RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Where are you and where are you going?
AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:33 pm
The only source of friction in my life right now is that I've been having trouble getting up at a consistent time. Does anyone have tips on this?
This is some WL9 secret voodoo, but I'll tell it to you anyways:
1. Pick a time you want to consistently wake up at
2. Set your alarm to that time
3. When the alarm goes off in the morning, wake up.*
4. Repeat steps 1-3 every day.

*WL12 Tip: If you find yourself snoozing it, put your alarm across the room, forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off.

[insert emoji that means I say this lightheartedly and not in a mean way but also, yeah, there's an app for that.]

mathiverse
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by mathiverse »

Another thing to look at is when you're going to bed. I find that whether I wake up early is determined 70% by when I get to sleep unless I put in some extra effort in the morning like AxelHeyst suggested. If you consistently stay up too late to get a full night's rest before your alarm goes off, then it's not surprising you're having trouble getting up each day. Changing that might be easier than trying to force yourself awake in the mornings.

Of course, one can wake up everyday at the same time even if one goes to sleep too late to get a full night's rest. I did that sometimes when I was waking up at 5:30 am. I basically jumped out of bed for coffee each morning and by the time I made a cup of coffee for myself I was ready to stay awake the rest of the day. This is similar to AxelHeyst's advice.

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

Yes, to be less of a prick about it, the function of the alarm clock method is just to force myself to wake up ‘early’, so that I’m tired by the time the optimum bedtime comes around, which forces my sleep pattern to adjust. Soon enough the alarm is unnecessary and i’m getting enough healthy sleep again. I’ve never found it worked for me to go to bed when i wasn’t tired.

The trick is when you have no exterior structure forcing you to get up at any time.

mathiverse
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by mathiverse »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:31 am
the function of the alarm clock method is just to force myself to wake up ‘early’, so that I’m tired by the time the optimum bedtime comes around, which forces my sleep pattern to adjust. Soon enough the alarm is unnecessary and i’m getting enough healthy sleep again. I’ve never found it worked for me to go to bed when i wasn’t tired.
Good point. I also haven't had success trying to go to sleep earlier if I'm not tired. I do as you suggest which is to wake up early and deal with the lack of adequate sleep for a couple days until I adjust to being sleepy and going to sleep at a good time which eventually leads to no longer needing the alarm clock to wake up early.

SouthernAlchemy
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by SouthernAlchemy »

Hey RF. Just read through your journal. Damn you change your plans a lot! :) Just kidding, reminds me of myself when I was 20. The important thing is that you are figuring yourself out and don't seem afraid to make changes and try new things. You've got a lot of interests, follow those and I predict a 'career' will show up, eventually... Keep using ERE principals to help avoid succumbing to outside pressures to get into something you might not really want to do (e.g. nursing). Looking forward to what you do next.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Eh, I'm 20, I'm allowed to change my mind about shit.

Miscellaneous Update:
The roofing season starts in March; I've had a couple meetings with coworkers to discuss strategy. I am getting a good business/sales/real estate education there, which will be useful. My translation skills have been in demand as well, which means I've been getting money.

Had a Zoom call with the WikiTongues founder the other day, and now I get to introduce myself as a volunteer field linguist which is pretty cool. Almost done reading One River by Wade Davis, which has deepened my obsession with ethnobotany. I plan to spend most of 2021 working, honing new practical skills, building career capital, and saving money. Then take a hiatus to document endangered indigenous languages and eat weird Amazonian plants.

Though I don't plan to finish my undergrad degree, I do have an opportunity to do a kickass independent study with a chem professor I love. We're doing a deep dive into the neurochemistry of mindfulness meditation and psychedelic medicine. And I get to work with him one-on-one, which will be an excellent learning opportunity.

I have been maintaining a strong meditation practice and am almost done with a certification in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. I plan to continue going after more advanced certifications once I'm done with this one. And lastly, I have started working through Paul Wheaton's PEP program as a sort of "ERE Curriculum" and connected with a local permaculturalist. Lots of good material there.

Today I listened to a Cal Newport podcast and got a lot of value out of breaking down your goals into quarterly, weekly, and daily projects. If this quarter ends at the end of March, I would like to establish a robust side income from translation work, finish my MBSR certification, and finish the Food Prep PEP badge.

Though I realize it sounds like my interests and efforts may seem all over the place to someone looking in from the outside, to me it has a quiet internal logic and all seems to make sense.

My main expense is rent; I am considering finding another squat somewhere and subletting the apartment. We shall see.

Hope all is well.

Peaceably,
Roaming Francis

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Last weekend I did a one day meditation retreat in my closet; it was a great way to deepen my practice and I plan to do this 1-2 times a week for the foreseeable future. I also finished the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction certification.

I have been growing increasingly obsessed with ethnobotany and have about eighty pages left in One River. I've also discovered that Dr. Mark Plotkin has a delightful podcast called Plants of the Gods. I am planning an Ultralearning project around this theme and would like to start digging into the actual research literature.

Ultralearning Project: Ecology

I want to spend 2021 embarking on filling a vast hole in my knowledge with an ecological ultralearning project. To be fair, it will be a little bit of a mixed bag of ecology and ethnobotany, but I'll use ecology in the title as it seems a bit more inclusive. There are three main goals of this project:
  • Understand how an ecosystem functions, current environmental threats, and possible solutions.
  • Grow a significant quantity of food in my apartment
  • Classify plants according to Linnean taxonomy
For part 1, I am assembling a reading list. This will likely include a good chunk of the ERE canon, as well as perspectives from black/indigenous/nonmale writers. Possibilities include:
  • Ecology textbook
  • all the books mentioned by @AxelHeyst in his most recent post, particularly John Michael Greer and Overshoot.
  • Braiding Sweetgrass
  • Research papers by Richard Evans Schultes
I will need an active recall system to make sure I really internalize the concepts of the above work. It can't just be in one ear, out the other; I have to understand this deeply and intuitively. Perhaps creating question sets or essay writing would work well.

For part 2, I think I can get a good set up with scavenged materials and maybe a trip to the hardware store. My worry here is that the feedback loop is slow; if my plants die, how do I know what I did wrong? It seems like the process is too slow to know exactly what you're doing wrong/where you need to improve.

Standard mnemonic techniques seem to apply in part 3. I believe memory palaces + Anki will suffice.

I plan for this to last the duration of 2021, and to be my second highest life priority. I would like to be done planning and gathering materials by February, and spend at least 90 minutes/day on the Ultralearning project when the execution phase begins.

Peaceably,
Roaming Francis

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

Cool! I have "ultralearn ultralearning" in my gtd system, as a sort-of joke to myself. Looking forward to your progress/results with this, as "learn ecology" is my next UL project, second half of the year.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Ecology Ultralearning Refinements

Refined reading list:
- Limits to Growth
- Braiding Sweetgrass
- Catabolic Collapse
- The Long Descent
- https://atmos.earth/black-feminist-ecol ... ght-essay/
- https://www.futurescenarios.org/

Refined goals:
- Understand the predicament.* Communicate effectively with experts and laypeople.
- Grow food
- Classify plants

By predicament, I mean the ecological predicament humanity finds itself in.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

January Spending

Another expensive month. My geographical setup is bad and makes frugality a lot harder. Doing the best I can until I can relocate.

$500 - MBSR Certification
$270 - Rent
$138 - Registration for a college class
$231.38 - Gas, groceries, other expenses

Total - $1139.38

Working on getting a refund for the class through financial aid. My accounting could be better too, but this is what I've got for now.

In other news, I connected with a potential permaculture mentor. I'll be seeing the land tomorrow, and making further decisions depending on that. Maybe in the summer I can move into a yurt and sublease the apartment :)

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

COVID in the Context of Energy Descent

We cannot know for sure where the arc of civilization is headed, but a Star Trek Utopia seems far from likely. It is more probable that we will continue heating up the planet and depleting the resources required to run an industrial civilization.

John Michael Greer argues that an immediate collapse is unlikely; a staircase-shaped pattern of descent is a more probable situation. Purely from the standpoint of resource depletion, this seems reasonable. Resource production over time follows a bell curve, so resources become more scarce bit by bit.

This seems to be supported by historical evidence as well—from what I have read of the fall of the Romans and the Maya, they were slow descents into simpler societies after the empires overshot their limits and depleted key resources.

A quicker collapse is certainly possible, though its probability lies in question. The two key factors involved in a rapid collapse would be unmitigated climate change and rapid depletion of a key resource. It is worth checking the history books to look for precedents of a rapid collapse; Easter Island may be an example of this.

So where are we at now, and what is the role of the coronavirus pandemic?

According to experts I have read, global oil production either already has peaked or is expected to peak within 20 years or so. Even BP seems to recognize the writing on the wall. Link The main question I want to understand is where humanity lies at this particular point on the arc of civilization, and what the long-term effects of the pandemic will be.

Pandemics seem to come and go throughout history, and often aren’t thought of as more than historical footnotes. The Spanish Flu of 1918 is second only to the Black Death in terms of death toll, but before COVID was not commonplace knowledge. Will coronavirus be any different?

Only time will tell, but I suspect so. Firstly, remote work and school is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. This cultural shift will be around for a while. Secondly, and more importantly, the fragility of first-world consumption has been exposed. For the first time in decades, the United States experienced shortages. At the start of the pandemic, people started gardening and taking on self-sufficiency practices.

Greer’s theory of catabolic collapse holds that civilizational decline follows a pattern of crisis → normalization → crisis → normalization. Each normalization period will be characterized by simpler economies and less energy availability. As vaccination becomes more widespread and the pandemic winds down, we must be mindful of the cultural and economic shifts that emerge in the aftermath. Are people tending the gardens they started in April of 2020? Are more local economies emerging? Are there industries that fail to fully recover from the recession caused by the virus? If so, there is evidence to support my suspicion—that COVID-19 represents the first crack in the foundation of industrial civilization.

Viability of Permaculture as a Response

As I dive deeper into these waters, permaculture keeps coming up as a solution, or at least promising mitigation tool, for our global predicament. However, it is not totally without problems.

Firstly, it isn’t clear exactly what permaculture is. A permaculturist would likely say it’s a “system of design principles derived from systems thinking,” but what the hell does that mean? To a layperson, the difference between permaculture and currents of the sustainability movement is not clear.

Secondly, as @AxelHeyst points out, there seems to be a culture of permaculture noobs thinking they know more than they do and alienating people. It is not clear to me whether permaculture is a legit set of practical solutions, or a set of cutesy gardening tips that’s been effectively marketed to suburbanites.

None of this is to knock permaculture or automatically discredit it; it’s just to say that I lack the information I need to make an informed judgement and will need to make an informed judgement after first understanding general ecology and botany.

Personal Planning

I’m changing up my reading list. Now I’m just going to continue forward with Limits to Growth, Botany in a Day, and a book that talks about climate change.

I have read a good deal on peak oil now, but am underinformed on the pollution side of things. I just need a book that describes the current scientific understanding of climate change and the societal changes it will put into motion over the coming decades. I read Peter Kalmus’ Being the Change, but didn’t deeply grok all the scientific details.

I’ve decided to revise my strategy for the rest of the year. My current main projects are my meditation practice, the roofing gig, my ecology ultralearning project, and an independent study with a cool professor on the neuroscience of meditation and psychedelics. I’ve done some legal translation at a law office in the past, and have been offered an opportunity to increase my hours and income there. Given my present situation (living in an apartment, HCOL) I think it’s best to take the job.

The first order effects of this are good—increased career capital and yet another income stream. However, the second order effects include more time spent indoors, less time working in the garden, and less time for my ecology project. Despite the negative second order effects, I believe the third order effects will be good—having a big chunk of money by the time the fall rolls around, which means that I could arrange for this to be my last winter in Chicago and take an extended period of time off in order to focus exclusively on Gert/Renaissance skills.

Knowing about ERE at the age of 20 feels like having a secret weapon. Given my age, my desire to seriously pursue travel, meditation, and eco-friendly living, plugging myself into a five-year accumulation phase doesn’t make sense.

Having received a good offer for a second job, I think the best tactic is to do a mini-accumulation phase. I’ll keep up with the ecological study in my free time, but it will demoted from an “ultralearning project” to a “learning project.” I’ll finish my reading list, grow some plants, and learn their taxonomic classifications.

Living in an apartment, there’s some friction involved in seriously getting good at “permaculture shit.” For now I believe it’s more skillful means to work the jobs, treat the year as a mini accumulation phase, and have the financial resources to take extended time off. During this time off I will do travel and meditation, but with a grounding in ERE strategy. I’ll also invest serious time and effort into passive income streams and Gert skills.

mooretrees
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by mooretrees »

BTW, a new forum member just joined who has actually lived in the Amazon. Touching Fire, Hwodwulf's Journal is the fellow. Maybe he has some connections for you?

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Money vs. Fun

The other day I was at w*rk, and my coworker said something that stuck with me. He said, "In life, there's stuff you do for money, and there's stuff you like to do." This is fairly obvious, but it made something click.

My entire life, I have just wanted to read my damn book and play outside with my friends. Unfortunately, I was put through the American factory-farm education system, and my learning was systematically impeded for 12 years. I somehow managed to escape without being stuffed into a box and coming out as an obedient cookie-cutter professional.

One of the common themes in my life is that extrinsic motivation virtually never functions to help me to do something. This is the problem with both work and school—they are built primarily for achievers. I don't care about achieving; my "player types" are those of the socializer and explorer, not achiever. The money:fun ratio that my coworker mentioned can be rephrased in an interesting way—there are things that you are extrinsically motivated to do, and things you are intrinsically motivated to do.

The key principle of ERE is that low expenses allow you to swing that ratio way more towards intrinsic motivation. Frugality allows you to do things purely for the sake of doing them, and lets you dedicate your life to things that are worth doing, regardless of whether they return a financial yield.

Customizing an ERE System

Jacob's story is somewhat deceptive. At first glance, it does not look too much different from the more mainstream FIRE "software engineer" path. Maybe more extreme. Though upon deeper investigation one realizes that his path isn't just quantitatively different, it's qualitatively different. It's this qualitative difference that allows us to connect the dots between people like Mister Money Mustache and Rob Greenfield.

At first glance, these figures couldn't be more different. Mister Money Mustache is a wealthy, financially independent software engineer. Rob Greenfield is a hobo who has vowed never to accumulate more than $15,000. But digging a little deeper, an understanding of the Renaissance ideal and ERE philosophy reveals that these two figures are actually quite similar. If we created a systems diagram of Mister Money Mustache, Rob Greenfield, and Jacob, and mapped out all of the capital (financial and otherwise) inflows and outflows, we would come up with a similar result.

However, when each of these figures started building their ERE system they had an advantage I don't have—an established career and efficient income stream.

Pre-pandemic, I had been planning to go through a nursing program and reach FI through a fairly conventional route. But damn it, life is short and I have non-paying projects I want to retire to. I want to spend as little of my life as humanly possible under fluorescent lighting; I need to find a way to minimize my extrinsic:intrinsic ratio now. Sacrificing 5-10 years to the Man to reach FI just isn't my style.

There are several other issues with the accumulation phase. It leads to increased loss aversion, and, due to the inherent volatility in capitalism, exacerbated by resource depletion and climate change, I am wary of placing my trust in the market. I also have little intrinsic interest in working for money or learning to invest; that's time I could use to do more interesting things. Furthermore, as @AxelHeyst has pointed out, there seems to be a local minimum of people who reach FI but never progress to WL7+. One way to avoid this is to flip the model on its head—focus on Renaissance skills first, FI second. I believe @G+J has pointed out that it is a lot more fun to reach ERE as a natural byproduct of living an interesting life, as opposed to the traditional FIRE accumulation model.

Every ERE system requires maintenance of some sort; a mark of a mature system is that the maintenance requirement is relatively low. In Jacob's case, his maintenance costs are spending a couple hours each year managing his investments. In Rob Greenfield's case, he spends a couple hours each year doing public speaking, which provides him with sufficient income for a year or two.

Even though Rob is not FI (he's quite the opposite), his system requires the same amount of maintenance as Jacob's. Despite all the conversations about how the Wheaton Scale is a teaching tool and not a belt system, I propose that one useful way of determining an individual's Wheaton Level is by measuring their system's maintenance requirements. Systems that require lots of maintenance are low Wheaton; systems that require little are howlie. This is why Rob, Mark Boyle, etc are considered howlies even though they are closer to hobos than they are to traditional FIRE people like MMM.

All of this leads me to some a new idea with regards to how I will structure my ERE planning.

The SHIT Plan: Suckiness Halved, Independence of Time

The SHIT Plan, loosely modeled after Paul Wheaton's BEER Plan, takes a couple things into consideration:
  • I'm unlikely to ever be satisfied in a conventional career
  • I lack intrinsic interest in investing
  • I want to accelerate the five years to freedom of Jacob's ERE path
  • I lack confidence in the market being stable or growing throughout my lifetime
  • I don't have much of a pre-existing career
  • Low system maintenance is more important than a big stash
  • Life is short and I want to fill it doing weird fun things
  • Renaissance skills are more important than FI in order to reach WL7+; I have to be careful about avoiding the local minima.
Given all of this, it seems illogical to continue with traditional FIRE. Hence the need for the SHIT Plan. I will use some permaculture principles to develop this further.

Design from Patterns to Details

The SHIT Plan can be described as low maintenance, low yield (LMLY) entrepreneurship. Though I'm a bit too much of an anarchist to be a huge fan of any for-profit venture, I don't see anything wrong with small-scale socially and ecologically responsible entrepreneurship. The patterns that I would like to mimic here are the low maintenance and low yield income streams of people like Jacob and Rob.

Instead of the typical capitalist game of growing an enterprise infinitely, I can play a different game. Instead of asking how to make a million dollars, I can ask "How can I build a business that returns $7-15k per year, with as little effort and maintenance as possible? How can I figure out how to generate relatively small sums within that range at will, with the flexibility to pick up and put down w*rk projects as I deem necessary?"

I suspect having low yields as a specific goal will be much easier than trying to make a lot of money, and I furthermore suspect a breadth of skills and income streams would be useful in creating this scenario, and think that taking time off to develop Renaissance skills and lower my cost of living could create a positive feedback loop that creates tensegrity in my income generating system.

Getting good at LMLY business seems to be the best step forward in terms of optimizing my ERE system, free time, personal autonomy, resilience, etc. I furthermore suspect that this strategy will be more robust in the context of energy descent and climate change. I would rather depend on flexible income streams than stored capital.

Observe and Interact

Another permaculture principle is to start with the resources right in front of you. Now that I have identified the pattern I wish to mimic, I have to figure out which details of my own life fit best within this pattern. Let's start by taking an inventory of my skills and income.

Skills:
  • Proficiency in English, Spanish, German. Varying degrees of fluency in Portuguese, French, Arabic, Russian, Esperanto, and Potawatomi
  • People skills. I'm fairly agreeable.
  • Mindfulness / Contemplative Practice
  • ERE and strategic thinking
  • Some technical knowledge of roofs and insurance policies
  • Some knowledge of grantwriting
Current income streams:
  • Roofing company
  • Translation and grantwriting at immigration law office
  • Possibility of getting involved in a for-profit plant nursery at the local permaculture site. This is still in the "might happen" zone.
I have an idea of what sort of niche in life I want to occupy, but I first have to find a LMLY business niche that will give me the time to work on my projects that are unlikely to return a financial yield. Therefore, I must ask what skills must I strategically improve in order to be capable of occupying that niche. I must furthermore figure out how the hell market research works and learn what the unoccupied niches in my area are.

For now, I will continue generating income from my gigs and try to use them primarily as career gyms where I learn useful new skills. I'll do some digging to see if there are any other examples of LMLY business structure that I can learn from. Wishing you all the best.

Peaceably,
RoamingFrancis

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:05 pm
I propose that one useful way of determining an individual's Wheaton Level is by measuring their system's maintenance requirements. Systems that require lots of maintenance are low Wheaton; systems that require little are howlie. This is why Rob, Mark Boyle, etc are considered howlies even though they are closer to hobos than they are to traditional FIRE people like MMM.
Well, maintenance requirements isn't sufficient to peg someone on the WL I think, although it's a component for sure. Someone with $3mill in index funds and a CoL of $50k has pretty low maintenance, but you'd be hard pressed to convince anyone around here that they're high Wheaton. High Wheaton implies systems level thinking, consilience, resilience, slack, the ability to abandon a node and maintain tensegrity, etc. I don't think you can stray too far from these concepts and still say something meaningful about howlies.

I don't know if Rob's system requires as little maintenance as Jacob's. The dude grew all his food that one year! That's the opposite of low maintenance! His *getmoney* system is low maintenance, but I'm not sure if his food, shelter, etc etc nodes are as low maintenance. (I actually am having some doubts as to whether or not we should be placing Greenfield/Boyle/etc on the WL scale at all, confusing being extreme with having a completely closed-loop system, but that's a topic for another time).

YMLY = Tim Ferriss' "muse" from 4hour work week. Might find some good stuff still in that if you haven't read it already. You can also find a bunch of stories of people setting up muses on his website somewhere.

Overall I'm a big supporter of the semiERE idea of not waiting to FI to build renaissance skills and etc, obviously. Awesome! Get some!

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Good points. Interesting point about Rob too—I had considered the year of growing food as an Adventure, and thus exempt from the usual rules :)

I have read 4HWW; don't remember the part about muses though.

Interesting point about maintenance; note that I did write it's *one* useful way of determining someone's WL. I'd be interested to hear you elaborate on whether Greenfield/Boyle should be placed on the scale. Do you think they are doing something qualitatively different from Jacob?

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

"All howlies have low maintenance systems." I agree!
"All or most or even just a solid handful of people with low maintenance systems are howlies." I don't agree, or at least I think it's possible that there are a lot of low-maintenance non-howlie people (rich people and certain kinds of homeless people come to mind).
If you flipped it around, and said that "If a system is high maintenance, it is not high WL", now I'm back to agreeing with you.

Ah, so I half agree with your original statement. I agree with "I propose that one useful way of determining an individual's Wheaton Level is by measuring their system's maintenance requirements; if it is high, they are not high WL. If it is low, they *could be* high WL, but we're not sure if this is all we know about them".

It might seem like I'm picking a nit, but I think that grokking high WL thinking is a complex and delicate enough task that attempting to be severely precise and accurate with our journey there is worth the effort.

Yeah fair point about Rob's adventure - I just don't know enough about his day to day to analyze his "real" life. I was grasping for an example. :) It seems fair to say he has huge social capital, plus many skills.

And whether or not Rob is doing something qualitatively different is difficult to determine because we don't have good access to how he thinks about what he does to himself, because as we've discussed Rob seems to only publicly communicate with a target audience of Original Wheaton Eco Scale 1-3, whereas Jacob wrote a book about how he thinks in an attempt to get people all the way to WL7. Rob certainly belongs somewhere on the original Wheaton scale, it's whether or not it's useful to put him on the ERE WL scale that I'm not sure of. The idea is still half baked though.

theanimal
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by theanimal »

I'd say it's useful to include him, Boyle, Suelo and any others on the ERE wheaton scale. They've demonstrated that they have the skills to live a high quality lifestyle without reliance on the monetary system. They've closed the loops and are chopping wood, carrying water. What's the reason for wondering what he thinks about it? If he perceives it as a sacrifice?

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

It's important if the ERE WL scale is more about how one thinks (mindset/focus) rather than what one does. Obviously we can infer a lot about how people think based on their actions and words... but like I said this is only half baked. And I'm not suggesting they're "not good enough" for the WL scale, I'm just wondering if it's useful or appropriate to situate them on it. It might just be that since I'm 2+ WL's away from them I don't "get it" at all, not even close.

Everyone chops wood and carries water, so that's not an indication. But *are* Rob's, Suelo's, Boyle's, loops actually closed? Or are their systems radically simple or something, but certain kinds of disruptions to their environment, to modules in their lives, would destabilize their systems?

In other words, I submit as a hypothesis that it'd be almost impossible to cut a WL8 off from resources, from flows, because their systems are almost perfect. Because resilience and consilience are keys to the WL scale, the further up you go, basically the more un-fuck-with-able your whole situation is. So, yes, they've mostly or completely decoupled themselves from the monetary system, they've closed the $ loops. Neat. But are there other vulnerabilities in their systems? Jacob still relies on the monetary system to a degree, but I wonder if there are certain kinds of system shocks or black swans that *he* would weather just fine, but Rob, or Suelo, or Boyle would not. And if so, how could they be said to be a WL above him? I'm basically wondering if we're wowed by the fact that they live without money, but at that level it's not about money, it's about having a system (web-of-goals) that will flow like water around *anything*.

Since no one around here claims to be >WL7, I wonder if we just stuck some very interesting people who share some attributes of ERE in the "8" slot, but who are in fact doing their own thing but are actually not a true extension of the principles of ERE. I'd certainly agree that it's useful to include them in the ERE Wheaton level scale, at least to analyze, but I haven't seen yet any real discussions of why they're 8, what makes them 8, beyond for having decoupled from the monetary system.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

I appreciate your nitpicking :D

That's the problem with Rob—he clearly knows some advanced level stuff, but his media is designed for mass appeal. I wish I could sit down and drink some damned tea with the guy. This leads into some other interesting territory—I have always more or less assumed that the ERE Wheaton Scale and the original Eco Scale are more or less synonymous, that advancing on one would automatically mean advancing on the other. But maybe I'm wrong.

What do you mean when you ask if Rob, Suelo, etc have closed loops? Can you elaborate?

I'd also comment that Jacob's Wheaton Scale is designed specifically to document the shift in his own thinking. So sort of by definition, he's at the topic. That's because it's his scale. I submit the hypothesis that a useful exercise would be designing our own scales based on how our own thinking/experiences have changed over time. I, for example, am a good example of a weirdo who managed to escape from the public school system without being fully indoctrinated into the consumer salaried mindset. Instead, I became a hobo. Jacob's path was from salaryman to Renaissance Man. Mine will be from hobo contemplative anarchist to... Renaissance hobo contemplative anarchist???

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:10 pm
What do you mean when you ask if Rob, Suelo, etc have closed loops? Can you elaborate?
In Jacob's Wheaton scale, Level 8, under Focus, it says "system is complete, $$ becomes almost irrelevant to the systems, focus is on waste and "closing the loops".

To me, completely closed loops means there is no waste: every output is an input to another node. The mindset shift is "waste=food", or put another way, the concept of waste becomes meaningless and the L8 individual sort of forgets what it's like to think of anything going "away", in a similar way that the concept of "sacrifice" has become alien to someone at WL5 or 6. And this is much deeper than simply not generating any physical trash or effluent - at this level it means there's no wasted effort, no wasted time, no wasted social engagements, no wasted emotional output, etc.
RoamingFrancis wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:10 pm
I submit the hypothesis that a useful exercise would be designing our own scales based on how our own thinking/experiences have changed over time.
I COMPLETELY agree. And in fact, I think "we" screwed up a little (created confusion) by calling it the ERE Wheaton scale. The reason Paul called it the "Wheaton ECO Scale" is because he said "This is MY Eco scale. If you don't like it, go make your own!" And he means that genuinely. The same attitude is reflected in his education curriculum - he calls it PEP, or Permaculture Experience according to Paul. He offers up PEX, where you are supposed to replace the X with your own initial to create your own experience. PEF(rancis), PEH(eyst), etc.

The thing about emphasizing his name in it isn't to aggrandize himself, it's a method for reminding people as they use it that it's just a map that he pulled out of his own arse, it's not intended to be a perfect map of reality, you shouldn't treat it with dogmatism, and when appropriate you should feel empowered to fork* the structure he came up with, stick your own name on it, and continue jamming. This is exactly what Jacob did, except Jacob being Jacob he didn't put his own name on it so it's not as obvious that the ERE "Wheaton" Scale is actually "Jacob's ERE Map, inspired by Paul Wheaton's Eco Scale", and it's less obvious that maybe we should do exactly what you (RF) suggested and make our own customized ERE maps.

*A concept in open source software development, which it's relevant to remember is Paul's background, which is where you take some bit of code, copy/paste it, rename it, and say okay we're going to do something a little different with this chunk here...

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