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Old 24-04-2012, 07:38   #526
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Defining "simplicity" in the abstract is fun, but it's where the rubber meets the road that really matters. As I said way back in post #242, I take a fairly practical approach when seeking to add a new item or tool to my life (be in on the water, or on land):

#1. Does it respond to a real need, not just a want? (a hard thing to do ... I know).
#2. Does the tool do the job well? (not perfectly, not poorly, but reasonably well).
#3. Is the tool of sufficient quality to last? (I hate doing a job twice).
#4. Can the tool be maintained by us? (with out limited technical/mechanical skills & our limited resources).

Is this living a simple life? I dunno . It's the way I try to live.
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Old 24-04-2012, 07:54   #527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly
Defining "simplicity" in the abstract is fun, but it's where the rubber meets the road that really matters. As I said way back in post #242, I take a fairly practical approach when seeking to add a new item or tool to my life (be in on the water, or on land):

#1. Does it respond to a real need, not just a want? (a hard thing to do ... I know).
#2. Does the tool do the job well? (not perfectly, not poorly, but reasonably well).
#3. Is the tool of sufficient quality to last? (I hate doing a job twice).
#4. Can the tool be maintained by us? (with out limited technical/mechanical skills & our limited resources).

Is this living a simple life? I dunno . It's the way I try to live.
Instead of adding, I like to ask myself is there a tool I can eliminate. For me that would be simplifying.
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Old 24-04-2012, 09:20   #528
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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I think....
While everyone is trying to say 'its relative', what I'm trying to say is, it's not relative because NONE OF US are living simply And we should just accept that and admit that we enjoy complex systems and approaches to life in general and forget this whole ideal of "cruising simply on a budget", because it's not possible.

It's not relative, it's a myth!

So if I understand correctly…. Because we are not simple creatures, we cannot by definition…live simply!

Is that what you meant?...if so I totaly agree.

Although, I kinda like my philosophy in post 95 much better...
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Old 24-04-2012, 09:23   #529
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Instead of adding, I like to ask myself is there a tool I can eliminate. For me that would be simplifying.
Looking at your avatar I reckon you've about reached it. Time to draw the line...
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Old 24-04-2012, 10:31   #530
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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But I think it is relative. What we are talking about here, i.e. Westerns reducing their consumption and materiality is nothing compared to the simple life the average Thai villager lives. They have cars, TV, cellphones but after that it is vastly different from what you and I living on a boat experience even. Their simplicity is a lot different from our vision, but you have to see it to really understand. It's not a conscious decision so much on their part, it just is. IMHO
Its a mistake to characterize people living in poverty as living simple lives. Experience shows us that all groups living on poverty would gladly "complicate" their lives with a little bit less poverty.

Living simply is quite frankly a middle class delusion, supported by first world support systems and safety nets. It must seem like an amusing rich mans affectation to those struggling to feed themselves. Live "simply" or not, its matters not, there isn't much difference anyway. ( not for first world ideas about simplicity).

To disabuse you re simplicity, does that mean you'll operate on yourself with a rusty knife when you get ill. or that you'll stand around chucking buckets of water at your boat on fire, rather then calling the fire service. Of if you're in trouble of the coast, you'll go down without calling the CG. ( who will deploy all that complex stuff to try and save you )

Its not simple living, your just deciding to selectively do without some obvious trappings of our civilization, but your are in no means outside it.


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Old 24-04-2012, 10:52   #531
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One doesnt have to deny all of the benefits of modern civilization to live simply, as said dozens of pages ago one is not a luddite if one chooses to live simply. Just because we in the west have won the birth lottery doesnt mean we should choose to maximally exploit resources or complicate our lives. You try to polarize the discussion by presupposing that this is an either or conversation or that if one is born in relative priviledge one doesnt have the right to discuss the idea of simplifying. That is absurd, we are exactly the people who should be discussing this.
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Old 24-04-2012, 11:29   #532
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I currently live well within the poverty level though not at all suffering from it at all. Actually makes life interesting and frankly for me better then making a 100k/ year and stressing about everything..

if my boat caught fire, You bet I would be tossing water on it, as by the time the fire department arrived the boat would be a total loss. Got my bucket for that

Yes I live in the US. But I could live impractically anywhere else with the exact same low impact lifestyle I currently enjoy.. Well on water anyway. To much complexity required on land, I think.

Yes to some extent it does require a complex civilization to afford one to live simply. I can see that up to a point. But living simply is what I do, no matter which yardstick you use.. Mind you, most guys would not want to live as simply as I do, let along other women. But it can be done, Simply and easily too.

My cat on the other hand is a complex little bugger
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Old 24-04-2012, 11:44   #533
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I think I'm in agreement with goboatingnow

We have to be able to define simplicity in order to have a conversation about the philosophy behind it....

What we are talking about in this thread is not 'living simply' in a true sense. We're talking about the middle class delusion of living simply. The real people who live simply are people like buddhist monks, or indigenous tribes people. People who have 100's of generations worth of living exactly the same as they do now. People that have absolutely no desire to 'upgrade' their lives... They live on the very edge of 'necessity', and yet, they do it on purpose... Although, It's not really the poverty stricken people of the world, as FoolishSailor points out.

So we're just using the phrase 'relative simplicity' to describe something other than actual simplicity (because simple is definitive and there is no such thing as relative simplicity! ). Something more akin to escaping the trappings of our complex and convoluted society. We have no desire to truly live simply, and even if we did, I doubt any of us would make very successful buddhist monks

But, also as FoolishSailor said, we have every right (and motivation) to discuss and practice the art of escaping the trappings of our consumerist society, as well as the reduction of materials that keeps a cruising boat as maintenance free and 'bullet proof' as possible.

What IS relative, is that we all have our own versions of what is manageable (as Pelagic says), and we all have our own limits of just how 'reduced' we're willing to live. This is where our own personal philosophies come into play...
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Old 24-04-2012, 12:04   #534
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Yet a Buddhist monk is not born a monk, but someone that chooses the simple meditative live. That simple life, comes in many shapes and sizes. The buddhist monk could have started out as an investment banker or airline pilot. So in that reguard, one can choose to let go of the complex life and live simply. Happens all the time.

Some of us, actually do have a desire to live simply.
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Old 24-04-2012, 12:11   #535
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

People take ideas, like living simply, and really run around them missing the core point. You see this with diets too. It seems like people can't just stop eating white bread and pasta, they have to Paleo diet as if cavemen had all the answers.

The core value is quality of life. The Amish don't spurn all the tech us english use because they're trying to lead simple lives, they just feel most of those items are distractions and temptations away from a healthy family life.

Living simply should be about finding the core things that make you happy and not being distracted from them by a heavily consumerist society.
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Old 24-04-2012, 12:19   #536
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Where I'm coming from , is that the notion of a" simple life " is somewhat of an affectation. It's not that simple at all. To many living a simple life as described on a boat would be a luxury. Relative to our friends etc of course it may seem simple.

Yet to effect this lifestyle, you still need a first world manufactured boat ( built mostly from hydrocarbons and rain forest) typically it will have electricity and some conveniences ,( indoor running water, heat, light, indoor sanitation). This level of living is an aspiration for many on the planet.

We aspire towards simple living because we can. It is however a conceit, it's a simple lifestyle set in an incredibly energy inefficient, resource hungry environment. Living simply in a first world, I suspect has very little impact on our "footprint".

Everyone aspires to "living simply" just like they want to save the whales. Modern expensive minimalist designs abound from houses to cars. Yet it's an expensive choice in this case. The problem is few people are genuinely living simpler. And I suggest theses few are not trying to convince themselves of its value.

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Old 24-04-2012, 13:06   #537
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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this is all looking very familiar... slightly different words, but the point I was trying to make about a thousand posts ago...
Lol!

Living has never been simple and cheap - why would involving a boat make it so? .

Living the life of a hunter / gatherer (take yer pick ) is bloody hard work, even with only a cave to maintain! and to be succesful also requires a lot of knowledge and skills....as well as sacrifices ("Ugg no have Colour TV" ).

Anything above(?) that is simply a trade off between simplicity and complexity and between cheap and expensive - all with the goal of making life easier (and each is different as to what that means!).....and all require sacrifices. If lucky some of them will be choices.

It really boils down to what you are prepared (and able) to sacrifice to acheive your goal......and if that Goal is Simple, Cheap and Easy - likely to be sh#t outta luck .
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Old 24-04-2012, 14:55   #538
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Defining "simplicity" in the abstract is fun, but it's where the rubber meets the road that really matters.
Awww c'mon! I was hoping we could get into relativity next
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Old 24-04-2012, 15:02   #539
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Good question

I'd say that it's not a 'state of mind', as in, a 'single perspective'... It's more of an 'active process', that doesn't end with single solution. It's a collective of material solutions (in the direction of efficiency), over time, that were the result of a singular mindset

I'm not claiming to be some type of simplicity expert here. I just think there is a major point being left out of the conversation, and I'm trying to reconcile that....

I think people like Thoreau, or Slocum, or buddhist monks, or podank country folk, would all have something to say about a watermaker and radar.... And not because they are new-fangled machines, but because they go well beyond any standard of necessity. Simplicity is the pursuit of necessity.

Simplicity in logic, as pointed out in earlier posts, is the reduction of a method to it's most essential components. The equation still performs the required function but, it does so through the most basic (and elegant) form.

So try putting that in context with human behavior (please! because I'm having a difficult time with it!)
WOW! It's times like this when I wish I had a dozen (or two) extra IQ points to call on. I envy people who can think that clearly.

I'll tell you my approach to living simply, but I'll be damned if I can explain it within the context of human behavior.

Because I have neither the brains, the inclination nor the education I would need to figure out complicated navigation software, and have no interest in becoming an electrical or mechanical engineer, I choose to do without many things. My vision of a simply led life is one in which I have as little drama as possible. That includes boat maintenance and relationships (both spiritual and interpersonal).

With that philosophy in mind, I have thrown out all my foot pumps because they broke and I want to have an unbreakable system. I will use jugs of water and gravity fed day tanks. So far I've been fine with hand held GPS and my Iphone. Oh..and a Mac. I chose my Little Cod stove for it's simplicity and because there is simply nothing to go wrong.

I choose not to conceptualize my higher power because it's too complicated. I claim to be an atheist who has a need to believe and so on occasion, prays. That approach gives me peace and allows me to approach the world with an open heart. It's uncomplicated and It works for me.

I have also drawn a line in the sand as regards personal drama. If arguments or disagreements become frequent, verbal abuse becomes a habit etc..I'll roll out and get a dog. (although thats complicates things.)

Life is much simpler when your simple minded.
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Old 24-04-2012, 15:13   #540
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

If I was smart, I'd be rich
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