I finished Discardia in 2 days and it was good. Worth $2.99, but there is definitely a lot I don't agree with too - for example, the author really seems to hate on TV (especially cable), car ownership, the suburbs, and a few other things that I find freeing, relaxing, and overall joyful. There's a bit of a hipster bend overall (not having kids in order to lessen your carbon footprint, everyone should live in a city, and eating organic/exercising makes everyone feel better all the time - um, no thanks), and the idea of the specifically timed "holidays" to build your "Discardian Lifestyle" around strike me a little bit cult-like, but there is definitely some good to be found.
The focus is pretty broad, and there are a LOT of areas covered - everything from physical junk to electronic and even mental or emotional. Not all of it will apply to everyone - for example, email has never been a source of trauma for me but a LOT of time in the book is devoted to ways to organize your inbox. Likewise the suggestion to let go of bias or preconceived notions of people was kind of off base for me - and seemed out of context with the rest of the book which encourages snap decisions, and empowering the individual to make those decisions on the spot without a lot of guilt/worry about missing out. I feel no need to watch Fox News or read Tea Party propaganda, and that is basically an organizational tool I find easy - a way to narrow options early in the process.
I like the ideas regarding freeing yourself from obligation (which rarely is obligatory other than in your own perception) and focusing your time on being with people you want, doing things you want, and I've been working on that this past year. One area this concept also manifests is my blogging - I have this idea that I always need a photo with a post, so I get behind or sidetracked when I can't get a photo (or get it uploaded) and end up not posting at all - but who said every post needs a picture? Created somewhere in my mind I think.
I also appreciate the analysis of what to do with what you are discarding - for many people the time spent Ebaying or yard selling it doesn't add up to the profits (especially if you have to take time off work to get it done), however in my new life of poverty, I will have more time than funding, and will need to make every opportunity count, which means using all my assets in the best way. I'm hoping to have a yard sale this summer and to that end have packed up several boxes of stuff already. Sure, tagging and organizing is a LOT of work, but even $400 would keep The Cupcake and I entertained for most of the summer (or pay a bill).
I'm not sure I learned a lot, and I still haven't figured out my life goals (or how to even discern them). There's a lot of cute (if randomly assembled) quotes and mantras, and it was inspiring if nothing else - today I cleaned out my underwear drawer ("You deserve nice underwear!"), and filled up a plastic tub with my closet discards in under 20 minutes. One of the better tips was to attack your closet when you are badly in need of doing laundry - then you can see what you still don't wear even when you are fairly desperate. As I mentioned before, I've been working on my closet for a while now, and with a major change in my daily fashion requirements, it's a good time to make some big changes, but at the same time I won't have money to replace anything I give away too fleetingly, and any money I'd get at a yard sale for clothing is a pittance compared to replacement costs, so I really need to proceed with caution.
I like having "the perfect thing" for any occasion, but unfortunately I just don't have time/am not able to prioritize keeping the house in a functional state with all those perfect things. It's nice to be able to bring serving utensils, platters, and punch bowls to a banquet - but then it takes me months to do the extra dishes and get them back into a storage type area, so in the end I'll have to decide if just serving pop from the bottle or juice from the jug might have brought me more happiness...and I'm not sure yet.
But it has me thinking...