Basuragomi's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
basuragomi
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by basuragomi »

February 2021 update

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I passed a minor milestone this month: Net worth barely surpassed lifetime employment income. Over unity and onwards into runaway criticality!

ERE-type things I have been doing
- Replacement dish gloves unexpectedly failed, but I managed to repair them with a bicycle innertube patch. Hurray!
- Broke a dish (part of a set I got for free), so replaced with some nice locally-made artisanal bowls bought directly from the potter. Not frugal at all but they really are instant classics. I want everything I have to be both useful and unique.
- Repaired my broken slip-on crampons with some wire which came in handy after the big winter storms. They broke in a new and exciting spot instead of the repaired bit, so I'll call that a success.
- Filling up registered accounts for the year. I've been doing Norbert's Gambit for a few years now and it is the cheapest way to convert lots of currency. Highly recommended for anyone (yield chasers?) converting between CAD/USD.

ERE failures
- Spending too much on food, eating too much and having to exercise more as a result. Wasteful all around. I'm going to blame new year leftovers for that.

Things considered
- The problem with my to-do list was that most items called for an abundance of time spent with idle hands in front of the computer. I've been trying to make my screen time more intentional so those items fell into the abyss. Realizing this let me abandon the truly hopeless projects.

Things to consider
- Seeing all the meltdowns/self-cancellations on this forum was more than a little strange. Not a coincidence that it was some of the most prolific posters. Maybe the way to go is not to turn your habits into a mounting liability but find some way to silo or benefit from discovery - i.e. choosing between presenting yourself anonymously vs. virtuously. Kids these days keep a separate public social media account and a private one held in a circle of trust. Maybe that's the strategy.

Jiimmy
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:28 pm
Location: Nevada

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by Jiimmy »

That's a beautiful income/expense chart you have! And congrats on NW exceeding earned income, that's huge.

Stasher
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:23 am
Location: Vancouver Island BC
Contact:

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by Stasher »

Thanks for commenting over on my journal so I could find your detailed and interesting perspective from the other side of Canada :) You mentioned going car free here and on my journal so I thought I would quickly drop this quick you tube link to Levi Hildebrand who lives down in Victoria here on the island. He has a great theme for his Vlog and really enjoy the content he creates. Anyhow, he went a year without owning a vehicle and did a video on what it was like for his wife and him.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o95fsV8IKvQ
My best-case guess would be a return to multigenerational housing as families get tied more and more to immutable property. Too expensive to buy, too precious to sell, handed down by inheritance like a tiny fiefdom. By some accounts this is already happening.
This is what I am thinking for us. We moved to the island in 2013 and got out place before the housing market went crazy, 1 block from the ocean and 2-4 block walk to ever single service a person could need in our small seaside village. House has enough room for my adult children and my wife to comfortably live here forever. The reason I say forever is because of what I quote from you. We bought for $330,000 and could easily sell for $550-700,000 (I picked such a wide range as houses are going multiple offers over ask with no conditions). We love the area so buying something smaller would be silly overpriced as well and thus it is too precious to sell for us.

basuragomi
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by basuragomi »

@Jiimmy: Thanks, I love data visualizations if it isn't obvious! I have a few more sophisticated ones but they are probably too personally identifying to release right now.

@Stasher: My wife watches quite a bit of Hildebrand! She complains that he sold out with all the product reviews haha. Being car-free in a car-centric society definitely requires some deliberate lifestyle design. I tried to stop complaining about housing prices in this journal since I'm just resigned to it now - if my choice was between buying property or being unhoused, I would likely try to move back in with family or leave the country entirely. The price of a 400 sqft condo would buy a very nice chateau in Provence. Probably one with a cheese cave.

basuragomi
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by basuragomi »

March 2021 update

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This rise does not feel sustainable.

ERE-type things I have been doing
- Learned how to make ramen noodles by hand! Surprisingly easy. I don't eat much pasta but I do eat oodles of noodles, so this is a welcome skill. I used a pizza cutter and straightedge to make cutting long, thin, even noodles a breeze.

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- Germinated spinach and basil to start a small garden. Next step is a bucket worm compost system. I'm planning on using my neighbour's 5-gallon kitty litter buckets.
- Went screen-free almost every weekend and got a ton of projects done.

ERE failures
- Bought a multimeter. Probably could have found a nice used one for cheap instead, as there are plenty of greybeards around here with dozens of the things, but I used the pandemic as an excuse to be lazy.
- Spent too little time on cardio, probably because I spent too much time working. It's so easy to fall into the vicious cycle of no exercise->poor sleep->low energy->no exercise. It's finally warm and dry enough to make running pleasant so hopefully I can reverse this.

Things considered
- Separate post to follow inspired by all the recent forums drama.

Things to consider
- My phone plan went up in price. I kept it around for so long since I have unlimited data and it was easy to justify keeping it on that basis. But after I moved I got a fixed internet connection and never used more than a fraction of the limit. Time to change it up.

basuragomi
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by basuragomi »

I've been thinking about how online forums can manage discussion of polarizing topics without driving the forum towards a monoculture as commonly happens. Political purges can lead to death spirals since forums depend on traffic to drive discussion, and reducing both population and the range of permissible discourse hurts on both fronts. Some might say that a mature adult willingly debating online probably should be able to handle divergent opinions, but experience seems to suggest that ability is strictly limited.

I was wondering what drove people to purge themselves from forums in general. I think a large part of living in the bottom part of a hierarchy is learning to express multiple identities and shifting between them as is advantageous for a particular situation - e.g. code switching to signal social status. I think inhabiting multiple identities gives resilience against social aggression since one can switch to the most defensible identity, kind of like a motte-and-bailey approach. There's probably some parallel with the Kegan level concept here.

If someone instead presents holistically, then any social attack would necessarily be against them as a whole. As a result, being successfully attacked along even a single axis would set them firmly in the out-group. E.g. cancellation for displaying out-group opinions unrelated to whatever topic is at hand. Though fairly authentic and easy, presenting a single unified identity is not a very resilient approach. On the internet you can easily silo your identities, so mandating that is probably a good starting point.

I started by assuming two axioms:

1) People want to spend the majority of their time/effort in safe spaces, even if they sometimes seek confrontation.
2) People feel safe when their opinion largely coincides with other safe space occupants.

So how can an online forum attract people, make them feel like they are accepted by the tribe, but keep challenging people with some diversity of opinion? I propose a set of systems:

A: Persistent users but anonymous posting. This would prevent people from being identified as from being the wrong tribe. Other forums have drama follow users around every topic and being anonymous would mostly prevent that. Having persistent users enables the other elements.

B: User-sourced classification. Upvotes and downvotes. This would not be visible nor used to grade content, but instead the user would be analyzed with respect to who they approve/disapprove of.

C: Clustering algorithm. The idea is that with enough interactions, mutual upvotes and mutual downvotes can be aggregated to determine overall correlation and anti-correlation between users - i.e. who is a tribe member and who are the relative outsiders. I assume that a tribe of users all share roughly the same opinions on the same topics, so clustering by topic isn't strictly necessary.

D: Tribal ranks. With ranked correlations, people can be ranked within the tribe which would presumably correspond to how tribe-conformist their opinions are. Ranking from outside the tribe would determine how extreme they appear to the other tribes, separating the dilletantes from the devotees.

E: Gatekeeping. One tribe's most extreme members can now be mostly hidden from discussion with other tribes and only the more moderate members exposed - i.e. those most likely within the other tribes' Overton window. The user can feel like they are usually staying within the tribal bubble but are constantly tested with divergent opinions. If their opinion shifts over time, then their tribe classification would follow.

Since this system would rely so much on voting, posts would probably have to be gated behind voting - something like being forced to vote by e.g. being presented with only one post at a time, and being forced to vote by swiping left or right to see each subsequent post.

It's blatant social engineering, but with allowance for much more fine-grained bubble enforcement. I'll file this away into the future projects folder.

basuragomi
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by basuragomi »

Small hacks 3

Food packaging edition, since it's basically the only stuff we're buying these days.

Squirrel-proof planters, made from two yogurt tubs, a garlic bag and potato bag thread. Version two (not pictured) drops the centre ring and instead adds longitudinal bends to the support ribs for strength. These can be extended arbitrarily high with more tubs.

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I couldn't find a hat with a very broad brim (broader than Tilley hats) that is light and fits me. Normal sun hats are made from a continuous braid and sewn together which makes them quite floppy over a certain size. So I wove a corn husk sun hat. Made from corn husk and rice bag thread. It's kind of rough due to not knowing what I was doing, but I can repair and upgrade it with the corn harvest every summer - not coincidentally when it's mostly likely to need repairs. I swear my basketry is normally way nicer looking.

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I saw people 3d-printing earsavers and thought it was pretty silly to 3d print a 2d object. So I made my own from yogurt tubs. I've got a big head so these let me wear a mask comfortably for longer than five minutes. They're worn white side out.

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Cake turner. I didn't want to pay $30 for a half-assed bearing on a big plastic stand that took up ridiculous amounts of space. So I used two dairy product tub bottoms as races and added mung beans in between to act as ball bearings. Pearl barley would probably work better. The centres of the races do not touch, making it a true thrust bearing. It works really well and makes nice cakes!

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I learned how to convert video to GIF:

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Alphaville
Posts: 3621
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by Alphaville »

hahaha! you're on a roll... exemplary ingenuity, no kiddin'. much respect.

ertyu
Posts: 1818
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by ertyu »

awesome. all inventions are great my favorite is the hat. very cool

basuragomi
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by basuragomi »

April 2021 update

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My non-essential expenses have jumped up a lot: I have started donating about 30% of my income to charity. It was a lot easier than I expected, emotionally, to send off that much money. While I still work full-time, I plan to gradually ramp this up until I hit 100%.

ERE-type things I have been doing
- Started a worm compost bucket. I rescued rain-stranded worms off the sidewalk and stuck them in with a bunch of food scraps and shredded packaging. They seem to be still alive and wriggling after about a month so far.
- Repaired all sorts of things as part of spring cleaning.
- In honour of @Bigato, tried his spread of miso mixed with tahini. It is not really tasty...
- I've fully stopped worrying about withdrawal rates. I used to check sites like FIREcalc and FIcalc.app somewhat obsessively, but I haven't in a year.

ERE failures
- Donating to charity anonymously. I am worried about getting targeted as this level would put someone in the sub-1% of donors and get their address/contact info sold widely. However, the most web-of-goals compliant way would be to use donation as a way to build social capital. I think I would need to achieve an order of magnitude greater wealth to be able to move in that world, and that's not an appealing prospect.

Things considered
- Switched my phone plan and saved a few bucks. It was ridiculously easy and took all of 5 minutes online. I should've done this two years ago!

Things to consider
- Trying out some level of immersion for language learning. Seems like a recipe to burn out quickly, but with the potential for very rapid progress. As long as the burnout phase is short enough it could work?

basuragomi
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Basuragomi's journal

Post by basuragomi »

May 2021 update

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NW just eased over $700k. Big jump in essential expenses due to a landlord fuckup. Next month should be much lower to compensate, but this is the lowest savings rate (~20%) I've had in years.

ERE-type things I have been doing
- Made my own tofu! Also baked a cake (chocolate mousse) for the first time ever.
- We've gone 6 weeks without buying any groceries at all, prompted by the massive COVID caseload here but still an accomplishment. Beansprouts were my best friends here.
- Patched a few flat tires on the bikes. I figure the more patches, the tougher they get. Tubes are very hard to get right now too. My road bike rear tire has about 5 patches on it now. If you're wondering, a 24x1.75 tube will fit a 24x1-3/8 tire with some trepidation.
- I wanted to listen to my music collection (using my preferred player) anywhere around my place. Someone is probably screaming "get Bluetooth headphones you idiot!" but I've yet to find one that isn't crap and has swappable batteries. So instead I set up my computer to broadcast a local audio stream that I can pick up and control with a smartphone. My stack is Quod Libet (music player/database with MPD control plug-in enabled) -> PulseAudio (Linux audio server) -> DarkIce (pipe to IceCast) -> IceCast (stream broadcast) -> Local network -> VLC/Firefox on Android. It works!

ERE failures
- Wasted food. I keep a spreadsheet on our pantry with all the canned food expiry dates but somehow wrote down the wrong year on a can. Never seen chickpea jelly before.

Things considered
- Switched machine and browser language to French. It's been helpful, I've learned a lot of new vocabulary mostly from reading Wikipedia. My main stumbling block is actually speaking/composition at this point, but I'm not sure how I can adjust things to increase immersion here beyond deliberate practice.

Things to consider
- There's been a lot of talk about inflation, but it seems like any ability to generate future income will strongly diminish risks. I've hedged my rent with an equivalent amount of REITs and have few other fixed costs. Am I wrong in thinking that any ERE-er is mostly immune here?
- There was some discussion on the forum about how charitable giving does not address second- or third-order causes or effects. I think that charitable giving has first-order impacts on first-order issues, so is highly effective per unit effort relative to an indirect approach with orders of magnitude smaller impact. This got me thinking - how much would it cost to lobby politicians for more charitable government policy instead? There's a dilemma here, where the more voter support a policy would have, the less money you would need to get it implemented and sustained. However, the more in line you are with the voters, presumably the less charitable you are being as it's by definition apart from mainstream behaviour. Is charitable giving therefore condemned to always be fringe behaviour or unworkable on a mass scale? Lots to think about.

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