different forks, different mugs

In reading A Pattern Language and A Timeless Way of Building, I am struck by the feeling of full camaraderie, as if I have finally found someone who understands how I approach building and living - and provides me with concrete reasons and examples for how to present the reasons why I feel strongly about certain aspects of life. I find that many aspects of capitalist modernity feel, to me, like hopeless and sterile cells, though other people will say, "oh, that's nice". 

One example is the pattern, one of the last - "Different Chairs". I've lived with this feeling not only about chairs, but about any number of 'things a house has more than one of'. Growing up, we had three different intermixed sets of silverware - and I had preferences on which fork I wanted for certain foods, and which spoons for others. Later in life, I encountered houses with a uniform set of silverware, I was grumpy at being forced into a tyranny of whatever weight and length the forks were, and not at all feeling freed by my lack of having to make a choice. The best fork and mug and plate are the ones you pick from an assortment, just suited to the task at hand, and shaped by the preferences of the user. Most people, I think, will have a variety of these things naturally, gathered through a lived life. Why go out of your way to rid yourself of a menagerie of utensils and dishes accumulated through gifts, old roommates, garage sales, or made yourself? Why replace this rich and varied history of your life in the service of a new box of boring uniformity provided by capitalist supply chains?

So don't stop at chairs - Different Forks, Different Mugs, Different Plates, Different Pillows, Different Cups - many patterns.



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