Author Topic: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!  (Read 8416 times)

Maenad

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When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« on: January 20, 2020, 07:59:31 AM »
While I understand the whole MMM shtick, this reads really bad: https://twitter.com/mrmoneymustache/status/1216782900739207170?s=19

Quote
If you that the world is comprised mostly of idiots, the "problem" might just be that you are unusually smart.

Is this something to whine about, or do you use the good fortune to embark upon a pleasant and benevolent life of kicking ass in the fields of your choice?

My own experience is that if you honestly think you're surrounded by idiots, the problem is that you are an arrogant SOB who isn't nearly as smart as you think you are and need a few hard facepunches of humility.

I thought he was better than this.

ixtap

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2020, 08:34:29 AM »
While I understand the whole MMM shtick, this reads really bad: https://twitter.com/mrmoneymustache/status/1216782900739207170?s=19

Quote
If you that the world is comprised mostly of idiots, the "problem" might just be that you are unusually smart.

Is this something to whine about, or do you use the good fortune to embark upon a pleasant and benevolent life of kicking ass in the fields of your choice?

My own experience is that if you honestly think you're surrounded by idiots, the problem is that you are an arrogant SOB who isn't nearly as smart as you think you are and need a few hard facepunches of humility.

I thought he was better than this.

I love the typos in this arrogant post about being better than everyone else best.

I am not sure what gave you the idea he was better than this, what with the consumer sucka language and all. It is the forums that are (generally) better than this, not the figure behind them.

FrugalToque

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2020, 01:03:31 PM »
While I understand the whole MMM shtick, this reads really bad: https://twitter.com/mrmoneymustache/status/1216782900739207170?s=19

Quote
If you that the world is comprised mostly of idiots, the "problem" might just be that you are unusually smart.

Is this something to whine about, or do you use the good fortune to embark upon a pleasant and benevolent life of kicking ass in the fields of your choice?

My own experience is that if you honestly think you're surrounded by idiots, the problem is that you are an arrogant SOB who isn't nearly as smart as you think you are and need a few hard facepunches of humility.

I thought he was better than this.

This is in keeping with his general attitude: Don't whine about the misbehaviour of others, just do your best to be better and try to be a good example.

Having known him a while, I don't find this out of step with his character and can totally imagine him saying this.  If I can explain it to you a little better:

"Should you discover that everyone around you seems to be really bad at something, really stupid in implementing some part of the lives, don't despair.  Don't freak out and get melodramatic at the state of humanity.  Instead, realise that this is a place where you can outshine others."

Doing this financially is the foundation of Mustachiainism.

If you study the Dunning-Kruger effect, you'll see that there's a pretty hard line between, "Stupid people who think they're smart" and "Smart people who don't realise how smart they are".

So if you find yourself thinking, "I know all about this subject!  I'm an expert!", then you probably aren't.

If you find yourself thinking, "I'm not that well versed in this area, but everyone around me is SUPER ignorant about it", then you probably actually know the field really well.

TL;DR:  Thinking you're smart means you aren't.  Thinking every else is dumb means you're smart.

Toque.

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 01:26:01 PM »
TL;DR:  Thinking you're smart means you aren't.  Thinking every else is dumb means you're smart.

Toque.

I've read your post about four times, and I'm not sure how you're coming to this conclusion.

My understanding of the Dunning-Kruger Effect is that it has to do with your own personal biases as it relates to your own abilities. It has nothing to do with understating your own abilities as a reflection of those around you.

I can see the first point, that thinking you're smart means you aren't. I don't know that I agree with it, but I can see how you think it might be true (I've worked with dozens of geniuses or near geniuses that knew they were the smartest person in the room). But I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that thinking others around you are dumb makes you smart (I've seen countless times that people have walked into a courtroom, surrounded by incredibly smart attorneys, expert witnesses, judges, and clerks, and the person that dropped out of 7th grade because it was "stupid" equally believes everyone else in that room is an absolute moron).

In my opinion, if you think everyone around you is dumb, you're greatly underestimating the people around you, and will likely get called out on your shit rather quickly.

Model96

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2020, 02:04:57 PM »
Semantics.
Ultimately the challenge is there.......be a whinger or become a better person through your (right or wrong) perceptions!

yodella

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2020, 02:12:45 PM »
I'm reminded of a saying,
"If you meet a jerk in the morning, you met a jerk. If you meet jerks all day, you're the jerk."

bluebelle

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2020, 02:15:47 PM »
TL;DR:  Thinking you're smart means you aren't.  Thinking every else is dumb means you're smart.

Toque.

I've read your post about four times, and I'm not sure how you're coming to this conclusion.

My understanding of the Dunning-Kruger Effect is that it has to do with your own personal biases as it relates to your own abilities. It has nothing to do with understating your own abilities as a reflection of those around you.

I can see the first point, that thinking you're smart means you aren't. I don't know that I agree with it, but I can see how you think it might be true (I've worked with dozens of geniuses or near geniuses that knew they were the smartest person in the room). But I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that thinking others around you are dumb makes you smart (I've seen countless times that people have walked into a courtroom, surrounded by incredibly smart attorneys, expert witnesses, judges, and clerks, and the person that dropped out of 7th grade because it was "stupid" equally believes everyone else in that room is an absolute moron).

In my opinion, if you think everyone around you is dumb, you're greatly underestimating the people around you, and will likely get called out on your shit rather quickly.
Perhaps I have a simplistic interpretation of what the Dunning-Kruger Effect is.   My interpretation is that less skilled people will think they're brilliant they can do 'X' and will have an over-inflated belief that 'X' is hard and because they can do it, they're hot shit.....a very skilled person will find that 'Y' is easy for them, and assume that it is easy for everyone so that it's not big deal.   It was easy for them, it's easy for everyone.   In this way, less intelligent people will over-estimate their skill set because things are 'hard' for them, intelligent folks will under-estimate their skill set because things come so easily for them.

I guess I'm fortunate in that I work with a lot of very smart people - they always keep me humble, because I'm not the smartest person in the room.....although, venturing out in the 'real world', I am shocked at how few people 'get' things.   

FrugalToque

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2020, 05:06:11 AM »
TL;DR:  Thinking you're smart means you aren't.  Thinking every else is dumb means you're smart.

Toque.

I've read your post about four times, and I'm not sure how you're coming to this conclusion.

My understanding of the Dunning-Kruger Effect is that it has to do with your own personal biases as it relates to your own abilities. It has nothing to do with understating your own abilities as a reflection of those around you.

I can see the first point, that thinking you're smart means you aren't. I don't know that I agree with it, but I can see how you think it might be true (I've worked with dozens of geniuses or near geniuses that knew they were the smartest person in the room). But I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that thinking others around you are dumb makes you smart (I've seen countless times that people have walked into a courtroom, surrounded by incredibly smart attorneys, expert witnesses, judges, and clerks, and the person that dropped out of 7th grade because it was "stupid" equally believes everyone else in that room is an absolute moron).

In my opinion, if you think everyone around you is dumb, you're greatly underestimating the people around you, and will likely get called out on your shit rather quickly.
Perhaps I have a simplistic interpretation of what the Dunning-Kruger Effect is.   My interpretation is that less skilled people will think they're brilliant they can do 'X' and will have an over-inflated belief that 'X' is hard and because they can do it, they're hot shit.....a very skilled person will find that 'Y' is easy for them, and assume that it is easy for everyone so that it's not big deal.   It was easy for them, it's easy for everyone.   In this way, less intelligent people will over-estimate their skill set because things are 'hard' for them, intelligent folks will under-estimate their skill set because things come so easily for them.

I guess I'm fortunate in that I work with a lot of very smart people - they always keep me humble, because I'm not the smartest person in the room.....although, venturing out in the 'real world', I am shocked at how few people 'get' things.   


Sure: when you feel like you're surrounded by smart people, it's very likely you have a realistic - or slightly humble - opinion of your own abilities.  If you think, "I'm smarter than everyone in this room", there's a good chance you aren't.

But if you feel, "I got this really easily, why is it taking everyone else so long to understand it", then you're actually doing quite well.

Honestly, I think who Pete was speaking to in that tweet was people who get angry on the Internet too much.  Like, dudes, it's okay.  If you see stupid people out there, don't waste your time getting angry, just be glad you're smart enough to see the error of their ways and enjoy your life.

Toque.

Maenad

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2020, 05:34:03 AM »
Honestly, I think who Pete was speaking to in that tweet was people who get angry on the Internet too much.  Like, dudes, it's okay.  If you see stupid people out there, don't waste your time getting angry, just be glad you're smart enough to see the error of their ways and enjoy your life.

Thanks for your insights, Toque. I think you may have a more accurate read because you know Pete (at least, I think you do). However, for those of us who don't know him, this tweet reads badly. It feeds into the belief that the FIRE "movement" is populated by tech bros who think they're better than everyone else. A couple more words of context would have changed the tone to something more specific and less jerkish. And I do think that MMM (or any of us) can challenge people's assumptions without being a jerk.

bluebelle

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2020, 07:28:17 AM »
Honestly, I think who Pete was speaking to in that tweet was people who get angry on the Internet too much.  Like, dudes, it's okay.  If you see stupid people out there, don't waste your time getting angry, just be glad you're smart enough to see the error of their ways and enjoy your life.

Thanks for your insights, Toque. I think you may have a more accurate read because you know Pete (at least, I think you do). However, for those of us who don't know him, this tweet reads badly. It feeds into the belief that the FIRE "movement" is populated by tech bros who think they're better than everyone else. A couple more words of context would have changed the tone to something more specific and less jerkish. And I do think that MMM (or any of us) can challenge people's assumptions without being a jerk.

I've reread the tweet a few times, and I agree with Toque's interpretation, 'cuz, you know, my opinion matters!  :-)

I think what it was trying to say is 'if you don't like the message, move on'.   The quote is attributed to Confucius - ďIf you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.Ē

But on the other hand.....If you meet a jerk in the morning, he's a jerk, if everyone you meet is a jerk, you're the jerk.

Malkynn

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 07:39:02 AM »
His own replies to the tweet help clarify what he was trying to say.

His brand has always been direct and judgemental for the purposes of shaking up people's thinking. And yes, if someone is like that in their personal relationships and interactions, then they are, in fact, an asshole.

He has always been challenging the idiocy of the bigger group think, his message has always presupposed that the individual is smart enough to be smarter than the group think idiocy. That's the entire basis of his blog.

I assume that's basically what his tweet meant, but yeah, if that's his message, it's awkwardly executed for sure.

None of this means he isn't an asshole though. I relate extreme well to Pete's style and plenty of people consider me an asshole.

MMM

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2020, 09:53:56 AM »
YES! Mr. Frugal Toque definitely has the interpretation completely correct - I was just trying to throw out a lighthearted thing onto Twitter, to help frustrated smart people (like most of the Mustachians) feel better about their lot in life.

Whenever I have shared this thought in real life to friends who are frustrated with our dumb, irrational world, it has gone well and sparked a positive discussion. So I thought I'd try it on Twitter - on average the result seems pretty positive as well.

Thanks for your support, Toque and others!

And @ixtap - that was a pretty mean sentiment you expressed towards me back there. Are you really contributing to this forum or do you act like that towards other well-meaning people who you have never met as well?

If it's the latter, you could do everyone here a favor by closing out your account and doing something else with your time. We just do NOT need negative, critical behavior around here, ever.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2020, 05:18:57 PM »
By definition the world mostly comprises idiots - I mean the average IQ is 100, for Chrissake - but if you're someone who gets frustrated about working around idiots, etc, then it's wholly within your control to change jobs, move up in the career world, become self-employed, etc.

It's also fine to accept the situation, decide that the gains and marginal utility from the stress of changing job or becoming self-employed are not worth the effort, and just grit your teeth and work with the idiots.

Alternatively, you can appreciate that not everyone has intellectual gifts but most people are doing what they can with what they have, and live your life that way.

In any case, you choose your own adventure and all three of the above are valid choices. The main thing is, I think, to not complain about your lot in life since you (if you are reading this forum) have a large degree of control over both your direction and your attitude.

For what it's worth, I think most people around me are pleasant and smart people, and I don't know many idiots. Whether that's due to self-serving bias or because I try to only socialise with people I like and respect, is a question that I'd rather not have to answer.

Fru-Gal

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2020, 05:35:26 PM »
It sure seems rude to post that subject line in a forum created by MMM.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2020, 10:05:31 AM »
It sure seems rude to post that subject line in a forum created by MMM.

Yeah, it seems rude to post something like that anywhere on the internet, let alone a forum inspired by the guy.  Would you want someone to post / graffiti that about you in a place where you would see it, along with friends, family, social circle, etc.?

It would have been just as effective to say 'I disagree with Pete's latest Tweet'.

Psychstache

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2020, 10:24:11 AM »
By definition the world mostly comprises idiots - I mean the average IQ is 100, for Chrissake - but if you're someone who gets frustrated about working around idiots, etc, then it's wholly within your control to change jobs, move up in the career world, become self-employed, etc.

It's also fine to accept the situation, decide that the gains and marginal utility from the stress of changing job or becoming self-employed are not worth the effort, and just grit your teeth and work with the idiots.

Alternatively, you can appreciate that not everyone has intellectual gifts but most people are doing what they can with what they have, and live your life that way.

In any case, you choose your own adventure and all three of the above are valid choices. The main thing is, I think, to not complain about your lot in life since you (if you are reading this forum) have a large degree of control over both your direction and your attitude.

For what it's worth, I think most people around me are pleasant and smart people, and I don't know many idiots. Whether that's due to self-serving bias or because I try to only socialise with people I like and respect, is a question that I'd rather not have to answer.

Offtopic, but I don't think this is a helpful way to think about 'average' IQ. 100 is the median IQ score, but medians aren't a good metric when we are talking about normal distributions like IQ (medians being helpful when you have datasets featuring extreme outliers). If we look at it in terms of statistical averages or standard deviations, we get a better answer.

Statistically, if we think about people as being average, above average, or below average, that would make an 'average' IQ score as those between 90 and 109 (the 25th and 75th percentiles). That would make the middle 50% average and the others above (110 and above) and below (<90).

If we want to use the standard deviations of the normal distribution, that would make scores between 85 and 115 average, accounting for about 68% of the population.

/aside

bluebelle

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2020, 10:56:36 AM »
By definition the world mostly comprises idiots - I mean the average IQ is 100, for Chrissake - but if you're someone who gets frustrated about working around idiots, etc, then it's wholly within your control to change jobs, move up in the career world, become self-employed, etc.

It's also fine to accept the situation, decide that the gains and marginal utility from the stress of changing job or becoming self-employed are not worth the effort, and just grit your teeth and work with the idiots.

Alternatively, you can appreciate that not everyone has intellectual gifts but most people are doing what they can with what they have, and live your life that way.

In any case, you choose your own adventure and all three of the above are valid choices. The main thing is, I think, to not complain about your lot in life since you (if you are reading this forum) have a large degree of control over both your direction and your attitude.

For what it's worth, I think most people around me are pleasant and smart people, and I don't know many idiots. Whether that's due to self-serving bias or because I try to only socialise with people I like and respect, is a question that I'd rather not have to answer.

Offtopic, but I don't think this is a helpful way to think about 'average' IQ. 100 is the median IQ score, but medians aren't a good metric when we are talking about normal distributions like IQ (medians being helpful when you have datasets featuring extreme outliers). If we look at it in terms of statistical averages or standard deviations, we get a better answer.

Statistically, if we think about people as being average, above average, or below average, that would make an 'average' IQ score as those between 90 and 109 (the 25th and 75th percentiles). That would make the middle 50% average and the others above (110 and above) and below (<90).

If we want to use the standard deviations of the normal distribution, that would make scores between 85 and 115 average, accounting for about 68% of the population.

/aside
there are so many deficiencies in IQ measurement as well.....It doesn't measure common sense, it doesn't measure forethought, it doesn't measure planning ahead, it doesn't measure common courtesy.

I think alot of the 'stupid' I see is lack of planning or looking ahead....people can score high on IQ tests and not have the ability to understand that if I do 'A', 'B' will happen....or in order for 'C' to happen, 'A' and 'B' must be done.....If you're following a bus, expect it to stop.   if you own a home and/or car, expect repairs will be needed.   

Cassie

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2020, 12:11:11 PM »
I think MM has showed the younger generation that being frugal and living below their means will make their lives better. For those of us raised in the 50 and 60ís it was how we were raised. Itís how we raised our kids and why we are retired and can afford to travel and do the things that we value. We know one couple that at 74 are still working and chasing bigger and better. They had affluent parents that could afford their lifestyle but this couple canít. It will come crashing down once they cannot work.

Malkynn

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2020, 12:19:57 PM »
I think MM has showed the younger generation that being frugal and living below their means will make their lives better. For those of us raised in the 50 and 60ís it was how we were raised. Itís how we raised our kids and why we are retired and can afford to travel and do the things that we value. We know one couple that at 74 are still working and chasing bigger and better. They had affluent parents that could afford their lifestyle but this couple canít. It will come crashing down once they cannot work.

Are you saying that people who grew up in the 60s and 70s are more financially responsible than the young people of today???

Cassie

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2020, 12:26:40 PM »
Malk, no I think it can depend on how you were raised but not always. All of my friends when raising their kids were frugal and only had one car, walked to work if possible, had gardens, passed down clothes, lived in small, old homes, etc. Every generation has spending morons and it seems to increase unfortunately. My kids range between 40-47 and have always been able to pinch a penny and spend according to their values.

Malkynn

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2020, 12:58:16 PM »
Malk, no I think it can depend on how you were raised but not always. All of my friends when raising their kids were frugal and only had one car, walked to work if possible, had gardens, passed down clothes, lived in small, old homes, etc. Every generation has spending morons and it seems to increase unfortunately. My kids range between 40-47 and have always been able to pinch a penny and spend according to their values.

Everything I read says that the younger generation is actually more financially cautious, not less. What has changed since the 60s is the astronomical increase in access to credit.

Psychstache

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2020, 01:00:50 PM »
I think MM has showed the younger generation that being frugal and living below their means will make their lives better. For those of us raised in the 50 and 60ís it was how we were raised. Itís how we raised our kids and why we are retired and can afford to travel and do the things that we value. We know one couple that at 74 are still working and chasing bigger and better. They had affluent parents that could afford their lifestyle but this couple canít. It will come crashing down once they cannot work.

Are you saying that people who grew up in the 60s and 70s are more financially responsible than the young people of today???

People that are 74 today were born in 1946 and thus were "raised in the 50 and 60's". Kinda seems like it is more about values than years.

Cassie

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2020, 01:05:28 PM »
Out of all our friends this couple is the only spend thrifts that are still working. The rest of our friends all retired in their 50ís. Considering that non were high earners and most of the women took time out of the workforce to raise kids this is really good.

Maenad

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2020, 05:46:29 AM »
YES! Mr. Frugal Toque definitely has the interpretation completely correct - I was just trying to throw out a lighthearted thing onto Twitter, to help frustrated smart people (like most of the Mustachians) feel better about their lot in life.

@MMM  Thanks for the clarification! I'm glad I misinterpreted my initial read.

For those who think it was rude for me to start this thread, I was honestly dismayed that it seemed like someone who was good at shaking up our thoughts had tipped over into being a jerk, and if he had, point out that it's not OK. Thankfully, I was wrong.

El_Viajero

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2020, 07:03:40 PM »
For those who think it was rude for me to start this thread, I was honestly dismayed that it seemed like someone who was good at shaking up our thoughts had tipped over into being a jerk, and if he had, point out that it's not OK. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Nah, it wasn't rude. Well, calling MMM an asshole might have gone too far if you're saying he's an asshole just because of this one particular tweet. But the tweet in question absolutely does come across as arrogant. You were right about that, and I don't think you should be bullied into changing your mind.

The fact that MMM only sees the tweet as a "lighthearted thing" is unfortunate, but not totally surprising. After all, vanity, arrogance, and self-righteousness are part of the MMM brand! They're not the the sum total of the brand at all, but they're definitely part of the schtick. "Car clowns" and "consuma sucka" are funny on the internet. In real life, you will lose friends when you say stuff like this to people.

The next time you're frustrated because everyone else seems so stupid, here's an alternative to concluding you're smartest person in the room: Show a little humility; accept that there's a lot you don't know yet; look for the good in others without dwelling on what you perceive as their shortcomings; admit that until you know everyone's personal story, you're in no position to pass judgement on their consumption choices.

Nobody will ever create a trendy internet brand out of that advice, but perhaps it's valuable nonetheless.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2020, 07:13:16 PM »

The next time you're frustrated because everyone else seems so stupid, here's an alternative to concluding you're smartest person in the room: Show a little humility; accept that there's a lot you don't know yet; look for the good in others without dwelling on what you perceive as their shortcomings; admit that until you know everyone's personal story, you're in no position to pass judgement on their consumption choices.

Nobody will ever create a trendy internet brand out of that advice, but perhaps it's valuable nonetheless.

Spot on. Thank you.

I have never understood the utility in labelling things clown cars, etc.

Some people just like cars.

Unless you are going to forensically cross-examine people for not maximising their earning power - "why are you so lazy? You're only working 35 hours a week? Do you just like sitting around, wasting time?" - you should not categorically label consumer items as bad. Yes, they're bad if bought mindlessly or if the finance terms are terrible. But that's a degree of nuance that doesn't often exist in MMM land.

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2020, 07:25:43 PM »
But a primary MMM goal is to help the environment. Reducing driving and consumer purchases helps that goal. Sometimes you need a catchy, controversial label for the label to get enough traction to make a difference.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2020, 09:18:14 PM »
I'm more dismayed at someone who thinks of himself as 'the smartest person in the room' leaving up his latest blog post that this Coronavirus is no big deal, no worse that the seasonal flu, and a hundred times less concerning than driving a car or eating unhealthy. 

It's like he wants readers to believe this is just another flu and everyone should just get the virus already.  If only he were actually an expert at these things and urged we 'over-react' to spreading a novel virus back when he posted his blog post!  The US would be on the mend and lives would actually be tangibly improved right now.

El_Viajero

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2020, 10:02:03 AM »
I'm more dismayed at someone who thinks of himself as 'the smartest person in the room' leaving up his latest blog post that this Coronavirus is no big deal, no worse that the seasonal flu, and a hundred times less concerning than driving a car or eating unhealthy.

Exactly. Consider that last stinker of an article alongside the tweet we're all talking about and this is what you end up with: A person who's so sure he's smarter than everyone else that he smugly and confidently promotes a foolish and potentially dangerous message about what has clearly become an unprecedented public health crisis. A humbler person would publish a correction. He still can if he wants to.

There's another thread about how poorly MMM's coronavirus article has aged. On balance, there's some good advice in there (e.g. listen to experts), but the comparisons to seasonal flu and driving cars are dangerous and ridiculous, respectively.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 10:13:31 AM by El_Viajero »

Fru-Gal

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2020, 12:23:25 PM »
"Clown cars" are "motorized wheel chairs with cup holders" and they are bad not because of their finance terms but because of what they do to Earth.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2020, 06:24:33 PM »
If the only criticism of clown cars is an environmental one, then I can accept that. But often it's laced with financial criticism. Which I don't accept. Like I said, everyone has different priorities and as long as a financial purchase is made that the purchaser is happy with, and as long as the purchaser does basic things (like negotiating a good price, buying used in most cases, making a purchase tax-deductible where able (very easy with cars if you run your own business), etc) then it is no more prone to criticism than another person's decision to go into a profession that doesn't maximise income.

As for the environmental impact, I don't see MMM railing against people with large families. Children have way more environmental impact than cars.

My view is that the focus on certain things (cars) is just calculated to have an easy marketing tagline and a soft target.

Psychstache

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2020, 06:45:15 PM »
If the only criticism of clown cars is an environmental one, then I can accept that. But often it's laced with financial criticism. Which I don't accept. Like I said, everyone has different priorities and as long as a financial purchase is made that the purchaser is happy with, and as long as the purchaser does basic things (like negotiating a good price, buying used in most cases, making a purchase tax-deductible where able (very easy with cars if you run your own business), etc) then it is no more prone to criticism than another person's decision to go into a profession that doesn't maximise income.

As for the environmental impact, I don't see MMM railing against people with large families. Children have way more environmental impact than cars.

My view is that the focus on certain things (cars) is just calculated to have an easy marketing tagline and a soft target.

While not an explicit takedown of large families like the 'clown car' pieces, there is this:

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/10/great-news-youre-allowed-to-have-only-one-kid/

Bloop Bloop

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2020, 06:52:45 PM »
Wholeheartedly agree with the article (and the chart contained in the article). And an interesting read from any perspective. My point is, it's interesting that it's not labelled "Why not to have more clown children (I did this and you can too)."

Like I said, I think cars and other forms of socially unacceptable spending are a soft target. Understandable target, but it's like picking on the weak kid at school.

marty998

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2020, 07:44:37 PM »
MMM has been through (repeatedly) the cost and economics of commuting, and cars are a huge part of that. Especially higher value cars which perform the same commuting function as lover value cars.

He is absolutely right to label big SUVs and trucks as clown cars. These "cars" demonstrably make people poor and they keep people poor.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2020, 12:51:56 AM »
... My point is, it's interesting that it's not labelled "Why not to have more clown children (I did this and you can too)." ...
I suspect part of this has to do with the fact that clown-car usage is a reversible choice. You can sell a car. Children are permanent, and moreover able to encounter criticisms of their own existence.

Also - if you're eco-conscious enough to let it determine something as intensely personal as whether to have (additional) children, you might also be eco-conscious enough to raise those children such that their lifetime environmental impact is a positive one, between not overconsuming resources and the accumulated effect of a lifetime (probably in a wealthy and thus influential country) of pushing things to be better than they would've been otherwise.

Humans don't have to be bipedal ecological disasters; that's very much bounded by time and by culture. For much of our history we were just another species on this planet and we can choose to be again. If we looked at not-polluting something like mustachians look at not-spending, we might see the choice to be pollution-frugal as an empowering lifestyle rather than an unhappy compromise.

former player

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2020, 02:29:09 AM »
Wholeheartedly agree with the article (and the chart contained in the article). And an interesting read from any perspective. My point is, it's interesting that it's not labelled "Why not to have more clown children (I did this and you can too)."

Like I said, I think cars and other forms of socially unacceptable spending are a soft target. Understandable target, but it's like picking on the weak kid at school.
I'm not sure I agree with you that clown cars are "a soft target".  There seem to be ever increasing numbers of them, they are still marketed as aspirational and taken to be so by a significant part of the population and even new arrivals here asking for advice often take a lot of persuading to get rid of the things.  They are a soft target only if you are one of the MMM faithful, for society as a whole they are still going strong.

Cassie

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2020, 12:02:22 PM »
I donít know anyone that made their decision to have more children based on concerns for the environment.

DarkandStormy

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Re: When did Pete turn into such an a**hole?!
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2020, 09:18:45 AM »
I donít know anyone that made their decision to have more children based on concerns for the environment.

Something like 40% of millennials say it's a factor in their decision.  Unless you're saying, "We are concerned for the environment, let's have more kids, that should help."