No. of Recommendations: 48
intercst to hocus:

The "board culture" of the REHP is that you can post whatever you want, but if you post anything looney, you'll likely be challenged on it. And if you continue to post lunacy, you'll be ridiculed for it. It's really not that hard to understand.

One man's treasure is another man's trash. Your characterization of the board, while not hard to understand, is unfortunate. Who determines what is looney? Based on what I paid to participate on the board, I would like to have that decision mine to make and not have posters driven off. Were we all having these discussions at a cocktail party, I doubt that we would treat each other in the manner that some people do. If FMO or hocus were involved in a discussion that you became involved in and you persisted in imposing your views, it is likely that the discussion would come to an end in short order. If it were to move to another part of the room and reconvene, would you feel the need, upon seeing them, to get involved again?

Several posters here think I'm a lunatic because I'm a LTB&H investor in stocks and I'm careful to treat real estate as an expense to be minimized rather than an investment.

I don't think that anybody thinks that at all. What causes difficulty is when you persistently contend that anybody who doesn't follow your path or interprets data differently than you do is wrong. This may be through overtly persistent disagreement or the glib stealth death ray comment followed by the trademark "<grin>". You know...the art of diplomacy...telling someone to go to h__l while making them look forward to the trip.

That's fine, it doesn't bother me.

I would disagree. If it didn't, I doubt you would put so much energy in to trying to discredit an alternative opinion. Also, not recognizing that it may bother others may suggest something about your human relations principles.

Maybe you need a thick skin to be a successful early retiree? <grin>

Consider that you may be more thick headed in some respects than thick skinned. Let me elaborate.

As a FIRE who accomplished it through a systematic path in equities and LBYM and one who has a technical background, I think I can relate to how many of the board's posters interact with things, systems and people. Early in my career, I had sound technical skills, was analytical and worked hard to understand the best way to get things accomplished. Had I spent my adult life as one being, I likely would have been able to refine my powers of reason and logic to a greater degree and could have attained the "Mr. Spock" like status of a Telegraph or Intercst where everything must compute.

Alas, I got married some 26 years ago to a woman who was kind enough and patient enough to indulge my all-knowing and omnipotent view of the world. As I continually used my knowledge, technical skills and powers of reason and logic to educate her, we made progress. It was not without its frustration for me, as she just wasn't getting it as quickly as I would have liked. It led to its share of disharmony during the course of our years together.

Then we had kids. One, two, three and four. A great father I was going to be. Dedicated and loving. Always there to explain how the world worked, through my eyes, of course. I would set them down and have an inciteful conversation and use all of my powers of logic and reason to try and convince them of how they should go through life. They loved Dad's lectures. Yeah right.

Over time, a long time, I gradually became aware that for all my effort, I was putting a distance between myself and those closest to me. Mostly because by so frequently correcting them, I was telling them that I didn't trust them. It was very hard, repeat very hard for me, but I gradually started to let go and let them figure it out for themselves. There were times when I had to stand there knowing full well that they were headed for trouble. Not surprising to everyone but me, they usually figured it out without my help. Just so my self esteem wasn't totally crushed, they were kind enough to occasionally tell me that Dad's way worked or the way they had tried it didn't, or they even began to ask for my input. And sometimes, they taught me things through solutions they came up with that I hadn't even considered.

As we speak, our relationships have never been better. I have no doubt that the Mrs. and the kids have benefitted much from my knowledge. It has not always been a fun education for them. Dad could be pretty hard nosed sometimes and I have apologized to them for that. Not abusive, just tougher than I needed to be. In truth, they have taught me much more, and they have done it without saying so much as a word to me. They simply lived their lives as best they could and trusted that Dad would figure it out sooner or later..... We are all different and have our own paths to find and follow. That is not only OK, it is preferred

So what does this have to do with the board? I think that when you go through life as one, it is difficult to learn the art of compromise. It is hard to let other people find their own way. It is hard to accept that you can't convince someone of the error of their ways. You labor under the mistaken belief that with just the right set of data and the right argument, you can change someone's take on life. 20 years ago I would have agreed with that. Now I know, after many years of close family relationships that it simply does not work that way and efforts to make it work usually only lead to disharmony; the type of disharmony that more frequently permeates this board.

Some of you guys act like a precocious only child that is dissatisfied whenever a discussion goes in a way that you don't like. I have worked with some pretty competent leaders in my day and a common thread in all of them was that they trusted the people that they worked with. They knew that there would be mistakes made and people would go off on paths that would ultimately fail. They gave input and let the people work through the process. They didn't disparage them for their failures and allowed them to take credit for their successes knowing in the end that they were helping to create another crop of strong leaders.

There was a time when I found my greatest sense of satisfaction in working with inanimate objects. They were predictable and controllable. With a wife and 4 kids, it was a challenging lesson to learn that when one tries to approach people in the same way that you approach things, it will lead to disharmony. I think that there are posters here who do that regularly and don't even realize it. Worse yet, they may realize it and just don't care. I think the board suffers for that attitude.

Do I think it will change? I am not confident. I have an acquaintance who participates in a message board for people suffering from a terminal cancer. The participants engage in many faceted discussions about treatments, trials, side effects, etc. Recently a patient remarked about the depression she was feeling. Posters offered advice and support in a variety of ways. One even offered her prayers. To make a long story short, this was offensive to some of the more logical and reasoned posters who wanted to stick to statistics and protocols. It turned into a battle that eventually led to the board having a cooling off period. For pete's sake...these people are all dying and they still end up in a battle because some of the engineers didn't want feelings or spirituality brought to the board. Some things still defy my understanding.

I don't think the potential of a message board is achieved when ridicule is part of its charter. Critical analysis yes, but when it becomes clear that there is a unsolvable difference of opinion, responsible posters will simply agree to disagree and step away while they allow the discussion to continue. Some of you may argue that will foster or allow illogical thinking. So what? If you are so sure you are right, truth will ultimately prevail and the posters will come around to your point of view on their own. I understand that this may be a foreign concept to some of the more argumentative types, but in my experience, truth usually prevails whether I argue for it or not.

Anyway, that's my take. I came here 3 years ago because it was an interesting, educational and informative atmosphere that also had a spirit of community. It would be nice if some of the leaders of the board could get us back in that direction.

when one's philosophy of life is "My way or the highway", they usually end up dying alone.

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