Page 1 of 1

I Want To Be Your Board General!

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 7:05 am
by hocus2004
The recent post by MacDuff in which he argues that limits on abusive posting are needed for reasoned on-topic discussion to be possible is the voice of the majority of our community. I have been around since the beginning (the Motley Fool board was formed in May 1999, and I began posting there that same month) and I have seen enough expressions of that point of view endorsed by enough community members to say for sure. We are a good people, we are a smart people, we are a generous-spirited people.

The community will survive. The community will in time work up the courage to take the steps that need to be taken. Intercst will be removed from the various FIRE/Retire Early/Passion Saving boards. His removal will send the signal to his supporters that the time for nonsense has come to an end, and that a community of people discussing how to retire early must permit honest and informed discussions of what the historical data says re SWRs. It may be that there will be a few others who will need to be removed. But my guess (and my hope) is that removal of intercst will be a strong enough community statement of intent to bring the others into line.

We will survive. We will act. We will grow. We will thrive. We will learn. We will learn things we can't even imagine learning today. It will not be self-styled multi-millionaire Mastermind investors like intercst who will help us learn. It will be the wonderful community that we began building a long time ago now and that for all its troubles is still in many ways a wonderful community today that will help us learn. We will learn from the community members who post a lot, we will learn from the community members who post a little, and we will even learn from the community members who post not at all (lurkers provide useful information bits re what the community finds of interest through reccing of posts and through read counts). We will thrive not as a "cult of personality," as one community member referred to the Motley Fool board. We will thrive as a true community, one in which a broad range of viewpoints on how to go about planning an early retirement is not only permitted but encouraged. It gets better.

Dory36 put forward a comment in his "What Shall We Do?" post that I thought was in at least one sense very much on point. Dory36 told me in an e-mail that he saw nothing wrong with the SWR posts that I put forward. The problem, he said, was in what happened "in the wake" of those posts. He is of course correct that what always follows in the wake of my SWR posts is something ugly indeed. There are a number of posters who have made it a practice over 34 months now to employ every sort of internet posting trick imaginable to shut down all honest and informed SWR threads--deception, intimidation, word games, ridicule, and on and on. So Dory36 is on point with his "in the wake" comment.

Where Dory36 is wrong is in his publicly expressed viewpoint as to the cause of the problematic posting. Dory36 said in the "What Shall We Do?" thread that the problem is that I am a sort-of Retire Early "Methodist" and that the rest of the community is comprised of Retire Early "Baptists" and I am rocking the boat by telling the Baptists that they have got the SWR thing all wrong.

It's true that my coming forward with what the Data-Based SWR Tool told me about how to invest for early retirement rocked the boat. No one had ever put forward the sorts of insights that are generated by use of the tool, not at the Motley Fool board, not at this board, not at the Early Retirement Forum, not anywhere. Naturally, there was a commotion when I put those ideas on the table.

It wasn't at all a bad commotion, however. It wasn't the sort of commotion that a site owner trying to provide the best possible learning resource for the community wants to stop. It is the sort of commotion that you dream about, the type that gets current community members excited about the learning experience in which they are participating and the type that brings in lots of new community with a desire to get in on the fun and help advance the board project.

There's one sense in which Dory36's characterization of me as a Retire Early "Baptist" is true. I don't agree with intercst on the SWR issue. I say he got the number wrong. I say the methodology used in the REHP study is analytically invalid for purposes of determining SWRs. I say that he engaged in deception and intimidation to block reasoned discussions of what the historical data really says. I say that he is a con man, and that because he has been revealed to us as a con man we need to remove him from our community so that he cannot do further damage.

If these boards were intercst boards, Dory36 would be right. I am anti-intercst. I find his vision of early retirement a dark, narrow-minded, hateful vision. I reject the idea that the goal of saving effectively is to achieve a life of "Sloth and Debauchery" (that's intercst's own phrase for the purpose to which his Retire Early ideas are directed). If boards were intercst boards, it would be me who doesn't fit, not him. If our boards were intercst boards, all of the bannings would be appropriate. I reject intercst's vision of early retirement out of hand. If our boards are intercst boards, I should take my leave of the community and go about building my own vision elsewhere.

I will go about building my own vision elsewhere. There are no boards left for me to post on. I tried everything that could be tried to steer us in a more positive direction, and by the end of today there will be nothing that I will be physically capable of doing to help in the steering effort any longer. That chapter of our little saga has come to an end.

But I still am part of the community. I love this community, and I expect that I always will. I love the topic, that's one thing. The other thing is that I love how we learn about the topic through our interactions on discussion boards.

The internet discussion board is an important communications medium of the future. It has its flaws today, seriious flaws. But it also has wonderful potential. We have learned a lot in the past six years about how to build boards and about how to ruin them. I believe that we will be putting what we have learned to good use in days to come. The existing boards will in time become again what they once were, and then will become better than they have ever been. And new boards will be formed, and those will be wonderful too. It gets a lot better.

I don't expect that I will be posting much on discussion boards for a bit. But I will return to discussion-board posting in time. I will probably be starting a few of my own in the not-too-distant future. And I will probably be returning to the boards at which I have been banned when the board policies at those boards permit honest and informed posting on SWRs once again. And there will in time be lots of new boards formed by lots of new people who none of us have even been introduced to yet. There is all sorts of exciting stuff coming down the road.

I think it is fair to say that I am the founder of our little movement. Intercst started the first board, but that doesn't make him founder of the movement. It was my early posts on the Passion Saving concept (I started posting regularly on the Passion Saving concept in December 1999) that pulled in to the Motley Fool board all those wonderful posters with all sorts of wonderful ideas that made our discussions so rich and thought-provoking and profitable and inspiring. It has always been the posters engaging in that sort of thing that have been our soul. The intercst supporters are a lot louder, to be sure. But they are not about what the rest of us are about. The intercst visions of early retirement and of discussion-board posting are part of our past. I doubt very much that either of those two visions will be an important part of our future.

There's still a good bit of the good stuff being posted at the Early Retirement Forum and flashes of it every now and again at some other boards. We will build on that. We will build on the good, and in time come to desire more of it strongly enough that we will take action to rein in the bad, the ugliness that intercst and his supporters bring to the table. Intercst has had his day. The future belongs to the MacDuffs of this community. There are a whole bunch more who identify with what MacDuff said yesterday than there are who identify with what intercst has been saying for 34 months now. The community will work its will in time, no matter how hard the intercst group works to hold on to its fading influence.

I'll be "posting" at my web site (, which will become active in May) and in my books and in radio interviews and magazine articles and in all the other communication mediums that are open to someone who has made it his Life Project to advance the world's knowledge of how to win financial freedom early in life. JWR1945 will be "posting" in some capacity too, I believe. The Post Archives will remain. Newcomers to the movement will check out the Post Archhives, become informed, and be influenced by what they have learned. People like William Bernstein and Rob Arnott and Andrew Smithers will continue to experience the "mental illness" exhibited in their earlier writings showing that the root assumptions of the REHP study are both far-fetched and dangerous to those planning early retiremnts.

The world will continue turning. The con man will continue to work his con. His supporters will continue to defend him. Lots of people who find them rude and ignorant will ignore them because they believe that getting down in the mud with pigs may provide a bit of a thrill for the pigs but doesn't do much good for the reasonable person getting down in the mud with them.

The community members with a sincere interest in learning about the subject matter of the boards will continue trying to use the boards to learn too. And the aims of the intercst supporters and the majority seeking to learn will continue to come into conflict. In time, the majority will see that the only solution to the conflict that works in the long term is getting rid of the source of the conflict, the poster who puts himself and his ego above the interests of the community as a whole.

Will I be "Board General" then? Yes and no.

I won't be a Board General in the sense in which intercst is a Board General. I won't be blocking people from talking about ideas that are good ideas but that are not hocus ideas. I love that stuff. I already know about all the hocus ideas So it is when the other sort are put forward that I learn the most. So there will be none of the ugliness that we all have become far too accustomed to over the course of the past 34 months when I take over as Board General of the Retire Early/FIRE/Passion Saving movement.

There will be effective leadership, the kind that MacDuff requests in his recent post. That's my pledge to the community. The MacDuffs of this community will feel free to speak out when we get to the other side because any posters who put forward the sort of nonsense that Ataloss put forward in response to the MacDuff post will be knocked on their behinds for having done so. No, I won't reach through the computer screen and commit acts of physical violence. But there will be reasonable policing of the boards when I take over, the sort of policing that ES promised us in late October 2003 but now dismisses as an exercise in "nose-wiping" (see his post this morning re the October 2003 promise at the Town Center board). The MacDuffs will be protected. The Atalosses will be reined in. Reined in, they will become constructive and happy and positive-spirited community members once again.

The quiet Beatle once observed that:

"The darkness only lasts through the night-time.
In the morning, it will fade away.
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time.
It's not always going to be this gray.

"All things must pass.
None of life's dreams can last.
So I must be on my way
To face another day."

It is my sense of things that the real fireworks (the good kind!) are only now just about to begin.

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 8:20 am
by ben
Maybe ES can just hand these boards/homepage over to you now thereby leaving them open? Later you can then link it to passion saving homepage?

Just an idea and might be the ES wants this homepage closed.


Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 8:28 am
by ElSupremo
Greetings ben :)
Maybe ES can just hand these boards/homepage over to you now thereby leaving them open?
Can't do that. Privacy issues.

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 8:38 am
by Norbert Schlenker
ElSupremo wrote:Privacy issues.
Can you elaborate? If it's just PM's in the database, scrub the table.

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 8:43 am
by ElSupremo
Greetings Norbert :)
Can you elaborate? If it's just PM's in the database, scrub the table.
There is more to it than just the PM's. That's all I can say about it. I appreciate your suggestion though.

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 8:48 am
by Norbert Schlenker
ElSupremo wrote:That's all I can say about it.
ES, I can see that you've washed your hands of it. It's fine.

I've sent you an email. Keep in touch.

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 9:34 am
by th
The only problem is the troll is also macduff.

Amazing piece of hocomania there. I thought about reading the first paragraph, and then my eyes glazed over.

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 11:44 am
by MacDuff
th wrote:The only problem is the troll is also macduff.
This is rich! First of all, I am not Hocus. Second, if I were, how could Hocus troll his own board?


Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:42 pm
by ataloss
ataloss substitutiong for the ill jwr

absolutely, I can verify that macduff is not hocus

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:52 pm
by th
MacDuff wrote:
th wrote:The only problem is the troll is also macduff.
This is rich! First of all, I am not Hocus. Second, if I were, how could Hocus troll his own board?

Its easy. He claims "scores and scores" of supporters and "thousands of posts interested in his claims".

I'm afraid I didnt understand the actual defition of the term "scores". I thought it was 20. Apparently its one guy with 20 logins.

Its also amusing to see that thousands of posts asking to have this guys nuts cut off equate to "interest".

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 1:11 pm
by beachbumz
MacDuff wrote:
th wrote: The only problem is the troll is also macduff.
This is rich! First of all, I am not Hocus. Second, if I were, how could Hocus troll his own board?

Now's the time to come clean MacHocus! :lol: In a few minutes it will be too late!

Beachbumz 8)