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The One Percent Pt. 2

For discussions of events and conditions not necessarily related to Peak Oil.

Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Wed 10 May 2017, 18:37:07

SeaGypsy wrote:I left my wife because she's too concerned with conformity. We get on better apart. I see the kids several times a week. I work in near zero stress job, make average wages, go to a millionaires gym in a millionaires car & have a lot of freedom. I'm not sure what I'm 'missing out on' which is so 'important to have a happy life'.


Just curious SeaGypsy, do you not have to have a home of record (a physical address) where you are? Even when I was a full time RV gypsy I had to have a mailing address to get a license, insurance and all that.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Squilliam » Wed 10 May 2017, 18:42:23

Ibon wrote:
Squilliam wrote: To get the things that represent genuine happiness and contentment for most people you need to opt into the system. To marry you need a good job, or conform to societal expectations of beauty. Buy a house/go to college you're participating in the system of debt and obligations. Then you're married and to stay married you need to continue on with that system. Then finally when you make it out the other side since you feel like you've gone through a river of BS to get to that point you don't want to change anything when you're older because you feel entitled to the spoils of others buying you out through taxes or property prices. Opting out of the system generally means also opting out of many of the things that make for a happy and healthy life.


From my millennial daughters and many of their peers I clearly am getting the message that the happiness returned is not worth the investment required. And more and more of them are opting out and actually remind me of the choices SeaGypsy has made. Most of them are clear about the current politics. They are not participating and focusing on their immediate and local friendships.

I am heartened at the thought that there are many disengaging and that we just don't see this because it is of course not reported.

On this site those shrill participants in politics, regardless if they are politically left or right, are mostly older baby boomers who are still invested. We do not hear from young millennials most of them didn't even vote.

More and more this political disengagement is looking like civil disobedience and I salute them.


It's never reported is it? Or if it is the reporting is done in such a way as to portray the people that opt out as having some kind of problem instead of considering the wider problems in the society at large. I guess that would be difficult wouldn't it? It would mean that a large proportion of people would have to consider their own role in the malaise that is falling on large segments of the younger population. There really is no middle ground with respect to dealing with it because on the one hand there is the option of making rather heroic efforts in general whether that be working ridiculous amounts or going to the gym excessively and/or living hedonistically. This does still work, and you can forge a rather successful life doing just that. Alternatively you can kind of just mope along doing somewhere next to the bare minimum required to subsist. I guess this is where immigration comes in because it means you always have a healthy supply of people willing to do the worst jobs for little return because it is always better than where they came from.

Also you and Ghung are actually quite similar. I remember Ghung talking about how well integrated he was in his local community on TOD. He used his own behaviour as an example to his neighbours and he spoke of gaining their respect. It does take a certain type of person to go completely off grid with respect to electrickery. I was at a political meeting a few days ago from a guy named Gareth Morgan. He is a 0.1%er and he spoke about how easy it was for people with money to get ahead. The difference is that he started a political party that essentially would in effect be quite damaging to his own wealth, but he did it because he felt that improving the society around him and the potential life for his grand-children was far more important to him than the consideration as to how much he could game the system. I guess you would be quite similar to him in outlook. You can game the system at the same time as acknowledging that the system is broken.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 10 May 2017, 19:07:23

GHung wrote:
SeaGypsy wrote:I left my wife because she's too concerned with conformity. We get on better apart. I see the kids several times a week. I work in near zero stress job, make average wages, go to a millionaires gym in a millionaires car & have a lot of freedom. I'm not sure what I'm 'missing out on' which is so 'important to have a happy life'.


Just curious SeaGypsy, do you not have to have a home of record (a physical address) where you are? Even when I was a full time RV gypsy I had to have a mailing address to get a license, insurance and all that.


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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Wed 10 May 2017, 19:15:26

My mother's address. It's in a very wealthy suburb so I don't get any downmarket grief from the establishment.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 10 May 2017, 19:27:10

Squilliam wrote:I - "Everytime I go back to the USA it slowly works on me in a negative way where I get drawn in. I feel like one of those Eusocial insects Newfie refers to, like some ant back in the colony and I slowly get drawn back into the dysfunctional consensus reality that is there. We have a few days off. Except for visiting family going back to the USA is the last place we consider going. "

i guess this goes back to the point that Newfie made with the media with respect to 'amusing ourselves to death'. It also goes back to the method that people are controlled with. Not only is it through the media, but it is also a form of social control. To get the things that represent genuine happiness and contentment for most people you need to opt into the system. To marry you need a good job, or conform to societal expectations of beauty. Buy a house/go to college you're participating in the system of debt and obligations. Then you're married and to stay married you need to continue on with that system. Then finally when you make it out the other side since you feel like you've gone through a river of BS to get to that point you don't want to change anything when you're older because you feel entitled to the spoils of others buying you out through taxes or property prices. Opting out of the system generally means also opting out of many of the things that make for a happy and healthy life.


One September evening (1967) I was sitting in my last period History, 11th grade, class, bored, when I had an epiphany. In a flash I saw how the "system" molds us from Cub Scouts through Little Leage, JV sports, varsity sports, dressing up right, into a military uniform, then college and a corporate uniform.

I went down the hall and withdrew from the football program. That was a defining moment in my life. My Father, who was a janitor at my high school, was summoned and upbraided for my loathful attitude. I became a trouble maker, someone to be watched and disciplined. It got worse the next year when I registered for the draft as a Contentious Objector.

I ended up in the USCG to avoid Nam and did well. I've had a long career in corporate life where I did well. But I never got in, I never forgot what I "knew" in the back of my mind.

Now I'm retired and sucking on the fat of my efforts. I don't have to listen to the corporate crap anymore. It feels sooooooo good! :-D
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Wed 10 May 2017, 20:35:16

Ibon wrote:The only reason the media and politics dominates so much American culture these days is because outside of this most folks have nothing culturally. It is breathtakingly sad actually.

It seems a bit strange to me that you spend so little time in the US, and yet you claim to have a better view of it than anyone else.
Even a dinky town like Spokane near me has a pretty vibrant cultural scene. Both art and athletics abound - Gonzaga you know.
Yeah, the majority overdose on TV, but we have a lot of people who don't even own one - me for example.
Maybe you are painting with too wide a brush?
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Squilliam » Wed 10 May 2017, 21:50:06

Newfie wrote:One September evening (1967) I was sitting in my last period History, 11th grade, class, bored, when I had an epiphany. In a flash I saw how the "system" molds us from Cub Scouts through Little Leage, JV sports, varsity sports, dressing up right, into a military uniform, then college and a corporate uniform.

I went down the hall and withdrew from the football program. That was a defining moment in my life. My Father, who was a janitor at my high school, was summoned and upbraided for my loathful attitude. I became a trouble maker, someone to be watched and disciplined. It got worse the next year when I registered for the draft as a Contentious Objector.

I ended up in the USCG to avoid Nam and did well. I've had a long career in corporate life where I did well. But I never got in, I never forgot what I "knew" in the back of my mind.

Now I'm retired and sucking on the fat of my efforts. I don't have to listen to the corporate crap anymore. It feels sooooooo good! :-D


Ironic. One September morning I got up and was about to go to school to take a history exam when my dad says to me, come in here and look at the tv. You can guess which morning that was? I was in the same grade as you. The world changed, but at the same time it didn't. Strange how history repeats itself isn't it?

I was always a trouble maker and a model student at the same time. It was funny how I managed to pull that off. I didn't much care for silly rules, but at the same time since I performed I largely got away with it. Going to an all boys school at high-school was an interesting experience.

I'm in my last year of university, and it really bugs me about what to do with myself. In a way having some insight into the fertilizer that the current system offers is not a blessing. I sometimes wish I didn't really know about this stuff. A chimpanzee will refuse an unfair offer when he can see others getting a far higher reward for the same effort, and I guess I am the same. Understanding a broken system is one thing. Knowing what to do with oneself in light of this is another.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 10 May 2017, 22:22:23

Hawkcreek wrote:Yeah, the majority overdose on TV, but we have a lot of people who don't even own one - me for example.
Maybe you are painting with too wide a brush?


This is what my daughters sometimes tell me and you might be right. They have quite a rich culture and close community in the USA. Maybe it is just seeing that TV for 15 minutes and it made me make a whole caricature of the US society as a bunch of stooges. It really really looks bad from the outside believe me.

So to all of you who are enriched by a tight local community in the US my apologies. I do hope there are a lot of you out there!
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 11 May 2017, 02:33:26

Squilliam wrote: Understanding a broken system is one thing. Knowing what to do with oneself in light of this is another.


This is the challenge and its a big one. Here are some things that work and have worked for me.

The knowledge should empower you but not overwhelm you

The knowledge should demotivate you to join the consensus reality of consumption culture but motivate you to create an alternative where frugality and conservation are your principal virtues.

The knowledge should guide you toward the footloose freedom of exploiting the cracks and guide you away from the chains of debt that will put you in a golden cage.

The knowledge should make you tread lightly on the planet but at the same time not turn you into a Jainian fanatic where you sweep the floor in front of you to avoid killing any bugs. Just because abundance is the source of our problem does not mean you have to deny yourself of some reasoned material pleasures.

The knowledge should increase your compassion of our species plight at the same time as you cut through the sentimentality with a sword. Be honest about how ignorant most folks are and be unforgiving toward them because reality will punish them far more than any criticism you generate. Internalize this truth and cultivate compassion. Be rude and arrogant if you have to in order to awaken ignorance but follow up with compassion.

The knowledge should make you be in it but not of it. If you can earn a bit of wealth use it wisely to insulate yourself from the macro trends of decline.

Tune your entertainment and recreation toward our natural world and reject societies material values. This costs you nothing and the entertainment is all around you, even in the weeds that so tenaciously grow in the cracks of the concrete. Those weeds are metaphors for natures resilience to one day recolonize human landscapes. This should be a source of joy.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby baha » Thu 11 May 2017, 06:31:28

SQ - Go with your heart. If it hasn't pushed you yet, you haven't found it yet. I know you already wander a bit, so keep it up. Stick your nose in here and there to see what is going on and sooner or later something (or someone) will call to you and give you purpose.

You have the advantage in being aware of the game. Take Ibon's advice and avoid the traps and you will always have control. You don't need to think about this as a lifetime choice...just the first step along the way.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 11 May 2017, 14:49:39

SQ....What's your major?
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Squilliam » Thu 11 May 2017, 22:44:43

@Ibon: Very wise words I think. There is a balance that needs to be struck. I have always felt there is a multipolar human nature and that you need to be mindful of all aspects of that which makes one human, and the limits of what one person can and should reasonably be expected to do. It's hard to really respond to what you wrote because it seems like something best to ruminate on.

@Baha: Yep. Steps, good point.

@Newfie: I do Commercial Law and Innovation. Commercial law could really be described as 'rational morality'. In a way it gives me confidence that the system 'can work' even if it is easy to think of examples of how it doesn't work or is broken. Innovation is an interesting topic that is really hard to describe the use of, but at the same time it is hard to say that it is pointless -- kind of like doing philosophy. I guess you could describe it as the 'philosophy of business', but it is more than that. It is an appreciation and understanding of the underlying human systems with respect to how to change things for the better.

Unfortunately the thing I lack the most is practical skills. I can talk about theory all day, or until the cows come home, but what I lack is really the practical skills. It's an over-specialisation that I feel makes me vulnerable/dependant on systems that I don't necessarily believe benefit me and in many ways undermines my own humanity.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 12 May 2017, 05:31:58

SQ,

Good observation on theory. Innovation is much the same, it's a talent.

Two of the most intelligent and resourceful people I ever met were illiterate. Both could intuitively solve problems that stumped college grad coworkers.

Someone once said that the heart of problem solving is asking the right question. I think there is much to that. It reflects an open mindset, flexibility.

There is no right way to go about life, you have as good a start as any. Life and circumstance have a way of dictating our choices for us. The culture will try to bend you to its desires, it may effect your body. But your mind remains your own IF you work to keep it flexible.

Mostly we are a group of cynical geezers. While sometimes interesting one should not confuse us with wisdoms or role models.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Squilliam » Fri 12 May 2017, 07:24:29

I wonder though if in many ways one significant reason why people congregate here is the sense of community. You know before television, and even radio, apparently people sat around and talked about things. Funny how people can forget that the primary and most important way to communicate is with words. Being able to read gives you access to the thoughts of other people, but in some ways it can be a crutch that prevents people from finding out things for themselves, and thus not truly understand.

..this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.
...

...writing is unfortunately like painting; for the creations of the painter have the attitude of life, and yet if you ask them a question they preserve a solemn silence. And the same may be said of speeches. You would imagine that they had intelligence, but if you want to know anything and put a question to one of them the speakers always gives one unvarying answer. And when they have been once written down they are tumbled about anywhere among those who may or may not understand them, and know not to whom they should reply, to whom not: and if they are maltreated or abused they have no parent to protect them; and they cannot protect or defend themselves.

Then he will not seriously incline to”write” his thoughts “in water” with pen and ink, sowing words which can neither speak for themselves not teach the truth adequately to others? ... No, that is not likely–in the garden of letters he will sow and plant, but only for the sake of recreation and amusement; he will write them down as memorials to be treasured against the forgetfulness of old age, by himself, aor by any other old man who is treading the same path.


Dialogues of Plato, Phaedrus, pp. 275-277 (trans. Benjamin Jowett, Oxford University Press).

Like with innovation, the biggest lesson I learnt was that with every significant gain there is also a significant loss. If you gain the ability to read and write then you devote part of your brain to that end, and in addition to that you can lose somewhat your ability to think for yourself.

I don't mind the old 'geezer' aspect. Older people usually have the best stories anyway ;-) Beside the doomer aspect, i've noticed that it helps sharpen the mind to get involved in discussions online.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Fri 12 May 2017, 08:32:39

You have been a member a few years, but only recently joined the conversation. Years ago I said here it is kind of like a perpetual after dinner party. People come & go, some stay & don't say a lot, but what they do can be very potent. The physical distances between us are global, but in some ways we are like family. You are correct I think, we are carrying on an ancient pastime, having very long conversations.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 12 May 2017, 11:05:26

Or gossip! ;)
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Fri 12 May 2017, 11:52:51

Squilliam wrote:I wonder though if in many ways one significant reason why people congregate here is the sense of community. You know before television, and even radio, apparently people sat around and talked about things.

I agree. My grandfather sharpened saws for a living. This was back in the day before carbide teeth ruined the business. His shop was about 25 feet from the screened in back porch of their house. When someone brought him a saw to be sharpened the visit would usually stretch out for an hour or more, and usually involved coffee on the back porch. No subject was sacred on that porch, and I learned things there that have stuck with me through my entire life.
No more crowded back porches, but this helps a bit.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 12 May 2017, 16:47:08

Hawkcreek wrote:
Squilliam wrote:I wonder though if in many ways one significant reason why people congregate here is the sense of community. You know before television, and even radio, apparently people sat around and talked about things.

I agree. My grandfather sharpened saws for a living. This was back in the day before carbide teeth ruined the business. His shop was about 25 feet from the screened in back porch of their house. When someone brought him a saw to be sharpened the visit would usually stretch out for an hour or more, and usually involved coffee on the back porch. No subject was sacred on that porch, and I learned things there that have stuck with me through my entire life.
No more crowded back porches, but this helps a bit.


That is exactly the organic community that we have lost. Your grandfather's back porch was like a church, the barber shop, the diner, the town square, the fishing hole from the bridge, the pharmacy on main street, etc. etc.

How many passive listeners sat there and learned the ways of the world as you did?

Pops always said Peakoil.com is a social media site.... and I fully agree with SeaGypsy and Squiliam, we are carrying on ancient long conversations.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby ralfy » Sat 13 May 2017, 02:44:54

These "organic communities" exist in many parts of the world because most people earn less than $10 a day. Several of them don't even have diners, pharmacies, or barber shops.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Sat 13 May 2017, 09:11:59

Haven't been back to rural Asia for a while obviously Ralphy. It's suddenly got millions of smart phone users, a lot of who dream of making $10 a day.
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