Gilberto de Piento wrote: ↑
Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:01 am
More global comment not to Alpha: I'm not so sure "ERE as a movement," ERE is going to change the world, Wheaton levels are a thing to ascend, you're doing it wrong if you want to stop at the MMM level, is the right way to go. Let people use the ERE ideas as a toolbox, dont make it a movement or religion. If that is the right path, I suggest that Jacob is a deep thinker and not a popularizer. He doesn't seem interested in that role and isn't the right personality or skill set (that's ok, one person doesn't need to be everything). If he was going to try to make it blow up he would have by now. He made a choice not to, there's even a post where he passes the mantle to MMM (who did all the right marketing moves to make a different, related, bigger, simpler, more accessible, cooler sounding, watered down, more enabling, commercialized version - there's a separate thread here). I could be wrong, just random thoughts.
I see ERE as the spearhead of a movement that might change the world (although I fear it's too little, too late---still it will definitely change some individuals, so that's good.)
However, ERE is not the whole of the movement. It is one of the intellectual tips but there are many tips. There's no central organization. There's no official goal. The aim is rather to educate individuals in the hope that they might influence others and facilitate change that way from the bottom and up.
It became clear early on (2009+) that there was a recruitment chain in which readers moved on after they had learned everything they could at the previous stage. Much like people move through the school system. They would tell me that they used to read X-blog but no longer learned anything, so they came here instead because they were ready.
Efforts at popularizing were abandoned in 2011. I had two reasons for that.
Dumbing down the message led to mainstreamers projecting the wrong message (lentil soup, $7000, sacrifice, ...) exactly as illustrated by the OP link. Recall, it was an entirely different and much more prejudicial world than it is now. Only way to "win" that one would be to make the presentation instagram friendly and hide all the challenging work. But fooling people into believing that they understand something when they don't isn't winning.
Turning it into a quick&easy scheme would have been immoral. Even if it could have made me rich it would not have changed the world. There were and are plenty of operators who sold "buy my $479 course and you can have the same success as me after one single weekend". It would be immoral because it is damaging to those individuals who get excited and fall for it. That's even worse.
Either way... going wide that way would have led to ERE being largely forgotten.
So instead the focus became similar to the educational system. Professors don't waste time fielding homework questions for 5th graders. They teach high school teachers who in turn teach students who become middle school teachers.
Teaching-the-teachers is a way to leverage influence and spread the message wider than what's possible by one person operating in a single layer. This leverage increases the further out the curve one is, the more points of leverage there are, so it becomes a power function.
And it works pretty well too.
Much of the mainstream FIRE has been influenced by ideas that started at ERE w/o most realizing it.
ERE might not be famous in the mainstream public but most professionals/bloggers have heard about it and any interested in FIRE will eventually hear about it.
So there's a movement, but not an official or organized one, as such.
I have no intention of becoming Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, or even MMM even though the money sounds nice. I aim to go deep and permanent rather than wide. Even if the wide-money is much better, wide-influence is fleeting because it's easy to replace. In any case Dave Ramsey is better at being Dave Ramsey than I am.
ERE was way ahead of its time in 2010 and it still is today. Strategically it therefore makes more sense to
leverage my time and energy to teach-the-potential-teachers and mainly focus on those who already have the required background to understand the lessons rather trying to bring people up to speed from scratch when there are dozens or hundreds or even thousands of other people could easily do, e.g. teaching budgets101, indexinvesting201, or lifestyleoptimization301.
Insofar the recruitment chain, as described above, works, it also avoids those who would see ERE as a religion or some kind of guru-thing or a quick&easy solution to their debt- or didn't-save-for-retirement problems. Fortunately, people who don't feel like putting in the effort usually buy those $479 weekend courses mentioned above instead.
This is why "Chesterton's fence" is the way it is. It is the reason the system with the concept, the blog, the book, facebook/twitter, the forum, and my occasional guest-post or interview is the way it is---slightly hard to find and understand. It's why it's been building in that direction for almost 10 years.
And failing to consider Chesterton's fence is why revolutionary "race car on a train"-suggestions or questions seeking to reform ERE usually fall very flat however well-intended they are.
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index. ... olutionary