A wiki page for jacob/ERE

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Fish
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A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Fish » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:46 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:15 am
(where's my @#$@# wiki page? :? :x )
@jacob - Even the legendary Vicki Robin doesn't have a wiki page... one was attempted in 2016 but deleted as she was deemed not sufficiently notable.

I started writing a wiki page but got discouraged after seeing the Wikipedia articles for creation page and looking at what does and doesn't make the cut. The standards are much higher than a decade earlier. Not having enough time and energy to do it on my own, I am reaching out for help from the community.

Mainly, I am having trouble finding high-quality secondary sources which vouch for the (somewhat extraordinary) claims you make:
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/about-the-blog wrote:
[The ERE] blog mainly focused on the financial independence and retiring early (FIRE) aspects, blazing a trail by formalizing and bringing together many of the concepts that are now taken for granted as the “standard formula” by most of the FIRE community, specifically
  • That one’s savings rate is the sole determinant for how many years it takes to become financially independent. (Complete with formulas)
  • That for most people, it is relatively easier to decrease expenses than increase income.
  • That the smartest way to do this is to focus on the big expenses (typically house, car, and food) instead of clipping coupons or relying on long lists of penny-pinching frugality tips.
  • That early retirement is not just for millionaires or the 55+ crowd.
I don't really dispute your claims of originality and priority on these ideas but it won't hold up on wiki unless backed up by a reputable, independent source. Haven't seen it yet. A quality piece on the history of FIRE is needed!


@others - Does anyone want to collaborate on a wiki page?

Some things to consider:
1) Should the wiki page be about JLF or ERE?(*)
2) Do we go through the AfC process or add the new article directly?
3) What level of completion is needed before submitting the article?
4) Where to collaborate? Should we use the ERE wiki to work on drafts?

(*)Between the two, I think JLF would have an easier time passing the notability test whereas a page on ERE would tend to come off as "crackpot fringe theories of personal finance" to the general public and be held to a stricter standard. However, writing a biography of a living person also has its own challenges.

Anyone who would like to help:
  • There is a set of links and references in the ERE In the News and Around the Web page. Can someone get these into the standard wiki citation formats (cite news) (cite magazine) (cite web)? This will make it easier for those contributing to the writing.
  • Search for highly reputable publications which mention JLF/ERE, even if it is not the primary focus of the article. Those will be useful as credibility indicators. Maybe just reply back here with a URL, or even better URL + wiki citation format for ease of use.
  • Help writing and editing is of course needed.

Optimal_Solution
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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Optimal_Solution » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:22 am

I think first you need to establish an argument for why Jacob or ERE should have a Wikipedia page.

Hobbes
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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Hobbes » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:11 am

I'd be happy to help with proof-reading and general editing

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:41 am

@Fish - It seems somewhat random which people in the FIRE, lifestyle design, and simple living space has a page. If VR doesn't have a page, then I should not have a page either(*) ... and neither should many others in the simple living/personal finance space. I suspect what gets included or not included is strongly depending on whether an existing wiki-editor (with clout) acquires some interest in some representative of a given subculture.

(*) It would appear that the GRS page is also gone. It used to exist.

The most complete page on the history of FIRE (largely financial in focus) I know of is this:
https://rockstarfinance.com/history-of- ... -movement/
This is probably not enough. I think at this point, you'd need a historian to disentangle how all this actually came about or rely on bloggers who have actually been around since the "beginning" (2005+), such as https://wallethacks.com/best-fire-finan ... ent-blogs/

Journalists would mainly be interested in current events and ten years ago, FIRE did not enjoy much mainstream interest.

The "ERE in the news" page is complete as far as I know it.

@OS - Possibly just personal/misinformed vanity--- driven by the fact that several other people in the personal finance/simple living space have one.

@all - It would probably make more sense to focus on and fix up the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_independence page insofar FIRE itself is too small in the grand scheme of things to warrant more than a brief entry. It's in a worse state than the entry for "Capsule Wardrobe". But maybe that's random too .. the Simple Living page is a lot bigger and more solid.

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:41 am

Fish wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:46 pm
Mainly, I am having trouble finding high-quality secondary sources which vouch for the (somewhat extraordinary) claims you make:

I'm not claiming to independently have invented any of these things. Certainly not! All of them existed in one form or the other. What I am saying is that before the ERE blog, they had never been combined into this framewrok. After ERE, the FIRE community has universally adopted this framework as the de facto framework with one exception: The FIRE community has wisely de-emphasized the RE part of FIRE. This is something I struggled a lot with trying to redefine (as in, it's not about sitting on a @#$@$ beach towel) but never succeeded in. Thus rather the point is not that you can retire before you're 55 but that you can become FI before 55.

Unfortunately, I don't think any journalist or historian has independently written this [historic evolution] down anywhere :geek: :( . It should be easy to disprove(*) though insofar anyone can find any book or blog that discusses all these things together that predates ERE. The closest work you can argue for this is YMOYL (which apparently doesn't qualify for wiki :roll: ) but they were more interested in traditional frugality i.e. the 1980-1990s methods with e.g. Amy Dacyczyn, Dollar Stretcher, ... so bottom-up approach to savings rather than a top-down approach. Also YMOYL did not explicitly consider the savings rate but instead relied in a ingenious algorithm (the crossover plot). The problem with that was that it did not incorporate any SWR ideas (because they were developed in the mid 1990s and thus came later). Back then people would happily presume 10% ROIs and FIRE based on that.

(*) But that probably falls under "original research".

PS: See how I can't win ... :P :?

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Jason » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:21 pm

Not only do I think JLF deserves his own wiki page, I believe his work boots do as well. I'd probably also give one to his rake. Christ, I'd give one to 7W5 with a list of her most indecipherable quotations. And Suo. He deserves one as well. And CS, only so I could pay someone to hack it and write inappropriate things on it. I don't deserve one. But I don't want one.

I mean MMM has one but JLF doesn't? That's like Sean Lennon having a page but not his father.

Edit: Apparently, winning a Nobel prize helps.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/ ... f61b5583af

Fish
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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Fish » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:23 am

jacob wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:41 am
@all - It would probably make more sense to focus on and fix up the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_independence page insofar FIRE itself is too small in the grand scheme of things to warrant more than a brief entry.
Agreed. That page is in bad shape. But today’s edit moves it in the right direction. Others can start fixing up the other sections now that there’s a better foundation for the FI page. I had trouble finding an authoritative definition of FI that incorporated a mathematical formula of some sort. For the uninitiated, it might be easiest to present FI as having savings >= expected lifetime, or a perpetuity. I suppose that 4% rule would also work given its popularity.

Also, my mistake for implying that you invented FIRE. Thanks for correcting my error.

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by jacob » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:30 pm

Cool!

I noticed that the "FIRE movement" has its own page too now. Apparently not considered generally notable without reliable secondary sources. Depending on what qualifies, here's one: https://www.forbes.com/sites/financialf ... ur-wealth/ from 2011.

Fish
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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Fish » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:11 pm

The financial independence wiki page is now significantly improved with the rough spots pushed to the back of the article. Now moving on to the FIRE movement page. I thought the page was wide open for editing but there has been some drama in the last day where wiki editors have been shutting down an anonymous person’s attempts to add some (unpolished) meat to the article. Because of this I’d like to ask for YOUR help in constructing the narrative for how this movement grew to its current state. Of course, it has to be completely defensible using quality secondary sources.

This is how I view it: the main ideas have been available for at least decades. For the frugality part, Tightwad Gazette is probably the most notable. Simple living has been in mainstream consciousness thanks to Walden being considered a classic. Due to the low interest rate environment and excellent stock market performance from 2009, Bengen’s SAFEMAX concept and the Trinity Study were borrowed since 4% WR makes FIRE a lot easier than assembling a perpetuity from TIPS yielding 1% or accumulating 50+ years of expenses to last the rest of one’s life.

YMOYL was the most successful book to combine these ideas (frugality, simple living, investing, early retirement), though the 100% LTT asset allocation was a product of its time (1992) and later revisions attempted to address this weakness. There were others which generally had similar ideas (e.g. How to Survive Without a Salary) but YMOYL is credited most by FIRE bloggers as a source of inspiration.

There are a bunch of old PF blogs dating from around this time but none strike me as really part of the history in terms of innovation or popularity. Maybe Nords and his military guide to retirement? There’s also the E-R forums and Bogleheads which continue to be very active but serve a more geriatric audience. ;) Really easy to be left out of the annals of history...

ERE came along in 2008 and made the following innovations. First, identifying savings rate as the critical parameter governing FIRE. This made it possible to quickly calculate time to FI instead of using a spreadsheet or computer program to work out a numerical solution for each income/expense assumption. Second, establishing or at least popularizing the current convention of expressing NW in terms of “years of expenses” instead of absolute dollars which is kinda meaningless without knowing expenses. Third, the FIRE equations in the ERE book which is the first published mathematical proof that extreme early retirement is possible. Good luck finding someone who actually gives credit to Jacob for these things in the news. :P There’s also more that can be said about systems thinking, web of goals, Wheaton levels, but wiki is not going to care about this (it will be promptly deleted as not noteworthy).

MMM started blogging in 2011 and quickly became the de facto figurehead of the movement. Although he may have come up with some of these ideas independently (to some extent) his main contribution is making these concepts accessible to the mainstream, e.g. his famous shockingly simple math post. MMM’s legacy also includes advocacy for bike transportation, linking stoicism to FIRE, and drawing the line between “frugal” and “cheap”, and fun terms like “car clown”, “facepunch” and “complainypants”. For such an influential figure I am having trouble coming up with specific examples so that would be helpful. He did write the foreword for JL Collins’ book as well as the new YMOYL which is more proof of his influence but not how he got there.

There are also bloggers in the FIRE in-crowd such as Mad Fientist, JL Collins, Go Curry Cracker, etc. Too many to list, any examples of contributions or mainstream notoriety would be appreciated. The ones I can think of are JL’s stock series (later became his book The Simple Path to Wealth), which established 100% VSTAX as kind of a default FIRE portfolio. White Coat Investor IIRC wrote a very popular post on backdoor Roth contributions. Not sure who figured out or popularized the Roth conversion ladder for FIRE, but these are details in the grand scheme of things. Two events stick out: 1) Mad Fientist’s interview of Vicki Robin which marks VR’s return to the spotlight as the godmother of FIRE. 2) Paula Pant’s highly discussed interview with Suze Orman where the latter person said some controversial things about FIRE. This appears to be a watershed moment for the FIRE movement in general (things have progressed to the “...then they fight you” stage) along w/ the appearance of the Prudential billboards targeting millennials interested in FIRE.

Back to the topic... how did we get from there to here? Were there any particularly influential events that brought FIRE to the mainstream? Like MMM’s 2016 article in the New Yorker or his TED talk? It’s really hard to point to something and say “this is the moment FIRE entered mainstream consciousness” but there are plenty of examples of media coverage to show that it’s being talked about. Your thoughts, and particularly links to quality secondary sources appreciated.



Edited to add: Should also note that online forums have been really important in concentrating like-minded humans into a sort of FIRE community. This should be part of the narrative. We have the MMM forums and Reddit (which added leanFIRE to our lexicon). And because we are here, the ERE forums. News is only going to mention MMM and Reddit though.

Additionally, the FIRE movement has made extensive use of alternative media formats such as blogs, podcasts, YouTube, etc. It’s probably a sign of the times more than the movement, but the best ideas are being generated and presented in these formats (+forums) as opposed to traditional publications such as books, journals and TV shows.

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by jennypenny » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:51 pm

Paul Terhorst should be included ... viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6687

Mark Cuban talks about how the book helped him make his first million if you need references for proof of worthiness.

Fish
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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Fish » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:15 pm

Well, this brief stint in wiki editing has apparently come to an end with my good-faith edits to the Financial independence and FIRE movement wiki pages being completely reverted by a wiki editor who likely views them as spam.

Although I disagree, my time is much too valuable to engage in these kinds of petty arguments. My contributions are in the edit history of those pages for those who would like to pick up where I left off.

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by jacob » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:41 pm

That sucks :( Kinda hard to see why these contributions were reverted to the less than impressive [old] stage they're in now.

I have no idea how wikipedia works but from where I'm sitting it still looks remarkably random and idiosyncratic what is according to their guidelines/standards and what is not.

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by prognastat » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:50 pm

It's great when the person undoing your work has contributed exactly nothing to the actual pages themselves.

Fish
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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Fish » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:45 am

@jacob - I suppose it appears idiosyncratic only because the pages are at some outer zone of lesser importance so editors devote little attention to it. Although wiki has a defined set of rules, enforcement is not consistent between individual editors so the user experience depends on who has taken an interest to a particular topic. Furthermore, editing roles tend to be specialized particularly among highly active editors with clout so for example there may be a person who has undertaken a mission to delete spam and spends hours each day at the task.

In our view the now-reverted edits were an improvement because content was added. While we might use content as a metric of quality, the anti-spam person probably cares less about content and cares more about reducing the number of spam links. If something appears spammy to them then content will be sacrificed. Someone will eventually add the content back without the spam. (Somehow I am reminded of the scene from Book 3 of The Three-Body Problem where the alien was carelessly cleansing star systems with detected lifeforms. I wonder if the wiki anti-spam task force operates in this state of mind!?)

Furthermore if these people care about improving their position in the wiki community (toward becoming an admin or whatever) then they are incentivized toward more activity. In this model, only the number of edits counts so when in doubt, borderline spam is out. Type 1 error (false positive) is only a problem if they get caught intentionally doing it... so dead pages with occasional activity are ideal grounds for heavy-handed moderation for the wiki-ambitious because no one’s watching. Type 2 error (false negative) is a missed opportunity/wasted time. It is not surprising that the spam detector would be set to high sensitivity, the system encourages it.

Although the model presented here fits the actions observed, I am not accusing this particular wiki editor of misconduct. From my point of view, the terse/non-existent explanations did not justify the action taken and I have requested more detail. Lastly as someone who has received far, far more value from Wikipedia than I ever attempted to add, I can accept the system for what it is, even though I didn’t like the result in this one instance.



@the person who brought a wiki account out of a 7-year hibernation to support my contributions to the Financial independence page - This was noticed and appreciated. Thank you.

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by prognastat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:06 am

I would be more willing to consider good faith if in both cases he added some kind of explanation/justification rather than simply undoing someone's changes.

Also seems like even the version he reverted it to contains at least 2 references to what appear to be blog posts not news websites or anything "trusted".

Also don't really see how blog posts are unacceptable when books are despite the only difference being amount of effort in creation rather than a higher level of scrutiny. It's going to be hard to do a decent writeup about FIRE without covering the blogs that have had a heavy influence on it.

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Fish » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:44 am

I went through the entire ERE wiki news archive and found that the vast majority of the links are either 1)unreliable sources (blogs), or 2) if reliable, typically contains a trivial or minor mention about JLF/ERE. It is interesting that there’s a lot of news coverage in the late 200x/early 201x where Jacob is briefly mentioned because of (retired at 33/saved 75% of income/lives on $7,000 p.a.). Maybe that could justify a wiki page but it would be a brief stub. All the quality, in-depth coverage of JLF/ERE is in Danish. That’s still fair game for a reference but it would be weird for all of the article’s meat to be sourced from foreign language publications. A properly-sourced article would be a slam dunk on Danish wikipedia (in terms of notability) if someone would take the time to write it. If interest is expressed I’ll share my pared-down list of useful JLF/ERE media mentions to save time on research.

Something else I found notable was how many references were made to ERE being a “movement” and some of these dated back to 2011 before MMM was popular. I counted 4 or 5 of these. Not sure if this is due to the What is ERE? wiki page referring to a movement or the writers themselves characterizing ERE as such based on their own observations. Speaking of movements, some of the reverted contributions to the FIRE movement page found their way back and continue to be improved upon by others.

In other news, VR has a wiki page.

Fish
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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Fish » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:33 pm


jacob
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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by jacob » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:14 pm

Fish wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:44 am
Something else I found notable was how many references were made to ERE being a “movement” and some of these dated back to 2011 before MMM was popular. I counted 4 or 5 of these. Not sure if this is due to the What is ERE? wiki page referring to a movement or the writers themselves characterizing ERE as such based on their own observations.
The first time I saw ERE referred to as a movement was in one of those old Forbes articles from when the blog was active. I don't know if other writers came up with it independently or got it from Forbes? The "What is ERE?" page started in 2013 (@jp wrote that) so that came later.

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by prognastat » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:19 pm

Nice, is there a way in turn to justify an English page based on there being a Danish page?

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Re: A wiki page for jacob/ERE

Post by Eureka » Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:18 am

Nice initiative with the Danish JLF wikipedia page. However, I guess someone needs to point out that it is not written in real Danish. There are broken and corrupt sentences, wrong use of words and grammar and quite some Gibberish. Also, it needs to be localized to a Danish audience (i.e. every student in Denmark gets "Statens Uddannelsesstøtte" so no need to tell nor explain).

I am not writing this to discourage anyone, and I will be happy to edit it into a more suitable form. However, I don't have any time for this until Saturday and I am kind of worried that if an editor finds it in its present form, it will be removed instantly.

@Fish, is there a way to hide it in some kind of draft mode for a few days?

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