Seriously Living With Less: Your Life On A Hard Drive
Chris Yurista lives out of his backpack. He tells the BBC that "It's always nice to have a personal sense of home, but that aside - the internet has replaced my need for an address." He's got a job and moonlights as a DJ, couch-surfing in friends' apartments, and and notes that his MP3s never wear out like his records used to. But can one carry minimalism too far?
"I don't feel a void living the way I'm living because I've figured out a way to use digital technology to my advantage," Mr Yurista explained.
Mr Yurista feels by digitising his life, he no longer has to worry about dusting, organising and cleaning his possessions.
Matthew Danzico of the BBC rounds up a few more of the "Virtual Homeless", including Kelly Sutton, "a spiky-haired 22-year-old software engineer with thick-rimmed glasses and an empty apartment in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighbourhood" and founder of CultofLess.com, where he is giving away or selling just about everything he owns. He says:
"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"
Perhaps it is a trend among under-thirty-year olds without families, who used used to own nothing but milk crates full of records. But full-time couch-surfing? That could get to be a problem, somebody has to own the couch.
Fortunately, Danzico sees a solution to that problem: getting rid of our bodies and the need for those pesky couches altogether. Research Fellow Anders Sandberg, at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University calls it "mind uploading."
"It's the idea that we can copy or transfer the information inside the brain into a form that can be run on the computer," said Dr Sandberg. He added: "That would mean that your consciousness or a combination of that would continue in the computer."
He says if a complete map of our brains was uploaded to a computer and a conscious, digital replica of ourselves was created, we could, in theory, continue to live forever on a hard drive along with our MP3s and e-books.
Now that is minimalism.
More on Living With Less and leading a Minimalist Lifestyle:
Living with Less- Extreme Edition
Less is More: Sheds For Living
Camping at Home: Minimalist Living from Snow Peak
Reliable Structures: A Truly Minimalist Table