L's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
hutchol
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:03 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by hutchol »

I didn't stumble across that whole vein of thinking until post-university. I think part of the reason why I've just bumbled on from one thing to another is that most of my energies have been absorbed in revising my world view and working out what I actually want out of life. Have you kept up with JMG? I'm finding his new blog less interesting than the Archdruid Report, though I can see why he wanted to change focus. I loved his post-industrial novels.


The bureaucracy/ behaviour thing is interesting. What I found was that the kids are so used to the petty rules that if you don't enforce them rigidly and sure that they have only one or a very rigidly prescribed selection of options each second of each lesson, they (not all obviously) will start to push the boundaries of the acceptable to see how far they'll go (very far in my case). Whether a saner system would be any better I think depends on how sane is the wider society in which it's based. I definitely need a rest from it before I go back to any kind of education! I wouldn't put my own children through it either, if I had them.


They are interesting ideas. Translating is good if you have a specialism. I do the (very basic) accounts for a German company, so I'm developing some of the technical vocabulary, so that could be an option. Part time and/ or self-employment is the goal, preferably with a diversified income stream. I'm eager to try beekeeping, partly because I love honey and partly because of their ecological importance. I think it would be tricky to do much more than cover costs, if that, but as long it doesn't cost too much, I'm happy. I think having any kind of hobby that absorbs your attention without costing money is good. I'm reading Schopenhauer's series of essays on life/ practical advice at the moment and he said that he never made any money from philosophy but it did save him a lot of money by giving him a non-financial focus. He put it more elegantly than me.

Thank you for the information on houses. That is quite a lot cheaper than round me. I am quite emotionally attached to where I live as well, but I might have to bite the bullet if it means ten years of mortgage interest.

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I do keep up with JMG, but I definitely think his older stuff was better. It seems a lot of his recent articles are devoted to endlessly rewording his thoughts about Trump and the Democrats, which, a) I don't care about so much since I don't live in America, and, b) means that there are fewer articles that are giving me that "a-ha!" moment. I want to know more about ecologically sound living! I wonder if there's some local in his new neighbourhood in Rhode Island that keeps trying to argue about Trump with him or something and keeps bringing it up fresh in his mind.

Definitely any money-neutral hobby is much better than a money-costing one, especially if it's something that will have non-monetary benefits like beekeeping. Gotta try to save those pollinators... Haven't read Schopenhauer, but I have read some other philosophy stuff, and in general I'd agree. Not much money in it, but a lot of benefits for the mindset, provided you don't mind being forever slightly unable to empathise with people with completely unexamined lives.

There's definitely a lot of scope for moving to a lower cost-of-living area within the UK. The North West isn't the only one, so it's probably best to consider what features are important to you in an area and do more research before taking the plunge. For example, personally, I love the view you get from and of hills, so I'd never move to a flat part of the country if I could help it even if I did have to move away from here. Transport is also a consideration, if you want to be able to go places quickly - a different nearby town that's over twice as far away as the nearest town has much better rail links, for instance, and is probably somewhere between the two places I mentioned before in terms of price.

hutchol
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:03 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by hutchol »

Yes, I do wonder why JMG is so Trump fixated. I've found with a lot of blogs that I get obsessed for a while and read the whole back catalogue but then you start to feel as if you were covering the same ground with slightly different topics. I went through the same cycle with the ERE blog.

You do start to feel a bit cut off once you've shed the prevailing myths. It becomes difficult to relate to people other than on a superficial level. Thankfully, I'm fairly introverted and things like this forum help you realise you're not the only one.

Rail links would be handy. Ideally, I wouldn't have a car and I find practical cycling distance to be about 10-15 miles, so that's an issue too, as is a reasonable musical/ cultural life. I'll have to have a look.

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Good article, thanks, bigato. Once Brexit is sorted, a four-day work week would be a real vote-winner for me. I'd love it if the four-day week became widespread, and was considered full-time. It'd open up a much wider range of jobs to those of us who can't handle a 40-hour workweek, and it'd give people enough time off to look after their families, to pursue hobbies and projects, to maintain friendships, and generally to lead more interesting lives. That could only be a good thing for the country.

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Well, as I warned at the start of the thread, I seem to have had a two month posting gap due to other interests captivating my brain. ;) But my tuition efforts are still going well, and there's a couple more potential money opportunities that might come up soon that I've heard about. More later if those pan out.

I'm putting more effort in recently to learn how to increase my social capital, by doing things like trying to message something or other to my closer friends every week, instead of every month. I'm also reading a book that I just bought, "How To Talk To Anyone", by Leil Lowndes, which is a book at the "list of tips to apply" sort of stage of the learning hierarchy, but tbf that's the stage I'm at right now with my in-person social skills, so I'm finding it very helpful so far. It has around 92 tips in the book for how to make a good impression, start a conversation, keep the conversation going, come across as interesting, etc. Hopefully I can get more people to think of me as a person they want to talk to and invite to stuff and offer opportunities to, then I can better share my talents with the world, etc.

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

My family are really stressing me at the moment because my mum had found some fleas on the sofa where she usually sits and there have been frequent low-level arguments between my family on the topic. She is the most prone to getting bitten of us. She has tried multiple things now to get rid of them, but keeps finding another one. My dad and brother have not been supportive of her concerns, which means she keeps snapping at all of us...

Earlybath
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:43 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by Earlybath »

Advantage drops on the pets, Indorex spray on the settee and carpet edges. Family harmony restored in 2 days.

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I don't know which brands those are, but we already put some sort of drop on the pets, got them flea collars, and sprayed several rooms of the house over the course of about a week. Still not got rid of all the fleas somehow... xD

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

The fleas seem to have not been spotted for long enough now that my parents have allowed the cats to start spending more than 5 milliseconds indoors at once again, so that's good.

Regarding my attempts to improve social capital - the other thread I made is turning into quite the interesting discussion, so that's good - I thought I'd take a moment to elaborate why I want to improve my general social functioning, and also, after I was reminded of Kegan levels by that other thread that was up, talk a bit about my general life philosophy.

Starting from the roots: I don't believe there are any specific set of ethical principles which are right for everyone in all circumstances, or which are completely foolproof and need no application, but the ones I have chosen to use to make my own moral decisions for the time being are: 1) increase global happiness, 2) increase global freedom, 3) increase global sustainability. I selected these because of roughly the following, though I'm not sure I've encapsulated all of my thoughts on them here.

Happiness, meant on the level of deep life satisfaction and/or the ancient Epicurean style, NOT shallow short-term hedonism, generally seems to make most people's lives feel more meaningful. Note that it isn't immoral to be unhappy by this heuristic, it's immoral to deliberately decrease long-run overall net happiness without causing a worthwhile gain on the other principles. Similarly when we get to the other two.

Freedom, because a significant portion of people need to be able to make their own decisions in order to achieve a life that resembles what happiness looks like for them, and also because having made a choice to do something makes whatever it is so much sweeter. If people cannot choose for themselves, what meaning can they possibly get out of life? They may as well be a robot. Out of all of these principles, increased freedom does need to be applied a little more carefully, because (as we are aware with people who suddenly retire at an old age with no hobbies outside work) people who are not used to having much freedom can find a sudden transition to a large amount of freedom difficult to handle, so for people who don't seem so flexible, it's probably better to increase the freedom more slowly over a period of time.

Sustainability, because setting up unsustainable modes of living that can't be passed on to the next generation and failing to teach them sustainable alternative methods will result in a marked loss of both happiness and freedom for them as they feel the inevitable bite of climate change, peak oil, pollution, overpopulation, etc. Not much self-actualisation is going to be happening if climate change puts half the world in famine, because it would take a remarkable person to self-actualise under those conditions. If we set up sustainable systems now, our descendants will thank us.

Each of these principles has its downsides or ways it wouldn't work for everyone: for instance, someone with chronic depression may wish to get themselves through the day with some other source of meaning than happiness; it would be possible to have a world with arguably too much freedom, as in the sort of anarchism where the only defence against serial killers is to kill them back - and also, under anarchism, it's likely that Kegan 3 types will all start following the lead of some person anyway, only now the hierarchy won't be explicitly acknowledged by everyone; and unsustainable things could sometimes be worth doing, if they were being done in a world that wasn't already so overburdened by resource exploitation, and also in the current society it's impossible to live 100% sustainably anyway. But that's the set I find most useful at the moment.

Anyway, bringing it back around to the social aspect. In my quest to live morally and therefore increase happiness, freedom, and sustainability, I realised that I can't increase much of anything on scale that makes an actual difference unless I have some level of influence. I realised at some point during university that the whole of my life-long quest towards self-improvement and having a diverse set of talents would be basically pointless if I never did anything with those talents, and just pursued them by myself in a hovel somewhere. So, I realised that if I wanted to make an actual difference in the world, rather than just armchair-philosophising with a small number of people, I would have to learn how to function in the social realm, so that people would give me the opportunity to apply the things I knew.

Therefore I plan to use the social skills I'm attempting to acquire to reach a position of being well-respected (if not always understood) in my local community, which will widen my circle of influence and allow me to apply myself. (This is also one of the reasons I was first attracted to FIRE, because, come on, there are a LOT of better uses for my brain than working a 9-5 shuffling completely pointless papers around or something.) This is also why I persist in being interested in learning to socialise with even people who don't have much in common with me, because while the ones who are more out-of-the-ordinary will be more intellectually stimulating for spending a lot of time with, real improvements in an area by necessity include the so-called "normal" people in that area too, and if you can get them, if not on board, at least not actively against you, then whatever you're trying to do will probably be a lot easier.

I certainly don't intend to start keeping up with the Joneses, and I'm also under no illusions that I'm going to magically transform into the stereotypical wonder-celebrity-politician-marketer-smooth-talking-entrepreneur type who started a successful business with 375817350821 clients when they were just 5 years old or something, but I certainly think I can learn how the social realm functions, whether I always choose to use that knowledge or not, and for the sake of making my part of the world a bit of a better place, I can also manage to my introvert comfort zone. ;)

I might not succeed, of course. But we'll find that out in the future, and if I don't try to make a difference, then who would I be?

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I've been practising on the ukulele a lot recently, as a fun outlet for my love of music that also might eventually have benefits. A relative bought me it for Christmas a couple of years ago, but I only started taking learning to play seriously a couple of months ago. Since then I've been practising most days and I'm getting pretty fluent at a whole bunch of chords. It's possible I'm on Ukulele Mt. Stupid in terms of my regard for my own ability at the moment, but I admit I am looking forward to being good enough that I could potentially start busking or something with a reasonable expectation of people actually choosing to give me money. :)

Jason
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by Jason »

I am assuming you've watched the Grace VanderWaal videos.

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I haven't, I'll check her out, thanks. :) I actually got inspired to pick up the ukulele again after reading Amanda Palmer's autobiography, in which she talked about the ukulele, and also her experiences working as a street performer as a human statue of an eight-foot tall bride. Human statue is out for me because I'm physically incapable of standing still for very long, but the idea of street performance (find skill you can do, go on street, put out hat or box for money) really caught in my brain for some reason.

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I just finished baking some jam tarts, which is my latest experiment in improving my baking skills from "nonexistent" to "can bake things". I've been mainly focusing on pastry-based objects so far, and I feel like I'm now confident in my ability to competently produce pastry and cook it for the right amount of time, so that's good. I think I'll do a couple more pastry-based things, and then move on to either bread-style things or cake-style things.

Pros of now being able to make pastry:

-tasty
-able to produce snacks, desserts, and even meals from a simpler selection of staple ingredients, rather than buying a bunch of different pre-made snacks
-health benefits of knowing exactly what goes into your food
-social capital of being able to take delicious baked goods to social events (non-bakers generally find even baking the simplest thing yourself to be Incredibly Impressive And Impossible)
-tasty

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I went larping on the bank holiday weekend (it's my most inherently expensive hobby for sure, but I paid most of the equipment costs before I discovered ERE and now it's around £150 per year), and took my ukulele, and I definitely think Operation: Busking is a go! Everyone loved my playing and gave me lots of compliments, and I even got invited in-character to an in-character party where I got paid a bunch of in-character fake money for playing, and more importantly, got to eat a bunch of real sandwiches and other stuff at the in-character party of these people I had never met before and therefore cut down on my event food costs in a very real way. So I think I finally understand how to get cultural capital from that, and also it's a good sign that people may be willing to give me actual money once I've built up a long enough set to make it worth going to stand on the street with a hat and play there. So overall, it's got good potential. :D

Sabaka
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

Hiya, just read through your journal, really interesting! Also nice to have another Brit in the forums :) .

But anyway, in one of your posts you talked about whether anyone had any ideas about alternative investment strategies as compared to traditional index fund investing. As I've been thinking about this recently, I might be able to help.

Firstly, one option would be to go for the "regular saving" accounts many banks offer. These types of accounts usually offer up to 5% return, and they require that you save a set amount each month. Advantage of these is that it is a good interest rate, your money is as safe as it can ever be and they're relatively easy to administer. The main disadvantage is that often these savings accounts have other requirements, such as having a current account with the bank also, etc. Another disadvantage is the amount you can save each month is usually capped at quite a small amount, so you wouldn't be able to make full use of the £15k. More can be found about these types of accounts here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savin ... -accounts/

Secondly, another option would be p2p (peer to peer) investing. Basically these accounts allow you to become a lender, either to businesses or individuals. Interest rates can be quite good, with a minimum of 4% p/a going right up to 12% p/a. Generally, the more reputable ones will offer between 5 and 7% for longer-term lending, anything more and it gets much riskier. The advantages of p2p investing is that it is generally more stable than investing in stock index funds, and in most conditions returns will be as described. The disadvantages are that p2p investing is still susceptible to bad returns (businesses or individuals not honouring debt obligations), especially during economic downturns. Also, you might feel that lending to individuals is unethical for whatever reason. The website https://www.4thway.co.uk/ gives a good overview of the different p2p companies around.

A subset of p2p investing that might interest you more is the ethical side. A number of companies offer ethical options for p2p lending, where your money is going towards renewable energy tech, sustainable businesses, etc. There are also options to buy shares in ethical companies, etc. You can find quite a few options here: https://www.ethex.org.uk/savings-and-in ... ts_16.html. Also there are two other companies, "Abundance" and "Triodos", who offer similar investment opportunities, they may be worth a google :)

Finally, there are also ethical index funds available. Of course the issue with this is that they may include companies which you don't think are ethical or will survive the future. Alternatively, you can also try to invest in the individual stocks of companies that you are comfortable with and believe will do well in the future, but this is very time consuming and there is no guarantee you'll be right.

Sorry for such a long post :lol: But I hope it helps, and if you have any other questions feel free to shoot!

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Thanks for the advice Sabaka! I've heard of at least some of these things before, but I'll look into the things you said.

ON BUSKING:

I tried busking properly for the first time today!

Now, I didn't get any money from it today - I think there are several aspects of my performance that I need to work on.

But: I stood playing for half an hour in the main section in the town centre.
I didn't get suddenly struck by lightning or dissolve into jelly or something.
I wasn't immediately booed and heckled, or indeed heckled at all really, so I must have sounded ok.
I was really nervous beforehand and almost chickened out, so having properly realised in my brain that, yes, this is a thing I can do and the world will keep spinning, that's a big step towards actually earning money from this activity. Can't earn money from busking if you don't go out busking.
I'm going to practice some more and increase my repertoire, and I also need to build my singing confidence up so I can sing happily in front of strangers, but I think if I do that and tweak a couple of other things, I can absolutely figure out how to get people to pay me money for this.
So, I'm counting this as a success!

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

No video right now, I didn't take a camera. But I'm thinking of making a YouTube channel at some point.

BookLoverL
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

So, I was on a server I'm in for another thing I like, and we got to talking astrology randomly. (I know, I know, but I really love personality quizzes of any sort and I ended up reading in quite some detail about how reading a natal chart works over time because my nerd brain locked onto it, so I actually know quite a bit about how astrology is supposed to work.) Anyway, I ended up PMing this one person and basically doing a detailed natal chart reading for them just because I thought it'd be a fun thing to do. But then at the end they spontaneously decided to pay me like £30 through Paypal even though I didn't ask for payment at all and was just doing it for fun. So, I'm happy, because I wasn't expecting to earn any money today. :D

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Bankai
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Re: L's Journal

Post by Bankai »

Could this be turned into a business?

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Possibly, I'd have to look into the best way of setting it up while keeping it separate from my other businesses because of the reputational aspects (parents probably don't expect their children's maths tutors to also be astrologers). I wasn't sure if I was Knowledgeable Enough compared to existing professional astrologers, but I guess I do in fact know a lot compared to the average person, so I am in fact providing a service here. :D I'm pretty busy at the moment with a number of things but when I get time I will definitely look into it.

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