Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Things

conscious consumerism too much stuff Jan 08, 2020

Clutter isn't just a modern times problem. We've been gathering things since the beginning of humanity. Our relationship to stuff is complex and just clearing clutter isn't going to address the real issue... our perception of what we think we need and what we really need.

In this intriguing article by Ian Hodder, a Stanford Anthropologist, he explores the human relationship with stuff.

"Decluttering, spring cleaning or watching an episode of a home makeover television show often leads to the question: Why do we have so much junk? According to Stanford archaeologist Ian Hodder, our love for stuff dates back to our ancestors.

Hodder argues that when people picked up their first tool 2.5 million years ago and started making things, they kicked off a cycle of people depending on objects and the materials needed to make them. Hodder, the Dunlevie Family Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, said these dependencies are at the heart of humanity's history and at the center of humans' impact on the global climate today."

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