Wabi-sabi and Minimalism

As an avowed minimalist, I often encounter people who think that it represents doing less and omitting important things. But that's a negative way of viewing what it's really about---providing only what's truly necessary. Similarly, the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi focuses on keeping things clean and unencumbered, but not removing their essence.

One challenge of minimalist documentation is that it requires careful and attentive reading. The usual cruft of 'blah blah blah" has been omitted, but readers encounter "comprehensive" documentation so often that they've been trained to skim and skip over bloated descriptions. When there's no fat to skip, readers can miss important info.

The discussion about Wabi-sabi's simplicity at 37 Signals is instructive about the challenge of maintaining, but not emphasizing, importance.

Posted: March 31, 2013 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item