The ERE Wheaton Scale

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

Post by Alphaville »

Qazwer wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:26 pm
I actually strangely found it more insightful than you intended - a saint who was taught in the analytic framework would define his journey in tables and models - but a saint can also find truth in a zen like manner (the matrix movies having some philosophy but also more just good special effects) - I found that your joke crystallized the whole thread for me
the matrix is stuffed to the gills with philosophy and religion--descartes, plato's allegory of the cave, baudrillard, kant, hegel, hinduism, taoism, etc. the wachowskis aren't morons! (although the sequels were quite meh)

originally i was going to say "ere is no spoon" :lol: (there is no spoon) but i thought that was too many leaps for some to grasp.

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Alphaville
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Alphaville »

ok ere it is, the original joke

Image

i wanna make it small for my forum avatar :lol:

AxelHeyst
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by AxelHeyst »

Scott 2 wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:52 pm
I wonder about the intersection of people who understand the ERE message with those wanting to be lieutenants. The topic selects for people without much interest in following or having authority.
I wonder if that's true. If the topic is for "people who want to FIRE because they hate their boss/w*rking so bad they're willing to eat lentils forever", aka extremeFIRE, then yes. But if the topic is Emergent Renaissance Ecology, that certainly selects for independent-minded people but not necessarily people who can't wrap their heads around the notion of learning from someone and then passing on that knowledge, because they have a greater sense of purpose and meaning in the world than just "take this job and shove it".

The metaphor of being a lieutenant resonates strongly with me (I don't have any baggage around military metaphors, I know what is implied and what isn't. I'm not worried JLF is going to start barking orders at me and expecting obedience. Rather the opposite - he's hoping for people to figure it out for themselves and get on with it in their own way). I actually feel somewhat strongly that I have ~something like a duty to pass on, in an effective way, what I'm learning from ERE to my social group. How to introduce the idea of DIY vs. comparative advantage, or skill replacing consumption to achieve the same living standard, or WoG tensegrity, in a way that my WL1-3 friend might resonate with, is something that occupies some significant portion of my attention.

But I'm glad that Jacob isn't spending his brain cycles on that. I'd actually be disappointed if he was, because that's a total misallocation of resources. I want him to be piercing the fog of WL8-9-10, so I don't have to do the heavy lift of inventing it myself (wouldn't happen, probably). In addition to just helping people up, my efforts to grease the slides from WL3 to WL6 is a great exercise to internalize ERE myself (if you want to learn something, teach it). I'm glad to be engaged in lieutenant work, but I see it as hopefully just a phase as I level up myself.

I'm glad to see the thread converging on this in the last dozen posts - I've found this thread frustrating in multiple ways that I couldn't really articulate without sounding like a jerk (too late), so I couldn't figure out how to try to contribute without venting. On the one hand, it feels like Jacob is being criticized for not making ERE easy^H^H^H^simple. On the other hand, the discussion that's coming out has produced some gems and is really clarifying some stuff, so it's worth the cringe factor.

I think having a discussion about how to make ERE accessible to broader audiences is an extremely valuable one. I just wish it didn't come across like "Hey Jacob you should...." because that normalizes the idea that all things ERE have to flow directly from Jacob, which is not only wrong but it throttles the power of ERE.

Qazwer
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Qazwer »

@AH - orders are not always what people think they are - it just might be give someone a goal - decrease ecological impact by decreasing waste while living a good life
Barking orders is pretty crappy way to run anything

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission-type_tactics

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Alphaville
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Alphaville »

i think more than a military structure we're going to end up with apostles, theology, the kingdom of ere, heresies, schisms, and religious wars... :lol:

i liked it more when we were trying to solve actual problems rather than trying to interpret the word of jacob.

i should get back to working on my cargo bike...

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by AxelHeyst »

Heh, we're on the same page Qazwer. I'm a big John Boyd / Appreciation and Leadership nerd.

white belt
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by white belt »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:21 pm
I think having a discussion about how to make ERE accessible to broader audiences is an extremely valuable one. I just wish it didn't come across like "Hey Jacob you should...." because that normalizes the idea that all things ERE have to flow directly from Jacob, which is not only wrong but it throttles the power of ERE.
I suspect this will happen with time. I mean, look at the impact that someone like Mr. Money Mustache had on convincing an enormous number of people to shift from WL 2/3 to WL 4/5. Perhaps someday there will be a similar effort from another similarly skilled person* to push folks from WL5 to WL6 and so on.

* = As we’ve discussed over the past few pages, making a complex topic digestible and appealing to an audience requires a different skillset and temperament than trailblazing into unexplored territory.

Edit: Whereas MMM came at things from the personal finance angle, maybe the next evolution will come at things from an environmental activism, social justice, community, or equality angle. I’m not sure since I still mostly identify as WL5 salaryman.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Mean librarian would also note that some of this griping is just due to people being too “lazy” to read the books and/or do the work that Jacob has recommended. I have seen this play out on other book based forums where I spent some time. For instance, in my relationship books group some people never summoned up the gonads* to address issues with their partners in the manner recommended by Level 6 book, and some people didn’t read or couldn’t integrate the Level 6 book, so their conversation on the topic never evolved past that level. This is not a problem unique to this forum/learning curve.

I would add that I am one of the people who is too lazy to do some of the work here, although I have read many of the books.

*It just occurred to me that this would be roughly equivalent to difference between having objective FU money and subjective FU spirit.

IlliniDave
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by IlliniDave »

Alphaville, my cultural reference database is a little sparse, so I can't react properly to your meme. It does fit the last few rows of the table in that regard. :)

Scott 2, you put it pretty well.

When I arrived here at ere I came with a vision that was a little outside the mainstream. It's been challenged a bunch, and truth be told all the doomy gloomy prepper stuff we like to talk about has changed it. But in a sense that's been a step back because using the tools I have (as opposed to tools I may or may not acquire some day) I've shored up the plan as best I could. But if I can avoid the trap of the stronghold becoming a prison my destination is still the same as it was in 2014. Using elements from the ererWL table it's best captured in the ~"no distinction between work and play" cell (too lazy to scroll back for the precise wording). And I interpret those words through my limited understanding of Zen philosophy.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by BookLoverL »

Yeah, there's a difference between philosophy and action for sure. Philosophically I'm at the point where level 6 ideas sound like great ideas and things
I want to do, but in practice I keep only dabbling in them or thinking "I'll do them after I've done X".

I don't think schisms and suchlike are necessarily a problem. We don't all have to think the same. In fact, it's more resilient for the world if we don't all think the same. So irreconcilable philosophical differences between you and people you know are a good thing, honestly.

The info from the book and the forum, for me at least, goes into the great big melting pot roughly labelled "every idea I've ever read in my life" and helps me generate my current opinions. But like every other book/blog/forum in existence, it works best when not taken as gospel.

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Alphaville
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Alphaville »

IlliniDave wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:16 am
Alphaville, my cultural reference database is a little sparse, so I can't react properly to your meme. It does fit the last few rows of the table in that regard. :)

in the matrix, the protagonist awakes to the realization that he's been living in a dream constructed by machines. intent on liberating everyone else trapped in the dream he returns to the dream world, and witnesses a boy who is able to maniputate objects there, like a lucid dreamer, i.e.he can bend a spoon with his mind (you might remember uri geller from way back when).

the protagonist is marvelled at the boy's powers, and asks the little enlightened dreamer how he does what he does. "there is no spoon" the boy answers. this comes as a revelation to both the protagonist and the audience, but of course, in a dream world all objects are a product of the mind with no objective reality of their own, except that which the mind grants them.

i feel the same way about these "levels". :D

also i should add, while the rows supposedly can be broken, people keep speaking of individual levels, as if they didn't vary from one column to another, thus perpetuating the illusion of unbroken rows, in spite of all admonitions to the contrary.

le sigh...

but dreamers will dream ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

anyway i gotta work on some level bicycle red wigglers and some level ice cream bicycle repairs. theological nightmares, like agent smith, make me break out in hives.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“BookLoverL” wrote: The info from the book and the forum, for me at least, goes into the great big melting pot roughly labelled "every idea I've ever read in my life" and helps me generate my current opinions. But like every other book/blog/forum in existence, it works best when not taken as gospel.
Strongly agree, and life experiences are likely more important than books read and integrated. All of us are simultaneously “scaling” a wide variety of Wheaton Levels. However, there is also the meta notion that paradigm shifts or qualitative system changes do occur. The magic of “You can’t see it until you see it” or “The book arrives when you are ready for it.”

The order in which you integrate experiences and ideas can very much take you off most typical path to same destination. For instance, I raised a family and started a business before I attempted grad school, and I read Steinbeck and Austen before I read Ayn Rand. I never participated in MMM forum and arrived here by way of lifestyle design and permaculture books.

The unique intersection of personality, experiences and ideas we have been able to integrate is where each of us is writing our own book. Memory escapes me in referencing the number, but seeing yourself as author of your own book is indicative of one of Kegan’s levels of adult development. I think people who experience a second or third midlife crisis are usually having trouble related to moving past the concept of direction of personal narrative.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“Alphaville” wrote: also i should add, while the rows supposedly can be broken, people keep speaking of individual levels, as if they didn't vary from one column to another, thus perpetuating the illusion of unbroken rows, in spite of all admonitions to the contrary.
The rows aren’t levels, but paradigms do shift. For instance, as I noted in previous discussion which Jacob linked above, an example of a “level” or “paradigm shift” discussed in my sexuality/relationship forum was “knowing how to fuck.” It’s very hard to explain (or even demonstrate) this concept to somebody who does not grok it. I might say Fonzie is somebody who looks/acts like he might know how to fuck, Richie not so much, and then I could construct a table with details like “wears leather jacket” or “wears cardigan with tiny emblem” , which would be only moderately accurate and in no way capable of predicting whether/when Fonzie or Richie will arrive at Transcendent Sexual Union, but that doesn’t change the fact that nobody gets to Transcendent Sexual Union without first knowing/learning how to fuck.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:24 am
I could construct a table with details like “wears leather jacket” or “wears cardigan with tiny emblem”
talking about cardigans is useless. talking about zuka is more interesting and might help actually accomplish something.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Alphaville:

True, but “actually accomplishing something” is no longer where I am at. Also, I hope my cardigan note wasn’t offensive to those with prep school wardrobe preference. Way back when I was in my early 40s, I used to joke that I equally preferred a Teddy Bear in a Leather Jacket or a Wolf in a Cardigan. Now that is boring to me.

One thing I have noted about Jacob’s journey is that he doesn’t veer off much into the post-modern. So, for instance, he doesn’t “waste” time coming up with design for Beware of Frog sign.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:31 am
i plead whoosh. by which i mean that post went completely over my head. but it's ok! i dont really wanna understand. i just replied to this out of respect/not ignoring you, but really it's something i no longer wanna discuss. chop wood, carry water, 50-volume commentary: not my bag.

otoh do please help a brother out with worm composting if you know anything about it. currently reading "how to start a worm bin" by henry owen. im not stuck on theoretical speculation though--got the worms already! just no bin yet :lol: (they are ok and safe for now in a breathable bag.)

i might just keep them in a woven polyproplene bag hanging from a peg... and put a can underneath to collect drippings.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by nomadscientist »

The early levels are universal because they involve correcting errors induced by the current society e.g. almost no one should be in credit card debt regardless of their values, people have credit card debt because of insufficient knowledge and/or self-control.

Up to optimization stage, no real value judgements are required. Optimize for whatever your values were already (e.g. buying stuff).

After that stage small value judgements creep in, at first values that maybe most share, but later the requirements of ultra life optimization become heavily determined by specific values.

This is not a problem of the table which is only stating one path in one person's view and doesn't have to be agreeable to everyone. However, less clear to me what the values expressed are and then difficult to judge the use of the table. For example, a few possibilities:

1. Minimize ecological impact - Great. Not everyone's preference but a perfectly fine value and one shared by at least many people. If this is Jacob's value he doesn't have to argue for it in his own house; take it or leave it. But it's unclear how spending dropping to zero is necessarily required here.

For example someone spending $10,000/year (or whatever) on decorative hard wood Amish-made furniture that lasts forever and was sustainably crafted is a better spend in ecological terms than someone building huge ERE-style mechanic skills and then bootstrapping an autocross hobby on $1,000/year out of a $5,000/year total spend. IOW the assumption that "spend == ecological harm" may be a good rule of thumb for a beginner consumer but becomes much less true as one ultra-optimizes and chooses every purchase. At that point, the focus on minimizing spending can drop away or even reverse.

In fact the hard wood furniture purchase is probably better even than leaving the money in investments because the investments reduce the cost of ecologically harmful consumerism for others. So high WL ecologists should be actively trying to spend more - on the right things - rather than let investment accounts balloon to infinity.

2. Minimize monetized trading - This is what's most clearly being optimized for but why is it desirable to eliminate monetized trading? I never saw such an argument made explicitly on this blog. Monetized trading is just a tool to allow anonymous strangers to trade with one another over distance and to make division of labor efficient enough to take place. Are anonymous trading and division of labor bad? Maybe, but why? I'm all for localizing life to the extent possible and efficient but I wouldn't want to eliminate distance trading as a principle. This is more an argument for primitivism and social isolation than for ecology as such. Is that intended? It's nonetheless Jacob's right to make his house about such things but I never saw him argue for them in the blog or book, which makes me doubt that's really his intention.

3. Maximize positive external impact - Even if you limit "positive external impact" to ecology (or just view ecology as the biggest of several issues), this isn't a pure restatement of 1. If you have financial wealth - and almost everyone over here will overshoot because we are risk averse and accumulate portfolios that will break even only in the rarest catastrophes - you can do a lot with it beyond minimizing the damage you personally cause. For instance you can endow foundations and otherwise promote your ideas. You can get involved in politics or buy up a lot of property in your local neighborhood and shift long term decisions about that property in an ecological direction. But this sort of thing, while arguably not spending, really blurs the line with "spending." Also, if you're making a big impact in this way it matters far less whether you're spending $5k or $1k on groceries and real estate taxes. You've got to start pricing your time again, just like the consumer, but this time as an actor in the world rather than a passive object (isn't that the point of the these stages of development? Jacob's recent posts suggest so but I can't parse them fully - maybe I'm not high enough WL).

So, from my perhaps flawed perspective the focus of the table seems to be on 2. when the direction of the book and site really seem to be towards 1. and 3. and 2. is perhaps the least compatible with the others and the least obviously valuable.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Alphaville:

Sorry, but my life garden journey was such that I skipped right over the composting in container phase to the composting in sandwich bed phase. IOW, I can make suggestions for promoting worm life in garden, but not in buckets. I thought about doing vermiculture while stuck in an apartment during Covid, but my life relationship journey has been such that I was also stuck during Covid with an overly fastidious man who wouldn’t even let me pee in a watering can while sleeping in his van in sub-freezing temperatures. Huge note to self in planning journal Re that.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:05 am
@Alphaville:

Sorry, but my life garden journey was such that I skipped right over the composting in container phase to the composting in sandwich bed phase. IOW, I can make suggestions for promoting worm life in garden, but not in buckets. I thought about doing vermiculture while stuck in an apartment during Covid, but my life relationship journey has been such that I was also stuck during Covid with an overly fastidious man who wouldn’t even let me pee in a watering can while sleeping in his van in sub-freezing temperatures. Huge note to self in planning journal Re that.
ah, that was his loss. the worms smell yummy! spied a roly poly in the mix too. wheeeee! thick life.... reminds me of the amazon.

i fed them organic coffee grounds. i hope they like their breakfast! damn, this is so exciting.

anyway i'll see myself out of this thread and continue my ravings elsewhere.

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Re: The ERE Wheaton Scale

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@nomadscientist:

One could argue that an individual could “go sideways” much earlier on scale. For instance, somebody could simultaneously have credit card debt, but spend their weekends cleaning up trash from their local watershed.

Or, like my recently deceased multi-millionaire friend, you could attempt to limit “going sideways” even after death by endeavoring mightily to leave vast majority of your fortune to your only child.

IOW, there’s huge range of possible interpretations of “put on your own oxygen mask first” inclusive of implication that there is something else you maybe should be doing second.

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