Time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana. I figured it would be time for an update. If your resume says “detail-oriented” you’ll have noticed that most of the posts on this blog are now reposts of older posts—you can tell by the date-stamp at the bottom of a post. The reason is that I simply have little more to blog about on the subject save a random rant from time to time. I think the book closed the chapter on ERE. It is done.
Speaking of the book, it’s been out for exactly 6 months today and as of today it has sold … hang on … 2115 copies and it’s still going strong. It’s hard to visualize how many books this is. If you stacked them on top of each other the stack would be ~100 feet high. Put on bookshelves it would cover a wall. (I am glad I didn’t go along with my initial crazy idea of binding all of them myself. There are surely better ways to get high than sniffing glue all day.) In people terms, it corresponds to an army-regiment such as would be commanded by a colonel. More important to me than the numbers are the reviews and emails(*) I get from people telling me that the book has served as a “red pill“/alternative to the career-consumerism they’ve been raised to believe in. That and the people who feel the same but didn’t tell me. This is the main mission of ERE. I would have given much in return for this info when I was 20 before I got started on the road to careerism, but if you don’t know what to look for, you can’t find it.
(*) Apologies for being extremely slow (retarded?) in getting back on those. The absolutely slowest way to get a hold of me is via email. The fastest way is probably on twitter.
The positive reception has certainly inspired me to write a second book. However, I can’t figure out what to concentrate on. It will either be an introductory how-to book, a survey of people who’s actually ERE’ing, or a combination of the two with the intent of reaching those who think they have must replicate my personal lifestyle to succeed (this is certainly not the case as you can see from the link); or I will write the much requested investment book. (I’m not so sure I will have so much to say about investments that isn’t already said better in many other books, but maybe I can bring it together in a form that would appeal to you guys.)
While not working [much] on the blog over the past 6 months, I have worked on larger essays for The Idler, New Escapologist (Issue#5), and Interesting Times. This is almost like finishing your thesis and writing up review articles.
In other news, someone asked me what I do all day. After the book was done, I got the energy to read a lot more. You can follow my trail of carnage on goodreads.com. (friend me if you’re a fellow reader). I have also gotten into woodworking. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of wisdom to be transferred from the intricacies of mortise and tenon joints or dovetails to the realm of personal finance. This is also part of the reason why there aren’t new posts. While it’s possible to see the parallels between lifestyles and K- and R-selected reproduction strategies, a box joint doesn’t offer any applicable analogies.
My first assembly project was a mortise and tenon jointed support for the RV’s sewer hose. Previously I had been using cardboard boxes in plastic bags—a suboptimal solution. Most people buy these $30 plastic snake contraptions. But I’m not most people. I made this one at zero cost (scrap wood from freecycle).
I’ve also been carving/whittling some bokkens.
Overall, I think it looks pretty good. The grain runs the parallel to the sides as it should unlike commercial models which have it running in random directions. I’m not saying it’s professional quality (yet), but if you special order a bokken, you pay $100+ for the privilege. The cost to me is $4 for the white oak wood (a sword takes up 0.5-1 board feet) and about four hours of whittling with a block plane and a spokeshave. It’s quite meditative and not hard to make it look good as long as you take plenty of time. (These pictures are from my second bokken. The first time around I didn’t know how to read the grain well and so sometimes planed in the wrong direction with the resulting tear out.)
I know that it’s good blogging practice never to discuss what you plan to do and only talk about what you’ve done. However, the temptation is too great. So be warned. I may go back to work and get a job in new field which is fascinating to me. There are ongoing talks; and that’s all I’m going to say about that. Failing that, J_ and I are talking about riding our bicycles (technically not the bicycles we currently have) but touring bikes to be obtained across America (west coast to east coast).