Author Topic: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness  (Read 25114 times)

KD

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2015, 10:19:04 PM »
Thanks Jacana!

"Lady Sybil Ramkin lived quite comfortably from day to day by spending, Vimes estimated, about half as much as he did. But she spent a lot more on dragons. - Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms.

In other words, if you have real $$, you don't need to flaunt it, waste it, seek status symbols, or care what others think. You just do what makes you happy and spend your time and money on your passions. The heart of this website, no?"




This resonated for me.  My parents always pushed for me to get even more education.  I was happier w/a less showy life than they had and hated working for most other people.  Once I reached FI?  Good-bye jobs.  One of my sons is sooooooooooooo happy never spending money.  He is the least 'consumer' driven person I've ever met and I'm pretty much that way on most things except books.  I learn from him.  Is he buying anything at this store?  Is what's in my cart only what's needed for the family? Is something in my cart wasteful?  Is it a planned splurge?   Can I be more like him and put something back??? 

Some times, just being content with what you already have allows you to have no need to flaunt $s, waste $s, seek status symbols, or care what others think. You just do what makes you happy and spend your time and money on your passions.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2015, 10:26:18 PM by KD »

arebelspy

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2015, 12:31:26 PM »
The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Yes!  Love that!

When he was a little boy, Sam Vimes had thought that the very rich ate off gold plates and lived in marble houses.

Hed learned something new: the very very rich could afford to be poor. Sybil Ramkin lived in the kind of poverty that was only available to the very rich, a poverty approached from the other side. Women who were merely well-off saved up and bought dresses made of silk edged with lace and pearls, but Lady Ramkin was so rich she could afford to stomp around the place in rubber boots and a tweed skirt that had belonged to her mother. She was so rich she could afford to live on biscuits and cheese sandwiches. She was so rich she lived in three rooms in a thirty-four-roomed mansion; the rest of them were full of very expensive and very old furniture, covered in dust sheets.

I'm not sure I agree with his examples, but I totally agree with the line I bolded above.  You see many young rich people nowadays embracing minimalism, living in small spaces with very little things, and they can mostly do that because they can afford it - high quality stuff, no need to buy on sales or have space to store bulk goods, etc.  So his examples IDK about, but I do see that behavior nowadays.

Hell, the wife and I are going to travel the world, living like poor people in small apartments, on cheap food, owning only 2 outfits, etc.  But by choice, because we're rich enough to do so.  That absolutely agrees with the above quote.

I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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Jacana

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Astatine

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #54 on: March 13, 2015, 01:48:20 AM »
RIP Sir Terry

:(


+1

+2

Vale, Sir Pratchett. I learnt so much from his books. His books shaped my mental landscape and personal values in the 25 years since I first started reading his novels.


FarmerPete

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #56 on: March 13, 2015, 02:20:50 PM »
R.I.P. Sir Terry Pratchett.  My favorite and only author I've kept up with over the years.

The problem with translating this into modern culture is that finding quality is VERY difficult.  Even the good brands will eventually open up shop in China and try to cash in on their names for as long as possible.  An example of that is Craftsman.  Used to be high quality goods.  Now they will slap their name on garbage coming out of China and hope that you don't notice.  Once you get outside of the hand tools, it's even worse.  They bid out the Craftsman line to the lowest bidder, and the power tools are some of the worst quality for home owners.  They're slowly killing the brand name, one bad product at a time.


daverobev

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #57 on: March 13, 2015, 07:05:09 PM »
Time to go back and read the Discworld books from the beginning, I guess.

The Colour of Magic. I can't even remember how it starts.. Rincewind in a pub with the Spell rattling round his head? Or is it with whatshisname and the Luggage?

I remember reading it when I was 13 or so, and being completely... what's the word.. I'm not sure, anyway - I was always hoping for Rincewind to do something *heroic* - he's the hero, after all! After reading lots of Terry Brooks, David Eddings and the like, Pratchett (and then Douglas Adams, also RIP) was a breath of fresh air. Or stale, mouldy, Ankh-Morpork air I guess.

Ah fuck. I mean, 66 isn't a "bad" age, right? But still, he was "one of the best". No doubt about it.

I loved that he had Death announce it on Twitter. Of all the things.

ChrisLansing

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #58 on: March 13, 2015, 08:40:50 PM »
Still true.   I used to go through 2 or even 3 pairs of $50 work boots a year.    Now I buy around the $150 range and they last about 18 months.    Next pair I' m going into the $250 - 300 range and see how long they last.   

I bought American made electric fans last summer.   Paid a bit more, but they should last longer than the Chinese crap at HD that sell for only about 25% less.     

IMO it's still worth it to buy quality if you can.   

alsoknownasDean

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #59 on: March 14, 2015, 07:54:46 AM »
An $80 pair of work shoes used to last maybe six months before the soles chop out. This time I bought a $180 (down from $300) pair of work shoes expecting them to last longer.

I've had them probably eight months, but I've probably spent another $80 in that time repairing them (at least they can be repaired though).

gaja

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #60 on: March 14, 2015, 09:23:11 AM »
One example of how having mone will save money, is the cost of single tickets vs. 30 day tickets, year passes, or multi-ride tickets. Sometimes you can save as much as 50 % of the cost of each trip if you can afford to pay in front. To get 40 % rebate on ferry tickets here, you have to front load your ferry card with at least $400.

retired?

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2015, 10:53:46 AM »
Met lots of people (sorry, usually ladies) who say, "Well, I should buy these $600 boots because they're good quality and will last for years."  Do they wear them even three years later?  Hell, no--they're out of style now.

I also look at it from a $/wear value.  It works (maybe) if those boots are your only pair, but it is often the case that it is one pair among many.

The worst one I see with my wife is buying a dress for a special occasion.  They are likely worn 2-3 times, perhaps 5 at most, and they do go out of style.

Ends up being $25+ per wear. 

thurston howell iv

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #62 on: March 26, 2015, 09:59:26 AM »
Another Terry P. fan here!!! (May he rest in peace)  First intro was Wee Free Men.   Crivens!!!  drinkin'& fightin' & stealin' & drinkin', that and sheep linament :)

If you have not read the books, don't. Go and get the audiobooks narrated by Steven Briggs. They are simply the best.  If you start with the first book it helps to fill in some of the gaps but, you can start anywhere and always enjoy...

As for the spendy part of this, I used to spend more than I should have on crappy cheap clothes/shoes (ross, tjmaxx, etc). I didn't know any better. Discovered thrifting. Most of my stuff is Brooks Brothers and Allan Edmond's and better brands now... (The difference in quality is surely there and it never goes out of style)
Average work wardrobe costs less than $30. Retail would be $500 or better.

EricL

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #63 on: March 28, 2015, 12:13:10 AM »
Lady Ramkin is another one of Pratchett's great characters. But I suspect she's modeled somewhat after Pratchett's own wife. So he's wisely vague about specifics.  She is, however, grossly unmustachian in Guards! Guards! Where she meets Vimes.  Her expensive hobby is raising, breeding, and rescuing a type of toy dragon biologically indisposed to basic survival.  Or rather, predisposed to exploding due to the complicated biological/chemical process that allows them to breathe fire. That said, I wish he had time to do a book just on her.  (She did reform after marying Vimes.)

I'd also like to see him do a book on the Patrician, the Machiavellian potentate who rules Ank-Moorpork.  He's so Machiavellian he founded some of the leading cabals conspiring his assassination . He's also the means by which Pratchett offers an insight that out Sun-Tzus Sun-Tzu: something to the effect that the acme of skill is NOT to defeat an enemy without fighting but to negotiate a victory without fighting in a way that the enemy walks away thinking HE won.

Even so, I'm a big fan of Granny Weatherwax, her protege Tiffany Aching, and for opposing reasons the Unseen University (Pratchett's version of Hogwarts) Arch Chancellor and his ever suffering most competent non tenure holding undergrad, Ponder Stibbons.  Ditto Vime's troops, Sergeant Colon and Nobby, who are the only character I know for damn certain are based on real, eternal, personalities.

I've often thought of visiting Briton JUST to see Terry Pratchett - like that Spaniard who walked to Roman Italy just to see Livy.

marty998

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #64 on: March 28, 2015, 01:01:57 AM »
Lady Ramkin is another one of Pratchett's great characters. But I suspect she's modeled somewhat after Pratchett's own wife. So he's wisely vague about specifics.  She is, however, grossly unmustachian in Guards! Guards! Where she meets Vimes.  Her expensive hobby is raising, breeding, and rescuing a type of toy dragon biologically indisposed to basic survival.  Or rather, predisposed to exploding due to the complicated biological/chemical process that allows them to breathe fire. That said, I wish he had time to do a book just on her.  (She did reform after marying Vimes.)

I'd also like to see him do a book on the Patrician, the Machiavellian potentate who rules Ank-Moorpork.  He's so Machiavellian he founded some of the leading cabals conspiring his assassination . He's also the means by which Pratchett offers an insight that out Sun-Tzus Sun-Tzu: something to the effect that the acme of skill is NOT to defeat an enemy without fighting but to negotiate a victory without fighting in a way that the enemy walks away thinking HE won.

Even so, I'm a big fan of Granny Weatherwax, her protege Tiffany Aching, and for opposing reasons the Unseen University (Pratchett's version of Hogwarts) Arch Chancellor and his ever suffering most competent non tenure holding undergrad, Ponder Stibbons.  Ditto Vime's troops, Sergeant Colon and Nobby, who are the only character I know for damn certain are based on real, eternal, personalities.

I've often thought of visiting Briton JUST to see Terry Pratchett - like that Spaniard who walked to Roman Italy just to see Livy.

I can see you are one who subscribes to the low information diet EricL.

Sir Terry (May He Rest In Peace Amen) is walking with Brutha and Vorbis across the great sandy desert outside Omnia.

steveo

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2015, 02:49:43 AM »
I'm not crazy about that quote. I've heard it before, and think I was relevant a long time ago but no longer is. The reality is, in this day and age the basics are so cheap and of reasonable quality that it doesn't matter whether you cheap out on most things.

I buy shoes every year, but it's a tiny fraction of my (average) income. I buy lower cost furniture, also for a tiny fraction of my income, and I have yet to have a chair collapse under me. Buying a purse for $20 every two or three years does not put me in the poor house.

People in this day and age are not broke because they buy basic goods for cheap and have to replace them more frequently, they're broke because they blow all their money on junk (barring medical conditions, disabilities, life choices, etc).

I agree. I do buy pretty good quality shoes that I can get resoled and it is definitely cheaper than buying a new pair every year or so. In stating that I wear Clark's desert boots. They are cheap and last pretty well. Buying a new pair is simply not a problem.

Same as jeans. I can get a lot of wear out of a pair of jeans.

EricL

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #66 on: March 28, 2015, 08:58:25 AM »
Lady Ramkin is another one of Pratchett's great characters. But I suspect she's modeled somewhat after Pratchett's own wife. So he's wisely vague about specifics.  She is, however, grossly unmustachian in Guards! Guards! Where she meets Vimes.  Her expensive hobby is raising, breeding, and rescuing a type of toy dragon biologically indisposed to basic survival.  Or rather, predisposed to exploding due to the complicated biological/chemical process that allows them to breathe fire. That said, I wish he had time to do a book just on her.  (She did reform after marying Vimes.)

I'd also like to see him do a book on the Patrician, the Machiavellian potentate who rules Ank-Moorpork.  He's so Machiavellian he founded some of the leading cabals conspiring his assassination . He's also the means by which Pratchett offers an insight that out Sun-Tzus Sun-Tzu: something to the effect that the acme of skill is NOT to defeat an enemy without fighting but to negotiate a victory without fighting in a way that the enemy walks away thinking HE won.

Even so, I'm a big fan of Granny Weatherwax, her protege Tiffany Aching, and for opposing reasons the Unseen University (Pratchett's version of Hogwarts) Arch Chancellor and his ever suffering most competent non tenure holding undergrad, Ponder Stibbons.  Ditto Vime's troops, Sergeant Colon and Nobby, who are the only character I know for damn certain are based on real, eternal, personalities.

I've often thought of visiting Briton JUST to see Terry Pratchett - like that Spaniard who walked to Roman Italy just to see Livy.

I can see you are one who subscribes to the low information diet EricL.

Sir Terry (May He Rest In Peace Amen) is walking with Brutha and Vorbis across the great sandy desert outside Omnia.

And I do so for that very reason.  :(

Taswegian

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #67 on: April 02, 2015, 07:03:02 AM »
Outing myself as a Pratchett-lover, and mourner of his demise.  The boots law always struck me as compelling, but maybe not so sound in practice. But maybe its more that the rich dont stay that way unless they take up frugal habits..?

HazelStone

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Re: The Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness
« Reply #68 on: April 03, 2015, 07:49:50 AM »
Outing myself as a Pratchett-lover, and mourner of his demise.  The boots law always struck me as compelling, but maybe not so sound in practice. But maybe its more that the rich dont stay that way unless they take up frugal habits..?

When I (briefly!) worked in a fancy clothing boutique, customers would get in bragging contests about how old some of their "vintage"/inherited clothing was and how good it still looked. Me, I'm built very differently than my mom and aunties, so there was no potential that way anyway (and my family is the sort to duct-tape sneakers)...