Author Topic: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity  (Read 2689 times)

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« on: May 16, 2018, 09:21:41 PM »
The producers of the upcoming Playing With Fire documentary (https://www.playingwithfire.co/), which you may have recently seen on JL Collins' site (http://jlcollinsnh.com/2018/05/11/my-talk-at-google-playing-with-fire-and-other-chautauqua-connections/) are looking to add some more diversity into their film.

As you probably know, the FIRE community skews heavily white (and often male as well). (See, e.g. many of the people interviewed, such as Pete/MMM, Brandon/MadFIentist, Carl/1500Days, Brad&Jonathan/ChooseFI, JLCollins, etc.)

While we don't need to debate the reasons for that here, it would be nice if some underrepresented minorities were also included.

They do have a few females and minorities (Kristy, Paula Pant), but would like to add more cool stories from any minorities who are willing to share.

FIRE is an inclusive concept, and I think it would be powerful for people to be able to see success stories from people of all types of backgrounds. If you are a minority and have a cool FIRE story that you'd be willing to share, please contact them using this web form or hello@playingwithfire.co and link to this post.

I've personally spoken with both the producer (at FinCon) and the director (via telephone) and they're both super nice guys, trying to spread the word about FIRE, and doing a fantastic job (as you can probably see if you read Jim's post, above).

Anyone interested? :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2846
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 10:20:58 PM »
Do we count as minority, or do they not want any more white people or men? As a couple, I'm a woman (but white) and he's Asian (but male), though honestly, I think the real thing that makes us a "FIRE minority" isn't race/sex at all, but having normal incomes.
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

EscapeVelocity2020

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1658
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Houston
    • EscapeVelocity2020
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 11:16:26 PM »
I just hope the documentary explains the 'privileged' aspect of FIRE before it dives into these 'one off' anecdotes.  Why try to be misleading, unless you admit that reality doesn't sell.

Sorry ARS, this probably flies in the face of your disclaimer, but I couldn't help myself.  I just start typing about things that get my blood moving.  Prob'ly be banned again, but I hope not, I enjoy the idea of being allowed to interact freely and (what I intend to be) respectfully (out of curiosity, but of course not full understanding).

As an honest reply, I don't know anyone who stayed retired that fit's your bill.  The gals I know that ER'ed ended up ditching their beaus and then going back to work.  Guys eventually went back to work after 5 or 10 years when the supportive spouse started to make waves. 

Minorities are definitely under-represented given the FIN-con I attended, but they are out there hustling.  Just not ER and more interested in chasing fat-FIRE. 

Very interested to follow this thread, so I guess this is a PTF.  Maybe I can contribute more later.
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

Sojourner

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 05:54:30 AM »
Is 'Kristy' Kristy Shen (of the Asian couple who opted to FIRE instead of buying a house in Canada) or someone else?

As in our case (mixed minority couple), I'd guess many FIREd people in general prefer anonymity v the spotlight.  However, we are looking forward to seeing the completed film, including the diverse content being sought.

Zola.

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Location: UK
  • Let's do this.
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 07:33:23 AM »
When is this to be released or is it just in planning stages?

jane x

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 606
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 09:30:36 AM »
I think a more worthwhile exercise would be a documentary, or segment, on why this FIRE concept, as it exists, is so difficult for minorities to achieve.  Perhaps out of that would evolve a different, more inclusive, concept that minorities can benefit from.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2846
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 09:52:53 AM »
I think a more worthwhile exercise would be a documentary, or segment, on why this FIRE concept, as it exists, is so difficult for minorities to achieve.  Perhaps out of that would evolve a different, more inclusive, concept that minorities can benefit from.

Don't a number of minorities out-earn white people in the US, sometimes by a substantial amount? Shouldn't it be easier for them to FIRE? It's not like the math changes based on skin color. FIRE is really just math - I don't think it's possible for numbers to be "inclusive" or "exclusive".

And if I remember correctly, when we've done polls here in MMM land, minorities are actually represented at a much higher rate than the general population. And we're majority female as well.
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

Liberty Stache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 727
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 09:59:03 AM »
I think a more worthwhile exercise would be a documentary, or segment, on why this FIRE concept, as it exists, is so difficult for minorities to achieve.  Perhaps out of that would evolve a different, more inclusive, concept that minorities can benefit from.

Don't a number of minorities out-earn white people in the US, sometimes by a substantial amount? Shouldn't it be easier for them to FIRE? It's not like the math changes based on skin color. FIRE is really just math - I don't think it's possible for numbers to be "inclusive" or "exclusive".

And if I remember correctly, when we've done polls here in MMM land, minorities are actually represented at a much higher rate than the general population. And we're majority female as well.

Most do not. There is a subset of Japanese, Indian, and Chinese that out earn Whites in the US but the majority of minorities (Blacks, Latinos, non-Chinese/Japanese Asians) lag significantly behind in income and assets.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income
https://www.financialsamurai.com/income-by-race-why-is-asian-income-so-high/ <-- breakdown of Asians

As others have stated many times, the higher the income, the easier it is to achieve FIRE.
"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright" ~Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

plantingourpennies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 424
  • None.
    • Money, Kittens, Happiness
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 10:06:09 AM »

As you probably know, the FIRE community skews heavily white (and often male as well)[...]While we don't need to debate the reasons for that here, it would be nice if some underrepresented minorities were also included.

FIRE is an inclusive concept,

Bullshit. We don't get to say there are practically NO minorities in the community and then call FIRE an inclusive concept.

Let's stop trying to pretend that everybody can get to FIRE, and start having a conversation around why it's not possible for many, many people.
PlantingOurPennies- Our experience with personal finance.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 10:07:34 AM »
If you want to talk about minorities and what makes it difficult, or not, for them to fire, please start a new thread. Feel free to link it here, and then cease discussion of it in this thread.

This thread us solely for discussing the opportunity for minorities to be represented in the upcoming FIRE documentary, to hopefully show examples of people from all walks of life achieving FIRE.


When is this to be released or is it just in planning stages?

It's been filming for nearly a year (see JLCollins' post linked in the OP). Filming will liekly wrap up in July, and hopes are to get it in the Sundance Film Festival in the fall.

I think a more worthwhile exercise would be a documentary, or segment, on why this FIRE concept, as it exists, is so difficult for minorities to achieve.  Perhaps out of that would evolve a different, more inclusive, concept that minorities can benefit from.

I agree. However, first needs to come awareness of FIRE, which is the point of this documentary. The vast majority of people have never heard of it. A discussion of the amount of privilege FIRE takes is important, but secondary to introducing the concept at all.

Again, if you want to discuss more, a different thread on minorities and FIRE would be advised. Cheers!

As in our case (mixed minority couple), I'd guess many FIREd people in general prefer anonymity v the spotlight.  However, we are looking forward to seeing the completed film, including the diverse content being sought.

Definitely.

Personally, I don't care for publicity. But I do interviews when asked (I do not seek them out) because I like the idea of spreading the FIRE message. I get emails from people who have changed their lives because they were inspired by an article they read that I was in. That's awesome, and worth it to me to put up with 20 questions.

While I understand why most people want anonymity, hopefully there will be a few willing to share their story to inspire others. Thus this thread. :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 10:11:21 AM »

As you probably know, the FIRE community skews heavily white (and often male as well)[...]While we don't need to debate the reasons for that here, it would be nice if some underrepresented minorities were also included.

FIRE is an inclusive concept,

Bullshit. We don't get to say there are practically NO minorities in the community and then call FIRE an inclusive concept.

Let's stop trying to pretend that everybody can get to FIRE, and start having a conversation around why it's not possible for many, many people.

Again, I'd be glad to discuss why FIRE isn't achievable for everyone. I think there are systemic problems in our society making it quite difficult for many groups. That doesn't mean the concept of FIRE isn't inclusive, it means that our society has made it difficult for many to achieve in practice. But again, start a new thread, and I'd be happy to elucidate why our society is so * up in this area, and things we can do to help improve that, so they FIRE is possible for everyone within a few generations (hint: radical changes that many won't like, or changes they will, but won't have the stomach to fund, often due to the same racist issues that are trying to be solved by these solutions).

Note: These are my opinions, not those of the documentary producers. I have no idea what their opinions are, other than they'd like to be able to have all types of people represented. I did discuss with them, briefly (and will do more so) the concept of FIRE and privilege, and they are aware and I believe agree, though I don't know to what extent it may be discussed in the film.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

jane x

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 606
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 10:12:46 AM »
If you want to talk about minorities and what makes it difficult, or not, for them to fire, please start a new thread. Feel free to link it here, and then cease discussion of it in this thread.

 


Ouch.  Here I was, a woman of color, offering my humble opinion, only to be told to shut up and get out.  Thanks. 


« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 01:44:36 PM by jane x »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 10:17:41 AM »
Ouch.  Here I was, a woman of color, offering my humble opinion, only to be told to shut up and get out.  Thanks.

I don't see the need to jump to offense.

Let's be clear: I asked for you (or rather anyone wanting to discuss, the comment you quoted wasn't targeted at you) to start a new thread. That's the opposite of being told to shut up, that's being told to keep talking. It'd just be nice if it was done in a place where an on-topic discussion can happen instead of derailing a different thread.

In fact, I did directly quote your comment, and my reply was: "I agree."
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

plantingourpennies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 424
  • None.
    • Money, Kittens, Happiness
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 10:25:34 AM »

This thread us solely for discussing the opportunity for minorities to be represented in the upcoming FIRE documentary, to hopefully show examples of people from all walks of life achieving FIRE. [/color][/b]

Good-let's talk about it. You (and the producers) doing something called "Tokenism" it's a really dumb idea.

If you have data that says the community is white and male, then don't try to shine rainbows up the viewers ass and pretend it's not.

It hurts the viewer because you're lying to them, it hurts the community because you're lying about us.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokenism


« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:27:14 AM by plantingourpennies »
PlantingOurPennies- Our experience with personal finance.

Cassie

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4161
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 10:26:32 AM »
It’s great that they are making a film about fire.  I hope that they can reach others to tell their story so as to spread the news for those that are interested.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2018, 10:29:36 AM »

This thread us solely for discussing the opportunity for minorities to be represented in the upcoming FIRE documentary, to hopefully show examples of people from all walks of life achieving FIRE. [/color][/b]

Good-let's talk about it. You (and the producers) doing something called "Tokenism" it's a really dumb idea.

If you have data that says the community is white and male, then don't try to shine rainbows up the viewers ass and pretend it's not.

It hurts the viewer because you're lying to them, it hurts the community because you're lying about us.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokenism

I don't know why you assume this.

Why can't the issue be addressed, pointed out that the vast majority of the community is white, the challenges that minorities may face, and some examples of people who have overcome those challenges?

There doesn't have to be any lying about what the community is, or isn't, or how difficult it is for people.

It's definitely a concern. Bring it up to them. Automatically assuming the worst isn't usually the best way to proceed though.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

pecunia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 206
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2018, 10:31:10 AM »
People who are minorities who have achieved FI will most likely have achieved FI in the same manner as so many others by careful and frugal handling of their money.  I mean they will be no more interesting than anyone else.

However, if you find people who have achieved FI in alternate ways, that would add a lot of interest to the documentary.  I think you need to find the people who have achieved instant FI by getting away with robbing a bank.  I mean it would be fair.  Who are we to judge their activities by our values?  It should be added that the bank robbing thing has terrific tax advantages and they may not have given up one latte to get there.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2018, 10:36:22 AM »
However, if you find people who have achieved FI in alternate ways, that would add a lot of interest to the documentary.

They are indeed looking for interesting stories in general--people who have overcome challenges, and specifically the many common "objections" to FIRE.

If you feel you have an interesting story to tell, definitely contact them!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Telecaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1132
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2018, 10:47:53 AM »
The public face of the FIRE community is pretty small.   For this film (going by JL Collin's post), the producers picked the same people we already know about and we've already heard from.   I think the film would be far more interesting if the producers founds some people don't have FIRE blogs and/or aren't as active in the community who have new stories to tell. 

Actually, that's true for FIRE podcasts as well.  It is mostly the same podcasters interviewing each other.   

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2018, 10:51:58 AM »
The public face of the FIRE community is pretty small.   For this film (going by JL Collin's post), the producers picked the same people we already know about and we've already heard from.   I think the film would be far more interesting if the producers founds some people don't have FIRE blogs and/or aren't as active in the community who have new stories to tell. 

Actually, that's true for FIRE podcasts as well.  It is mostly the same podcasters interviewing each other.   

It's small, and familiar faces, for us. We're in the FIRE community.

Outside of us, no one knows any of those people.

You have to start with introducing the concept before radically diverging from it, or you have no audience.

They are interviewing many, many people you likely haven't heard of though. I think there will be many stories new to you.

But if you're doing a documentary that is covering this new "FIRE" movement, doesn't it make sense to first introduce some of the people who helped make it what it is (MMM, JLCollins, MadFIentist) before moving into real people who have achieved (or are working towards) FIRE?

:)

I think the concerns are valid. I also think they're well aware of them, and are working to mitigate those problems, as best as they can. Cause I've brought up the same things. :P
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2846
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2018, 10:55:11 AM »
Just out of curiosity, how are they handling the location aspect? FIRE people are pretty spread out, especially the post-FIRE ones on extended travel - are they flying all over the place interviewing people in their hometowns?
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

rob in cal

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2018, 10:55:39 AM »
Don't know if they would be intrested , but I contacted them.  Not too many pizza delivery driver/ asset accumulating types out there.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2846
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2018, 10:57:34 AM »
Don't know if they would be intrested , but I contacted them.  Not too many pizza delivery driver/ asset accumulating types out there.

Yeah, I contacted them too. Who knows, maybe they'd like to throw in a bankruptcy receptionist for lulz.
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2018, 11:06:02 AM »
Don't know if they would be intrested , but I contacted them.  Not too many pizza delivery driver/ asset accumulating types out there

Yeah, I contacted them too. Who knows, maybe they'd like to throw in a bankruptcy receptionist for lulz.

Awesome! I think those are just the type of stories they're looking for!

Just out of curiosity, how are they handling the location aspect? FIRE people are pretty spread out, especially the post-FIRE ones on extended travel - are they flying all over the place interviewing people in their hometowns?

They are doing some travel (they have done quite a bit, will be in Seattle for Camp Mustache, recently were in Austin), yes.

Naturally if you're near places they'll already be, I think that's a bonus (rob in cal, for example, being in California, where I believe they're based, because Hollywood is likely much easier to interview than someone in Australia).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Sojourner

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2018, 11:20:59 AM »
This doesn't have to do with diversity, but I hope they include stories of people (at least one person/couple) that has gone the distance.  Meaning, retired early (30s/40s) and made a successful life of it, living off of investments, and are now decades older still cranking along.  This would give folks a glimpse into the future that would be interesting.  Although FIRE is commonly perceived as a "new" thing, maybe the label is newer, but it didn't just start suddenly when these blogs appeared.

Well, now that I think about it, it may be even more interesting to hear stories of attempts that didn't quite work out for whatever reasons.  What was the original plan and what happened to that plan.

mathlete

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 667
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2018, 03:36:22 PM »

As you probably know, the FIRE community skews heavily white (and often male as well)[...]While we don't need to debate the reasons for that here, it would be nice if some underrepresented minorities were also included.

FIRE is an inclusive concept,

Bullshit. We don't get to say there are practically NO minorities in the community and then call FIRE an inclusive concept.

Let's stop trying to pretend that everybody can get to FIRE, and start having a conversation around why it's not possible for many, many people.


This thread us solely for discussing the opportunity for minorities to be represented in the upcoming FIRE documentary, to hopefully show examples of people from all walks of life achieving FIRE. [/color][/b]

Good-let's talk about it. You (and the producers) doing something called "Tokenism" it's a really dumb idea.

If you have data that says the community is white and male, then don't try to shine rainbows up the viewers ass and pretend it's not.

It hurts the viewer because you're lying to them, it hurts the community because you're lying about us.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokenism

Glad someone said it platningourpennies!

I'm sure OP and the producers are perfectly nice people, but this whole thing comes off as incredibly tone deaf. The post makes it clear that the producers are only interested in diversity insofar as that it can help further their product.

Again, perfectly nice people, I'm sure. But maybe go back to the drawing board on this one.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2846
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2018, 03:45:44 PM »
Just out of curiosity, do we even know for sure that FIRE is mostly white men? Or is it just a guess based on the gurus? The polls we've done here on MMM on race and gender seem to suggest that's not necessarily the case. Purely anecdotally, the makeup of my local MMM group DEFINITELY suggests that's not the case.

I suspect there are tons of minorities doing the FIRE thing, but not being public about it for cultural reasons. My Asian in-laws are horrified at how much personal and financial information we put on our blog, for example. They would just never ever do that. And they're early retirees themselves.
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3863
  • Location: On my bike
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2018, 03:58:03 PM »
Glad someone said it platningourpennies!

I'm sure OP and the producers are perfectly nice people, but this whole thing comes off as incredibly tone deaf. The post makes it clear that the producers are only interested in diversity insofar as that it can help further their product.

Again, perfectly nice people, I'm sure. But maybe go back to the drawing board on this one.

What post makes it clear?  You realize that Arebelspy is not one of the producers, right?  The actual producers of the documentary don't have a post on this thread.  As such, you have no idea as to their motivations.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe."  -- Einstein

mathlete

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 667
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2018, 04:52:15 PM »
What post makes it clear?  You realize that Arebelspy is not one of the producers, right?  The actual producers of the documentary don't have a post on this thread.  As such, you have no idea as to their motivations.

I'm not in the position to know whether someone liasoning for a film is doing so in an official or an unofficial capacity. For the sake of brevity, I generalized what the OP was communicating as representing the objectives of the film's producers. The comments are directed at whomever is originating the message. If that's arebelspy, so be it.

arebelspy,

You're a forums mod and so I get the impetus to be wary of things such as thread drift or off-topic posting. But conversation is organic. Reading this thread, I'm left with the impression that the appearance of inclusivity is more important than actual inclusivity. The genesis of this thread must on some level be that it is difficult to find minrorities represented in this community. While there is a laundry list of reasons for that, I feel pretty strongly that white people in positions of power who are pre-emptively worried that real discussions about racial inequailty might derail an attempt to further a personal project, would probably make the list.

I don't know you, but I'm sure you're an excellent person. I've heard other people speak very highly of you and I believe you're sincere when you say these discussions are important. But work on your messaging my dude.


arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2018, 05:07:13 PM »
Only if you don't assume best intentions.

I think a discussion of FIRE privilege is important, including why it's difficult for certain groups.

I think it's also important to not just end that discussion on a "downer" note, but show some examples of people who have succeeded despite those challenges.

Those things might have to do with their race, their socioeconomic status (it's a lot harder to FIRE on a low income), their geographic location, their education level, their family status (it can be hard to FIRE with a large number of kids, or having gone through a divorce), etc.

Looking for people to represent these challenges doesn't automatically mean you're using them as a token example, or mean you are going to misrepresent what the actual situation and population/community is. It merely means you're aware they aren't common, but want to tell their story, too. And hopefully that can serve as an inspiration for those more marginalized people.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

BTDretire

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2018, 05:54:21 PM »
Isn't this diversity thing a good idea?
 Showing people in positions their minority is not normally seen in is part of educating
those that grow up without any influence in this direction for their life.
 I have brought this up before, and people don't want to touch it, but often minorities have
 a "culture", that culture can be very aggressive for education and saving, others wanting to "look"
like they are doing well. Then some have no role models to follow and don't know to seek improvement.
 Some are just struggling to keep food on the table and roof over their head, survival is just so difficult
there's nothing left.
 So, I see no problem adding some diversity to the show.
 I would hope the show has some numbers to show that yes to actually FIRE,
at 40, 45. or 50yrs old you need an above average household income.
 On the other hand I'm quite content at 63yrs old have 35x median household income.
 It may have taken us longer but, I'm glad we saved and invested our slightly above median lifetime income

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2018, 05:58:01 PM »
I have brought this up before, and people don't want to touch it, but often minorities have
 a "culture", that culture can be very aggressive for education and saving, others wanting to "look"
like they are doing well. Then some have no role models to follow and don't know to seek improvement.

I think systemic racism plays a much, much larger role than "culture" which is often just an excuse used by racists as to why certain groups are much worse off.

I do think role models/examples/inspirations are a good idea, regardless (even as we, as a society, have larger issues to tackle in order to help the disempowered).

Again, this is a conversation I think is much more relevant, and would be much more fruitful, in a thread specifically regarding this topic. :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

oldmachines

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Northwest Arkansas
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2018, 09:47:46 AM »
Looking for new ways to be offended seems to be a popular pastime these days.

CheapskateWife

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
  • Location: Central TX...but getting ready to hit the road
  • Countdown to fire in 3-2-1
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2018, 09:59:00 AM »
arebelspy,

You're a forums mod and so I get the impetus to be wary of things such as thread drift or off-topic posting. But conversation is organic. Reading this thread, I'm left with the impression that the appearance of inclusivity is more important than actual inclusivity. The genesis of this thread must on some level be that it is difficult to find minrorities represented in this community. While there is a laundry list of reasons for that, I feel pretty strongly that white people in positions of power who are pre-emptively worried that real discussions about racial inequailty might derail an attempt to further a personal project, would probably make the list.

I don't know you, but I'm sure you're an excellent person. I've heard other people speak very highly of you and I believe you're sincere when you say these discussions are important. But work on your messaging my dude.
Well said, mathlete.  Thank you for speaking to the concern I had not yet found words for.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2018, 10:01:45 AM »
Looking for new ways to be offended seems to be a popular pastime these days.
I don't see that as the case here.

I think all the concerns raised in this thread are totally valid.

It's just nice when it's approached with a best intentions, e.g. "here are some things I'm not sure you've thought of, or should be aware of" rather than assuming negative to begin with, e.g. "you are doing this terrible thing."

Forced/fake diversity certainly can be done in a terrible way which does a disservice to everyone.

That doesn't mean it will be done that way, and, like I mentioned, I think showing examples of people overcoming hurdles, even as these hurdles are brought up/discussed, is important.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

SachaFiscal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2018, 12:30:28 PM »
In my opinion I think it would be good to include people of color and women in the film even though it is not representative of the actual FIRE community.  As part of a minority, it has inspired me to see people who look like me achieving success and it may also inspire others.

mathlete

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 667
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2018, 12:31:55 PM »
Only if you don't assume best intentions.

I kinda thought I went pretty far out of my way to assume good intentions.

I'm sure OP and the producers are perfectly nice people...Again, perfectly nice people, I'm sure.

I don't know you, but I'm sure you're an excellent person. I've heard other people speak very highly of you and I believe you're sincere when you say these discussions are important.

I do think you're a good person with good intentions on this topic. Your more recent posts have absolutely confirmed that. As such, I want you to succeed. But when multiple people are seeing similar things in your messaging, maybe don't write it off as them "not assuming best intentions". Maybe don't tell a minority that you don't see the need for them to be offended. Maybe look back at the messaging and see where the breakdown was.

In my opinion, the biggest breakdown was the consistent messaging from the start, that honest discussion about barriers to wealth accumulation faced by minorities plays second fiddle to spreading the concept of FIRE (i.e., the agenda of the film). The documentary sounds like it might be a neat idea, but I'm pretty sure that nobody here is a stakeholder in it, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that putting the film before such an important topic is received poorly by others.

Unsurprisingly, I have a lot of thoughts about these topics, but given that I'm a white guy, I don't think I'm necessarily the one to spearhead a discussion here. But as a white guy who has been guilty of poor messaging, and otherwise "not getting it", I felt I could offer some useful perspective.

I'll keep future comments to the other thread, as you requested. You're a good and open-minded dude, so I feel good about this exchange. Thanks for reading.

pecunia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 206
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2018, 12:44:42 PM »
You know I think this documentary could be rather inspiring.  I was thinking of the Horatio Alger stories and that America is supposed to be a land of opportunity.  This FI thing is really people taking advantage of that opportunity so that they can do what they want with their lives.

If you found people achieving FI and doing soup kitchen work or volunteering to tutor, it could be a sell on the goodness of this thing.  Human capital freed from the bondage of work to make humanity better.  Yah.  The guy who runs the soup kitchen could say, "I am sure glad that they are available."  The FI people could be made out to be real heroes.

Finish it up with, "You too can be an FI person, it's your choice."

Then put in an ad for Vanguard at the end and have them pay for the whole thing.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27223
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2018, 12:50:18 PM »
As such, I want you to succeed.

I have no way to "succeed" here; I have no connection to this project besides hoping it spreads the word of FIRE so people can improve their financial lives.

Quote
In my opinion, the biggest breakdown was the consistent messaging from the start, that honest discussion about barriers to wealth accumulation faced by minorities plays second fiddle to spreading the concept of FIRE (i.e., the agenda of the film).

I don't think it plays second fiddle. Indeed, I think it's a much more important topic than FIRE. The fact that certain groups are privileged over others (i.e. racism, direct and indirect, in our society) is  a social justice problem, and a societal problem, a problem much bigger than FIRE. It manifests itself in financial ways, but in many other ways, too.

We should be talking about this, loudly and constantly.

The problem with making it the focus point here, as I see it (again, as someone with nothing to do with making the film itself) is that FIRE is not a common thing, so it makes no sense to talk about "FIRE privilege" to most people.  That means nothing to them.

People here on the forums are so caught up in FIRE as a thing they know and are familiar with, it's just commonplace to us, so we can then go to "well let's discuss why it's not possible for some people" (certain minorities, for example). That's awesome, but it totally misses that fact that if you mentioned early retirement to most ("average") people, they'd say that early retirement is not possible at all, for anyone.

In other words, it wouldn't make sense to tell the random American "early retirement is tough for black people" when they'd respond "Early retirement is impossible for anyone! I don't know that I'll even be able to retire at a normal age, let alone early!"

It'd be nonsense to talk about FIRE privilege to them. So by necessity a documentary introducing FIRE has to first show it is possible. So a discussion of FIRE and minorities isn't playing second fiddle because it's less important, it has less focus on because you necessarily have to define and explain something first before you can discuss its drawbacks and limitations.

So (IMO) it's important to talk about in the documentary as one of the big hurdles people might face, and also show examples of people who have overcome that hurdle (same as you might show people who have FIRE'd with kids, or with major medical issues, or with a low income), but at this point in the awareness of FIRE it'd be very premature to have the documentary focus on that as the main subject of the documentary, IMO. Maybe the producers, you you, or whomever, feel differently, I don't know.

It just seems to me that we need larger discussions of social injustice and racism, and that it's important to bring up in a FIRE context, as well, but the point of the documentary isn't racism in general. That's a large subject to tackle, and hopefully they do their best to bring it to the forefront, but you can't talk about FIRE being hard for certain disadvantaged groups without taking about what FIRE is, first, and why it IS possible for some anyways.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

rob in cal

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2018, 04:53:34 PM »
  I do believe that the positive example of people successfully achieving FIRE is inspirational to others, and if underrepresented demographics, be they black Americans from the inner cities, or someone from the   white working class  in eastern Ohio, are showcased, so much the better.  Personally, I think people achieving fire coming from a poor economic class, regardless of race, is inspirational and worthy of spotlighting.  In terms of the inspirational impact, and yes this is of course anecdotal, but listening to the Dave Ramsey show for the last 12 years or so, there are caller after caller who talk about how hearing his show inspired their own economic turn around. And of course posters on this forum who due to guidance and inspiration from posters on here made huge significant life altering steps.   Hopefully this documentary will add to the movement.

Sojourner

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2018, 09:01:44 PM »
Umm...while I do look forward to seeing the documentary, why exactly do people desire addition of others to the movement?  Just askin'.

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3069
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2018, 12:26:02 AM »
Wow.  Tough crowd here. 

Let me add some perspective, and you can decide whether your participation is merited.  I’m not even going to try to multi-quote all the commentary.

One of the producers is Travis Shakespeare, whom I met at FinCon16 (over 18 months ago).  We’ve been swapping e-mails about this project every few months and trying to get together.  This production is being executed on a frugal budget which would make most Mustachians weep with envy.  Financing the project is at least as fascinating as watching it come together.

The producers have attended Chatauqua (Ecuador) and they’re going to be at Camp Mustache.  They were behind the cameras when Pete opened MMM HQ in Longmont.  They tracked down Vicki Robin (who recently learned from Brandon Ganche that FI is now a thing) and they’ve gone to great lengths to include as many people as they can.  Diversity is nice but they would mainly like to show that the FI movement is a crowd.  Nobody thinks that FI has to be racially homogenized.  Nobody’s keeping score on race, gender, creed, sexual preference, or political party— they’re just trying to bring in as many people as they can.

Travis and I finally synched up.  My spouse and I are on Kauai this weekend and I just spent the day with Scott Rieckens and his family.  (Travis couldn’t make the trip but we Skyped for 90 minutes last week.)  Scott and two camera operators filmed for nearly three hours (and two sets of batteries, and two sets of memory cards).  Hopefully they can use five minutes of our Q&A. I tried not to blather on, but.

Go look at their production credentials.  Both Travis & Scott are Emmy-winning/nominated guys who had the same idea at about the same time and then paired up to make it happen.  There is not a political, racial, privilege, or any other socio-economic aspect of this project.  They just want to interview the biggest FIRE crowd possible so that every audience can say “Wow, those people did it and they seem to be just like me!!”  Scott is even using our interviews to check the FIRE plans of him and his spouse.

Scott paddled out into Hanalei Bay with me.  We caught a few nice waves, and I’m pretty sure my frantic windmilling on one five-footer will make the documentary.  Yeah, that’s it, I meant to make it look li’ dat.

For those of you who worry about these things, we discussed privilege.  (We also discussed how privilege is useless if you don’t work your assets off to pursue FIRE.)  We talked about reaching FIRE on a $40K/year income.  We talked about starting the journey when you’re in your teens, or just starting a military career, or trying to crawl out of five-figure student-loan debt.  We talked about the FIRE journey from the financial and lifestyle perspectives.  We did not get into economic mobility or income disparity or other obstacles.

Telecaster, you referred to the producers “picking” the people to interview.  My impression is that they’re beating the bushes for volunteers, and perhaps feeling a tiny bit frustrated that they’re only getting the usual suspects.  You want to be interviewed?  You have someone who you feel should be interviewed?  Let Scott or Travis know.  Or let me know and I’ll contact the producers. 

Yes, many people feel uncomfortable discussing money, let alone FIRE.  Gee, I wonder if that’s why it’s so hard to get volunteers to go on camera.  Maybe the producers can’t even afford an agenda, let alone the “privilege” of picking & choosing their interviews.

Sojourner, I think my (and my spouse’s ) 16 years of FI meet your definition of “gone the distance”.  Scott and I spoke at length about one’s best-laid plans, changing priorities, and life surprises.  He’s a military kid (his father’s a military retiree) and he keenly understands the issues. 

By the way I’ve met both of Scott’s parents as well as his spouse and their child.  I would not try to suggest to either of his parents that they are “privileged”.  I’ll go even further and classify Scott’s Dad as a Cold War hero and a well-known figure in his community.  No, he’s not a submariner, but he’s so good that even the submariners give him respect.

Pecunia, I’ve spent the last eight years donating all of my writing revenue to military-friendly charities.  ( >$18K so far, and I’ll keep going as long as there’s writing revenue.)  There are pragmatic credibility reasons for doing this, but I’m also paying it forward to a new generation out of gratitude who helped get me here.

When the documentary is released, it’s not going to have what everyone wants to see.  My impression is that they’re going for a highlights reel, not a 10-part Ken Burns epic.  However the “extra” material that doesn’t make the final cut will be out on YouTube, in podcasts, and in many more interviews.  I get the feeling that the producers are also working out a deal with FinCon, although that’s my rumor.

I’ve also heard a rumor that Jeremy & Winnie of GoCurryCracker are being interviewed.  Does that satisfy those who desire more details on minority numbers?

Author of "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement".   All royalties (and writing revenue) donated to military charities.
I don't read every post, so please PM or e-mail me to get my attention...

Dabnasty

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 697
  • Age: 28
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2018, 09:27:02 AM »
Tough crowd is right.

“Wow, those people did it and they seem to be just like me!!”

This and what others have said with the same meaning. It sounds like the whole point of the film is to get people interested enough to check out the concept and check out websites like this one. If you're already here, this film is not for you. (I'd still watch it out of curiosity of course) The idea of presenting people, particularly young people who have a more basic view of the world, with representatives from their group to pique their interest and let them know they can be part of something is beneficial. I've seen this view touted by the experts as well as people from minority groups.

Bullshit. We don't get to say there are practically NO minorities in the community and then call FIRE an inclusive concept.

Let's stop trying to pretend that everybody can get to FIRE, and start having a conversation around why it's not possible for many, many people.

Not sure what was meant by this. There are definitely lots of minorities in the community and the concept of fire is based almost entirely on math, it's not inclusive or exclusive, it just is. Government and society may influence the ability of certain people to take advantage of it as has been discussed, but that's a much bigger issue than how this relates FIRE.

Sorry ARS, I don't fit the bill so I guess...bump?

pecunia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 206
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2018, 11:29:24 AM »
Quote
Pecunia, I’ve spent the last eight years donating all of my writing revenue to military-friendly charities.  ( >$18K so far, and I’ll keep going as long as there’s writing revenue.)  There are pragmatic credibility reasons for doing this, but I’m also paying it forward to a new generation out of gratitude who helped get me here.

This is a good thing.  I respect that more than someone who just wants to free themselves to travel the world.  That is their choice, but someone who pays back the society that allowed them this wonderful FI freedom is just plain doing good.

This post makes me wonder which societies today allow such social mobility by choice, i.e. FI.  I'm guessing with some digging you'll find some really inspiring examples out there.

Telecaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1132
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2018, 11:43:58 AM »
Telecaster, you referred to the producers “picking” the people to interview.  My impression is that they’re beating the bushes for volunteers, and perhaps feeling a tiny bit frustrated that they’re only getting the usual suspects.  You want to be interviewed?  You have someone who you feel should be interviewed?  Let Scott or Travis know.  Or let me know and I’ll contact the producers. 


@Nords I'm delighted to hear they are searching out for fresh faces.  I love the all usual suspects, it is just I've just heard their stories already. 

A person who absolutely needs to be interviewed for this documentary is John Greaney.  IMO, it would be incomplete without him.  Bill Sholar as well.   The influence those guys had on RE can't be understated. 

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3069
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2018, 12:20:48 PM »

@Nords I'm delighted to hear they are searching out for fresh faces.  I love the all usual suspects, it is just I've just heard their stories already. 

A person who absolutely needs to be interviewed for this documentary is John Greaney.  IMO, it would be incomplete without him.  Bill Sholar as well.   The influence those guys had on RE can't be understated.
I’ll ask Scott & Travis.

Knowing John’s behavior over the last 20 years, and how he’s routinely avoided the media, it’ll be interesting to see what he decides to do.  Bill also moved on from E-R.org long ago and hasn’t made any attempt to keep in touch with the old crowd.

I don’t think this documentary is necessarily intended to record/archive the history of the FI movement and its resources.  Instead it seems to be more of an introduction to the concept and a bunch of different stories about how various people are getting there... and what it’s like from the other side. 

If you’ve already learned enough from Vicki, Jim, and Pete then you’re probably not the target audience.
Author of "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement".   All royalties (and writing revenue) donated to military charities.
I don't read every post, so please PM or e-mail me to get my attention...

spokey doke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 510
  • Escaped from the ivory tower basement
Re: FIRE Documentary--Looking for Diversity
« Reply #46 on: May 20, 2018, 09:51:12 AM »

This thread us solely for discussing the opportunity for minorities to be represented in the upcoming FIRE documentary, to hopefully show examples of people from all walks of life achieving FIRE. [/color][/b]

Good-let's talk about it. You (and the producers) doing something called "Tokenism" it's a really dumb idea.

If you have data that says the community is white and male, then don't try to shine rainbows up the viewers ass and pretend it's not.

It hurts the viewer because you're lying to them, it hurts the community because you're lying about us.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokenism

This was my initial reaction.

I appreciate arebelspy's response, but would say that achieving what he articulates can be difficult to do well, and even when done well, may justifiably wrankle some...

One challenge (aside from the fact of engaging in tokenism), is how participants are portrayed and who gets to decide that.  Allowing participants to decide might work out well, and it might not...over-riding participants' views and how they want themselves to be represented, even if there is a seemingly sound rationale, is fraught with problems.

A tough spot.

“The best thing about graduating from the university was that I finally had time to sit on a log and read a good book.”
― Edward Abbey