Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

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Lemur
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Lemur »

@macg

+1 . This question alone is probably worth its own thread. It is ironic to me though, in the Western World that is, that we (with some exceptions of course like those growing up in generational poverty) no longer need community to serve our basic economic needs (food, water, shelter, security, etc.) but this comes at a cost of not having to rely on one another. This is a good thing for some people. Especially those high in individualism, self-sufficiency, resilience...(your oranges). But not so good for others who I've hunch make up the majority of people. And overall, I'm not sure if we're happier for it necessarily.

Example today of community - every Sunday we've two people who make the rounds at the Walmart, Aldi's, and Harris Teeters to pick up the free food that would otherwise be thrown out. They use the same drop off location and everyone in the neighborhood can pick this up. Today's haul was bananas, kale, mixed salad greens, some cake, fruit tart, and a whole bunch of celery. Do I need this? No because I'm financially independent already and could easily meet my needs here. But I do love the fact that my neighborhood comes together for this and everyone is better off for it. This makes us all more resilient. I was able to blend up the haul of greens and bananas to make 2 gallons of green smoothies that I encouraged my son, nephew and niece to consume and my brother...I supported everyone's vitamin intake today for free lol and still have a lot leftover. The act of being part of the resource re-distribution chain gave me some purpose this Sunday morning.

Would love to hear Jin_Guice's expanded thoughts on this as well.

chenda
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by chenda »

I don't think community has declined.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

In the U.S., I think Gen-X , also known as the latch-key kid generation, was hit hardest with Level Orange destruction of community structures. The younger generations are more likely to be engaged in either Retro-Blue or Progro-Green community groups; everything from Big Box Church youth groups to Gender-Queer Community Choirs.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice »

@macg + @chenda:

To argue whether or not community is a strict need or whether or not it has declined I would need to define it and I don't have a definition. It's more of an "I know it when I see it" type thing.

So if you want to discuss what you mean, I need you to expand upon what you've said.

As far as a loose definition of community, I mean something like "finding your tribe" or "fitting in with a group." ERE is a community. People who like to play video games and talk about it online are a community. People who like urban farming are a community.

The goal of this long-winded exercise about needs isn't for me to tell you which needs are real and which aren't. It's to think about what needs you personally have and how they fit together, so that you can integrate them into your web of goals.

This is the framework I've come up with, making it up as I go along, using Maslow's Hierarchy as a rough guide. I'm writing it here because it's interesting and helpful for me developing my WoG as "money is a solved problem" but "everything isn't a solved problem" and I hope that it might be interesting and helpful to at least one other person.

My only warning is that if you think you "don't need" something that "most people" need, ask whether your subconscious is blocking this out. If you still don't think you need it, then you are free to ignore that "need."

@Lemur:

We "don't need" each other because of capitalism... which means we do need each other. We've expanded our economic community to the entire world, which means it no longer resembles a human community, but more of an economic network. It would still collapse without human activity supporting it.

I like your simple example of community.

My hypothesis is that we've sacrificed other needs to satisfy the physiological and the economic. Just because we "don't need" other people (that we are not paying) to survive physiologically doesn't mean we "don't need" other people to thrive. I think we've gotten really good at ignoring the things that make life worth living, which is not more things or services or paid for experiences, but other people.



I think one thing I may not have made clear is that an additional part of my theory is that if you have a "need" that is not being addressed you will make up for it in another way. If you experience conflict in your WoG or spending, you likely have unmet needs that are being accounted for in other ways.

An example of this is someone who goes out for drinks. Focus on the economic aspect and we could conclude that it's cheaper to drink at home. Cheaper still to get a home brew kit and make your own beer (and now you've got a skill). Cheapest of all to give up drinking altogether.

Yet this obviously misses that drinking in a bar is a venture in socialization and community. Ignore these other needs and you will pay the price in other ways.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by jacob »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2023 2:42 pm
To argue whether or not community is a strict need or whether or not it has declined I would need to define it and I don't have a definition. It's more of an "I know it when I see it" type thing.

So if you want to discuss what you mean, I need you to expand upon what you've said.

As far as a loose definition of community, I mean something like "finding your tribe" or "fitting in with a group." ERE is a community. People who like to play video games and talk about it online are a community. People who like urban farming are a community.
It's helpful to distinguish between a community and a society. A distinction would be that a society is a group of people who have things or ideas in common, whereas a community is an group who are interdependent on each other (as persons). A community can be a subset of a society, but a society cannot be a subset of a community. This begets the idea of scale (society is bigger than community) but scale is not the deciding variable.

In that regard, the ERE forum is definitely a society. However, over the years I've been back on forth on whether it is also a community. I remain undecided. It is to some but not to all.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Henry »

Bowling Alone came out in 2001 so community decline and its negative effects in US has been documented for at least 20 years now. It goes without saying.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by chenda »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2023 2:42 pm
So if you want to discuss what you mean, I need you to expand upon what you've said.
As with you it's more of 'I know it when I see it' and I don't feel it's absence. My experiences may be atypical or I've never experienced 'real' community but I don't see that it's not there. I do think personal privacy is much better respected than ~50+ years ago when neighbours monitored and judged their neighbours private life.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice »

@jacob: That's a very helpful distinction, thank you!

I think it's useful to consider that the same group may be a community for some and a society for others.

My add is that "reliance" can be for non-economic needs*/ wants, including the need for community. I consider ERE a community because I feel like I fit in here. I feel like y'all "get" me in a way that others don't.

*There is a good section of the book called "identifying needs and wants" which discusses how the distinction of when a want becomes a needs is almost impossible to make.

My strong recommendation for people who feel like they need community (or any of these wants/ needs) is to figure out what their definition of community (or any of these want/s needs) is and how to find or create that. I do not recommend attempting to figure out what my half-baked idea for community (or any of these wants/ needs) is.

Which is not to say I don't appreciate discussion on what a definition might be or what community means to any individual forum member! Needs come from within and so the capacity for self-reflection/ introspection is a must.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice »

Emergency semi-ERE post bc of a new idea!


Default Dead or Default Alive: Semi-ERE

I'm stealing this concept from this Paul Graham essay.

Shout out to @AH for talking about it in his journal, @mF for posting it and @mathiverse for having the journal where it was posted.


The Graham article talks about how being default dead/ alive as a business means: if things continued as they are today, would your company continue to survive based on current funds, profit and growth.

I'm declaring that you are default semi-ERE alive if you would be able to survive in perpetuity on your current assets and cashflow (if nothing changes) AND you would be happy perpetually with your life (you have the same job*/ work the same amount of hours you do now).

I like this concept because it provides a concrete goal in semi-ERE. The lack of a concrete goal has been personally frustrating for me as I've moved through semi-ERE.

*Ok, slight caveat because I think part of the appeal of semi-ERE for some is the ability to change jobs. You also get to project your current job satisfaction into the future. So if you are happy with your job now but pretty sure you will be bored in 10 years, you are still semi-ERE alive. If today you feel yourself getting bored/ being unhappy but still want the job for another 6 months or whatever, you need a new plan that keeps you fiscally afloat/ you will be semi-ERE dead soon enough anyway and will have to do something about it then/ cut yourself some slack because I made this up ten minutes after reading the article and included a murkily defined happiness criteria in a binary outcome variable

I also want to add that if your goal is semi-ERE and you are not semi-ERE alive, that is fine. I think that achieving semi-ERE alive is the steady state end-point for semi-ERE not the starting point.

Semi-ERE alive also provides heuristic for when to start worrying. If fiscally you would not continue as a going concern in perpetuity, time to start scheming on money. If you are working more than you want to, time to start scheming on how to work less/ change jobs.




... Ok now back to the needs series of posts.


If you extend the concept to "would be happy if my state today continued in XYZ need area" and did it for every need, then you could be finally be fully alive.

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Lemur
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Lemur »

@Jin+Guice

I think one thing I may not have made clear is that an additional part of my theory is that if you have a "need" that is not being addressed you will make up for it in another way. If you experience conflict in your WoG or spending, you likely have unmet needs that are being accounted for in other ways.

An example of this is someone who goes out for drinks. Focus on the economic aspect and we could conclude that it's cheaper to drink at home. Cheaper still to get a home brew kit and make your own beer (and now you've got a skill). Cheapest of all to give up drinking altogether.

Yet this obviously misses that drinking in a bar is a venture in socialization and community. Ignore these other needs and you will pay the price in other ways.
I feel like this is such a simple idea...but I never thought of it that way. :idea: Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by jacob »

Lemur wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 10:13 pm
I feel like this is such a simple idea...but I never thought of it that way. :idea: Thanks for sharing.
It's not a simple idea. It's a complex idea ;-)

Just like you can make a WOG of positive side-effects, you can also make a WOG of negative side-effects. You can also see what kind of value (goals) is lost when you start ripping nodes out of the WOG.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice »

Pretty much all of my posts that have titles (which I'm calling my blog) is about me redoing ERE as I go through it having the advantage of already knowing about ERE and the WL scale (which I'm not explicitly climbing, but I've found is a useful guide for what to do next).

This needs stuff is how I'm conceptualizing WoG. I like the idea of WoG, but actually sketching them out is tricky. I'm concerned with 2 things most days: 1) If money is a solved problem, why am I not happier or more fulfilled? 2) What am I actually doing today?

I canabalized this needs stuff from therapy as well as communication books mashing that together with WoG thinking (or at least how I understand it).

I've found I need to do this because I'm a recovering workaholic and I have a lot of internal conflict. Because of this, I'll ignore my day to day needs in pursuit of concrete WoGs skills.

I'm also not building personal resiliency as the cornerstone of my life. ERE highlights how building personal resiliency leads to a more satisfying life, but my north star isn't personal resiliency, so my path will necessarily be different. This isn't at odds with the WoGs framework, which is very flexible, but like semi-ERE, there isn't a ton about my path in the book or blog, so I'm expanding the framework as I go along.



The hallmark of a needs conflict is if you are constantly trying to change and it's not working. Are you at the same point as last year in something that is important to you? I've found it's likely that you are ignoring some need (or possibly insecurity... I am blind to my needs as a direct result of my insecurities though, which is maybe why I find this so helpful...), which is causing you to try to solve the wrong problem.

For example, I massively cut back on drinking alcohol by starting to drink seltzer. Initially I thought I wanted to booze, but what I actually wanted was a signal that it was time to relax. I further cut back from drinking by taking a nap after a hard day of w*rk rather than using alcohol (plus food) to further numb my senses.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I'm declaring that you are default semi-ERE alive if you would be able to survive in perpetuity on your current assets and cashflow (if nothing changes) AND you would be happy perpetually with your life (you have the same job*/ work the same amount of hours you do now).
Don't you think that you should also include limiting spending to 1 eco-Jacob/year PP = approximately $12,000/year in this declaration? Or some well thought out alternative towards fair-share (or overtly NOT fair-share)prevention of planetary resource collapse. I mean, nobody can plan on "surviving in perpetuity" without taking the meta-crisis into account, right?
The hallmark of a needs conflict is if you are constantly trying to change and it's not working. Are you at the same point as last year in something that is important to you? I've found it's likely that you are ignoring some need (or possibly insecurity... I am blind to my needs as a direct result of my insecurities though, which is maybe why I find this so helpful...), which is causing you to try to solve the wrong problem.
I think you are right on the money (Ha!) with this concept. However, even those of us who are pretty much in the routine habit of engaging in such analysis can find ourselves occasionally stymied. For instance, I am "stuck" trying to solve my need/want for my very own modern bathroom due to Crohn's disease, because although I recognize that the risk of soiling myself is ultimately just a psychological/social problem, yeah um, I very much do not want to go there.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2023 7:54 am
Don't you think that you should also include limiting spending to 1 eco-Jacob/year PP = approximately $12,000/year in this declaration? Or some well thought out alternative towards fair-share (or overtly NOT fair-share)prevention of planetary resource collapse. I mean, nobody can plan on "surviving in perpetuity" without taking the meta-crisis into account, right?
I'm not going to put in a spending limit for my definition. Everyone should feel free to include their own. Better terminology would probably be default semi-FIRE dead/ alive.

It's not bc I don't think frugality is important, but it's not what I'm trying to capture with this metric. I'm only answering the question "is your semi-ERE system fiscally solvent if things continued in perpetuity?"

I think the default dead/ alive thing works best if you focus on one problem at a time. I think including even 2 determining factors is pushing it a bit.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2023 7:54 am
I think you are right on the money (Ha!) with this concept. However, even those of us who are pretty much in the routine habit of engaging in such analysis can find ourselves occasionally stymied. For instance, I am "stuck" trying to solve my need/want for my very own modern bathroom due to Crohn's disease, because although I recognize that the risk of soiling myself is ultimately just a psychological/social problem, yeah um, I very much do not want to go there.
I think the needs thing is useful for uncovering subconcious stuff. Like if you are trying to make a change and you can't but also can't figure out why it's not working. In your case it sounds like you are pretty aware of what the problem is and why it's not working so exploring your shadow self isn't going to get you any closer towards a solution.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2023 11:35 am
Pretty much all of my posts that have titles (which I'm calling my blog) is about me redoing ERE as I go through it having the advantage of already knowing about ERE and the WL scale (which I'm not explicitly climbing, but I've found is a useful guide for what to do next).

This needs stuff is how I'm conceptualizing WoG. I like the idea of WoG, but actually sketching them out is tricky. I'm concerned with 2 things most days: 1) If money is a solved problem, why am I not happier or more fulfilled? 2) What am I actually doing today?

I canabalized this needs stuff from therapy as well as communication books mashing that together with WoG thinking (or at least how I understand it).

I've found I need to do this because I'm a recovering workaholic and I have a lot of internal conflict. Because of this, I'll ignore my day to day needs in pursuit of concrete WoGs skills.

I'm also not building personal resiliency as the cornerstone of my life. ERE highlights how building personal resiliency leads to a more satisfying life, but my north star isn't personal resiliency, so my path will necessarily be different. This isn't at odds with the WoGs framework, which is very flexible, but like semi-ERE, there isn't a ton about my path in the book or blog, so I'm expanding the framework as I go along.


The hallmark of a needs conflict is if you are constantly trying to change and it's not working. Are you at the same point as last year in something that is important to you? I've found it's likely that you are ignoring some need (or possibly insecurity... I am blind to my needs as a direct result of my insecurities though, which is maybe why I find this so helpful...), which is causing you to try to solve the wrong problem.
I was thinking about your series while I was out walking today and was curious if you are familiar with Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory of development? It has been a couple decades since I dug into Erikson and Maslow, but while studying them in college Erikson's theory resonated more strongly than Maslow. Part of the reason is that I was working part-time at the university pre-school, so I was basically able to observe stages 1-3 while working, and stages 5-6 among myself and peers. His theory and the conflicts he identifies in particular stages seemed to accurately describe what I was observing at the time.

It might be an additional, useful lens to assess needs conflict. There is plenty of information available online, but here is one site with a basic overview:

https://www.verywellmind.com/erik-eriks ... evelopment

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice »

@WRC: Thanks for adding that. My off the cuff reply after reading the link you posted is that I don't know how to integrate Erikson's model to what I'm doing. That's not to say Maslow's is better, it just fits my framework better in my mind. I'm mentally chewing on how Erikson's model could fit in though.


I'm actually using a framework that I've come across several times in therapy, which is just paying super attention to your needs and becoming finally attuned to what happens when they aren't met. Hence having a framework titled "hierarchy of needs" to work off of is pretty helpful. I don't know if I think Maslow's hierarchy is really great, just ok, or deeply flawed. It seems to reflect Western philosophy and the thinking of his day (our) day pretty strongly. I think the "thinking deeply about ones needs" framework is pretty great.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by jacob »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 5:36 pm
I was thinking about your series while I was out walking today and was curious if you are familiar with Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory of development? It has been a couple decades since I dug into Erikson and Maslow, but while studying them in college Erikson's theory resonated more strongly than Maslow.
Wilber has constructed a series of ever increasing tables mapping the stages of ego development of different authors and how they map to each other. There's Erikson, Fowler, Torbert, Cook Greuter, Kegan, Loevinger, ... and probably a bunch of others covering different frameworks, e.g. business decisions, faith, introspection, social awareness, ... The table suggests that there's a common thread to how the mind thinks differently at different stages.

Cook-Greuter has been discussed a fair bit around here. More business-minded people might prefer Torbert which is pretty similar.

After having noticed the similarities, I had actually started making my own amateurish map (it was supposed to be a book chapter) ... only to discover that of course Wilber had made a vastly bigger and better one already. The ERE WL Table v2 was somewhat made to conform to his table. I was quite pleased that the ERE WL v1 had actually picked up something real about ego-development.

PS: Maslow is primarily known for his short pyramid of shelter, safety, ... etc. but as far as I understand, he was primarily interested in the top of the pyramid, the so-called self-actualizing people.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice »

jacob wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2023 7:50 am
PS: Maslow is primarily known for his short pyramid of shelter, safety, ... etc. but as far as I understand, he was primarily interested in the top of the pyramid, the so-called self-actualizing people.
Yes, I think the top of the pyramid is interesting. I also think that people try to access the top without properly securing the bottom and this results in difficulties achieving the top that are confusing and hard to see.

He also made an expanded table that has more top-level stages (called growth needs instead of deficiency needs), which is the one I'm using. My next post will be about a level from the expanded table. Personally I think it's more useful to think about each stage as having a growth and deficiency component.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by jacob »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2023 11:18 am
I also think that people try to access the top without properly securing the bottom and this results in difficulties achieving the top that are confusing and hard to see.
Generalized as a "spiritual bypass".

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by jennypenny »

I have a bookmark for an article that's now unfortunately 404 that discussed personal anecdotes about Maslow that didn't make it into the author's book. They emphasized that Maslow didn't just believe that the lower levels of the hierarchy needed to be met/managed for people to achieve the higher levels like aesthetics, actualization and transcendence, but that they had to be taken for granted. He implied that only people for whom the lower levels were a given -- where they didn't require active management -- would be motivated enough to achieve the highest levels. It came out of a discussion about wealth and upper classes, but nothing he said precluded an ERE gentry of sorts from achieving such things if their systems were robust enough. I assume this belief came out of his anthropological work where tribal members could assume their needs would be met, or at least met as well as everyone else in the tribe.

Maslow believed the hierarchy structure was innate, but I think it only makes sense in a social context. The 'deficiency' needs require social inputs whereas the 'growth' needs are individual in nature.

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