Christopher H.

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  • in reply to: Nicole Foss Podcast: The Age of Limits #24536

    Christopher H.

    Hi LiveSmallLocal,

    I actually wasn’t replying to your post — I was replying to the previous post (GBV).

    My experience in responding to Jack’s shows (as someone who comes from a very different starting point from him) is that if your views aren’t matching up with his, then don’t expect him to come around to your point of view. Note I’m not saying this with any kind of negativity — it’s just an observation and probably a reasonable expectation.

    I really can’t comment on your situation, though, as I’m in a different boat. Although if things really go down hard like Nicole is predicting, I could find myself in similar straits….

    in reply to: Nicole Foss Podcast: The Age of Limits #24532

    Christopher H.

    GBV, you’re replying to Jack’s follow-up to Nicole’s show and saying off the bat that you haven’t listened to his show except for two episodes. I think this gives you a very narrow sample size upon which to draw, just like Jack’s follow-up is really only based upon his interview of Nicole, and not from reading the volumes of material she has written about this subject nor listening to the talks she has given.

    In short, I think you both are suffering from the same kind of shortsightedness, which would explain why you both responded in similar fashion — by dismissing the views of the other.

    I’ve listened to Jack’s show since mid-2010 now, and I’ve been reading Nicole’s work for at least as long. I think that in order to reconcile some of their differences, it is important to understand the very different starting points from which they approach these subjects.

    Nicole is an academic, and a brilliant one at that. She has studied at some of the top universities in the world and not only graduated with multiple degrees, but was twice a distinguished graduate at the top of her class. Jack, on the other hand, has a history as a successful entrepreneur in several businesses. His formal education went only through high school, although it is clear from listening to his show for just a brief period of time that he is extremely sharp and driven toward continual self-education.

    Let’s focus on the fact that Jack is an entrepreneur as opposed to an academic. This alone is a very distinct difference. Anyone who is an entrepreneur is an optimist at heart. They have to be in order to get through the rough times while starting a business venture and getting it off the ground. Having listened to Jack for five years now, I can tell you that this part of him colors his outlook on many things, and definitely with regards to these kinds of subjects. On the one hand, he can look at the information available on peak oil and know that we’re screwed. On the other hand, the natural optimist in him can rationalize away the worst consequences, soothing his concerns and bringing him to the conclusion that it will not be a hard landing.

    As for his perspective on mortgage debt, what he is looking at is how to turn land into a genuinely productive asset, and use that asset to create value that you can then trade with others. But this includes buying WAY below your means — something that he has talked about at length in his podcast. It’s a form of hedging the need for present action and development of skills against an uncertain future that likely includes a significant downturn, but at a largely uncertain date.

    Now, I’m going to say that in many ways, his perspective can actually be more beneficial to people that Nicole’s, because it is centered on the idea of ACTION. I’ve been reading Nicole for years, and have a house with a mortgage on it. The thoughts of an uncertain future certainly make me think about that, but at the same time I’ve been able to build gardens, raise chickens, make energy efficiency improvements — many of them things I could NOT do if I was in a rental unit. You can go down the road of Nicole’s message and ultimately get paralyzed against action by it, if you allow yourself to be. I’m not saying that is in any way Nicole’s intent, nor that her message is actually telling you to act that way, but it’s an outcome that can arise.

    Lastly, though, why is it so important to you that Jack adopt Nicole’s message 100% (or that Nicole adopt Jack’s, if you look at it from the other side)? Are you personally invested in the outcome? Or would it perhaps be more prudent to just accept the fact that they agree on 95% or more, take from each of them what you find of value in their messages, and then move on to making improvements to better your household, neighborhood, and community moving forward? I know that if I insisted on wholesale agreement I would have stopped listening to Jack’s podcast years ago, but it’s learning to focus on the items of value in it (and trust me, there’s a lot of it there if you just poke around through his archives) that keeps me coming back.

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