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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

hnsq 02-11-11 09:01 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12207138)
Like I thought, you're here to pick an argument and that's about it. Well, I have nothing more to say. Again, good luck with whatever it is you're looking for. :)

I have seriously considered what other posters (those who have actually given me beneficial material) have said. You, on the other hand, need to look up 'self fulfilling prophesy'. You seem like one of those cyclists who assumes everyone who drives is an a**hole, before bothering to take the time to actually read the situation.



Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 12207794)
It's a little more involved than that.

What does my purchase mean, not only for me but for the rest of the world?

If I buy a large sport utility vehicle and insist on driving everywhere because I want to do so and because I can afford it, my actions are polluting the atmosphere and, if I live in a city where traffic problems are a fact of life, then I am also contributing to congestion. I am not the only one affected by this decision.

If I buy a cheap computer printer which breaks down within a few months, that also has an effect on the world around me, especially if I buy another to replace the one that no longer works. The plastics and electronics that went into constricting this item cannot be reused.

Some of the purchases are items made or produced by workers who are underpaid and badly treated. My consumption is part of the reason their living and working conditions are deplorable. In some parts of the world, flowers or coffee, for export to rich countries, are grown on agricultural land which could be used to feed those who live there. In those cases, my choice is, in effect, also taking food out of the mouths of the hungry.

I'm not suggesting we completely stop driving, buy next to nothing and stop drinking coffee or enjoying flowers. Instead, our choices will have an impact on others around us. We have been given much and as a result, we also have the power, through our purchases and through our lifestyles, to make our world a better or worse place than it is today.

Very good points. Many, many people do NOT give a second thought to what goes into the things they own, and that is absolutely an essential thing to think about.



Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 12205289)
It's just that simple. Some of us are pairing down our possessions because we will be happier doing it.

There are no people in my daily life who are at all interested in having fewer things and pairing down to just essentials. The only people with whom I communicate about this topic are on a couple of forums. It might be the same with some of the others here since we're a rare breed (though our ranks are growing). I don't think anybody here needs to impress the others on the Living Car Free forum.

Hnsq is right to say some people do things to fit in. I very much doubt anybody not interested in living simply would get rid of some of their stuff just to fit in on an online forum.

It's a good thing that many people all at once aren't adopting the simple lifestyle, otherwise the US economy would temporarily collapse. Let's expand slowly. :thumb:

I guess I made that point about people doing it to fit in because of the new neighborhood I live in. I have a car, but have cycled to work/back (11 miles each way) regularly for years now. I also work in an office and wear dress clothes most of the time. Other than the cycling, I look like a stereotypical 'yuppie', however I cycle, I grow vegetables myself, I consider the environmental impact of what I do, etc. I recently moved to an 'up an coming' neighborhood essentially filled with hipsters on bikes with a 'holier than thou' attitude. Many of the people in my new neighborhood look down on me for 'owning things' and having an office job with a major corporation, and it frustrates me. It seems they have no desire to get to know me, they simply want to feel better than the 'young guy in the power suit' who moved in next door, even though I use my resources to shop at local farmers markets, fund small business startups in third world countries, to try and create sustainable incomes for those in need, etc...

I know the people in my neighborhood are not a microcosm of the world, however they are the only exposure I have had to car-free living in real life. Does that make sense?

Smallwheels 02-11-11 11:39 AM

Judging A Book By Its Cover
 

Originally Posted by hnsq (Post 12209710)
I recently moved to an 'up an coming' neighborhood essentially filled with hipsters on bikes with a 'holier than thou' attitude. Many of the people in my new neighborhood look down on me for 'owning things' and having an office job with a major corporation, and it frustrates me. It seems they have no desire to get to know me, they simply want to feel better than the 'young guy in the power suit' who moved in next door, even though I use my resources to shop at local farmers markets, fund small business startups in third world countries, to try and create sustainable incomes for those in need, etc...

The world needs corporations. Corporations need people. We just need corporations with a conscience.

I am prejudicial almost all the time yet I catch myself when being that way. I've been working on stopping it for years. People who know me would say I'm the least prejudicial person around. It seems like a big deal to me though because I'm always working on it.

I'm prejudicial when I see cyclists. I instantly like them. When I see someone that looks like a redneck with a scruffy beard in a crappy truck I instantly form a different opinion. Both of those are prejudicial and are barriers to truth. Maybe the scruffy looking guy in the crappy truck works two jobs to feed his children and family and donates the little extra money he earns to good causes, and would give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it.

Maybe the cyclist is out for a joy ride and goes home to his evil lair where he plots to destroy the world because he hates humanity.

I don't know any hipsters. Perhaps with some conversation they could be more friendly and understanding. Maybe not.

The more people I get to know the more I realize the world is full of people who are walking around with misconceptions of others. It just takes enough communication to gain enough understanding about the other person. Doing that creates affinity and brings people closer together.

In addition to removing the clutter in my apartment I'm trying to remove the clutter in my mind. The mental stuff is more difficult. :p

Neil_B 02-15-11 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 11561553)
One think I have done with some books and music is to convert to digital format. I use Mobi Pocket Reader to keep the classics handy. I download from Many Books or the Gutenberg project, for the classics, I do buy the occasional ebook. Music is stored on a flash drive, as well as my Crackberry and a separate MP3 player.

I haven't figured out a way to digitize my bikes and tools:D

Aaron :)

I'm in the process of doing the same. Since much of my library consists of books in the public domain, I download them into my Kindle. In this case it's not so much money I'm saving as space.

Neil_B 02-15-11 09:04 AM

I'm currently undertaking simplifying my life. For me, this involves getting rid of both physical and mental stuff I've carried around.

I used to be 400 pounds, and at times probably more. I lost the bulk of the bulk about five years ago. But I never entirely uncluttered my mind. Obesity is one way people build a wall around themselves, keeping others out. Possessions are another. While I lost 150 some pounds and taught myself to ride a bike, I didn't grasp that riding and eating better didn't solve my problems in themselves.

So....

Most of my library of books is being sold on Ebay or given away. My music and video collection is being sold. I'm selling one of my bikes and some bike gear. I've donated excess clothing to Goodwill and to an unemployed friend of mine who lost 170 pounds - nothing is as dispiriting as walking around in 5X shirts because that's all you have.

The goal of all this was to put whatever I had left in storage and fulfill a dream of mine - ride my bike across the US. I was planning on quitting my job to do it, and relocating to Western Pennsylvania, simply because I like the area. Unfortunately my dream is now deferred, since my always problematic knees are in worse shape than I thought. I'm probably looking at surgery of some kind.

But meanwhile, I'm continuing to simplify while I can.

I've read this thread, and there's a lot of helpful suggestions. Thanks for those.

freighttraininguphill 02-15-11 08:56 PM

I've been working on simplifying my life for years. I'm always looking for stuff to get rid of, and other ways to make life less stressful and complicated. I converted my entire music collection to mp3 and sold/gave away the CDs. Cassettes were thrown out, as nobody wants those anymore. I got rid of my landline phone. I don't miss that at all. It was getting to the point where the only calls I got on my home phone were car warranty/debt consolidation scam calls and political calls around election time. This is in spite of the fact that my number was on the National Do Not Call registry, and I had never given my number when I registered to vote years ago.

I am car-lite. I only drive if I absolutely have to or if I want to do a climbing ride, since the nearest real hills are 25 miles away.

I only have cable because Comcast actually charges you more to have internet service without TV, so I just subscribe to the cheapest package available, which is about $15 a month. I never even watch TV anymore now that the internet has everything I like.

musikguy 02-18-11 09:43 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 12210607)
The world needs corporations.

I enjoyed and agreed with most of your post. I cannot say that I agree with your primary statement, however.

The world in no way needs corporations.

Roody 02-20-11 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by musikguy (Post 12248164)
I enjoyed and agreed with most of your post. I cannot say that I agree with your primary statement, however.

The world in no way needs corporations.

Nothing wrong with corporations themselves. They're just groups of people getting together to run enterprises that are too large for one person to run alone. Without corporations, we would still have feudalism.

It's a lack of regulations, too low taxes, a lack of ethics, and no corporate sense of the common good that are the problem.

GaryFick|e 02-28-11 09:40 AM

I like a lot of people have lost some weight this year. Back in 2007 I was 215 pounds at 5'11. I was living in a friends basement in the mid-west, eating fast food and not exercising.
I moved back to Portland that year, and my new years resolution that year was to get healthier. I decided to do something drastic and make it a secondary part of my resolution to never eat at a location other than my home. Meaning, no fast food, no restaurants. Although this lead to my HATE for doing the dishes, it also led to a drop of 20 pounds within a matter of months. I urge people to actually learn to simplify their lives by simplifying their meals at home. Its fun, and will be the best food youve ever tasted.

More on a current note;
I just did my spring cleaning this week. Yes, I know its still winter.
My storage area got reduced about 50 percent. I was storing box's from things I had purchased and recycled any box that I had a duplicate size of.
All 3 of my closets got a complete overhaul. Lots of donations to good will. And lots of time spend wrapping up electronic's wiring (I have 2 duffle bags full of various lengths and connectors)
I have recently put up things on craigslist but no takers yet.
What is it they say? If you havnt used it in a year, you probably dont need it? True story.
This years resolution was daily yoga, which reminds me, gotta get started!

StabbageCycle 02-28-11 07:26 PM

I am a student and I have just moved away from home; both of those mean I live simply from necessity.

Although other students have TVs and cable, I have neither. An internet connection is enough.

I'm taking this as an opportunity to decide how to pare down my lifestyle. I am still debating whether or not to renew my driver's license. In any case it is a good hurdle to any car ownership I might have, and I plan on remaining a city dweller so I will probably never need one.

I've considered vegetarianism, but as I am VERY underweight I decided against. The search is on for a source of non-factory farmed meat.

I hope to keep as much of my purchases sourced from the used market as I can. This is pretty easy for my other hobby: music. Guitars have not been upgraded in decades, really, and lots of people give up on guitar every day :)

I am an economics student, so I may be able to cut through a lot of the jargon that gets posted on the articles here. Feel free to ask anything about my "capitalism studies" degree.

Roody 03-01-11 06:19 PM

I cut my own hair today.

Platy 03-01-11 08:41 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12299527)
I cut my own hair today.

I started doing that when I found out all my age 50+ engineer co-workers were cutting their own hair. I kinda miss going to the old style barber shops - the ones that smell of hair tonic, with the 1946 vintage waiting chairs and cash registers, an unused shoe shine stand tucked in the corner, and where the barbers still talked mostly about their World War II exploits - but those are just about all gone anyway. I did see one in a state of perfect preservation a couple of years ago in Crockett, Texas but no one was in it.

Smallwheels 03-02-11 10:34 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12299527)
I cut my own hair today.

For way too many years I thought about cutting my hair. I just kept putting it off thinking that one day I'd try it.

It started for me in the 90s. My regular hair cutter quit. For a year I went around trying to find another cutter that did just as good a job. Sometimes she did a great job and other times not. No matter which barber I had it was never the case of the perfect cut each time. Each time I found a barber that impressed me I would stay with that person for a few cuts only to be let down in time. Somehow they don't do consistent work.

Out of frustration I just said to myself that I couldn't do much worse and why should I be spending so much money, time, and gas to get an imperfect cut. My first try was really just as good as most cuts. Sometimes I get it perfect. There have been a couple of little mistakes but none of them were noticeable by others. The good thing is that I can fix any imbalance by just evening out the other side.

Since I've been doing it for so long now I don't make mistakes. I save plenty of time and money cutting my own hair. When I started out I just used scissors. Now I have an electric clipper that is faster and I don't cut my knuckles anymore. My inexpensive Whal clipper set cost a tiny bit more than a hair cut cost ten years ago. I don't know if cutting my own hair is part of simplifying my life in the eyes of others, but; it does make my life easier.

freighttraininguphill 03-03-11 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12299527)
I cut my own hair today.

I've been doing that for the past 11 years. In fact, I'm doing it again today. I bought the Wahl clippers at Wal-Mart and ordered the longest attachment available from Wahl, which is a #12. It gives a 1 1/2" cut. Two mirrors and running the clippers all around my head multiple times gives me a better result than the haircuts I used to pay for.

Jankuci03 03-04-11 06:46 AM

Hi,
I study in Budapest University of Technology and Economics. I have a six-month project and i have to design a cycling infrastructure. So i would like to asset in the first round the opinion of the patterns, insights and something like that.
Thank you very much :)

The link

Wuz 03-07-11 09:46 PM

I never thought "Living Simply" meant doing without.
I always considered it as meaning have what you need, not what you do not.
I enjoy my HDTV, My computers, my waffle iron.

At the same time, I have my bike so I need not a car.
I have my reel mower so I need no gas-burning mower.
I have the internet so I do not need a $170 a month cable bill.
I have my rain barrel, my compost heap, my weekly recycling collection...

My neighbour produces as much refuse in a week as I do in a year....
I think I'm living the dream without knitting sweaters from my own hair. :)

TomM 03-07-11 10:14 PM


Originally Posted by Wuz (Post 12328665)
I never thought "Living Simply" meant doing without.
.......
My neighbour produces as much refuse in a week as I do in a year....
.......

It amazes me how much 'garbage' my neighbors put out each week. I think one way to measure how simply we live is to compare the amount of 'garbage' a person produces.

fillafull 03-09-11 06:17 PM

quit drinking, quit smoking

Lukaduke 03-10-11 03:32 PM

LocalrootZ Project
 
Here is a little video I put together about living more sustainably and blogging about it @ Localrootz Project



A little shameless plea.. my fiance' and I are finalist for a green wedding giveaway contest @ Clay Hill Farm. If you feel so inclined to give us your vote we would love the support of other car-free folks ! VOTE HERE

Artkansas 04-13-11 08:02 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12253739)
Nothing wrong with corporations themselves. They're just groups of people getting together to run enterprises that are too large for one person to run alone. Without corporations, we would still have feudalism.

It's a lack of regulations, too low taxes, a lack of ethics, and no corporate sense of the common good that are the problem.

There are two massive errors in how corporations are set up now.

1) Corporations by law must maximize profits. While no corporation can survive without them. It's an almost blind interpretation of them. Stockholders are not the only ones with an investment in a corporation's health. The employees have a big stake. That should be recognized. Everyone's benefit must be observed, not only the owners and the employees but the customers and the other citizens of earth in general must be strived for.

2) Corporations are not people and do not deserve the same rights and protections under law.

As it is, by their nature they will slowly create their own feudalism, and destroy the planet in the name of profit. We need to redefine the corporation if we wish to survive.

Nightshade 04-14-11 10:20 AM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 12503623)
There are two massive errors in how corporations are set up now.

1) Corporations by law must maximize profits. While no corporation can survive without them. It's an almost blind interpretation of them. Stockholders are not the only ones with an investment in a corporation's health. The employees have a big stake. That should be recognized. Everyone's benefit must be observed, not only the owners and the employees but the customers and the other citizens of earth in general must be strived for.

2) Corporations are not people and do not deserve the same rights and protections under law.

As it is, by their nature they will slowly create their own feudalism, and destroy the planet in the name of profit. We need to redefine the corporation if we wish to survive.

The last time this happened the French rose up to cut off the heads of the king and queen as part of their rebellion!

Roody 04-14-11 04:11 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 12503623)
There are two massive errors in how corporations are set up now.

1) Corporations by law must maximize profits. While no corporation can survive without them. It's an almost blind interpretation of them. Stockholders are not the only ones with an investment in a corporation's health. The employees have a big stake. That should be recognized. Everyone's benefit must be observed, not only the owners and the employees but the customers and the other citizens of earth in general must be strived for.

2) Corporations are not people and do not deserve the same rights and protections under law.

As it is, by their nature they will slowly create their own feudalism, and destroy the planet in the name of profit. We need to redefine the corporation if we wish to survive.

Great points, but I'm not clear on how corporations create feudalism.

wahoonc 04-15-11 05:03 AM

I am still trying to figure out the first one...

1) Corporations by law must maximize profits. While no corporation can survive without them. It's an almost blind interpretation of them. Stockholders are not the only ones with an investment in a corporation's health. The employees have a big stake. That should be recognized. Everyone's benefit must be observed, not only the owners and the employees but the customers and the other citizens of earth in general must be strived for.
Aaron :)

Roody 04-15-11 10:53 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12509762)
I am still trying to figure out the first one...

Aaron :)

I think Art was referring to laws that say the corporate board of directors has the primary responsibility of increasing profits for shareholders. Sounds great, and mostly is, but it makes it difficult or impossible for boards to make decisions that benefit other stakeholders such as employees, customers or the public at large. Walmart argues that they can't give employees health benefits because that would lower profits for shareholders. BP says it has to give the lowest possible payouts to oil spill victims in order to increase profits to shareholders. And so forth.

wahoonc 04-15-11 03:27 PM

I guess if you are a publicly traded company that could hold true. I know that the company I work for is privately held and every now and again they will make a massive investment into the company, that I am sure would negate any profit for the year or perhaps a couple of years.

Aaron :)

Artkansas 04-15-11 04:05 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12507544)
Great points, but I'm not clear on how corporations create feudalism.

Well, corporations are taking over more and more of the resources, and using the military to protect their interests. That's very feudal.

And people on the lower end are getting deeper and deeper into debt putting them into a serfdom of sorts.

To me, the real similarity is how extreme the division of haves and have nots is becoming.

Artkansas 04-15-11 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12511198)
I think Art was referring to laws that say the corporate board of directors has the primary responsibility of increasing profits for shareholders. Sounds great, and mostly is, but it makes it difficult or impossible for boards to make decisions that benefit other stakeholders such as employees, customers or the public at large.

That's it.

Roody 04-15-11 04:32 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 12512604)
Well, corporations are taking over more and more of the resources, and using the military to protect their interests. That's very feudal.

And people on the lower end are getting deeper and deeper into debt putting them into a serfdom of sorts.

To me, the real similarity is how extreme the division of haves and have nots is becoming.

OK, I get it now. Another analogy I see is with the "Gilded Age" in the late 19th century. Corporations and wealthy individuals (known as robber barons) had great freedom to do as they pleased and there was enormous income inequity. Then leaders like the Roosevelts imposed controls and regulations, consumers banded together to demand better products, and labor unions rose to give strength to the employees of large corporations.

It's ironic that unions and government regulations cost the robber barons money initially, but in the long run they helped set the stage for the whole "American century" with unprecedented prosperity for rich and poor alike. Too bad nobody in business or government seems to understand this any more.

Roody 04-15-11 04:38 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12512437)
I guess if you are a publicly traded company that could hold true. I know that the company I work for is privately held and every now and again they will make a massive investment into the company, that I am sure would negate any profit for the year or perhaps a couple of years.

Aaron :)

I don't know much about it either. Here's a wikipedia article that might explain it a bit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_judgment_rule

seafoamer 04-15-11 07:10 PM

This was my 1st winter using a (homemade) coldframe.
I'm sure I'll have many more!

seafoamer 04-16-11 12:46 PM


Originally Posted by Lukaduke (Post 12342409)
Here is a little video I put together about living more sustainably and blogging about it @ Localrootz Project


A little shameless plea.. my fiance' and I are finalist for a green wedding giveaway contest @ Clay Hill Farm. If you feel so inclined to give us your vote we would love the support of other car-free folks ! VOTE HERE

Great video! Very inspiring! I'm gonna check out your blog.


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