Selfie Mexico Ricoh

The Best or Nothing

A unique approach to life:

Selfie Mexico Ricoh

A realization for myself:

When it comes to possessions, it is far easier to only own one thing.

For example,

  • One type of t shirt (black outlier NYC merino wool t shirt)
  • One pair of sneakers
  • One type of boxers (Exofficio boxer briefs)
  • One device (iPad pro)
  • One bag
  • One type of sock (Outlier NYC black merino wool socks)
  • One car (preferably no car)
  • One camera (Ricoh GR II)

To me, this is good, because there is less “decision fatigue” in my everyday life.

For example, when I own too many cameras, I get stressed out before going out to shoot photos. Too many cameras = too many variables.

So I guess my ideal is the “perfect” camera for everyday life. So far it has been RICOH GR II x ERIC KIM WRIST STRAP. Whenever I’m looking for an “upgrade”— I am seeking to replace (and either get rid of, donate, sell, give away) my other thing.

The best or nothing

Mexico City texture

Which brings me to a point:

Perhaps it is best to have the “best” of something (or not own it at all).

For example, better to either own a McLaren car or no car.

Better to own a Rolex or Panerai watch, or no watch at all.

Better to own the best phone, or no phone at all.

One of everything

Once you own one of something — perhaps we should stop our pursuit for something “better”?

A thought:

If you want to “upgrade” your equipment or stuff, seek 10x gains.

For example, I recently got some Apple AirPods and I consider them 10x better than my prior BeatsX Bluetooth headphones. Why? They work 10x more seamlessly!

Or when I got the Lumix G9 camera, I considered it a “10x” upgrade for my video equipment.

When I upgraded my Uniqlo quick-dry clothing to merino wool, I considered it a 10x upgrade.

Upgrading my old and laggy iPad Air to a 10.5 inch iPad Pro felt like a 10x upgrade (in terms of battery life, speed, and no lag).

Avoid marginal gain “upgrades”

Samsung phone

Practical idea:

If that new thing only seems like a 5-10% “upgrade”, don’t upgrade.

For example 99% of the new phones aren’t a substantive “10x” upgrade. The gains are uber-marginal; only 5-10% “better” at best.

If you’re going to buy something new, make sure it is a totally new category.

For example “upgrading” your old Toyota Camry to a Lexus (a fancy Toyota) is probably only a 15% “upgrade”. A 10x upgrade would be getting an electric car (Tesla).

Avoid digital camera upgrade creep

The only type of 10x innovation I’m really seeing is in the digital medium format sphere (Fujifilm GFX 50R) and computational smartphone photography (Google Pixel 3).

I’d encourage you to avoid spending money on crop sensor cameras (APS-C) and even full-frame cameras.

If you wanna get into doing more video, I’d recommend Lumix G9 or Lumix GH5s.

For digital cameras, I see 99.9% of them to be super marginal gains. Don’t get suckered!


Remain skeptical with new “innovative” technologies.

Ultimately, all camera companies and technology companies want you to think:

My creative potential is being held back, because I don’t have the right tool.

This type of thinking is quite dangerous and pernicious — it disempowers us.

I say fuck it — use your “shittier” or older equipment to make dope art!

Ultimately I’m only happy when I’m making new artwork, when I’m coming up with new and epic ideas (turbo thoughts), and publishing new things.

Thus my answer so far is this:

Just focus on your creative productivity.

Let everything else fall to the curb!


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