NYT article on fatFIRE

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jacob
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NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by jacob »

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/07/maga ... aving.html

I wrote 5500 words in response to the interview question, which boiled down to about 50 words in the article. I never learn :-P Hopefully, though, it did help to steer the tone somewhat away from the "rich tech-bro" examples that usually dominate US news stories about FIRE and at least point out that FIRE actually works for everyone and not just the ultra-frugal or ultra-spendy fringes of society.

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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Do you have a version that isn't behind a paywall?

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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by jacob »

Weird. That link worked for me. Perhaps it was only free for the first few hours.

loutfard
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by loutfard »


Western Red Cedar
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by Western Red Cedar »

If you google the title of the article you should be able to get beyond the paywall. Classic NYT trick.

————-

I enjoyed the article, and thought it presented a fairly balanced view on FIRE. The photo of Wong in the Ironman suit is a beautiful manifestation of the ridiculous nature of Fatfire.

xmj
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by xmj »

loutfard wrote:
Tue May 07, 2024 9:44 am
https://archive.is/Cl9c4
One reason I love archive.is is for a while it was able to bypass them all.

Edit: It is trivial to deduce the reddit handle of the guy in Celebration. The exercise is left to the reader.

Quadalupe
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by Quadalupe »

Interesting article, fair description of the different subfields of FIRE. Only thing that peeves me whenever Jacob is interviewed is that is that they never talk about the big idea of homeotelicity and/or spending your $$$ more efficiently. This is part of what makes ERE different from FIRE imo.
jacob wrote:
Tue May 07, 2024 7:37 am
I wrote 5500 words in response to the interview question, which boiled down to about 50 words in the article.
Is it possible for you to share those 5500 words? I would like to know more!

jacob
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by jacob »

Quadalupe wrote:
Wed May 08, 2024 2:40 pm
Is it possible for you to share those 5500 words? I would like to know more!
The author/editor were already set on the fatFIRE angle, so it was mostly me pushing back on the idea that fatFIRE is not taking over the world, and there's more to FIRE than a bunch of tech-bros pretending to be frugal and that if you don't at least mention the middle incomes that makes up most of the FIRE community, then the media is not exactly helping to educate the public. Overall, I was positively surprised, but my general expectations are also rather low when it comes to these kinds of pieces.

It does seem like the media has done a 180 from "look at those crazy people eating beans" to "look at those crazy people buying lambos". Judging by the comment track, it appears that the public in general has learned nothing. Same old whiny complaints, although compared to 15 years ago, there are a lot more comments to the effect of "hey, I actually did it and I'm pretty happy about it".

Fun fact: I'm almost certain that the first major interview I did---they even sent a photographer---was with NYT-magazine. That was back in 2010 or so. It was never published.

The problem when it comes to a mass audience is that everything has to be dumbed down to around a 5th grade level in order to appeal. There's not much one can say about systems, etc. at that level. I expect the editors have learned this from experience. I don't think people buy the Sunday paper to have their life choices questioned. The standard formula is "simplify and exaggerate".

Add: When media questions are less "angled", I've gotten in the habit of asking if I can post my full answers elsewhere. US media is generally not that interested in me anymore (I suspect I only get contacted, because I'm mentioned on wikipedia), but here's my full response to a Danish newspaper from a few years ago that was published on a Danish blog: https://www.wannabewalden.com/jacob-lund-fisker/

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mountainFrugal
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by mountainFrugal »

One side effect of this article being published right after I opened the gallery... two different friend groups are now talking about FIRE with me (they know I am on here after interacting with @AH, @AE, and the @mooretrees clan at our wedding). Interestingly, both groups are more on the intentional living train than FIRE itself, but it did offer a timely example to discuss more in depth. This has sparked more conversation than we have had around FIRE and ERE despite discussing money explicitly many times in the past.

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Ego
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by Ego »

Well, this quote alone is spectacular.

Jacob Lund Fisker, a Danish former astrophysicist who is often thought of as the father of the FIRE movement, told me. “However, it is not easy, because everything the typical middle-class consumer has been raised and trained to believe goes against these principles. People have grown up associating success with money and spending money with happiness. They’ve been trained to sit still and perform repetitive work, first by a teacher, then by a manager. They’ve been educated to be specialists in a narrow field and never think outside that box.”
I hope someone edits your Wikipedia profile to say, "The New York Times calls him the father of the FIRE movement", and highlights that quote.

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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by jacob »

I do hope that someone would edit the wikipedia article, since wikipedia-rules bars people from self-editing. However, I told the fact-checker that the whole "father"-reference thing is pretty rare and that it kinda diminishes the generations that came before. They ignored it and wrote it in anyway.

One irony about wikipedia's rules that you're only supposed to add information that can be documented by official media is that journalists will often use wikipedia as a first point of research. As such the loop becomes a self-reinforcing echo-chamber that only grows if the feedback mechanism is maintained. Hint: it hasn't been.

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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by Sclass »

Thanks for posting. I enjoyed the article.

loutfard
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by loutfard »

jacob wrote:
Thu May 09, 2024 1:14 pm
I do hope that someone would edit the wikipedia article, since wikipedia-rules bars people from self-editing.
It looks as if the change you hoped for has materialised. As far as I am aware, no wikipedia rules were bent in the process.

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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I guess I am really out of the center FIRE loop, because I found it odd that there was no mention of how reducing spending is related to ecological issues. I suppose the FatFIRE positivity angle precluded that. There was almost a directly anti-ecological take in a popular book I skimmed recently, "You Are a Badass at Making Money" by Jen Sincero. She pretty much comes right out and says, "You as an individual can't make a difference on issues like environmental resource depletion, so just keep an eye on your own happiness and put the Lambo front and center on your vision board." It was kind of like "How to Be a Pimp" rewritten for audience of educated females scraping by on whatever job they obtained with Art History major.

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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by Seppia »

Good solid article overall, I think it did a good job, even considering the way too much focus on the FatFIRE side.

I, similarly to Ego, really enjoyed Jacob’s quote. Might have been 50 words, but he really made them count.

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Ego
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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by Ego »

Seppia wrote:
Sun May 12, 2024 3:56 pm
I, similarly to Ego, really enjoyed Jacob’s quote. Might have been 50 words, but he really made them count.
The more I think about, the more successful this is. @jacob found a way to slip a truth bomb like that into The Paper of Record. That is a massive success in itself.

Normally, ERE is the presented as the oddball example. In this piece, ERE came across as the rational option for people who have learned that the metaphorical Lambos are not what they need.

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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by Jin+Guice »

I'm pleasantly surprised by this article...

After all the discussion of EDT... I think FIRE and ERE call into question the ego story of our culture. People don't generally want you to solve all of their problems for them, especially ones they are creating. It's doing something for their ego and taking it away leaves a rift most will be uncomfortable with.


With that in mind, the article does focus on fatFIRE, which leaves the ego story of our culture somewhat intact and subverts the original FIRE and ERE messages.

I particularly like Jacob's quote, it was better than I had hoped for.

I also like the discussion of the ennui that sets in after retirement.

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Re: NYT article on fatFIRE

Post by Western Red Cedar »

jacob wrote:
Thu May 09, 2024 1:14 pm
However, I told the fact-checker that the whole "father"-reference thing is pretty rare and that it kinda diminishes the generations that came before. They ignored it and wrote it in anyway.
I get the impression you don't follow much financial content from "FInfluencers" - viewtopic.php?t=13013

Reading and watching low WL finance information is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I draw the line at Dave Ramsey and his crew as that is just too painful. A lot of bloggers and YouTubers still credit you and YMOYL as the early inspirations for the FIRE movement and philosophy, along with others like MMM and JL Collins. They might not necessarily call you "the father" but I'm guessing they'd put you on Mt. Rushmore.

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