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Old 26-04-2012, 19:28   #586
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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You make an excellent point and one that has been in the back of my mind. It's as if we are saying "if I could just make things simple enough I will be happy and life will be good." Maybe we are just creating another self-image, another condition to strive for, another ideal, another trap. What's the saying ... if you're not happy now, you never will be.
This is the same principal I proposed as "always striving for more". The western concept of 'bigger, better, stronger, faster, and MORE', is the thing that causes a more complicated life than necessary. That extra complication is what causes greater stress and lack of freedom

Striving for "simpler" is no different than striving for "better", "more", or more money, or a better boat, Or shinier teak, or a bigger anchor, or whatever the case may be.

The entire idea behind 'simplicity' in life (not boats), as I've shown in previous posts (prior to the whole philosophy debate ), is that it is a frame of mind. That doesn't make simple relative, mind you (and I'll be happy to prove this to anyone who wants a real debate), but only that allowing yourself to appreciate and accept what IS, instead of what could be, is the true path to freedom. And this path to freedom is the one-and-same road to simplicity

Thoreau used what means he had to create a life for himself (as a test). It worked... He abandoned the NEED for anything more than what he had available, and as a result, he found himself greatly rewarded

There is no question that "less is more", in all aspects of life. It's been said throughout the ages within every realm of religion, politics, philosophy, mathematics, poetry, music, etc... etc..

Thoreau put the idea to the test, and had a great knack for putting it into words. But it is by no means a new concept that we sailors are just now figuring out
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Old 26-04-2012, 20:31   #587
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Anyone else find it funny that a thread about simplicity has close to 600 post?

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Old 26-04-2012, 20:38   #588
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Anyone else find it funny that a thread about simplicity has close to 600 post?


But, but, but...


It's not about "simplicity". It's about "The philosophy behind sailing simply on a budget".

It's been an interesting discussion. With a few tangents...(as expected).

What I find most interesting is that almost all of us who consider our lifes "realtively simple", have very similar philosophies.

What makes the whole thing turn to pedantics is the wording. er. well... more specifically, what makes the pendantics come out, is the lack of articulation
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Old 26-04-2012, 20:38   #589
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I don't know what all these pages are about but I've learned simplicity when I bought the boat. I bought the boat and all my money went into it. Since then I've lived simply. End of story.
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Old 26-04-2012, 23:20   #590
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

This guy sums it up fairly well...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=te15k1Lk0tw

Quote:
"Discover the things we need, and get rid of the rest".
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Old 27-04-2012, 01:13   #591
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
This guy sums it up fairly well...

Simple Living - YouTube

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"Discover the things we need, and get rid of the rest".
Nice sentiment but I don't think the author's been to many third world countries. Life is not always that backward and their lives not that pure and rich. He seems to have an idealist sense of what simple living is. He advocates getting away from all the technology but needs his video equipment, computer and high speed internet to tell us. Just seems kind of ironic or maybe I'm just being too cynical.

"I possess more movies, clothes, furniture [etc] than any child from a third world country will ever see in their lifetimes. If you think of it in that way, their lives are more pure and rich in life than in any materialistic way."
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Old 27-04-2012, 04:55   #592
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It really gets me when comparatively rich people rabbit on about the simplistic "pure" existence of others usually because they are in a poverty trap. It is of course nonsense . To equate poverty with simplicity is to trade on the unfortunate to justify the argument.

Living simply is a western preoccupation typically indulged by middle class pseudo idealists. It is never espoused by those that are held up as the "models" . They are happy to acquire "stuff" if their situation allows it .

By all means promote your ideals, but not on the back of the disadvantaged. ( if you see what I mean).

Let's face it, it's really a conceit, we try to live simply by being in the position to be able to give away "stuff" ( or to decide not to spend our disposable income on more stuff) surely we see the irony here. By all means live as you choose to live and be grateful you live in a society that facilitates such activity. But let's not hold it up as any sort of ideal.

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Old 27-04-2012, 06:32   #593
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What other ideal would you propose us to aspire too? Should we instead maximize our gluttony to the furthest extent we can manage? And if our insatiable desire for more stuff cant be assuaged by what we earn lets borrow and consume our future as well as everything around us.

We have already debated the fallacy of the "noble savage" dozens of pages ago and i think most would agree with your point, i certainly do. But one doesnt throw the baby out with the bathwater by dismissing the validity of the priviledged attemtping to not take advantage of thier position and instead seeking to minimize their impact and refusing to consume all the options available to them.
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Old 27-04-2012, 06:35   #594
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Im fascinated by the length and intensity of this discussion. It seems that this thread touches on some core values we all share, regardless of whether we are able to agree with what they are.
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Old 27-04-2012, 06:47   #595
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Simple
Cheap
Easy

You only get to pick 2 out of 3.
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Old 27-04-2012, 07:22   #596
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Simple
Cheap
Easy

You only get to pick 2 out of 3.

And recall that great quote along the line of: There are always two paths, and the only benefit to the easy one is that it's easy.
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Old 27-04-2012, 07:46   #597
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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(..) Let's face it, it's really a conceit, we try to live simply by being in the position to be able to give away "stuff" ( or to decide not to spend our disposable income on more stuff) surely we see the irony here. By all means live as you choose to live and be grateful you live in a society that facilitates such activity. (...)
Every time I say this to the bunch of EU 'rasta' 'globetrotters' who 'just want to hitch a ride to Latin America' (they never say 'South' they say 'Latin') I receive a well posed dumb look. Next thing you see is them missing their train, shaving their heads and FLYING back to their well off families. So much for the simple lifestyles on our side of the pond.

I say we are blessed (a.k.a lucky) with being allowed to live on the fringes of a well off society. I believe it it is OK to use the system and not abuse it. Also, give back. If one can give more than they receive then this is what I call double blessing (or double luck).

b.
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Old 27-04-2012, 08:10   #598
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Every time I say this to the bunch of EU 'rasta' 'globetrotters' who 'just want to hitch a ride to Latin America' (they never say 'South' they say 'Latin') I receive a well posed dumb look. Next thing you see is them missing their train, shaving their heads and FLYING back to their well off families. So much for the simple lifestyles on our side of the pond.

I say we are blessed (a.k.a lucky) with being allowed to live on the fringes of a well off society. I believe it it is OK to use the system and not abuse it. Also, give back. If one can give more than they receive then this is what I call double blessing (or double luck).
Pretty much this. I've always looked at the rich kid in the poor country living low as just another form of tourism.

I don't get the luddite movement. Technology can be liberating. The "complex" watermaker means you can exist in remote areas for months. My tablet allows me to take thousands of novels with me when I travel. My home theater PC has months worth of content on it.
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Old 27-04-2012, 19:41   #599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy
This guy sums it up fairly well...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=te15k1Lk0tw

Quote:
"Discover the things we need, and get rid of the rest".
Thanks for the link but it honestly made me want to barf with its idealism. If the student who put that together really belives all that crap he can drop out, get a couple of pet bottles for shoes and join the Africans in the video.

I am failing to find words for this thread at present but I think there is some sort of developed world guilt that we have all become ingrained with. We have, they dont. Therefore we must be bad, or evil, or living wrong, or less moral. I dont buy it.

Sailing simply & cheaply - the beauty of this thread title is that these two concepts really can be at odds with each other most of the time. One cannot always have simple with cheap.

Is it simpler to relpace a windlass, winch, watermaker or whatever piece of kit on a boat or overhaul it?

Is it simpler to catch and/or haul drinking water or press a button and make water with your spectra?

Is it simpler to punch in a gps destination on your gps or take star shots and sight reductions and plot a course?

Is it simpler to prepare a meal from scratch or pop something in the microwave?

Is it simpler to barbeque a hamburger and fry up some fries or pick up a big mac meal?

One may not agree but the button press lifestyle is very simple. It is not necessarily cheap... (or maybe even healthy)

The biggest advances in technology humans have made have been in the area of food production and farming. Moving the majority of society off farms, feeding large populations large quantities of high protein food allowed the population to work in different endeavors, primarily industrial and lately technology. As the average daily labor output need reduced we filled the free time with leisure activities.

There are still populations that struggle to feed themselves. The reality is that this is not a failure of us to create food. It is a failure of us to evolve from our animal roots in which tribes dominate each other by the withholding or sharing of resources. Sometimes it is the external tribe (call it the west) not sharing. More often it is internal tribes (call them warlords) intercepting food and using it to dominate other internal tribes.

The sad part is that somehow on some level we (the haves) are required to examine ourselves and feel some sort of guilt about "having" too much stuff. I certainly belive we do have too much stuff but I dont suffer guilt over it, nor judge my fellow haves for buying mcmansions and filling them with plasmas and toys. The reason is simple.

I dont care if you have a "simple" boat or a complex boat. You have a boat. It is probaly not a boat used primarily to go fish and feed your village. It is a Leisure boat. Sure you live on it, it is your shelter, you worked hard to get it. But the vast majority of the entire worlds population does not have a leisure boat. By this very definition, having a boat and the time to leisurely live aboard you are perceived as a very, very rich and privileged person.

Dont feel guilty. Enjoy it. But dont explain it away as a simple, "I chose to live simply.". If we didn't win the birth lottery to start with there would be a whole nother set of westerners with their electrronic devices sitting in their comfy internet wired world postulating about how simply they are living. Really the folks who may or may mot be living simply are, well, simply not on the internet. If you really want to prove something, unplug and disappear, that will show us! Realistically we dont really want to get that simple. It is more fun to keep enough complexity to wear our birkenstocks, drive our hybrids and tell everyone else to unplug and sell out the complexity - yeah, I am a total cynic. I grew up California. Globe central for the do as I say crowd...

Oh and back to that video and the idea, that the guy with the coke bottle shoes is living more closely to a zen existence because he doesn't have the distractions of modern society - complete rubbish. Hey if there wasn't a pet bottle factory that dude wouldn't have any shoes... Even he rerlies on modern technology...

Lets all get over ourselves and enjoy what we have...

(wow, I just read my drivel - gotta stop posting under the influence of coffee...)
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Old 27-04-2012, 20:31   #600
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

It's amazing to me that people can be so closed minded.

Is it really that difficult to understand? People don't choose where they are born or how they are raised. So, some Americanized suburban kid matures a little and realizes the materialism and shallowness of his culture isn't all it's cracked up to be. But, he doesn't become a monk, or a 3rd world child, so Suddenly he's a bad guy and a hypocrite for downsizing his possessions, taking walks, and appreciating a little nature on the weekends?

Why is idealism such a terrible thing?

What do you guys think cruisers are? Aren't they all "on vacation"? Isn't it all just one big western idealistic response to their upbringing?

This is why I said in so many posts that 'living simple' doesn't really exist. But, the Ideal of moving ones western self away from materialism and consumerism is, by all means, beneficial. Even if it's only a small part of a persons philosophy, or it's only a small material reduction...

It has nothing to do with a watermaker. It has very little to do with anything material at all! Simplicity is 100% ideal (which has been translated to "relative" by many).

If some Euro collage grad with dreadlocks decides to backpack across South America, how is that a bad thing? Who gives a crap about the irony? Isn't he still shedding at least some measure of the materialist and consumerist ways that he was force-fed all his life? Isn't he going to come home a different person in the end? Isn't he appreciating the life he was given and the privileges? Will he not learn a thing or two about other cultures and possibly even what it's like to not have money and options?

What's been made clear in this thread is that 'sailing simple' is usually a financial matter. We can't afford a watermaker so we catch rain and call it simple... actual simplicity doesn't exist in the world of sailing. It's just the name we've given to material reductions, or the lack of material gains.... We've agreed that we cannot be monks and that sailors are inherently living a 'relatively complicated' life, and that nobody cares if one boat has a watermaker and the other doesn't... So how does this make sailors any different than the American kid with a video camera, or the yippy dread with a backpack?

We've also established that there are some very real emotional and spiritual benefits to material reductions. Usually in the form of the lack of distractions and clutter in ones life which allows more time and 'space' for spirituality, or the appreciation of nature. Or even easier manageability.... That was the main theme of Walden and many other advocates of simplicity. Material reductions for the benefit of spiritual gains.

So we are left with nothing but idealism.

But here we have a group of people who abhor the idealist and can't possibly conceive any reason why some stupid american would want to 'do without'.

Maybe I just don't get it...
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