Stepan Plyushkin is a fictional character in Nikolai Gogol's novel Dead Souls. He is a landowner who obsessively collects and saves everything he finds, to the point that when he wants to celebrate a deal with the protagonist Chichikov, he orders one of his serfs to find a cake that a visitor brought several years ago, scrape off the mold, bring it to them. At the same time, his estate is inefficient, his surname is from the Russian word for'cinnamon bun' or may be from'plush'. Plyushkin had two daughters and a son, but upon the death of his wife he became a suspicious miser; the youngest daughter died and the other two siblings left home. When his daughter Aleksandra Stepanovna visited him several times with gifts and grandchildren, but received no money in return, she stopped visiting; when Chichikov meets Plyushkin, he mistakes him for the steward due to his ignoble dress. Today in Russia, the name "Plyushkin" is semi-humorously applied to people who collect and amass various useless things, a behavior known as compulsive hoarding.
Sometimes the terms "Plyushkin symptom" or "Plyushkin syndrome" are used to describe such people. In English, the words "pack rat" and hoarder are used for such people
Homer Lusk Collyer and Langley Wakeman Collyer, known as the Collyer brothers, were two American brothers who became infamous for their bizarre natures and compulsive hoarding. For decades, the two lived in seclusion in their Harlem brownstone at 2078 Fifth Avenue where they obsessively collected books, musical instruments, myriad other items, with booby traps set up in corridors and doorways to crush intruders. In March 1947, both were found dead in their home surrounded by over 140 tons of collected items that they had amassed over several decades. Since the 1960s, the site of the former Collyer house has been a pocket park, named for the brothers; the Collyer brothers were sons of Herman Livingston Collyer, a Manhattan gynecologist who worked at Bellevue Hospital, his first cousin, Susie Gage Frost, a former opera singer. The brothers claimed that their ancestors had traveled to America from England on the Fortune, the ship that arrived in Massachusetts a year after the Mayflower in 1621.
The Collyers' mother was descended from the Livingstons, a New York family with roots going back to the 18th century. Robert Livingston was the first of the Livingston family to immigrate to America in 1672 — 52 years after the Mayflower. In 1880, Herman and Susie had a daughter they named Susan, she died at four months old. The following year, on November 6, Homer Lusk, was born. In 1885 their second son, Langley Wakeman, was born. At the time of Langley's birth, the couple were living in a tenement while Herman Collyer interned at Bellevue; as a child, Homer attended PS 69. At the age of 14, he was accepted to the College of the City of New York as a "sub-freshman", earning his bachelor's degree six years later. Both Homer and Langley attended Columbia University, which had just relocated to its present-day Morningside Heights campus. Homer obtained a degree in admiralty law, while Langley studied chemistry. Langley was an accomplished concert pianist. Langley was a layman of the Trinity Church where the family had been parishioners since 1697.
In 1909, Dr. Herman Collyer moved the family into a four-story brownstone in Harlem at 2078 Fifth Avenue. Dr. Collyer was known to be eccentric and was said to paddle down the East River in a canoe to the City Hospital on Blackwell's Island, where he worked, to carry the canoe back to his home in Harlem after he came ashore on Manhattan Island. Around 1919, Herman Collyer and Susie Collyer separated. Dr. Collyer moved to a new home at 153 West 77th Street while Susie Collyer stayed in the Harlem brownstone. Homer and Langley, who had never married or lived on their own, chose to remain with their mother. Dr. Collyer died in 1923, leaving his sons all of his possessions, including items from his medical practice, which they brought to their home in Harlem. Susie Collyer died in 1929, leaving the brothers all the Harlem brownstone. After their mother's death, the Collyer brothers continued to live together in the Harlem brownstone they inherited. For the next four years, the brothers left their home on a regular basis.
Homer continued to practice law. Both taught Sunday school at the Trinity Church. In 1933, Homer lost his eyesight due to hemorrhages in the back of his eyes. Langley quit his job to care for his brother and the two began to withdraw from society; as time progressed, the brothers became fearful due to changes in the neighborhood. The brothers were uncomfortable with the shift in racial demographics, as more African Americans moved into the once-empty apartment houses that were built near a projected subway route; when asked why the two chose to shut themselves off from the world, Langley Collyer replied, "We don't want to be bothered."As rumors about the brothers' unconventional lifestyle spread throughout Harlem, crowds began to congregate outside their home. The attention caused the brothers' fears to increase along with their eccentricities. After teenagers threw rocks at their windows, they wired the doors shut. After unfounded rumors spread throughout the neighborhood that the brothers' home contained valuables and large sums of money, several people attempted to burgle the home.
In an attempt to exclude burglars, Langley used his engineering skills to construct booby traps and tunnels among the collection of items and trash that filled the house. The house soon became a maze of boxes, complicated tunnel systems consisting of junk and trash rigged with trip wires. Homer and Langley Collyer lived in "nests" created amongst the debris, piled to the ceiling. Langley spent the majority of his time tinkering with various inventions, such as a device to vacuum the inside of pianos and a Model T Ford adapted to generate electricity, he cared for his brother Homer. Langley told a reporter that he fed and bathed his brother, read him classic literature, as he could no longer see, played piano sonatas for him, he tended to Homer's health and was determined to cure his brother's physical ailments through "diet and rest". Langley concocted a diet for his brother consisting of one hundred oranges a week, black bread, peanut butter, claiming that this regimen was curing Homer's blindness.
After Homer became paralyzed due to inflammatory rheumatism, he refused to seek professional medical treatment, because both brothers distrusted doctors. The brothers feared that if Homer sough
Cynicism is a school of thought of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics. For the Cynics, the purpose of life is to live in agreement with nature; as reasoning creatures, people can gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way, natural for themselves, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power and fame. Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions; the first philosopher to outline these themes was Antisthenes, a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BC. He was followed by Diogenes. Diogenes took Cynicism to its logical extremes, came to be seen as the archetypal Cynic philosopher, he was followed by Crates of Thebes, who gave away a large fortune so he could live a life of Cynic poverty in Athens. Cynicism spread with the rise of the Roman Empire in the 1st century, Cynics could be found begging and preaching throughout the cities of the empire. Cynicism declined and disappeared in the late 5th century, although similar ascetic and rhetorical ideas appear in early Christianity.
By the 19th century, emphasis on the negative aspects of Cynic philosophy led to the modern understanding of cynicism to mean a disposition of disbelief in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions. The name Cynic derives from Ancient Greek κυνικός, meaning'dog-like', κύων, meaning'dog'. One explanation offered in ancient times for why the Cynics were called "dogs" was because the first Cynic, taught in the Cynosarges gymnasium at Athens; the word cynosarges means the "place of the white dog". It seems certain, that the word dog was thrown at the first Cynics as an insult for their shameless rejection of conventional manners, their decision to live on the streets. Diogenes, in particular, was referred to as the "Dog", a distinction he seems to have revelled in, stating that "other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them." Cynics sought to turn the word to their advantage, as a commentator explained: There are four reasons why the Cynics are so named. First because of the indifference of their way of life, for they make a cult of indifference and, like dogs and make love in public, go barefoot, sleep in tubs and at crossroads.
The second reason is that the dog is a shameless animal, they make a cult of shamelessness, not as being beneath modesty, but as superior to it. The third reason is that the dog is a good guard, they guard the tenets of their philosophy; the fourth reason is that the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies. So do they recognize as friends those who are suited to philosophy, receive them kindly, while those unfitted they drive away, like dogs, by barking at them. Cynicism is one of the most striking of all the Hellenistic philosophies, it offered people the possibility of freedom from suffering in an age of uncertainty. Although there was never an official Cynic doctrine, the fundamental principles of Cynicism can be summarized as follows: The goal of life is eudaimonia and mental clarity or lucidity - "freedom from smoke" which signified false belief, mindlessness and conceit. Eudaimonia is achieved by living in accord with Nature. Arrogance is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions, unnatural desires, a vicious character.
Eudaimonia, or human flourishing, depends on self-sufficiency, arete, love of humanity and indifference to the vicissitudes of life. One progresses towards flourishing and clarity through ascetic practices which help one become free from influences – such as wealth and power – that have no value in Nature. Examples include Diogenes' practice of walking barefoot in winter. A Cynic defaces the nomos of society, thus a Cynic has no property and rejects all conventional values of money, fame and reputation. A life lived according to nature requires only the bare necessities required for existence, one can become free by unshackling oneself from any needs which are the result of convention; the Cynics adopted Heracles as epitomizing the ideal Cynic. Heracles "was he who brought Cerberus, the hound of Hades, from the underworld, a point of special appeal to the dog-man, Diogenes." According to Lucian, "Cerberus and Cynic are related through the dog."The Cynic way of life required continuous training, not just in exercising judgments and mental impressions, but a physical training as well: used to say, that there were two kinds of exercise: that, namely, of the mind and that of the body.
None of this meant. Cynics were in fact to live in the full glare of the public's gaze and be quite indifferent in the face of any insults which might result from their unconventional behaviour; the Cynics are said to have invented the idea of cosmopolitanism: when he was asked where he came from, Diogenes replied that he was "a citizen of the world."The ideal Cynic would evangelise.
Simple living encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplify one's lifestyle. These may include, for example, reducing one's possessions referred to as minimalism, or increasing self-sufficiency. Simple living may be characterized by individuals being satisfied with what they have rather than want. Although asceticism promotes living and refraining from luxury and indulgence, not all proponents of simple living are ascetics. Simple living is distinct from those living in forced poverty, as it is a voluntary lifestyle choice. Adherents may choose simple living for a variety of personal reasons, such as spirituality, increase in quality time for family and friends, work–life balance, personal taste, financial sustainability, frugality, or reducing stress. Simple living can be a reaction to materialism and conspicuous consumption; some cite socio-political goals aligned with the environmentalist, anti-consumerist or anti-war movements, including conservation, social justice, tax resistance.
A number of religious and spiritual traditions encourage simple living. Early examples include the Śramaṇa traditions of Iron Age India, Gautama Buddha, biblical Nazirites; the biblical figure. He is said to have encouraged his disciples "to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics." Various notable individuals have claimed that spiritual inspiration led them to a simple living lifestyle, such as Benedict of Nursia, Francis of Assisi, Ammon Hennacy, Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, Albert Schweitzer, Mahatma Gandhi. Traditions of simple living stretch back to antiquity, finding resonance with leaders such as Zarathustra, Buddha and Confucius and was stressed in both Greco-Roman culture and Judeo-Christian ethics. Diogenes, a major figure in the ancient Greek philosophy of Cynicism, claimed that a simple life was necessary for virtue, was said to have lived in a wine jar. Plain people are Christian groups who have for centuries practiced lifestyles in which some forms of wealth or technology are excluded for religious or philosophical reasons.
Groups include the Shakers, Amish, Amana Colonies, Old German Baptist Brethren, Harmony Society, some Quakers. There is a Quaker belief called Testimony of simplicity that a person ought to live her or his life simply. Jean-Jacques Rousseau praised the simple life in many of his writings in his Discourse on the Arts and Sciences and Discourse on Inequality. Epicureanism, based on the teachings of the Athens-based philosopher Epicurus, flourished from about the fourth century BC to the third century AD. Epicureanism upheld the untroubled life as the paradigm of happiness, made possible by considered choices. Epicurus pointed out that troubles entailed by maintaining an extravagant lifestyle tend to outweigh the pleasure of partaking in it, he therefore concluded that what is necessary for happiness, bodily comfort, life itself should be maintained at minimal cost, while all things beyond what is necessary for these should either be tempered by moderation or avoided. Henry David Thoreau, an American naturalist and author, is considered to have made the classic secular statement advocating a life of simple and sustainable living in his book Walden.
Thoreau conducted a two-year experiment living a simple life on the shores of Walden Pond. In Victorian Britain, Henry Stephens Salt, an admirer of Thoreau, popularised the idea of "Simplification, the saner method of living". Other British advocates of the simple life included Edward Carpenter, William Morris, the members of the "Fellowship of the New Life". Carpenter popularised the phrase the "Simple Life" in his essay Simplification of Life in his England's Ideal. C. R. Ashbee and his followers practiced some of these ideas, thus linking simplicity with the Arts and Crafts movement. British novelist John Cowper Powys advocated the simple life in his 1933 book A Philosophy of Solitude. John Middleton Murry and Max Plowman practised a simple lifestyle at their Adelphi Centre in Essex in the 1930s. Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh championed a "right simplicity" philosophy based on ruralism in some of his work. George Lorenzo Noyes, a naturalist, development critic and artist, is known as the Thoreau of Maine.
He lived a wilderness lifestyle, advocating through his creative work a simple life and reverence for nature. During the 1920s and 1930s, the Vanderbilt Agrarians of the Southern United States advocated a lifestyle and culture centered upon traditional and sustainable agrarian values as opposed to the progressive urban industrialism which dominated the Western world at that time. Thorstein Veblen warned against the conspicuous consumption of the materialistic society with The Theory of the Leisure Class. From the 1920s, a number of modern authors articulated both the theory and practice of living among them Gandhian Richard Gregg, economists Ralph Borsodi and Scott Nearing, anthropologist-poet Gary Snyder, utopian fiction writer Ernest Callenbach. E. F. Schumacher argued against the notion; the Australian academic Ted Trainer practices and writes about simplicity, established The Simplicity Institute at Pigface Point, some 20 km from the University of New South Wales to which it is attached.
A secular set of nine values was developed
The agora was a central public space in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly"; the agora was the center of the athletic, artistic and political life of the city. The Ancient Agora of Athens is the best-known example. Early in Greek history, free-born citizens would gather in the agora for military duty or to hear statements of the ruling king or council; the agora served as a marketplace, where merchants kept stalls or shops to sell their goods amid colonnades. This attracted artisans. From these twin functions of the agora as a political and a commercial space came the two Greek verbs ἀγοράζω, agorázō, "I shop", ἀγορεύω, agoreúō, "I speak in public"; the term agoraphobia denotes a phobic condition in which the sufferer becomes anxious in environments that are unfamiliar–for instance, places where he or she perceives that they have little control. Such anxiety may be triggered by wide-open spaces, by crowds, or by some public situations, the psychological term derives from the agora as a large and open gathering place.
Agorism Platonic Academy Media related to Agoras at Wikimedia Commons Official Athenian agora excavations Agora in Athens: photos
Hoarding is a behavior where people or animals accumulate food or other items. Hoarding and caching are common behaviors in many bird species as well as in rodents. Most animal caches are of food. However, some birds will stingily collect other items if the birds are pets. Magpies are infamous for hoarding items such as jewelry. One theory suggests that human hoarding may be related to animal hoarding behavior, but substantial evidence is lacking. Civil unrest or threat of natural disaster may lead people to hoard foodstuffs, water and other essentials that they believe, rightly or wrongly, will soon be in short supply. Survivalists known as preppers stockpile large supplies of these items in anticipation of a large-scale disaster event. Individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for hoarding disorder experience feelings of anxiety or discomfort about discarding possessions they do not need; this discomfort arises from an emotional attachment to possessions and a strong belief that their possessions will be needed in the future.
Possessions will take on a sentimental value. This is no different to someone without hoarding disorder, the difference lies in the strength of this sentimental value and in how many items take on a sentimental value. Discarding can feel. In severe cases, houses may become a fire hazard or a health hazard.. Hoarding affects more than just the person who has the strong attachment to possessions, as other people living in the home and neighbours can be affected by the clutter. Individuals with hoarding disorder have a quality of life as poor as those diagnosed with schizophrenia; the disorder increases family strain, work impairment, the risk of serious medical conditions. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, the symptoms for hoarding disorder include: A. Persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. B; this difficulty is due to a perceived need to save the items and to distress associated with discarding them.
C. The difficulty discarding possessions results in the accumulation of possessions that congest and clutter active living areas and compromises their intended use. If living areas are uncluttered, it is only because of the interventions of third parties. D; the hoarding causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. E; the hoarding is not attributable to another medical condition. F; the hoarding is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorders. At this time there are no medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating the symptoms of hoarding; some medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, can be used off-label for individuals diagnosed with hoarding disorder. The primary treatment for hoarding disorder is individual psychotherapy. In particular, cognitive behavior therapy is regarded as the gold standard for treating the disorder.
Collyer brothers, rich eccentrics who were noted for compulsive hoarding Digital hoarding Hoard Hoarding Plyushkin, fictional Russian hoarder Compulsive hoarding Tolin, David. Buried in Treasures: Help for Acquiring and Hoarding. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-530058-1. Neziroglu, Fugen. Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save & How You Can Stop. California: New Harbinger. ISBN 978-1-57224-349-1. Steketee, Gail. Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring: Workbook. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-531055-9. Steketee, Gail. Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring: Therapist Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-530025-3. Steketee, Gail. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0547422558. Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan. Normal Psychology. Penn Plaza, New York: McGraw Hill Education. ISBN 978-0-07-803538-8. Boston University School of Social Work National Hoarding Resources listed by state International OCD Foundation Hoarding Center
Edmund Zygfryd Trebus was a compulsive hoarder, who came to fame when he was featured on the British television documentary series A Life of Grime. Edmund Trebus was born in Ostrowo, near Danzig, Germany, on 11 November 1918 – the day of the Armistice; when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 Trebus was conscripted into the Wehrmacht. He was captured and served with the Allied forces in Italy, in an anti-tank unit of the II Corps of the Polish armed forces, under British command. After moving to England just after the Second World War, Trebus married Jozefa Noga in 1949, they had five children. After she died, his children visited. Trebus had been "a collector" all his life and he was seen pushing a hand cart filled with his latest acquisitions, which he would sort into separate piles in his garden and home. One of Trebus' major loves was Elvis Presley, he managed to collect and store away a copy of every single record recorded by the artist. In his eighties, living alone in a run-down house in Crouch End in north London, he was in trouble with the environmental health department of the London Borough of Haringey, because of complaints about the rubbish surrounding his home.
He lived in a tiny area on the ground floor in his house, surrounded by piles of rubbish, because he never threw anything away. In the BBC documentary series A Life of Grime, Trebus was shown arguing with council workers, instructed to clear his house of the 515 cu yd of rubbish it contained, he was re-housed at the Trentfield Nursing Home in Southgate, where he died at the age of 83. Following his death, the BBC broadcast Mr Trebus: A Life of Grime. Alexander Kennedy Miller Collyer brothers Environmental Health Journal article at the Wayback Machine The Independent article The Telegraph article Exploring a Haunted House "Edmund Trebus" article