How much is enough?

Erik Hoekstra may not be as crazy as I first thought when encountering this story about him. He’s still pretty damn crazy, in that he seems to think that what he’s attempting could be considered a proof of his thesis. But the basic principle makes more sense to me now, in that one certainly doesn’t need too much. Recent events have caused the loss of many things I thought were essential, and I’ve always been quite frugal in terms of what I hold dear. But the losses came with an enormous reward, and one which in some respects gives meaning to the cliche “less is more”. An uncluttered head – and crucially, one that allows you to see that not everything needs to be political – is an astoundingly useful thing to have in terms of making you realise that there are a number of very good reasons for climbing out of your barrel, and that more reasons keep arriving. So long as you know where to look for them, and to recognise them when you see them.

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.