To Have and Not Hold

A hippie, an anarchist, and a start-up define freeness and sharing in a time of excess.

The Magazine
Feb 10, 2014 · 14 min read
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The Yerdle truck

2014: The start-up

On a weekend afternoon in late November, shirtless men smack balls across the tennis courts that edge Dolores Park. Just outside the northern boundary fence, a man in torn jeans sleeps facedown alongside a bag of his belongings.

1967: The hippies

“You know that uncomfortable feeling?” Judy Goldhaft asks when we meet at a Japantown teahouse and I tell her about Yerdle. “That’s why we gave [things away] at the Free Store.”

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Photo courtesy John Viola

2006: The anarchist

John Viola sips a soy latte in his office on Bartlett Street in San Francisco. Occasionally a cat appears and rubs its body against a doorframe. Behind Viola, a hulking printer begins to whirr and spin out pages of legal documents.

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Kirsten Brydum. Photo courtesy of John Viola

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This article appeared first in Issue #35.

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Written by

A fortnightly periodical of features for curious people. Get The Magazine app for iPad, iPhone, & iPod touch in the iOS App Store, or subscribe on the Web.

The Magazine on Medium

Narrative non-fiction writing from a fortnightly periodical for curious people with a technical bent.

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