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06 JULY 2017

written by Mike

A WORD ON OWNERSHIP

 

As I’m packing up for my 10th house move in the decade, I’ve noticed a few things. How much I hate packing, how much I love moving to a new place and how little material things matter.

Looking at my grandparents and parents is easy to see the difference in thinking about ownership. Grandparents lived through an unstable period after a war in Poland, ‘hoarding’ was a necessity as they never knew if the stores will be empty again. It stayed with them the rest of their lives, even now the basement is filled with decades-old items, never to be used.

Parents are somewhat similar; communism taught them to value material things as there was never enough. To own something was to display value and success. The thinking stayed with them and now, after living in the UK for ten years their house is filled with stuff.

When I look at it, I think to myself, ‘moving all of this would be a nightmare!’

I think the trends are changing now. It won’t be a quick change, and not everyone will follow, but I am a big believer in ideas presented by Kevin Kelly, a writer and futurist. One that he is big on is ‘access.’

In his book ‘Inevitable’, he describes a future where people don’t own anything. They merely ‘access’ what they want and need.

It’s been slowly happening already. 10 years ago I had a book shelf filled with DVDs, CDs and books. Now it’s all gone.

I replaced it with Netflix, Spotify and Kindle. Still, I have a few boxes of books that I’m taking with me, but I kept them because of sentiment rather than practical reasons.

 

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And the trend will progress. ‘Hiring’ clothes, cars, computers, systems won’t be just a one-in-a-while thing. Cloud is replacing hard storage, and even though I still backup files on my drives, I don’t think that next generation will.

What about a car?

I pay around £50 a month for the insurance, road tax and upkeep. That is £600 a year not counting unexpected repairs and petrol. The car is unused 95% of the time, just sitting there in front of the house.

No, I’m not going to sell it now, but when it finally goes, I will consider if buying a new one is worth it. Of course, everyone is different, and some of the ideas may seem radical to others.

Is it practical at the moment? I don’t think so.

The house that I’m moving in right now is un-furnished meaning I do need a bed, a mattress, a desk, a chair. I can’t rent everything I need. Yet.

But maybe there will be a Netflix-like service for homes in the future?

You select what you want and subscribe?

A coffee machine, TV, bed, couch even cutlery. Then when you want to move, you just unsubscribe, and they collect everything back. Could work.

Sounds crazy enough to be true, I know that right know I would pay a lot for that kind of service. Just to get rid of some boxes.

Anyway, few more days of living out of the boxes and I will be back to my regular schedule of podcasting, writing and producing.

See you in a bit!

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