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Learning Development

3 February, 2011

One of the people who’s work I have looked to as a bit of a role model has decided to make a major change in his blog.

Everett Bogue was one of those people who financially had it all, and realised that having it all isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. He quit his magazine job, took his favourite 100 or so things and moved city, and then blogged about it on Far Beyond the Stars. He reduced his expenditures and developed his online presence to the point where he was able to live off the income from his blog in a few months, while promoting the thing that got him there – minimalism. His line was that ‘being a minimalist enabled him to live and work from anywhere’.

Recently, he decided to change focus quite drastically, claiming that minimalism was good for what it was, but it turns out that it was only ever a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Now, he talks about his second self (an online presence) and augmented humanity, while calling himself a ‘cybernetic yogi’. All this was enabled by minimalism, of course, but only as a cement slab for putting building blocks on.

Part of this shift is a spin-off website (at this point, a single page [caution: swearing]), where he decries minimalism as a revolution that once was, a mere echo. He’s gone so far as to take his first book, ‘The Art of Being Minimalist‘, off air as of the 11th of February – a pretty big step for an author who relies on the sale of his books for money.

There’s a few problems with all this, of course, which Everett has admitted himself. A lot of people just aren’t there yet. They’re only just hitting the minimalist stage, and then they click on what has become one of the biggest minimalism sites on the internet, only to find stuff about how Twitter can save the world and give us super powers.

What’s the problem with this?

Paul Revere DVDFrom a teaching standpoint, there’s a clear problem. When a teacher is in a classroom, they have to teach to the level of a student. If the teacher is talking about the American Revolution, and 20 of their students don’t know Paul Revere from a rifle, then there’s a big problem there. The teacher would then help the student to know the causes of the revolution, the British tyranny, the Boston Teaparty, and the like. The teacher can’t, however, ignore those 20 kids and start teaching about the intrigues of guerrilla warfare.

Of course, this is probably not so applicable to Everett – after all, he’s not a classroom teacher. But it’s certainly applicable to a leader of a movement that builds on another movement: the first movement has to be followed before the second one can be touched.

Think I’m wrong? Got other examples? Let me know in comments, or on Twitter at @andrewsmithedu!

  1. 3 February, 2011 8:49 am

    Without having read much about the guy (apart briefly from the linked stuff in your entries), he sounds like a sell-out. Using the idea to make a bit of money, and once he got enough that it obviously conflicted with what he was pushing, he drops his principles that made him ‘noticed’ in the first place…

  2. 3 February, 2011 9:10 am

    Maybe…I hadn’t considered that.

    Though I will say that if it was only about the money, it would have been a lot easier to leave the book up…and it’s not easy to fake enthusiasm for something for 18months without some kind of extrinsic motivation, IMHO.

    That said, I don’t know him personally, so I’m just speculating :)

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