"how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

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Alphaville
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"how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Alphaville »

this is me attempting to fork a thread from the wheaton levels discussion onto its own stream. i don't know if this is the right forum for this thread but here it goes.

what i see from the wheaton levels chart thread is that an overly formal brochure inadvertently became a theoretical ere manual.

---

the idea of the eco-level was originally conceived by permies as a heuristic on how to communicate with people. paul wheaton got a really nice brochure made by professional designers. makes sense for its purpose, looks fantastic. afaik, the brochure is just a brochure for permies (though i might be wrong.)

when the brochure idea was transposed to ere, due to cognitive differences or whatever, the brochure became a table. the eco-levels became "wheaton levels" that got graded in multiple dimensions. the table then was taken formally, unlike the originating cartoony brochure. the formality begun to be understood by the audience as "this is ere!"

and so, a brochure became a theory.

---

from this outcome it is clear that the ere audience wants a summary of the theory that shows the development /advancement in their ere practice.

i am not one of those people, i am only observing that it does occur.

but we are talking about two different products here, filled by a single chart:
- a brochure on how to talk to people
- a summarized representation of "this is ere"

methodological speaking, both products ought to be developed separately:

- an informal brochure
- a formal representation of actual ere theory

they can't both serve the same function; and conflated, i believe they generate confusion. the brochure is too complicated and formal to be a brochure; the theory begins to generate from "wheaton levels" instead from the ideas in the book.

maybe this conflation doesn't confuse everyone, but for me it's like watching someone using a wrench as a hammer. yes it can be done in a pinch, but the methodology is wrong, and something about it hurts deeply...

--

please note, there is no mention in the book of "wheaton" or "wheaton levels." these levels come out of the brochure--a brochure about communication.

instead, the ere book shows two scales for "gauging mastery" which i copypaste here:
[0 hours] Novice--knowledge or skills that any reasonably intelligent layman possess. [300 hours] Apprentice--some skills, but can't be trusted to do independent work. [1,000 hours] Journeyman--competent technician, capable of independent routine tasks. [3,000 hours] Master--proficient mechanic, capable of almost any task. [10,000 hours] Expert--superior proficiency, capable of original work. [30,000 hours] Genius--legendary proficiency, capable of extraordinarily original work.
that's six levels, not ten wheatons.

there is also this, which synthesizes the above:
Since not all effort is the same and not everybody learns and develops at the same pace, it's more useful to look at expertise by considering the following list, which parallels the development mentioned above. Copying Comparing Compiling Computing Coordinating Creating
those aren't "wheatons." so i think the brochure broke the book, and the fix is to separate them.

thanks for your time.

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Ego
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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Ego »

As someone who uses a wrench as a hammer more than he uses a hammer as a hammer simply because I have more wrenches at hand than hammers, I'd say that if the idea of using a wrench as a hammer hurts you deeply then you probably shouldn't use a wrench as a hammer.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Alphaville »

Ego wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:33 pm
As someone who uses a wrench as a hammer more than he uses a hammer as a hammer simply because I have more wrenches at hand than hammers, I'd say that if the idea of using a wrench as a hammer hurts you deeply then you probably shouldn't use a wrench as a hammer.
i don't but when i see it done it gives me the same reaction as when i hear a fork scratching on a plate or hard chalk screeching on a blackboard. especially with adjustable wrenches. ouch!

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Ego »

Understood. I sympathize. I've said in other threads on several occasions that a tool is only as good as how the user uses it. If most people inexplicably bashed themselves in the forehead with a hammer whenever they picked one up then we might reconsider handing out hammers.

Myers-Briggs comes to mind when I think of people bashing hammers to foreheads. Many (but not all) use their MBTI results to say ,"I am painfully introverted and will always be", versus, "Right now I tend toward introversion but have the potential to become more outgoing so that I occasionally enjoy interacting with others."

That said, there is a difference between a tool making someone believe they are helpless and a tool being "a fork scratching on a plate or hard chalk screeching on a blackboard".

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Alphaville »

Ego wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:10 pm
Understood. I sympathize. I've said in other threads on several occasions that a tool is only as good as how the user uses it. If most people inexplicably bashed themselves in the forehead with a hammer whenever they picked one up then we might reconsider handing out hammers.

Myers-Briggs comes to mind when I think of people bashing hammers to foreheads. Many (but not all) use their MBTI results to say ,"I am painfully introverted and will always be", versus, "Right now I tend toward introversion but have the potential to become more outgoing so that I occasionally enjoy interacting with others."

That said, there is a difference between a tool making someone believe they are helpless and a tool being "a fork scratching on a plate or hard chalk screeching on a blackboard".
no no, just that visceral reaction is what i meant, ha ha. the feeling that something is wrong,

anyway, mbti is also a nice heuristic for chats and broad generalizations, but bad theory when people try to explain everything by it. this aside from the typecast scenario you mention, which, yeah, is self-defeating,

anyway back to the wheaton level business, i think rather than wondering "whats my wheaton level", which sounds like a cheap horoscope (or mbti type), one could review in what areas one is copying, comparing, compiling, computing, coordinating & creating... which would be less platonizing, more action-oriented, and more adaptable to a variety of situations.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by AxelHeyst »

I think the point is that Jacob made a wrench (the wheaton table).

Some people use it to hammer things. This is the incorrect usage of the table/wrench! We all agree.

That doesn't mean that the wrench needs to be modified such that it becomes impossible to hammer things with it. The wrench isn't a bad wrench just because it happens to have decent heft to it and a flattish surface on one side. Perhaps someone should attach some warning stickers to it (warning: do not hammer things with this wrench). But you can't idiot-proof everything - some idiot will bash away with it anyhow. (Since there's been some tensions, this is *not* me subtly calling you an idiot, Alpha.)

And some tools are easier to misuse than others. A kreg jig is difficult to use for anything other than making pocket holes. Maybe it could be used as a pen-holder? A flat-blade screwdriver can be a screwdriver, a boxcutter, a can-opener (combined with a handy bashing tool, such as a wrench :P), a temporary shim, a prybar, a stabbing weapon, a drain declogger, a device for fishing out small screws that you dropped under the fridge....

I see the Wheaton table as kind of a wrench. Honestly, I'm using it as kind of a map/landscape thing to inform/guide my path[*]. I know that's not the correct use of it, and I try to keep that in mind, but hey so far I'm getting some use out of it. I'll stop when I realize how stupid I'm being, or stop getting any value out of it. [Worst case scenario, I'll have a really well thought out reasoning complete with personal examples as to why you SHOULDN'T use the table the way I am right now. I'll be able to steer others clear of the trap I fell into.] If you can't stand the sound of me misusing the table/wrench, don't listen to me. And also, stop pestering the inventor of the wrench to redesign it so that it's impossible to use as a hammer. /shrug

--

I disagree that a formalized "this is ere theory" tool is needed. I agree with you that some people might be asking/desiring one. That's the book. I happen to think that an ERE Theory Poster would be worse than useless, and so I hope that no one makes one and posts it. I do think that it could be a useful exercise for people to create their own ERE Theory Poster, as a sort of homework exercise, kind of like the Feynman Technique, but I think that creating an official ERE Theory poster would create more problems than it solves. ("OHHhhhhh, so THIS is ERE! I get it now!" #facepalm no it is not, and no you don't)

--

I don't understand your point about Wheatons vs. Gauging Mastery material. They are different things. Mapping one on to the other is misunderstanding what each of those things are. The brochure did not break the book. Those things are already separate (edit: but related, sure).

-----
[*] I *think* I'm mostly using it in this sense:
Jacob wrote:The second unintended side-effect was that some began to see the table as a personal development reference. This was okay because if you're WLn, the table was also constructed in a way that the WLn+1 descriptions made sense. This is like how if you're in the 8th grade math class and look at a 9th grade math book or sit in on a class, much of it but not all of it makes sense and seem within reach.
Last edited by AxelHeyst on Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by AxelHeyst »

Alphaville wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:22 pm
anyway back to the wheaton level business, i think rather than wondering "whats my wheaton level", which sounds like a cheap horoscope (or mbti type), one could review in what areas one is copying, comparing, compiling, computing, coordinating & creating... which would be less platonizing, more action-oriented, and more adaptable to a variety of situations.
Yeah, agreed, Jacob went on about this in some length in the Stoa presentation. He related one's level of C^6 competence in a variety of fields/nodes to the Deliberate Consumer, Advanced Consumer, Non Consumer categories.

...Which map to the Wheaton Levels, by the way, in case anyone is capable of non-dogmatically holding the idea of Wheaton Levels and integrating them with the material in the book, in an iterative process of constructing a "latticework of mental models", which helps to cultivate a sophisticated perception of one's environment and actions.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by ertyu »

I'm not into proselityzing, so to me it's more useful as a tool for understanding the different stages of ere. when reading the table, it seemed to me that i am on different levels in different areas of my life, e.g. in some areas i solve the problem by direct consumerism (currently food is like this) whereas in other areas i am more optimized. e.g. i think i am doing well with things like, oh look at this nice shirt that only costs 50 cents why is such a nice shirt so cheap on final sale day at the second hand store... oh, it's missing buttons! one button is 13 cents at the store, but i could buy another crappier shirt just for the buttons for 25 cents, and voilla, very nice high quality shirt for less than an euro but i need to change the buttons.

also, it seems that to me, the table is missing the point. i think it's because of who i am as a person. the table is first and foremost an engineering solution to life's problems. Many of the examples given were basically about how decisions are made at different stages. This, to me, is an "external," technical solution. It's a solution for telling me what to do. However, that is not my main challenge with ERE. My main challenge is that while I can plan out a system, I can't act the system and not because it's not my next proximal level and i'm trying to "skip," but because of psychological reasons. A couple of examples:

1. ERE posits that a safer system is one where the same need is meet in multiple ways. This way, if one way to meet the need fails, the others still remain. To me, meeting a need through excess cash stash feels safer, more autonomous, and more independent. A way to meet needs at higher levels, for instance, is cited to be social capital. Other people, however, are not reliable and trustworthy. A situation where I will be relying on someone else to get a need of mine met feels insecure, uncertain, and like I am out of control. Let's say I need a ride to the airport. If I call an uber, the uber will show up at the given time and drive me there. A person I have asked to do me a favor and drive me might show up or they might flake out. I have had this happen: a grad school classmate said he will help me move with his car, but called me an hour before he was supposed to show up to cancel. I was stuck with boxes and no way to move them because I relied on this friend. Furthermore, asking others for help is psychologically unpleasant, like I am humiliating myself in front of them. The tl;dr: is that I experience meeting needs through business arrangements and direct cash outlay as a much more reliable and secure way to do things. Money is always reliable. It is the one ultimate thing that is. I clearly have a problem advancing in this area, and the problem has nothing to do with lacking the engineering knowledge that a redundant system is supposedly a safer system. What it has to do with is the deep seated belief that others are fundamentally unreliable and if I must rely on them, I am unsafe and things are out of control.

2. Food. I have the skill to cook staples from scratch. I have the skill of shopping in bulk, and shopping for loss leaders. I know where to do these things, and how to do them. Currently, given that I live in an apartment, my ability to supply my own food is limited, but in principle, I understand what I am to do because my grandparents had an allotment that I visited with them as a kid. I have enough background clue on which to base further skill acquisition.

However, none of these things help me eat healthy or keep my food spending down, because the reasons why I don't eat healthy are psychological. Half of it is, I feel like if I make an active effort to no longer be fat, everyone who made me feel inferior for being fat was right and I am actually inferior. They will gloat and they will finally pat themselves on the back for finally having harassed me into doing what they think I should do. In that way, staying fat is psychological self-protection. Second, if I am not fat, I will step out of my comfort zone in other areas of my life where there be dragons. Third and most crucial, I don't have the inner skill to make myself be at peace when the cravings hit. I need to somehow do the internal work that results in successful letting go of cravings, and I can't do it. tl;dr: none of the reasons why I am not in this area has to do with practical, engineering-style advice that someone can give me. I can make plans and draw webs of goals all I want, and still nothing will happen while hed is fuq.

3. Ditto with making plans in other areas, e.g. making the plan to learn the skill of household repairs by working on apartment or making a plan to perform certain exercises at a given time. When the time to act comes, intense internal resistance arises. Forcing myself to act through that resistance is torture, much like stopping myself from acting when I crave is torture. I don't need a web of goals, I need to know how to be able to let go of resistance around doing the simplest things because a life of constantly forcing yourself and white-knuckling it against cravings is not a life.

Neither of the above examples have anything to do with me not understanding how to design my life or how to make decisions. I will decide alright -- and then exactly nothing will happen for reasons that have nothing to do with me not receiving the appropriate advice to my wheaton level or whatever.
Last edited by ertyu on Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by BookLoverL »

The hours for gauging mastery and the 6 Cs always seemed to me to be about competence in particular skills (such as bicycle maintenance, gardening, etc.), whereas the Wheaton levels are more about the overall mindset. So one can be an apprentice or using Copying in one skill (me when I try sewing) while being Master in a different skill (perhaps the topic of one's university degree).

The wheaton table was introduced as something like "here is a table showing different types of understanding so that if someone you know is less good at ERE than you, you know what to give them and how to talk to them so they might actually listen to the resource and learn from it instead of immediately getting defensive or running away". So then some people (myself included) look at it and think, "ah, if I read resources and study ideas mentioned about the level immediately above mine, perhaps I'll deepen my own understanding". Because the level n+1 is generally admired, so people want to do this.

Do people wake up one day suddenly having changed their entire mindset cleanly and sharply from one "level" to another? No, human thought processes are much more gradual than that. But the same is true of every tool used in psychology that puts people into categories. There will always be edge cases that don't fit.

Personally I use ERE Wheaton levels as one tool in my self-understanding/personal development toolbox, along with MBTI, identifying particular skills I seem to be struggling with, reading any book that sounds like it has something to teach me, and multiple other things. But with any tool in personal development, if it doesn't work for you in the way that some people use it, you don't have to use it. There are plenty of people who can't or refuse to narrow themselves down to a single MBTI type, for instance.

I agree that a poster trying to summarise all of ERE theory would fail. This is because the theory is deep and complex - there are a lot of ideas covered in the book, for instance, and any attempt to put them on a single page would either run out of space or be oversimplified. I think if trying to attract people to ERE methods, it's best to start by figuring out where their understanding and beliefs are currently, and work first on introducing the part of the concept that's most similar to what they already know/believe.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by BWND »

Why is there a "vs" in the title of the thread?

I don't see that the two work against each other. The book contains the theory. The table lets you orientate yourself in relation to how far out of Plato's cave you are. The 'ranking' of oneself that people enter into is a way letting others know what their focus is and can act as a signal to someone responding to a question of what they do or don't know. For example "I'm WL6" translates as "focussed on ...", so when I ask a question about "y", I won't read responses like "buy a second hand car in cash and you'll save in the long run". Additionally, by orientating where I am, I can start to identify people one level ahead and start looking to them for guidance.

I've never spent too much time on the forums. I'll intermittently drop in for a flurry of posts then go off to keep practising chopping wood etc. I was drawn back this time following the flurry of podcasts Jacob did and some comments about this being where the action is (and also after the politics thread was shut down)... but it's been very difficult as there's a lot of 'noise'. I'd like to learn more about what I read about in the book so I can apply it more. That doesn't mean I consider it a religion or dogma or that I have candlelit photos of Jacob Lund Fisker around my house. I've decided it's something I'm attracted to personally and for ecological reasons and I want to learn more about it

To put it another way, if I wanted to learn the guitar, I wouldn't find the best teachers in town and start asking them to redefine what a guitar is or insist that maybe it should turn into a trumpet. The tagline remains on the blog as "a combination of simple living, anticonsumerism, DIY ethics, self-reliance, resilience, and applied capitalism". The blog retains a description of the book http://earlyretirementextreme.com/ere-book <- that's the brochure. The ERE Wheaton Table is like a whiteboard display the guitar teacher might throw up once in a while.

Ideally there'd be one of those long-form high brow magazines where people in the 'field' of ere could submit well-researched, long form articles. Maybe there could then be a letters to the editor page. Other people might then submit a contrary or modified view. The low-fi 'slow media' ethos would keep things cool. I understand the hope has been the forum might replicate something of that nature (considered, well-thought responses? Apologies if I got that wrong) but it just seems to be rapid fire with cascading responses with little time to come up for air or digest what's being said, cross-purposes etc... I think that's almost inevitable in an internet forum of this structure (i.e. not pointing fingers - I'm as guilty too).

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Alphaville »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:24 pm
I think the point is that Jacob made a wrench (the wheaton table).

Some people use it to hammer things. This is the incorrect usage of the table/wrench! We all agree.
ha ha, then why don't we just stop :D

no, look, this was just rhetorical at this point, people will do what they will. the cat is already out of the bag, and i accept that. this cultural battle has been lost for me.

AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:24 pm
That doesn't mean that the wrench needs to be modified such that it becomes impossible to hammer things with it. The wrench isn't a bad wrench just because it happens to have decent heft to it and a flattish surface on one side. Perhaps someone should attach some warning stickers to it (warning: do not hammer things with this wrench). But you can't idiot-proof everything - some idiot will bash away with it anyhow. (Since there's been some tensions, this is *not* me subtly calling you an idiot, Alpha.)
i know, no worries, i just thought that the wrench could be somewhat idiot-proofed so that unwanted secondary effects such as people sticking it into the electrical socket would cease or at least diminish. put the sticker on it, rather than say "sticker is in page 496 of the manual, did you not read?".

my original expression of frustration and initial entry on the wheaton levels thread was after seeing @jacob say repeatedly "no, this table is not for this" and people doing it anyway.

and rather than blame the people and calling them idiots, i suggested to simply reform the table. @jacob dismissed my suggestion of cartoons a la original wheaton. i happen to think the eco-level table is great and maybe needed to be copied better.

granted, i did not arrive to this here conclusion directly. i am the kind of person who needs to write in order to think, and i discover things via dialogue better than in lone conception. la pensée se fait dans la bouche as tristan tzara said.

but anyway, putting the matter of cognitive differences aside... if people prefer to deal with the unwanted effects one by one, and play whackamole, i have said my piece and will not get in their way anymore.
AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:24 pm
I disagree that a formalized "this is ere theory" tool is needed. I agree with you that some people might be asking/desiring one. That's the book. I happen to think that an ERE Theory Poster would be worse than useless, and so I hope that no one makes one and posts it. I do think that it could be a useful exercise for people to create their own ERE Theory Poster, as a sort of homework exercise, kind of like the Feynman Technique, but I think that creating an official ERE Theory poster would create more problems than it solves. ("OHHhhhhh, so THIS is ERE! I get it now!" #facepalm no it is not, and no you don't)
well, i will reiterate, i personally don't need a formalized ere table... but the wheaton table is currently being used as such a poster anyway! thus, it already exists.

hence, rather than fight the poster derailment every time, it might be more apt to construct new "correct" rails, if desired.

please note: i am not asking anyone to do this! i am just attempting to show why derailments keep occurring. jah bless.

eta:
AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:30 pm
Yeah, agreed, Jacob went on about this in some length in the Stoa presentation. He related one's level of C^6 competence in a variety of fields/nodes to the Deliberate Consumer, Advanced Consumer, Non Consumer categories.

...Which map to the Wheaton Levels, by the way, in case anyone is capable of non-dogmatically holding the idea of Wheaton Levels and integrating them with the material in the book, in an iterative process of constructing a "latticework of mental models", which helps to cultivate a sophisticated perception of one's environment and actions.
right but adding more levels and more numbers adds yet more confusion.

assuming: consumer, deliberate, advanced, and post consumer ( i think post-consumer was the expression, i enjoyed it a lot) then why not map to just 4 levels instead of 10 overgranular wheatons copied from someone elses chart.

but again, ok, i am not asking anyone to do this. i am only trying to diagnose the communications traffic jam. please don't kill the messenger.

--

eta: sorry im not ignoring other people's comments this one just took a while to answer and i need a break now.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by AxelHeyst »

I'm cutting a bunch of 4x4 timbers right now, with a hand saw.

I'm not very good at it yet. Maybe 60% of my cuts are straight, the others are off a bit. But three days ago, only 40% of my cuts were straight.

There are two perspectives here.

1) The saw sucks. The non-straight cuts are unacceptable. I should go get a better saw, maybe a nice electric one that will cut straight every time.

2) I suck at sawing right now, but I'm improving. The non-straight cuts are the price of admission - eventually 99% of my cuts will be straight. If I switched to an electric saw, I wouldn't be able to make the post end rip cuts, I'd need a different specialized tool for that. So if I stick with my one hand saw, I'll eventually be a better, more competent carpenter, and I'll be able to make all kinds of interesting things out of wood.

The point is, if I didn't stick with this process where I kinda suck at using saws, I'll never become a good carpenter. The process of sucking, misunderstanding, and Doing it Wrong is *necessary*.

This ERE stuff is cognitively challenging. The traffic jam you are pointing out is, as far as I can tell, an inherent part of the process. *Maybe* someone could modify some of the materials to ease the process of grokking this stuff, but I think when you get right down to it this stuff is just kind of difficult, and "the obstacle is the way". What I mean by that is, it is the process of wrestling with this stuff that we improve and advance.

You've pointed out the traffic jam, okay fine great thanks. But then you pointed it out again. Uh, yep, still got it. And again. Jacob and some others took some time to explain their perspective, and why they're not going to do anything about it. "Uh hey guys, I just checked and the traffic jam's still there!" Wtf, for the sixth time, we know, we see it too, still not gonna do anything about it.

The more this kind of thing happens, the twitchier Jacob's "Nuke the entire forum because omfg" finger gets, and I'm still getting a lot of value out of this gem of a community, so I find it extremely frustrating and anxiogenic. Please, genuinely, understand the effect you're having here and stop it. Bring something up once or twice, then drop it.

So I just basically disagree that spending a bunch of time idiot-proofing this stuff is worth anyone's time. The traffic jam is a sign indication that there are people who are trying, who are working with the material and making mistakes. Good! If there wasn't any of that going on around here, no one would be learning anything!

I'm an idiot about a lot of things. The way to become *not* an idiot isn't to only allow myself to interact with idiot-proofed things, it's to work with the Adult Stuff, bonk myself in the face a few times, figure it out, and voila I'm no longer an idiot.

Anyways, I think we've both more or less said our piece.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by AxelHeyst »

BWND wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:37 pm
So I'd feel bad for taking a tangent in a thread, but this one was started by Alphaville so I figure it's cool with OP. ;)

I LOVE the idea of a longform ERE mag. We could do like a quarterly zine or something, indie-published, blah blah. Something like "Into the Ruins" that Joel Caris ran for a little while, except not fiction obviously.

The rest of your post was really thoughtful, I dig it.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by BWND »

Yeah I knew it as soon as I hit send too - do as I say and not as I do and all that... poor form and I accept all charges. :oops:

edit:

Also adding here that I'm part of the problem too - wants lots of others to create whilst dropping now and then in to view the work.

I doubt there's the critical mass of contributors, editors and readers ready for a journal/zine of the quality to do the subject justice. Maybe the next generation that resurrects the concepts from the flames of some wider crisis can have a go.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Alphaville »

BWND wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:02 pm
Yeah I knew it as soon as I hit send too - do as I say and not as I do and all that... poor form and I accept all charges. :oops:


wat. hey, im not ready to answer all of the the above, but i just spotted this while opening my browser, and as a divergent thinker i welcome a great tangent.

magazine idea is great. please carry on! wtf... no shame! carry on!

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by AxelHeyst »

BWND wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:02 pm
I doubt there's the critical mass of contributors, editors and readers ready for a journal/zine of the quality to do the subject justice. Maybe the next generation that resurrects the concepts from the flames of some wider crisis can have a go.
You might be right, but to that I say - lower the bar, or the requirements. A mag a quarter sounds ambitious. Maybe aim for one issue a year. An annual ERE journal. Plenty of time to collect contributions, edit, etc.

And there's so much PURE GOLD on this forum, going back over the years, there's plenty of content that would do great in long-form article with just a bit of polish. I for one would pay a certain amount of dollars to have in internet-collapse-proof paper form a compendium of some of the best thinking to come from this forum.

hmmm.

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Alphaville
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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Alphaville »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:51 pm
This ERE stuff is cognitively challenging. The traffic jam you are pointing out is, as far as I can tell, an inherent part of the process. *Maybe* someone could modify some of the materials to ease the process of grokking this stuff, but I think when you get right down to it this stuff is just kind of difficult, and "the obstacle is the way". What I mean by that is, it is the process of wrestling with this stuff that we improve and advance.
see, i want to stop talking about this like you request, but it becomes impossible when words that i never said are put in my mouth,

i never said that "ere should be easy" or that "ere should be dumb."

i never said there was anything wrong with the ideas of the book, in fact the book is good and clear and makes perfect sense.

it's the table that sucks.

the table is a bad brochure. and making a brochure is just like your chopping of wood: the first time you do it, it comes out shitty. the second time, you can do better. eventually with practice you get good at it.

when you're in the business of mass communication, putting together pamphlets and brochures and such, form matters, presentation matters.

i get that a chosen few "get" the table with all the caveats and footnotes. but those who got it never needed it in the first place probably. i can work on increasing the homeotelicity and tensegrity of my postconsumer systems and subsystems empirically and organically. in fact this is why i come here daily-- to work out those difficulties.

now, i get that nobody wants to make another brochure. but that's what i was criticizing: the quality of the goddamn brochure, and its unwanted side effects. so please--please--stop accusing me of "wanting to dumb down ere". that reads to me like a malicious mischaracterization or knee-jerk defensiveness.

anyway, with that said, i hope we're clear where we stand.

i won't talk about this anymore (as long as i'm not mischaracterized) and i certainly don't want jacob to nuke the board, much less over a stupid brochure discussion which should not be a source of drama.

ok! let's move on.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by Alphaville »

BWND wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:37 pm
Why is there a "vs" in the title of the thread?
because, back when i started this thread, i was trying to make the point that a single document was performing two different functions (one wanted, one unwanted) and doing neither one right. they were heterotelic.

since that has now been hammered to death and exhausted i hope it's clear why. i'm just answering here because you asked, and it was a short answer.

---

in any case your idea for a magazine format is a very good one. even if it wasn't published as a magazine proper, having some sort of curated "slow content" is a brilliant idea.

and no im not saying that jacob should be asked to do this, and i dont know that he'd agree to allow this without his oversight, and he might want or not want to do this etc.

but the idea, as an idea for a communication format, is great, regardless.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

Post by AxelHeyst »

No malicious mischaracterization intended, Alpha. It seemed to me that you were asking for a version of the table that was "easier" to grok, but by your last post and spending more time with some of your previous posts I'm now seeing (correctly, I hope!) that you think it is inherently flawed because it's sort of doing two opposite functions at once, and so it is not a question of difficulty. I thought that by saying the brochure (table) was too complicated and formal, you were asking for it to be simpler and less formal, which I translated to "easier to understand" in my head. My mistake.

It's a little difficult for me to fully understand your perspective on this, because I *think* I get the table, or at least the utility/intent of it, and so do a bunch of other folks, while we also see that some people do not "get" it. This dynamic of some people "getting" it and some people "not" getting it OR using it for a function it wasn't necessarily intended, i.e. as a "this is ERE" poster, is explained/predicted by the table itself, which is one reason why I a) happen to think there's nothing wrong with it and b) think that some people misunderstanding it or using it for "wrong" purposes (such as myself) is to be expected, and should not be taken as a sign that the table is flawed.

To speak directly to your point in the first post, I don't think it's *possible* to create a "brochure about how to talk to people about ERE" that doesn't indicate at some level "this is ERE". If you look at the original Wheaton eco scale cartoon, it was conceived as a way to help permies talk to other people but hey! it also kinda gives the viewer the idea of "this is permaculture according to Paul Wheaton". I don't know if it's turned into a problem over there or not with people reading the scale and saying "hey but I have CFL's but also I have a food forest, so am I Eco 7 or 3??" I'm frankly struggling to think of what an informal, simple brochure would look like that gives people useful direction on how to "talk to others about ERE" without containing within it the potential for leading anyone astray into dangerous realms of unrooted theory. Could you mark up the wheaton table, or sketch a different one that is methodologically sound?

So while I agree with you that developing theory based on Wheaton levels and *not* from the book is a mistake, I think that developing theory rooted in the book but layering on Wheaton Levels is perfectly fine, a valuable addition to the ERE canon. When I read Chapter 5 now, I see "okay that's L5 thinking, that's L6 thinking, that's L7 thinking" - it's "chunked" the material in a way that is bringing me fresh insights. So I welcome the aspect of the Wheaton table that points to what ERE "is".

That being said, I agree with you that a cartoon version would be neat. We could put it in the first printing of the "ERE Journal: Volume 1" as an 11x17 centerfold.

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Re: "how to talk to others" vs "this is ere"

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