No. of Recommendations: 5
IMHO, preparing to retire early is all about taking care of the arrangements and things that we need to do individually prior to the new adventure. Political discussions are removed a bit from the topic of early retirement, if only because our inability to directly and immediately influence what will happen to impact our early retirement.

So I was inclined to join the bandwagon, and perhaps discourage some of the political threads -- and then I remembered responding to almost exactly the same issue about a year ago. I reread my comments from then, and talked myself out of joining the bandwagon.

Here is what I said then, under the subject line KEEP the off topic posts::

What I have found in this forum is a group of folks I can carry on conversations with, or sit back quietly and politely eavesdrop, on topics that are about as near and dear to me as they can be. I don't know how to describe it, but I somehow get more out of a single statement by ariechart or hocus because of their other posts, on or off topic, than I could ever get from the statement in isolation.

I guess I'm trying to say that these off-topic posts somehow give a richness to the on-topic posts, just as the eloquence of one of hocus's better posts is so much more meaningful than a mere recitation of the facts and premises it contains.

Since these all seem to be conversations to me, I have come to expect them to drift off the topic on occasion. So do most (electronic or non-) conversations among friends and colleagues. When they don't vary, we accuse those friends of having "one-track minds", and tire of their predictable comments.

When I go away from the net next, for several weeks in June-July, I'm sure I will have a gazillion messages to catch up on upon my return. I'll probably just read in "threaded" mode, and skip (somewhat guiltily) to the next thread when there doesn't seem to be much more for me as a thread winds down. But I'll do the same with my in-person "threads": ask what I've missed, get just the essentials, and wonder if that was all that went on in those weeks.

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