7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Where are you and where are you going?
7Wannabe5
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@llorona

Thank you for your kind words.

7Wannabe5
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Jacob from the blog wrote:To successfully retire early, you need to fill these three requirements


1)You must make enough money and be able invest it well.
2)You must be able to budget your spending.
3)You must be able to enjoy living without work.
(You could argue that 1) is two things, but if you don’t make enough money, you can’t invest in the first place, so it’s effectively one criterion.)

Let’s see what happens, when some qualities are lacking...


Those who got (2) and (3) but lack (1) will do okay, but they will never accumulate enough money to be financially independent. Likely they will just work at little from time to time. They will never retire.
Clearly, this is the camp in which I fall. However, it is also quite clear that my barrier(s) to (1) are psychological rather than functional. I could obtain a full-time-job-working-for-other paying more than $40,000 year quite easily. I am not inherently lazy and will spend all day building a stone wall or tutoring disadvantaged kids or reading thick books. I have a degree in mathematics, have done coursework in economics, and my C.P.A. with graduate degree in Taxation super-salaryman father taught me about compound interest when I was in elementary school.

My psychological problem in a nutshell would be that all three of the below are distasteful to me (although I have done all 3):

1) Buying goods from large corporations.
2) Having a career with a large corporation.
3) Deriving income/profits from investing in large corporations.

They are not equally distasteful, because they also feel like:

1) John (loser/addict)
2) Prostitute (oppressed/slave)
3) Pimp (oppressor/winner of the triad)

OTOH, I feel very positive about personal liberty, free trade at the chaotic boundary, micro-enterprise, creative ventures, etc. and I am also definitely not a fan of big government/bureaucracy. So, there is something related to size, power, and what I might describe as "gross conformity" that informs my feelings. These feelings would also apply to my take on fatFIRE which is that I basically feel zero-percent empathy for somebody making $160,000 with goal of retiring on individual spending of $40,000/year (exception here if supporting multiple dependents ), although I do recognize that the $120,000 "not spent" while saving towards goal represents a great deal of reduction in CO2 burn, which I suppose one could take moral credit for in the same way Marcus Aurelius took moral credit for not banging all 20 of his grandfather's concubines :lol: Anyways, I'm really not wanting to be about casting judgment on others. I want to be about getting self-aware and in alignment with my own core value system.

Anyways, I realize that this flavor of 'stuck" is in the realm of Level Green (post-modern rejection of the modern), but even being quite self-aware does not allow me to shake it. For instance, I do not know why I am continuing in the M.S. degree program I am currently enrolled in, because on some level it just feels like a slow walk towards the gallows of a late-life corporate career and the thought of having excess funds to invest in the stock market does not jolly up the prospect for me very much more than the prospect of having excess funds to spend at the mall. Yay, a designer handbag! Yay, 10 shares in Exxon! Just not feeling it...

I also don't tend towards anxiety in alignment with "will end up a baglady", because it seems a) unlikely and/or b) interesting challenge if it did happen, so having a big financial buffer for reasons related to security does not feel needful to me.

I honestly don't know if I even want to attempt to overcome my psychological barriers against conventional-variety FIRE. What I do want to do moving forward is get my own spending once again under 1 eco-Jacob PPP adjusted = $12,000/year and get some new and interesting ventures/activities up and spinning in my lifestyle. The very simple metric that will allow me to know that I am heading back towards balance in alignment with my own core value system will be my level of distracted dollar store cookie eating vs mindful delight in homemade fresh plum napoleon.

white belt
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by white belt »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2023 11:14 am
What I do want to do moving forward is get my own spending once again under 1 eco-Jacob PPP adjusted = $12,000/year and get some new and interesting ventures/activities up and spinning in my lifestyle. The very simple metric that will allow me to know that I am heading back towards balance in alignment with my own core value system will be my level of distracted dollar store cookie eating vs mindful delight in homemade fresh plum napoleon.
Since you're someone who always seems to be spinning a variety of plates, I'm curious about how you conduct your accounting of income/expenses for 1 eco-Jacob purposes. As my streams of income/expenses and WoG has expanded, I've found my own accounting has become more and more convoluted for purposes of eco-Jacob.

Allow me to provide a few examples:
  • My healthcare costs are currently $0! However, I have comprehensive insurance provided by an employer. Should I include this is imputed cost?
  • DW rents out a room of her house and makes $850 a month in rental income. Her housing expenses are in the range of ~$1250 a month. For eco-Jacob purposes, is her housing expense $400 a month or am I just cheating with an accounting trick? The numbers change when I add the next layer of tax considerations to include deductible expenses and depreciation.
  • Last month, I reduced my rent by $25 in exchange for an hour of labor for my landlord. Should I consider a work/housing exchange as income (the IRS says yes), or should I consider it as reduced housing expense for eco-Jacob purposes?
Perhaps I'm missing the forest for the trees, but I think these are pretty common occurrences and I'm curious how those on these forums with an eco focus think about this things.

On a related note, I could never figure out how to get spending below $12k in a medium to high cost of living area. Midwest or southeast USA region? Sure. Mid-Atlantic or Northeast region? No way unless I'm willing to go very rural. I'm already living in a below market rent room in a house with 3 roommates and I still pay $800 a month in rent. I explored van living and boat living in this area, but they didn't seem to be any cheaper once I accounted for everything. Maybe I could've negotiated for a more robust work arrangement with my landlord, but then am I really lowering my impact or just playing accounting games again?

chenda
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by chenda »

@white belt - My take on healthcare is that it should be exempt from your calculation as it will depend so much on where you are living and your health. I'd say DW's housing expenses are indeed $400 as she is splitting the carbon footprint of housing with her housemate, thus halfing (roughly) the impact.

7Wannabe5
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@white belt:

I absolutely agree that the accounting seems to go wacky as spending level goes down, but this is not at all unrelated to increased levels of consciousness and competence. I mean all sorts of conflicts and compromises are also baked into the cake of standard lifestyle with standard spending, but because it is standard nobody bothers to question it. IOW, dealing with these questions related to the accounting as spending levels go down is yet another opportunity to clarify your own values.

For instance, when I was living with more affluent others during the lock-down, my living expenses were pretty much down to phone bill plus incidentals, so way below 1 eco-jacob, but I didn't suffer from the delusion that my personal consumption equaled my cash flow out. OTOH, I didn't "assign" myself half the rent either, because I had made it very clear that if I was chipping in 50/50, a less expensive apartment would be my boundary. IOW, I don't have the authority to make somebody else live in a smaller, less luxurious, more noisy apartment, but I do have the boundary of not paying that expense. If I did compromise and pay more in order to forward the relationship, then I would put that on my account, because I would be de facto paying for something else I was getting from the relationship. So, I could, in theory, assign the $400/month I was willing to pay (but didn't) to other's account, because he would have otherwise "wasted" it on taking more expensive dates out to eat or on vacations or covering the same housing expenses for a Ukrainian refugee female, but that would be in opposition to my value of lifestyle resilience and optionality. Also, he was such a PITA to live with, I did end up spending some of my theoretical frugal level housing budget on "mini-vacations" to get a break from him. Just yesterday, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas, besides the electric blanket he already gave me (which allows me to turn off my central heat completely at night), and pretty much offered me carte blanche to order stuff on his account, but I told him I didn't need anything, because I don't. Free for me doesn't mean free for the planet.

Another example would be that I would reduce the rent I am currently paying for my tiny apartment to $350/month from $550/month if I was actually currently running my book business or doing my private 1099 tutoring or any other business out of the small room (slightly less than half the size of the entire tiny apartment) which I designated as my office rather than just storing books and other junk in there, but I would also account for it as an expense of my business, which I would expect to provide me with a "happy to do this thing" wage plus at least 4% ROI. IOW, if writing off the office expense made my business so unprofitable that I would rather do something else with my time or put it in the hole, then I wouldn't write it off, except as short-term venture balanced with other ventures. IOW, as long as my intention was to make a profit, and I didn't fool myself (or the IRS) about the possibility endlessly. My book business always made a profit; it just eventually became not enough to cover needful owner draw in entirety. My permaculture projects have never made a profit, so I chalk losses off to lifestyle expense except to the extent that I am able to recoup from sale of property. However, if I ever get one up and going to the extent that I am able to achieve goal of teaching disadvantaged kids about gardening on site, then I would "assign" any overhead expenses to saving the planet or non-profit status. But, it would feel very Koyaanisqatsi to me to be doing that while also invested in Exxon. MMV- I just want to get myself to my happy place.

Scott 2
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by Scott 2 »

I think access to modern healthcare effectively breaks a naive 1 eco-Jacob strategy. Short of declining potentially dramatic improvements in quality of life or lifespan, the best one can do is take offsetting actions. Maybe plant a tree after getting that MRI.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2023 11:14 am
However, it is also quite clear that my barrier(s) to (1) are psychological rather than functional. I could obtain a full-time-job-working-for-other paying more than $40,000 year quite easily.
The surplus cash could dramatically change lives of those kids you tutor. There's also potential to affect change within the individual corporation, subverting the institution.

Maybe you help build an AI technology, that moves a manual decision process into a technological box. In the process, you encode some existing social bias. Due to that, it can now be legislated against, allowing regulation that dismantles the previously hidden discrimination.

Dunno if any of that holds appeal, but they are examples of why I haven't forever ruled out corporate life.

7Wannabe5
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Scott wrote:I think access to modern healthcare effectively breaks a naive 1 eco-Jacob strategy. Short of declining potentially dramatic improvements in quality of life or lifespan, the best one can do is take offsetting actions. Maybe plant a tree after getting that MRI.
I don't entirely disagree, but the U.S. market/system is such a cluster-fuck, it's difficult to even get a hold on rational pricing. However, it seems like the rational cost of an MRI is approximately equal to the timber value of a 60 ft softwood tree after 20 years growth. So, plant a tree could be just about right.
Scott wrote:Maybe you help build an AI technology, that moves a manual decision process into a technological box. In the process, you encode some existing social bias. Due to that, it can now be legislated against, allowing regulation that dismantles the previously hidden discrimination.
I could also chug a 5th of Vodka and drive around in my Smart car on the chance that I might run down a serial killer.
Scott wrote:The surplus cash could dramatically change lives of those kids you tutor.
I want to thank you for offering this suggestion, because thinking through my response strongly confirmed my take on 5 levels.

1) If I had a full-time job paying $40,000 (net) and my expenses were down to $12,000, leaving me $28,000/year to donate to charity, I actually wouldn't even be able to replace the services that I am now providing as a part-time math tutor, because providing tutoring services to disadvantaged (or advantaged) kids costs more than $40/hr. (inclusive of administration, facilities, supplies.) And it would almost certainly be the case that whoever I "hired" to replace me would be less competent or even more expensive, because there are openings similar to my current position which simply aren't being filled. Virtually everybody who does my job is an underpaid semi-volunteer female over the age of 50. And I think teaching kids about gardening is just as important as teaching them about math moving into the 21st century.

This is why altruism at a distance is rarely effective. I can't just give each of the kids I tutor $1000 and an abacus and hope they show some initiative, but that's what just throwing stuff and money down a long pipe towards a problem does. I was breaking up gang fights (okay, not really, calling for the guard to do it) in a school where there were three 3-D printers some well-meaning organization had donated sitting in boxes gathering dust.

2) In order to earn the excess cash which wouldn't even replace the services I am currently providing, let alone those I might more efficiently provide in a theoretical non-profit of my own devising, I would be doing something I don't like and find distasteful, which is working full-time for corporate other helping them sell swampland to senior citizens and gain monopolistic dominion over all they survey. What a great idea! Why don't I also get a full-time job at the hog-processing plant so that I can afford to take my theoretical grand-kids to McDonald's for dinner every night?

3) It's not even the case that I want/plan to dedicate the remainder of my life to altruism and combatting the meta-crisis. When I recently looked at list of 100 possible human values, Altruism didn't even make my current Top 10, and even Ecology was below Liberty, Self-Expression, Curiousity, Resourcefulness, Kindness, Rationality and Family. It's simply the case that we are in such a f8cked up, complex situation; akin to a giant tangled ball of broken windows disguised as productivity, there's no way I can maintain cognitive harmony without taking the meta-crisis and the ramifications for some of its youngest (yet growing so fast towards adulthood) victims into account. If the shit hasn't backed up into your own personal toilet yet, as the roots of the meta-crisis spread, just give it a few more years.

4) There is still Fresh Plum Napoleon to be made and delighted in!

5) For me, MMV significantly, FI is really just a distraction. I have all the resources I need already. Well, okay, almost, I might need to ask the Wizard for a bit more courage...but money is not my limiting factor :D

Anyways, the fact that I don't have much empathy with those who wish to be full-time corporate employed, doesn't mean that I don't wish to gain empathy (see above my core values of Curiousity and Kindness.) I just read something about how some humans prefer/choose to return to prison in the U.S., because the health care provided is better than they can afford on the streets. If you look at a list of 100 human values on the internet, which of your core values would you say would best conform with your intermittent desire to return to corporate employment?

Scott 2
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by Scott 2 »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 11:12 am
I could also chug a 5th of Vodka and drive around in my Smart car on the chance that I might run down a serial killer.
Hah, this got me laughing out loud. You've seemed corporate curious in recent posts. I thought I'd offer the best arguments I've found, in favor of joining the collective. I am 3 years removed now, so it's possible I have rose colored glasses.

The skills you are studying could net out much more than $40k/year, nestled into a climate controlled cubicle. Maybe a plodding insurance company in Livonia, or an fast paced startup in Ann Arbor. It'd be a short drive from your students, but an entirely different world.

Outside of the effective altruism angle, some recent reading had me thinking about the poverty alleviation aspect. I just finished these two by Matthew Desmond:

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Poverty, by America

They highlight how fragile life can be for those young kids. A few hundred dollars often makes the difference between stability and a collapse that takes years to heal. Or maybe never heals. There's a way to scratch the corporate itch, without abandoning your impact. Not to say you should. I agree the work itself has to feel intrinsically rewarding. That does not fit your description of corporate life.


I'm not a pick from 100 values type of person, but I'd say we're more aligned than opposed. I'm just less of a free thinker. There's an ease to knowing exactly what's happening this year. Throw in the perks of corporate life, and given my temperament, it's not so bad. If I can get up without an alarm and make it to yoga class, I'm ambivalent about what's on the screen I'll inevitably be staring at.

7Wannabe5
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Scott 2 wrote:You've seemed corporate curious in recent posts.
Hey, now you made me laugh out loud! I can see how my posts might have read that way, but really it was much more like I was metaphorically giving up on love, deep compatibility and desire and considering a dull marriage-of-convenience for the purposes of better health insurance acquisition. The hilarious thing is that the other thread I recently started was because I was also literally considering a dull marriage-of-convenience to an affluent partner for the purposes of better health insurance acquisition.

The skills you are studying could net out much more than $40k/year, nestled into a climate controlled cubicle. Maybe a plodding insurance company in Livonia, or an fast paced startup in Ann Arbor. It'd be a short drive from your students, but an entirely different world.
Actually, two worlds with which I am extremely familiar since I spent my childhood until age 12 in Livonia (perhaps the most white bread commuter suburb in the world at the time ) followed by upward-with-the-Jones' movement to two even more affluent suburb/exurbs, and I either lived or worked in Ann Arbor area from age 19 to age 49. My DD32 was recently employed as a boutique head-hunter for some of those fast paced startups. I've only been (intermittently) living, gardening, and teaching in extremely economically depressed areas for the past 9 years, but that is also about when I joined this forum.
Poverty, by America

They highlight how fragile life can be for those young kids. A few hundred dollars often makes the difference between stability and a collapse that takes years to heal. Or maybe never heals.
I just read that book too! And I absolutely agree that $1000 invested to prevent a family with young children from being evicted can be hugely influential and also efficient towards preventing much greater, harder to fix problems down the line. It has just been my experience that by actually being there in person, trying to teach the kids some actual skills, or taking needful action in the moment like helping a kid who has been dropped off at school with no coat and burning up with fever, I can be even more effective/efficient.

I also think that maybe I've gone to feral to tolerate a "make-work" environment vs one where the needful work is so clear and in my face. I find any new environment and learning curve interesting for about 3 months, and I'm sure that would apply to return to full-time corporate employment after such a long-time away from such an environment, just like I find watching television quite enjoyable for a few months after not owning one for 10 years, but then I'd almost certainly lapse into functional-depression (at best) or malicious compliance (at worst.)
I'm not a pick from 100 values type of person, but I'd say we're more aligned than opposed. I'm just less of a free thinker. There's an ease to knowing exactly what's happening this year. Throw in the perks of corporate life, and given my temperament, it's not so bad. If I can get up without an alarm and make it to yoga class, I'm ambivalent about what's on the screen I'll inevitably be staring at.
Gotcha. I agree that we're more aligned than opposed. My newest free thought is that there should be a new version of ERE known as Anarcho-Eco-ERE, which would basically be Eco-ERE minus any (or as little as possible to be realistic) reliance on Corporate Capitalism/Stock Market. I just started reading Emma Goldman, and she is already my new heroine. Clearly, I have always been of an Anarchist bent, but I just didn't know it due to ignorant assumptions I made about the movement. This also explains my long-term Like/Hate relationship with Libertarian philosophy. I tested as highly Eco-Anarchist on the LeftValues quiz.

https://leftvalues.github.io/

chenda
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by chenda »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 3:30 pm
I tested as highly Eco-Anarchist on the LeftValues quiz.
I always think you'd like to live in a cosy cabin deep in the woods near a small town with book clubs and herbal cafes...or is that just me ? :)

7Wannabe5
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

chenda wrote:I always think you'd like to live in a cosy cabin deep in the woods near a small town with book clubs and herbal cafes...or is that just me ? :)
Well, I used to describe my ideal lifestyle as The Adventure Cottage Library, so that does sound appealing (if you sub out black coffee for herbal tea), but I would really prefer to be city mouse/country mouse poly-home-orous, and I'm not particularly interested in continuing to live by myself in a domicile, now that I've given it a whirl. My sisters, our kids and I are all planning to put down some sort of footprint in the northern woods and water realm where we usually vacation in the summer, so that would be some of what you described.

One possibility that would give me some flexibility would be buying a motorcycle camper for my Smart car. I also could reduce my housing costs from $550/month to $350/month almost immediately, if I could get comfortable with the practice of having an emergency chemical toilet set up in my "room of my own" in one or more shared housing situations. I want to experiment with how far I can go with Permaculture and/or ERE and/or the fulfilling the psychological elements of shelter (as in "A Pattern Language") with minimal property ownership. If I head out on a Scavenger Walk, how long until I have to come back "home'?

Anyways, the concept is inspiring me to get back into shape much more than the grim prospect of a practical round of late-life full-time corporate employment, so that's a good thing :D

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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by chenda »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 5:48 pm
My sisters, our kids and I are all planning to put down some sort of footprint in the northern woods and water realm where we usually vacation in the summer, so that would be some of what you described.
That sounds marvellous :)

7Wannabe5
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@chenda:

Yes, part of the reason I am kind of grouchy/distracted lately is that I could already be spending weekends up there if I hadn't enrolled myself in this stupid IT/Data graduate program which sucks up too much of my high quality life-energy. Of course, this life-energy sucking function is in part due to the fact that I am the typical sort of terrible going-off-down-every-path-except-the-actual-assignment-terrior/hare-rather-than-tortoise/beaver student eNTP, with a lifelong tendency towards A,A,A,F style under-achiever functioning in student mode.

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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by chenda »

@7wannabe5 - yes I'm doing an MSc by distance learning at the moment and whilst it's interesting to muse about the topics having to write properly referenced essays and achieve 'learning objectives' is just such a pain I find myself watching swedish vloggers hunkering down in cabins for the winter and getting all nature connected like.

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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Intuitive Everything!

On my slow roll into Skillathon 2024 as I near my 59th birthday, I find myself questioning the overall benefits of tracking metrics. Mostly this is due to encountering strong internal resistance to once again counting calories or following any other rule-based program towards pushing my BMI back into alignment. This strong feeling of resistance led me down a rabbit hole of reading some books which are transcendent or simply contrary to conventional diet/nutriceutical/fitness thinking/practice in our culture, such as:

"Intuitive Eating"-Tribole, Resch
"Gentle Nutrition: A Non-Diet Approach to Healthy Eating" - Hartley
"Train Happy: An Intuitive Exercise Plan for Every Body"-Tally Rye
"Dynamic Aging"- Bowman
"Food Isn't Medicine: How Misinformation is Harming Our Health"- Wolrich

As I noted elsewhere, one of the factors that came into play was reading "Erotic Capital" by Hakim and writing about it here in what was meant to be a bit of a tongue-in-cheek turnabout-is-fair-play piece of advice to young men that they ought to get in shape and improve their erotic capital if they wanted to save money on dating. I read "Fat is a Feminist Issue", which is close to the antithesis of "Erotic Capital" many years ago, and I think that something that Slevin wrote about how my advice to the men was like suggesting that any woman could be a Victoria's Secret model if she just applied adequate will-power, kind of clicked me into generalizing the concept outside of feminism, and sent me digging around for books on similar theme.

So, I picked up a copy of "Intuitive Eating", started applying the practice/advice, and I was amazed at how quickly this got me back to my happy place without moving the dial on my scale a bit. It took me a week or so to release myself from dependency, but my scale is now at least hidden away in dark corner of my bathroom closet. The authors offer a lot of evidence that the correlation between BMI and various diseases/longevity has been greatly over-hyped. The most interesting being that the AMA pushed through the measure to have high BMI absent any comorbidities declared a disease, so that doctors could start prescribing weight-loss drugs for those patients, even though their evidentiary committee and ethics group spoke out against the move. Now the second-generation of these weight-loss drugs, which are much more effective IFF the patient never goes off the drug are on the market. If the patient does go off the drug, they will rebound in very much the same manner that the vast majority of patients who lose weight through dieting gain the majority of weight lost back within 5 years. One of my sisters, the only one who was mostly chubby since childhood although also the only one of us who was into sports and not otherwise unhealthy, has become like the amazing shrinking woman on one of these drugs.

Anyways, I started noticing some similarities between the practice of Intuitive Eating and some other post-modern or post-post-modern practices. For instance, it is based on Principles like Permaculture, rather than Rules or Metrics like a Diet or conventional modern Fitness program. It is also rather like Nassim Taleb's reading practice, which involves having a great variety of different books available and choosing/switching what you read on intuitive whim. It's also very much in alignment with the aspect of "Your Money or Your Life" which has you asking values based questions about each of your expenditures and being more conscious about your mindless impulse purchases or Gazingus Pins.

Some book group questions concerning how this might be relevant to "ERE" would be:

1) Could "ERE" be conceived of as a collection of Principles?
2) Could "Intuitive Spending" without tracking of metrics have some utility? Maybe just prove helpful to humans who have formed the sort of psychological resistance to "budgeting" that many eventually form in relationship to "dieting"?
3) How is putting off living the life you want to live until you have achieved SWR 4% analogous to putting off the life you want to live until you achieve ideal weight?
4) Are ethics,values and/or ideals and metrics innately bound to be strange bedfellows? What am I really about with a goal packaged as "Reduce my spending to less than $12,000 year."?

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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by Bicycle7 »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2024 4:25 pm
3) How is putting off living the life you want to live until you have achieved SWR 4% analogous to putting off the life you want to live until you achieve ideal weight?
I think it's the same, for me, in that I trapped my mind into thinking that my situation would be fundamentally different when I achieved a 4% SWR. I figured once I had all my time liberated from working FT I'd be living my best life. Semi-ERE is a good reminder that I'm still working through a lot of stuff- motivation, skills, emotional, meaning, etc.

I'm also appreciating about my semi-ERE strategy right now of intermittent/part-time work the fact that I'm not minding, maybe even enjoying some intermittent work that gets me out into the world, interacting with/helping people (secondary Fe) and learning new skills. I've been fairly miserable when working FT, though lately, it has felt like a pleasant life enhancer to work a few hours here or there, PT. The akin being, hard dieting as the FT work, feeling hungry and dissatisfied, and the PT being over a longer period of time building up practices around intuitive eating.

For me, the "ideal weight" and a "4% SWR" have the potential to be moving targets, as spending, life conditions and priorities change. The phenomena of regaining weight, after dieting, in the subsequent 5 years, could be likened to people who FIRE, fail to find a meaningful structure post-work, and go back to working full-time a year or two later. Not because they enjoy it per se, but because they didn't find something better.

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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by jacob »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2024 4:25 pm
1) Could "ERE" be conceived of as a collection of Principles?
Yes, it's possible to formulate any idea in any number of ways: principles, laws, algorithm, framework, constraints, ... Some formulations may be easier than others. More importantly, the preferred formulation is likely subjective. For example, some will prefer a set of rules, others will prefer the principles.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2024 4:25 pm
2) Could "Intuitive Spending" without tracking of metrics have some utility? Maybe just prove helpful to humans who have formed the sort of psychological resistance to "budgeting" that many eventually form in relationship to "dieting"?
That's how I've always done it. I've never had an itemized budget per se. I consider such tools to be too simplistic. Ditto the idea of having a meal plan.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2024 4:25 pm
3) How is putting off living the life you want to live until you have achieved SWR 4% analogous to putting off the life you want to live until you achieve ideal weight?
Financial capital is analogous to physiological capital. It's a lot easier to make more when you already have it. S-curves apply to both. Taking baby-steps on the left side of the curve only builds capital slowly if at all. The ROI is low and so the leverage on effort is inefficient. The financial analog to a non-ideal weight is debt. As such it takes extra effort to get out of it. All that effort is cumulative because interest keeps compounding. It's better to get out of it fast than putting the effort off.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2024 4:25 pm
4) Are ethics,values and/or ideals and metrics innately bound to be strange bedfellows? What am I really about with a goal packaged as "Reduce my spending to less than $12,000 year."?
They're different formulations of the same thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_purpo ... at_it_does so it does not matter whether one is motivated by ethics, values, ... or metrics when it comes to the actions one actually takes. If it quacks like a duck...

7Wannabe5
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Bicycle7 wrote:I'm also appreciating about my semi-ERE strategy right now of intermittent/part-time work the fact that I'm not minding, maybe even enjoying some intermittent work that gets me out into the world, interacting with/helping people (secondary Fe) and learning new skills. I've been fairly miserable when working FT, though lately, it has felt like a pleasant life enhancer to work a few hours here or there, PT. The akin being, hard dieting as the FT work, feeling hungry and dissatisfied, and the PT being over a longer period of time building up practices around intuitive eating.
Yes, we need to practice at the work we would do even if we weren't being paid. Or that's not even quite right, because sometimes "being paid" itself can be fun or rewarding, perhaps to the extent that it resembles the "Create a Yield" principle in permaculture.
The phenomena of regaining weight, after dieting, in the subsequent 5 years, could be likened to people who FIRE, fail to find a meaningful structure post-work, and go back to working full-time a year or two later. Not because they enjoy it per se, but because they didn't find something better.
The analogy between working to make money/budgeting and working-out to burn kcalories/conventional dieting is easy to make, although obviously somewhat weak because human physiology is subject to homeostasis. I frequently track my overall spending and my kcalorie consumption, so I've often wondered why I am fairly "good" at being frugal and fairly "bad" at dieting. It might just be because all my favorite vices are quite inexpensive. :lol: In spite of the obvious downsides, such as loss of "erotic capital" or the hassle of hauling around the two holiday hams attached to one's ass all day, studies indicate that overweight and obese humans are just as happy as those who have a lower weight, and I think this "discovery" is one of the many factors that leads to the extremely high likelihood or regaining any weight lost through dieting.
jacob wrote:Yes, it's possible to formulate any idea in any number of ways: principles, laws, algorithm, framework, constraints, ... Some formulations may be easier than others. More importantly, the preferred formulation is likely subjective. For example, some will prefer a set of rules, others will prefer the principles.
Right, I was being a bit rhetorical and lazy with this question. More like I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice/handy for me if somebody created a list of 12 ERE Principles akin to those for Permaculture and those found in this book on Intuitive Eating?" ( I also think a Pattern Language for ERE would be cool.) Luckily, I have an electronic copy of "ERE". so it didn't take too much effort to ascertain that ERE is a philosophy book about strategy, and the Renaissance strategy is based on a combination of Consilience and Resilience. The principles of resilience are modularity, diversity, and slack (loosely coupled feedback processes.) Some principles of consilience (from the internet) might be integration, progressive unification of knowledge, independent inquiry, inductive reasoning, pattern observation. The Strategic Principles in the book are Modular Design and Contingency Goal Setting. The Tactical Principles in the book are Identifying Needs and Wants, Building Block Construction Method, and Appropriate Response.
jacob wrote:That's how I've always done it. I've never had an itemized budget per se. I consider such tools to be too simplistic. Ditto the idea of having a meal plan.
Yeah, I never follow meal plans or attach fixed amounts to spending categories. Usually when dieting, I just assign myself a daily allotment of Kcals to be spent according to my druthers and this "works" in the sense that my weight goes down in rough accordance. I track spending in categories, but only concern myself with monthly or yearly tendencies. It has been my experience that both my weight and my spending go up when I don't track them, but "out of control" spending for me is around U.S. poverty level and "out of control" weight for me has gone much higher.
Financial capital is analogous to physiological capital. It's a lot easier to make more when you already have it. S-curves apply to both. Taking baby-steps on the left side of the curve only builds capital slowly if at all. The ROI is low and so the leverage on effort is inefficient. The financial analog to a non-ideal weight is debt. As such it takes extra effort to get out of it. All that effort is cumulative because interest keeps compounding. It's better to get out of it fast than putting the effort off.
As I mentioned above, this is a tempting analogy which I have often considered myself, but it breaks down pretty easily, or can become dismaying in many different ways. For instance, a study revealed that the most highly represented personality types in eating disorder clinical setting were INFJ and INTJ (both with 8th function Si), likely due to tendencies towards harm avoidance and perfectionism AKA the pessimistic flavor of irrationality. This is how my extremely health concious, extremely slender multi-millionaire dysfunctionally-miser (as opposed to functionally-frugal) friend ended up in the hospital seriously ill from drinking too much water :(

If weight of muscle on the body is equivalent to amount of money invested on the market, the analogy holds in the sense that interest passively earned can be equated to basal metabolic rate increased even while at rest. However, carrying around extra fat will actually increase the amount of muscle and other forms of conditioning added to the body through exercise such as hiking, for the same reason that putting metal weights in a rucksack on the body will have that effect. This is one of the reasons why MHO (metabolically healthy obese) humans often live longer than the thin frail. Most people don't realize that absent the presence of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes/insulin resistance, a high BMI does not represent much of a health risk, whereas the presence of any of these factors in a normal weight individual does.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24622321/]

Also, due to the fact that the human body is subject to homeostasis, it will "feedback" with a vengeance if it perceives that "you" are starving yourself. A study done way back in the 1940s using healthy young men who were conscientious objectors as lab rats to test the effects of slow starvation put them on a diet of 1800 kcals/day (IOW, rather moderate compared to many weight-loss plans) revealed many pronounced psychological effects. For instance, many of the young men became obsessed with food to the extent that they would browse cookbooks and food magazines for pleasure and talk about food constantly. One participant referred to this behavior as "nutritional masturbation." I think this may have to do with the Si function in MBTI terms, and I think this is also what is being suppressed with the newest weight loss drugs which work by reducing background "food chatter." IOW, they work by making humans forget to remember about food.
jacob wrote: If it quacks like a duck...
Exactly! The Purpose of What a System is What it Does would conclude that the purpose of the conventional diet and fitness industry is to relieve consumers of their money and leave them in exact situation where they started, generally in very short order, or 5 years max at 99th percentile. IOW, evolutionarily designed mechanisms towards homeostasis beat delusions of infinite will-power hands down each and every match. This is why focus on health measures that may render an overweight or obese individual metabolically healthy although overweight/obese may likely be more productive than those that focus on weight loss as mechanism. Although, this may become moot due to the new highly effective drugs on the market, currently at $550/month out-of-pocket minimum, but likely to reduce in price.

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Slevin
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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by Slevin »

I practice what I will call “dietary hedonism”, where when I want to lose weight, I make some insanely tasty and filling meals that roughly fit the calories I’m aiming for; then just consume those ad nauseam until I get sick of them and have to construct new ones, or I hit the target number. Basically this ends up with me consuming loads of vegetables (fullness and fiber) along with beans / lentils / legumes and delicious sauces. Roasted peanuts with veg and beans is wildly fulfilling / satiating for its calorie count.

Consider it the “temporarily (calorically) impoverished foodie” version of dieting. It celebrates excess (just of certain types of food) and flavor instead of a focus on restriction.

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Re: 7Wannabe5-Take9-One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Slevin:

Thanks for the suggestion, but some of the principles of Intuitive Eating would run counter to your plan, because it involves predicting your body's response and also primary goal of weight loss. OTOH, eating such food/meals because you like it or seems to be what you are craving in the moment and then noticing you feel energetic afterwards. and then consciously choosing to repeat the experience would be in accordance with Intuitive Eating.

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