Sunday, April 29, 2007

Notes from the great simplification

I have before me a xeroxed copy of Mark Norris Lance's dissertation. I obtained this copy when Mark Norris Lance was applying to be chair of the department at Texas Tech University, where I then worked.

I did not read it then. I do not need to read it now. If I ever needed to read it, The University of Pittsburgh has a copy.

I do not need to keep this document. There is no reason why I have put it in a file box and carried it with me for two cross country moves. I can throw it away. It is ok for me to throw it away. Nothing will go wrong if I throw it away. The writing will not cease to exist if I throw away this xerox.

This is the sort of discussion I have to have with myself every time I open up my file boxes and try to throw things out. Earlier today I found a print out of Bacon's New Atlantis. It was a printout of an etexttranscribed by Kirk Crady. I needed to go to the internet, and verify that this etext was still online before I felt comfortable throwing away my printout. I think somewhere in my heart I believed that if I threw away this printout of the New Atlantis, the New Atlantis would cease to exist.

It is very hard for me to throw things away.

4 comments:

Thomas said...

<< It is very hard for me to throw things away. >>

You're doing it backwards. You don't have to think of reasons why it's okay to throw things away.

Especially if you're getting ready to move, the default presumption concerning any material possession should be that will be thrown away, unless you can think of any reason why it should be kept.

The question that must be answered for each item isn't "can I throw this away?" or even "should I throw this away?" the question "why on earth should keep this crap one minute longer?"

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

stop flaunting your well balanced, sensible attitude while I try to talk through a neurosis.

Thomas said...

Oh dear, no. Not well balanced over here, not at all. I was just hoping some exposure to my insane bias in the opposite direction might help you land somewhere in the middle.

Vox Populi said...

I can only hope that one of you will happen to come across the country to Florida and go through my crap for me.

Be VERY unsentimental.
It's daunting. I have two careers and a continuing education pile(s) which really need to have many questions asked of. LOL