This was originally: http://csf.colorado.edu/mail/pfvs/mar98/0128.html

Re: who I am

Fri, 13 Mar 1998 07:56:26 +1300
David MacClement (davd@geocities.com but Geocities.com no longer exists.)

At 14:41 10/03/98 -0700, Cheryl wrote:
> ...
>agreed even before we were married that we didn't want to work the rest
>of our lives. So we always lived on a small portion ..
> ...
>We now have a small income, sufficient for our needs, from our investments.
>
> ... some health problems, so our main concern in life is
>resting, eating well, and trying to regain some of our health back.
> ...
>for right now, we are kicking back, taking it easy, and enjoying life!
>

** I wasn't going to put in my response to Jan's "Who are you" because I
started my most recent cutting-back in a fit of stubbornness near the
beginning of five years of depression, and people want to read about things
where they can say to themselves: "I could do that too!"; I ask that
_no_one_ try what I've done.

After I had raised all three of our children to the stage where they could
take total responsibility for their own lives and it was no longer mine;
(I'm leaving my wife|^ out of this description: I've gone my own way and
supported myself even while living with the family, so I'm giving my own
slant on this; see details in:
http://davd.tripod.com/davdsviewhowliv.html#up ), I felt
I was free at last to "become a ghost: seen and recognised, but having no
effect"
on those around me or on the earth: my way of dealing with my depression.

I wanted also to see what was the absolute minimum spending needed by a
city-dweller for subsistence; economic theory ( and that's all it is, in
the macroscopic arena; it's useful in a controlled, bounded micro area like
a corporation, but it's far over-simplified in relation to a complex
network like a society); as I say: economics and the market assume that all
"players" have the 'zero option' available all the time: not_to_buy, or
not_to_sell. So _if_ it's to have any application to people outside of a
corporation, they have to have a guarantee of being supplied the minimum
necessities for life: food, shelter (at the higher latitudes), and some
clothing. The answer isn't 42, it's US$900 [in 1997; in 2004: US$1,350|³]/person,
while sharing living in a paid-for cheap-to-run house and the rates.

The third thread in my life has been my awakening in 1972 to the
increasing concern for the future of the world caused by the product
(that's a mathematical term here!) of the number of people and their
individual consumption. I realised while back-packing one of my sons
twenty years ago when we were living in London Canada, (i) that there was
an excess of people in the world, so for an increasing number of
individuals there is at least one other person able to do what that one was
doing (leaving practicalities out of it), so no ordinary person needs to
feel they are indispensible, for the first time in the history or
pre-history of the human race!; and (ii) that _do_ing less was
_a_good_thing_, since resource consumption is involved in most of the
things that people _do_.

(You can see why I was reluctant to put my oar in:
I've found it stops the conversation cold!)

I've realised only a few months ago that I'm coming out of my depression,
and in the last few weeks have found that my remaining son and daughter
(who has just left to catch the bus to Auckland University) are indeed
happy to live under the same roof with me - they buy their own stuff beyond
sharing the 9 items I've eaten for the last 5+ years (mainly bread and
cabbage). My wife|^ left earlier to catch the 6:30 a.m. bus to her job
lecturing in the Physics Dept. of the university, but said as she left that
she was going to take my advice and reduce her teaching load in the 2nd
semester - she was at 130% of full-time last year!
At nearly 60, it's too risky for someone with her physiological makeup
(type-A).

Sorry for that blast.
David.

David MacClement <d1v9d@bigfoot.com>
http://davd.tripod.com/#up

_|^: (added 2010: ) Photos of me and my wife at a 350.org.nz vigil about Climate Change on 11 December 2009:
I've a long beard & candle, and my wife is 4th towards the right from me in the photo, next row back, wearing a blue 350ppm CO2 T-shirt & holding up a candle:
http://mitglied.lycos.de/davd/-/350org-nz_09vigilAuckland_2511.html#up - click off the little pop-up.

-{We've been married since 18 June 1968 (Hamilton, ON, Canada).}-

-{_|³: full 12-month data in my Jul 17, 2007 LessIsMore post "... DM's personal accounting, complete first year": http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LessIsMore/message/36716 - sign-in first.}- _________________________________________________________________________
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