The ERE Wheaton Scale

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
enigmaT120
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by enigmaT120 »

The 14 days don't start until somebody knows you are there.

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Stahlmann
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Stahlmann »

Nice, are there any substitutions in other part of the world for such idea?

wolf
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The ERE Wheaton Scale AND Loevinger's stages of ego development

Post by wolf »

Recently, I found out about the "Loevinger's stages of ego development". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loevinger ... evelopment

I think the post conventional stages of ego development:
- Conscientious (E6)
- Individualistic (E7)
- Autonomous, (E8)
- Integrated (E9)

correlate really good with the "ERE Wheaton Levels":
- Level 6: Yields an Flow
- Level 7: Systems Theory
- Level 8: Chop Wood, Carry Water

https://wiki.earlyretirementextreme.com ... ton_Levels

What you think about this? It makes sense, that both the development of the ego and ERE is connected somehow. Although I don't think, that if you develop on the ego stages, that you necessarily develep in the ERE Wheaton Levels. Well, it do have some similarities, in my opinion. Or I just (want) see something where nothing is. :-)

Fish
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Fish »

If you are using the wiki as your source to make this inference, be aware that it’s not really peer-reviewed (that I can tell)... It seems that obvious misinformation and spam-links get edited out, but there’s not really much activity besides. If you look at the history, you’ll find that this particular page mainly contains the unvetted musings of an anonymous user named “Fish”. :P

Any similarities to Loevinger theory and ego-development are purely coincidental, and probably reflect how “rules” are important at lower levels of mastery but become irrelevant after the guiding principles have been understood and internalized.

I’ve devoted additional thought to this subject (another related thread) and the more I think about it, Jacob’s original crowdsourced formulation got it right (or converged more or less to the point of usefulness). It explains why, despite an interest in PF, I find writers like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman completely uninteresting. They’re working a larger audience with a different focus, one I happen not to need.

One of my failed attempts at theorizing (never saw the light of day in this forum) drew parallels between the ERE Wheaton Scale and Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. The similarity that I saw was that at Level 0/1, money is spent on anything and everything, including stuff that isn’t really wanted or needed. Basically one just spends until they run out of money. Then that forces a change. ;) And at the highest level of development, systems have been established to supply needs and wants, bypassing the use of money. At that stage one just pays “head taxes” to remain in good standing as a citizen. At the final stage all spending is forced because it’s not otherwise needed. The concept of spending efficiency (the ratio of what you get to what you pay) really seems to end somewhere around Wheaton level 5-7. Above that “efficiency” becomes a bit of a moot point since the denominator (what you pay) is zero. Money is no longer the relevant dimension.

Fish
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Fish »

I had always wondered whether Paul Wheaton approved of us using his name for this.

https://permies.com/t/200/3069/Wheaton-Eco-Scale#503653
Paul Wheaton wrote:
Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:00 am
today I was searching for some residual income stream stuff and came across a huge thread talking about the wheaton eco scale. In that thread, they talked about their previous threads of discussion about the wheaton eco scale.

In the threads, they seem to refer to "a wheaton scale" - which I think they mean is a general framework of "take out all the eco stuff and stick in other stuff". The stuff that you keep is the population numbers (reverse logarithmic) starting with 6 billion at level zero and one person at level ten. Plus, you keep the observations. In the case of the ERE site, they make an ERE "wheaton scale".

I am glad to see my name used to reference this. Very flattering.

Campitor
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Campitor »

enigmaT120 wrote:
Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:14 pm
The 14 days don't start until somebody knows you are there.
https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files ... elines.pdf

Dispersed Camping in Undeveloped Areas
  • Whether in a developed campground or at a dispersed site, you may usually camp in an
    area for up to 14 days before having to move at least 25 miles from your original spot.
    You may not return to that area for 28 consecutive days.
  • Choose sites that are already established.
  • Camp at least 200 feet away from water sources.
  • Use existing fire rings or camp stoves.
  • Check current fire conditions.
  • Dispose of human waste properly (away from water and in a 6” or deeper hole).

Fish
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Fish »

Just saw the retirement goal for level 8 in the latest version. :lol:

@jacob - If you’re still maintaining it, level 6 needs a typical savings rate.

Douglas
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Douglas »

I keep hearing people still talk about the wheaton levels on this forum (mostly Jacob) and decided to take another look at it by reading part of this thread. I understand the attempt to categorize / explain financial independence (or how someone perceives money) with a table and integer but alas it is just not that simple. Never the less it is still a fun thought exercise and a way to gauge where you are on some scale, so here is my take on where my family is right now on the scale (and my contribution to keeping this thread alive).

Maybe there can be a handicap for having kids? Or you just have to eat the penalty? Anyway, more or less sticking with Jacob's original tables:

Our family appears to be mostly in #5 Optimization but overlapping with #6 Yields and Flows and hints of #7 Systems Theory. Some details on how I got to this conclusion:

Things we do to push our numbers higher. Current savings rate is ~ %65 and we spend ~ $36,000 / year. We garden and compost. Most non-essentials we get for free via networking. We found a local guy who goes to grocery stores, collects the food they are going to throw out, and gives it away to anyone who wants it (we haven't bought bread in over a year, and we eat A LOT of bread). I am actively managing our wealth (not picking stocks yet, but not 100% in index funds). DIY on bicycle and home repairs. Cultivated minimalism and zero waste skills and are continuously improving them. Hiking and camping for entertainment and vacations. Free clothes (not shoes, socks, or underwear though among a few other things).

Things we do to keep us from going to even higher numbers. We own a home and a car. We like living in nicer cities and areas of town for multiple reasons (think schools, crime, walking distance to many places). We buy expensive plane tickets from time-to-time to visit family. More room for improvement on minimalism and zero waste.

Our strategy right now and for the foreseeable future is that I will be a salary man and my wife will be a home maker. This combination seems to work really well for us. My career is not of the blood sucking corporate type and for some time I should be able to continue to pick up useful skills (think hands-on highly technical career). My wife will continue to drive our minimalist, zero waste lifestyle. Maybe one day we will be the Chop Wood, Carry Water type 100%, likely not. I think we are at least close enough on the wheaton levels where we can at least slightly comprehend what someone needs to do to get to #8, and therefore can borrow ideas from them when needed.

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jennypenny
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by jennypenny »

I was thinking about the ERE Wheaton Scale again after someone asked me about FIRE and ERE. I feel like the chart Fish developed needs a column for what people are looking for/need wrt finances. That's how I assess how to help someone when they ask -- what are they looking for? Tips? Rules? Inspiration? That helps me place them on the chart and give them level-appropriate advice.

A quick take on what I mean (I'm sure others can do better than I can) ...

What does a person need/want from someone uplevel?
level 1: Help
level 2: Rules/commands
level 3: Direction/guidance
level 4: Inspiration/encouragement
level 5: Mentoring
level 6: Models
level 7: Frameworks
level 8: Affirmation

Does that make sense? Maybe I'm off base. :?

daylen
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by daylen »

I like it. The Jenny scale! :)

jacob
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by jacob »

You can map it unto the CCCCCC scale or similar. For example, at level 1, the person is looking for context-free tips. At level 2, they're looking for a to-do list of steps (having the tips arranged/organized into a context). And so on.

Fish
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Fish »

jennypenny wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:51 pm
What does a person need/want from someone uplevel?
Here’s my take on Jacob’s idea of mapping it on the CCCCCC scale. I stopped at L4 because my writeup for higher levels was getting too abstract due to lack of personal experience.

Level 1 (Scarcity): Thinks they need [more] money, but the real problem is their financial illiteracy and lack of control which results in bad spending decisions. Can benefit from L2 basic financial knowledge in the form of context-free tips (e.g. debt=bad) and forced budgeting (like being given an allowance or cash envelope method).

Level 2 (Accumulate): At this level can follow a budget and stay out of serious financial trouble thanks to context-free advice such as LBYM. In the CCCCCC framework, this is the *copying* stage where progress can be easily derailed due to life events (think emergency fund raided to attend a wedding, etc.). Attributes disappointments to “bad luck” but should look at their more successful peers and try to learn from them (“comparing”). Things that can be learned from L3 are planning (making budgets, anticipating non-routine expenses).

Level 3 (Exponential growth): Financial life is now comfortable thanks to adoption of one successful model, which is probably selected by *comparing* strategies to see which one yields the most money and stuff. Not surprisingly, this is where the mainstream converges. There is an advanced beginner effect where alternatives are not seriously considered. I don’t know how to help those at this stage, one tends to be stuck in the more=better mindset until they realize there is another dimension and decide to care about it. In the context of FIRE, this is securing freedom of time and the majority are blissfully content/ignorant of alternatives and never make it past this stage.

Level 4 (Embracing Efficiency): At this stage, a person has switched to an “enough is enough” mindset and is *compiling* lists of lifestyle ideas and frugality hacks. At this point, consumption is reduced but still unoptimized. Those at this level would be more receptive to the FIRE message, and possibly be inspired by the idea of their frugality being a part of a larger lifestyle strategy.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by jacob »

Disagree ... here's how I see the CCCCCC mapping.
  • Level 0 (Train wreck): Clueless (hey, there's another C :-D )
  • Level 1 (Scarcity): Copy because that is a context-free method. You just follow something w/o really understanding why.
  • Level 2 (Accumulate): Comparing becomes possible once one is capable of copying and contrasting two different methods. This requires the ability to hold two concepts simultaneously. Might sound trivial, but compared to level 0, that's already asking for a lot.
  • Level 3 (Growth): In order to choose and follow one successful, you have to have Compiled a list and Compared them.
  • Level 4&5 (Efficiency and optimization): Computing, that is the ability to make choices and tweaks on the fly from a Compiled list. It is essentially using the compiled list to make choices.
  • Level 6 (Yields and flows): Coordinating the computations from the previous step.
  • Level 7&8 (Systems and zen): Creating new coordinations with a competence that's either conscious(7) or unconscious(8).
The CCCCCC mapping is more mathematical in that the generator for the next step is always adding a structure that uses the previous step. Comparing uses copying. Compiling uses comparing (think sorting). Computing uses compiled lists. Coordinating (if then) uses the results of computing. Creating systems uses the results of the ability to coordinate. This also explains why it is not possible to jump level and why it is easy to look back and nearly impossible to look ahead.

black_son_of_gray
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by black_son_of_gray »

For your amusement: Bloomberg has put out a net worth scale with a similar powers-of-ten structure.

To be FI at Jacobian levels in the West requires being well within the top 5% of global net worth. Fat FIRE requires well within global 1%. Puts Jacob's markers on this plot into a global perspective. ERE must look similar to Fat FIRE to a Ugandan in the same way that Rex Tillerson ($100M) and Elon Musk ($10B) both look almost equally impossibly wealthy to someone walking out of a payday loan shop sans car title.

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unemployable
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by unemployable »

black_son_of_gray wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:59 pm
For your amusement: Bloomberg has put out a net worth scale with a similar powers-of-ten structure.
So the base 10 log of your USD net worth. Let me call this the LOW, for logarithm of worth.

I like this scale, have thought about it a good bit. To truly change your level of wealth you need to change your handle (the integer part).

One neat thing about logarithms is they round up at lower absolute levels. You're a logarithmic millionaire at $316,228 (= 10^5.5 ≈ 10⁶). Or approximately pi hundred thousand dollars. Or a logarithmic billionaire at about pi hundred million dollars. Pi squared is 10 within real-world margins of error.

If you double your net worth you increase your LOW by about 0.3, the log[10] of 2.

There's a Wheaton element here in that it's hard to relate to people more than one LOW away, and it's hard for them to relate to you. That said, I feel like ERErs are more comfortable being around people and adopting habits of people with lower LOWs compared to their more consumerist LOW peers.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by jacob »

In order to follow the relative Wheaton structure of judging the other levels, I think the log base should be less than 10. This would create increase the resolution in terms of relating to people more than one LOW away. I find the social reaction aspect of the scale more useful than the Zipf's law form.

In Wheaton's resolution, those more than three levels away are unrelateable. I'd thus suggest setting the log base at 3 or 4 which would translate into 27 and 64 times more or less financial firepower respectively. To wit, if someone's firepower is ~3% of yours, you're probably in a different orbit.

My guess is that with a log base 3, 95% of the forumites fit with 1-1.5 wealth levels.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

jacob wrote: judging the other levels
I just had the thought that this scale might be more applicable or useful to J types than P types, since you are an INTJ and Paul Wheaton is probably an ENTJ. For instance, I have little difficulty socially interacting with my friend who is near Rex Tillerson level. I consider us to be on a similar level, maybe on some meta-Wheaton-scale because, for instance, the other day I was over at his house and he was trying to figure out why the soybeans he put in the ground sprouted, even though the soybeans he used to test for germination didn't sprout, and I helped him figure out the answer.

Also, it seems to me that a lot of the members of the Permie's forum are pretty hard-up financially.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by tonyedgecombe »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:57 am
Also, it seems to me that a lot of the members of the Permie's forum are pretty hard-up financially.
Yes, I’ve noticed that, it mostly seems to be self inflicted for some reason.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@tonyedgecombe:

Yes, because they are choosing to be "subsistence farmers"= the descriptor for the lowest Levels -2 through 2 on the above posted scale. Your intelligent systems design has to be pretty damn intelligent to overcome whichever higher level = The Optimizers AKA The Killers :lol:

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by jacob »

Ehh, ... these are different scales. The wealth scale is not the gardening scale is not the ERE scale is not apples is not oranges. The point being (Wheaton's law of mutual judging) that given a scale the respective attitudes between two levels are determined solely by their relative distance. Is the supposition that Wheaton's law doesn't hold for Ps to the same degree it holds for Js?

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