a navigation wheel. I found myself wondering, as how many "things" would my iPod count? One, right?

1. iPod nano
2. USB cord for iPod nano
3. headphones for iPod nano
4. Nike+ attachment for iPod nano
5. Nike+ shoe sensor for use with iPod nano
6. Armband for iPod nano
Armband consists of 2 parts: a) rubber sleeve; b) strap

This "one" item, the iPod nano, is actually at least "seven" items. If I discount the Nike+ attachments, which are not necessary to operate the iPod (although Nike+ is the original reason I purchased an iPod), that's still five items.

I could remove the armband and rubber case, but those accessories greatly increase the utility of the iPod. Still, removing those, I'm left with

1. iPod nano
2. USB cord for iPod nano
3. headphones for iPod nano

It would seem that some of our "simple gadgets" aren't as simple or "minimal" as they initially appear.

What Price Zen?

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance at Amazon-dot-com:

Paperback print edition: $10.19 with free shipping
Kindle electronic download price: $10.99

Yeah, uh... okay. Let's try another one.

Don Quixote by Cervantes, Penguin Classics edition

Paperback edition: $9.36 with free shipping
Kindle electronic download: $11.99

Now check this out:

Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon

Paperback print edition: $12.24
Digital audiobook download: $52.49

For now, I guess I'll be sticking with analog reading, thank you kindly.