Episode-1395- Listener Feedback for 7-28-14 — 21 Comments

  1. About the kickstarter segment I had a very similar conversation about the taxes with a friend of mine and his response was interesting. At the time he didn’t actually have legally have a company so he said it wasn’t revenue for his soon to be company. He then went on to say that he was taking the money as an individual for a potential idea and then once the company was actually legitimized legally he would be able to take the money from the campaign and more or less capitalize it at that point. I’m still with you Jack you need to talk to a tax accountant but I think things like Indiegogo and kickstarter are another example of technology outpacing bureaucracy much like personal data and privacy. At this point I’m not sure the IRS even knows what to do with them.

    • Your friend is going to end up in deep shit! He just defined the money as personal income whether he knows it or not.

  2. I started looking for one of these to buy and noticed that one of the “tree of 40 fruit” sold for $30k. I’m pretty sure there are some large ones out there. Surely no one would pay that kinda money for a 5′ idea.

    • Want to bet a good part of that cost is transportation? They likely plant it for you too. Wow, 30K, not this guy. I think I will just stick to planting a ton of variety and making some multi grafts 2-6 of my own.

  3. I think the most practical use of grafting is in creating self pollinating trees. What do you think about that idea Jack?

    • Frankly I agree to a degree. I don’t know that it is that much more practical than say 2-3 varieties just for a diverse harvest if they are well chosen but it sure does work well for both.

      There is a point where your point sort of takes over. That is in the world of male and female type plants. For instance Seaberry. You have to have a male and a female. Ben Falk grafts a few male tips onto female plants to save space and not take up say 1 in 5 spots with a male. In that type of instance or with say Kiwi, etc. yep this is the most practical use of multi species grafting.

      When you get to saying most practical though, well that is tough as always it depends.

      What is more practical grafting a few crap apple tips onto a apple of known variety to blow up pollination. OR Grafting known apples onto an wild crab with a huge bad ass proven disease resistant and grown from seed wild root stock?

      What is more practical grafting some second variety of cherry just for cross pollination or growing 100 root stocks from seeds, taking scion wood from 4 types of cherries and producing 25 of each of the four types and making 100 new trees for a cherry orchard for practically pennies?

      Grafting is a tool, the applications when you begin to think about it are limitless.

  4. Conflicted Monday: At this point you have no choice. You need to move away from the slave trader or other bad situation that caused you to lose everything. You need to scavenge. I imagine their is still a lot of valuable trash that can be used for shelter, water collection, and possibly trapping. Slowly work your way back toward where you are from and hopefully still have some friends. Work and barter if you can but head towards anyone you know. If desperate seek a church. As a truly last resort try to ambush kill and steal from the slave trader.

  5. Conflicted Monday: Since you no longer have anything, you need to assess your family and prioritize your/their needs. Things like food, water, shelter may be on the top of the list but depending on the situation, you may need something like life saving medicine first. Fall back to your skills and do what you can to start acquiring the things that are “must haves” in order to survive. This is type the situation that tests who you are and what you know.

    Regarding the show: You mentioned again today about buying food locally (when talking about stone fruit and how growers need to consider the shipping times). I live in Los Angeles, but when I was growing up, there were a couple local farmers that sold fresh produce year round. One guy, Mr Vargas, had a few acres where he would sell fruits and vegetables. Whenever you mention “local” stuff on the show I remember going to his stand after school, saying hello and getting corn, tomatoes, etc in those small paper bags. I think he shut down about 15 years ago and there are now houses on that land. Its sad to see that we’ve lost places like that in cities like LA, however I do see people trying to bring it back.

  6. Jack,

    Regarding China… you’re definitely correct about the cost of labor being an issue. I’ve spent time in China twice back in 2012 when visiting and researching manufacturers of bottling equipment for my brother-in-law. And one thing almost all the manufacturers that I visited commented on was the rising cost of labor in China and how companies are trying to adapt with more efficient manufacturing (usually leading to some variation of “our bottling equipment is most labor efficient” sales pitch, yada yada). Seeing as these manufacturers not only sold their equipment locally in China but some also ran their own local bottling operations as well, being mindful of labor requirements is very much in their interest (the bottled water business in China has even thinner margins than the already thin margins in many other countries, apparently). One thing I rather enjoyed was chatting with the reps and managers during the obligatory business lunches, and while we talked about all sorts of interesting things, several times the subject of outsourcing manufacturing to other Asian countries came up and how companies there were adapting in that direction to stay profitable. I admit it was hard to keep a straight face the first time I heard that, given all the hooplah we’re STILL hearing about China taking US jobs (if the average American only knew….).

    Moving to the other China topic, I’m not so sure about China being THE dominant power in the future. I figure they will be one of a handful of dominant influential powers in a multipolar world and they probably will be the largest economy by a small margin, but from what I’ve seen there I find it hard to believe that they will achieve the same level of dominance and economic influence that the US has possessed. They have a lot of things going for them (ability and willingness to work hard, strategic planning on the part of their higher government and corporate leadership), but the pollution and their government and the corruption endemic within are major, crippling handicaps. Interestingly enough some of the Chinese reps did talk about the corruption and cronyism, though usually in a guarded or nonspecific way (the one exception where I was pointed to a big building in Shanghai, which the company rep in a disgusted tone said was “owned” by the former president’s son). More interesting was the one company owner who also held an office in the regional government primarily so he could be the first to find out things being proposed in the government that might affect his businesses. I was kind of surprised the company sales manager was telling me this, until I realized that he was presenting this as a selling point and was supposed to make me confident that this company won’t be going out of business (sadly I think he’s right).

    Anyway…. perhaps if the communist government of China is replaced or undergoes a transition like the old USSR did, THEN I can see them taking the place of the dominant global power. But then again this is all educated guesswork and I could be wrong. Perhaps China will manage to be a truly dominant power simply because all other major powers end up screwing themselves in a major way through continued disastrous foreign and domestic policies. There’s a winning chant for ya…. “We’re the least worst!” 🙂

  7. Regarding living on 40 thousand a year income:

    I live in Canada and earn exactly 40, 000/year. My wife does not work – I am the main bread winner. My wife handles all the finances as she is the talented one in that regard and we have no problem at all living what we consider very well.

    We have two vehicles – one economical car for me to drive 20 miles one way to work and we have an almost new mini van for transporting our family of 6. We made a wise purchase on an older home with an acre of land where we raise chickens for eggs and meat and grow a large garden. We live comfortably in our home, there is never a shortage of food and we are very happy and blessed.

    If a person is smart it can be done on MUCH less.

    • I listened to the Early Retirement Extreme episode again the other day, great example. The guy and his wife live for I think 15k a year.

  8. Regarding the history segment and sexuality in the Middle Ages, I should have provided more context. We should not beat up on the clergy of the Middle Ages more than they deserve.

    The clergy, such as it is in the Middle Ages, is made up of less than pious people at this point. It often was a job like being a lawyer or a farmer or an accountant. Because of the Black Death and the Great Famine, most of the clergy who were any good at “Faith, Hope and Charity” are now dead, dead, and dead. They reached out to the sick, became sick themselves and died… mostly. There are exceptions but the rule is that the cowards, the cheats and the lazy survived because they shied away from what the modern mind would think of as the primary function of the clergy… to be the model of “Faith, Hope and Charity,” and be an educator of the same.

    “Faith, Hope and Charity” was the ideal in the Middle Ages too but they recognized that a man of deep piety can’t always bring in a good crop and feed the hungry so if someone showed an ability to be a good administrator but had less than stellar talents at piety, they chose administration over piety so that they could eat. As the Black Death swept away the good and the bad, the bad climbed up over the bodies of the good and lived. Is it any wonder that cynicism reigns supreme at this time of the Middle Ages?

    In the Plague-ridden world of lost hope, and dark futures the best often did not survive.

    So… my original point in telling you about the arrest of this transvestite was not to criticize the clergy, although they certainly deserved a kick or two, but rather to point out that this has been going on for centuries in one form or the other… sometimes openly… sometimes hidden, but it has always existed. We should not turn a blind eye to it but face it and decide what we do about it, if anything at all.

    Certainly this is what the Japanese did when they lost the war to MacArthur. They knew there would be thousands of American military men occupying the island so they had to face an obvious question… what were they to do about thousands of unattached men who would be… well… looking for a good time? Know what I mean? The Japanese government faced that question square and true and called for Japanese women to volunteer. They did that. They really did.

    So… people of the Middle Ages had their religious ideals but didn’t always live up to them. No surprise but in the last 100 years it became much worse. John Wycliffe was trying to remind them that the original ideals for Christians were “Faith, Hope and Charity” and to get up off their backsides and do it. It will take a while before that message gets through, though. It’s going to take better literacy and critical thinking.

    • I really appreciate the history segments that you do. I’m kind of an armature historian myself but focused on the 18th and 19th century.

      Anyway, I love and hate “the church” They retained literacy through the dark ages but then were responsible for the inquisition. I agree with Jack that the “celibacy” of the priests is a major mistake. I was once engaged to a Catholic girl and the marital advice given by the priest, while well intentioned, was not very good. I would have much rather talked to someone with a wife.

      • Well… now that you mention it… I could use some help with Jack the Ripper. That’s way out in 1888 but I have a book that I’ve been trying to read about it called “Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed” by Patricia Cornwell. I saw her interviewed on C-SPAN and she convinced me that SHE is convinced she knows the name of Jack the Ripper.

        Here is a link to the ebook that anyone can check out and read for free. It would be helpful if you can tell me if she is full of crap or not.

        In studying for the history segment I’ve run into some really bizarre stuff for which I have no answers… like… this transvestite that was arrested here in 1395…. Who, in G-d’s name, arrested him?

        There was no organize police force in London yet. That didn’t happen until… uh… wait… 1750! The Bow Street Runners. I have a vague sense of what they were doing before that time, but not a good feel for it.

        Any help you could give me would be appreciated.

        Also… there was the 1893 World’s Fair. Some guy was renting rooms to single girls… and a lot of them checked out, the hard way? Did I get that right? Erik Larson wrote a book… “The Devil in the White City”. Again… I haven’t read the book. Could use some help with context there. What was the world like in 1893 that single women felt comfortable renting a room?

        I also need help with the Treaty of Westphalia but that was in the 1648. But it has to do with what is happening in Ukraine right now. The Treaty made privateers illegal… I think… and from what I gather is the situation in Ukraine… the Russians are giving weapons to separatists but claiming no responsibility for what the separatists do with those weapons… which seems like a direct violation of the Treaty of Westphalia. That makes the separatists privateers.


  9. Its hard in today’s society to not become complacent to have several tv’s 1-2-3-6 game consoles, handheld devices, tablets, ipads, smart phones, roku, amazon, and google tv’s. One thing that struck a nerve with me is the first time I went overseas and had a dinner with a family there, the TV was hidden away in a back bedroom or reading room with limited seating, and the main living areas were designed for social interactions and entertaining guests. Everyone was a lot more personable and willing to assist a stranger than here in the US. So I think if we remove all these implied standards that you have to have a TV, smartphone, netflix, and all the other crap that is forced on us, then we can live on a lot less than most people think.

  10. Conflicted Monday.
    First step is evaluated where and when you are located. I am assuming that a food source can be wild crafted as one move to a more sparsely populated area. Move away as fast as possible securing only what is needed to survive the first 24 hours as you move? If it is cold then shelter is a concern as you move but if it is reasonable warm then only worry about water until you are a good distance away from the slave trader.
    Then move away from population center as fast as possible. Seek out a long term shelter location as fast as possible where there is a reasonable water, fuel, and wild crafted food source. The forest is a good choice if possible due to the raw materials concentrated in one location.
    Once a location is found start a new homestead with what is available. Start at the hunter gatherer stage over time find the means to build into horticulture type of mini society. Finding sources of sunchokes and other perianal seed stocks to improve resiliency in the landscape over time.
    For tools do not forget wrecked cars as sources of raw materials. Be prudent when sourcing building materials to not leave evidence of where you are building your shelter.
    Do not forget acorns as a protein source. Do not forget cattails as a reasonable staple source in winter. Remember the pioneers used the inner bark of poplar as an emergency protein source.
    Start hording resources as possible. Collect fuel wood, storable foods such as acorns, dried wild crafted foods such as fruits. Start preparing trap lines for getting meat when possible. Traps are quite effective in calorie expended to calories collected in the area of meat.
    A rocket mass heater of sorts could be crafted with daub and stones. A shelter built out of soil could be crafter with improvised tools.
    Rebuild for the long term where ever it is possible. To pick up and move a 100 plus miles with absolutely nothing would be difficult at best so to attempt to recover what was lost by returning and trying to rebuild would waste resources. If however your former location had resilience in a food forest or the local knowledge would allow wild crafting there without much difficulty depending on the time of year and options a return to the previous area may be reasonable.
    Look at what resources are available in the new area as well as skills possessed to start a craft or trade that could be used to build ones value in the new community.
    Could charcoal be produced and a black smith operation is built for the long term?
    Sulfur can be produced by running biogas through rusty metal. Can sulfur be a barter product?

  11. Conflicted Monday response: I’d first find out if there’s anyone still alive in the area that I know (friends/family/distant acquaintance); probably by asking a shopkeeper since they would know survivors in the area. If I could find short term food/safety at a friend’s home that’s where I would start. Otherwise I would immediately begin trying to barter my skill set (electrical, mechanical, agricultural, civil engineering, etc) at one of the trade shops for a room and food for my family.

    Because the looters brought us to this location to sell us at a trade post, I’ll assume that this is a territorial trade hub and a lot of commerce is done in this area. For the long term, I would assess if staying in the area is viable and, if so, I’d continue trading my skills for supplies and try to build up some sort of business. If it’s not viable to stay in the area, I would gather enough supplies through scavenging and barter to secure transportation back home.

  12. On Africa as China’s China…
    First spoken on TSP, episode 226 at the 13:45 minute mark.
    (just fyi)