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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:38 pm    Post subject: Subtleties and hocus's book Reply with quote

Subtleties and hocus's book

hocus brings up a good point when he mentions this in the hocus prevails thread.
Quote:

I'll tell you one thing, after all this fuss, it had better be long.

I mean, it had better be good.

I always get those two mixed up!

Superficially, he has a very easy decision. If he is paid by the word, he should write a long book. If he is to be paid by the number of books sold, he should write a good book. Even if his compensation is determined in this simple manner...without any combination of the two criteria...there are many subtleties involved. And it is worthwhile to look deeply into the matter.

If hocus is paid by the word, he should write more pages up to the point that he meets his immediate needs. Beyond that point, he should consider the time frame over which he wishes to receive his income. That, of course, depends upon many factors. Not the least is the condition of the stock market. If he wishes simply to better himself financially to the point that he is truly financially independent, then he should focus his timing to match stock market valuations and, using a coarse approximation, obtain a favorable Safe Withdrawal Rate on a Price Adjusted basis. Identifying when a such a favorable period is likely to appear...while tolerating the errors inherent in making any kind of estimate or projection...he can optimize the trade offs involving the number of books sold, the number of pages per book, the quality of content per page and (his estimate of) the hocus total product.

More likely, however, is that hocus desires gain status in order to maintain a positive influence over a long period of time. This corresponds to his frequent reference to an early retirement movement. (Please, let us avoid crude jokes at this point.) In that case hocus should write many good books but not all at once. He has several thresholds of income. They correspond first to meeting his immediate financial needs and then to achieving various levels of financial independence. Ideally, he would reach such a level financially that he could act in an arbitrary, arrogant, obnoxious manner. Yet, he would choose to do otherwise.

To sustain his influence hocus should always hold a little bit back. He needs to save a little gem for each new book.

Then, of course, there are the softer issues. So far, I have mentioned only the hard financial issues. But there is also a softer side and I think that it is the more important side. In other words (IOW), hocus better do what his wife tells him to do.

Have fun.

John R. (Sounding like himself and having fun.)


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hocus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To sustain his influence hocus should always hold a little bit back. He needs to save a little gem for each new book.

I know that you are mostly joking, JWR1945. But I am going to be a little bit serious in response because the issues you discuss here have been placed on the table in a teasing sort of way and that's not entirely fair. There are some things that I just cannot say, but in general I like to shoot straight with people. So I will briefly (for me!) comment on some of the stuff you brought up here.

I am entirely serious when I use the phrase "Retire Early Movement." The Joe Dominquez book "Your Money or Your Life" is an international bestseller, but, even so, it is greatly underrated. The ideas in that book are radical ideas. If you follow through the implications, they lead to some very interesting places. The stuff you hear on the REHP board about how "we are so much better than anyone else because we know how to retire early and no one else is capable of it" is dumb and offensive. I'm not in favor of opening up the idea of FIRE to more people because I think it is a nice thing to do, but because it is going to open up whether I have anything to do with it or not, and I find it more fun to be in on the action than sitting in a room with other narrow-minded people patting myself on the back for having come up with "the One True Way."

That's where I am coming from on this. There are lots of things that are not clear to me. But it is clear to me that the FIRE concept is a bigger thing than many now see it to be. It will grow whether anyone here or at the other board ever contributes or not. By contributing, we get to ride the wave, and that's fun. I contribute primarily because I like to have fun.

You brought up the money side, and the money side is something I need to take seriously because it affects my family. In my initial FIRE plan, I was not going to count on making money from this. I was going to contribute for the fun of it. But I was always trying to think up ways to speed up progress on my plan, and one day the thought hit "Why not just count some minimum amount of money that I expect I can make from this, so I can leave the corporate job sooner?" It seemed stupid to me not to count it, since I was going to be doing the work anyway. So that's what I did.

Does this mean that I need to "hold back" to make the money-making side work? I don't think so. I don't think I have held back a lot so far. My belief is that anything I contribute makes it a tiny bit more likely that the Wave will hit a little sooner, and the sooner the Wave hits the more likely it is that I will make the little bit of money I need to make from this to make my plan viable. You can say that I am kidding myself if you like, but I do not see a big conflict between the advice-giving side and the money-making side for someone in my circumstances. My personal belief is that the need for me to make money forces me to be more responsible in the things I say, which I think adds to the value of the advice-giving side rather subtracts from it.

That said, I do at times hold things back. The problem I face is that some things take a lot of time and space to explain. On some of these issues, people (not so much here, but elsewhere, and on occasion even here) have ideas in their heads that are just flat-out wrong. That influences the interpretation they give to new words. It makes communication problemmatic.

The purpose of the book is to give the background of what the Wave is about so that people discussing this stuff are at least starting from the same page. I am not saying that I have it all figured out. I am sure that there will be disputes on some of the things I say, and that some will be persuaded that I am wrong on some important points. That's as it should be. But the purpose of the book is to discuss the ABCs. I came to a point in my posting where I found that I simply could not move ahead without circling back and clearing up some misconceptions. That's where the book fits in.

I very much want to make money from the book. But it won't break my heart if I don't make a dollar from it. I don't absolutely have to make money from it. If I don't make any, I will have to do some other things to make the small amount needed to pay the bills, but I will still spend most of my time writing about this stuff. The best part of making money is that, if I make money, it will allow me to publicize the ideas in the book more, and that publicity brings more people into the movement and makes the Wave bigger. Which helps us all, I hope.

That's the idea. I wake up each day and ask myself "What can you do today to make the Wave grow bigger?" The number one thing is to finish the darn book. But the REHP board matter is important too. We need a place to talk about this stuff. This site has fantastic infrastructure and great people, but I believe it would benefit from a well-financed eyeball-generation engine. When I get control of the TMF board, you will have it. I will put up a link to this place every week, and you will have lots of eyeballs. There are ways to do this that make sense for all people of good intent.

People get too caught up in self-limiting ideas, in my view. The idea that there should be barriers between discussion board communities is a nonsense idea, in my opinion. I want to be able to jump from the hocus site to the REHP board to the NoFeeBoards.com board to the Intercst site to the Your Money or Your Life site and on and on. It's all the same community and I think we need to start thinking about it that way. We are all riding different sections of the same Wave, or should be.

If you guys want to have different sorts of conversations than I will be having at the REHP board, I will always respect that. I think you are entitled to do that. When you are discussing something in which I believe I have something to offer, I will jump in. I don't have to hand in my membership card at the TMF board to post over here, and I don't need to hand in my membership card here to post over there.

Intercst broke the rules. He is saying "you discuss what I want you to discuss or you take a hike." Now, ElSupremo is allowed to do that, he owns this place and it is clear that he is permitted to exercise control over what is said here. The fact of the matter is that he is open to the expression of a multitude of views, and that's nice, but, if he were not, he would possess the right to be otherwise. Intercst does not possess that right. Intercst is posting on a public board and he needs to follow the rules of the public board.

Those rules protect this community, which is comprised of all of us with an interest in the subject matter. We need to discover effective ways to see that those protections are honored. It is very important that we do this. Otherwise, we have a situation where people like Wanderer contribute scores of great posts to a board, and then that asset is lost to the people of that community for no legitimate reason. No. This cannot be. This undermines growth of the Wave.

I completely disagree with the idea that the matter I have pursued is somehow "off-topic." I don't ever post off-topic, not ever. The FIRE thing is the only thing I have time for. So when I post about intercst, you can rest assured that it is an on-topic matter in my mind.

In my mind, intercst is the greatest obstacle to the growth of the Wave that exists on Planet Earth at this particular point in time. I have nothing against him in a personal way. I just do what is needed to build the Wave. He is opposed to growth of the Wave. That is why I do what I do. It's all about the Wave.

I do expect to make some money from the growth of the Wave, and I don't apologize for it. I've worked harder for those dollars that I worked for any other dollars I have ever earned in the course of my life. But my primary purpose is to see the Wave get big enough to give me and a lot of other people a nice, big, long ride. That's the real point.

This board is currently the best resource on Planet Earth for learning about FIRE. That's to your credit, and to the shame of the current manifestation of the REHP board. I hope to bring the TMF board back to its glory days, so there is a sense in which I will at some point need to be a little bit competitive with you all. But the Wave is going to be so big that there will be plenty of room for a lot more than two successful discussion boards dealing with this subject. Both boards will be hugely successful, and others will be too.

I hope that all makes a little bit of sense. I don't mean to make this all about me, I would rather talk about the issues. But I hope that some of you see that intercst twisted it in such a way that it came to be more about me than it should be, and that that was not my doing. I have to play it the way it was dealt to me. I prefer that the focus be less on me and more on the Wave. But I won't duck questions that relate directly to me. He put that part into play, so now he will have to accept the consequences of what his decision to do so is going to mean for him and me both.

And for the Wave too, of course. Never take your eye off of the Wave. It's out on the horizon, building up slow and strong. The Wave doesn't care what sort of nonsense you talk or what sort of silly polls you post. The Wave just knocks that sort of stuff flat to the ground when it reaches it.

You just watch it play out and see if it doesn't. Heat up some popcorn, find a nice soft chair, and watch the Wave travel slow and strong and larger than life to the shoreline. I hope that some others can see it at least a little bit. I don't see it all just yet, but I see enough to know for sure that it's a real and for true monster-sized wave. I'm as confident of that much as I am confident of anything I have ever known in the course of this lifetime.


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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank God that someone has finally responded on this thread. I know that discussion boards are not at all good when it comes to subtle humor. When I didn't see LOL right away, I knew that I was in trouble.

For something to be funny, there must be an underlying element of truth. hocus has done an outstanding job of extracting a part of it. I share and appreciate his vision of the "Retire Early Movement" and the coming Wave.

This was a parody on me and my way of writing. hocus had opened the door by offering his delightful words.

First, I opened a new thread. I learned that long ago at the Motley Fool. You get more rec's (recommendations) if you start a new thread than if you post on an existing thread.

Next, no matter how obvious or trivial something may be, I find deep subtleties worthy of endless investigation. I tie in spurious and irrelevant thoughts as well.

Finally, after making a lengthy analysis, I suddenly draw what I call the compelling argument completely out of left field.

Have fun.

John R.


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hocus
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18942440&sort=whole

I think it's just human nature -- few things bond people together more than a common "enemy." I'm sure you've seen this in all kinds of contexts.

Paradox is my favorite communication tool. I just love a well-stated paradox.


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BenSolar
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hocus wrote:
I know that you are mostly joking, JWR1945. But I am going to be a little bit serious in response because the issues you discuss here have been placed on the table in a teasing sort of way and that's not entirely fair. There are some things that I just cannot say, but in general I like to shoot straight with people. So I will briefly (for me!) comment on some of the stuff you brought up here.

Hi hocus,

JWR didn't bring up intercst. I don't think it is healthy for this board for you to bring that jihad over here.

you also quoted CK:
Quote:
few things bond people together more than a common "enemy."


Personally, I do not consider any poster at the TMF boards an enemy. Maybe other things Laughing, but not an enemy.

Regards,
Ben



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hocus
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JWR didn't bring up intercst. I don't think it is healthy for this board for you to bring that jihad over here.

You're entitled to your opinion, BenSolar. I obviously do not agree. I see the issue of what can be discussed and what cannot be discussed at the REHP board as an important one to the future of the Retire Early movement, and I think that any board dealing with FIRE should have a natural concern with the growth of the overall movement. Whether the movement grows or not affects each poster's ability to construct a successful plan.

I have no desire to force my views upon you. I've said that before. If ES says, "please go away," I will honor that. It is his board, not mine. It is not a public board. It is owned by one individual. He pays the bills and he gets to say what the rules for posting are.

If ES sets forth some rules for posting that deal specifically with the matter you are putting on the table here, I will either follow them or stop posting here. But the rule you are are suggesting above is extremely unclear. You are saying that I may not bring up any aspects of a quesiton not directly referenced in the post to which I am responding, even if all who have followed the matter know that those issues are relevant. I do not view this as a workable standard.

This is not going to be the only matter of controversy that is ever going to be discussed on this board, if the board is going to prove to be successful. Either ES or the community acting at his direction needs to decide what the rules are going to be, and set forth some sort of description of those rules to posters who have an interest in participating in the discussions.

ES is the ultimate authority. What he says, goes. But I do think that he and others concerned about the future of the board need to think through the pros and cons of various possibilities a bit if you are to achieve your potential. Making up the rules on a case-by-case basis is not the best way to proceed, in my personal opinion.


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ElSupremo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings hocus Smile
Quote:
ES is the ultimate authority. What he says, goes. But I do think that he and others concerned about the future of the board need to think through the pros and cons of various possibilities a bit if you are to achieve your potential. Making up the rules on a case-by-case basis is not the best way to proceed, in my personal opinion.


Well there's a little more to it than that and the regular posters here are aware of this. Just FYI here are all the NFB rules one needs to know:

http://nofeeboards.com/files/rules.html

The only rules not contained here are the ones currently under consideration by poll or otherwise. The democratic way, go figure. Wink

Of course individual boards are free to set their own rules, within the guidelines above. Other than that my only concern is that folks eventually agree to disagree, shake hands and remain friends.

One more subtle point if I may. I do not consider these my boards. I never have. NFB is here for the greater good. And for free. Someone has to take care of "the bills" as you say, as well as general maintenance. I happily do this for obvious reasons. There is a mechanism in place to handle the overall "Rules" part of our boards and I'm quite happy with it. Suffice to say I'm not the only one who has a voice in what goes on here.



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BenSolar
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hocus wrote:
But the rule you are are suggesting above is extremely unclear. You are saying that I may not bring up any aspects of a quesiton not directly referenced in the post to which I am responding


Hi hocus,

I'm not suggesting any rule. I don't wish to prevent you from posting anything that you want to post. I was just offering my opinion that the long rants about intercst don't contribute to the health of this board. Maybe I should have not shared that opinion, but I find this board a refuge from the constant battle over there, and it distressed me to read that ChocoKitty may have decided to cease participating over here ...

Anyone following the TMF REHP board is well aware of your feelings about intercst and the board leadership over there. Anyone avoiding that board for whatever reason probably doesn't give much of a hoot. And by bringing the jihad here, then you alienate those from that board who want nothing to do with the jihad, but who otherwise might be participants here.

Those are my thoughts. I don't intend to try to censor you. But I do want to consider this side of the story.

Regards,
Ben



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ElSupremo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings Ben Smile
Quote:
it distressed me to read that ChocoKitty may have decided to cease participating over here ...


Why is that?



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hocus
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are my thoughts. I don't intend to try to censor you. But I do want to consider this side of the story.

OK, BenSolar I think it is healthy for you to put forward that side of the story. I think it would be healthy for both sides of the story to be fleshed out a lot more than they have been to date, and for the board as a whole to work toward some sort of constructive means of handling the matter.

I'm not trying to say that you have to go along with what I think. My problem is that a lot of times, I put arguments out there, and no one even responds to them. That could signal agreement, disagreement, confusion, consternation, all sorts of things.

If the board debated the pros and cons and decided as a strategy of growth that it is better to disocurage these sorts of discussions,.then I have no problem with that. It would save me the time it takes me to construct the posts to know that there is just no interest. But this is not so clear to me. There is reluctance to go down the road I suggest, to be sure. But the reasons for the reluctance are not so clear to me, and the reasons make a big difference on the question of how longstanding the reluctance is likely to turn out to be.

I can understand why you would want to have ChocoKitty in the community. But for each ChocoKitty you gain by steering things one way, there may be two posters you lose that you would have had had you steered in the other direction. I don't think that the way you are trying to take things is necessarily the best way. It may be the best way, I am not sure that it is not. But I am capable of putting forward arguments for why it may not be the best way.

I watch for signals as to whether community members would like to hear those arguments or not.. When I get a positive signal, I put a little something forward. When I get a negative signal, I pull back a bit. I look for signals, and you are one of those who supplies the signals. All I am asking of you is that you be as clear as you possibly can be in the signals that you are sending.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ElSupremo wrote:
Greetings Ben Smile
Quote:
it distressed me to read that ChocoKitty may have decided to cease participating over here ...

Why is that?


Hi, ES.

Um, ... so there is a hubbub over at the TMF REHP board around hocus' post (the second one in this thread). Apparently somebody emailed intercst a copy. He posted it and poked fun at it, which spawned the hubbub. ChocoKitty responded:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but that whole discussion there just strikes me as really creepy. When I read that, they lost me as a participant, which is too bad because I do like some of the folks over there.
Crying or Very sad

Which post has since received 17 recs. Confused

I think she read the initial two posts in this thread, and maybe didn't realize that John was joking around ...

It's another tempest in a teacup, and I'm sure it will blow over.

CK returned later and defended you as not 'someone involved in this little drama'. And I and others have stood up to defend the NFB's good name.

Some of the childish ones over there continue to post digs aimed at this fine place and those who post here, though, and I don't like it! Twisted Evil

Ben



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hocus
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a mechanism in place to handle the overall "Rules" part of our boards and I'm quite happy with it. Suffice to say I'm not the only one who has a voice in what goes on here.

OK, ES. I am not trying to say that you rule with an iron hand. I think it is fair to say that you make the final call when disputes arise, and that that is as it should be.

I think it is fair to say that there is some sort of concern re my posts on the intercst matter. I obviously think it is an important on-topic issue for the FIRE board to consider. Wanderer previously expressed some misgivings about some of the posts, BenSolar now has too. ChocoKitty said on the other board that she does not like it that we permit such discussions here. So it is more than one person.

I'm happy to argue the case for why the intercst matter is important board business, if there is a desire among community members to hear it. If there is not, I would just as soon save myself the trouble.

I don't see how the intercst matter is a problem under the official rules set forth at the link you provided.
So it would be helpful to me if someone could make the case why this matter should be treated differently than all others.

The argument that Wanderer made is that we can add members to the community faster by taking the intercst issue off the table. BenSolar seems to be saying something similar. I am capable of making just the opposite case, that positioning this board as a a board that opposes the sort of trickery and deception going on at the REHP board is our best bet for adding solid contributors quickly.

I think that a reasonable case can be made either way, and I am happy to try to make the case if there is interest in hearing it. But, again, I do not want to be put in the position of feeling that I am forcing these viewpoints on the board. If there is no interest, I am better spending my time working on other matters.


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hocus
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the childish ones over there continue to post digs aimed at this fine place and those who post here, though, and I don't like it!

Why do you think they do that, Ben.? You don't think it is an accident or a misunderstanding, do you?

This board represents a threat to them. It is possible for aspiring early retirees to post honest and informed information about safe withdrawal rates here, and each time that happens, it is a stab in the heart of the intercst dogmas.

This controversy has not done harm to this board, it has done it a whole bunch of good. This is an exciting debate. People can't get enough of it. It has continued for 11 months running now, and shows no sign of letting up.

Why is that? Because it is important. This debate goes right to the core of what is involved in putting together an effective FIRE plan. And how is this board positioned? Our arguments have been proven as a matter of mathematical certitude. That according to the world's leading expert on stock allocation strategies. We can't possibly lose.

So what is it we are do afraid of that we keep tiptoeing around the disputes? Our side does not need to engage in personal attacks, we are strong enough on the merits that we do not need to go there. So what is the problem?

My sense is that some think that mentioning a poster's screen-name makes it personal,. It doesn't. Why do you think that Motley Fool has not shut me down? Because I do not engage in personal attacks. I say that intercst has posted deliberate deceptions, and then I put links to the posts in which he has done so. When someone tricks a board community about an on-topic matter, that's board business.

Does the New York Times elect not to report on election campaigns because to do so might hurt the feelings of the candidate who is fallling behind? An election report is not strictly on the issues, it is one step removed, it is a report on the personalities who are ulimately going to influence how the issues are decided.

The intercst matter too is one step removed from a discussion of SWRs per se. But it is important. If my plan to take over that board succeeds, it will affect what is said on that board and what is said on this board in times to come. The plan I have brought to the table matters to aspiring early retirees.

If there is interest here in helping out, you guys could provide a lot of help to me with my plans. I think that would help the board, not hurt it. The debate is a highly interesting one, and it will pull people in if they come to know that this board is playing a positive role in resolving the problems that exist. I see it as win/win/win.

Others may see it some other way. But I sincerely see it as win/win/win. If you want to hear me, I am happy to go into detail. If not, I am able to keep my mouth shut too. I can go either way with this. OK?


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ElSupremo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings Ben Smile

Thanks for the response Ben. I was just curious why CK would say something like that. Since the town center board is for discussing any subject and therefore an open forum, I would hope any objectionable material to any one member could just be ignored and they could move on. From what I can tell there have been no blatant rules violations here. CK has a right to do what she likes. I'll miss CK. Crying or Very sad

The digs from TMF don't bother me(especially since I can't read them. Wink) What confuses me is why anyone would want anything to do with that place, period. They've showed their true colors. And there are plenty of other options out there. Like that NFB site! Wink



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: The intercst issue Reply with quote

hocus wrote:
I don't see how the intercst matter is a problem under the official rules set forth at the link you provided.
So it would be helpful to me if someone could make the case why this matter should be treated differently than all others.


As I said before, I don't wish to make or enforce a rule that you can't discuss intercst or REHP board issues here.
hocus wrote:
The argument that Wanderer made is that we can add members to the community faster by taking the intercst issue off the table. BenSolar seems to be saying something similar. I am capable of making just the opposite case, that positioning this board as a a board that opposes the sort of trickery and deception going on at the REHP board is our best bet for adding solid contributors quickly.


I'll try to clarify where I stand on the issue. I think that we can (and have somewhat) successfully position the FIRE board here as a clear cut alternative to the REHP board and all of the nonsense that goes on there sometimes. I think the way to do that is to clearly point out the nonsense when it occurs there, and to periodically offer this board as an alternative for intelligent discussion. I think that positioning this board as a place of radicals who want intercst removed from TMF won't get us anywhere fast.

I think that intercst is an extremely popular poster over there, and that his position as board leader is pretty much written in stone. I think that your jihad against his being board leader is viewed by the large majority there as being your personal obsession, as Don Quixote tilting at windmills. I think people (even those sympathetic to the issues) are very weary of the long intercst punctuated posts there. I am weary of them.

I think we should accept that the leadership there is set in it's ways, it is not going to change. I think we need to call him/them on it when they hijack a thread or mislead, or whatever. I think we go about our discussions as best we can. I think at this point you are making intercst more of an obstacle than he would be without the jihad. The recent threads spawned by galagan's efforts over there were going very well, I thought.

So, in summary: yes to standing up to the nonsense, no to obsessing over intercst because that is unproductive.

Just my opinions,
Ben



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BenSolar
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:55 am    Post subject: re: intercst debate Reply with quote

Greetings, ElSupremo
ElSupremo wrote:
Since the town center board is for discussing any subject and therefore an open forum, I would hope any objectionable material to any one member could just be ignored and they could move on. From what I can tell there have been no blatant rules violations here. CK has a right to do what she likes. I'll miss CK. Crying or Very sad


I agree on all counts. Confused
Quote:
The digs from TMF don't bother me(especially since I can't read them. Wink) What confuses me is why anyone would want anything to do with that place, period. They've showed their true colors. And there are plenty of other options out there. Like that NFB site! Wink


Well, sometimes it's like watching a carwreck, I can't avert my eyes. :shock:And sometimes there is some really good stuff posted there. And sometimes it's fun to get into a big roaring debate. :PAnd sometimes I can get in a plug for NFB - if we all leave TMF completely, then who will direct people to the good stuff over here? Wink

Thanks for hosting this fine place, ES !!!!
Ben



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hocus
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Posts: 435

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that intercst is an extremely popular poster over there, and that his position as board leader is pretty much written in stone.

There is a lot of evidence pointing the other way, BenSolar. When I put up the post asking that his posting privileges be revoked, it received 24 recommendations. There was strong language in that post, and I think it is extraordinary to have 24 community members endorse that step. There are a lot of people who would vote for new leadership if they could see a realistic way of bringing it about. It's my job to make the case that it can be done.

You can look at the posts organized by rec count at TMF. Organize them that way, and tell me what is the one type of post that gets high rec counts again and again. It is the post asking for more on-topic debate. This is a deeply felt desire in the community, and it is one that intercst mocks with his off-topic posting and his dismissive response that it is "jackboot censorship" for some posters there to want a reasonable balance between on-topic and off-topic posting.

Now check out the thread where Galagan asked that intercst reconsider the changes he proposed in the FAQ dealing with the SWR debate. Over 40 community members stood behind Galagan, in effect saying "we are sick of the nonsense at this place."

Intercst mocked all those seeking reasononable changes by putting up four polls as his FAQ summary of the community work product for 11 months of debate. Do you honestly think that those 40 community members are happy about that?

Galagan isn't. I know because I asked him. He told me in a thread last week that he thought the changes in the FAQ were inappropriate. So why did he thank intercst for making them? I asked. He said it was because he has come to the conclusion that asking intercst to exercise his leadership in a responsible manner is a "futile" endeavor.

Galagan would vote for me for Board General if he thought that there was a chance that I could win. So would about 10 others now on the board. My position loses to the intercst position by 40 votes in the most recent poll. Moving 10 votes from one column to the other causes me to move up by 20. So I need 20 fresh voices added to the board.

Are you saying that the intercst web site and the intercst study have not been responsible for bringing 20 intercst votes to that board? I think they have. Are you saying that there is some magic that intercst possesses that allows his web site and study to bring people to the board who support him that I cannot make apply to my web site and my study to use them to bring people to the board to support me? Why not?

Intercst is not a good leader. He does not do listen to what the community wants when making decisions that affect its future. A leader like that is a vulnerable leader. A leader like that people will turn away from in a moment if they see a viable alternative.

I am a viable alternative, BenSolar. I have put up many more successful posts at that board than intercst. I have posted there just as long., I have never misled the community. I am polite to those who diaagree with me. I do not engage in smears. I welcome the expression of alternative viewpoints.

All I need to take over is votes. I need 10 new votes to get the ball rolling, and things pretty much will take care of themselves from that point forward. I am going to put up a web site that contains a wealth of free information and that will be advertised throughout the internet.

Tell me why I am not being realistic in thinking that I can pick up 10 votes. Perhaps you are right, perhaps you see something that I do not. But I have thought this through, and I do not see any reason why the plan I am describing is not realistic.

Now, it is going to take time and effort. I am going to have to provide good materials on the site, I am going to have to persuade. I understand all this,. But, presuming that I do my part, why should this plan not succeed?

I say that it will. I say that it will succeed whether the board community here helps or not. It's easier for me if you help. But I think I can do it on my own if necessary. I do not see why you and Galagan and some others see it all as so futile.

You face a problem, you solve it. You discover that it all comes down to votes, you go about the process of getting the votes.

I do not see the reason for the negativity, that's all. I can't see the future, and I cannot say for certain that the plan will succeed, but I do not see any reason why it should not. Why presume that it will fail before even giving it a try?

The recent threads spawned by galagan's efforts over there were going very well, I thought.

They will continue to go well so long as they have no impact. As soon as they are perceived as having an impact, they will be stomped out. Do you really think they are going to permit Galagan to tell the community there the truth about safe withdrawal rates?

It was almost comical when Galeno asked Galagan "What is your purpose with this, are you trying to suggest that the intercst claims are wrong?" Galagan said "By no means!" and Galeno basically said (without needing to say the words), "Ok, then, I don't need to bother with it." If Galagan gave the other answer, he would have soon become the latest community member to develop a serious case of mental problems.

You can continue trying to walk through the minefields if that is what you like, BenSolar. I intend to have a board where I can talk in an honest and informed manner about the subject matter without worrying about who I might offend in doing so. It's two different ways of going about things.

From my perspective, it is you who are being unrealistic. You put work into the posts you put forward, and, without some hope of solving the core problem that plagues the board, my view is that all you will do is go about in circles with them. I hope that perhaps after having gone around in circles for another six or twelve months, you will have more interest in taking constructive steps to make all the circling about unnecessary.

You shouldn't have to worry about offending people by telling the truth about the subject matter of the board. You have a right to do that. If it hurts someone's feelings for you to tell the truth, that is their problem, not yours. That's how I see it, anyway.


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JWR1945
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Joined: 26 Nov 2002
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Location: Crestview, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warning! I have posted this without careful review of several posts. I am responding with one very specific observation that might help. I will read everything in detail very soon.

The reason that there is a problem with identifying intercst by name is that it takes too much effort to verify hocus's assertions about his motives and behavior. It is much better to point out a specific type of misbehavior than to tie it to any individual. That way, all that a reader has to do is start noticing bad conduct when it happens.

Recently, intercst replied to one of my comments in which I said that valuations are important, that BenSolar is the expert, that he used intercst's own data, yet intercst was strangely arguing against it. It was very easy for me to wait until I was asked what I meant. Then I directed readers to one of my responses to galagan and the thread in which BenSolar completely destroyed intercst's assertions.

In another post I mentioned that I generally respond only to honest inquiries that advance a discussion. Sometimes I do not respond for reasons that are benign. But more frequently, I avoid responding so as to maintain civility.

I think that people are going to start noticing who I do not respond to and why. I hope so.

It took me several days of going through specific posts in order to reach a firm conclusion that intercst's misbehavior is intentional. And that is when I have them pointed out to me. He isn't just forgetting something or making a mistake. He is blocking discussions and misleading readers. If it takes me several days to reach these conclusions when I have seen as they have developed, imagine how difficult it is for any casual viewer. Even an active poster would have difficulty in becoming motivated enough to learn the truth.

That's my immediate response. It takes too much time for someone to verify charges. But if someone keeps on seeing specific examples pointed out to him, he starts to look more closely and he begins to remember. Soon, he remembers so many examples of misconduct that he becomes convinced on his own.

Have fun.

John R.


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BenSolar
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JWR1945 wrote:
It takes too much time for someone to verify charges. But if someone keeps on seeing specific examples pointed out to him, he starts to look more closely and he begins to remember. Soon, he remembers so many examples of misconduct that he becomes convinced on his own.


I think this is the better approach.

Ben



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BenSolar
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi hocus,

I'm a bit flummoxed by your whole 'take over the REHP message board' campaign. I believe the situation can be and has been improved there by tactics like that mentioned by John. But ousting intercst from the board he founded?
hocus wrote:
All I need to take over is votes.


First issue: Do you have any basis for the idea that a 'Speaker', who has founded and who is an active member of a 'Speaker's Corner' board, can be replaced as 'Board General' against his will by someone else in a hostile takeover on the basis of a simple majority of votes in a poll.

Ben



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