RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Where are you and where are you going?
Post Reply
RoamingFrancis
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

I've decided to take both A+P classes online over the summer.

I also plan to radically reduce time spent on screens. In the month of June, I plan to get rid of my phone entirely. I will use my laptop for school, but restrict my use to only a few sites.

I think my best use of this forum is posting a thoughtful and detailed update every month or so, instead of unfocused commenting here and there.

I find a certain freedom in constraints. My only summer plans are studying and gardening. Simplicity is beautiful.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

DW has gotten sick of me saying “I love constraints, they’re great!” But it’s true, it just makes things so much simpler. I think a big part of it is just being able to put down the energy required for decision making. It takes me a lot of effort to make a decision, because I approach them so methodically. Thus, I love constraints because they free up time and energy. She makes decisions rapidly and without much effort, thus, constraints are like a straight jacket for her creativity.



I couldn’t really figure an elegant way to start the rant about productivity so I’ll start it inelegantly. First, questions:
What trips you up? You lose track of assignments? How does that happen? What’s tour current system for tracking stuff look like? Do you use gmail calendar, or a notebook, or just try to remember stuff? Some musing from you will help me give more directed advice.

Generally speaking, I’m aligned with David allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) stuff. It is *complementary* to Cal and Scott young - I havent read the students guide thing you mentioned, but in my mind GTD is a solid foundation that scott and cal’s stuff does really well on top of, particularly if you have to manage multiple projects and domains of life simultaneously, which is almost everyone. I encourage you to check it out, the ROI has been quite large for me.

Some top of head notes on GTD:
It’s not a particular system, it’s an approach based on an understanding of how minds work. So it’s more appropriately a set of principles that you can use to assemble your own unique Strategy/system (sound familiar?). You can use any variety of apps or even paper to build a gtd system. I’ve employed several over the years. Some of the highlight principles of GTD:

Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them. This means that your brain is a terrible place to store things, like when your assignment is due, or a gift idea, or whatever. So a key behavior is moving ideas that pop in to your head in to your trusted system as quickly as possible. The notion is that if you don’t do this, your brain will continue trying to hold on to all the ‘stuff’, and this doesn’t leave much space for having new ideas, and ideas get dropped, and it’s a mess.

A tie in to cal here is that if your mind is a jumble of desperately trying to hold on to stuff, it’s going to be difficult to set it all aside and deeply focus for a deep work session, isn’t it?

The *trusted* system is key here, because if your system for holding stuff is also kind of a mess, and you don’t trust it to be able to find what you need when you need it, your brain isn’t going to let go and it’s going to keep holding on. A lot of the book then goes in to principles for how to create a system that you can trust.

The end goal is to be able to maintain a mental space of relaxed focus and openness, that is agile and able to adapt as needed in real time, able to focus intently on what the best and most important thing is to be focusing on at any given time. And sometimes that thing is “get high and look at the moon Theo us h binoculars because it feels good” (thanks @GnJ). GTD isn’t about being a corporate crank machine 24/7.

GTD is an investment. You’ll get some immediate results, and then Abandon it when things get crazy, and then pick it back up, and then change your system, and etc for a while until you get in to a groove. And at some point you’ll realize that the benefits are actually quite profound.

My current implementation is based on Evernote called The Secret Weapon. Google Evernote GTD secret weapon and you’ll find it. I recommend it as a great way to learn the principles of GTD by implementing them in a system with clear instructions, which is something the book fails to do. If it doesn’t appeal to you, don’t use it. When I go semiERE, I plan on switching to a paper based system. If you’re 100% apple, Omni might be a good option.

/GTD shpiel

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

What mainly trips me up is switching between tasks and losing track of assignments. Sometimes I struggle with procrastination, but I've gotten a lot better since I see going to university as something that I'm choosing to do. So I have greater intrinsic motivation than I did in high school, for example.

I usually use a small notebook to keep track of things. I don't have a particular system, I just write down assignments and stuff to remember and cross them off as I get them done. This semester it acted as a "semi-trusted system" because it was my main way of keeping track of things, but sometimes I forgot to write stuff down.

In a stroke of good luck, my dad has decided to work from a little basement office he set up from home. The lease where he normally works doesn't end until August, so I get to use that office for my summer classes. There's a whiteboard in there that I've been using to keep track of things recently.

I think the "trusted system" idea is a good one and losing track of what I'm supposed to be doing has been my main struggle. Could you elaborate on the principles for creating such a system?

I also agree that the goal of increasing productivity should be to make space for the rest of life, not turn you into a more efficient capitalist cog.

A couple side notes:

1) I hypothesize I'll be more productive than usual this summer, as I'm taking one class at a time, at a focused and fast pace. This means there's less energy wasted on switching between tasks.

2) My participation in the community garden is deepening my understanding of yields and flows. I was building berms and little canals to channel water, and could see the input to the system (water), the system itself (the berms and canals), and imagine the output (arrugula and radishes). It feels like something about systems thinking clicked in my head as I was working on that. Before yields and flows just seemed like a buzzword; now I think I understand what they really mean.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 7:59 pm
I think the "trusted system" idea is a good one and losing track of what I'm supposed to be doing has been my main struggle. Could you elaborate on the principles for creating such a system?
I'm struggling to answer this because, like ere, gtd is a philosophy/systems approach that rewards internalization and punishes a tips n tricks approach. The danger of listing a few more principles is that you (or anyone else) reading this will think that that is what gtd is, and take a crack at them, and they won't work, and then you'll have a sour taste of 'gtd'. Which would be like saying "Well, ERE is like, radically reduce your expenses, and then you can FIRE quickly, also skills". But that misses the whole Cave thing, the whole *point* of insourcing, the need to replace your old vision of consumption with a new vision of how to live life...

But at the same time, I don't want to come across as flippant by just saying "read the book". But... read the book. :)

Regardless, the core of the system is this (there's a flow chart diagram for this all over the internet, do an image search for gtd and you'll find it):

1. Capture everything. Actually everything. Almost no one does this, even though they think they do. Every idea, due date, bit of reference information, task, project, initiative, *ALL THE THINGS*, get captured in to the system. This means you need an in box (not your email). Mine is in Evernote. Literally everything goes there first. Some people have a virtual inbox plus a physical inbox - when I have physical stuff, I take a picture with my phone and it goes in to my Evernote in box.

2. Clarify what those things are. The book goes in to greater detail, but this step is basically the conversion of "stuff" in to precise objects in your system. The main element are Calendar items, Reference Information, and Actionable Items, and then another dimension is Projects and Actions. A project just being a group of two or more Actions.

Is this actionable? If no, it's reference information. If yes, can you do it in 2 minutes or less? Then just do it now, because it's not worth sorting. If not, is it the very Next Action for some project? Or maybe it needs to be done Soon, or Later, or only Maybe/Someday? Or perhaps you're Waiting on something (someone to get back to you, or some other triggering event)? Perhaps you care about the context: do you need to be at a computer/the internet? Is this a school thing, or a work thing, or a social thing, or a family thing? Does this thing have an actual due date? If yes, it goes on the calendar. If no, it doesn't (a lot of people put their tasks on the calendar, which is a bad idea for various reasons). Various systems have various ways of filing the Stuff according to the answers to all these questions.

3. Organize everything. Again, this is a "well, duh" thing, but the thing is, almost no one actually organizes *everything*. They organize the stuff they know is important, and the rest goes in to a sort of Miscellaneous limbo. The thing is, your brain holds on to the Misc stuff, which defeats the whole exercise. The magic happens when you start to capture and organize truly everything. There is no "misc" folder in a well designed gtd system. So in step 2 you decide what things are, and in step 3 you put them where they go. 2 and 3 can be mistaken as one step, because it typically goes like "oh hm what's this in my inbox, ah, it's the next action for project X [clarify], I'll tag it NA and move it over to my project tag, [organized], okay whats next..."

4. Reflect. If you don't happen to know what you need to do right now, you can review your system and it will tell you if it's in good hygiene. You can scan your Calendar for upcoming Stuff you Have to do / Deliver At that specific Time. You can scan your list of Projects, or you can scan your list of Next Actions. Also part of this is the Weekly Review, which is what it sounds like. You at least touch every part of your system. This helps to maintain Trust, because you daylight all nooks and crannies on a regular basis - otherwise your brain will try to pick them up again. There are templates on line for how to format your weekly review. It's not possible to overstate how important the weekly review is. If you're not doing it somewhat consistently, you're not really doing gtd. The weekly review is magic.

5. Engage. Do stuff. There isn't really anything specific to gtd about this stage, the magic of gtd is getting you to step 5 in such a way that you are calm, relaxed, focused, and have chosen the most appropriate thing to be working on at that moment. This is where Cal and Scott take over.


It all sounds complicated, but once you internalize it, it'll just be how you think and operate, and won't require any extra energy or effort.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Sounds like I should read the book :) Also sounds like there's a lot of overlap with ERE.

I will most likely buy this book and a memory book by Dominic O'Brien because the library's closed. Damn COVID :/

AxelHeyst
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

There's gotta be a million used copies of gtd you can order online for pretty cheap... it's worth a couple extra bucks to get the second edition, but not more than that.

Meant to add - I'd be interested in any contrasting opinions of gtd from forumites. So far I've only heard criticism of gtd from people who didn't actually try trying.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1257
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

I wish I learned about GTD while I was in the thick of my career.....too late.

Still worth reading/implementing for someone who is passed the accumulation stage?

macg
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:48 pm
Location: USA-FL

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by macg »

I am a big fan of GTD. @axelheyst, great overview of the process and philosophy. Also thanks for the Evernote resource, I will have to look into that.

I have been using GTD in some form pretty much since the first edition of the book came out. The issue I have had, and continue to have, is where to keep "the system" ... originally (and where it worked best for me, probably) I had it all in Outlook, with some add-ons that were popular in the early 2000s. Unfortunately when I left that job, I didn't have the Office product at home, so that all went away. Since then, I have tried various note-taking and Tasks apps, various Gmail configurations, and haven't quite found one that really works for me. I am now at a job that has Outlook again, but those old add-ons don't exist anymore, and frankly Outlook has gotten worse over the years, not better.

I will scope out the Evernote setup, but honestly, I have tried to get myself to use Evernote / Onenote for years now, and it has yet to provide any benefit for me.

@2Birds1Stone, GTD, while obviously sold as a "job productivity system", in reality, the true implementation is across your whole life. The theory is that everything you are doing or planning on doing should go in the system, regardless of whether it's work or home. So someone that is working might have lists that include things from emailing the client about that proposal, to calling the florist to order flowers for mother's day, to repairing the front door. So it really depends on how much you might think it could help you. Personally, I always seem to lean towards "worth reading" anyways :-) .... But as @axelheyst stated, there are a ton of resources on the web about it, so it might be worth researching there first before buying the book.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

Yep, what @macg said. If all you do is sit on a beach and sip mai tais, gtd is overkill. For everyone else, an appropriate gtd system will provide benefits. I certainly plan on maintaining my gtd system through semi-ERE, although I'm considering shifting as much of it to paper as I can. That's mostly an aesthetic choice, though, and I'm far enough advanced with gtd I feel comfortable making that maneuver.

The problem most people run in to is indeed what platform(s) to build their gtd system in. I tried an Evernote implementation, and failed. Then, I found the Secret Weapon article, and I've been Evernote ever since (8 years now?). Those folks hit on a winner, to my mind. But everyone is different.

Another principle of gtd is that it is "bottom up". In other words, it doesn't ask you to start with "what do you want to do with your life?", dream wildly, and then drill down to projects and actions. It says, you're probably too scattered and all over the place to have enough space in your mind to know what you want with your life anyways. So, the first step is, get a grip on your day to day, get in calm relaxed flow of handling your stuff. This will free up space to be able to think productively about what you want in life, and then act on it.

*All* of my ERE materials, my personal mythology documents, my wild dreams and goals strategies, my personal manifesto, my financial planning, the next post I want to put in my journal, all my work projects, my personal projects, date and gift ideas for DW, notes on all the books I've read, my bucket list, and how to access my company benefits website, it all lives inside my gtd system in some way. 99% of the time, I don't think "here I go in to my gtd system now"... it's just where my stuff lives, it's how my stuff is organized, and it's how I think about it all. It's internalized.

(In this sense, I have a sense of where I want to get to on the ERE Wheaton scale. I know what it's like to forget that I'm even "doing" gtd, because I can't imagine not behaving in this way. That sensation / mode of operating is what I've got my intention set on with ere behavior.)

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

I ordered the GTD book and a book on memory palaces by Dominic O'Brien today. Both should be helpful, as my summer consists of intensive online anatomy classes. Usually I would order these through the library, but it's closed due to COVID :/

Today I reread "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport. I read this at the same time as I read the ERE book, and both left a strong impression on me. Some takeaways from this time through:

Cal focuses a lot on specialization in his other work. However, most of the people he describes in his book take time off of work to do things like get degrees in philosophy for fun, or get a pilot's license. His approach actually focuses on building one kind leverage, which he deems career capital, to allow a Renaissance lifestyle later on. ERE is useful in understanding the other forms of capital that can be used to achieve a similar result. I think his focus on specialization isn't to encourage people to dedicate their lives to one task, but rather to firstly increase focus and secondly decrease the tendency of some high achievers to overload their schedules.

Shorter takeaways include to leverage my existing connections, delayed gratification is good, what others my age are doing belongs in the "cloud of external distractions," and to get instant feedback when studying my schoolwork.

In the book he also claims that when Richard Feynman's IQ was tested in high school, it was 125, but he used deliberate practice to become a kickass physicist anyways. Can anyone verify this? I'll have to do some googling.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

I think you're right about Cal. At first glance he seems very pro-specialization, but more accurately he's pro-*going deep*. This can be very useful in getting you to a point of proficiency at something that people will a) pay you decent money for it and b) agree to your terms, such as flexible hours, work from home, regular sabbaticals, or whatever.

While ERE is critical of specialization obviously, being specialized *enough* in something in order to accumulate at a decent rate in order to free up the rest of your time to pursue broad skills/activities is part of the strategy. It's generally recognized around here that it's tough to make your cheddar if you are a complete jack of all trades, as that is poorly compensated. It's better to be a jack of most trades, master of one or two. And this suits both traditional rapid accumulation to FI, or semiERE: either 5 years and then FI or 5hrs/week and semi-retired.

oldbeyond
Posts: 259
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:43 pm

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by oldbeyond »

I'm also using GTD (even if my implementation is much less clean than @AxelHeyst's, mine is split between work and home and across various pieces of software. But it works in capturing everything, and I do a weekly review). It is useful if you wan't aid in accomplishing something, there's no reason it should only belong in a corporate setting.

I've been reading Newports blog for a long time (less as of late, though) and been very influenced by SGTCIY. To me it seems that both lay out the same basic script (value creation/minimization of waste, leveraged to maximize agency). ERE is a much deeper book, and broader as it covers life(style) design, while Newport's book is more focused on building a career, even if he touches on pursuing other interests once you've established yourself. But it is a great middle-brow implementation of said script in the workplace, and it has helped me to grow and gain independence in my work.

I think most renaissance men will acquire quite a bit of depth in several areas. Dipping your toes into 10000 different things without ever becoming proficient in any of them seems very un-ERE. It might be more of a question of exactly how deep one drills.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Yes, I think he uses the terms "specialization" and "going deep" interchangeably, while an EREr would make a distinction between the two. Jacob went far enough in physics to get a PhD and work in research, which in my opinion qualifies as deep understanding of a field. Newport was a guest on Mad Fientist and discussed his idea of "Focused FIRE," where someone uses the principles of SGTCIY to gain enough career capital that they essentially only work for fun.

I do agree that ERE is a deeper book, as it has a more robust strategy. Cal Newport's advice of "be the absolute best person in your field" is hard to accomplish.

I wonder what either of them think of labor unions, as these were the main strategy for workers gaining autonomy throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 12:57 pm
Cal Newport's advice of "be the absolute best person in your field" is hard to accomplish.
He probably mentions this somewhere, but it's a lot easier to accomplish if your field is the overlap between two rarely-overlapping fields. That's what I accidentally did. I'm an okay engineer, and a mediocre digital artist at best, but there are almost zero other people combining those two fields, so hey presto I'm #winning.

I'd have had to get to, idk, 8,000 hrs as an engineer, or 10,000hrs as a digital artist, to get the career capital that I finagled with maybe 2,000 hrs at my combined shtick because I'm so rare.

Combining almost anything with the ability to speak well in public (nowadays this includes the ability to make decent youtube videos) fits in to this, as so many people are too terrified of public speaking. I also have a bit of this going on for me.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 13080
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by jacob »

Methinks there's a bit of survivor bias in the "be the best person in your field" advice. IIRC, he used the example of bothering to read a difficult paper that most other computer scientists hadn't. One field's high achievements are another field's minimum requirements. It's therefore important to realize the size of the lake one is swimming in before attempting to become the biggest fish. Smaller but highly compensated lakes are found in intersections and virgin territory. This is unfortunately also where a lot of business failures are found, but sometimes one can luck into it. For example, people who had spent a few months dabbling with HTML twenty five years ago suddenly found themselves highly paid experts because they could hack up the "homepages" that every company suddenly figured they needed. Smaller lakes with lower compensation are found everywhere.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Great insights; thank you both. I wonder how I could combine foreign language skills with medical training; I'm sure there's medical translation or medical anthropology or something.

@jacob, any thoughts on unions?

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 13080
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by jacob »

From what I've heard, it's a pretty sweet deal if you can get into them. Back when I was a looking into becoming a carpenter, I was astounded that a journeyman carpenter made almost as much ($17/hr in 2010) after four years of study as a postdoc physicist ($20/hr in 2010) did after 8+ years of study.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Finding a Better Spending Heuristic

Upon reflecting on the past couple months, I believe I have actually been spending too little. My tightwad proclivities have prevented me from spending in areas that would genuinely improve my quality of life, such as healthy food and bicycle parts.

Realizing that I need a better way to determine whether something is worth spending money on, I present my latest idea: the CPR quotient. It's pretty simple; I got the initials from a podcast I decided to name it for. Here is the gist:

CPR value = quality of life / cost of living

Cost of living is pretty easy to calculate. Quality of life is a little harder because there are so many variables involved. For the time being, I will have to use subjective intuition. The point of this heuristic is that I have noticed myself engaging in self-denying behaviors because of my long term ERE goals. However, by evaluating how much a certain commodity would increase my quality of life given its cost, I can allocate more money to important places, such as healthy food, bike parts, and side projects that could end up saving/making me money down the line.

Independent Thinking

Coming up with creative solutions to complicated problems is hard. I had hoped a STEM major would involve more independent critical thought, but unfortunately it seems you can get by with a complex enough "monkey see, monkey do" attitude. I won't leave college, because it is helping me reach my goals, but I will have to come up with ways to do more critical thinking and complex thought. Math seems to help me do this. Maybe some puzzle games or something would be helpful too.

Psychologists sometimes talk about a general intelligence, g, and a specific intelligence, s. Specific intelligence can be likened to specific skills, or perhaps an inclination for a specific skill or type of thought. It seems clear that the best way to enhance s is through deliberate practice. Additionally, specific cognitive capacities, such as memory, focusing power, ability to feel equanimity in difficult situations, and the ability to feel empathy and compassion for others, can be enhanced with systemic training.

However, how does one enhance g? How does one become better at the general skill of coming up with creative solutions to difficult problems?

Food for thought...

nomadscientist
Posts: 362
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:54 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by nomadscientist »

jacob wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 2:59 pm
Methinks there's a bit of survivor bias in the "be the best person in your field" advice. IIRC, he used the example of bothering to read a difficult paper that most other computer scientists hadn't. One field's high achievements are another field's minimum requirements. It's therefore important to realize the size of the lake one is swimming in before attempting to become the biggest fish. Smaller but highly compensated lakes are found in intersections and virgin territory. This is unfortunately also where a lot of business failures are found, but sometimes one can luck into it. For example, people who had spent a few months dabbling with HTML twenty five years ago suddenly found themselves highly paid experts because they could hack up the "homepages" that every company suddenly figured they needed. Smaller lakes with lower compensation are found everywhere.
How meaningful do you think the average compensation of the lake is?

I think I'd make far more as a top plumber than I make as a very reasonable physicist. Most professions have a tiny tail of extremely highly paid people who are basically not part of the ordinary distribution. If you want to be part of this tail in sports, music or science you are probably going to fail regardless of how good you are, but if you are competitive in one of these things there are less competitive but related professions where expecting to be in the tail is reasonable.

One part of this is that all professions eventually become "business", the real money is always in having an equity stake, and "less competitive" professions often (but not always) offer equity stake for more people at a lower level with less skill. A lot more plumbers than web developers are millionaires and I bet a fair few of them never graduated high school. That aside from the fact that corporate employment is simply disagreeable to most creative people.

FIRE can be seen as corporate employees trying to make this leap to equity stake, not by starting their own firm because it's good as impossible, but by buying out 0.001% of their employer.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

RoamingFrancis' Transition to Vanlife

After some self-reflection, discussions with my IRL friends, and @AxelHeyst, I have decided that I want to move out of my parents' house.

Of course, I still want to follow ERE principles while doing this. I've thought about a couple different options - tiny houses, small apartments, RVs. The best option given my surroundings seems to be a van conversion. I've never done anything like this before, so it'll be a learning experience and fun project too.

I really like the design of the van in the following YouTube video. Simple and classy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vsm6S1A7iSY

As I have never done anything like this before, planning the details will likely be a bit incoherent. Please bear with me and point out if there is an obvious lapse in my thinking.

I've begun to scout out places to park my rig around the neighborhood. Ideally, I'd be able to find somewhere to camp out right by school, and use the school's facilities for classes, showering, and social time. I found a beautiful forest preserve not too far away.

What remains is the actual logistics of a van conversion: figuring out solar panels, water, waste, cooking, etc. As I said, I have 0 experience, so I'm just going to have to dive in and try to learn. Will I be able to get this done before winter? No clue.

I will include more logistical details at a later point, as I have some other things to attend to tonight.

Renaissance Skill Updates

I've begun an online permaculture course and have finally made some progress in fixing my bike. It feels so good to fix things yourself. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue with the course; it seems a bit intellectually shallow and huckstery. I really want to understand the soil biology, ecology, and botany at a deeper level than what's been covered so far.

One cool concept that I learned about was Alan Turing's reaction-diffusion system. Fascinating! Unfortunately the course didn't provide much detail, so I'll be left with Wikipedia to try to understand more of the depth.

Post Reply