Category Archives: Clutter

Doesn’t It Hurt Your Eyes to Look at That?


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Why the Internet is Nearly a Complete Waste of Time

I remember when I first saw the Internet, in 1993 out in the country on the gigantic campus of UC Davis, on farmland the university had bought locally (in the US county with the highest proportion of land dedicated to ag, Yolo County). It was at the editorial offices UC Integrated Pest Management, the people who tell you how to get rid of insect pests & vermin. I saw an icon on the computer screen, asked “What that?”, my supervisor showed me, “hmm, seems like a complete waste of time”.

This was confirmed to me when I tried to memorialize an event that has tremendous significance to Sacramentans and to members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the death of Myrna Opsahl at the hands of Emily Harris of the self-styled Symbionese Liberation Army on April 21, 1975. Mrs. Opsahl, whose surgeon husband Dr. Trygve Opsahl worked with my mother-in-law Bobbie DeFrantz at American River Hospital, was making a deposit from a church event on a Monday morning at the Crocker Bank branch then located near the corner of Marconi and Fair Oaks in Carmichael, CA. Myrna was carrying a cash register, when the gun-toting terrorists gave the kind of orders their script tells them to issue in these kinds of instances, Myrna was apparently preoccupied with the weight of the cash register, she failed to comply quickly enough, Emily Harris allegedly shot her with a shotgun.

I commemorated the 40th anniversary on the Free Republic website. Only one respondent even mentioned Mrs. Opsahl, the rest of the comments degraded into some reminiscences about some experiences with the killers at a gun store, The Old Sacramento Armoury at 22nd and J Streets, killers who were only shown in one photo in my article, no mention of grieving Dr. Opsahl holding a lovely picture of his wife and himself in a field of flowers, or Myrna’s smiling picture.

I had an experience with the gun store owner’s wife that must typify what a waste of time all this is: I was walking on College Town Drive towards the California State University Sacramento football stadium, Tony Bush’s Mom, of the family that owned the Old Sacramento Armoury, was driving an old orange and white VW van, about a 1965 model, she asked me if I wanted a ride, I thought she was going towards J Street, I accepted the ride, Tony’s Mom summarily does a u-turn in the street—she didn’t ascertain where I was going, she was going the other way—the front passenger door latch on the VW van was broken, the door swings open, I almost fall out onto the street and injure myself.

Complete waste of time, actually, a hazard. I’m going to try to kick this internet thing out of my life.

The Unbearable Lightness of Cyber

If the ‘Internet of Things’ were so great, why isn’t the First Thing that everything connects to a computer for HUMANS to control it all?

How Do You Do This to a Tablet or Laptop?

I am so delighted with the thermostat in my apartment. It doesn’t have batteries, buttons or a display. If I want heat or cooling, I simply slide 1 or at the most 2 switches, the only mechanism is a mercury switch, it does exactly what I want, I am THE MASTER.

At my old place, I was ready to go get one of these. I thought I could find one at a used equipment place. If I hadn’t moved here, I was ready to revolt. My only resort in my former helpless condition with a programmable thermostat was to let the batteries run out and use a portable heater in the bedroom.

I think the management at my new place resorted to this subversive strategy of great, obsolete stuff, because it was easier than having to deal with tenants who can’t program the d!&%*mned things.

Not my original idea, but a guy told me that every single, last, blasted device—even new toasters that won’t let you push the lever up when the toast is done sooner than the dial setting, but you have to push a RE-SET BUTTON to get the stuff out before it burns—everything that beeps, buzzes or blinks at you SHOULD HAVE A PORT THAT WILL CONNECT TO A COMPUTER     s.o.   y.o.u.    d.o.n.t.   h.a.v.e.   t.o.   p.r.o.g.r.a.m.   c.r.y.p.t.i.c.   d.e.v.i.c.e.s.

This is bliss in the age of «the internet of things». If this grand technological scheme which is haywired from the outset had any merit,     T.H.E.Y.   W.O.U.L.D.   H.A.V.E.   I.T.   A.L.L.   C.O.M.P.U.T.E.R   C.O.N.N.E.C.T.E.D.

EdwardSnowdenThis is living proof that technology is intrinsically fascist. The people who dream this stuff up are techno-Nazis. Edward Snowden may fantasize about being 007, but he’s really just monogonad Adolph Hitler in a super-hero costume. The people who live techno-junk day in & out are really in the service of MiniLuv, “the place where the lights never go out”.

Making every little Hitler-gadget accountable to a computer interface is something the designers never dreamed of, because they’re all really about controlling us, even as they beguile us with the latest whiz-bang neato things they’re going to do for us.

Tomorrow’s Junk Today.

13+ Secrets Personal Organizers Would Never Tell You for Free (Actually, 26)

March, 2014 | Michelle Crouch |

1) Create 5 piles. When you’re organizing, you should sort everything into five piles: move to another room, donate, give to a specific person, throw away, and, finally, the “marinating” pile. Pack up the marinating items, and label the box with a date that’s six months to a year later. If you never open the box before that date, you can safely discard those items.

2) To make an organizing project go faster: Create rules about what you’re keeping and what you’re discarding. In your closet, for example, you can decide to give away any clothing that’s not between size x and size y, that’s stained, or that needs to be repaired. With periodicals, you can decide not to keep anything that’s more than a year old. Continue reading

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

Mikael Cho | 7/05/2013 |


A few years ago, I worked at a web design agency as a product manager. The part of the job I loved the most was working on product with our design team and clients. Unfortunately, this was only about 10 percent of the work that I actually got to do. The majority of the time, I was trying to control the constant flow of stuff–keeping track of meeting notes, searching for files, and trying to stay up-to-date with the latest technology news.

I was mentally exhausted. I’d get home feeling that I hadn’t really accomplished anything. Once I left the agency and started ooomf, I wanted to fix how I approached consumption in my life. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered ways to reduce the noise of stuff around me so I can focus on creation and have more time for the things that matter most. The last year has been the most productive of my life and I owe a lot of it to understanding the importance of decreasing how much I consume and coming up with ways to cut clutter.
How Clutter Happens

You collect things for a number of reasons–maybe you think you’ll need to use it later, it has sentimental value, or you spent good money on it so you feel you need to keep the item, even if you haven’t touched or used it in weeks, months, or years. You might be holding on to that book you bought a year ago that you swear you’ll read or those killer pair of shoes that you’ll bring out for just the right occasion.

But the reality is, you probably made a mistake in buying those things and it literally hurts your brain to come to terms with that fact. Researchers at Yale recently identified that two areas in your brain associated with pain, the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, light up in response to letting go of items you own and feel a connection towards:


This is the same area of the brain that lights up when you feel physical pain from a paper cut or drinking coffee that’s too hot. Your brain views the loss of one of your valued possessions as the same as something that causes you physical pain. And the more you’ve committed emotionally or financially to an item, the more you want to keep it around. Continue reading