Vancouver is hands down one of the most beautiful and well planned cities I have ever been to. It has a pedestrian and bike first design. In fact I would say it is the most accessible city I have been to for anyone needing wheelchair or similar access. I can’t imagine staying indoors in such a thoughtful city. While out, you can visit many of the seaside sights, catch a boat race, sail, fly in a seaplane, or head to the mountains for hiking and snow sports. I am surprised not more people know about and visit Vancouver. It’s geographic position, probably has a lot to do with it.
For this follow up post, I am sharing some ideas for getting to the same state that we are in. Or even down to just one car in a multi-person household. First off, there is no perfectly balanced equation for everyone. You will have to adjust the levers of what you are willing to pay on housing and other items in order to make living in Atlanta without a car workable. I sincerely hope these ideas help a lot of people get out of their cars. Atlanta’s traffic situation is getting progressively worse. The downstream impacts of that congestion have not even fully materialized.
As part of my simplifying down I’ve started reading just one book a month. I used to try and read as many as possible but that gave me no time to reflect and review what I read. The first book for 2018 was a carry over from 2017. Nudge, by Nobel Prize winners, Thaler and Sunstein. I discovered this book while listening to the Freakonomics Podcast. I loved it from page one. They describe their approach as “Libertarian Paternalism” and as a real “Third Way” option in our increasingly divided political landscape.
Minimalism represents time and balance for me. The time to do and experience all the things I want. Along with finding the discipline to not let what other people define as import dominate my time. For me, that means cutting out the “noise” of life more than getting rid of things. It requires being ok with earning less, having less, but definitely experiencing more.
In 2010 Dave Brailsford took over as the General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain’s professional cycling team). To take the team to new heights, Brailsford introduced the team to a concept that he referred to as the “aggregation of marginal gains.” The concept can be summed up as improving every facet of training by 1 percent so that collectively those marginal gains could equate to a larger performance improvement overall. At the 2012 Olympic Games the team dominated the competition by winning 70 percent of the gold medals available.
Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people (150) with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.
The future of transportation is not going to be about the car. Even where cars will still be used, they will most likely be run autonomously. Georgia is getting ahead of the game and passed a law that puts in the framework to build out autonomous vehicle lanes, parking spaces, and more. Moreover, groups like Advance Atlanta, the Atlanta BeltLine, Georgia Commute Options, and many more are coming up with When it comes to regional transit, Hyperloop is stepping in to connect regional cities. Routes are being planned that could revolutionize travel and commuting as a whole. Theoretically, you could live in one state and commute to work in another daily and in under 30 minutes to one hour. Ultimately, we may add a scooter and a motorcycle with sidecar to are vehicle options.
Decision Fatigue is a real issue. As I get older I about how I can avoid this state of mental exhaustion. To that end, we’ve automated a lot of key repetitive tasks in our lives. From grocery delivery, to landscape maintenance, pest control, dry cleaning, house keeping, food delivery, pet sitter, and much more. The goal is not to be lazy and have the free time to lounge around, but instead to open up our creative and critical thinking capacity. Many would not think that most of the above activities would be a brain drain, but when measured against the total number of decisions someone is asked to make in a day, it can lead to decision fatigue. That state has a qualitative effect on the quality of your decisions as the day progresses. Moreover, I recently read an article about how we are constantly inundated with prompts from the smart devices around us which are really creating more and more decision points.
“What does the CIA look like in the absence of the Free Press? Like the KGB.” – Malcolm Gladwell, Revisionist History, The Road to Damascus
I’m trying a new format beginning with this week’s post. I am going to start using the essay format for each post. Identifying themes in the week and crafting an entry that analyzes and comments on the events of the week. I am hoping this approach will help me work on my writing and analytical skills. The theme of this week is accountability and transparency.
We’ve just gone through the biggest purge of material items in our house ever. We got rid of almost everything going back to elementary school except for vital records. Trophies, games, furniture, etc. we are really focused on this minimalism path and are pouring all of our free time into it. I have a blog post I’m working on about the process of becoming minimalist. I’m interested to see the reaction people will have to a couple formally associated with being textbook consumers, wielding down to much less. Minimalism is a journey with no end, so I am sure the days and years will constantly be redefining for us just what is the right amount of “stuff.”