Five Years, Lord Willing

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Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:15 pm

Swedish Death Cleaning: Just moved five bags of clothing to the garage for charity pick up. Shredded seven years of various bills.

Good News/Bad News: Today I have been married 18 years. I bought my wife a fancy piece of jewelry. She deserves it. Saturday I received a card from my mother who I am estranged from. In the card was a handwritten note. She has stage four cancer and underwent a double mastectomy without me knowing. My douchebag brother couldn't find time in his douchebag life to send me one of his infamous douchebag emails to let me know our mother who gave birth to his douchebag self was having both her breasts surgically removed. Christ. What a fucking douchebag. It has spread to lung and lymph node but doctors says she could have as long as five years but I doubt that will happen. It was shocking in that I thought she would outlive me. Now probably not. I felt bad for her but was saddened by how much I wasn't saddened. No woman should have to go through that even one that emotionally and psychologically abusive. I did sense a death wish. Maybe she's had enough of herself. God knows I have but that doesn't mean I want her dead, but maybe it will finally humble her entitled ass;

Money: Still need more.

Movie Recommendation: Arrival;

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Smashter
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Smashter » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:49 pm

Wow, even though it sounds complicated, that still sucks. Sorry.

I too thought Arrival was good. I wish Hollywood would make more mid-budget movies geared at adults who actually enjoy thinking about complex topics.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:17 pm

Thank you. You are right. It is complicated and it sucks.

Arrival was surprisingly good. Its based on a short story that I would like to read. Goes right into a story that you had no clue where it was going. I'm not a sci-fi guy either but it was more than that. And the chick is super hot but they never exploit that. And I agree it was entertaining in an adult I have a brain way.

slowtraveler
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by slowtraveler » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:19 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your family. That sounds stressful. I hope it at least gets less disorienting.

Congrats on the long marriage. 18 years is a very long time. Most of my life would be encompassed by such a time frame. Seriously, congratulations.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:20 am

Thank you. But my wife deserves most of the credit.

So my library copy arrived and I have finished the intro and the first chapter of JLF's ERE book. I'm a one chapter a day type of guy. These are my impressions:

(1) So far, I love it. Obviously written by someone with advanced academic degree(s) so it provides a thoughtful and sustained reading experience which I enjoy. Balanced interplay between anecdotal and academic/historical references so you learn on two levels. Plus, I don't respond well to bullying gym teachers (those who can't do, teach, those who can't teach, teach gym) or cheerleaders - YOU CAN DO IT!!!. Um, ok, go fuck yourself;

(2) US resident observation: JLF refers to how ERE could be interpreted as anti-patriotic. This is point that Hannah Arendt wrote about in "On Revolution" which discusses the differences between the American and French revolutions. The American Revolution was primarily based on ideas emanating from the ruling and educated elite. The French Revolution was revolt by the masses due to dire economic conditions. However, starting in the 19th Century when mass immigration took hold, the US morphed from "The Land of The Free" to "The Land of Milk and Honey." Based on our current consumer culture, one would think our (US) historical antecedents are the factors that created the French, not the American Revolution;

(3) On a writer/reader level, I too am someone who is motivated not by increased pleasure, but avoidance of pain. I save not to to be rich, but not to be poor;

(4) Although early in the book, I realize that the embrace of the philosophy will prohibit, or at least curtail certain indiscretions in my spending habits that unnecessarily drain my net worth. The robust embrace of a philosophical system is always more powerful and sustainable than atomizing and trying to change particular behaviors;

(5) Not surprisingly, I don't understand the first graph but that's ok because if there was graph that depicted my understanding of graphs throughout my life it would show that I never understood even one graph but it wouldn't matter because I wouldn't be able to understand that graph either;

halfmoon
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by halfmoon » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:17 pm

Jason wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:20 am
(5) Not surprisingly, I don't understand the first graph but that's ok because if there was graph that depicted my understanding of graphs throughout my life it would show that I never understood even one graph but it wouldn't matter because I wouldn't be able to understand that graph either;
:lol: I intend to appropriate this and disseminate it without attribution because you stole it right out of my brain. I thought that whole organ theft/left bleeding and bereft in the bathtub thing only happened in bad films, but here we are. Because I'm older than you, I clearly experienced Graph Deficiency first. QED.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:32 am

Chapter 2 - ERE - The Lock In

One word appears in my mind after reading this chapter. "Waste." Not just in the landfill sense, but in the existential sense and how they ultimately connect. I am not a pantheist. I'm not even a humanist. I could give a flying shit about nature and people. But for the first time in my life, I actually felt an albeit faint, guilty pang for the environment. I visualized all the implications of me buying a Big Mac. I don't need to float chart that shit. I'm assuming everyone here realizes that. The robbery and waste of one Big Mac causes to myself and the world.

This is the difference between JLF and the average self help financial book - the average self-help book will show the financial implications of small purchases - that daily latte bullshit personal spending spiel. JLF discusses it in a much more far reaching and may i say, harrowing manner - i.e. consumption/work cycles, paying some one else to boil fucking water etc. The salvation army just picked up seven bags of clothes, blankets and an old christmas tree. I sincerely hope a few crackheads can put down the pipe long enough to figure out how to assemble it.

Fuckin Graphs - I'm assuming to some people they make sense or maybe even possibly convey a deeper understanding of things . But to people like me and Halfmoon, they look like the symbols that the aliens in Arrival communicated with.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by jacob » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:08 am

To some people [graphs] are even a way of thinking. What I mean is that thought can be communicated in different forms: English language, facial expressions, Latin, grunts or gestures, paintings(*), music, computer code, ... and graphs. It can also be represented internally in all these forms. Often a thought is represented one way internally and then communicated in a different form.

(*) Egghead communicating his realization of the inadequate load-bearing capacity of a civil engineering project with a gesture after using an internal graph representation.

For example, I could explain all this much more easily with a simple graph if I was able to draw with the forum software ... instead you get it in English. I do think (of course, I do) graphs present a deeper understanding. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a graph is worth ten pictures.

Internally, I use different forms of graphs to make sense of a lot of the world. By make sense, I mean creating structure and relations. By the world, I mean data observations. Most the ERE book is based on some idea with a graph representation that supposes and imposes some structure. I then try to describe that structure in words. Many sections are about some structure that was based on some kind of graph-thinking. Sometimes the graph is included in the book. Sometimes it's not---for example, 3D structures are hard to put on 2D paper unless they're exceptionally simple (e.g. chapter 1). 4D are almost impossible to put down regardless (unless it's a sphere).

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:32 am

To clarify, I completely understand that this is a "me, not you" situation. I have been plagued by GDS (graph deficiency syndrome) since early childhood. I knew something was wrong when I couldn't scribble between the lines. And I'm not joking on that front. All the other kids scribbling maniacally and care free with every fucking crayola in the box and I'm barely zig zagging monochromatically. I remember looking all my early artwork. It was like a collection of polygraph print outs with the most advanced one looking like OJ Simpson denying he killed his ex-wife.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:30 am

Ok. Enough of the chicanery. Let's move on to Chapter 3 of JLF's ERE: Economic Degrees of Freedom!!!!

Chapter 3 is where it became a reality to this reader that this is a book that needs to be read more than once. Financial self-help books are like pop-songs. They can range from "Don't Worry Be Happy" to "Like A Rolling Stone." Where "DWBH" is mere tripe, "Like A Rolling Stone" is a multi-textured aural history and subsequent advancement of the great American Song book. You can dislike both, you can sing along to both. But an objective listener recognizes that only the latter has a deep architectonic musical structure that merits a real discussion and said real discussion requires multiple listens.

Taking a step back in recognition of all the bibliophiles on board, the book itself has a very durable quality. Being that my opinion is that its historical antecedents are mainly rooted in 19th century New England transcendentalism (to be discussed in more depth later if I don't forget or move on to watching Fail Army videos), I think there is a form/content synergy to this. I have never used Kindle, but if I was ever to re-read Walden's Pond, I would want to read the traditional book version. It just seems more appropriate. On a mainly tangential note, as I was thinking about this last night, I came to the conclusion that Henry David Thoreau would be the last guy I would I would invite to a dinner party. I just see him wandering around the house with a notebook jotting down his thoughts on all my possessions and the other guests asking me who's the weird guy that smells of pond water. On the contrary, I could see Emerson walking back from a trip to my bathroom wearing a lampshade.

This chapter is anthropological in that it discusses the four types of people within the economic eco-system - the salary man, the working man, the business man, and the Renaissance man. Here are a few of thoughts I had on this as it relates to me:

(1) Ok, that makes sense;
(2) Personally, I'm kind of in-between 1 and 2 but the main takeaway is that there is a huge expense to working. As I am not a person who was naturally ERE before I picked up the book, what I actually require for retirement should decrease if I stick to the program. The existential question is to what degree I am willing to connect these previously heretofore unconnected dots to expedite my clocking out;
(3) I can't believe I once considered going for an MBA;


Here are a few thoughts I had as it relates to nothing in particular:

(1) For those interested in the Renaissance, I believe its' significant to note that the Muslim world before it fell into into its current militant voluntaristic, anti-intellectual expression, was the most advanced culture on the planet and actually experienced a Renaissance before the West. Algebra is a Muslim word. Our translations of Aristotle, specifically his metaphysics, are based in Muslim translations that were retrieved during the crusades and when brought back to the West, reshaped the Christian world, specifically Thomas Aquinas. The first universities during the Medieval period were imitations of the East. Its a terrible shame. Imagine if their imaginations and intellects could once again be unleashed from the tyrannical bonds of their religion. Google, Apple, AI, medical advancements etc. would not only be products of the West;

(2) I find the book to be in the lineage of 19th century New England Transcendentalism in that;

- it possesses an ultimate optimistic view of man in his ability to reason and seems to promote personal virtue over morality based on a heteronomous, metaphysical source. Emerson grew up in New England Unitarianism which is Christianity minus the trinity and its obligations. Transcendentalism completed removed the moral requirement to an outside being and promoted a mere horizontal responsibility to other men and the natural environment. But as it relates to saving money, it has no bearing;

- It's basic philosophy of learning, practice, understanding et. al is not impacted by the reduction of rationalism to utility as found in modernism (I would argue it militates against it) and/or the infinite regression of relativity found in post-modernism;

Ok. Now on to watching videos of Fed Ex drivers running down hills chasing their trucks after forgetting to pull up their parking brakes .

slowtraveler
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:48 am

@Jason

You underestimate yourself. You could understand advanced physics with much work.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:13 am

Chapter 5 - The Renaissance Ideal

I think that whenever terminology that connotes a past historical epoch to describe a contemporary situation is utilized i.e. puritanical, Medieval, Renaissance et al you just have to realize that its a condensed description of a certain aspect or ethos of that time as opposed to a full orbed view of the complexities of that era. Obviously, no one woke up in January 1, 1300 and said "The Medieval period has ended and now we are in the Renaissance. I think I need to mark the occasion by being fitted for a new powdered wig." Epochs are pedagogical devices employed by historians to give a basic framework of political movements, intellectual emphasis, cultures shifts, etc. If you do a quick wikipedia, the Renaissance starts in 1300 but the Medieval period ends in 1500 so obviously periods overlap as there are always issues of continuity and discontinuity. Ok. I'd delete all of that as it has nothing to do with anything but I kind of like it so it stays.

I have to say that I was greatly impressed with this chapter. Well written, organized, concise, clear and non-condescending. I felt it could only be written by someone who actually practiced the very ideas and ideals to which he was referring. That's why I am somewhat perplexed that said author has recently stated that he does not engage in reading much fiction. It is generally recognized that the Renaissance commenced with Petrarch (He coined the term dark ages to refer to the Medieval period) so wouldn't someone, especially with such a deep and varied intellectual curiosity be interested in reading Petrarch's poetry if only to get a better understanding of a foundational historical personage and his time, in the same manner that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is required reading if you want to better understand 19th Century America?

The chapter was if anything, an homage to learning and continued education. It provided a challenge to me in expanding my education to topics that I don't like, mainly those things that involve actually doing practical things. I like to learn, but only the things I like to learn which is essentially limited to books. There has been slight progress however. We woke up to a beeping smoke detector. Changing the battery was a challenge. The idea of actually calling an electrician was brought up. However, after a few you tube videos and "You fucking piece of plastic shit" epitaphs, battery was changed and beeping terminated. Baby steps.

The idea of community was emphasized. The example of everyone buying a lawn mower instead of a people coming together and buying one for the community. I mean have you ever driven through a neighborhood and seen two people clipping their hedges at the same time? However, that would require friendly relations with one's neighbors which I never seem to have. I actually thought of the recent posts on books here and thought maybe we could have an ERE book exchange.

In all honesty, I started to glaze over a little at 4.4 Decoupling and increasing complexity. I'm not sure I understood that section. Actually I know I didn't.

On a side note, it's always interesting to see what previous readers of a book highlight. The only marking I have encountered in this copy was an underlining of a footnote "Therefore an individual strategy that depends on a yet-to-exist world is of little use." I'm guessing if that's a concern to a reader, they are way ahead of me. Because my overall feeling while reading the book is that I'm Eddie Murphy in "Trading Places" when it comes to this stuff.

Our net worth is up to 450-455k depending on the day. I sold some stakes in individual stocks and put proceeds into indexing. It does make things less stomach churning.

Recommended Viewing: Ken Burns Viet Nam Documentary. The most ridiculous, misconceived, wasteful, event in the history of ridiculous, misconceived, wasteful events. Damn.

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