Life Traps Analysis from WSP

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jacob
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by jacob »

The no-reading attitude might be a result of the WS environment. My experience with [short-term] traders (unlike long-term investors) is that few of them read. There's a reason for that. The reason is that once someone bothers to write something down in a book, it stopped working ~30 years ago. Anything you find in a journal paper is 5-10 years too old too. If you want to know new^H^H^Htimely(*) stuff you either have to talk to someone who knows (and is willing to talk to you, hence networking) or figure it out yourself. Some gather/curate up-to-date ideas via twitter.

(*) The only stuff that really matters.

This is a generic problem when dealing with rapidly adjusting complex adaptive systems.

The additional factor is if the pertinent knowledge can not be learned from a book. That holds for a lot of knowledge. Written knowledge is particularly sparse if it's highly valuable. Either someone owns the IP; the generator is better off monetizing it in other ways (private teaching); or they are simply better off generating more knowledge.

For generic Wall Street, a dollar is basically a dollar. Nobody cares [very much about] how you made it. Hence no reason to write it down. There are exceptions of course. They appear on CNBC, so if CNBC is for you, write a book and become the de facto "expert" because practically nobody else will.

TL;DR - FIRE (here finance, insurance, real estate) is not an intellectual profession as much as it is about people, networks, and places (social capital).

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Stahlmann
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Stahlmann »

@jacob so how does such short term trader learn (in a bit more elaborated way than you described)?
Last edited by Stahlmann on Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

niemand
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by niemand »

My thoughts on this are similar to jennypenny’s.

Living the prescribed WSP life style may also qualify as a life trap ;)

BRUTE
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by BRUTE »

Seppia wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:38 am
Assuming that anybody can read useful stuff for 1-2 hours a day without taking away from any other productive activity, which I would guess is a fairly sound assumption.
seems like an absurd assumption to brute. there are ALWAYS tradeoffs.

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Lillailler
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Lillailler »

Seppia wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:38 am
You can rephrase what I said with
....Assuming that anybody can read useful stuff for 1-2 hours a day without taking away from any other productive activity, which I would guess is a fairly sound assumption.
I know plenty of people who would achieve more if they worked more, and sitting reading instead of doing stuff is one of the ways people reduce the amount of time they spend working. To set a limit on reading time is a way to concretize the decision that action is the way to results - especially in owner-run business - and therefore action must have priority when it comes to spending your time.

If you mean 30mins is a bit low, and 120 mins would be a more reasonable limit, that is arguable, but time 'in the zone' is intrinsically scarce and needs to be put to its best use.

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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Campitor »

Reading and action doesn't have to be an either/or activity. Read a lot and "do" a lot. Reading widely can lead to the cross pollination of ideas which can help with the "doing"... some of the most effective and productive leaders emphasize reading. Sometimes the "doing" will trump reading and visa-versa. Sometimes the best course of action is pausing and letting ideas marinate in the subconscious. And other times it's better to roll-up the sleeves and "tetris" solutions as you move towards a goal. The salient point is knowing when each is required - the more you juggle this, the better you get at making those determinations.

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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by jacob »

Deleted a bunch to re-rail the thread.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

jennypenny wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:17 am
Most of the writing on the site sounds like someone who's 'mastered' their 20s and 30s but hasn't experienced the rest of life yet to see where they might have gotten some things wrong. I'm not saying there isn't some good information on the site (despite the Return of Kings vibe), but it's delivered inside a narrative that IMO is misleading at best for younger people. (Note that the main objections to it come from forumites older than the target demographic of WSP.)
I just wanted to echo jennypenny’s sentiment that there can be a danger to being an uncultured but perfectly efficient flesh robot as one reaches middle age.

You might not only be repulsive to others, but also to yourself.

George the original one
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by George the original one »

What if, to up your game to the next level, you have to read more? Is reading then "doing"?

Campitor
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Campitor »

@George the original one

Yes - often the reading is part and parcel of the "doing". Rarely is productivity a binary activity of action/no action (a.k.a. reading, planning, contemplating).

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Yes but when you are pulling in $10k a month from your online business, you can pay someone $50 a day to read for you. Much more efficient.

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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Campitor »

@Mister Imperceptible

Yes and no. There is some reading that can be delegated and there is other reading that must be done by the person in charge (the guy pulling in the 10k per month). Some of the delegated reading material will be summarized and passed along to the guy making the 10k. The higher you climb or the bigger the business, the more reading that is required in order to stay informed. The difference is that you have people who are paid to read the things which are unimportant to executive decisions (how to load a toner cartridge, how to run X software, etc.) so you can focus on the important information. Even if you have someone read aloud the summarized data, you're still reading by proxy.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

The important question is how long (minimum!)do you have to spend devoting most of your life energy to making money before you can spend most of your time reading Trollope and puttering about in the garden?

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

@Campitor

I was being a bit snarky :twisted:

I am sure WSP offers some value but the “read no more than one hour a day” reminds me of 4HWW: “Don’t read books (except this one, of course).” Their central thesis that “the only thing that matters is sales” reminds me of those dreadfully boring networking events where everyone is selling, nobody is buying, and Mister Imperceptible is only there for free cheese and free red wine.

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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Fish »

Based on how this discussion has played out, it appears there is a tendency to take their words literally and react to it. I interpreted the reading advice not as a strict 1-hour time limit for books (context-free tip) but rather as an imperative to question whether more reading is still the best use of time after exceeding that threshold. Basically, imploring the audience to find the right balance between reading and action and to err on the side of more action. So if this is what WSP intended, why wasn’t it written as such? Some possibilities: 1) Most humans are operating at a low level of mastery when it comes to lifestyle design matters (“copying” in Jacob’s CCCCCC framework in the ERE book) and the 100% correct but ambiguous “it depends” answer is unhelpful. Better to provide a quantifiable guideline for the copiers. 2) Because the resulting “controversy” generates attention and sales.

As someone already more or less satisfied with NW and earned income, I’m using WSP solely to gain a fresh perspective on matters. Not because I want to be them or aspire to their level of monetary wealth. Instead of following their tips, I’m interested in acquiring the results-oriented mindset that generated the tips, and using that in combination with existing mindsets (ERE, etc.) to help guide behavior and synthesize new ideas for improving my life. Perhaps those of you who are older or have previous exposure to WSP-like people have nothing to learn from them due to your own experience (or maybe it’s really awful advice).

For me, one realization with aid of the WSP mindset is the need to provide more support to my working wife. She came to the brink of quitting her job in 2018. Given that she generates 40% of household income, it is a very high ROI activity to do things that improve her life satisfaction as a working mom.(*)

(*)Even if I could double my income by working 60-70 hour weeks, we would only come out 20% ahead for a 50-75% increase in my effort, if my wife quit her job to compensate for my absence at home. Here the hardcore WSP might advocate also having my wife continue working and paying a nanny out of DW’s salary, but we have our limits.

Also, WSP has no prohibition on DIY that I can tell. But for those who have an opportunity cost on their free time, it’s a suggestion to consider whether DIY is really the best use of time. For example, if I can trade my free time for >$50/hour after tax, then I might outsource things like yard work to the extent that I’d prefer the income-generating activity over the DIY house chore (especially if I’m already capable of the DIY). Does that make me a boring person? Perhaps, but it seems like a win to me.

I guess where this diverges with ERE is that I have previously been trying to get my current lifestyle (outside of work) to align with my vision of a post-FIRE lifestyle. I understand the wisdom of this, but strict adherence to this rule seems unnecessary when breaking it offers benefits and FIRE is also in the far future.

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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by suomalainen »

@fish I dunno. Two thoughts:

1) I find the reductionistic/simplistic view of boiling everything down to money to be an unrealistic, naive and unfulfilling expression of what life is. I find life to be more complex than just thinking about my time in terms of money-defined opportunity costs. My current free time, given how little of it I have (on the order of an hour or two a week - free from work AND kids is what I consider free time), is "worth" "thousands of dollars an hour", which, although an exaggeration, is an expression reflecting that there is no reasonable vision of an economic activity I could engage in that would be worth it. No reasonable amount of money can compensate me for what I really need - time. Or put another way, you can never get enough of what you don't need because what you don't need can never satisfy.*

2) I have some nagging sense from your posts on this topic of a thing I can't quite describe or get my arms around, but I'll give it a shot. It's like you're trying to solve for one problem by using methods typically used to solve different problems. For example, you say you're satisfied with net worth and income, while at the same time would not want to lose your wife's 40% contribution. You also say that your wife almost quit her job for presumably non-economic reasons and that she needs your help/support. Combining the two, I would have expected you to write something like
For example, if my wife needs my support, then I might outsource things like yard work to the extent that we’d prefer the family activity over the DIY house chore (especially if I’m already capable of the DIY).
rather than
Fish wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:43 am
For example, if I can trade my free time for >$50/hour after tax, then I might outsource things like yard work to the extent that I’d prefer the income-generating activity over the DIY house chore (especially if I’m already capable of the DIY).
If I may be so presumptive, I will phrase my read in this manner: why do you keep trying to cram your revenue solution peg into a family satisfaction hole? I look forward to reading how I've misread (projected myself into) your posts.

* Edit: I couldn't remember where I'd heard this and so I googled it and it was one of my professors at BYU, Bernard Poduska, written in a personal finance book called "Til Debt Do Us Part". See https://www.knowdebt.org/learning-cente ... y-problem/ for what appears to be a short synopsis.

BRUTE
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by BRUTE »

brute will agree with Fish that many reactions to WSP here seem to be shooting the message because the aesthetics of the messenger don't satisfy or fit a particular pattern.

fwiw, brute has similar inclinations whenever eco-humans are brought up here. caring about raised beds etc. is a complete waste of time in brute's opinion, but that's probably because he's not a hippie, doesn't like the hippie aesthetic (expect for 7Wannabe5's aesthetic), and getting dirt under his finger nails is only part of his web of goals when it comes off an engine.

that doesn't mean brute shoots down eco-hippie-humans and those trying to learn from them.

maybe there's little to learn from WSP. maybe there is something. brute has the intuition that there's something, if not a lot, and maybe it has to be heavily modified. maybe this is because brute enjoys the WSP aesthetic much more than others on this forum, and because his web of goals overlaps much more with the hedonistic, narcissist one that the WSP authors seem to have.

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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

I can admit to being upset about falling into the very first life trap on their list, being from a blue collar family and having no guidance other than “follow your dreams” which is dreadfully impractical.

I’ve also been able to embody some of their Gervais sociopath/Gamesman ideal in the need to dig myself out of that life trap, but as a means to an end. The WSP treat this as an end in itself.

“Talk to and become chummy with bouncers at nightclubs because they are more interesting and it will produce benefits” seems more appropriate to me as an aside in an 800 page novel, not a 150 page treatise on efficiency.

But I do not think it just begins and ends with aesthetics. In the recent Collum year in review he delineates between between Rockefeller/Carnegie types (wealth creators/positive-sum contributors) and Warren Buffett types (wealth aggregators/zero-sum contributors). I agree, which is why I went on record that I would not fawn over Buffett as many in the FI space seem to do.

In the very beginning of Efficency, the WSP declare that you are obligated to no one. So yeah, the denouement of Western Civilization is so the WSP types can “tip 50% at nightclubs but in an understated way, thereby reaping benefits later.” If these are our Übermensch, I am pretty sure that is why (or is a symptom of) we as a society are increasingly bankrupt and dissolute.

We might see how robust/anti-fragile their lifestyle is as net-negative contributing Gamesmen in the event of a financial/geopolitical calamity, when people can’t support their online businesses and other bankster types because everyone is broke.

*****

Edit: I suppose the irony is not lost on me that caring about the future of mankind is yet another life trap.

A preferred ethic, after all, could very well just be a deeply embedded preference for a certain kind of aesthetic. Although I am sure this is what drug addicts tell themselves as they slowly commit suicide.

It was not my intention to derail the thread. I will refrain from adding any more noise.

BRUTE
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by BRUTE »

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:31 pm
Although I am sure this is what drug addicts tell themselves as they slowly commit suicide.
all humans are slowly committing suicide. so far, none have survived life. seems more of a difference in degree than kind to brute.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

We have talked about this in the Jordan Peterson thread and maybe in the Libertarianism thread, I think we are here because of achievement and creation. Space exploration and a higher consciousness could be achievable.

That is my romantic myth and I know you love dismantling myths BRUTE, but I prefer this myth to the other myths. I know when the civilization lapses into YOLO that means the end.

Perhaps even BRUTE will come to realize that being the cool nihilist at the bar will become boring.
BRUTE wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:39 pm
brute never thought he'd say this, but there's a little too much Carpe Diem (or is it YOLO now?) going on. Epicurus is probably turning over in his grave.
Take of the fruit, but guard the seed.

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