Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Being responsible and smart is more fun than being irresponsible and stupid

Becky and I talk a lot about the future, about our future specifically and what we want to do with it. Here is my tentative plan.

1. Keep on in the USAF for a bit
2. Make a lot of money and save it.
3. Get training for a job that will realistically pay less, but have the benefit of not moving every 2 years. (and get said job)
4. Buy a very small house (in cash), outfit with high efficiency doodads, composting toilet, cistern, and solar power.
5. Buy a small apartment complex. Outfit with high efficiency doodads and solar power. Practice my bizarre cooperative housing theory. Let company run itself
6. Make shop/lab
7. Make cool stuff in my shop/lab
8. Convert others to my crazy plane of working really hard, being financially and environmentally responsible, and having as a result, the left over funds to do fun and productive things

You know what most peoples’ problem really is? They’re bored. Seriously. Being bored makes you lazy. You don’t want to get up and do anything because work sounds less entertaining that staring at the wall. (On the side, I think for a lot of people depression is the natural state, so they have to entertain their way into a total lack of self awareness.) Its more work to read a book than watch TV, so most people watch TV instead. So being bored causes laziness.

Laziness causes stupidity. Its not just the fact that if you watch TV all day that you’ll be stupid (though make no doubt, if you watch TV all day, you will be stupid.) Even TV can be very educational if you think about it. I’m not just talking about the Discovery channel either, you can learn a lot about companies just by watching their ads. You might rightly conclude that car companies really don’t make very much money on small cars. Think of how many adds you’ve seen for the H2. Think of how few you have seen for the Aveo. The same company makes both.
The catch is, you can learn that if you think about it. You can learn almost anything if you think about it. We got some statistics about drunken driving at work recently. I pointed out to a superior that they were wrong and misstated. He laughed at me for thinking about the statistics, but then asked me to explain. I did. He was offended, because these stats were done really, really badly. It turns out he was the one responsible for compiling them. Oddly enough, he took statistical analysis in college. I failed out of college. But I wanted to learn to do basic statistical analysis, and he wanted a piece of paper that got him a supervisory job. So guess who ended up with a better understanding of statistical analysis?

My point is: people are
1. Bored, which leads them to be
2. Lazy, which when combined with their natural boredom makes them
3. Stupid.

This gives me the ability to predict the future. Fairtax will never get signed into to law as currently envisioned. Because people are bored. Knowledge about Fairtax is less entertaining than whatever part of Britney Spears is on today. Because people are lazy. They could work as hard to understand the Fairtax proposal as they do fantasy football scoring systems (which are significantly more complicated) but it seems like more work to understand taxes than football. And because people are stupid. Why have an informed opinion about the single greatest monetary and government reward program in human history? Why would that be important?

I was looking at some solar panel providers when I found Home Depot is going to start offering home scale solar equipment. At the bottom of the page were comments that people had posted in response to this fact. Now, anyone who has ever met me knows that I am probably the most opinionated person on the earth. What people who know me well know is that I do not share my opinion unless I have done the research to make sure my opinion is informed. I don’t watch football, I don’t watch cable, I don’t listen to talk radio. I read, constantly, about everything I want to know, and I want to know almost everything. I have no problem with people sharing their opinions, I just ask that they think before, during and afterward. (My wife, btw, asks that I don not read people posts online. Their entitled ignorance tends to make me angry and not fun to live with.)

One of the posters had this to say ” And who of my neighbors will still live here in 15 years when the break even point is attained. We need everyone to make money off my installation and it still needs to cost me only a few thousand dollars. And I need my electric bill to be a credit the very next month. Until this happens there is never going to be a major shift to some other energy source, no matter what good intentions people have.

Lets restate his quote:
1. No one lives in houses for 15 years, so why pay for a technology that won’t pay itself off for 15 years.
2. It must be profitable
3. It must be really cheap
4. It must provide immediate residual income
5. Until, the above is met, no one will switch to solar.

The average US house uses about 9000 KWh a year at about $0.10 a KWh, or $900 a year. If this magical system this guy wants was going to cost a few thousand dollars (say $2800) and pay itself off in less than 5 years (the average time US citizens spend at one address) then it makes $900 dollars a year every year for 25 years or $22,500 for an original investment of $2800.
Thats pretty easy to run through an interest calculator: 9-10% interest. For there to be “a major shift to some other energy source” solar power can’t just be the same cost as normal utilities. Nope, its got to be more profitable than the 25 year average of the S&P 500. Yeah, thats a totally reasonable expectation. And I think GM should pay me to drive a Chevy to work. And I think the city should send me a check for gracing this city’s roads with my presence.

So, to tie it all back together, I want to spread the word: that being responsible and smart is more fun than being irresponsible and stupid. But I think that most people are to bored, lazy, and stupid to hear me, let alone try it. People like this guy will always be there, making expectations which have no reflection in reality, and leading people from simple little gospel (in case you missed it BEING RESPONSIBLE AND SMART IS MORE FUN THAN BEING IRRESPONSIBLE AND STUPID) to the idea that since you can have anything you want in exchange for nothing at all, why not do that instead?

And just in case anyone wants to know… I really am going to do it. I really am going to go live in the inner city where property values are low and they need some leadership by example. Feel free to join me. Unless otherwise noted the we are having a combination 10th wedding anniversary/deed burning party near Independence Ave in KCMO around march of 2012. Its a renaissance costume party. Anyone who want to partner with us, start a charter school, join my commie-capitalist scheme, open a business, etc is welcome. Christianity is optional, clear headedness isn’t.


December 9, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Well, I was going to read your post, but dang, it was so long and I got bored about two paragraphs in and I went to watch some TV but it was broke so I need to go buy another and I thought I’d shoot you this comment first.

    Just kidding! I read it and I agree. It is more fun being responsible and smart.

    Comment by CC | December 9, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hey, do you think anyone does this Yahoo 360 thing anymore but the three of us? Maybe we should just start addressing the blogs to each other and see if anyone even notices. “TO: Israel and Heidi: I was thinking about our conversation the other day and would like to say that testosterone induced hiccups are not always the result of overbaked clam dip.” No one will have any idea what we are talking about. (Although, as the above example shows, we won’t always know what the heck we are talking about either.)

    Comment by Becky | December 12, 2007 | Reply

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