Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
AxelHeyst
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by AxelHeyst »

In our Mastermind call today, we were talking about climate change, the fate of civilization, energy descent scenarios, and What to Do About It. Specifically, there's a lot of information on what not to do (drive SUVs, fly, have vacations, eat meat, etc), but less information that paints pictures of what to do, of what a post-whateverthisis society might look like and how we might get there. Most stories you can find are either science fiction of the Star Trek variety, or doomsday Mad Max apocalypse stuff. Though entertaining, these stories aren't terribly useful or informative for constructing a post-industrial vision of the future. I mentioned that I've found a few stories here and there that attempt to paint of a picture of Life Goes On in the deindustrial future, which can serve at least to start to fill the the yawning chasm between The Myth of Progress and "We're F'd". Which is important, I think.

So, here's some sources of stories in that gap:
Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilization, Samuel Alexander
Retrotopia, John Michael Greer
https://intotheruins.com/
https://www.new-maps.com/
The Water Knife, Paulo Bacigalupi
Not fiction, but JMG's The Ecotechnic Future sketches out some possible future phases of society to pass through.
Any I've missed?

(Relevant to this thread because in these future scenarios, basically everyone/the societies they depict are howlie, in some form or another, in a similar way that most of our great-grandparents were arguably howlies...)

AxelHeyst
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by AxelHeyst »

duplicate

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Lemur
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by Lemur »

https://youtu.be/EY8W_QorgpE Seen this make the rounds on the media lately. This guy lived in some cabin for 27 years before he was jailed and the cabin was burned down.

mooretrees
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by mooretrees »

Kim Stanley Robinson's "Ministry For the Future" is a fiction piece about how humans actually start reversing climate change. https://www.amazon.com/Ministry-Future- ... 246&sr=1-1

Lots of the reviewers said that it read less like a novel and more like a series of essays. I enjoyed his Mars trilogy more than this book, but it was fun reading about all the different techno and simple fixes people tried to slow, then reverse climate change.


Also, https://www.amazon.com/Believers-Making ... 277&sr=1-1

Non-fiction work focused on people who are learning to live in different ways that mostly involve relocalizing. I'm still reading it and there are a lot of meandering sections about healing trauma, language, and various other threads. I could use more details about how the people she profiles are living.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think biggest clue to how things might look in energy descent near future is how things look now in Rust Belt Decline cities. The "World Made By Hand" series of novels by Kunstler would be obvious addition to list. "Theory of Bastards" by Audrey Schulman would be my recommended not so obvious addition to list.

It might also be interesting to read memoirs of early American pioneers who have all the low-tech skills, but near opposite motivation in relationship to "the wilderness" and/or Vonnegut's "Player Piano." The innate human drive/desire for amenities such as indoor plumbing, colorful calico options and yummy snack vending machines will not disappear even though it is highly unlikely that innovation can save us. it is also highly unlikely that the tragedies accompanying the descent will serve as moral lesson on excess consumption for all of humanity. If I was a young person today, I'd be asking myself something like "What if ALL the grouchy old men are wrong?"

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Daniel with the YouTube channel Mossy Bottom fits in the HOWLIE "non-consumers who have never heard about ERE" category. I'm guessing probably at least WL 6 or 7.

His father hated his job as an accountant but died before he could retire in his 50's. As a result of this experience he changed his perspective on life, security, and delaying gratification. He worked for a few years in an office after university, but was drawn to the Irish countryside on the weekends. He traveled to Canada for a year to gain experience on farms and rural properties through Work Away and WWOOF. Spent his life savings on a 1 acre property in Western Ireland that had a dilapidated old cottage, no septic system, or well/running water. He has lived in a caravan on the property for the last five years, worked some odd jobs initially in the local village to buy tools and supplies, and slowly worked on the property, with the help of volunteers more recently. It has been pretty cool to see how the farm and cottage restoration has progressed over the last few years.

He doesn't seem to have much written content, and a lot of his videos are focused on projects specific to gardening and homesteading. He has a series called "quitting the rat race" that explains some of the above history and his underlying philosophy. At lot of it corresponds with ERE.

Here is his channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6vcad ... dOudnbqwtg

A few videos from the quitting the rat race series:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgIS1rH ... sWHgubLSsW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d4GrpZ ... sW&index=3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahUT8Wx ... sW&index=2

A video on generating multiple income sources to support an alternative lifestyle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpxhw1CtNMA

Campitor
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by Campitor »

Bonde wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:06 am
Ed Pratt. Goes around the world on a unicycle.
Does he explain why he chose a unicycle? A bicycle would be better in certain terrains I would think. I watched a few of his videos and he seem extremely skilled with the unicycle. I wonder how it would handle downhill rough terrain for example.

Not a dig - just genuine curiosity. I'm sure he probably explains it somewhere.

Salathor
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by Salathor »

Where does the term 'howlie' come from?

AxelHeyst
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by AxelHeyst »

A lot of people have ridden round the world on a bicycle, so that's not remarkable. He was doing a charity/fundraising thing, and also may have initially been going for a Guinness. The weirder your shtick, the more internet eyeballs you get, more $ for your cause, etc.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by AxelHeyst »

Salathor wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:00 am
Where does the term 'howlie' come from?
I coined it in my journal iirc. HNWI=High Net Worth Individual, HWLI = High Wheaton Level Individual, but it's funner to write "howlie" and pronounce it that way. "High" here is roughly defined as WL6 and up, once money is really starting to get decentralized/decoupled from quality of life.

Salathor
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by Salathor »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:05 am
Ah. Clever. Thanks!

basuragomi
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by basuragomi »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjQGKRIAtr0

Jamie Mantzel, a Canadian who built a banana-shaped house in Vermont, built a giant robot, sold it as a children's toy, took the proceeds and moved to Nicaragua to an island homestead. He's got his own homepage and is somewhat internet famous.

Salathor
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by Salathor »

I've already read Radical Simplicity but this is the first I've heard of Possum Living. I just reserved it from the library. Sounds like a fascinating tale from a fascinating author.

FROM AMAZON: Following her success as an author, Dolly Freed grew up to be a NASA aerospace engineer. She put herself through college after she aced the SATs with an education she received from the public library. She has also been an environmental educator, business owner, and college professor. She lives in Texas with her husband and two children.

What a story! I do like that she has ended up having kids. I thought Dan Price was a little too anti-children for my taste, although most of the book was intriguing.

Salathor
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by Salathor »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:15 am
Laura was also a pioneer in the young adult category which developed in the 1930-1940 previous to that (in English anyway) there were kid books and adult fiction.
And now 'young adult' generally means sex/drug books for teenagers and they have renamed the Laura Ingalls Wilder award. Strange times.

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Ego
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

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mountainFrugal wrote:
Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:39 pm
As a specific example see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6ran_Kropp
Crosspost.... but I had to..... Goran Kropp is one of my personal heroes. We went to his book signing lecture in about 1999. God, could he tell a story. He was so funny I literally hurt myself laughing. He has got to be one of the ultimate Howlies.

While in the Swedish military he gave up his apartment and lived in a tent pitched in an abandoned gravel pit (even in winter) to save money to travel. He rode his bike from Sweden to Kathmandu where he convinced a Nepali woman to marry him so he would qualify for the cheaper Everest climbing permit. He carried all his own gear to basecamp and eventually to the summit, doing so without supplemental oxygen. Then he turned around and cycled back home. One of many great tales. Amazing human being.

mountainFrugal
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by mountainFrugal »

you have good taste in heroes @ego.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by AxelHeyst »

Jon Jondai: Poverty is not a problem.

"Poverty is not about Money. Poverty is about lack of skills and wisdom" @7:15

7Wannabe5
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@AxelHeyst:

I think the Jon Jondai video is somewhat misleading. First reason being that he is filmed sitting alone in a wide open natural space, and I think this airbrushes the reality that we are down to less than 2 acres per human on which any kind of primitive technology based lifestyle can take place. Second reason being the reality that relative poverty does matter to humans, particularly young adult males concerned with status display. Human starvation was actually a much worse problem 50 years ago, but it definitely remains a serious issue in realms of violence. Women with primitive skills can’t feed their children in war zone or refugee conditions. The kids in the U.S. most likely to come to school hungry most often also live in war zone like neighborhoods.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by AxelHeyst »

@7, no argument from me. I think his message in its bucket-of-cold-water raw simplicity can be valuable to people who tend to overthink things. In particular I'm thinking of people into sustainability who are stuck in "Green Star Trek" visions that must involve EVs, PassivHaus buildings, expensive energy recovery ventilators, and massive injections of investment capital.

Edit: or rather, I think his point is that poverty is a social construct. He’s trying to make people understand that poverty is a condition that is a symptom of how our civilization/society functions. No one will be able to effectively do anything about poverty if they don’t have a good grasp on what it actually is, and how some of the things “we” do serve to perpetuate and create it. Anyone doing systemic poverty relief should be able to think critically about what he’s saying here. Red flags if they don’t get it.

But yeah, social constructs are still real things, and Jondai’s message probably doesn’t have much actionable content for a hungry kid in Chiraq. “Just grow a veggie garden” is obviously insulting/evil advice for them.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Stories and Anecdotes about Nonconsumers/howlies

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@AxelHeyst:

Well, really the only thing “evil” about that piece of advice is the “just.” The kids I tutored in Detroit couldn’t even go outside for recess because danger. Planting a garden is not that difficult. Protecting the fruit of your labor from deer, rats, mold, aphids, and other humans in situation of current popular density is more of a problem. For instance, somebody broke into my shed and stole all my small gardening and hand tools, so I had to go to Home Depot to buy a new hammer to board it back up.

The biggest capital investment line item of the “Green Star Trek” crowd is their prior achievement of the tide line of affluence and education and zip code which allows for such a strategy. And, I’m definitely not throwing stones. At best, my particular style of boutique survivalism is maybe just a bit more wobbly eccentric. My power went out yesterday due to global climate change storm, and it’s hot and I’m not feeling great, so I am currently camped out in suburban home of friend watching episode of Project Runway featuring fashions for life in outer space. All I have to do is jump into my little Smart car and drive a bit until I once again find a spot where the future is distributed more in alignment with my liking. Not everybody has my advantages.

That said, there are also very hopeful things I have seen. For instance, the greenhouses at a vocational high school in another low income neighborhood that were manned by developmentally challenged students and provided produce for lunch program and farm stand.

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