To sustain his influence hocus should always hold a little bit back. He needs to save a little gem for each new book.
I know that you are mostly joking, JWR1945. But I am going to be a little bit serious in response because the issues you discuss here have been placed on the table in a teasing sort of way and that's not entirely fair. There are some things that I just cannot say, but in general I like to shoot straight with people. So I will briefly (for me!) comment on some of the stuff you brought up here.
I am entirely serious when I use the phrase "Retire Early Movement." The Joe Dominquez book "Your Money or Your Life" is an international bestseller, but, even so, it is greatly underrated. The ideas in that book are radical ideas. If you follow through the implications, they lead to some very interesting places. The stuff you hear on the REHP board about how "we are so much better than anyone else because we know how to retire early and no one else is capable of it" is dumb and offensive. I'm not in favor of opening up the idea of FIRE to more people because I think it is a nice thing to do, but because it is going to open up whether I have anything to do with it or not, and I find it more fun to be in on the action than sitting in a room with other narrow-minded people patting myself on the back for having come up with "the One True Way."
That's where I am coming from on this. There are lots of things that are not clear to me. But it is clear to me that the FIRE concept is a bigger thing than many now see it to be. It will grow whether anyone here or at the other board ever contributes or not. By contributing, we get to ride the wave, and that's fun. I contribute primarily because I like to have fun.
You brought up the money side, and the money side is something I need to take seriously because it affects my family. In my initial FIRE plan, I was not going to count on making money from this. I was going to contribute for the fun of it. But I was always trying to think up ways to speed up progress on my plan, and one day the thought hit "Why not just count some minimum amount of money that I expect I can make from this, so I can leave the corporate job sooner?" It seemed stupid to me not to count it, since I was going to be doing the work anyway. So that's what I did.
Does this mean that I need to "hold back" to make the money-making side work? I don't think so. I don't think I have held back a lot so far. My belief is that anything I contribute makes it a tiny bit more likely that the Wave will hit a little sooner, and the sooner the Wave hits the more likely it is that I will make the little bit of money I need to make from this to make my plan viable. You can say that I am kidding myself if you like, but I do not see a big conflict between the advice-giving side and the money-making side for someone in my circumstances. My personal belief is that the need for me to make money forces me to be more responsible in the things I say, which I think adds to the value of the advice-giving side rather subtracts from it.
That said, I do at times hold things back. The problem I face is that some things take a lot of time and space to explain. On some of these issues, people (not so much here, but elsewhere, and on occasion even here) have ideas in their heads that are just flat-out wrong. That influences the interpretation they give to new words. It makes communication problemmatic.
The purpose of the book is to give the background of what the Wave is about so that people discussing this stuff are at least starting from the same page. I am not saying that I have it all figured out. I am sure that there will be disputes on some of the things I say, and that some will be persuaded that I am wrong on some important points. That's as it should be. But the purpose of the book is to discuss the ABCs. I came to a point in my posting where I found that I simply could not move ahead without circling back and clearing up some misconceptions. That's where the book fits in.
I very much want to make money from the book. But it won't break my heart if I don't make a dollar from it. I don't absolutely have to make money from it. If I don't make any, I will have to do some other things to make the small amount needed to pay the bills, but I will still spend most of my time writing about this stuff. The best part of making money is that, if I make money, it will allow me to publicize the ideas in the book more, and that publicity brings more people into the movement and makes the Wave bigger. Which helps us all, I hope.
That's the idea. I wake up each day and ask myself "What can you do today to make the Wave grow bigger?" The number one thing is to finish the darn book. But the REHP board matter is important too. We need a place to talk about this stuff. This site has fantastic infrastructure and great people, but I believe it would benefit from a well-financed eyeball-generation engine. When I get control of the TMF board, you will have it. I will put up a link to this place every week, and you will have lots of eyeballs. There are ways to do this that make sense for all people of good intent.
People get too caught up in self-limiting ideas, in my view. The idea that there should be barriers between discussion board communities is a nonsense idea, in my opinion. I want to be able to jump from the hocus site to the REHP board to the NoFeeBoards.com board to the Intercst site to the Your Money or Your Life site and on and on. It's all the same community and I think we need to start thinking about it that way. We are all riding different sections of the same Wave, or should be.
If you guys want to have different sorts of conversations than I will be having at the REHP board, I will always respect that. I think you are entitled to do that. When you are discussing something in which I believe I have something to offer, I will jump in. I don't have to hand in my membership card at the TMF board to post over here, and I don't need to hand in my membership card here to post over there.
Intercst broke the rules. He is saying "you discuss what I want you to discuss or you take a hike." Now, ElSupremo is allowed to do that, he owns this place and it is clear that he is permitted to exercise control over what is said here. The fact of the matter is that he is open to the expression of a multitude of views, and that's nice, but, if he were not, he would possess the right to be otherwise. Intercst does not possess that right. Intercst is posting on a public board and he needs to follow the rules of the public board.
Those rules protect this community, which is comprised of all of us with an interest in the subject matter. We need to discover effective ways to see that those protections are honored. It is very important that we do this. Otherwise, we have a situation where people like Wanderer contribute scores of great posts to a board, and then that asset is lost to the people of that community for no legitimate reason. No. This cannot be. This undermines growth of the Wave.
I completely disagree with the idea that the matter I have pursued is somehow "off-topic." I don't ever post off-topic, not ever. The FIRE thing is the only thing I have time for. So when I post about intercst, you can rest assured that it is an on-topic matter in my mind.
In my mind, intercst is the greatest obstacle to the growth of the Wave that exists on Planet Earth at this particular point in time. I have nothing against him in a personal way. I just do what is needed to build the Wave. He is opposed to growth of the Wave. That is why I do what I do. It's all about the Wave.
I do expect to make some money from the growth of the Wave, and I don't apologize for it. I've worked harder for those dollars that I worked for any other dollars I have ever earned in the course of my life. But my primary purpose is to see the Wave get big enough to give me and a lot of other people a nice, big, long ride. That's the real point.
This board is currently the best resource on Planet Earth for learning about FIRE. That's to your credit, and to the shame of the current manifestation of the REHP board. I hope to bring the TMF board back to its glory days, so there is a sense in which I will at some point need to be a little bit competitive with you all. But the Wave is going to be so big that there will be plenty of room for a lot more than two successful discussion boards dealing with this subject. Both boards will be hugely successful, and others will be too.
I hope that all makes a little bit of sense. I don't mean to make this all about me, I would rather talk about the issues. But I hope that some of you see that intercst twisted it in such a way that it came to be more about me than it should be, and that that was not my doing. I have to play it the way it was dealt to me. I prefer that the focus be less on me and more on the Wave. But I won't duck questions that relate directly to me. He put that part into play, so now he will have to accept the consequences of what his decision to do so is going to mean for him and me both.
And for the Wave too, of course. Never take your eye off of the Wave. It's out on the horizon, building up slow and strong. The Wave doesn't care what sort of nonsense you talk or what sort of silly polls you post. The Wave just knocks that sort of stuff flat to the ground when it reaches it.
You just watch it play out and see if it doesn't. Heat up some popcorn, find a nice soft chair, and watch the Wave travel slow and strong and larger than life to the shoreline. I hope that some others can see it at least a little bit. I don't see it all just yet, but I see enough to know for sure that it's a real and for true monster-sized wave. I'm as confident of that much as I am confident of anything I have ever known in the course of this lifetime.