14 November 2020

The Stupidity of Vulnerability and the Importance of Personal Autonomy and Independence

The greatest danger comes from other people but more specifically people closest to you. 

The problem is that we have a desire not to be alone, to commit ourselves to others and have others commit to us. This is likely a product of biology, an emotional instinct. We have a desire to be vulnerable to others. But this is dangerous. Those closest to us can harm us most and statistically they tend to. 

Most rapists are not strangers but those we know. Most abuse likewise is not from strangers but from those we know, those we let into our lives. 

It is easy to shield yourself from others. Advancements in law and technology allow this. Walls separate us from others. Laws protect us from others. Most legal systems attempt to uphold our privacy, autonomy and property. We are safe from those beyond our walls and beyond our networks. It is those within who can and do harm us most. 

The key to lasting and sustainable happiness is understanding that what gives most happiness is personal autonomy and maintaining a healthy distance from others. Even if we are close to others because we seek warmth or intimacy, we must maintain independence. 

We must never give those closest to us the opportunity to destroy us. Being vulnerable is celebrated and glorified by the media and culture as romantic love, but really making yourself vulnerable to others is dangerous, the most dangerous thing we can do. Those who open themselves up to others and make themselves vulnerable are almost always taken advantage of and betrayed, and as this happens more and more, they gradually become misanthropic. 

Growing disappointment with humanity and misanthropy are signs of maturity. 

What is most important is independence and personal autonomy. You can have people close to you, but never get so close that they can stab you. Maintain a healthy distance. Maintain your independence and personal autonomy. Never fully trust anyone. 

08 November 2020

Thoughts about the Similarities between Vegan and Anti-Porn Views

We are born into a culture and there are "normal" things in the culture that we just do without question without thinking of the harm it does to others. Eating meat is one of those things, but another harmful act is porn and specifically abuse porn. I enjoy looking at abuse porn. When I watch it, it turns me on, but I recently watched a Netflix documentary (Hot Girls Wanted) about the experience of the women who participate in abuse porn and then I thought about the parallels between women in the sex industry and animals in the meat and dairy industry. Abuse porn receives so many hits that it is more popular than NFL. 

In my opinion, what all this shows is that humans are naturally oppressive. Oppression is in our DNA and so it is DNA replication that is to blame for suffering and the solution then is to stop DNA replication by ceasing to have children. 

07 November 2020

How Being Green can Help you Build Wealth

Being environmentally friendly can help you build wealth. For example, if you live in a smaller property, there is less energy that goes into building the home. Also, the less land you take up with your property, the more land is available for e.g. trees and forests. Living in a smaller property also saves you money on accommodation costs. 

If you drive less or drive a more fuel efficient car (or ride a bike or walk), you save more money and help the environment at the same time. 

If you eat less meat and replace it with e.g. beans then you also help the environment and also save more money. 

If you get solar power, you reduce your electricity bills and also help the environment.

Furthermore, many "green" investments e.g. ESG ETFs seem to be outperforming the broader indexes now. On the Australian Securities Exchange, ETHI and VESG are outperforming IWLD, and FAIR is outperforming A200.

So basically in many areas of life, being green meaing you make more money. Another benefit of being green is the psychological aspect e.g. being green can be a powerful motivator for saving money. Being green shifts your mindset, making frugality something you do not as an act of deprivation but something that you do out of purpose, which means you're more likely to stick with it.

03 October 2020

Living with Parents for Financial Success

I will admit that I have a personal bias with this blog post because I do indeed live with my parents in order to save money. I pay my parents approximately $300 per month. I consider this to be a win-win situation as my parents get some money to help pay the bills while I get a roof over my head for very little cost. This allows me to invest more money into shares, ETFs, property, etc.

In my opinion, living with your parents helps considerably with financial success. Many people focus on small expenses when trying to live frugally e.g. they will stop buying $5 coffee each day, which will save $1300 per year. But if you don't move out of the family home, you will save about $25,000 per year (whether you rent or buy your own place).

In the Economic Explained video below on YouTube where there is a discussion about a K-shaped COVID-19 recovery, the economic benefits of living with your parents is highlighted towards the end of the video (starts at 15:20):


This video is interesting because it discusses lifestyle inflation, but it also discusses how most people in Western culture aspire to a three bedroom house, two cars, and travelling every year. Basically Western culture aspires to a nuclear family lifestyle. 

The nuclear family is the ultimate consumerist status symbol. 

The nuclear family is much more expensive and wasteful than most other consumerist status symbols that are demonised e.g. the $5 per day coffee or even Ferraris. Moving out of home costs about $25k per year, but you can rent or buy a Ferrari on finance for less than this.

Most people say that moving out from the family home is natural and that everyone does it, but the video highlights this is not true. Cultures in China, Korea, and Singapore live in multigenerational family arrnagement and have the highest savings rates in the world. Adults live with grandparents and their kids. There is division of labour and in-built childcare, which allows for fast wealth building.

Living with your family does not need to be a parasitic relationship but one where you contribute to the family. You can help to pay your parents' bills so that you have a win-win arrangement.

Cultural bias against living with parents

Within Western culture there is a considerable bias for the nuclear family arrangement and against a multigenerational or extended family arrangement. Anyone over 25 (especially men) who still live with their parents are considered losers, but this in my opinion, is an unfair assumption that goes against economic logic. 

An example of this cultural bias against the extended family can be seen with "household wealth" calculation. Western culture views a nuclear family to be a proper household but multigeneral households are not. For example, I live with my parents, but if someone asked me for my net worth, people would not expect me to aggregate my net worth with my parents' net worth as well. However, when someone is living with his spouse, they often aggregate not just their own wealth but the wealth of their spouse as well. 

The benefit of living with your parents is that you can split costs e.g. heating costs. You can benefit from splitting costs living in a nuclear family as well, but the gains will not be as great because you are splitting costs with only one other person (assuming they work and are not staying at home doing domestic duties). Another problem with the nuclear family is the threat of divorce. If you live with a spouse, even if you're not married (due to common law marriage), there is a risk of divorce. There is a probability of about 40% that you will be divorced. However, if you live with your parents, there is zero probability of divorce and having your assets seized by the courts.

Multigenerational and childfree living

To conclude, living with parents in multigenerational living arrnagements is a great way to get ahead financially. You are able to build wealth up faster by lowering expenses. In my opinion, living with your parents is not enough. To really build your wealth, you should not just live with your parents but also not have children i.e. become childfree. The benefit of the multigenerational household is being able to split costs e.g. the cost of heating is divided by everyone in the household. However, not everyone in the household may contribute. If you have a baby, the baby will not obviously not contribute to the cost of the household. As such, it is best to not have any children and live childfree. This is not a problem for me because I am an antinatalist and believe that is immoral to have children because it increases suffering. However, regardless of my philosophical views, economically it makes sense to not just live with parents but also live childfree.

15 September 2020

Watching the Controversial "Cuties" on Netflix

I decided to watch Cuties on Netflix today. I read on the news about how controversial this movie is, so I watched the movie. It turned out to be quite a good movie. I really enjoyed it. Indeed the young girls were sexualised in the movie, but that is quite normal nowadays in real life. This is a real life depiction. You see this sort of behaviour all the time on social media, and with so much porn on the internet then what you see in this movie is tame in comparison. 

Young girls are vulnerable to pedophiles, and indeed many pedophiles may watch this film, but that is why we need to protect children. There needs to be tough laws in place to protect young girls. Anyone who sexually abuses women or girls should be severely punished. Regardless, in my opinion, girls should be allowed to be girls. They should be allowed to explore their sexuality and dance and just have fun. 

13 September 2020

Are Boomers to Blame for Fertility Rate and Climate Change?

The future has many challenges, one of which is climate change. Climate change is caused by many factors, but one that I will focus on now is global population. At almost 8 billion there are quite simply too many people on this earth. Each one emits a certain amount of carbon dioxide simply by living a normal life e.g. driving a car spews carbon dioxide from exhaust and eating meat wastes a significant amount of energy to keep cows and pig alive only to kill them.

As such, policies that reduce population growth (antinatalist policies) are better for the environment. When people think of antinatalist policies, one that comes to mind is China's One Child Policy, which was draconian. It featured forced sterilization, forced abortion, and government birth permits. However, there are ways of reducing fertility rate without resorting to draconian measures that cause suffering. In fact, most of the world has seen its fertility rate fall. Back in the 1960s, global fertility rate was about 5 babies per woman. Today is approximately 2.5 babies per woman. Once it gets to 2.1 babies per woman (i.e. replacement rate) then this means global population will cease to grow, which is a huge win for the environment.

But why did the world ex-China experience a fall in fertility rate without resorting to draconian measures? Many say it is urbanisation, female education, and availability of contraception. Urbanisation as opposed to rural living transforms babies from a productive asset that can work on the family work into a liability and recreational expense. Female education gives women other options rather than staying home and looking after children. It allows women to be productive rather than reproductive. Availability of contraception allows people to enjoy sex without the side-effect of having children.

However, there are two other factors that I believe helped to reduce fertility rate: housing unaffordability and welfare for the old. The term "greedy boomers" comes to mind because these policies help older people. High house prices help the old who purchased homes in the past and were able to gain wealth through the rise in house prices, and older people vote for welfare due to self-interest e.g. age pensions as well as many subsidies for medicines, etc.

Housing unaffordaibility, in my opinion, reduces fertility because it reduces the wealth of young people. It is important to make the distinction between wealth and income. Less wealth reduces fertility rate, but less income increases fertility rate. You need wealth (assets minus liabilities) in order to afford to raise children. However, the lower your income, the less money you lose if you stay home to take care of a child. Young people are more fertile and more likely to have children vs old people. However, housing unaffordability means many young people pay more money to buy a home or rent a home. If a young person rents a home, high house prices means they pay more rent assuming reasonably stable rental yield (i.e. rents rise as house prices rise). If a young person buys a home, if it is more expensive, they lose more money by living in the property because they miss out on renting it out and earning rental income. Whether you buy or rent, high house prices cause your wealth to be lower than what it would be if housing was affordable. This results in people deferring having children. Deferral of having children reduces the total number of children a woman can have, which reduces carbon emissions.

Welfare for the old works to reduce fertility rate in two ways. Firstly, in order for the old to receive welfare, more taxes need to be applied on the young in order to fund pensions, subsidised hospitals and age care homes, etc. More taxes on the young reduces their wealth, which reduces fertility rate, which helps the environment. Another way welfare for the old helps to reduce fertility rate is that it gives people the confidence that they will be looked after by their government when they are older, which means they do not need to have children and expect these children look after them. In fact, if these children will grow up in a world where they need to work hard in order to afford a place to live and in order to pay taxes that will be redistributed to the old, they won't have time to look after their parents because they are too busy working.

Both these two factors exhibit "virtuous cycle" properties e.g. for housing unaffordaibility, young people are forced to delay childbirth and work very hard in order to afford to get enough wealth to feel like they can afford children. Usually couples start to feel confident in having children once they save enough deposit or downpayment to get a mortgage from the bank to buy a home, but once they do, they now have an incentive to want that house to go up in value, which means they will vote for policies that cause more housing unaffordability, which puts more pressure on those even younger. For example, having been scrimping and saving under heavy taxes to fund boomers, millenials are now starting to buy homes in their thirties. They will want these house prices to go up and they will vote for policies such as tax benefits for housing. However, because this results in soaring house prices, this means that Gen Z will need to save up even more to get a mortgage, so they may need to work hard until they are in their 40s, and once Gen Z purchase as house, they too will vote for policies that cause housing unaffordaibility, which causes Gen A to wait until they are in their 50s to buy a house, and so on in a virtuous cycle that reduces fertility rate, carbon emissions, and saves the environment.

The same "virtuous cycle" is found in welfare for the old. Old people claim they are old, frail and need to be looked after, and they vote for policies that redistribute wealth from the young to the old. This puts pressure on the young who need to work harder in the face of high cost of housing and high taxes in order to get the wealth needed to have children. As a result, the young defer having children, but once the young get old, they have an incentive to keep the welfare going, so they will vote for policies that help the old, which puts more pressure on the young. Furthermore, as fertility rate drops, there are fewer and fewer young people who can vote, which means in a democracy, older people will continue to grow in political power and grab more money from the public purse, meaning the young are taxed even more, which means lower wealth, lower fertility rate, and lower carbon emissions.

In conclusion, "greedy boomers" help the environment by contributing greatly to global human population decline. Once millenials become the next boomers, we can expect the same behaviour and the same outcome, which is falling fertility rate, falling carbon emissions, and a better environment.

12 September 2020

Is Preferential Treatment for Women Really that Bad?

Many people say that feminism is bad because it favours women over men. Many feminists react by saying that feminism is about equal opportunity rather than giving women preferential treatment.

However, is preferential treatment for women really that bad? As a man, I may hold paternalistic instincts and may wish to protect women over men, so this may bias my views. However, imagine we had perfect equality and we treated men and women the same. This means that eg there is no gender segregation in prison. Now imagine if a young women goes into a prison with a bunch of men and is raped by these men. Such an outcome is horrific and there are many situations similar to this and so to some degree I would think society should treat women better than men eg have a separate area for women in prisons or eg have quotas for women greater than 50% and so forth.

Do Women or Men Have More Impact on Fertility Rate?

I am a man in my thirties. I've decided I never want children. Whenever I go on dates I am keen to bring this up. The reason why I will not have children is because I am an antinatalist and believe more population growth increases suffering, not only because new life can suffer but also because new life causes suffering on other living beings. Something I've always wondered is whether a man who does not have children, ie a childfree man, makes any difference to the total fertility rate or whether it is women deciding to have no children or fewer children that is the primary cause of global drop in fertility rate.

Imagine a room with two men and two women. If all two women refuse to have children, fertility rate is zero. There can be no children without women. However, you might think that a woman needs a man in order to have children, but with fertility technology nowadays women can use sperm donors. There is an excess supply of sperm, virtually infinite. In this hypothetical room, even if all men refused to have children, both women could still access sperm and have babies on their own. However, women need jobs in order to raise babies because they need money. The division of labour in a nuclear family helps with this, assigning one person as the child rearer and the other as the breadwinner. If a woman decides to raise a baby on her own, she faces the struggle of being both breadwinner and child rearer. She arguably needs a man to be a breadwinner assuming she wants to be childrearer. If this is the case then men who would otherwise be good breadwinners, if they refuse to have children, can help reduce fertility rate.

If I am a man who wants to have as much impact on reducing fertility rate as possible, what should I do? I was thinking of early retirement in my thirties or forties so I can engage in full-time advocacy of antinatalism but if this means my job is taken up by a man who needs the job to have more children, I've effectively contributed to increasing birthrate. Perhaps it is best if I stay employed and deny a job for a potential male breadwinner who would otherwise take my job. However, a woman could do my job, so if I deny a woman my job, I may have denied a job for a career woman who ends up being a stay at home mother instead.

06 September 2020

Could the Isolation of Low-Density Car Culture be Positive?

During lockdown, I am eager to go out for a bike ride whenever there is sunshine. Today was a sunny day, so I rode my bike, and I was entering a medium-density area. There were some people walking around. There was an Asian family also walking around. The family consisted for a mother and father and two young children. The young children were playing and making a lot of noise. An old man who was sitting nearby screamed out, "Go away! F\*\*king disease spreaders!!" The family seemed quite scared and walked off quickly.

The whole incident made me wonder about car culture. One of the features of the car is that it isolates you from others. You are isolated in a bubble that is your car as you move from one bubble to another, and these bubbles can be safe spaces. The benefit of high density is often cited as being more connectednes to the community, but if the community in which you live is racist, sexist, homophobic, etc then it makes me realise that connectedness to the community is not always a positive.

This family is likely to want to shield themselves from similar incidents in the future, and perhaps they may drive a car more so they can shield themselves off from others and only enter those premises they can feel safe in.

29 August 2020

The Argument for Forced "Soft Contraception"

The nature of reality is such that there is moral nihilism i.e. there is no objective right or wrong. This gives rise to the principle of "might makes right" where power dictates everything rather than morality. A billionaire who can lobby politicians can easily get away with child rape. Even if someone believes that child rape is wrong or even if someone has empathy for the suffering of the child, the reality is that a billionaire who rapes a child and lobbies politicians can get away with it.

As a result of moral nihilism and "might makes right" this means that morality competes based on power. Negative utilitarians believe that suffering is wrong, that we must minimise suffering as a matter of priority. However, this doesn't make suffering objectively wrong if we assume moral nihilism. It means that negative utilitarians have a subjective preference against suffering. When a negative utilitarian witnesses a child being raped or a person eating meat, the negative utilitarian has a subjective preference against this. Because of "might makes right" then the only way that the negative utilitarian can express his views is through force.
There are two ways the negative utilitarian can force other sentient living organism to not harm others and impose suffering on others: (1) antinatalism to force future generations to not cause suffering and (2) force existing living organism to reduce harm.

Regarding (1) many people think that we should give sentient living organisms the freedom to choose whether they procreate or not because forcing antinatalism causes suffering. However, due to the natural biological instinct to procreate, giving total freedom to a living organism only results in heavy procreation, which results in harm and suffering. Hence there needs to be a degree of force involved. I emphasise degree of force because too much force leads to suffering, which is what we want to reduce in the first place. Hence we should not forcably surgically sterilise others. There are ways we can impose contraception on others e.g. for animals we can use chemical contraceptives, which we put in the food of animals. Animals eating this food suddenly do not feel like procreating. For humans, who can reason, intellectual arguments can be given to convince them to not procreate. Spreading antinatalism can be enough to convince someone to not procreate. Other ideologies can be spread that has the same outcome e.g. spreading homosexuality can reduce fertility rate. Furthermore, certain government policies or economic systems may reduce fertility rate e.g. it is widely considered that female education reduces fertility rate. Econonomic development and urbanisation are widely seen as an effective contraceptives, leading to many countries transitioning from agrarian societies with fertility rates of 5 or 6 to below replacement rate (2.1) within one generation thereby leading to population reduction.

For all sentient living beings, "soft contraception" should be imposed, and everyone should contribute to the imposition of soft contraception on all living beings.

Of course, just because you impose contraception on others and implement antinatalism and therefore prevent future beings from coming into existence and causing or experiencing suffering, it doesn't mean that those who currently live cannot experience or impose suffering on others. Therefore, the solution is the reduction of harm for those who are currently alive, and this should be through the legal system. In fact, the legal system and government is arguable set up for this purpose: to force those who are currently alive to not harm others and therefore to reduce suffering. The existing legal system should be refined so as to reduce suffering e.g. murder should be banned, rape should be banned, and ideally eating meat should be banned.

22 August 2020

US Dollar Continues to Fall

For a brief moment when Covid hit, the US dollar spiked, likely due to rapidly falling asset prices triggering margin calls in USD denominated accounts. However, since then the US dollar has been falling. Some reasons why include the high Covid cases in the US as well as extreme money printing. All this explains why assets such as gold and crypto have performed well as the USD falls. 

08 August 2020

Dating a Prostitute

I live in a country where prostitution is legal, but because of COVID-19, brothels are closed. Normally I see a prostitute about once every month. I remember about two years ago I saw the same girl for about three years, and I enjoy seeing her and having sex with her. It was nice seeing the same girl all the time rather than seeing a different girl whenever I entered the brothel.

I remember one time when I joked around with her about going on a date, but she seemed somewhat open to the idea. She even gave me her phone number. I messaged her once and asked her if she wanted to have dinner with me, and she agreed. We went to a restaurant an ate. There was a language barrier. She was Korean and I could not speak her language. Her English was not great, but I could somewhat understand her.

After the date, I continued to go to the brothel and have sex with her, but whenever I asked her for dinner or movies, she didn't seem keen. I could also sense she was torn because she wanted to reject me but I was also a paying client.

After a while, she retired from prostitution. When I messaged her, she told me she had a boyfriend, so that was that.

28 June 2020

Can a Man be Attractive Living with Parents? (Plus Tech Lead Videos)

I am in my mid-thirties and live with my mother. I feel it is not the best way to seduce women but I save so much money especially since I earn a six-figure salary and spend almost nothing, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic when many people are working from home.

In a previous post, I spoke about a YouTuber named "The Tech Lead" who provides many seemingly good arguments for living with parents. I have provided more videos from the Tech Lead further below.

Having watched these videos, I feel they back up my need to believe that what I am doing is right, and they definitely make me feel less insecure about living with parents. I contribute a small amount to the family (about $300 per month) and enjoy having my meals cooked, my ironing done, etc. I have unsuccessfully dated some women in the past who have asked me if I expect a future girlfriend or wife to cook and do domestic duties for me, and I tell them I don't want that. I am happy to split responsibilities equally. I just have a very generous mother who almost forces me to not do any domestic duties. I do admit I have grown very attached to this relaxed lifestyle, which makes it harder for me to move out.

In the video below, Tech Lead is in his apartment and announces he is going to move back in with his parents.

Tech Lead below talks about the benefits of living with parents, but this is an older video when he was married, had a family, and moved into a new place. In the video, the gives many reasons why it is better to live with parents (mostly due to the money saved) but then at the end of the video he gives a non-satisfactory reason why he has moved out (some vague explanation about doing things at the right time).

In the video below, Tech Lead talks about his worst money mistakes. There is a theme because a lot of money is wasted by trying to impress women by moving out into an apartment or buying diamonds and jewellery. The key is to not care about what others think of you. This helps to save money.

Investing in an Emerging Market Index Fund to Help the Poor

I've been thinking about BLM and helping black people. I've seen many black people be victims of discrimination. It has happened throughout history and while I think racism has gone down over time (eg since the eighteenth century) there are still many people who hate blacks and want to hurt them.

The George Floyd incident had highlighted the racism against blacks in the world. Many have called for defunding of the police or donation to black charities or buying from black businesses, but many do not seem to be focused on investments.

Most groups have been empowered by attracting capital. This is how many Asian countries have developed quickly, improving the lives of many Asians very quickly.

So a simple way to help blacks in a sustainable way is to invest in them and to invest where most blacks are ie Africa. Unfortunately where I live, there is no investment fund that invests in Africa. The closest I can find is an ETF that tracks the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MSCI EM) . This fund invests mostly in China, India, Brazil, Russia etc. The index is maintained by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) who add countries in there depending on whether they consider these countries "emerging markets." For example, recently Saudi Arabia was added to the MSCI EM Index and after this happened there was a large amount of capital that suddenly flowed into the country. South Africa and Egypt are the two most developed African countries and are already part of the index.

Over time, more and more African countries are likely to be added to the index as they develop and as they do they will have capital flooded in. Furthermore, many African countries not in the index may already do business with countries on the index eg with South African, Egyptian and especially Chinese businesses.

Basically what I am saying is that even though the MSCI EM Index is not a perfect way of investing in blacks, it is probably the closest we have, and the money goes to the world's poor and helps them develop. It is probably the best way we can help the poor.

14 June 2020

Remote Relationships to Reduce Risk of Divorce

As a result of the pandemic, many are working remotely and find that it works well. They do not need to commute, they get to sleep in, they don't need to wear work attire, etc. There are many benefits.

Many argued that working face-to-face is essential and that working remotely does not match it. This may be somewhat true, but even if face-to-face work is better, the additional benefits may not outweigh the costs. The convenience of working remotely may be so great that it outweighs any additional benefit of working face-to-face.

It is interesting to look at working remotely and relationships. For a long time the belief has been that face-to-face interaction with people for socialising and intimate relationships was sacred and cannot be replicated online. However, over time that has been challenged by various social media as well as pornography.

If you cohabitate with someone, after two years you are open to the risk of divorce and division of assets. However if you never cohabitate with them and maintain a relationship with them online and only meet with them when necessary, then you eliminate cohabitation risk, which saves a considerable amount in expected future divorce costs. 

07 June 2020

Why Don't Cows Just Escape the Abbatoir?

I've been thinking about the Black Lives Matter movement as well as veganism. Many people are offended if you compare black people to animals, but there are undenable parallels, and the reason why they are offended by this is because they view animals as inferior, which proves the point of widespread speciesism. Imagine you lived in the eighteenth century when slavery against blacks was rife and you saw a poor white person who is being oppressed by his king. You suggest to him that the monarchy is oppressing him in a similar way to the way black slaves are being oppressed. Maybe this white peasant is offended by being compared to a black man, yet this offence is the product of racism. The white peasant views blacks are inferior and so does not want to be compared to blacks. It is the same idea today except rather than having widespread racism (which we still do have) we have even more widespread speciesism.

Something else I've been thinking of is the widespread belief people have that we have equality of opportunity when in fact we don't. There are three groups I'd like to talk about: first home buyers, black people, and livestock animals. First let's look at livestock animals such as a cow. Imagine a cow in an abbatoir or CAFO who is about to be slaughtered with a captive bolt gun put to its head. Now imagine this cow can talk and speak to you. You go up to this cow as it is about to be slaughtered and you hear the cow complaining about being killed. You then say, "Why don't you just escape the abbatoir?" The cow might say, "How can I? There are walls all around me. What can I do? I am trapped." Then you say, "Why don't you just organise with your fellow cows and kill all the CAFO workers and then escape?"

It is clear that this is ludicrus. You cannot expect a cow in a CAFO to escape because there are huge barriers to escaping, and the cow may simply not be able to escape. A cow is just a cow, not a well-connected billionaire military general. The cow cannot escape. This highlights the idea of "privilege" and shows that for many groups of creatures there are significant barriers in place preventing them from exercising freedom and personal autonomy.

Another example of this is first home buyers. There is widespread concern that many young people today are priced out from buying or even renting a home. A free market would indeed fix this problem. If there is a high demand for homes, then companies will build more houses and apartments to meet this demand, but the problem is that there are regulations put in place to cap the supply of homes e.g. there are restrictions on height of buildings and so forth. In order to make housing cheaper, prices actually need to go down, yet whenever there is a housing downturn (which is needed to make housing cheaper), there is quantititative easing, which inflates the cost of housing. This is done because home owners and investors are a powerful voting bloc. So young first home buyers face huge barriers, just the cow in the CAFO. There are institutions in place that prop up the property market to enrich investors so that they can get rich off people renting or paying interest to the bank. To say that there is equality of opportunity for the first home buyer or the cow is just not correct. The two face barriers that are inherent in the system, with the cow facing even more barriers than the first home buyer.

Black people face a similar problem. A billionaire military general could probably escape from a CAFO or human concentration camp but a cow cannot. Likewise, many black people do not have too much resources or wealth, so they are disadvantaged from birth and when you add discrimination due to racism, it is only worse. There are policies that can help e.g. government policies that educate children for free or even employment quotas for black people. It is analogous to the problems of the first home buyer and the cow. The only difference is the degree of oppression. The cow is clearly the most oppressed being with other beings facing less severe oppression.

03 June 2020

Comparing Hiroshima and Antinatalism

Many years ago, the US government dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The ethics of this is controversial with some saying it is murder of many innocent lives. Others claim that the dropping of the bomb forced the Japanese government to surrender thereby stopping the war early and preventing more lives from being killed.

Regardless of whether the dropping of the atom bomb is justified or not, there are interesting similarities and differences to antinatalism.

When a human (or life in general) is born, it causes suffering to others. To life is to cause suffering. We only need to look at eg meat eating. When a human eats meat, it imposes suffering on an animal. However, there is more. When a human drives a car, it causes pollution, which causes global warming and therefore imposes suffering on future generations. Not only does life cause suffering but life can experience suffering. More life means more suffering.

Similar to the logic of stopping the Japanese government from continuing the war and therefore causing more suffering, antinatalism stops life from existing therefore preventing more humans from being born and causing more suffering.

There are important differences between Hiroshima and antinatalism. Antinatalism is painless. When you do not procreate, your child does not suffer because it never exists. It is impossible to suffer if you don't exist. However, when an atom bomb is dropped on people, there is suffering. Those at the centre of the blast may be incinerated instantly and their pain may not be great, but the radioactivity causes illness and deformities even in babies. There are many pictures of Japanese babies being born deformed in the aftermath of Hiroshima.

To justify Hiroshima is to justify murder as a preventative tool to end suffering whereas antinatalism achieves the same outcome but is painless.

Furthmore, the Japanese people and the Japanese government are separate entities. To punish the Japanese people for the actions of the Japanese government is ethically analogous to raping a serial killer's daughter and threatening to kill her if the serial killer does not stop murdering others. The daughter and serial killer are two different individuals even though they belong to the same family and threat of harm on one influences the behaviour of another. If Hiroshima is ethically justified then it logically follows that rape and death threats of a child is justified if it influences another person to not cause more suffering.

As mentioned before, antinatalism has the same positive outcome but none of the negative effects. If the serial killer is never born, he cannot murder others

11 May 2020

Comparing Women to Animals

In animal rights, there are those who advocate humane slaughter and other measures to make slaughter of animals as painless as possible eg using a captive bolt gun to stun a cow before it is slaughtered. However, even when the cow is stunned, the cow still suffers, and when there is pressure by business to make money, there is pressure to slaughter as many cows as possible, which results in businesses not following regulations. The pressure of commerce ends up hurting the animals. Abbatoir workers take out their aggressions on the animal leading to atrocities.

This is why vegans believe that the problem starts with demand. Stop putting the cow in the supply chain as an economic commodity and it won't be exploited. To stop the cow being there, there must be reduced demand. If there is no demand for beef, it everyone went vegan, then cows would not be exploited. It would be unprofitable to start an abbatoir or CAFO business if no one will buy the meat. However this is difficult given so many people lust for eating meat. The problem is the demand of the end consumer.

The same can be seen in porn and sex work. There are those who argue for welfare of sex and porn workers. They argue for regulations on sex work eg in Australia sex work is legal but is regulated eg women must get regular STD checks. However, many times the pressure to serve clients as well as the demand from clients for rough sex, can take its toll on the women, which is why many believe a "vegan" approach is necessary ie stop consuming porn or visiting sex workers to reduce the demand. If there is no demand for porn or sex work, it would all disappear. Too often we focus on the supply (eg pornographers and brothels) without thinking of the demand. However, this faces the challenge that many people like to visit sex workers or watch porn, often violent porn. It is the male lust for female sexuality that drives the porn and sex work industry in the same way that human lust for meat keeps abbatoirs and CAFOs running, and in both cases, sentient beings are exploited to feed the desires of the end consumer.

The two are similar in that a group of beings are seen as lesser beings exploited through commerce to meet the desires of the end consumer who is completely addicted to the product.

There are multiple approaches for dealing with the problem, from mitigation of suffering to an abolitionist approach. The problem is made complex by the fact there there are many interest groups eg the businesses making huge profits from the exploitation and the end consumer who derives pleasure from consumption of the product. Both these groups conspire to keep the "lesser beings" continually exploited and oppressed.

Noting that animals are oppressed in abbatoirs and CAFOs and women are oppressed in brothels and in pornography, let's look at an example of abolition succeeding, which is the victory over human slavery. There is definitely slavery that exists today (so-called modern slavery) but the attitude and legislation is broadly against human slavery. While slavery has not been eradicated, I am confident the magnitude of slavery is much less than centuries ago.

Yet if we look at veganism and antipornography, the oppression of animals and women is very mainstream, which is why vegans and antiporn advocates are seen as extreme.

One of the problems is that the end consumer, as I mentioned, is addicted to the product. Many people like eating meat because it tastes good, and many people like consuming porn because it is stimulating. The self-interest of consumers is strong.

If human slavery back in the eighteenth century was normalised such that each household had a slave in their home whom they could use for slave labour, sexual exploitation, etc, I would imagine the abolitionist movement would not have succeeded. My understanding is that human slaves in the eighteenth century were mostly owned by wealthy slave owners, which meant consumers and households did not feel that freeing slaves hurt them, so they could easily support the abolitionist movement without feeling guilty they they themselves had done anything wrong. However, if meat or porn were banned or if environmentalists banned cars and made people ride bikes, these products strike into household demand.

This is why there is a knee-jerk reaction to banning cars, meat, dairy or porn. People don't want to admit to the truth that they are oppressive but want all the conveniences and stimulation that oppression provide them. Most consumers want the convenience of cars in spite of the environmental damage, the taste of meat in spite of the suffering to animals, and the sexual release of masturbating to porn in spite of the harm to women.

Had the household consumer had a personal slave, I fear there would be no way to eradicate human slavery. Once the masses are addicted and complicit in the oppression, it persists. The only solution it seems is gradually lowering demand either through boycott of the product or general human population decline.

19 January 2020

Reasons You Should not Have Children (Podcast)

In the podcast below, the Modern Hermit details the reasons why you should not have children. He give economic reasons as well as environmental reasons as well as reasons based on the welfare of living beings.

12 January 2020

Living with Parents to Save Money and Accelerate Financial Independence

I was watching the video below from the Techlead where he explains why he is moving back in with his parents. Most people think that poor losers live with their parents, but this guy is a millionaire, and he seems to be providing very logical reason why you should live with your parents. 

This video reminds me of me. I personally live in my mother basement even though I am in my thirties and earn a six figure salary. I continue to live in my mother's basement because I couldn't justify any reason to move out even though I can afford to move out. I currently own an investment property, and if I moved into this property, I will not be able to collect rent from the tenant, which will cost me more than if I rent. Rent costs about $1700 per month. Spending this much on rent seems like such a waste. My mother even wants me to live with her and I help out with paying the bills. 

I also don't believe that moving out increases independence. Rather, moving out decreases independence because it reduces your wealth. A reduction in wealth reduces financial independence. 

Nevertheless, I will admit that living in your mother's basement is terrible if you want people to respect you. People look down on me and no one wants to date me. Recently I was dumped by a woman, and although she didn't give me a reason for dumping me, I have a bunch that me living in my mother's basement strongly  influenced her decision. 

However, if I move out because I want others to like me or I want to get a date, I feel like this is no different to buying a Ferrari for the exact reasons. My logical brain tells me that moving out in order to gain respect and love is pure consumerism.

So I have a dilemma in that I would like to be loved,  but at the same time I don't want to be a conformist, I don't want to be a victim of consumerism, and I want to be authentic and true to myself and my values. It feel like such a disappointment that the price of love is conformity.