Wednesday, November 07, 2018
The Art of the Good Life #47 : Making Friends with Weirdos.
This is a chapter that resonates with me because I have considered myself as an outcast and weirdo. I grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons which was possibly the geekiest hobby you can have in the 1980s. I also spent the greater part of my life as an Internet Troll on YPAP BBS.
Just last week, I met up with an old secondary school classmate and we large spoke about how alienated and out of touch we were with our classmates.
The chapter concludes that a weirdoes life is not a good one, although they belonged to the group of unreasonable men who made a difference to this world. Galileo supported the heliocentric model of the Solar system but was tried by the Inquisition for his troubles.
The formula for the Good Life according to this chapter is to befriend the weirdoes but do not be seen as one. This way, a person can be one of the first to exploit a paradigm shift and yet would remain chummy with the status quo. It's a little hypocritical, but it is a good way to have the best of both worlds.
Within part of the FIRE community, the BIGScribe Facebook group can be considered the status quo even though we would be weirdoes when you take the view of the average Singaporean.
The two blogs that are canonical for the FIRE community are obviously the blogs written by Kyith Ng of Investment Moats and anything that contains the musings of AK71. This is classic FIRE at its best. Nothing more needs to be said.
But equally important are two "outcast" blogs/bloggers that are often shared in this BIGS group :
One is the Money Maverick blog which I find highly entertaining because it is written completely supported by commissioned sales interests. I actually treasure its articles of late because it gives me a glimpse of what commissioned sales personnel are thinking and keeps me updated on the products that the industry is peddling to most citizens. While I do not agree with it's logic most of the time, it is at least an attempt to provide a different point of view from the FIRE movement.
Needless to day, whenever Money Maverick appears on BigScribe, it gets a frosty reception from the FIRE fanatics of social media. After some deliberation, I think we're all better off if we encourage Money Maverick moving forward.
I'd rather have something novel to read even though I may not agree with it.
Marcus Neo of Dr Wealth
To be fair, Dr Wealth is generally a mainstream blog that shares decent personal finance articles. But one contributor, specifically Marcus Neo, deserves special mention because he has a gift for polarising readers.
One of my favourite episodes was when Marcus started a shit-storm over whether it was to earn more money or save more money. You don't have to agree with his logic, but it made people passionate about whether folks should buy Starbucks coffee.
My personal wish for the financial blogosphere is for a FIRE troll blog to emerge from our midst. The best guy to do this is a super-successful salesperson or businessman who lives a life completely antithetical to FIRE. He shows off his Lamborgini, Rolex watches, and scoffs at people who buy low expense ETFs. Bonus points if he is short and looks a little like Jho Low.
This kind of blog would be the enemy that our FIRE movement deserves.