A Jacob Mention

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
EdithKeeler
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A Jacob Mention

Post by EdithKeeler »

Not sure if this is a rerun--Marketwatch often reruns/re-dates their columns--but I don't recall reading this before. Jacob is mentioned as "One blogger claims to have lived on $7,000 a year or less for a decade. Another says his family of five lives on $40,000 a year and spent just $296 on groceries in March."

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-t ... eid=yhoof2

Of course a situation where someone's picking up the biggest outliers without a lot of explanation or details. "Never going out to eat. Never traveling. Not owning a car. Living on a remote piece of land and chopping firewood for heat. Picking up toys from the curbside for the kids. Moving to Mexico for the low cost of living." Most FIRE people never say "never," based on my observations, only try to be intentional about their purchases. A toy on the curb is fair game--why a buy a new one if a used one is just fine? Chances are your 5 year old doesn't care.

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Alphaville
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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Alphaville »

lmao

here's the original source:

https://humbledollar.com/2021/06/too-frugal-for-me/
I can’t imagine my wife buying clothes from a thrift store and wearing them for the next 10 years.
he needs to go to the mall and buy himself some imagination :P
But where would we be if everybody retired at age 38?
i don't know. but who anywhere is saying there everybody needs to do the same?

e.g..

i'm middle aged -- where would we be if everybody were middle aged!
i like rum -- where would we be if everybody liked rum!
i live in my house -- where would we be if everybody lived in my house! :lol:

(he goes on cruises btw. where would we be if everyone went on cruises? pfffftttt.)

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by jacob »

WL2 if anyone want to practice their scales.

Quadalupe
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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Quadalupe »

It seems like typical clickbait with lots of links to other articles to suck you in and/or boost google score. I noticed he didn't actually dare to talk smack about Jacob directly, while he did pile upon the other bloggers.

I wonder what a WL1 blog post about ERE would look like :lol:

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Lemur
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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Lemur »

@Quadalupe

idk what it would look like but I know that we would be seen as crazy.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by jacob »

WL1 is the scarcity mindset and also the most common one.

Usually it's comments about how insane it is to eat lentil soup or turning down the thermostat voluntarily as this is associated with poverty. There are no financial concepts beyond "paying the bills", "lottery tickets", and "paychecks" and so no concept of early retirement. Hence also comments about being unpatriotic and immoral for not working for a living.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by chenda »

I saw someone once angrily denounce ERE as 'Communism' :lol:

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Alphaville »

chenda wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:02 am
I saw someone once angrily denounce ERE as 'Communism' :lol:
it's ultimately anti-capitalist but it's not communist

anarchist might be a more accurate label

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by jacob »

It's anti-consumerist but not anti-capitalist. Capitalism need not necessarily be in the service of selling us stuff we don't know to impress people we don't care about. That's just how it ended up. I don't think you'll see me renouncing money or private ownership anytime soon.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Campitor »

jacob wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:42 am
Usually it's comments about how insane it is to eat lentil soup...
One of my most fondest childhood memories was of my grandmother and I eating lentil soup together. It was my favorite comfort food growing up. Sometimes she would put cubes of cheese or sausage in it.

Being a 3rd world immigrant in America is like having a financial superpower. What some people call "sacrifice" we just call simplicity and happiness.

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Alphaville
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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:15 am
It's anti-consumerist but not anti-capitalist. Capitalism need not necessarily be in the service of selling us stuff we don't know to impress people we don't care about. That's just how it ended up. I don't think you'll see me renouncing money or private ownership anytime soon.

right, i said ultimately anticapitalist, that is, taken to its logical conclusions, not on first impression.

capitalism is about maximizing economic utility--but doesn't ere shun trade and comparative advantage whenever possible, by insourcing production and reducing economic utility in order to boost individual resilience and preserve resources?

compare for example to eco-capitalism which is about "greening" business.

private property or money are necessary but not sufficient conditions for capitalism--both preexisted it for millennia.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by daylen »

Alphaville wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:29 am
capitalism is about maximizing economic utility
Be careful with this! It will get you into a bind. I mean.. what is utility in the aggregate anyway?

Any belief or reasoned action taken too literally can be framed as anti-anything.. context, context, context.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Alphaville »

daylen wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:58 am
I mean.. what is utility in the aggregate anyway?
eh, i dont answer trick questions anymore :D

please state your idea as a positive statement?
daylen wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:58 am
Any belief or reasoned action taken too literally can be framed as anti-anything.. context, context, context.
is it too literal to say that ere proposes affecting the current economic system by sharply defunding it and withdrawing from it? isn't that the whole rationale for the jafi?

which may be necessary given climatE emergency conditions, but... that's the proposition.

a second interpretation would be as a form of insurance against collapse of current economic conditions, but living as much as possible outside of them already. so then... dropping out/escape-from-capitalism/preemptive withdrawal?

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by daylen »

Not trying to trick anyone. Perhaps "trick questions" can be thought of as instructive lessons upon deliberation.

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Alphaville
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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Alphaville »

daylen wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:28 pm
Not trying to trick anyone. Perhaps "trick questions" can be thought of as instructive lessons upon deliberation.
instructive? but youre saying nothing and posing as zen master.

what is it that you want to say about utility in the aggregate? just say it...

then we can agree or disagree and look for a way to achieve understanding.

but koans: no thanks.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by jacob »

Alphaville wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:13 pm
is it too literal to say that ere proposes affecting the current economic system by sharply defunding it and withdrawing from it? isn't that the whole rationale for the jafi?

which may be necessary given climatE emergency conditions, but... that's the proposition.

a second interpretation would be as a form of insurance against collapse of current economic conditions, but living as much as possible outside of them already. so then... dropping out/escape-from-capitalism/preemptive withdrawal?
It's at least both---at the same time too. However, I don't consider capitalism the problem much as I don't consider the internal combustion engine the problem. They are both tools being used for other purposes in destructive ways.

I realize that anything complex (with more than 1 goal or perspective) will always be projected down to one dimension and be considered pro/con on that dimension. Similar to how all US politics somehow must be seen as either red or blue. However, reducing everything to a simple point and being anti-single point is a rather simplistic way to navigate the world.

A third proposition would be to create positive freedom for those who want to be something beyond or different from being a cog in the machine. There are problems that are not solvable by industrial institutions.

I can come up with more if you want.

Typically when you have a complex object, the perspectives people project on it reveals more about the subject than the actual object. Also see great financial crisis, covid, ... each driven by an interplay of 10+ factor, yet must people reducing their complaints to their pet peeve.

So yeah, it's too literal insofar this is the full takeaway. Trying to reduce ERE to some kind of -ism is pointless.

Recall the point (from the book) about never being able to do just one thing. I think the reason for the desire for "simple" explanations is that most people are tacticians at heart. They want cause-->effect explanations. It's the kind of machine-thinking most people are trained for where all complex interactions have been eliminated, so all we have is certain dial and a question of how much to turn it. However, ERE is a strategy and there's also a meta-strategy behind the strategy, that is, why the strategy is the way it is.

But as described in the other thread, that's like having a debate or even an idea about calculus before bothering to understand trigonometry and arithmetic. A strategy can't be understood in terms of a collection of tactics.

Anyhoo ... I'm working on a talk that hopefully explains exactly this problem. It's 45mins long.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by jacob »

Alphaville wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:34 pm
instructive? but youre saying nothing and posing as zen master.

what is it that you want to say about utility in the aggregate? just say it...
Actually, he's saying a lot, but it requires some understanding (aka an econ curriculum) to know what it means.

The problem with spelling it out is that it would take pages and pages which is rather exhausting, especially when the same question is asked again and again by different people or even the same person.

In particular, a question about calculus can be answered very briefly insofar the person is familiar with calculus. However, insofar they don't know it or don't even know the foundations of it (trigonometry and arithmetic) the answer will be enormously much longer. At that point the inquisitor will demand "a simplified explanation" which will predictably fail as they still don't get it---because they can't ever get it.

It never ends...

It's basically the "TL;DR - so I'm just gonna ask instead"-problem.

I think what frequently happens is that the "unspoken contracts" are not matching up. For example, I'm here to teach/explain but in return I expect people to put in a shit-ton of work (reading background material and following all the posts in all the relevant threads) to be able to process the explanations. Whereas, others are just here for the entertainment (friends of pleasure) or to get some advice until they FIRE (friends of utility).

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:48 pm

Trying to reduce ERE to some kind of -ism is pointless.
in didn't reduce it to an ism. i mentioned "ultimately anti-capitalist" as a characteristic i see in it.

but when you said it's anticonsumerist: was it a reduction to a single point, and does that make you a simple?

i get that your project is difficult and much of it remains undefined/to be discovered/etc. but complex things can be described. we do it all the time, and we do it by asking questions, probing, working on the definitions, refining concepts, etc.

not everyone can be paul krugman i guess, able to go from deeply serious technical work in economics to writing popular columns that explain his work-- but blaming this on the audience is neither fair nor kind nor loyal.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by jacob »

We do not do it by asking questions. We do it by answering them.

I'm just slowly realizing that a forum is not the best format to do so.

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Re: A Jacob Mention

Post by white belt »

Alphaville wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:17 pm
not everyone can be paul krugman i guess, able to go from deeply serious technical work in economics to witing of popular columns that explain his work-- but blaming it on the audience is neither fair nor kind nor loyal.
It's more accurate to say not everyone wants to be Paul Krugman (and many would argue that having your name on the cover of an introductory economics textbook is not deeply serious technical work). Some people like to digest complex work to make it more accessible to the masses. Some people like to do cutting edge work that pushes the boundaries of current knowledge. Those are almost never the same people due to the fact that they each require an immense amount of time and energy, but also the fact that they each favor specific personality and intellectual traits. The best thinkers aren't usually the best teachers and vice versa. We need both great thinkers and great teachers in the world, but trying to argue that everyone needs to be both is ridiculous.

Additionally, there are levels to knowledge. As Jacob has linked multiple times before, check out the Wired series on explaining complex topics at 5 different levels. You could be the greatist teacher in the world, but you're not going to make a 5 year old understand music theory on the same level as Herbie Hancock no matter how well you explain it.

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