Atelier discussion en anglais

27 Août 2009
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Bonjour à toutes!

On inaugure cette semaine les ateliers discussion en anglais! :v:

Le principe est simple: chaque lundi, des articles/ vidéos/ documentaires/ films/ et autre de source anglophone seront selectionnés pour vous permettre d'échanger, d'établir un dialogue, bref de communiquer dans la langue de Shakespeare :)
Vous disposez donc d'exactement une semaine pour commenter chaque support, suite à quoi celui-ci sera changé.

On commence donc, sans plus attendre, avec une vidéo issue des confèrences TED (plus d'information ici):

Voici la description en anglais (suivie de sa traduction française en spoiler):

Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life.

Ce contenu est réservé aux membres Inscris-toi par ici.

Remarque: la vidéo est relativement courte (moins de 6 minutes) et ne présente pas de difficultés particulières. Cependant vous pouvez tout à fait activer les sous-titres en anglais, voire en français.

La question est donc: Do you agree with Graham Hill? Do you think that, in our consumer society, we attach too much importance to material things?

PS: Je m'excuse d'avance d'éventuelles fautes en anglais; je ne suis malheureusement pas bilingue, et je ne suis pas des études de langues.
27 Juin 2010
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I send this video to my parents by e mail because I think it's very interesting. I like this man's view, it's funny to see how we can reconsider things and space around us.
I agree with him, we obviously have too much material stuff in our lifes, stuff that is useless and we don't really need... But this stuff makes us believe that it will makes us happy and in fact it's not true.
Living with few tools, clothes, will be better (and for our money too) but in our society, I think it's a difficult choice to make. We're all the time attracted by buying things, because of the adds, the TV, the magazines... In my view, quit all this things is hard but necessary.

(Sinon je trouve que c'est une super idée !) :d
17 Janvier 2011
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We're all the time attracted by buying things, because of the adds, the TV, the magazines...
I do believe that advertisement made us believe that owning was the key to a better self ; that personnality and having a role in the society could be obtained by accumulating stuff, which is far from being true, but we are in a world of consumerism. Owning things also gives us a sense of safety...
As for myself, being a nomad these years, I ended up with having my life in a single suitcase :) I do agree that it gives you a feeling of freedom.
27 Août 2009
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Well, I think I agree with Graham Hill too. As many people, my flat is filled up with useless stuff. As Caldra said, I think it gives us a feeling of safety. But it is pretty hard sometimes to get rid of some stuffs, because of their monetary value, or because of the fact that I always telling me 'it could be useful in the future' :facepalm: However, I think we attach importance to some objects, because of their sentimental value: it reminds us an event or a person, and it's hard to throw it in the garbage :erf:
Anyway, I have tried for a couple of months to edit things I don't use :) I think I am going to explore the website Graham Hill mentioned in the video!
15 Septembre 2009
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Haha, this video is describing my life. I can't get rid of things, I'm too emotional and I always say to myself "hey, it may be useful some time!", but no, it is never useful.
When I moved from my parents' house to my tiny flat in Paris (and even this year when I had to move in London), I couldn't take everything with me, I had to choose what I really needed on a daily basis. It was pretty easy knowing that all my stuff would always be in the basement of my parents' house and that if I ever needed them, I could have them.
But I was never able to throw anything away (I still have my old sunglasses, they are broken, I will never be able to wear them anymore, but I liked them so I keep them :shifty: ).

I don't really know why we are like this. That's maybe because our old stuffs are more than that, they are memories and they are just too important to end up in the trash. In Western countries, we also emphasize possession, as opposed to Asian cultures, collectivist cultures, where having, possessing, is not important. Here, everyhing is to be celebrated with a gift (Christmas, Valentine's Day...).
23 Août 2011
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Very interesting video...

I always think about that question. How would we react if we had to live with in a room with only the bear necessity. No confort, no "beautiful", not social, only what we need to survive. In fact each time I bought something new, I wondering why I bought it. Because it makes me happy? Because I need it? Or just because, like a good girl of the 21th century, the word "empty" sound for me like something scary. Like an idea of death perhaps. That's often the third answer. We always have to be surrounded by things to feel safe, alive. To forget we are not so small, vulnerable and ... often alone... We need to forget our humain condition, things gave us the illusion to decide, to choose, to be... we need noise, stuff, confort to feel in security. Even if that means to loose the only space we have to breath.
27 Août 2009
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@Bathilda Fritton: Your course must have been pretty interesting! Feel free to share with us as much as you want :)

@MissCoincoin: I totally agree with the fact that we afraid of empty. But my boyfriend often tell me 'be aware of the fact, that you are supposed to own things and not the contrary". And that's pretty thrue actually.

Well I wanted to bring some fresh to the topic, so I found a website called Becoming minimalist, and which explains how to live without superficial things (material and immaterial ones). I didn't read anything yet, and I don't always agree, but it is not bad.

Here is an extract for sentimental things:

As you simplify, you will notice that the most important stuff is left. This applies to kitchenware, toy boxes, closets and even to your sentimental treasures. Often times, the most difficult stuff to get rid of, is the stuff soaked in memories. We become attached to things that remind us of our past, and our loved ones. Your great grandfather’s pocket watch, your first pair of roller skates, or your son’s artwork from kindergarten, all transport you to another time, and usually fill you with lovely memories. Unfortunately, because you don’t want to clutter your home with stuff, these treasures are buried in boxes in the garage or attic, only to be rediscovered during a move, or a trip down memory lane.

I must admit, I am a sap and a sentimental fool. I get teary driving past a wedding, hearing stories about my grandparents or cooking one of my favorite dishes from childhood. In my life, I have saved notes from the 4th grade, albums from my first rock star crush, my daughter’s first bathing suit, heart shaped rocks from hiking with my husband and jackets my dad gave me that never fit, but were so cool, because they were his.

How do you get rid of the stuff that means so much, and evokes so much emotion, in the name of minimalism and simplicity? There are several ways to simplify the sentimental. Each concept includes focusing on what is most important and honoring your history.

27 Août 2009
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Il ne reste plus qu'aujourd'hui pour commenter! On change de thème demain :)

D'ailleurs si vous avez des propositions de thèmes, des envies particulières, des sujets qui vous tiennent à coeur et dont vous souhaitez qu'on parle, n'hésitez pas à les partager ici pour qu'on en tienne compte pour les prochaines semaines :fleur:
23 Juin 2011
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We do definitely attach too much importance to things in general, mainly because that's how society has evolved: having things shows you leave a comfortable life and that you have nothing to worry about. Part of it is due to the fact that we are also, to an extent, sentimentally attached to these things, they're part of our lives and we're bound to have memories linked to them, memories that will stop us from getting rid of them, like these piles of drawings you did when you were 6, that no-one looks at but that your mum doesn't want to throw away.

The thing is, I think for us to realise how little we need, we have to possess a lot, first. At some point, you will probably think that you own too many things and will want to get rid of some, and this isn't something that will actually occur to everyone, but Hill makes some good point that we ought to take into consideration. That said, I like having my space laid out before me, I'm not a massive fan of that bed that folds in the wall, simply because I like to randomly crash on mine at any given time.

But pots and pans are fine, and that screen that retracts within the ceiling's a good idea as well. I know there's a lot I need to get rid of, but at the same time, I quite like hoarding and having all these things give me a feeling of reassurance: if I need something, I have it, I won't have to go wherever or ask whoever to get it, it's already mine. And as human beings, wanting to protect ourselves from needing anything is natural, hence our tendency to hoard and keep things we don't need.
27 Août 2009
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Shield;3177411 a dit :
As for my personal experience, when I moved to Oxford last year, having to leave with one bag only, I had to choose what I really needed, and it was quite easy to live with few things. What I found really difficult however was the fact that I could not bring up my books. I don't think I can feel at home without books, I don't think I could ever give them up as easily as I would give up most objects.

And how did you manage to do without them? How long did you stay in Oxford? How did you feel about living without your books?

I already mentionned the website Becoming minimalist, but there is precisely an article about books, which I found really interesting:

Today, I am the proud owner of approximately 20 books ? six of which are craft books. To move from one extreme to the other took some serious work, and was not an overnight process. It started with the realization that I was not so much attached to the stories and words themselves, but the physical books sitting on the shelves. Once I had that realization, I began to let go of some of my books, and moved slowly towards a more minimalist reading collection.

Here are a few suggestions to help even the biggest bibliophile relieve your sagging shelves of stress:
1. Write It Down.
2. Divide. Get ruthless with your ?yet to read? pile.
3. One of the best ways to make use of your book collection is to share it with others!
4. Set aside one shelf of your book case as your ?desert island? shelf.
5. Organize your non-fiction books by topic.
6. Look for multiple copies, and get rid of them.

The rest of this article is here :)
27 Août 2009
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@Shield: I understand what you mean by saying books are rather an exception of material things (by meaning they contain a story which is immaterial of course), and that's really interesting.

What was a revelation for me, thanks to the website Becoming minimalist, was the fact that it is hard sometimes to distinguish the object from the memory it is associated with. Therefore I reckon the idea of writing something down about the memory or blogging or even taking a photograph of the object in hand really useful.

EDIT: I may write lots of mistakes, so as you are many English students (as I understood :shifty:), feel free to correct me :cretin:

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