Author Topic: What gives on this forum?  (Read 51779 times)

sheepstache

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Re: What gives on this forum?
« Reply #150 on: December 05, 2014, 07:39:59 PM »
I've never thought the point of the forum was to convince other people.

If I had a relative or friend who was drowning in debt, sure, I'd take another approach. But people are talking about threads that are simply one-up-manship being "judgemental"? I read a thread on the ERE forum about 'do you really need a bed?' I thought that was really interesting hearing from people who had more and more minimal sleeping requirements.

There are so many things people can't imagine living without and what I see on the threads, especially case studies, is people starting out nicer and then getting more face punchy as the OP fails to "get it," just to be matter-of-fact about it. Sometimes when you're trapped in rationalization land, you need someone to be real with you. Of course, I also assume these OPs have read the blog and understand the point and, more importantly, the tone of the blog and understand it to be jocular good fun.

Also, I assume if you really don't want some aspect of your life judged, you wouldn't write about it.

The most negative comments I hear are the people who are like "FUCK this forum and y'all judgemental BITCHES ::overturns table, strides out::"

I'm not sure if I said this before, but I do notice the judgementalism more on the off-topic threads, but I figure it's because those are just bullshitting threads anyway.  And I guess too if someone is making a moral judgement about some aspect of someone's life in a case study (e.g., whether to be a SAHP parent or not where it was originally asked as a purely financial question), that's problematic, but that's an intolerance towards a lifestyle thing. Intolerance toward financial wastefulness is, like, the whole fucking point of the place.

milesdividendmd

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Re: What gives on this forum?
« Reply #151 on: December 06, 2014, 12:35:25 AM »


I didn't mean to come across as judgmental.  These are the same criteria I use to evaluate my own spending decisions, big and small.  I stopped using paper towels years ago because I realized that rags worked just as well (if not better) and are more in line with my values.  So is it so much to ask that others think about their impact in the same way?
Put another way: even if my husband and I amass so much wealth that the next four generations of our family after us could be profligate spenders and never come close to spending it all, I still wouldn't change my way of life.  Because it wouldn't make us any happier to spend the excess that way, nor would it be in line with my life goals and values.
I'm not against all large spending.  Several people have made a great case for why they got a nanny, rather than doing daycare.  When two parents work and they actually enjoy their jobs, it can make more sense than daycare.  I worked as a nanny for a while--I'll never be against the profession because it is enormously rewarding for all parties, if it's a good situation.  That is a gain for everyone, and worth every penny.  You're not benefiting at the expense of someone else.
It's the blatant, "Oh, I can afford the mansion and the fuel for my hour commute and all the air conditioning I could ever want, so it doesn't matter if I spend that money."  Yes, those things do matter because you are not living alone in the world and all of those things have an impact on people, a negative one.  The land you take up with your mansion takes away from the ecosystem, and the fuel and energy you use for all of that creates pollution, which puts people more at risk for any number of diseases, including upping childhood asthma.  (Think of the children!  :P )  It doesn't even give the person a net gain, because all of that pollution affects them just as much as any other person.  And do they really think that the money for all of that couldn't be spent in a better way?  Really? 
You don't think it's worth asking them to take a harder look at the true benefits and losses of such a situation?

I think you make an excellent case for your own values here.

I don't think asking "them" to take a harder look at their values is so useful however.

I think showing others that frugality can help them reach their own selfish goals is more likely to change behavior and persuade.

We all have ethical blind spots, and being shown them in a judgemental manner only closes us off to true change.

Yes, I made a case for my own values because that's what I could think of off the top of my head.  If I was responding to a case study, I'd try to use that person's own language and concerns to turn the question around.
We all have blind spots, and we all have places where others are going to think our spending is frivolous or wasteful.  I have a cat, a dog, and  child.  There have been plenty of people on these threads who've pretty much said that those are the most wasteful things I could have.  But, I like them and I'm keeping them.  I'm just trying to do it with as little spending and waste as possible.  I don't buy new items for the kid because there's an amazing amount of used stuff.  If someone else was talking about their budget for kid items and listed an absurd number, I'd suggest looking for used things, not going back in time and never having the kid.
It's the same idea with the person who said earlier that her husband has jet skis for fishing.  Are they really necessary, or would a row boat perhaps be better?  Don't the loud engines of the jet skis scare the fish away?  I'm not saying the husband should stop fishing, but there's probably a more relaxing/rewarding way of accomplishing the same goal.
How, again, is that judgmental?  I'm not asking others to change their values or to quit the activities they love, or give up the things which make life pleasant.  Just to see about doing them in a way that's less "exploding volcano of wastefulness", to borrow an expression.

"You might think of your spending as only impacting yourself, but it clearly doesn't.  I, for one, am going to keep pointing that out to people, whether they like it or not.  Because it's a matter that deserves attention."

To me statements such as this are preachy and judgemental, and this is despite the fact that I am sympathetic to your perspective.

More importantly If I were Jet skiing fisherman, the chance that such a statement would change my behavior is slim to none.

Well, that spending does affect others.  It affects the person's family, does it not?  Maybe try being a little less defensive about your own wasteful spending rather than judging me for giving an honest opinion.  I don't understand trying to post here if it's not to get a different perspective.  If you're just going to say, "Nuh-uh!" all the time, it's rather pointless and talking about your spending is just bragging rather than an attempt to better your finances.
I've admitted that I too have blind spots and wasteful spending.  But, I own it.  I acknowledge it, so when someone else comes along saying, "Wow, that's luxury spending," I can say, "You bet!" and have no hard feelings.  It does also prompt me to consider once again, "Is this worth it?" and I don't get all bent out of shape.

I don't really understand this response but it occurs to me that your difficulty in understanding my original point about the downside of being so judgmental, is probably a direct result of the fact that I voiced my initial objection in such a judgmental manner.

So.... Sorry!

(But I was not clever enough for that point to have been my initial intent.)

milesdividendmd

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Re: What gives on this forum?
« Reply #152 on: December 06, 2014, 12:48:23 AM »



I didn't mean to come across as judgmental.  These are the same criteria I use to evaluate my own spending decisions, big and small.  I stopped using paper towels years ago because I realized that rags worked just as well (if not better) and are more in line with my values.  So is it so much to ask that others think about their impact in the same way?
Put another way: even if my husband and I amass so much wealth that the next four generations of our family after us could be profligate spenders and never come close to spending it all, I still wouldn't change my way of life.  Because it wouldn't make us any happier to spend the excess that way, nor would it be in line with my life goals and values.
I'm not against all large spending.  Several people have made a great case for why they got a nanny, rather than doing daycare.  When two parents work and they actually enjoy their jobs, it can make more sense than daycare.  I worked as a nanny for a while--I'll never be against the profession because it is enormously rewarding for all parties, if it's a good situation.  That is a gain for everyone, and worth every penny.  You're not benefiting at the expense of someone else.
It's the blatant, "Oh, I can afford the mansion and the fuel for my hour commute and all the air conditioning I could ever want, so it doesn't matter if I spend that money."  Yes, those things do matter because you are not living alone in the world and all of those things have an impact on people, a negative one.  The land you take up with your mansion takes away from the ecosystem, and the fuel and energy you use for all of that creates pollution, which puts people more at risk for any number of diseases, including upping childhood asthma.  (Think of the children!  :P )  It doesn't even give the person a net gain, because all of that pollution affects them just as much as any other person.  And do they really think that the money for all of that couldn't be spent in a better way?  Really? 
You don't think it's worth asking them to take a harder look at the true benefits and losses of such a situation?

I think you make an excellent case for your own values here.

I don't think asking "them" to take a harder look at their values is so useful however.

I think showing others that frugality can help them reach their own selfish goals is more likely to change behavior and persuade.

We all have ethical blind spots, and being shown them in a judgemental manner only closes us off to true change.

Yes, I made a case for my own values because that's what I could think of off the top of my head.  If I was responding to a case study, I'd try to use that person's own language and concerns to turn the question around.
We all have blind spots, and we all have places where others are going to think our spending is frivolous or wasteful.  I have a cat, a dog, and  child.  There have been plenty of people on these threads who've pretty much said that those are the most wasteful things I could have.  But, I like them and I'm keeping them.  I'm just trying to do it with as little spending and waste as possible.  I don't buy new items for the kid because there's an amazing amount of used stuff.  If someone else was talking about their budget for kid items and listed an absurd number, I'd suggest looking for used things, not going back in time and never having the kid.
It's the same idea with the person who said earlier that her husband has jet skis for fishing.  Are they really necessary, or would a row boat perhaps be better?  Don't the loud engines of the jet skis scare the fish away?  I'm not saying the husband should stop fishing, but there's probably a more relaxing/rewarding way of accomplishing the same goal.
How, again, is that judgmental?  I'm not asking others to change their values or to quit the activities they love, or give up the things which make life pleasant.  Just to see about doing them in a way that's less "exploding volcano of wastefulness", to borrow an expression.

"You might think of your spending as only impacting yourself, but it clearly doesn't.  I, for one, am going to keep pointing that out to people, whether they like it or not.  Because it's a matter that deserves attention."

To me statements such as this are preachy and judgemental, and this is despite the fact that I am sympathetic to your perspective.

More importantly If I were Jet skiing fisherman, the chance that such a statement would change my behavior is slim to none.

Well, that spending does affect others.  It affects the person's family, does it not?  Maybe try being a little less defensive about your own wasteful spending rather than judging me for giving an honest opinion.  I don't understand trying to post here if it's not to get a different perspective.  If you're just going to say, "Nuh-uh!" all the time, it's rather pointless and talking about your spending is just bragging rather than an attempt to better your finances.
I've admitted that I too have blind spots and wasteful spending.  But, I own it.  I acknowledge it, so when someone else comes along saying, "Wow, that's luxury spending," I can say, "You bet!" and have no hard feelings.  It does also prompt me to consider once again, "Is this worth it?" and I don't get all bent out of shape.

I don't really understand this response but it occurs to me that your resistance to understanding my original point about the downside of being so judgmental, is probably a direct result of the fact that I voiced my initial objection in such a judgmental manner.

So.... Sorry!

(But I am not clever enough for that point to have been my initial intent.)

Rage

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Re: What gives on this forum?
« Reply #153 on: December 06, 2014, 02:44:11 PM »
If Christians can't agree on what the bible actually means, I don't expect we will do any better with coming up with a hard and fast definition os mustachianism, unless the MMM prophet himself wants to speak on the matter.

This is a truly baffling analogy.  If the adherents to a 2 thousand year old religion based on a book - the New Testament - that is, in our language - a translation of a copy of a copy of a copy of.. we don't have the originals, and the oldest copies we have aren't identical and are nonetheless written in a different language altogether from that spoken where the events described occurred - if these followers cannot agree what it means, then how are we to know what Pete - a guy who lives about 2 miles from me - meant by all these blog posts?

sheepstache

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Re: What gives on this forum?
« Reply #154 on: December 06, 2014, 02:59:19 PM »
If Christians can't agree on what the bible actually means, I don't expect we will do any better with coming up with a hard and fast definition os mustachianism, unless the MMM prophet himself wants to speak on the matter.

This is a truly baffling analogy.  If the adherents to a 2 thousand year old religion based on a book - the New Testament - that is, in our language - a translation of a copy of a copy of a copy of.. we don't have the originals, and the oldest copies we have aren't identical and are nonetheless written in a different language altogether from that spoken where the events described occurred - if these followers cannot agree what it means, then how are we to know what Pete - a guy who lives about 2 miles from me - meant by all these blog posts?

I wish Christian disagreements were over different versions and translations. Most I know can come up with plenty of disagreements based on your basic King James version. It's a matter of which aspects they want to emphasize and which they want to ignore.

Villanelle

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Re: What gives on this forum?
« Reply #155 on: December 06, 2014, 03:54:09 PM »
If Christians can't agree on what the bible actually means, I don't expect we will do any better with coming up with a hard and fast definition os mustachianism, unless the MMM prophet himself wants to speak on the matter.

This is a truly baffling analogy.  If the adherents to a 2 thousand year old religion based on a book - the New Testament - that is, in our language - a translation of a copy of a copy of a copy of.. we don't have the originals, and the oldest copies we have aren't identical and are nonetheless written in a different language altogether from that spoken where the events described occurred - if these followers cannot agree what it means, then how are we to know what Pete - a guy who lives about 2 miles from me - meant by all these blog posts?

Even when using the same translation of the same book, they disagree. Many, if not most, of the disagreements are far more about interpretation than they are about which translation is being used.  And unless the MMM prophet is going to come into the forums and settle these disputes, we, like the Christians, are going to have to look at personal interpretations of the same words and the varied results of that. 

So yeah, I think it's a pretty apt comparison.  People read the some words and come up with different interpretations, different views on what is most important, and different approaches to integrating the teachings into reality. 

scrubbyfish

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Re: What gives on this forum?
« Reply #156 on: December 06, 2014, 07:29:55 PM »
Even when using the same translation of the same book, they disagree. Many, if not most, of the disagreements are far more about interpretation than they are about which translation is being used.  And unless the MMM prophet is going to come into the forums and settle these disputes, we, like the Christians, are going to have to look at personal interpretations of the same words and the varied results of that. 

So yeah, I think it's a pretty apt comparison.  People read the some words and come up with different interpretations, different views on what is most important, and different approaches to integrating the teachings into reality.

+1. I loved this analogy!

Rage

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Re: What gives on this forum?
« Reply #157 on: December 10, 2014, 04:01:33 PM »
If Christians can't agree on what the bible actually means, I don't expect we will do any better with coming up with a hard and fast definition os mustachianism, unless the MMM prophet himself wants to speak on the matter.

This is a truly baffling analogy.  If the adherents to a 2 thousand year old religion based on a book - the New Testament - that is, in our language - a translation of a copy of a copy of a copy of.. we don't have the originals, and the oldest copies we have aren't identical and are nonetheless written in a different language altogether from that spoken where the events described occurred - if these followers cannot agree what it means, then how are we to know what Pete - a guy who lives about 2 miles from me - meant by all these blog posts?

Even when using the same translation of the same book, they disagree. Many, if not most, of the disagreements are far more about interpretation than they are about which translation is being used.  And unless the MMM prophet is going to come into the forums and settle these disputes, we, like the Christians, are going to have to look at personal interpretations of the same words and the varied results of that. 

So yeah, I think it's a pretty apt comparison.  People read the some words and come up with different interpretations, different views on what is most important, and different approaches to integrating the teachings into reality.

I think there is some value in the analogy overall, especially considering that most Christians seem to think that Jesus was just flapping his gums with respect to loving your enemies, giving all your money to the poor, non violence, humility, really anything that Jesus taught come to think of it, and wind up with a religion that bears no resemblance to its own core teachings.  I see things around here that are analogous to that. 

But I still don't agree that the source material is in any way confusing or needs explanation from the Prophet; we don't need to debate around here whether the "eye of a needle" is actually an esoteric reference to an ancient expression for the door to the area where the animals are kept, or if "spare the rod" meant the rod that a shepherd would use to guide sheep, rather than meaning that you need to beat the shit out of your children.