Saturday, November 24, 2018

Capitalism ⬌ Socialism: The Other Economic Stagnation

When skilled and unskilled people living in the digital age are asked about the sharpest divides behind economic belief, responses indicate that Socialism vs. Capitalism is (still) where it's at. It will come as no surprise that I am far from convinced that bifurcating economics along this especial a lane is coherent or productive in 2018. That is, once one applies exclusively forward-looking criteria for determining what we have most reason to dispense with and what we'd do well to preserve.

If this comes across as a pitch for the Mixed Economy as the only way forward, it goes to show just how attentively propagandized things are. There's a multitude of so-called Third Ways. Some of them doctrinally incorporate aspects ofor the totality of the LTV. It would be more accurate to refer to these buried models as Fourth Way, Fifth Way, etc. That won't happen, and each of those highly multifaceted mixed systems will continue to receive zero airtime and attention. So next time you hear about the drawbacks of the Mixed Economy, try to point out that "it" has as many if not more offshoots as all the unmixed doctrines do.

Hair-splitting example: Whether an economy is mixed or unmixed says nothing about whether it is ultimately grounded in steady-state precepts or in unfettered "growthism". Visual aid time:

The lower two (growth and steady-state) cannot integrate between themselves, as even a weensy speck of growth, tolerated annually, tips the balance away from steadiness. The upper three have nothing to integrate between themselves either, as integration of the unyielding unmixed options is already available as its own option. The only integration possible is athwart the lower two and the upper three.

Insert sixfold friction:

[1] Mixed economy that's also a steady-state economy.
[2] Mixed economy that's also a growth-based economy.
[3] Unmixed (i.e. centrally planned) steady-state economy.
[4] Unmixed (i.e. market-based) growth-based economy.
[5] Unmixed (i.e. centrally planned) growth-based economy.
[6] Unmixed (i.e. market-based) steady-state economy.

[5] and [6] are bound to raise eyebrows. [5] because people have difficulties understanding or remembering that the economic and distributive activities of the former Eastern Bloc countries were not molded for static or "degrowth" attentiveness, even though they were thoroughgoingly planned. Ceaseless accumulation was integral, because competition was a must (more so against the capitalistic West than internally). We tend to think that, because the West is about exponential growth, and because much of the East was ideologically hostile to most of the West during that time, that the Eastern Bloc's economic programs couldn't have been recklessly growth-minded too. Not so:
"Lenin, in Kovel's eyes, came to oppose the nascent Bolshevik environmentalism and its champion Aleksandr Bogdanov, who was later attacked for "idealism"; Kovel describes Lenin's philosophy as "a sharply dualistic materialism, rather similar to the Cartesian separation of matter and consciousness, and perfectly tooled... to the active working over of the dead, dull matter by the human hand", which led him to want to overcome Russian backwardness through rapid industrialization. This tendency was, according to Kovel, augmented by a desire to catch-up with the West and the "severe crisis" of the revolution's first years."
"Furthermore, Kovel quotes Trotsky, who believed in a Communist "superman" who would "learn how to move rivers and mountains". Kovel believes that, in Stalin's "revolution from above" and mass terror in response to the early 1930s economic crisis, Trotsky's writings "were given official imprimatur", despite the fact that Trotsky himself was eventually purged, as Stalinism attacked "the very notion of ecology... in addition to ecologies". Kovel adds that Stalin "would win the gold medal for enmity to nature", and that, in the face of massive environmental degradation, the inflexible Soviet bureaucracy became increasingly inefficient and unable to emulate capitalist accumulation, leading to a "vicious cycle" that led to its collapse".

[6] seems amiss because oddball conceptions of Unmixed Free Market Economies resist regulations per se (atop non-regulatory post hoc state interventions, such as bailouts). On this view, a tiny amount of external oversight is seen as a tiny move away from an unmixed economy toward a mixed one. So to the extent that Green Capitalism necessitates the existence of a feisty EPA as a preventive regulatory force, all forms of green capitalism will always, by those oddball lights, fall short of the unblemished "unmixed free market economy" benchmark.

I obviously disagree. Free Market purists who surmise this do not adequately explain why we should treat regulations that emerge from agencies like the EPA as categorically different from, say, the labyrinthine and ever expanding regulations that protect intellectual property rights. Or hell, might as well throw in basic laws protecting physical property rights. You don't call profit-seeking insurance companies whenever a trespasser trespasses. You call 911.

When forming or tightening the rules is itself perceived as "economic planning", purists definitionally rule out the possibility of an unmixed market economy unfolding in any society stable enough to have a state. Reveries about statelessness aside, countrywide guidelines will not be respected in other, novel ways. This is why [6] is perfectly cogent: The EPA is not a mixer. Its existence is in no part owed to economic activity having been planned; not centrally, horizontally, or in any other way.

Naturally, the total number of 911 calls made annually doesn't signal anything about the extent to which an economy goes from unmixed to mixed. The same can be said of the total number of times an IP law, or an eco-friendly law, has been passed or enforced during a fiscal year.

I'm not implying that fans of unmixed-market-economies never disagree over IP law. I am saying that they, without justification, perceive such disagreements as inherently more respectable and within-the-bounds of "unmixed" pureness, even though it is invariably the state that gets called on to enforce the IP right (to one degree or another) when all is said and done. But insofar as all such protections along with jurisprudence itself are functions of state action, it is specious to not differentiate between environmental laws and IP laws, or to hastily draw equivalencies between preventive regulations and actual planned stuff: quotas, mandatory output stipulations, coordinated physical units, etc.

There are instances, however, where the state doesn't set out to plan anything, but shoehorns itself in all the same, facilitating a mixed-esque economic order. It is a foggy order, surpassing the lethargically regulative without indulging full-fledged mixing. I'll be the first to admit that an unmixed market economy slides into mixed territory when it gets stifled by non-preventive gov't meddling, like lobbyists fostering a playfield where the state essentially picks the winners and losers per subsidies. This is the norm in America, which has been a soft-mixed economy for longer than not. Anyone revering or faulting America for its "free market" edifice is missing the plot entirely.

The above sixfold friction can be subdivided further. A slew of fiscal and monetary policies, for instance, can find a home in each of those six options. Notwithstanding a handful of tax policy conjoiners, monetary questions are largely divorced from the tussles within those six systems. And because there are at least six notable monetary regimes, the breadth of possible economic subdivisions rises further still.

But before I even entertain going down that raggedy path, I'll need to say a bit more about the socialism/capitalism bifurcation broached in the opener. As far as I can tell, there is no causal relationship between many ― perhaps most ― of the aforesaid macroeconomic stances one can take, and the even bigger picture epitomizing whether one self-identifies as a socialist simpliciter or as a capitalist simpliciter.

A correlational relationship between clustered macroeconomic stances and the grand system would seem more plausible, just as a correlational relationship between adhering to a particular cluster of microeconomic views and a particular cluster of macroeconomic views might be. But even there, the correlative tendencies are not baked into anything substantial, so why would they be substantial with regard to the macroeconomic position-set and the meta-system one is working with? They wouldn't. If you think otherwise, the intra-varieties and scopes of the two grand systems (socialism and capitalism) elude you.

Why does any of this matter? Because you're being taken for a ride.

It should be clear to all that laser-focused soc/cap frames are heavily influenced by economic history and hardly by economic substance or knowledge, given the wellspring of poignancy and acrimony that arises when we reflect on the former (which hinged on life and death). Compare with the near-guaranteed sense of drabness we endure when studying the latter (with apologies to econ majors or anyone else who is mathematically exceptional). A good share of non-economic history creeps in here too, and with barely any effort intensifies the already misbegotten frameworks by getting to masquerade as Econ History.

Everyone should be able to agree that revolutions occur due to political, environmental and civic grievances first and foremost, with economics and its dry charts/graphs/models/abstractions typically playing second or third fiddle. This expectation remains a lofty one, somehow. There is no real consensus on where exactly economic struggle begins and where the uneconomic struggle(s) ends or loosens.

Revolutionary escapades are handily mistaken for economic escapades, to the chagrin of few. Everything from the American Revolution to the French and the Russian ones continues to be viewed in this way, or at least as a jumbled mess blurring the lines between economic and uneconomic categories of history that I'd like to see partitioned.

Can anyone sensibly deny that the harshest challenges that once faced the architects of post-monarchistic and post-Tsarist organizational life were constitutional (ergo governmental) challenges, rather than economic ones? It's what you'd have to deny to resist the basic premise I'm putting forth. Unwise. If you're going to direct your ire at anyone, direct it at contemporary apologists of royalism, monarchism or any other method of rule that privileged consanguinity over competence. Just quit directing it at advocates of economic theories you find suspect.

The past is conjured as an ideal template for identifying terminal points of disagreement, with economic heroes and villains so over-hyped and unidimensional, you'd think the occasional non-committal skeptic poking holes in soc/cap trip-wires was conducting his experiment in 1918 as opposed to 2018.

It ought to strike you as curious that, despite composedly accepting that capitalism and socialism come in what seems like innumerable variants, ordinary backers of capitalism simpliciter and of socialism simpliciter are content to leave it at that the moment a fiery debate is underway. The more eyeballs on the cap vs. soc arguers, the more irrelevant those innumerable variants seem to get. They're not even afterthoughts, if the debate playing out is fit to be aired on national television.

Of course, national airwaves aren't necessary for knotty analysis to be dropped like a bad habit. It takes a lot less for that to happen. Consider the sizable lacuna between the two forms of capitalism which everyone might agree are the least alike. Then consider two forms of socialism which are, correspondingly, least alike.

Of the four systems you selected, what's to stop one of those yes-true-scotsman manifestations of capitalism from resembling one of those yes-true-scotsman manifestations of socialism more than it resembles its most distant capitalistic cousin? I reckon nothing. Accordingly, visualizing elemental points of disagreement along a linear soc/cap axis is, in part, hot-air at work. It's not supremely interesting which two manifestations you pictured as being maximally dissimilar within the "capitalism" brochure (thus finding more similarity beyond the "capitalism" brochure). The relevant bit is as follows:

Far from an exhaustive list, these six. But I'm familiar with each of them and have reason to think that, with the exception of Market Socialism, awareness of them is higher worldwide than awareness of additional options the graphic leaves out (if stats to the contrary exist, link me and I'll adjust the graphic). For that reason, these six reflect how I've come to compare and contrast the two brochures' strengths and weaknesses.

I placed Keynesian Capitalism and Market Socialism in the middle, and shortened their sizes to cue their having the least amounts of baggage. I did this because I would choose them over the others in a heartbeat, and because I believe they share more similarities than dissimilarities compared to the rest. With the other four, it's evident that any similarities start and end within the brochure. Finance Capitalism and Raw Capitalism are completely alien to Centrally and Horizontally planned forms of Socialism. Nonstarter stuff, and pretty much what you'd expect considering the pre-economic ideological programming of those who adhere to the planning-oriented types of socialism, and of those who adhere to the unconstrained types of capitalism.

Have you ever known a Marxist who favored Market Socialism? Have you ever known a Randian Objectivist who favored Keynesianism? Didn't think so, and there are reasons why. Rigidity came first. Creative interpretations of economic data followed in predictable ways.

It's not easy to rank-order these, but if I had to: Keynesianism edges out Market Socialism, simply because the latter hasn't (yet) been put to the test on a massive [national or continental] scale the way Keynesianism has, to adequate levels of success and passable acclaim. Beyond that, it's: Finance Cap > Soc Centralism > Soc Decentralism > Raw Cap.  

It recently struck me that I have never encountered a supporter of capitalism who publicly ponders something to the tune of "Are any versions of socialism superior to any versions of capitalism?" followed by "And if so, which ones fit the bill?". If the contemplation manages to go this far, which it never does, it ideally culminates with; and what % of what's on offer within the entirety of the capitalist brochure is inferior to the strongest offerings within the entirety of the socialist brochure?

Nor have I seen a single socialist think out loud in this way; content in opening the door to the possibility of a nontrivial number of capitalistic systems being superior to a nontrivial number of socialistic systems. Maybe not objectively superior, but certainly more desirable relative to the types of people a faraway nation is filled with. This is incontestable. It would take nothing short of a miracle for something else to be true. Something else being true = all forms of anti-capitalism are better suited at fulfilling the recreational and vocational preferences of the masses, in each distinct nation, than every last version of capitalism is.

Really now. 

Different nations house different peoples. If the ongoing backlash against cosmopolitan values sheds light on anything, it is that a move toward cultural or psychological uniformity in the wake of digital connectivity was a pipe-dream since day one. Different nations remain estranged because average citizens raised in Nation A are irreconcilably different from average citizens raised in Nation Z, and they want it staying that way. Their call to make, unquestionably. 

I allege that this cultural, psychological and perhaps even neural distinctiveness embeds particularistic methods for determining when a worker's option-set is justly enhanced, and when it can be justly reduced in service to some other competing interest. Whether a competing interest is valid or invalid depends not on how well it flatters any single ideology or brochure, but rather on the unique composition of the nation the worker chooses to live in. This vindicates a multiplicity of discordant approaches to vocational incentives that average citizens receive in various countries, and thus the legitimacy of doctrinally non-overlapping economic practices. Call it faraway pluralism.

But street socialists and street capitalists tend to universalize their projects, thanks to an acutely ideological, non-economic backdrop of the Cold War imprinting in them a nonstop low-key jockeying for position. Despite the Passed Due expiration date, it's a mindset of Implement Or Be Implemented On. When the impulse is to hold steadfastly to the idea that meaningful economic victories are sweeping economic victories, a disinclination to faraway pluralism and inclination to vocational uniformity pervades the cognitive software.

Our brains are better at recalling examples of positive things than of negative things. The fact that we outright block-out some of the more extreme negative things is now common knowledge, whereas positing a brain that blocks-out memories of the most positive things in life sounds like a great premise for a comedy sketch. In the domain of belief formation, this leaves our brains far better at remembering self-serving data than neutral and ideologically unflattering data. Implication? Foreigners whose economic views align with the economic views of the universalist will be at the forefront of the universalist's memory-set. Foreigners with polar opposite views will be forgotten about or explained away. With universality, we tread on dangerous grounds.

As is the case with any public project whose aim is to reconcile the irreconcilable, the payoff needs to be both galactic in scope and highly probable, otherwise the Cold War re-enactor is just begging to die on a hill not worth climbing, let alone dying on. So I ask; are economic irreconcilabilities capable of meeting this (risk-averse) criteria even halfway? Is probability of authentic reconciliation something other than vanishingly low? Nope. Would the reconciliation's payoff(s) fall in the ballpark of galactic? Not by a mile. None of this bodes well for the highly-combative, universalistic program. Therefore, any "Global Capitalism" project turns out to be as injudicious as the "Internationalist Socialism" brotherhood-of-workers venture was often said to be.

[Aside: I'm encouraging toleration of irreconcilable differences in some domestic policies, not ruthless political realism as a foreign policy. There, I take a strikingly less tolerant attitude toward irreconcilability, going so far as to advocate big-fish>small-fish intimidation to get uncooperative and defiant players to play nicely, as strange as that may sound coming from someone who just said he opposes realism in IR. Consider it another crack-an-egg-today-to-avoid-cracking-two-eggs-tomorrow type deal.]

Now, #NotAll economic viewpoints should be handled with faraway pluralistic gloves, even when they are backed by a giga-majority. A nation's economic cascades have serious effects and can worsen the lives of non-citizens. And not just the people of neighboring countries, but those living on the other end of the globe. North American lungs inhale Chinese air pollution, as Frum noted in a recent debate with Bannon.

It's one thing to implement the majority viewpoint at the expense of the minority viewpoint on an intra-national scale, after giving the less popular figures a fair hearing in an open forum. It's another thing to be deferential to it [one nation's majority] internationally, as aligned but geographically dispersed minority-viewpoints contain enough summed value to pass for majority-viewpoints in any given context. To name one example that staunch nationalists loathe: Sooner or later, the growthism vs. steady-state debate will see a winner emerge. Most conservationists will tell you that victory belongs to upholders of steadiness. This victory ought to engender one of those wicked, sovereignty-negating, globally enforceable policies, otherwise its impact will be comically marginal.

So with capitalism's best variants, such as those not based on infinite growth, I would nominate nations with citizens who are dispositionally much more competitive than they are cooperative. Or nations with citizens who are on average fairly more consumeristic than abstemious. I hold that these numerical-majorities shouldn't be barred from trying their hand at individual entrepreneurship. They should also not be made to suffer through cooperative, uncompetitive schemes once they fail at being entrepreneurs and wind up employed as wage-slaves (where their entrepreneurial gimmicks count for naught). This, even if the remaining numerical-minorities in those nations would unambiguously benefit from being employed by more lenient workplaces, or by never being exposed to lame advertisements. To the extent that benefiting the minorities relies on legally and heavily restricting the option-set of the majorities, it is the majority's option-set that should stand unrestricted.

Whereas for socialism's best variants, we're talking (something like) the other way around; solidarity or bust. Which is not the same thing as saying egalitarian decision-making or bust. Conflation of the two has been on the rise in recent decades because college-dorm socialists emptily presuppose that non-hierarchical variants of socialism are the true standout ones. Experienced workers generally distrust such dismissals of hierarchy and maintain that a firm doesn't need to be decisionally egalitarian to remain socialistic in other important ways.

There isn't a single coworker or citizen I've dealt with (myself included) whose habits and instincts I would entrust with unmonitored self-management; someone I've found to be so responsible and upright that even a modest degree of hierarchical pressure from above would be groundless and too draconian a stranglehold. Your anecdotes may vary, but given the ubiquity of rants from similarly situated people about having to work with slackers and responsibility-dodgers, I suspect that the average anti-capitalist will know what I'm talking about here.

Nor is the interplay between dishonesty, timidity and incompetence in short supply. Another strike against occupational egalitarianism, since the problem can only be ameliorated when the people who are training or re-training you have actual power over you and can fire you once it is clear that you're not making progress (whether it's due to a lack of effort, or the job simply being wrong for you, with you refusing to admit it inwardly or outwardly). In such a case, justificatory grounds for termination should not embroil the co-op's best and brightest in an elongated bureaucratic process of doom. Occupational inegalitarianism ― where hierarchies are accepted once genuinely grounded in talent, competence and effort ― will avoid this in a way egalitarians cannot.

These are just some of the reasons why I believe the average socialist with work experience will be more tempted by things like the LTV than by any desire to dissolve workplace hierarchies. Just as raw numbers matter and have final sway in the majority-competition nation, raw numbers matter in the majority-cooperation nation whose majorities don't conflate the value of cooperativeness with pure egalitarianism.

There's more than a tincture of majoritarianism to each of these points, which is damming if you believe that pro-majoritarian standards for conflict-resolution are morally impermissible in every walk of public life. I fail to see how a supporter of democracies makes sense of settling on that gripe while continuing to champion (any type of) democracy in other, non-occupationally decisional domains of public life. Given the unfocused fluctuation, objections along those lines don't alarm me.

Diffused, majoritarian-sensitive reasons for rejecting fantastical Economic Universalisms whichever form they take seem to echo liberalistic and democratic reasons for safeguarding political pluralism. Holding out hope for a system that succeeds at incentivizing 100% of a nation's employable population, proportionally and evenly, with zero costs incurred, is like holding out hope for an election outcome that sees every civic agent obtain everything they wanted. A potent fantasy.

To defeat this analogy, universalists must give compelling arguments for (1) political anti-pluralism, (2) the desirability of a cultural or psychological uniformity that lines up with the preciseness of their particular economic doctrine. And it is here that the intellectually honest and consistent universalist would find himself safely back at square one, laying the groundwork for (one or another type of) False Consciousness as an objective delusion.

There is nothing objectively wrongheaded or ethically dubious about being well-suited for contest and ill-suited for teamwork, or with being ill-suited for contest and well-suited for teamwork. There is, likewise, nothing prudentially wrongheaded or ethically dubious about being incentivized to work more productively when you know an authoritative boss is on your tail, or with not requiring an authoritative boss to be on your tail to be sufficiently productive on the clock. It follows from this that there is no excuse for not taking economic accommodationism seriously. False Consciousness can only take you so far. Blatantly nearsighted
yet self-avowedly timeless takes on what is and isn't true Economic Liberty will leave you stuck in a hole as deep as the one 'False Consciousness' types have dug for themselves. Reasons for accommodation strengthen wherever a nation with a certain majority slant resists what some other nation's majority wishes to sell, as nations containing both cooperative and competitive kindred spirits abound.

These considerations and others like them are maddeningly absent, and this won't be resolved by spreaders of economic "taboo ideas" no matter how unorthodox they make themselves out to be, insofar as they yearn to universally implement. An idealized economic system plays into their hands only if you roll over and accept that the pro-attitudes they have singled out as the enlightened ones to have are in fact enlightened, and that the remaining attitudes they boo are in fact unenlightened. Translation: Attitudinal non-conformity and disconformity is disqualified on arrival. Uniformity, or something close to it, would serve as the eternal fix. I find this cognitively tragic, and reemphasize that portrayals of 'Economic History' are chiefly at fault. That, and the regional chauvinism that shuts down psycho-comparative inputs from getting their time in the spotlight.

If accommodationists cannot count on non-universalistic or otherwise unenthusiastic supporters of capitalism and socialism to grapple with these and other rudimentary obstacles (in public, anyway), can you fathom how hurriedly removed from introspection the ardent ones are?

As for my personal take on work and play, it's best articulated here:

Similar to Bob Black, I see zero intrinsic value in work and have no qualms calling myself an occupational nihilist. A distinction should be made between this view and occupational abolitionism. To the extent that work is valuable, it is only so as a means. Now, does the means/ends distinction have anything to add to the topic of work in the modern age? Yes and no. If you go by exposes of the Bullshit Jobs boom, it starts to look like a decisive no. With employers increasingly peddling makework, a propensity to work hard is valueless on both fronts. It has never been clearer that careerism and ambitiousness need not be codependent preferences. For the passionate hobbyist who finds himself unfulfilled by every last task an employer is ready to compensate him for, makework or else has always been a source of frustration, but it now approaches a fever pitch.

If the proliferation of gimmicked-up "shtick jobs" is expected to subsume a larger share of the economy with each quarterly report, it may be the case that nothing of real value would be lost if all hobbyists quit their jobs tomorrow, qualified for basic income, and devoted their full energies to personal projects which no one cares enough about to reward them for. I have not crunched the numbers on this. I wouldn't even know where to start researching the likelihoods of each potential outcome. And so, this is speculation.

It would not surprise me if, say, 30% of those hobbyists abandoned jobs that do serve a societal good. Jobs which they, despite being passionless about, were nonetheless discretely qualified for. With demanding careers that require more than a few months of training, finding suitable replacements for those who quit may prove difficult or impossible. Maybe the unfulfilled-by-my-high-paying-prestigious-job figure is as high as 70%. If so, all the immense good that an immediate UBI can do might still not be good enough to outweigh the strings attached. Grey areas seem unavoidable due to "bullshit jobs" vs. "legitimate jobs" being something of a false binary. Every job I have first-hand experience with has had components of bullshit and served some vital end. Is there an empirical way of weighing the respective upsides and downsides of this?

In a decade or so, if we play our cards right with patents, I should have enough confidence to make a bold prediction. Right now I don't.

Despite this, speaking non-instrumentally, I find every pro-work secular mutation of the Protestant Work Ethic to be naïve and masochistic. Few people agree, which seems to be why I'm as drawn to accommodation as I am. Whatever speaks to me doesn't really speak to the majority of socialists and capitalists. And if it does speak to some of them, it makes next to no difference in the end, as they choose to fixate on the historical trajectories of the two grand systems, which shifts focus away from the wisdom of occupational nihilism and back on October Revolution this and bootstrap dynamism that. Double yuck.  


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  2. Hey ABm,

    Something fairly important I wanted to discuss with you. If you think I should take this comment to Youtube under one of your vidz, let me know.

    I will make it pretty brief here. As you have probably heard, Mend is in a potentially precarious housing situation. Many are concerned including myself.

    To make it pretty brief here. I contacted oldphan on Reddit in PM but she has not responded and not sure she will (she has not once before). I figured you may be glad to provide some input, and G and the rest of us can surely use any and all potential help.

    So, I'm not going to get into the background of this and the potential logistical missteps on G's part, but it looks to be quite a pickle of a situation (unless it has been somehow resolved by this time). Knowing about his agoraphobia and neuroses, he is not mentally ready to move, at least not anywhere remotely far. He could potentially use some high quality CBT/ behavior therapy but having spoken to him in the past he doesn't seem ready for these. Yeah, I get it, G hasn't been the best tooter of the decency and NU horn lately (and one can argue even been nasty to a bunch of people who support him, in chats, etc). But he is a good guy at heart and you cannot discount all of the good he has done, for which he has essentially just continued to get shit from the world. Some of us should think of something to throw some monkey wrenches into this crappy circumstance.

    There is a bunch of things to look at in his housing predicament, and, while a definitive solutuion is more likely than not to remain out of reach, something may come about out of talking and suggestions, etc., even if only doing something and exhausting options but at least that would be done. Let me know what you think. Thanks

    1. I'd like to help, obviously, but other than being another person who "chips in" by donating money, I'm left with zero innovative suggestions, unfortunately.

      I watched the WTF videos where he introduces viewers to a rough sketch of the problem, and it seemed like he left crucial details out, for some reason. Exactly how much will it cost him to outcompete the buyer, and remain there? What's the monthly rate of the nearest rental alternative? A place that presumably wouldn't cause him to have to step out of his comfort zone, but still pull off the move?

      If others have had some non-monetary ideas that involve group effort to pull off, let's hear them. If not, let me know how much has been raised thus far, or how much others said they are willing to raise, and I'll chip in what I can.

      Also, would it be possible for him to take out a loan, if the gap leftover (after everyone chips in) is considerable enough that his remaining savings don't cover it? On that note, has he told us what his current saved amount totals to?

      Has he sought help from his sister(s)? Other relatives? From what I recall, they've done quite well for themselves.

      Has he taken any steps to un-disinherit himself? Considering the precarious position he is in, he should've never disinherited himself to begin with. (I know; too little, too late.)

      He shouldn't be going through any of this, but I hope you can get some concrete answers out of him, or that you already have them. If so, I'm listening.

      We can only do so much online while remaining in the dark about these crucial details.

  3. Hey, thanks a lot, buddy, for replying. If the world can ever go "insane" with blissful benefits from the offerings you can provide, the current events of our mutual interest are the perfect resource for you to practice you magic mind on! Thanks, man!

    So anyways, it was great to receive Amanda's (oldph) agreement to communicate by email and I have already sent her an email regarding this matter yesterday with my preliminary ideas. Waiting to receive her reply; she should shine a light on much of the info we are in the dark about.

    Are you OK about communicating with oldphan? I would be OK with either sharing forwarding our emails; or, if either of you prefer to communicate separately, that would be fine too.
    I am about to send a follow-up with some newer ideas as well as thoughts about ideas you provided above.

    I went to your Youtube cjannel, wanting to send a PM but couldn't find a link. I'd rather provide my email that way then post it here.

    1. You can reach me at:

      Feel free to share it with FWF or anyone else who wants to email me to discuss this further.

      "If the world can ever go "insane" with blissful benefits from the offerings you can provide, the current events of our mutual interest are the perfect resource for you to practice you magic mind on!"

      I reread this twice, and I'm as confused by it as I was on the first reading. I think I'll go with the flattery interpretation for now though.

  4. Well, I had to say something that would reflect even a tiny bit my stunned incredulity at the convergence of the following friends: the unnecessary absurdity of the current situation at hand, where the blissful potential of humanity is basically underwhelming as it always is (but should not be), the reduction of a brilliant mind to a chaotic mess in the stupidest of circumstances, and the involvement of brilliant efforts like yourself to bring it all to a minimum acceptable level where it should have all been already, considering we're only about 80 years away from the commencement of David Pearce's bliss era.

    Considering all of it, I'd say we could all be doing worse, and in much more stupid ways, had we not had you on board for even a few emails where we draw out the possibilities for a real potential gamechanger.

    For that, and for all your other work, there should be near-infinute gratitude for you.

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