One of the most pressing and annoying problems I faced during the system recovery was whether or not to keep programs and data files accumulated over the years. The two major mental issues I encountered could be summed up by JIC, just in case, and sunk costs. Of the two, the JIC issues were the most troublesome.
The nightmare of JIC…
Should I keep that article that may still be useful in the unspecified future? Will I ever need that invoice or digitized receipt? What to do about documents that have medical, legal, or financial implications? There are no easy answers. However, an attitude adjustment might be required before you are officially designated as a hoarder..
Medical records – most physicians will not read, or even quickly scan, that stack of documents you have provided. They will perform current tests, for which they are paid, and may consider some of your anecdotal history if you have an unusual case. I decided to archive my detailed medical history on an external drive, possibly to be read and summarized by an AI-powered assistant sometime in the future.
Financial and legal records – Unless they provide proof of ownership for legal, tax, or insurance purposes, back them up to two safe places and leave them off your system. The best guideline for record retention comes from the IRS and can be found here.
The agony of sunk costs, the psychological impact of not letting go
To grasp the psychological danger of sunk costs, you must first realize that sunk costs are the expenses or investments you have already made and cannot be recovered. While it may seem rational to consider these costs when making decisions, clinging to them can lead to a life of clutter and craziness. Somewhat like that semi-valuable antique, you have never found time to sell in the past ten years.
Generally, sunk costs should not influence future decisions.
My problem was fixating on multi-thousand-dollar software packages that still worked but were outdated. Undoubtedly, I had spent a significant amount of money and time mastering a difficult learning curve. And, who knows if I might want to “do something” in the future? They went in the recycle bin as I hadn’t done anything but transfer them from computer to computer for at least five years. Being older seemed to make the decision easier. I also dumped a number of old software installation CDs, some diskettes, and my favorites, DC-2120 backup tapes for which there are no compatible drives.
JIC and sunk costs are a natural part of life, but they can also be dangerous distractions if we allow them to cloud our judgment and clutter our lives. I am convinced that we can lead more fulfilling and successful lives by recognizing, considering, and avoiding the hidden dangers of JIC issues and sunk costs.
After my computer-induced attitude adjustment, I think I am prepared to clean off my desk, clean out my closets, and reduce the cruft in my life. Now, if Microsoft, Adobe, and others did something similar, the world would be a better place.
As for politics, same shit, different day.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS