Franz Lindenmayr / Man and Cave

"reduce to the max - living out of a rucksack"

This slogan was originally used by Daimler-Chrysler for marketing their SMART car. It has been again used by the Swiss coaching therapist Thomas Diener in two interviews for newspapers, in which he presented his lifestyle and the background of it. This was the reason for the Tutzing-based Evangelische Akademie to invite him to a conference about sustainability between the 22 to 24 October 1999.

On Saturday 23 October he moderated a 3 hours' session about this motto. Two years ago he had a big "reduce to the max"-party, where he sold most of his material possession. The books went to a public library, his "office" is now on the internet, he has his own website FairWork, and when he wants to work on it he goes to an internet cafe. He doesn't own a flat or a house nor has he rented one, he mostly lives with friends for a while and moves on again, when its necessary. He sees his present situation as a period of transition.

We had a philosopher from Berlin in our group: Professor Wilhelm Schmid, the author of the bestseller "Philosophie der Lebenskunst" (philosophy of the art of living). He got the core of the whole subject: There is a very modern aspect, the usage of the most advanced technology, the computer, the internet, and a very old one. The Greek philosopher Diogenes of Kyrene, the man who lived in a barrel, the one who wanted to reduce his needs to the absolute minimum.

What is really necessary? What really does make you "happy"? What is the sense of life? Should we all become nomads again? How can we get rid of all the things which we don't need any more but which could be useful for others? A lot of questions were raised, few answered, but, I think, there was a feeling that something could, should happen.

There was the idea of arranging a "reduce to the max"-party in the beginning of December in a gallery in Munich, but nothing was really decided. Now we are all again in our homes, living our normal lives, and what has actually changed? In the end I made the proposal to use the internet for channeling the idea of "reduce to the max". We will see whether it will work out or not.

The idea is to create a meeting point or a market place for ideas which aim for "reduce to the max" or "live from a rucksack" or "sustainability". The English philosopher Edmund Burke wrote about the "pact between the dead, the living and the unborn". "shareholders value" versus "value management".

You had been able to  sign a "guestbook", which was aimed, at a low level, to give people the opportunity to express its ideas, intentions, wishes, needs. A first step and a last step. There had been only one entry within 3 years.


see reduce to the max

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