From the department of things that are just too perfect

So says Paul Krugman…

Limited time this morning, so light blogging. But I can’t resist posting this. Jonathan Chait finds James K. Glassman, co-author of “Dow 36,000″ — a 1999 book that argued, based on some creative double-counting and other innovations, that 36,000 was the right value of the Dow at the time of publication — claiming that this week’s Dow high vindicates his ideas. But that’s not what’s so perfect.

No, what caught my eye was where Glassman went on the strength of his bold prediction. And the answer is, he’s the Founding Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute.

All is well with the world.


Cult of digital nothingness

I love “hair shirt” stories like this. Especially if they’re about someone living nearby. It’s good for a garage sale with everything for free – when they go through this crisis of ownership.

Usually, the dimwit acting out his heroic monkish self-image isn’t even bright enough to sell off his creature comforts.

Many have begun trading in CD, DVD, and book collections for digital music, movies, and e-books. But this trend in digital technology is now influencing some to get rid of nearly all of their physical possessions – from photographs to furniture to homes altogether…

Meet Kelly Sutton, a spiky-haired 22-year-old software engineer with thick-rimmed glasses and an empty apartment in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhood – a hotbed for New York’s young, early adopters of new technology.

Mr Sutton is the founder of, a website which has helped him sell or give away his possessions – apart from his laptop, an iPad, an Amazon Kindle, two external hard drives, a “few” articles of clothing and bed sheets for a mattress that was left in his newly rented apartment.

This 21st-Century minimalist says he got rid of much of his clutter because he felt the ever-increasing number of available digital goods have provided adequate replacements for his former physical possessions.

“I think cutting down on physical commodities in general might be a trend of my generation – cutting down on physical commodities that can be replaced by digital counterparts will be a fact,” said Mr Sutton…

Mr Sutton sold or gave away most of his assets, apart from his iPad, Kindle, laptop and a few other items

The tech-savvy Los Angeles “transplant” credits his external hard drives and online services like iTunes, Hulu, Flickr, Facebook, Skype and Google Maps for allowing him to lead a minimalist life…

Beaucoup apocrypha fleshes out an article on living the puritan life.

Pretty much tales of folks who think the monastic life brings some sort of liberation. Rather like hitting yourself in the forehead with a ballpeen hammer – “because it feels so good when you stop!”