And We're Back

Monday, October 1, 2018 |

Hello World. It looks like mechanicalog is back. Look forward to ramblings, insights, and op-eds.

A Journey to Less

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 |

For the last few years I have tried to practice the ‘less is more’ approach. Meaning that I have been trying to own less, buy less, and worry about less, i.e. minimalism. Taco meat

Rewind a few years. Right out of high school and early into my college years, I spent all of my time trying to earn money, and all of money buying stuff. I bought computers, video games, clothes, food, drinks, phones, phones, and more phones. I was consumed with things, always having the newest thing.

The summer of 2012 was truly an eye opener for me. I had just finished junior college and was moving on to university. Moving to a new town and a new home was stressful. I had so much stuff, I didn’t know how to move it all myself. Combine that with my ever growing stress level, I wasn’t happy.

This is when I decided to scale it down. A couple of weeks before the move, I decided I would get rid of enough possessions so that I could move everything I owned in a Ford Escort, minus my bed. I donated, sold, and threw out more than half of my things. And at the end, I met that goal. Two weeks later, I moved in just my Escort and a shared moving truck with three others.

That experience began the last five years of my life, at least that’s what it feels like. I’ve tried to continuously live by that mantra. Every time I’ve moved, I’ve aimed at moving in just the car that I owned, and whatever my bed went in (thanks uHaul). I’ve moved a lot. Sometimes three times year. Some of those moves I’ve succeeded in that goal, some I’ve failed.

Then this last year I decided I was going to move to New York. I decided I was only going to take what I could fit in my car, nothing else. No bed, or dresser, no desk, no chairs. Just the things I could fit into the doors of the car. I told my friends and family. They wanted to know a lot of things, asked many questions. But one of the most asked was: “How are you going to get everything there”? Telling them I was moving in just my car always brought the same response: “I could never move with just a car”.

I found it a freeing experience. In fact one of the greatest opportunities in my life. Months before moving out east, I began the process of slimming down. I really got the chance to examine every individual item I owned and decided if I really needed it in my life. When the day came to move, I only had the following to bring with me:

  • 4 boxes of stuff (filled with all kinds of things)
  • 1 tote
  • 2 backpacks
  • 1 desktop computer
  • 2 monitors
  • 2 bags of clothes
  • 1 cat
  • 1 litter box
  • Every thing in my pockets

That was it. And it was amazing. And since then I’ve remove about a quarter of the clothes, one box of stuff, and one monitor that I had brought with me to New York. I have acquired some things as well (mainly a bed and frame), but for the most part I probably own a tenth of the stuff I had near the end of my years in junior college.

This is all to say that I am one of the lucky few who has been capable of increasing happiness and decreasing stress by just owning less. I know that this isn’t something that most are interested in trying. The appeal of owning a lot and having everything you want is strong. But I urge everyone to try walking a journey of less.

Mechanica Manifesto

Monday, November 30, 2015 |

an introduction

Hello World. I’ve decided to put pen to paper in an effort to collect, sort, and interpret an ocean of ever growing thoughts. This place exists solely to start a conversation and to explore future topics.

A bit about myself: My name is Aaron. I am a master’s student, a teacher’s assistant, and a web developer. My background is in film production, web development, graphic design, and a tad-bit of journalism.

I consider myself a student of minimalism, efficiency, and beauty. These three concepts are the founding principles I will try to instill in an effort to convey meaning.

content

Readers can expect most of my writing to consist of the following:

  • technology - Seven years ago I started following the tech industry regularly. It’s been a long, fast, and ever-changing road that I’d go down again if asked. My love for all things tech reaches from gadgets to media, and big companies to startups. I follow everything and have opinions on it all.

  • design - We have created everything. Cars, phones, computers, coffee cups, software, you name it. Somewhere down the line a human designed it. This reality has had me come to the conclusion that design may be the single most important aspect of our world. I think the world is generally an ugly place. Not figuratively, but literally. Therefore, expect many articles dedicated to the topic, and don’t be surprised if it finds its way into everything else.

  • media - Film, TV, music, news, and other consumables. My film production background has inspired me to look at every piece of media critically. Sometimes I’ll review a movie, sometimes I’ll just write about an actor/actress I’m into that week.

  • fitness, the financial market, coffee, taco trucks - The point being I will write about anything and readers should expect a myriad of topics.

Topics may be all well and good, but I really want to stress the importance of how I’ll look at things more so than what I’m looking at. I prioritize design and experience over technical specs. I won’t fall into the trap of bigger is always better. Readers can expect writing reflecting how a topic effects the everyday. If reviewing a phone I’ll talk about user experience and the feel of use more so than the number of cores, or gigabytes of anything. My thoughts always revolve around how technology, design, and media can make our lives better, easier, and more enjoyable. I write with intent to examine that philosophy.

One more thing:

I am based in the U.S. Most of my articles will be centered around U.S. topics. I am always trying to expand my horizons and will try to incorporate international issues into mechanica log.

presentation

Mechanica log is built from the ground up to be minimal and lean. Writing, publishing, and reading are meant to be fast and easy. I deployed, setup, and designed mechanica log in under three hours. This was in reaction to previous attempts to start writing portals that were always bogged down by my own perfectionism.

Mechanica log is barebones and it won’t be as feature full as many other online publications anytime in the near future. Don’t expect comments, tag clouds, or anything else gaudy to show up.

I promise you that I will present articles in a straight forward manner. Things like lists, top tens, etc, will always be one page. Headlines will try to convey meaning, not be clickbaity SEO monsters. Articles will be structured as to optimize readability and easy of use.

Lastly, mechanica log is an evolving experiment. I don’t have answers to everything and will be solving problems as I go.

Here’s to trying.

Hyper