I don’t know if it’s somekind of fad or even an enlightening, but I think that it can be argued that minimalism is all around us. Less really is more.
In music it’s in the plethora of loops available. If those aren’t good enough (cough Garageband cough) then consider the influence of Steve Reich, John Adams and Philip Glass on popular music.
It’s in design. A Mac mini may not be as powerful as a full blown PC, but it’s cute, compact, and somehow gets away with having a power button on the back. LCD panels are more expensive than CRT monitors, but they’re crisper and take up less desk space. Boxes with rounded corners are everywhere in visual media and allow your eye to easily digest a whole cell of information without any sudden stops…that’s really one of the main things that makes an iPod desirable when compared to other devices. No sharp edges.
It’s in file sizes. Web designers now hold all their formatting in a centralized cascading style sheet and save you precious seconds of loading time. Web pages that are in your face just prevent users from getting the information they want. MP3 files may not sound as great as CDs, but they’re easier to bring along with you if you’ve got an MP3 player. Smaller, XML based feeds sometimes allow you to read a whole article without ever loading a web browser. We are disgusted and put off by busy design. Advertisers who try to fill all their whitespace with information tend to have ineffective advertising.
It’s in my midi controller. It is only 2 octaves wide. I wish that I could use an 81-key controller, but I also wish that an 81-key controller could fit onto my desk.
It’s in the way that I’m ending this post.