Navneet Alang

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I am these days a bit obsessed with things. Stuff. Objects.

I am typing this little note on a new mechanical keyboard that Iā€™m not sure I had any real need for. I upgraded my iPad despite my older one already being far more than I needed. I keep spending money that, if I were more practical or less selfish, I should either be squirrelling away or using on gifts for others.

What I am in search of is an “ideal setup” - though which setup I am referring to makes no particular difference. Depending on the time of day or the position of Jupiter in the sky, I may mean my desk, my workflow, our kitchen equipment, or our entire home. Something about my life is going to be fixed by things.

At times I attribute this to age, the result of a sort of accumulated frustration. Striding with a sudden arrogance into middle age, I now say “I’m just not going to live like this anymore.” I want things to be seamless, efficient, minimalist, clean. I want things to “just work.”

I think what has in fact happened is that I have translated the aesthetic of YouTube into an ethos for living: everything must be clean, minimal, ruthlessly, purposeful. What I think I am in search for is a life, edited ā€” existence pared down to its most efficient version where things occur with as little friction as possible. It is as if the malaise of 21st century life has suddenly become too much ā€” and what I want is to combat it in the most 21st century way possible: technology and organization, a life broken down into its component parts and rearranged as if it were in fact being filmed.