Ascetic Adaptation

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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Re: Ascetic Adaptation

Post by workathome »

It seems that materialism reflects other addictions. Each addition provides a joy, but before long the individual reverts back to the mean. Our culture doesn't deter this harmful addiction, but quite the opposite - it has brought out a wide array of reinforcement mechanisms to encourage, even force, this addiction in the populace.

A lot of this seems somehow habitual. As in, some kind of automatic adaption to the present state. Like if you grew up rich, you probably automatically expect a rich lifestyle.

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Re: Ascetic Adaptation

Post by jacob »

By considering both sides of the adaption, it also explains why the crowbar method can be preferable to "baby-steps".

Which feels better?

Dialing back a hedonically adaption using baby steps---usually whining about sacrifice all the way.
Going all out, extreme, and then backing off---deriving pleasure from backing off the extreme point.

How would you rather have a bad tooth pulled? Baby steps or with a crow bar?

PS: Am I the only one who deliberately gets off coffee just to get the caffeinated pleasure of the first cup after two weeks of abstinence? 8-)

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Re: Ascetic Adaptation

Post by BeyondtheWrap »

jennypenny wrote:Something doesn't seem right about that definition. Do we just go back to what we were? Or do we realize that we didn't have it so bad in the first place? Or after having a few experiences of wonderful highs and terrible lows, do we realize the "creamy middle" is a nice, stable place to be?

I'm not convinced. How does that jive with ideas like affluenza and lifestyle creep?
If you're unhappy with your life, then you decide to inflate your lifestyle by buying a bunch of stuff/experiences/comforts, you will initially feel a boost of happiness, then you will go back to feeling unhappy (that's your set-point) after the high wears off. You now have all this extra stuff, but you still don't feel happy because you're just an unhappy person. And the cycle starts again.

For ERE, we realize that if we're already happy, we can be just as happy with less stuff. Since the two material levels are emotionally neutral, we choose the one that is cheaper and results in faster retirement.

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Re: Ascetic Adaptation

Post by Ego »

Emotionally Numb: Expertise Dulls Consumer Experience
Journal of Consumer Research

PDF: ... 15/6171148
Expertise provides numerous benefits. Experts process information more efficiently, remember information better, and often make better decisions. Consumers pursue expertise in domains they love and chase experiences that make them feel something. Yet, might becoming an expert carry a cost for these very feelings? Across more than 700,000 consumers and 6 million observations, developing expertise in a hedonic domain predicts consumers becoming more emotionally numb – i.e., having less intense emotion in response to their experiences. This numbness occurs across a range of domains – movies, photography, wine, and beer – and across diverse measures of emotion and expertise. It occurs in cross-sectional real-world data with certified experts, and in longitudinal real-world data that follows consumers over time and traces their emotional trajectories as they accrue expertise. Further, this numbness can be explained by the cognitive structure experts develop and apply within a domain. Experimentally inducing cognitive structure led novice consumers to experience greater numbness. However, shifting experts away from using their cognitive structure restored their experience of emotion. Thus, although consumers actively pursue expertise in domains that bring them pleasure, the present work is the first to show that this pursuit can come with a hedonic cost.
"A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

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Re: Ascetic Adaptation

Post by theanimal »

Very interesting! I wonder how this ties in with those who are continually learning new things as they age, strengthening their neurons. Do they perceive a richer experience than the norm?

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Re: Ascetic Adaptation

Post by chenda »

jacob wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:02 pm
PS: Am I the only one who deliberately gets off coffee just to get the caffeinated pleasure of the first cup after two weeks of abstinence? 8-)
Definitely not. I get massive diminishing returns after the first cup but my weakness for the second creates overexposure. I find after a few days off I recalibrate. Same with alcohol and ASMR.

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