MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

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Dragline
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Dragline » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:44 pm

@jacob Damn straight.

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Fish
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Fish » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:57 am

jacob wrote:If I have one complaint, it's the lack of active promotion to the next level(*) from the rest of the FIRE community.
Maybe this counts?
http://moneyboss.com/do-what-works-for-you/

Readers are going to be lower level than the PF-guru writing the blog, so I wouldn't expect such promotion to generate much value for the readership. The problem takes care of itself because people self-select their gurus based on their personal goals. Gurus are replaced as people grow. But is there a responsibility to inform readers of the existence of higher levels of competence? That's very difficult to message while maintaining an image as an expert.

So, I think JD took a reasonable approach to present several alternatives and let the reader decide. I did appreciate how he ordered it from low spending to high. Get readers to first consider the extreme before offering a familiar and comfortable alternative.

However, what is really needed is a proper survey of the FIRE domain. A collection of the dominant ideas and how they relate to one another. Basically, the PF Wheaton table in written form. This would give people some idea of what the FIRE mountain looks like so they know how far one can climb, and where to go for help along the journey.

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Ego
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Ego » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:22 am

Fish wrote: Maybe this counts?
http://moneyboss.com/do-what-works-for-you/
In that article the author says there is no one right answer. I agree. But that doesn't mean there aren't wrong answers. FI can buy people the freedom and more importantly the leverage to do crazy shit that affects us all.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by halfmoon » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:54 am

@ego, I don't understand your point in the context of this thread and that link. Can you elaborate?

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Ego
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Ego » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:52 am

@halfmoon, In the linked article J.D. said this....
Let’s use my friend Jim from Wallet Hacks as an example. He too is financially independent. Because he’s managed to accumulate so much wealth, he lives what he describes as a “decadent” lifestyle. His family spends $120,000 per year, which includes $4500 per month for a mortgage and $2800 for daycare. (Jim spends as much on daycare as I do for a year of normal living!)

“I’m an extreme case,” Jim told me. He spends a lot, and he knows it. But he also knows that his savings can support this level of spending.
I am not so much concerned with the spending. To each his own. It is more about the consumption and waste involved in that level. What would happen if we all did that?

MMM made the point in the podcast that you haven't truly lived until you build something yourself. That is about leaving a mark. A legacy. Combine that desire (compulsion?) with leverage and people can do some serious damage. At the extreme end we see someone like our illustrious POTUS. Closer to home we probably all know some local power broker using the same dynamic on a smaller scale.

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Fish
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Fish » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:21 pm

The concept of a PF Wheaton scale seems to be generally accepted by the FIRE community, at least relating to spending. Here's a post from another forum which conveys the general sentiment.
FUEGO wrote:
ginadog wrote: I [posted in the MMM forums] and man I was ripped a new one because I had $60,000 in yearly expenses (which included several big ticket one-time items). It was down right hostile and unfriendly so I did not feel posting over there again.
Yeah, it's funny how you have to pick the right forum to ask your question. If you spend $60,000 and are okay with it, post here [on E-R.org]. You'll be told you are just fine as long as you have $2 million and are okay with a 3% WR.

Go to the MMM forums if you want to be told how to cut it to $30,000 and how wasteful you are.

Go to the Early retirement extreme forum if you want to learn how to cut it to $15,000 and how that amount is still really wasteful. :mrgreen:

Different strokes for different folks I guess.
Where this could be improved is having someone authoritative provide a comprehensive and objective survey of the various FIRE ideas/paradigms along that Wheaton scale. If we're leaving it to random people on forums to write about it, there's a lot of potential for misrepresentation and errors of omission.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by General Snoopy » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:03 pm

What distinguishes ERE from all the rest is not spending level, but its incorporation of the Renaissance concept.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by halfmoon » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:47 pm

Ego wrote:@halfmoon, In the linked article J.D. said this....
Let’s use my friend Jim from Wallet Hacks as an example. He too is financially independent. Because he’s managed to accumulate so much wealth, he lives what he describes as a “decadent” lifestyle. His family spends $120,000 per year, which includes $4500 per month for a mortgage and $2800 for daycare. (Jim spends as much on daycare as I do for a year of normal living!)

“I’m an extreme case,” Jim told me. He spends a lot, and he knows it. But he also knows that his savings can support this level of spending.
I am not so much concerned with the spending. To each his own. It is more about the consumption and waste involved in that level. What would happen if we all did that?
Thanks for the clarification, Ego. I read the article but didn't make the connection you did. Justifying a spending (consumption) level because one can afford it reminds me of people who think it's okay to have 6 kids because they can afford it. The "affording" ends up being on a much bigger level than imagined.

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Ego
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Ego » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:19 am

I am somewhat skeptical of their worship of building for the joy of building for several reasons. The main one being that the act of building things (homes, careers, businesses, cult-like followings, objects, credentials, movements, internet forums :D ) can indeed be fun. The trouble comes with the maintenance. Building and maintaining are two different things. I dare say that most people in the middle and later part of their lives spend a big chunk of time and energy maintaining things they loved building but now hate maintaining. Loss aversion bias causes many of us to go to great lengths to hold onto those things. We built them so we place a high value on them. Who else might care for our creations as much as us?

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by BRUTE » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:42 pm

brute has no problem with MMM enjoying hammering nails into shit. brute has a problem with MMM moralizing this as "good".

Beloved Leader jacob sometimes has a similar thing, claiming that "the majority of humans aren't clever enough to do ERE" (or similar). jacob is simply substituting intelligence for moral superiority, a similarly vacuous concept. some humans enjoy lentils, some humans enjoy Ferraris. no need to moralize.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by bryan » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:20 pm

@brute, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_psy ... #Evolution

related but I'm not that great at putting my feelings into words.. Was thinking of saying something like "which humans are more likely to pass on their genes, the ones that enjoy lentils or the ones that enjoy Ferraris? Are a mix of morals necessary? What is the goal of human evolution?" etc

All humans seem to enjoy serotonin/dopamine/etc, unless they are mutants, and it seems neuroscience may be a dominant factor in moral psychology. Moral psychology, and a complex system of conflicting/agreeing morals, seems a fact of life and one side may beat the other.

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BRUTE
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by BRUTE » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:07 am

their genes - or their ideas? scumbag memes.

yes, mix of morals is likely very resilient in the evolutionary sense. brute hasn't ever heard it said like in the link, but it makes complete sense. just as mono-crops are vulnerable to devastation by a single pest, incestuous populations develop inbreeding problems, why wouldn't ideas and therefore morality follow the same dynamic?

doesn't mean brute has to like the guy.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by jennypenny » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:20 am

I've always thought of the morality component of ERE as a sort-of global impact overlay -- the 'what if everyone did it' scale. Those at the high end of spending/consumption/fragility are pushing the planet at full-speed towards peak everything and will take all of us with them. The ERE community is at least aiming for neutral or a net-positive impact. The others, from Bogleheads to the MMM crowd, are somewhere along that scale.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Dragline » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:07 am

BRUTE wrote:their genes - or their ideas? scumbag memes.

yes, mix of morals is likely very resilient in the evolutionary sense. brute hasn't ever heard it said like in the link, but it makes complete sense. just as mono-crops are vulnerable to devastation by a single pest, incestuous populations develop inbreeding problems, why wouldn't ideas and therefore morality follow the same dynamic?

doesn't mean brute has to like the guy.
In evolutionary terms, morals or moral psychology are probably better viewed as simply one component of an entire "cultural package" that includes that component along with technology, language, social structures, etc. These ideas are explored in detail in J. Henrich's "The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter" (2016), which builds in part off of the research in that wikipedia article but makes the point that its probably a mistake to treat these components as separate or any one of them as the "one thing" that drives humanity as some researchers/philosophers have tried to do.

"Living on less" or some form of frugality is an idea that has popped up in virtually every society that has achieved some level of material success and organizational stability, so it is probably a positive cultural driver.

Splash piece on that book: "Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains—on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations.

Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have propelled our species' genetic evolution and shaped our biology. Our early capacities for learning from others produced many cultural innovations, such as fire, cooking, water containers, plant knowledge, and projectile weapons, which in turn drove the expansion of our brains and altered our physiology, anatomy, and psychology in crucial ways. Later on, some collective brains generated and recombined powerful concepts, such as the lever, wheel, screw, and writing, while also creating the institutions that continue to alter our motivations and perceptions. Henrich shows how our genetics and biology are inextricably interwoven with cultural evolution, and how culture-gene interactions launched our species on an extraordinary evolutionary trajectory.

Tracking clues from our ancient past to the present, The Secret of Our Success explores how the evolution of both our cultural and social natures produce a collective intelligence that explains both our species' immense success and the origins of human uniqueness."

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Lucas » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:15 am

jacob wrote:I wonder whether he's a citizen or a greencard like me or a TN visa (subject to NAFTA).
He uses Betterment, whose "customers must have a permanent U.S. address, a U.S. Social Security Number, and a checking account from a U.S. bank" (according to its FAQ), and since the holders of a TN visa cannot apply for permanent residence, I think they wouldn't be able to claim a permanent U.S. address either, thus a green card seems more likely to me.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by ThisDinosaur » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:38 am

Fish wrote:
"But is there a responsibility to inform readers of the existence of higher levels of competence? That's very difficult to message while maintaining an image as an expert."
BRUTE wrote:
Beloved Leader jacob sometimes has a similar thing, claiming that "the majority of humans aren't clever enough to do ERE" (or similar). jacob is simply substituting intelligence for moral superiority, a similarly vacuous concept. some humans enjoy lentils, some humans enjoy Ferraris. no need to moralize.
Methinks BRUTE may be level 9 on the ERE wheaton scale.
@BRUTE, do you have a blog, book, or cult following yet?

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Tyler9000 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:59 pm

General Snoopy wrote:What distinguishes ERE from all the rest is not spending level, but its incorporation of the Renaissance concept.
+1. Personally, I relate a little more to MMM on the spending level but to Jacob on the overall systems mindset. I see them as two important voices in the FIRE community and think a world without either would be a lot less interesting.

Fish wrote: Readers are going to be lower level than the PF-guru writing the blog, so I wouldn't expect such promotion to generate much value for the readership. The problem takes care of itself because people self-select their gurus based on their personal goals. Gurus are replaced as people grow.
Very true. And for that reason I also think it's important to distinguish between the men themselves and the internet tribes that associate with them. It's normal for the average follower of any given voice to be a few Wheaton levels below -- otherwise they wouldn't look up to that voice! I read forums way more than I read blogs, and I occasionally have to remind myself that the "common knowledge" of the tribe may not accurately reflect the sophisticated and nuanced beliefs of the leader. This is less of a problem here because Jacob is an active participant and is happy to clear things up, but the MMM crowd may not always accurately understand Pete's true beliefs simply because he largely avoids the forum. Granted, due to the size of the MMM tribe I can't blame him for not bothering to fight every fire. That would be exhausting.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:03 pm

Tyler9000 wrote:
General Snoopy wrote:What distinguishes ERE from all the rest is not spending level, but its incorporation of the Renaissance concept.
+1. Personally, I relate a little more to MMM on the spending level but to Jacob on the overall systems mindset. I see them as two important voices in the FIRE community and think a world without either would be a lot less interesting.
+1 & +1.

ERE teaches how to be flexible. I spent a month on the MMM forums and I came to think (whether true or not) that if the 4% rule collapsed overnight, the the forum goers would be running back to find employment that morning. They want set it and forget it personal finance. It's important to note that isn't what MMM preaches but it IS what his followers tend towards. Either way, MMM was a fantastic introduction to this world and I'll thank him for that.
jacob wrote: [*]Pete likes Cosmos and Neil deGrasse Tyson. As an ex-professional scientist, I have semi-bitter sentiments when it comes to any science-popularizer :evil: ... because I suffered from the result of it. I'm not a fan of sacrificing detail and reader-effort for excitement ... which is also why the ERE book was written the way it was. Somewhere between textbook and popularization. I think it's a desert/void.


I have no doubts you suffered but I think we need flag-bearers to bring science/personal finance/whatever to the world. The majority will stop at the that level yet the curious can always drill down.

I had a very unique professor who wrote a book/textbook in your style so it isn't quite a void. The overarching point of the (4th year) class was to learn to think about everything we had learned and to apply it to everyday situations. His book used mythbuster-myths as a hook. It reminded me of ERE in that he wanted us to be map-makers not direction-followers.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by enigmaT120 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:21 pm

I have a book about foil fencing that is written much like Jacob's book. At least, it's also dense. Shorter, too.

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by BRUTE » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Tyler9000 wrote:This is less of a problem here because Jacob is an active participant and is happy to clear things up, but the MMM crowd may not always accurately understand Pete's true beliefs simply because he largely avoids the forum. Granted, due to the size of the MMM tribe I can't blame him for not bothering to fight every fire. That would be exhausting.
this dynamic seems important to brute. communities that exceed the Dunbar number lose the human aspect and become cults, in a sense, following a doctrine built upon an image of the leader. thus, the only way for a community to stay true and un-cult-like, is to limit its size.

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Dragline
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Dragline » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:56 pm

That makes sense. "More is Different".

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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by BRUTE » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:27 pm

difference of degree, if degree is sufficient, becomes difference of kind. wow.

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Dragline
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Re: MMM interviewed by Tim Ferriss (ERE mentioned)

Post by Dragline » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:11 pm

Learn it. Know it. Love it. Or be surprised when the linear thinking and Laplace's Demon (known today as "scientism") don't pan out.

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