…and computer games.

While I can not prove this, I think not having a TV, or at least not watching it, is a big factor when it comes to choosing unconventional paths. Naturally, there’s this popular idea that TV feeds the masses with certain values, but I believe this is exaggerated. Most programming offers fairly reticent opinions and is quite free of content. The great beauty of TV is therefore not so much that it acts as a form of active propaganda steering people towards certain goals, but that it keeps people from having goals in the first place.

When TV was invented it was thought to be a great opportunity, a great teaching tool for quickly reaching the masses. However, ironically, it turned out that TV was much better employed to keep people from learning. This fits perfectly with the focus on specialization. During the day, professionals attend to their jobs. During the evenings, they vegetate in front of their TVs, thereby preventing them from learning anything, and this effectively keeps them in their jobs. Actually, the closer you get to middle class values and neighborhoods, the greater the preponderance of silent streets; all you see in the evening are empty streets with a faint blue hue emanating from behind the curtains of every house.

Retiring early is not just about saving enough money. It is also about learning things with the aim to save money as well as with the aim to find something with which to occupy yourself once you retire from employment.

Watching TV prevents this development, that is,

  • It prevents you from developing a dissatisfaction with your current life.
  • It prevents you from developing new ideas.
  • It prevents you from learning anything that can change your life.

In other words, it promotes the status quo; your status quo. In other words, if you want to stay where you are. Keep your TV, but if you want to change, maybe the first thing to do is to get rid of your TV.