Up in the Air's Ryan Bingham Is a Minimalist

The Minimalists have implied that Tyler Durden is a minimalist and have listed quotes from Fight Club. Surely Ryan Bingham, from one of my favourite films Up in the Air, must also be a minimalist.

Just look at the lack of belongings in his rarely visited apartment and this motivational speech that Ryan gave as evidence:

How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders. Feel ‘em? Now I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. You start with the little things. The things on shelves and in drawers, the knick-knacks, the collectibles. Feel the weight as that adds up. Then you start adding larger stuff, clothes, table-top appliances, lamps, linens, your TV. The backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. And you go bigger. Your couch, bed, your kitchen table. Stuff it all in there. Your car, get it in there. Your home, whether it’s a studio apartment or a two bedroom house. I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it? This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. And make no mistake, moving is living. Now, I’m gonna set that backpack on fire. What do you want to take out of it? What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can’t remember. Drink some ginkgo and let the photos burn. In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it? Now, this is gonna be a little difficult, so stay with me. You have a new backpack. Only this time, I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office, and then you move into the people that you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your brothers, your sisters, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack. And don’t worry. I’m not gonna ask you to light it on fire. Feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake - your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. Do you feel the straps cutting into your shoulders? All those negotiations and arguments, and secrets and compromises. You don’t need to carry all that weight. Why don’t you set that bag down? Some animals were meant to carry each other, to live symbiotically for a lifetime - star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not those animals. The slower we move, the faster we die. We are not swans. We’re sharks.

  • Posted on Saturday, 27 January 2018
  • Tagged with minimalism

Things Now Known #20

  • A no-lone zone is an area that must be staffed by two or more qualified or cleared individuals. Each individual must be within visual contact with each other and in visual contact with the critical component that requires a no-lone-zone area designation. (via Penn’s Sunday School)
  • On June 11th, 1997, Philippe Kahn created the first camera phone solution to share pictures instantly on public networks. The impetus for this invention was the birth of Kahn’s daughter, when he jerry-rigged a mobile phone with a digital camera and sent photos in real-time. (via Vimeo)
  • Just below the summit of Everest there is an area known as “rainbow valley” because it is littered with the dead bodies of climbers still wearing their colourful winter gear. (via Dying for Everest: David Sharp Left for Dead)
  • During the French Revolution Marie Tussaud claims that she would search through corpses to find the severed heads of executed citizens, from which she would make death masks. (via Ask A Mortician)
  • Cisco built the Great Firewall of China. (via After On Podcast)
  • Posted on Thursday, 14 September 2017
  • Tagged with known

Exemplar #1

  • Tom Hanks bumped into a bride and groom having their wedding photos taken while he was jogging in Central Park. Tom posed for a selfie with the couple. They said that the accidental meeting was the “icing on the cake” to a beautiful wedding. (via BBC)
  • George Clooney has surprised an 87-year-old fan with a bouquet of flowers for her birthday. (via BBC)
  • David Lee Roth personally donated $10,000 to a fundraising campaign launched by Michael Anthony’s family. The former Van Halen bass player’s two-week-old grandson died of heart disease. (via BlabberMouth.net)
  • Marc Haynes, as a 7-year-old in 1983, met Roger Moore at the departure gate in Nice Airport. (Via DaringFireball.net, Text)
  • Pop star Adele paid an unexpected visit to some of the firefighters who tackled the Grenfell Tower blaze in west London. (via BBC)
  • Posted on Wednesday, 21 June 2017
  • Tagged with exemplar

Things Now Known #19

  • Posted on Saturday, 03 June 2017
  • Tagged with known

Things Now Known #18

  • In The Wire Omar Little’s character had a trademark whistle of “A Hunting We Will Go”. Michael Kenneth Williams‘ attempts were so poor that the whistle was provided by Susan Allenback. (via IMDb)
  • Donnie Andrews, the inspiration for Omar Little in The Wire, actually jumped from a balcony two floors higher than Omar did during a gunfight. (via What’s Alan Watching)
  • Moose antlers can grow up to an inch per day. The fastest growing bone mass on the planet. (via Meet the Moose Family)
  • The busiest RNLI stations aren’t situated on the U.K. coastline, they are on the Thames in London. (via Saving Lives at Sea)
  • Stinging insects detect your movements and breath. So try not to breathe heavily as you’re running away waving your arms about. (via Penn’s Sunday School)
  • Posted on Monday, 26 September 2016
  • Tagged with known


From The Choose Yourself Stories by James Altucher:

Joseph Heller, the author of Catch-22, once was at a party in the Hamptons. A guy came over to him and pointed at a young, 25 year old standing in the party who worked for a big hedge fund. Heller’s “friend” said to him, “see that guy over there? He made more money last year than you will ever make with all of your books combined.”

Joseph Heller said, “Maybe so. But I have one thing that man will never have.”

His friend was skeptical. “Oh yeah, what?”

Heller said, “Enough.”

  • Posted on Tuesday, 05 July 2016
  • Tagged with personal

Things Now Known #17

  • Posted on Thursday, 01 October 2015
  • Tagged with known

Things Now Known #16

  • Posted on Monday, 11 May 2015
  • Tagged with known

Things Now Known #15

  • Posted on Sunday, 26 January 2014
  • Tagged with known

Things Now Known #14

  • Posted on Friday, 30 August 2013
  • Tagged with known


Angelo on the Latest in Paleo podcast had James Clear as a guest. Apart from diet and fitness James talked about habits, how we start bad ones, how we can break them and replace them with good ones.

I signed up for James' newsletter and read Transform Your Habits.

Time for a little backstory. I’ve wanted to start developing iOS applications in my spare time. I have the equipment, the books, development knowledge, I sit in front of my Mac for hours and hours during any given week and never achieve anything.

In the morning I check email, RSS feeds, BBC News and Digg to see what has happened to the world while I was asleep. After work I sit on the sofa and read a book, but then I check email, RSS feeds, BBC News and Digg before I start making something to eat. After I’ve washed the dishes, when I should be writing applications in Xcode, I check email… well you get the idea. Time passes, one thing links to another, an hour later I’m thinking that there’s no point trying to start anything now I may as well look at Buzzfeed, watch a little TV then go to bed. So by the end of the week I have nothing to show for it.

It’s just a habit. I can break it. Just check email and RSS feeds once a day. The rest of the time do something constructive.

James also wrote that he set himself a task, to write for his blog every Monday and Thursday. That’s his habit, sit down and write.

With most things in life it’s best to start with small steps.

  • Posted on Sunday, 23 June 2013
  • Tagged with personal

Things Now Known #13

  • Posted on Thursday, 18 April 2013
  • Tagged with known