You Will Fill That Space

Patrick Rhone:

If you buy a big house, or a buy a large hard drive for that matter, you will in all likelihood fill it. No matter how much of a “minimalist” you are, you will fill that space. Why? There is no cost to doing so. There is no real hardship for buying that extra couch, assuming you have the money, in the case of the house. With the hard drive, there is no real cost to keeping ten thousand photos all in RAW or having a dozen text editors when you only use or need one.

I’d like to consider myself a minimalist-in-training. I want to pursue minimalism, not for the mere sake of minimizing, but for the goal of living a simple life. I want time, lots of time, to focus on things I like, read broadly, think deeply, write a lot, and be with my family and friends.

If The Setup asked, “What would be your dream setup?”

I like big empty spaces. An expansive room with glass walls, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With nothing but a simple wooden desk and a comfy chair. That would be my idea of a perfect room. In that room would be my iPhone 4 and my 17-inch MacBook Pro. That would be it.

And I don’t think I would fill that space.

Back in April, I was bitten by the SSD bug. There were so many reviews lavishing praise on the incredible speeds of these things. Review after review. So I took the plunge and purchased the cheapest, most reliable, and fastest SSD: the 50GB Mercury EXTREME Pro RE SSD from Other World Computing. I chose the RE version because it had more provisioning and a five-year warranty. I still don’t quite understand this business of provisioning, but more the better, right? There were other reasons for replacing the hard drive with a SSD (you can read Silent, Cool, Green MacBook Pro to find out), but the point is: at the time of this writing, I’m using 18.23 GB out of 49.68 GB.

Still lots of space left.

I think the cost of filling up the hard drive or, in my case, the SSD is that performance might deteriorate. More stuff means more stuff to go through, and that would reduce speed. Plus, I like keeping things tidy. Have a look at my desktop:

That’s a lot of space, 1920×1200 minus however tall the menu bar is. I like it empty because it allows me to start fresh every time I log into my Mac.

Space, and lots of it, helps me focus.

Once I started going down this minimalist path, there were certain quirks or habits that I picked up. Here’s the two I talked about: absolute minimal disk usage, and a completely blank desktop.

Back to Rhone:

No matter how much of a “minimalist” you are, you will fill that space.

Nah. Nope. Not gonna happen.

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