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  1. #1
    Moderator zylya's Avatar
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    PUA and Minimalism (also about attitudes to other areas of our lives)

    After an interesting little chat in the chatroom, I thought I'd create this as a topic for discussion - a few of us all came to realise as we talked that we all were quite minimalist in out outlooks, namely that we didn't really value "possessions" for their own sake, but rather tended to own only things that we really needed or gave real value to our lives in some ways.

    For those of you who aren't sure, minimalism is not necessarily about living like a monk and having no possessions, nor is it about being cheap. It's simply about only owning stuff that has real value in your life. So I have a laptop, a tablet and a good smartphone (all the latest model when I bought them except the smartphone which was the latest model minus one - but none of them upgraded even though newer models have come out) because I use it all for work and I get a lot of value out of it personally (Netflix instead of having a TV, Kindle instead of buying books etc) and although they're expensive products, I use them a lot and they provide a lot to my life. On the other hand, I don't own many clothes and I'm actually looking to get rid of some clothes rather than buy more - once again I'm keeping the stuff that looks really good on me and throwing the rest out. Although I love reading, I'm actually getting rid of all of my books (already gone down from over a thousand to about 100) - books that I really want to keep I'm rebuying on Kindle, since I still love reading, I just don't want to have to carry around hundreds of books in my life.

    The point I raised in chat, which the two people agreed with, was that in this community one of the things we do is question the social explanations we're given - e.g. conventional wisdom suggests buying dinners, taking women on dates etc as a means to getting laid/starting a relationship. On this forum we test these assumptions and find that there are much better ways of doing things. This means that we're actually fairly unique in the world, because there are people who follow all sorts of social conventions without ever questioning them. I believe that by questioning and achieving in one area of our lives, we tend to question in others as well (either getting good at PUA makes us question other stuff OR by being a questioning type we find PUA). The rampant consumerism that affects a lot our world pushes a STUFF = HAPPINESS mindset which is obviously designed to make more money for corporations and the people who own them. But is it necessarily best for us?

    One interesting exercise is to make a list of the ten most expensive things you own, then make a list of the ten things you own that give you the most joy in your life. Then check how many things are on both lists. The idea is that the unexamined life will have little-to-no crossover between those lists. I.E. that expensive car you just bought gives you a temporary boost in happiness but then as you get used to it, it fades until you're at your original level of happiness.

    Here's a little comedy bit by George Carlin about stuff, which some of you may have seen before, but I really enjoy:



    Anyone else a minimalist or at least in some way opposed to consumerism (and by opposed I don't mean just says it, but actually lives it)? I'm not trying to convert anyone here, by the way, I just found it interesting that this subject, to the best of my knowledge, has never been discussed here, yet three different members of this community (which as previously stated is about questioning assumptions) have questioned assumptions in other areas of their lives and come to the same conclusions. Is there a certain type of person here (someone who values happiness and/or freedom more than anything else, perhaps?) that you just don't get in 'normal' society - someone who wants demonstrable results rather than useless, but feel-good, advice?

    What other ways are people examining their lives and coming to radically different conclusions? Although I didn't really talk about this much, I read http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com - the guy who writes there, Ramit Sethi, is essentially the PUA of the personal finance world - shuns the traditional feel-good advice and gets to the real results through merciless testing of empirical data - which sounds exactly like what Blackdragon did with his online dating stuff. It seems that questioning one set of assumptions (e.g. women) also leads to questioning others (e.g. money, possession, happiness). I guess I'm trying to work out if it's a) the sort of person you are or b) getting results in one area sparks you to try others.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Slutboy
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    I've always questioned everything everyone ever told me. That's probably why I ended up here. And stayed.

    edit: oh and I'm a cheap bastard too
    "I'm the kind of guy you don't want to bring home to mom. Cuz I'd fuck your mom."

    "I don't have a dirty mind, I have a sexy imagination"

  3. #3
    Moderator Z's Avatar
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    I tend to spend very little in terms of actual things in my life, but I do tend to spend a lot of money on experiences. I don't know if it's right, I don't know if it's wrong, but it's how I live my life. I can't justify spending money on a new watch or a new car, but I have no problem with spending a ton of money to travel to awesome locations and do things that I can't do in Boston. The only point of making money is to spend it to improve your life. Once I get past the essentials (housing, food, transportation), the main things that I spend money on are trying to provide awesome experiences for myself, my friends, and people who are unable to have those things on their own. One of my main goals over the next 2-3 years is being more charitable with what I make, since once thing that eats at me is the fact that I have the ability to do all kinds of awesome things but there are so many people who are unable to do so.
    We're here. The rest is bullshit.

  4. #4
    Member Qlue's Avatar
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    Minimalist here.. I love space, it's one of the first things I learned about when I was studying design. I hate clutter and noise and you can apply that to everything in life from conversation to interior design. Quality > Quantity = minimalism, e.g. few good things vs many bad things. Even when I go backpacking, I carry only 5x of each item and maximize space and low weight. 80/20 = a minimalist strategy. Zen = a minimalist religion/psychology.
    The Qlue, simple perspectives on life.

  5. #5
    Member ijjjji's Avatar
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    Ive adopted the view that you have to test a few things to find something great. So I have a very low 'buy' threshold, but also a very low 'trash it' threshold. Especially shoes and clothing, but also tools/electrics. (I routinely trash things I didnt wear even once.)

    I especially HATE books. (For me personally - not the general idea of the item.)

  6. #6
    Member xy's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm absolutely positive, that matrix isn't only about its approach to sexuality and that on some level PU and minimalism are deeply related.

    And I live the minimalistic lifestyle for so long that I no longer can extract what in my life is "minimalistic" unless I compare specific things with others. But definitely, societal norm about possessing/buying is a kind of craze, if you ask me.

    I'm particularly minimalist as for what I allow to get to me from media - I don't read newspapers, or even internet (with the exception of work related stuff, mailbox and this forum), I don't have facebook account, I don't watch TV for years, don't know a shit about politics, economy, sports, etc... Should I add that I'm happy and don't think I'm missing anything important?; )

    My weakness is still food (I believe we are massively brainwashed as for how much we really need to eat). Just these days I'm gonna reduce the amount of food I eat - to a bare minimum. But, I believe it can be off topic for many, so treat it as such if it goes too far for you.

    But, yes, going back to the main thing, social norms surely include what we "need" to possess/buy. Guys who value their own freedom will easily intuitively sense the potential of "neediness imposing" here...

    Don't know what more to write, actually just wanted to make some addition to what is said here, but I'm totally not used to talk about it, so maybe it sounds somewhat out of place, forgive me then; ) Anyway, yes, another positive response here..

    (I still have a stable job, mainly to pay alimony and have cash & position to spend maximum possible time with my son. Hence I choose not to be even more free for now, what also teaches me patience and the art of mimicry in the matrix; ))

    Thanks for the video btw. It was fun to watch.

  7. #7
    Slutboy
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    For many years I have tended to focus on "investment"-like purchases and refused to make "waste"-like purchases.

    Exemples of "investments": education, going out, travel, clothes, gym... These have value to me in terms of experience and social, career and personal development.

    Exemples of "wastes": video games, tv, weed (at least in my personal case), going to ridiculously expensive posh clubs when I'm having much more fun at a cheap hipster bar, etc. I'm not saying I don't play games or watch TV shows... I do. I just never, ever pay for them.
    "I'm the kind of guy you don't want to bring home to mom. Cuz I'd fuck your mom."

    "I don't have a dirty mind, I have a sexy imagination"

  8. #8
    Member Qlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xy View Post
    Yes, I'm absolutely positive, that matrix isn't only about its approach to sexuality
    Matrix = keeping you a slave by telling you how to live your life.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbp6umQT58A

    and also

    "Music and life"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGoTmNU_5A0
    The Qlue, simple perspectives on life.

  9. #9
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    Everything I own fits in my sedan.

  10. #10
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    I dont have many things, but all I have is of high quality.

    Most of my money goes into my hobby which is mountain biking and stuff related to it (clothing, protection, components). I have 3 bikes at the moment and I use one one of them daily (rotating depending on the type of riding I do) and all of them provide me immense pleasure.

    I also love clothes, but I have plenty of those (usually but 1 or 2 items each month).

    The only thing that I could reduce is eating out, I eat out alot because I don't have time/dont want to cook, but I usually stick to 99% of the time stick to cheap stuff like sandwiches when buying food outside.

    I could probably fit all my stuff inside my car (with the bikes attached outside).

    Sometimes I get an urge to get a manly SUV truck, but so far I have been holding off since I have a decent car already which does the job perfectly.

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