[Let's Build] Attractions in a demon pleasure palace that aren't sexual
My players are going to be visiting the palace of a demon lord of pleasure who's more CN than CE. I want to show that despite his title, he represents all forms of pleasure and good feelings, not just sex. Also space in his realm doesn't work the same way as it does in the mortal plane. He essentially has an infinite amount of space to work with and can customize it as he pleases, so there are no size constraints.
A casino to feel the thrill of gambling.
A dining hall with an endless buffet that visitors are allowed to eat as much as they wish.
An idyllic beach with perfectly white sand to relax or play on.
An arena where gladiators brawl it out against each other. The point of it isn't to kill each other as much as make the battles look stunning to the audience.
A hotel with the most comfortable beds possible. Here anyone with enough money can enjoy a good rest after all the excitement.
A beautiful and well tended garden filled with aromatic flowers and sweet fruits.
A vineyard where exquisitely-aged wine can be produced just by pressing the grapes. (u/_SovietMudkip_)
An opulent concert hall where the best musicians of the realms perform (u/_SovietMudkip_)
A small, cozy looking wooden library, with a cushioned bay window where rain gently scatters against the glass and a cup of some hot liquid gently rising with steam. (u/QuietOracle)
An owl-bear hugging zoo. Go to sleep in the embrace of their soft down. (u/QuietOracle)
The room of sensory experiences. The room itself is fairly plain, with the main feature being long tables running the length of the room. On closer inspection there are fist-sized carved holes, each one holding a small round crystal... (u/QuietOracle)
A room with dozens of sacks filled with beans, lentils and grains where visitors can put their hands in and let the contents run through their fingers. (u/_WhiteCubeCat_)
A hag (or any other long nailed creature) giving visitors a scalp massage. (u/_WhiteCubeCat_)
A museum of little-known or long-forgotten art pieces, sculptures, and history. (u/MoonlightMancer)
A festival full of colors, music, and drinks. Everyone seems to love you, and you can’t stop laughing. (u/MoonlightMancer)
A hallway of endless doors. In each room is someone you know, complimenting you endlessly, sharing every positive, even begrudgingly jealous thought they ever had about you. (u/MoonlightMancer)
A hot spring/spa, with fluffy towels, those showers that are like rain with perfect water pressure, mud baths, and refreshing food and drink. (u/lionesslindsey)
A room full of people that constantly give you validation and laugh at all your jokes. (u/CountryJeff)
Never-ending line of gold chalices, crystal vases, silver artwork, and other valuables. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
People who are “better” than you are marched in a stripped of their superior qualities. Beautiful people are disfigured and turned ugly. Wealthy powerful people are ruined and made to beg you for pennies. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
Mass groups of people enter the room and tell you how they admire you and how wonderful you are. They stroke your ego and inflate your pride. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
Servants do everything for you. Feed you, give you drinks, wash you, wipe your arse, etc. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
You are given a wickedly barbed leather whip. A slave creature is bound to a post and you can whip this creature to inflict your wrath upon them as much as you desire. If the poor soul dies, another is brought in to replace them. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
'Knight for a day'. The full experience; lance, shiny outfit, a squire, a trusty stead, a dragon and a princess/prince to rescue. (u/mr_earthman)
A magical version of a movie theatre, allowing you to watch all manner of stories, true and legendary. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
A moderately large pool where small battleships with tiny animated crewmen can be deployed in teams to shell and board each other for the audience's amusement. Honored guests can put their strategic abilities to a test against other players by directly giving orders to their ships, and in certain hours guests may even swim in the pool to live out the power fantasy of being a sea monster. (u/VIixIXine)
A colorizer-device that transforms any clothes/armoweapons/other gear to any desired hue you wish (as long as it doesn’t affect the workings of the gear) (u/PaigeOrion)
A grand screen, showing a nearly infinite number of (screen)plays from all space and time, including the show with the disgraced human paladin delivering a green baby gnome back to his home land through incredible odds. (u/PaigeOrion)
A tiara that allows you to experience the sensory experience of a black cat as long as you wear it and close your eyes. (u/PaigeOrion)
A plethora of small, multicolored blocks that will magically interlock with one another to render almost any architectural structure imaginable. (But don’t step on them barefoot!) (u/PaigeOrion)
A band of musicians who are the perfect musical backup for any performances. Alone, they are more low key, but no less skilled, playing haunting melodies of unknown origin. (u/PaigeOrion)
A massive walk-in closet where you can try in any clothes in any fashion you like. (u/Tezla44)
A "schadenfreude" theatre, with shows that rely on slapstick and cringe comedy. (u/Martinus_XIV)
A room designed to give you closure. When you enter this room, someone you loved and lost is there, sitting in a couch. The room feels vaguely familiar, but you can't place why. If Detect Magic is used, the room is full of magic (divination, transmutation, illusion) but the person seems like a normal person. You can chat with them for as long as you like. They behave just as you remember them, with the good and the bad. (u/ohsurenerd)
A theatre performing the most magnificent tragedies. When you watch the performance, you find yourself completely enraptured: you cheer when things go right, scream when something terrifying happens, and moan and weep at the inevitable horrible ending. When you leave, it feels like removing a backpack full of lead that you'd been carrying for so long you'd forgotten it was there. (u/ohsurenerd)
A room where there's a button, there's someone outside and it explains that if you enter there's a 50/50 chance of you dying or not, the room won't actually kill you and it's there just to make you feel the pleasure of near death experience. (u/SupremeGodDictator)
A massage parlor with the universes best staff pampering your every need as you receive the most relaxing massage of your life whether it be scalp, back, foot, full body, etc. Has the worlds fluffiest towels and robes to luxuriate in while you wait or if you simply want to sit in a comfy chair and enjoy your ache free muscles. (u/Blue_Mando)
An arena where you and your opponents heal near instantly, and you can fight endlessly (u/ellen-the-educator)
A reenactment of your greatest failures in life, but this time they turn into your greatest achievements. (u/CountryJeff)
A room with the world's finest works of art.... and a myriad of implements you can use to destroy them. (u/redrosebeetle)
A torture chamber with mages on hand to create illusions of the people you wish to torture. Or increasingly realistic versions of them, depending on the level of magic you wish to implement. (u/redrosebeetle)
A room full of gold and jewels you can roll around in, ala Scrooge McDuck. But woe betide anyone who tries to take a souvenir.... (u/redrosebeetle)
As you're walking through the gardens, a person comes up to you. They introduce themselves as an adventurer who's also here on a quest. They seem to be the same class as you, and they're incredibly attractive-- almost exactly your type. You immediately click and end up spending the day together, talking about everything and anything. You tell them things you've never told anyone else before. They understand everything you tell them, almost innately, but they're still impressed by your feats and your stories. The two of you find an empty bedroom and close the door behind you. It's perfect in its imperfections. In the morning they're gone. No matter where you look, you can't find them. (u/ohsurenerd)
A room lined with shelves and shelves of bottles and vials containing a crimson liquid flowing slowly (like a syrup), all with small labels on them. As you inspect the labels, you realize they've all got names on them: famous adventurers, kings and queens, great sages. If you drink one, you experience a selection of their memories as they experienced them: battles won, discoveries made, historical alliances and friendships being forged or broken... (u/ohsurenerd)
A room that turns anyone that enters it into a child. It is full of every toy imaginable (u/arual_x)
A tour of a chocolate factory. Kobolds work there, and the owner, who gives the tour, is a Metallic Dragon in Humanoid form. (u/arual_x)
A fortune teller who has a Deck of Many Things with only the good cards. If you in any way offend them, they will sleight of hand vs perception check slip you a bad card instead. (u/arual_x)
An island theme park of reanimated dinosaurs. The owner is a level 20 Necromancer called Hamm Johnand. (u/arual_x)
A Virtual Reality style game that allows you to battle horrible monsters over and over again without risk of injury physical. But still allows you to gain XP... (u/arual_x)
A perfect expanse of thick snowy ground. There is constantly a snowball fight going on. (u/arual_x)
A giant room full of mattresses where everyone immediately gets a wonderful massage. (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
A room full of gold and exquisite things, from beautiful furniture to magic weapons (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
A seemingly endless room where adventurers can drink a potion to grow wings and flit about to their hearts' delight (u/iriedashur)
An ordinary classroom containing the adventurer's childhood friends, enemies, and their most hated teacher. Upon entering the room, the adventurer discovers that they are invisible, and free to pull pranks as they wish (u/iriedashur)
A brightly colored room piled high with wrapped gifts, large and small, for the adventurers to open endlessly (u/iriedashur)
A purple and black dragon named Ace who cooks you garlic bread and cake. (u/sanorace)
A magic pair of goggles/glasses that simulate any “What if” question you pose to them. (u/lewiscann)
A magical weather room where you can ask for any weather for your pleasure (I love listening to rain) (u/lewiscann)
A room full of lounges with a floating slow burning piece of wood that warms the whole area, the piece of wood is so large you can see the flame spread through this piece of wood forever (u/lewiscann)
A room where you can bite your fingernails and they grow back instantly ( so you can bite them some more )(u/razenastie)
A room with incredibly weakened versions of powerful monsters. (u/Your_InsideMan)
A heist simulator where you always get away with the big diamond, chest, etc (thrill of theft) (u/reallyenjoyscarbs)
A sauna room with a central pillar. Inside the pillar is a chamber containing a magic stone which can detect the exact temperature preferences of those inside, and making each person feel said preference. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
An oval-shaped room with countless glass lotion bottles, with each smelling better than the last. If you look for a specific scent (no matter how rare), you'll certainly find it with the help of a goblin near the back of the room. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
A room that consists of A bunch of mortals so utterly jaded from years of plesure seeking that they need the hardest of drugs and the wildest of sensations to feel anything,with lesser demons feeding on their pursuit of euphoria. Think the emperors children from warhammer 40k. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
A buffet of the lids of yogurt/pudding cups to lick. (u/Hunter37594)
An olfactory room that reads your memories and replicates smells that remind you of your most joyous moments. (u/lecorbusianus)
A wildlife reserve for Druids to find new and exotic wild shapes. (u/lecorbusianus)
A room with musical instruments that you're able to master immediately. (u/lecorbusianus)
A room with a creature in a dark robe sitting at a table covered in maps and dice. He helps you play a strange game where you and your party make up characters that go on adventures while the robed creature acts as all of the other characters and determines new events. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
Started watching Babylon 5 for the first time and just finished season 1. Wrote a little bit about the episodes/characters that stood out to me, thought I'd drop it here. Apologies if I spell any names wrong I'm just going off what I hear (not using subtitles). Also I just saw that there are some movies too, not sure when I'm supposed to watch them? I haven't watched any of them yet.
Midnight on the Firing Line: The old-school CGI takes some getting used to, but it does the job. Looks like we're thrown right into the middle of the world as opposed to building up to it.
Infection: I think this is the episode where I knew I'd like the series. The episodes before this were ok (and the main plot of this episode was ok too) but what really stood out to me was Garibaldi confronting Sinclair about him constantly risking his life. The initial episodes made out Sinclair to be a bit of an action hero-type leader, but they actually address it and, if I remember correctly, he does it a lot less throughout the season.
The Parliament of Dreams Sinclair's old girlfriend comes back and... is actually normal (not some secret spy) and actually stays?? What is this true-to-life relationship building doing in my sci-fi? But in all seriousness, I love that Catherine comes back and actually becomes a recurring character instead of being a one-episode gimmick.
Mind War I kinda knew from the start that the rogue Psycore guy would "ascend", but it does introduce us to the more secretive and insidious nature of the Psycore and questioning who is actually in charge of the Earth forces.
And the Sky Full of Stars Shows us that the Minbari aren't as nice as they seem. Of the three main other races until now they'd seemed the most "peaceful", but this shows more of the war and that they did something strange to Sinclair.
Deathwalker Really interesting idea of a "cure for everything" that actually requires taking life to create. I do wonder if it be brought back later, or if they find a way around that requirement. Seems like the Vorlon see themselves as somehow "better" than the other races? The fact that the other races don't seem to protest their actions makes me believe they probably are at least way more powerful.
Believers Really liked this episode, could even be my favorite of the season. It's that classic moral dilemma where both sides have a point. I do think Sinclair was correct in the end though; they are an alien culture, it's not human's place to push our morals onto another species, as tragic as a results could be. I was curious as to whether the parents would be charged with murder for killing their child, but it was never brought up from what I remember.
By Any Means Necessary Seems like working on Babylon 5 is hell. Definitely not a post-scarcity society like the Federation.
Signs and Portents Introduces a mysterious character (not sure if his name is mentioned in this episode but we find out it's Morden in the last episode of the season). My guess is that he's part of Psycore, and is trying to probe the other races to see who could make a good alliance with Earth. Seems like he thinks the Centauri had the best answer to the "what do you want" question, so he's chosen to help them. Kosh seems to know what's up, maybe because of his researching into psychics thanks to his games with Ms Winters earlier in the season (forget the exact episode).
Eyes Got distracted by the Psycore guy; is that Weyoun from DS9?
A Voice in the Wilderness Cool two-parter. Where we find out the planet below is actually full of technological marvels. Seems a bit far-fetched that out of all the planets for Babylon 5 they just happened to choose one full of crazy technology. Of course it's all out-of-reach for the moment, maybe it will come into play later? It felt like the technology was so far advanced though that it may never be brought up again.
Babylon Squared This episode really changed the tone of the show for me. Some time in the future, there's gonna be a bad war, and Sinclair is going to grab Babylon 4 and move it through time. It seems inevitable. Other characters have also had some bad prophecies about Babylon 5 and it's destruction (there was that Centauri prophet, and also Jinxo), so I'm thinking Babylon 5 may actually be destroyed for real. I'm really hoping this actually happens and isn't some "fate isn't written yet"-type thing that's avoided.
Chrysalis Season-ending cliff-hanger. Morden is back and up to his usual meddling. Can't be a coincidence that the president was assassinated at the same time. Looks like Psycore may be making their move and taking over, and also currying more favour with the Centauri. Looks like the ships they're using are cloaked with a scaled up version of the technology the racist assassins had in that earlier episode (forget the exact episode that happened in).
Sinclair As mentioned above he initially came of as an action hero-type character, but now seems to me like a competent commander.
Garibaldi Seems like a cool guy. The one episode where he goes on a bender felt a bit out-of-place and didn't really have any lasting consequences (goes straight back to drinking water). Maybe it will be brought up in a later season though.
Ivanova Looks like she took over the "action hero" role a little bit from Sinclair, which is a good thing.
Ms Winters Seems like a "good guy" but she still part of Psycore so it's hard not to think in the back of your mind that shes a spy and will betray everyone at a crucial moment.
Londo He comes off as a buffoon and a comedy character in the first episode, but later episodes really flesh him out. Really like him now. His assistant especially seemed a bit too stupid, although they toned that down too as it went on.
Jakar Initially you think the Narn are the "Klingons" of this series, but they only seem that way at first glance. Really interested to learn more about their history with the Centauri and what drove them to become so militaristic. His assistant is great with how direct she is.
Dilen The Minbari start off feeling like the "nice ones", but then become more grey as you learn more about them. She's currently turning into a butterfly or something so will have to find out what happens in season 2!
Random Musings (not looking for answers, just wondering out loud)
Security on the station seems pretty lax. They've got an entire seedy underbelly full of criminals on a very important military and diplomatic station. Seems like something you'd want to clean up. Sometimes when the ambassadors are walking around alone I think a nutter is gonna jump out from the shadows and just shoot them.
Do most people on the station not know who Sinclair is? I swear in one episode he was asking around a casino about something and nobody was like "oh shit it's the commander", they just thought he was some random dude.
What type of weapon is the PPG? Doesn't seem to have a visible projectile/beam, or is that because of budget/CGI?
Still not sure the actual layout of the empires in space and where Babylon 5 actually sits in relation to them. I don't think they've shown a map or anything.
Exactly how big is Babylon 5? It seems massive and some of the shots (like the park area) look HUGE, but is that maybe just a deliberate illusion so the people on the station don't get claustrophobia?
More on the station itself, still not sure where exactly the CnC is in relation to the rest of the station.
How do the warp gates work and how long does travel take? It also seems like some ships (the pirate ship from Signs and Portents) can just warp without using the warp gates.
Same with communications, I remember something about "tachyon relay" or something, so I'm guessing they use those somehow for instant communications.
Edit: Saw some comments have been made already (I haven't read them though). I should mention I've turned off inbox replies for this post and won't be reading any comments until I finish the show (I'm also not subscribed to this subreddit yet either), so feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments or whatever, I'll come back and have a good laugh at myself too once I'm done with the show!
[US Promotion] I would like to celebrate Thanksgiving by gifting you all books!
UPDATE: More books added by siffis and West1234567890 further down If are late coming across this post then do not worry you can still message me your email for a book. To celebrate my day off today and Thanksgiving tomorrow I would like to gift my audiobooks. In order to recieve a free audiobook gift just message me any title (below) along with your email address. If you have not recieved a gift before then you will get the audiobook for free. More details here and here. I am in the US market (but I hear from Canada and UK that it still works). Books crossed out are not available. TITLE - AUTHOR (Ordered by author)
21 Days of Meditation - Aaptiv
5K Training - Aaptiv
What Happens Next? Conversations from MARS - Adam Savage
You Ought to Know Adam Wade - Adam Wade
The Fall of Carthage: The Punic Wars 265-146BC - Adrian Goldsworthy
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky
Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection - Alexander C. Kane
The Ten Thousand Doors of January - Alix E. Harrow
The Story of Dr. Seuss: Theodore, Ted, Geisel Who? The Story of How Dr. Seuss Grew. - Amba Brown
You Have Arrived at Your Destination: Forward - Amor Towles
A Massacre in Mexico: The True Story Behind the Missing 43 Students - Anabel Hernandez , John Washington - translator
How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps - Andrew Rowe
Randomize: Forward - Andy Weir
Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook - Anthony Bourdain
Chaos Monkeys - Revised Edition: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley - Antonio Garcia Martinez
Goodnight Smartphone - Arianna Huffington
Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle , Stephen Fry - introductions
Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons - Ashli St. Armant
The Home Front: Life in America During World War II - Dan Gediman , Martha C. Little
Cut and Run: A Light-Hearted Dark Comedy - Ben Acker , Ben Blacker
A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs: An Audible Original - Ben Garrod
The Tao of Pooh - Benjamin Hoff
Finding Tess: A Mother’s Search for Answers in a Dopesick America - Beth Macy
Bill Bryson's Appliance of Science - Bill Bryson
The Lost Continent: Travels In Small Town America - Bill Bryson
Billy Kelly: This Is a Family Show! - Billy Kelly
The History of Ancient Egypt - Bob Brier]
Rage - Bob Woodward
Starsight - Brandon Sanderson
Skyward - Brandon Sanderson
Beezer - Brandon T. Snider
The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Smart Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing - Brandon Turner
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are - Brené Brown
Algorithms to Live The Computer Science of Human Decisions - Brian Christian , Tom Griffiths
That Hideous Strength: Ransom Trilogy, Book 3 - C.S. Lewis
Perelandra: Ransom Trilogy, Book 2 - C.S. Lewis
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage - Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark - Carl Sagan
Life Ever After - Carla Grauls
Everything is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity - Carlo Rovelli , Simon Carnell - translator , Erica Segre - translator
How to Build Meaningful Relationships Through Conversation - Carol Ann Lloyd]
El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America - Carrie Gibson
The Flying Flamingo Sisters - Carrie Seim
Press Pause: A Young Person's Guide to Managing Life's Challenges - Catherine Singer
Cesar Millan's Guide to Bringing Home a Shelter Dog - Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan's Guide to Audiobooks for Dogs - Cesar Millan
The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder - Charles Graeber
Second Skin: Audible Original Novella - Christian White
Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2 - Christopher Paolini
The Space Race: An Audible Original - Colin Brake , Patrick Chapman , Richard Hollingham , Richard Kurti , Sue Nelson , Helen Quigley , Andrew Mark Sewell
Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life - Common , Awoye Timpo , NSangou Njikam
Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther - Craig Pittman
The Dead Drink First - Dale Maharidge
House of Teeth - Dan Jolley
Dan Rather: Stories of a Lifetime - Dan Rather
How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States - Daniel Immerwahr
The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition - Daniel N. Robinson]
My Lost Family: An Audible Original - Danny Ben-Moshe , Dasha Lisitsina
Body of Proof: An Audible Original - Darrell Brown , Sophie Ellis
Sum: Tales from the Afterlives - David Eagleman
Exploring Metaphysics - David K. Johnson]
Alone with the Stars - David R. Gillham
The Pragmatic Programmer: 20th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Edition: Your Journey to Mastery - David Thomas , Andrew Hunt
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II - Denise Kiernan
Heaven's River: Bobiverse, Book 4 - Dennis E. Taylor
All These Worlds: Bobiverse, Book 3 - Dennis E. Taylor
For We Are Many: Bobiverse, Book 2 - Dennis E. Taylor
We Are Legion (We Are Bob): Bobiverse, Book 1 - Dennis E. Taylor
Metro 2033 - Dmitry Glukhovsky
The Theory of Everything: The Quest to Explain All Reality - Don Lincoln]
Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 2 - Douglas Adams
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish - Douglas Adams
Life, the Universe, and Everything: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 3 - Douglas Adams
The Case of the Damaged Detective: 5-Minute Sherlock, Book 1 - Drew Hayes
Forging Hephaestus: Villains' Code Series, Book 1 - Drew Hayes
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong
Mythology - Edith Hamilton
Musashi - Eiji Yoshikawa , Charles S. Terry - translator
Hunting LeRoux: The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire - Elaine Shannon
The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel - Erin Macdonald]
Junkyard Cats: Shining Smith, Book 1 - Faith Hunter
The Golden Orchard - Flora Ahn
The 3-Day Effect - Florence Williams
Catch Me If You Can - Frank W. Abagnale , Stan Redding
The Panama Papers: How the World's Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money - Frederik Obermaier , Bastian Obermayer
The American Civil War - Gary W. Gallagher]
Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond - Gene Kranz
The Creative Thinker's Toolkit - Gerard Puccio]
Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ - Giulia Enders
Burr: A Novel (Narratives of Empire, Book 1) - Gore Vidal
The Getaway - Greer Hendricks , Sarah Pekkanen
The Minuteman - Greg Donahue
Failure Is an Option: An Attempted Memoir - H. Jon Benjamin
The Beautiful Brain: An Audible Original - Hana Walker-Brown
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor: A Novel - Hank Green
Bella Bella - Harvey Fierstein
The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country - Helen Russell
The Iliad: A New Translation by Caroline Alexander - Homer , Caroline Alexander - translator
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Omnibus Collection, Volume I: 1917-1926 - Howard Phillips Lovecraft , Finn J.D. John
Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga - Hunter S. Thompson
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Casino Royale: James Bond, Book 1 - Ian Fleming
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
Malcolm and Me - Ishmael Reed
Peter Pan: An Audible Original Drama - J. M. Barrie
Tell Me Lies - J. P. Pomare
The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Children of Hurin - J. R. R. Tolkien
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2 - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 - J.K. Rowling
The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling
The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over - Jack Schafer PhD , Ph.D. Marvin Karlins Ph.D.
Midnight Son - James Dommek Jr. , Josephine Holtzman , Isaac Kestenbaum
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey - James Lecesne
Break Shot: My First 21 Years: James Taylor - James Taylor
Forget Nothing - Jason Anspach , Michelle C. Meyers
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies - Jason Fagone
Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn
1066: The Year That Changed Everything - Jennifer Paxton]
Flux - Jeremy Robinson
Space Force - Jeremy Robinson
Infinite - Jeremy Robinson
When You Finish Saving the World - Jesse Eisenberg
The Mystwick School of Musicraft - Jessica Khoury
Call Me God: The Untold Story of the DC Sniper Investigation - Jim Clemente , Tim Clemente , Peter McDonnell
The Wisdom of Wolves: Lessons from the Sawtooth Pack - Jim Dutcher , Jamie Dutcher , James Manfull - contributor , Marc Bekoff - foreword PhD
Escape from Virtual Island: An Audio Comedy - John Lutz
The Men Who Stare at Goats - Jon Ronson
So You've Been Publicly Shamed - Jon Ronson
Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie - Jon Ronson
438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea - Jonathan Franklin
Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things - Josh Clark , Chuck Bryant
Vroom Vroom - Josh Koenigsberg
King of Sting: The Story of Australian Conman Peter Foster: An Audible Original - Justin Armsden , Bronwen Reid , Hamish Macdonald
American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer - Kai Bird , Martin J. Sherwin
You Can Thank Me Later: A Novella - Kelly Harms
The Vikings - Kenneth W. Harl]
Building a Better Vocabulary - Kevin Flanigan]
More Bedtime Stories for Cynics - Kirsten Kearse , Gretchen Enders , Aparna Nancherla , Cirocco Dunlap , Dave Hill
The Math of Life and Death - Kit Yates
Oz. The Complete Collection - L. Frank Baum
A Murder of Manatees: The Further Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent - Larry Correia
The Half-Life of Marie Curie - Lauren Gunderson
Interview with the Robot - Lee Bacon
The Messengers - Lindsay Joelle
African-American Athletes Who Made History - Louis Moore]
The Real Sherlock: An Audible Original - Lucinda Hawksley
The Devil's Highway: A True Story - Luis Alberto Urrea
It Burns: The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli, An Audible Original - Marc Fennell
Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius - Marc J. Seifer
The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition - Margaret Atwood , Valerie Martin - essay
Buried Deep - Margot Hunt
Black Hawk Down - Mark Bowden
How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It - Mark Cuban
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Tinaca Jones - Matt Boren
Phreaks - Matthew Derby
Pont Neuf - Max Byrd
Find Another Dream - Maysoon Zayid
One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War - Michael Dobbs
The Entrepreneur's Toolkit - Michael Goldsby]
The Fifth Risk - Michael Lewis
Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il - Michael Malice
Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World - Michael Pollan
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer - Michelle McNamara
Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 - Michio Kaku
The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad - Mike Birbiglia , J. Hope Stein
Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues - Molly Harper
Motivational Runs: 3 audio-guided run stories and 6 audio-guided Olympic Interval runs - MoveWith
Half Marathon Training Part 2: To the Finish Line: 6 week training plan with 22 audio-guided runs - MoveWith
Half Marathon Training Part 1: Build Up Your Pace + Endurance: 6 week training plan with 22 audio-guided runs - MoveWith
Emergency Skin: Forward - N. K. Jemisin
Silverswift - Natalie Lloyd
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't - Nate Silver
Good Omens - Neil Gaiman , Terry Pratchett
Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society - Nicholas A. Christakis
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road - Nick Bilton
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies - Nick Bostrom
Based on a True Story: A Memoir - Norm Macdonald
Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want: Leven Thumps, #3 - Obert Skye
Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra: Leven Thumps, #4 - Obert Skye
Leven Thumps and the Ruins of Alder: Leven Thumps, #5 - Obert Skye
Adulthood Rites: Xenogenesis, Book 2 - Octavia E. Butler
Dawn: Xenogenesis, Book 1 - Octavia E. Butler
Wild Seed - Octavia E. Butler
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
The Life and Times of Prince Albert - Patrick Allitt]
The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1 - Patrick Rothfuss
Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare - Paul Rosenzweig]
Into the Water: A Novel - Paula Hawkins
The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions - Peter Brannen
Terminus - Peter Clines
The Fold - Peter Clines
14 - Peter Clines
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness - Peter Godfrey-Smith
Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History - Peter Houlahan
Harry Potter: A History of Magic: An Audio Documentary - Pottermore Publishing , Ben Davies
How the Stock Market Works - Ramon P. DeGennaro]
How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems - Randall Munroe
The October Country - Ray Bradbury
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
The Making of the Atomic Bomb: 25th Anniversary Edition - Richard Rhodes
The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World - Robert Garland]
Treasure Island: An Audible Original Drama - Robert Louis Stevenson , Marty Ross - adaptation
Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon
The Mueller Report: The Findings of the Special Counsel Investigation - Robert S. Mueller III , Special Counsel's Office U.S. Department of Justice
Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators - Ronan Farrow
Once More upon a Time: A Novella - Roshani Chokshi
Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of BTK, the Serial Killer Next Door - Roy Wenzl , Tim Potter , L. Kelly , Hurst Laviana
Elizabeth II: Life of a Monarch: An Audible Original - Ruth Cowen
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean
Bad Luck Charlie: The Dragon Mage, Book 1 - Scott Baron
Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World - Scott McCormick
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are - Seth Stephens-Davidowitz , Steven Pinker - foreword
Sea Wall / A Life - Simon Stephens , Nick Payne
Carnival Row: Tangle in the Dark - Stephanie K. Smith
D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of WW II - Stephen E. Ambrose
The Stand - Stephen King
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World - Steve Brusatte
Foreverywhere - Steve Burns , Steven Drozd , Gabe Soria
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: How to Know What's Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake - Steven Novella , Bob Novella - contributor , Cara Santa Maria - contributor , Jay Novella - contributor , Evan Bernstein - contributor
Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills - Steven Novella]
The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in "Healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain - Steven R. Gundry MD
My Dad the Spy - Stewart Copeland
The Age of Living Machines: How the Convergence of Biology and Engineering Will Build the Next Technology Revolution - Susan Hockfield
Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
History's Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach - The Great Courses , Gregory S. Aldrete
Great Mythologies of the World - The Great Courses , Grant L. Voth , Julius H. Bailey , Kathryn McClymond , Robert André LaFleur
This American Life - This American Life
Writing Creative Nonfiction - Tilar J J. Mazzeo]
The Man Who Knew the Way to the Moon - Todd Zwillich
The Hunt for Red October: A Jack Ryan Novel - Tom Clancy
The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts - Tom Farley , Tanner Colby
A Crazy Inheritance: Ghostsitter 1 - Tommy Krappweis
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah
Thicker than Water - Tyler Shultz
The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World - and Globalization Began - Valerie Hansen
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders - Vincent Bugliosi , Curt Gentry
SmartLess - Will Arnett Jason Bateman Sean Hayes
Climbing with Mollie - William Finnegan
Alien III: An Audible Original Drama - William Gibson
Gump & Co. - Winston Groom
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
siffis has generously offered to include his collection. If you like any of the books below then message directly.
World War Z: The Complete Edition - Max Brooks
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Ready Player Two - Ernest Cline
Halo: Shadows of Reach - Troy Denning
The Sandman - Neil Gaiman
The Ickabog - J.K. Rowling
The Last Tribe - Brad Manuel
Halo Grassland - Karen Traviss
Halo: Mortal Dictata - Karen Traviss
Halo: The Thursday War - Karen Traviss
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
Firefly: Big Damn Hero - Jame Lovegrove
After it Happened - Devron C Ford
Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds - Gwenda Bond
Blade Runner - Phillip K Dick
Hell Divers 1
Hell Divers 2: Ghosts
God of War - J.M. Barlog
The Time of Contempt - Andrzej Sapkowski
Blood of Elves - Andrzej Sapkowski
Solar Storms - Nicholas Sansbury
Planetside - Michael Mammay
Season of Storms - Andrzej Sapkowski
Dark Operator - Doc Spears
How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps - Andrew Rowe
I am 36 years old, make $66,900, live in Portland OR and work as a Data Coordinator.
Section Zero: Background Hello all, happy hoildays! I stumbled upon this subreddit not long ago and have enjoyed the commentary and experiences everyone's shared. Wanted to add another perspective from a mid-30s first-gen American. I've had some missteps regarding careers and finances, but I feel like I'm in a slightly better place now. I tried YNAB in the past but I wasn't consistent enough with it. These days I use Mint to monitor my finances and have a "Finance Friday" each month to review all my accounts and spending. I currently live with my partner TJ and his dog RR. We do not combine finances, but he has been unemployed since March. I have helped him with some bills and basic necessities here and there until he finds his next job or career. My current financial goals are to just maintain a status quo and not get any debt until pandemic times are over. Then I will focus on a house remodeling fund and savings for taking care of my parents. Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances? My parents taught us about money from a frugal perspective. They are immigrants who worked in food service/factories. There was always this “save save save” mentality. Even when they started their own small business, we saved like there was no tomorrow. In high school, my calculus teacher bought us all “The Millionaire Next Door” book and had us read it as an assignment - that was my first structured introduction to finances. Did you worry about money growing up? No, there was always food on the table and a roof over our heads. I knew that our extended family would support us if needed. Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? Yes. My dad didn’t finish the high school-equivalent in their country, while my mom did finish high school, but no college. My older and younger siblings took a different path in life after high school. I am the first and only in my family to graduate from college. My parents covered all tuition for my two bachelor degrees with the agreement that I support them fully during their retirement and send them gifts/extra money whenever I can. I feel very lucky and privileged that they were able to provide that education for me. At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net? 24 when I went on a work holiday abroad. My family was always available to help when needed, but the experience abroad helped me stand on my own feet. As an adult, I also inherited that “save” mentality and put a lot of my earnings towards savings. I didn’t date until my 30s, lived frugally, didn’t go out to eat/hangout with people, shopped thrift stores, and had very few hobbies. I am starting to “live a little” now though. Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? Aside from the tuition, my parents have helped with a down payment for my first house and living costs during periods of unemployment. Section One: Assets and Debt Retirement Balance If the place I was working at offered a 401k, I would always contribute up to the company match. I started my IRA in my mid-20s and would try to contribute the yearly max. I've stopped that the past 2-3 years though. My Other Brokerage is some play money, but I got tired of staring it and switched to index funds. I haven't contributed anything to it in a few years.
401k: $34,127 (5% company match on contributions)
Brokerage: $22,421 ESPP
Roth IRA: $40,615 VTIVX
Rollover IRA: $15,760 VTTHX
Other Brokerage: $7,235 VTI
Coinbase: $1,286 ETH (mostly just playing around with it)
Equity if you're a homeowner Purchased my first home for $382,000 with 20% down, right before lockdown earlier this year. Perfect timing, right?? I plan to live here until my retirement. My parents contributed $15k while I used most of my savings for the rest.
Current Equity: $80,371
Savings account balance: $3,073 Checking account balance: $7,800 Credit card debt: I charge everything on my credit card for the points, then pay it off each month using my checking account balance. Student loan debt: Traditionally no student loan debt as mentioned in Section Zero. Section Two: Income Income Progression (listed as gross income with cost of living area): High School
$11/hourMCOL - Helped with small family business.
College and first “career” job
$12-19/hour MCOL - I did events/banquet serving after classes and had an internship doing software administration.
$22/hour MCOL - Junior web developer. I realized after a year that programming was not my calling.
Mental health break
$12/hour LCOL - Work holiday abroad. I got a steady banquet server job for that whole time. It was enough to live minimally in a hostel, do weekend trips, WOOF and figure my life out.
College (again) and second “career” job
$12-15/hour LCOL - Decided to go back to school for a different bachelor's degree. While pursuing that degree, I worked at hotels and events as a banquet server again. I also did “search engine evaluation” whenever there were tasks available.
$36,000/year salary LCOL - Software administrator at a casino after graduation.
$39,000/year salary LCOL - Systemsanalyst at same casino. I left after 2 years, feeling disillusioned with the casino industry. I moved back home with my parents until I could get back on my feet again.
Third “career” jobs
$20/hour HCOL - Entry level advertising role. I was applying to all types of office jobs and that was my only bite.
$45/hour MCOL - Cold-called from a global company who needed someone with my software administrator experience from the casino job. It was an 8 month contract. Although I was starting to love my advertising job, the increase in pay was no question.
$65,000/year salary MCOL - After the contract ended and a few months of unemployment, I landed my current job at the same company. It is an “early career” role according to their job levels.
$66,900/year salary MCOL - Cost of living and merit increases after 2 years on the job. Pre-COVID we got a $5000 bonus each year. They have now stopped bonuses as well as all COL and merit increases.
Main Job Monthly Take Home: Monthly Net (paid bi-weekly): $2,758 Deductions:
Side Gig Monthly Take Home: No side gigs at the moment, but I am thinking of signing up on Upwork.com and doing Excel/data entry projects to help pay the mortgage. Other Income: TJ’s friend will be staying with us for a month in January, who will pay rent of $800 including utilities. Depending on how that goes, we may take on a roommate in the spare bedroom long-term. Section Three: Expenses Mortgage - when I bought the house, the plan was that I would charge TJ a portion of the mortgage costs as “rent”, but since his unemployment I am now covering it all myself. Regular Monthly Payment: $1677.57
Taxes & Home Insurance: $326.52
HOA: $30/year Retirement contribution: Nothing additional than what's been mentioned. Savings contribution: I used to do $50-100/month, but since COVID I’ve stopped contributing to my savings account. Investment contribution: None at this time. Debt payments: $100/month towards TJ's credit card balance of $2,307. Donations: $10-20/month, usually towards Omaze or Planned Parenthood. Utilities:
Natural Gas: $30-80/month
Xfinity internet: $60/month
Cellphone: On my parents plan. Subscriptions:
LinkedIn: $29.99/month for TJ’s job search - he’s found it very useful.
Amazon/Netflix/Hulu: We piggyback off family and friends’ accounts.
Nintendo Switch Online: 19.99/year
Gym membership: Pre-COVID I did Orangetheory for a year. I started to pick up free exercise equipment from Craigslist this year, so we have a small garage gym now and utilize YouTube exercise videos instead. Pet expenses: $10/month. TJ has stockpiled some Costco canned dog food before unemployment, but once that runs out I will likely cover the costs. We also started to make homemade dog food to help supplement. Car insurance: $460 every 6 months. Car is paid off. Regular therapy: I will start in the new year. Not sure what the costs are yet, but I will use my HSA to pay. Vitamins/Medications: $20/month Groceries & household items: $75/month Miscellaneous (eating out, house purchases, gifts, etc): $100/month Section Four: Money Diary Monday 6:30am Neighbor starts up their truck. We joke that it's our natural alarm clock. They idle for about 15 minutes before heading off. I go back to bed. 9am My real alarm goes off. I put the electric kettle on for some morning tea. While it's boiling, I do my morning routine: drink glass of water, take synthroid, use bathroom, brush teeth, quick shower. I then make tea - Jasmine Pearl English Breakfast with dark forest mix. I started ordering loose leaf tea in large amounts back in March instead of small bags or single serving packets. Seems more economical since I drink it daily. I let the dog out into the backyard so he can do his morning routine. 9:30am I go through my daily tasks for work. They entail checking processes and reports to make sure they ran successfully overnight. I then answer some emails and catch-up on Slack channels. 12pm Lunch is leftover roast chicken and quinoa from Saturday. I heat it up in the instant pot. Love that thing! Almost every meal of ours involves the instant pot. We hardly use the stovetop. We then walk the dog to the business park across from our neighborhood. There's a very short trail that runs along a drainage creek by the business park. It's quite muddy, but has a nice woodsy feeling. Over the summer, we saw sumac trees there as well. Free sumac spice! 1:30pm Department meeting on Zoom. Our director announces his resignation on the call. Everyone is shocked! Layoffs were announced for next year but this was not a part of it. I think it's a good move for him and he doesn't have to have this worry of layoffs over his head. 3pm I meet with an engineer from another team and talk about a data source they are in charge of. He helps me out in understanding it and we identify most of the fields that I need for a project I’m starting. 5:30pm I check in with my partner. He's been watching LinkedIn tutorials on internal recruiting, job coaching and general computeoffice skills. It's a career change that he wants to make - something where he can talk to and help people. He doesn't have a bachelor's, only an associates, and hopes these tutorials will get him a leg up in the job search. I sent him some entry level HR admin roles the other day and remind him to apply. I then heat up leftovers: homemade chana masala and rice. I add some butter and coconut milk to thin it out, so there's enough for both of us. 10:30pm I take some magnesium, vitamin D and Airborne. I say goodnight to the dog who sleeps in the office. Then I say goodnight to TJ. He sleeps in the spare bedroom on weeknights due to his snoring keeping me up. I'm a light sleeper while he is a pretty deep sleeper. Daily total: $0 Tuesday 9am I check Reddit Secret Santa. My match seems like a really good person. Not sure what to get, but most likely will purchase something off their wishlist. I wish I was more creative with my gift giving. 11am Meeting with business stakeholder. She submitted a few changes to an existing data process about a month ago. I make the change while on the call and have her test. Success! Marking it off the todo list. I love when we can finish things directly on a call. 12:30pm I come out of my office to make lunch. I notice my partner is not home. I check my messages and see that he's stepped out to pick up a few things. I ask for celery, carrots, and kombucha. $17. I make a quick charcuterie board for lunch: Costco salami, cheese, homemade hummus and Triscuits. It's a simple, fast meal that’s always in our rotation. 2pm My partner is back and we take the dog out for a walk and quick round of disc golf at a nearby park. We mask up and play only a few holes. Disc golf is a pretty frugal activity, you only need 2-3 discs to get started. TJ remarks that my throws are getting better, but then again they weren't great to start with. We talk about Christmas/Birthday gifts on the way back home since he was born on New Years Day. He mentioned snowshoeing but asked to not spend that much. I'll do some research! 5pm I think about personal career projects. Should I put up a portfolio of projects somewhere? I decide to try and pull some Yelp data. There’s not a lot of data points that I was interested in. Regardless, I tinker with it for an hour. TJ asks if I'm hungry. I said not so much, but felt thirsty. Maybe some ginger soup tonight? 7:30pm Dinner is served - ginger carrot soup made in the instant pot. We eat some rice crackers with it. Lately I feel like we've been eating more vegetarian dinners. It definitely helps stretch our food budget. We end the evening by finishing Fargo season 3 on Hulu. Daily total: $17 Wednesday 1:30am I'm woken up by the dog. He's been sneezing a lot and wheezes at random intervals. TJ doesn't have the money for a vet visit but I've offered to pay as long as he calls to make the appointment. I give the dog some coconut oil, rub his belly until he seems better and go back to bed. 7am Garbage day. We usually put it out the night before but I forgot. I get up to go, but TJ handles it. I think, at least. I'm too sleepy to pay attention and go back to bed. 9am I wake up and rinse some dishes that have piled up and put them into the dishwasher. We both grew up in households that had a home dishwasher, but forbade from using it. It was drilled into us that hand washing saves more water, unless you had a restaurant/industrial dishwasher. I think with modern home dishwashers, that's changed, so I wanted to try it out with our dishwasher and monitor the water bill. Don't have any dishwashing pods or powder, so I put some OxiClean in it. 12:30pm I overhear TJ on a call with a recruiting agency. It seems to be going well, lots of laughing. I heat up some taco lasagna that I freezer meal-prepped last month. 2pm Collaborate on a project at work with an engineer. My manager put me on this project since I was asking for an assignment on a more technical team. I'm learning tidbits here and there, but I don't feel like it's structured enough. 5pm I do an Orangetheory-At-Home workout and try to break a sweat. It's not the same as going to their studio. 6pm Charcuterie for dinner. Our fridge is full of store-bought and homemade pickles that go super well on a charcuterie board. Daily total: $0 Thursday 7am I wake up tired. The house has been feeling more cold, which woke me up a few times. We keep the temp at 72F during the day, at night around 68F since we thought the bedrooms keep the heat in pretty well. My mistake! 9am I do my usual morning routine and login to work. My team mostly spends the morning sending each other emojis. 11:30am Lunch today is mini quiche, frozen chicken and veggie entree, and hot dogs. Not the most cohesive meal, but it fills the belly. 12:30pm TJ heads out to his mailbox that's 30 minutes away. He is still waiting on his tax return and a 401k withdrawal. His taxes had to be filed by mail for some reason, then the IRS office shut down due to COVID. So he wanted to see if it arrived yet at the mailbox. He also takes the dog to the vet's urgent care on his way. They didn't have any regular openings available until the end of the year, and the dog seemed to be getting worse. I give TJ $40 to mail a gift package to a friend in France and also reiterate that I'll cover the vet bill when he gets it. 4:30pm I pay some bills, my favorite activity (not)! Sewer bill: $59.44 (billed every 2 months). Geico bill: $459.60 billed every 6 months. Then I follow up with my mortgage officer over email. I had sent her some documents for a refinance quote last week, but haven't heard back. Rates keep dropping, so I'm told, but what does that really mean? I do some research on realestate. 5pm TJ messages me and says he'll be back for dinner. I ask him to pick up some Popeyes via drive thru since we both don't feel like cooking today. Popeyes is currently our fancy “going out to eat” food. $24.17 for a 4pc dinner meal and a 2pc dinner meal. Daily total: $583.21 Friday 8:30am Busy morning at work. My phone is buzzing with emails and Slack messages. I try to answer them while I make tea. 10am Zoom Department happy hour. We reminisce about our director and then play those Jackbox party games. Some of them are hard! 11am TJ asks if he can make me anything for lunch. He suggests savory oatmeal, quick and easy. I tell him that I really appreciate him making meals/doing chores/etc without me prompting. We've been having conversations about "house project management" and mental load because I did most of the chores or I had to continually remind/tell him to do it. I'm really happy to see us progress on this front. I decide to work through my lunch break so I can end the day early. I don't often do that, but I'm ready to get the weekend started. 2pm I check on TJ in the spare bedroom and ask if the dog has been fed yet, since he was nipping at my feet. I notice something off about TJ and ask how he is doing. TJ is depressed about his personal life, career, finances. He doesn't know what to do, spends half the day meditating and reflecting on past trauma. I've been prodding him to get a therapist but he is confused about his insurance. He makes an appointment with a primary care doctor first. I feed the dog some homemade dog-friendly beef stew. 4pm My mom swings by the house (but doesn't enter). She currently works at a school who distributes free USDA food boxes since March. There's often many boxes leftover that would go to waste, so she will grab a box for us. Onions, potatoes, beets, turnips, eggs, cheese, butter, frozen veggies and frozen chicken. She also brought her vintage pasta maker. I asked last week if she ever used it these days and her reply was “no, feel free to have it”. I love pasta and noodles and figure it would be great to make it ourselves as a frugal hobby. 8pm We catch up on Mandalorian and watch silly Youtube videos before heading off to bed. Daily total: $0 Saturday 9am I open up my web browser and look at Craigslist and NextDoor for free stuff. I've been scouring for free landscape rocks, pegboards, and wood for house projects. I had this grand ambition to redesign our backyard. It faces our neighbor and currently the fence is pretty low. They can see into our kitchen and bedroom and we can see them. But y'know, COVID and going from dual income house to single income means it all has to be put on hold. So I've been looking for free items in the meantime. Over the past months, I've gotten planter pots, plant cuttings, a raised bed, stepping stones, all from free listings. I don't see anything worthwhile so I go and make some tea. 11am I look at Amazon and make some purchases for Reddit Secret Santa. A foodie kit, DVD of their favorite movie, and some cute pens for their writing hobby. $54. I hope they like it! 12pm TJ heats up leftover stir-fry for lunch for us. I put on some Binging with Babish and we watch how to make pasta. We have a plan - TJ makes the pasta, I make the sauce. Perfect date night activity at home. We watch some more videos on pasta and noodles to educate ourselves. 4pm I start prepping veggies. Big batch of onions, canned tomatoes, ground beef and butter in the instant pot. Meanwhile, TJ works on the pasta by following Babish's instructions. 7pm We gorge on fresh made pasta and bolognese sauce. It's so good! We end up watching Fargo. 11pm Usually I'll be in bed by now, but it's a Saturday and not tired yet (probably because of all that pasta). We play some Kirby's Dream Course on the Switch. Daily total: $54 Sunday 10am Quick walk around the neighborhood with the dog. He's on a new routine now with the medicine he's taking. It seems to be helping his breathing issues. 11am The pasta maker and flour is still out since we didn't clean up yesterday. There's some old pie crust in the fridge so I roll it out with the pasta machine for mini quiches. (Sally's Baking Addiction blog is my go-to place for her all-butter crust and quiche recipes btw). TJ helps by mixing up the eggs. 3pm I play some Genshin Impact (GI) on my phone while TJ plays Starcraft in the office. I don't usually play gacha games, but the Zelda BotW-style of GI appealed to me. A gacha game is a game with randomized characteitem boxes that you use real-money to purchase a “pull” or to spin the wheel. I know the gacha parts of the game can be a real money sink if you get addicted to them, it’s almost like gambling. My main team is Fischl, Bennett, Barbara and Noelle. I level up to AR 22 and look up free-to-play tutorials for the game. 6pm There's some leftover pasta from yesterday, enough for both of us. I throw in some roasted beets to round out the meal. We watch more Fargo while eating. Almost done with Season 3! 10pm I find a tour operator who offers a small, socially-distant snowshoeing tour up on the mountain. I reserve for two people - this will be TJ's Christmas/birthday gift. $75. Off to bed for another workday. Daily total: $75 Weekly Total: $689.79
Food + Drink: $41.17
Fun / Entertainment: $75
Home + Health: $59.44
Clothes + Beauty: $0
Section Five: Reflections Aside from the car insurance bill, this was a typical week for me, COVID or not. We make the majority of our meals at home and usually splurge on drive-thru/delivery once every other week. I may have overspent on the Secret Santa gift, but I don't often give gifts out to friends. It's not something our family does either. For TJ’s Christmas/birthday gift, we usually talk upfront about costs. I’ve gifted him fancy restaurant experiences the past 2 years, since we can share that experience, but obviously can’t do that now. Snowshoeing is a nice change of pace. The conversations with TJ this week have given me thought on how to approach him differently about finances and working together in a relationship. I’m still unsure about the future financially, particularly as my parents near retirement age and that TJ has pulled out his 401k to pay his debts. I don't know if I can support both my parents and TJ together, so I am finding ways to upskill and/or side hustles without becoming a workaholic or bogged down by stress. Writing this money diary was also the first time where I really paid attention to my past income and current income. I might be contributing too much into ESPP that could go towards the 401k or mortgage instead? I also seem to have been underpaid for what I did in past jobs, even in a LCOL area.
Kickstarter Roundup: October 11, 2020 | 30+ Ending Soon (including: THE 7th CITADEL) & 55+ New This Week (including: Frostpunk: The Board Game)
What this is:
This is a weekly, curated listing of Kickstarter board game projects that are either:
newly posted in the past 7 days, or
ending in the next 7 days (starting Oct 12) and have at least a fighting chance of being funded.
All board game projects meeting those criteria will automatically be included, no need to ask. (The occasional non-board game project may also sneak in!) Expect new lists each Sunday sometime between midnight and noon PST.
Min / Avg Pledge
Broadside Empires of Steel A fully printable tabletop miniatures game set in the era of the Dreadnought Battleship. // Has raised A$11,322 of A$3,000 so far. (~377%) ☑
Kingdom (2nd Edition) Build your community together. Fight for what you believe in… or watch it burn. A game about communities by the author of Microscope // Has raised $35,010 of $2,500 so far. (~1400%) ☑
Hogs Of War The Miniatures Game A 1-4 Player Tabletop Miniatures Game with Tech-Tree, Hidden Movement and Base-Building mechanics. Solo and Co-op Modes included! // Has raised £101,206 of £18,000 so far. (~562%) ☑
Machina Arcana ~ To Eternity A dark and immersive experience awaits you and your group of explorers. Travel the unknown, face cosmic horrors and fight for survival! // Has raised $447,554 of $30,000 so far. (~1492%) ☑
Mythalix: Chapter 1: Greek Mythology Gods and Titans clash in a new world.Battle opponents, control areas & build your deck in this light strategy board game. // Has raised £14,588 of £10,000 so far. (~146%) ☑
DOPPELT ODER NICHTS Ein Kartenspiel, bei dem niemand sicher ist. Du hast die Wahl, aber wenn du dich überschätzt, trifft es dich doppelt -ENGLISH AVAILABLE // Has raised €5,803 of €7,000 so far. (~83%)
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Do you really like your beer, or are you just a victim of Capitalist Propaganda? How you can learn how the free market works while you guzzle some suds, and how beer can help you to understand the vast conspiracy that is slowly degrading America.
TL;DR - I use the craft beer industry as a way to understand Capitalist Propaganda, how Capitalism and Socialism are inextricably linked to each other, and how through the use of propaganda, companies use the "illusion of choice" to coerce you into believing that you prefer the products that are most favorable to them. In order to change this into the consumer's favor, you need to be an informed consumer in the free market, and raise class consciousness to overthrow the tyranny of Capitalist Propaganda, that is called "Marketing". *************************************************************************************** You can't understand Capitalist Propaganda unless you have a solid understanding of what Capitalism is beyond the literal definition of the word, which is just an abstract ideal. Propaganda plays off of the discrepancies between the ideals of Capitalism, like the free market, which is another abstract ideal, and the reality of Capitalism in practice in America, which can be characterized as Trickle Down Economics. Capitalism sought to be a pragmatic alternative to its economic predecessors, a fact which drives Capitalist Propaganda. However, through layers of abstraction throughout the years, it has become more of a religion, as critics refer to the increasingly ideological concept as "Supply Side Jesus", meaning you give all the money to the rich, it'll trickle down to the poor, and they can "vote" on the actions of the capitalists through monetary interactions in the free market. Capitalist Propaganda is engrained in America, because at the time of our founding, Adam Smith wrote "Wealth of Nations", which is considered the Bible of the Free Market. This groundbreaking work utilized Newton's Laws of Physics, which were en vogue at the time, to describe how interactions in the marketplace would balance each other out, just as the laws of Newtonian Physics do. The very noble purpose of Wealth of Nations was not create the oligarchy we have today, but to do the opposite. He wanted to describe a system that would protect individual freedoms and be truly democratic. Just as Lenin and Stalin bastardized the works of Marx, so too have capitalists in America bastardized the intentions of Adam Smith. Capitalism and Socialism are best learned side by side, in my opinion, to avoid falling into the trappings of either ideology that our brains like to do. Which one is better? It depends on the market, but the answer is almost always somewhere in between. Through learning how Socialist concepts can be applied to problems in Capitalism, you can cut through the propaganda and will see for yourself that these problems can be solved if we just drop the labels and do what's best for society and the individual. The problem is always finding the proper balance. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** WHAT? CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM ARE JOINED AT THE HIP? Yep. You can never live in a pure economic system. Purity is always an illusion. If you want something to be pure, you have to put a lot of energy into making it that way. Nature likes to mix stuff up. This is why ideologies around racial purity and fascism always fail. There are people who want a "pure" economic system, but they are usually the people at the top and would only get richer from more purity while the rest of society loses freedom and slowly starves. In a nutshell, Capitalism promotes laws that benefit those with money, while Socialism promotes a safety net that benefits everyone. Every single human is born into Socialism. As a baby, you need food, someone else works for it and gives it to you, but then at some point, you are expected to exchange labor for capital, and buy your own food. See? The two are forever bound as the yin and yang. You can also grow your own food, but for that you need land, which is capital. These interactions are very tricky. I only want to tell you enough so that you can start to see Capitalist Propaganda, because right now, you're like a fish in water that can't see water. I often use this line to describe a person who can't see their own homegrown propaganda. The best way I found to study Capitalism is by relating it Socialism, the "air" above the "water" of Capitalism, if that makes sense. I always find it best to look at a microcosm to understand these concepts. And today, that microcosm is beer. Mmmm....Beeeeeeeeeerrrrrrr..... *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE Before I poison your mind with my own propaganda, picture you're on vacation and you walk into a bar and want to order a beer. If you really want to understand the power of propaganda in your own life, really think of this before we break this all down. Really think, what makes you decide which beer to order? Do you like to look at the labels on the tap or bottle? That's obvious propaganda. It has absolutely nothing to do with the taste or quality of the beer itself, but sways your opinion toward logos you've seen before, which is why you see so many beer advertisements, which means that money that could've gone into quality is instead going into propaganda, and you're already biased towards an inferior product. Interesting. You really can't help being swayed by marketing, but at least you can be conscious of that fact, and that's important in order to be an informed consumer. Do you ask the bartender for a recommendation? Why would you do that? You don't know the bartender any better than the beers in front of you. How do you know they aren't paid more to offer you a beer that sucks and is 12 years old and the owner wants to get rid of it? Do you ask for a certain style of beer? Do you ask for a local beer? And once you finally narrow it down to a few choices, do you ask for samples so you can make up your own mind? You should always do this. Then we get into "flavor propaganda", which we'll discuss later. Jeez. Did you every realize there was so much complexity behind being an informed consumer and just ordering a simple beer? Maybe you'll give in and just tell the bartender to pour whatever. Choice is difficult sometimes. If you really visualize this and take a minute to let this sink in, you'll start to understand how external forces hijack the processor in your mind to manufacture desire through the illusion of choice. However, your health and enjoyment of the beer is not the goal for these external forces, they only want you to purchase. The perfect example is fast food. They know their product sucks, but they know you'll keep buying it, but that doesn't keep them from lying about how delicious it is in their ads. There is far more at play behind the curtain. There is a science behind addicting you to things, this is reinforced by a corporate tax and subsidy system that contorts the free market pushing centralization of production through homogenization and use of chemicals to hide the homogenization, and simply because there is more than one option, they make you feel like you have choice. This, in a nutshell, is how the illusion of choice works in the free market. It's not about what YOU want. The producer manipulates you to think you want what they have. Through this, they deceive Americans into buying products with a list of ingredients that a person would never freely choose to consume. So if you want to order a beer with no shit in it, then you're shit out of luck in America. You could in Germany, but we'll discuss that later. While you're standing at that bar, you aren't conscious of the fact that your interests are in direct opposition to those of the bar owner's. Capitalists hide this fact with their perfect smiles, but Marx described this in detail. You want the best beer for the cheapest price, and the bar owner wants to sell you the cheapest beer at the highest price you'll pay. It doesn't stop there. The bar owner flips roles in the same situation with the beer distributor, who does the same with maybe another level of distribution, and continues to the brewer, then goes to the brewer versus supplier, supplier to farmer, and even though you'd think it stops there, the farmer has to deal with suppliers of equipment and seeds, and on and on. Add to this list their auxiliary staff of HR, drivers, managers, brewers, bottle/keg makers, and of course owners, none of them care whether you actually like the beer you're drinking as long as you keep buying more. That's the big driver here. Did you ever realize that every time you buy a beer, your own capital is partially responsible for creating and sustaining all of these jobs involved? You, my dear beer drinker, are the true job creator. Budweiser can brew all they want, it means nothing without buyers, who are the true engines of capitalism. Instead, you're treated as a rube by suits in a boardroom somewhere. Capitalist Propaganda tells us the billionaires are job creators, but this is a lie. Jeff Bezos can't drink enough beer to sustain all these jobs. So why do we let him hoard all the money? Wouldn't the economy do better if we spread out Jeff's money so more people could buy more beers and more jobs would be created? According to Socialist Economics, yes. That's actually, quite simply, a Socialist Free Market. Did you even know that existed? The power hungry greedy people who are too lazy for manual labor go to such great lengths to make sure you don't learn it. They want you to think that only Capitalism allows you choice in the market. I'm sure you can guess why they say that. Capitalism maintains itself by exulting the wealthy who use their economic power to punch down. The only way this system won't fall into fascism and fail is if the consumers start to punch back. Where Marx envisioned the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as they usurped power from the Bourgeoisie, a modern alternative is just teaching people to understand the system we live in, so that we can just start making changes in the way we live and to whom we give our money. See that? Capitalism and Socialism can get along nicely, so long as the consumers are informed. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ALIENATION OF LABOR CAUSING LONELINESS IN SOCIETY What I described within the previous section is what Marx called "Alienation of Labor". Each step in the process of making your beer is isolated from the others, so no one feels ownership over the end product or a true connection to the consumer, or job creator. Even the bartender selling it is alienated from the profit of their labor in serving the beer, so they only focus on the service aspect of giving you the beer, because that is where they earn their tip. They can't really fix anything about a shitty beer other than to offer you a different brand. The capitalist owner is usually not there. Their only interaction is setting the rules for everyone in the bar to follow, and pay themselves more than everyone who has to follow those rules. This is part of the conflict between the classes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just pointing it out. The bar owner themself has to spend money on propaganda to attract customers that could be spent in other places, so has to find ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, they buy cheaper beer...and this is why you end up with IPAs. No one is connected to the products, so they only look at prices and find the cheapest, passable product. This is the race to the bottom of Capitalism. Compare this to when brewpubs were a new thing. The brewer would come out and talk to you about the beer, you would give feedback that could effect future batches and it connected everyone to each other through commerce. It makes business "social" and I think nearly everyone enjoys that, but it is losing out in competition with chain breweries that enforce isolation and make cookie cutter propaganda and cookie cutter business models so they can turn owners into managers and suck all the profit back their corporate headquarters and offshore accounts. They kill the experience and make everything transactional. And all the kitsch they hang around their cookie cutter chain bar is just to hide the fact that no one in that place cares about anything other than not getting fired. Everyone is effectually alienated from everyone else. It's worth a read to check out this page on Marx's Theory of Alienation. This alienation is the root of a lot of misery in society. Humans are communal animals forced to live in a society of individuality and alienation. As they mope around, they seek an escape. And that is why advertising is so nefarious. It seeks to manipulate you in that state. Imagine driving home from your alienating job to you empty home, but looking up and see a billboard with bunch of actors laughing and drinking beer. They take pictures that make these actors look like friends. It's just for show. They aren't selling beer to those laughing people in the picture. They're tempting lonely people to drown their sorrows. Capitalist Propaganda is used so your brain doesn't understand what it wants. It wants friends, then sees the words Bud Light. So when the bartenders asks...Make it a Bud Light. Look at how much money they spend to manipulate and capitalize on people's suffering. Propaganda in Communist countries is controlled by the government, so it's clear who the enemy of your freedom is. Capitalist Propaganda hides behind the layers of complexity of the same economy you rely on to survive, so you never know what's propaganda or where it's coming from. Marketers find every way imaginable to get their disinformation in front of your eyes, even enlisting your friends on Facebook in annoying MLM schemes. Propaganda invaded everything that can be legally monetized. It's in the media, and not just commercials anymore. There's product placement, stories injected into the news, and even movies and social media created an entire industry of "lifestyle propaganda", telling you how to live your life and indulge in overconsumption. It's REALLY hard to get away from Capitalist Propaganda. There is so much money and research behind it and so much depth, even this long post is only barely scratching the surface. I just want to open your eyes to it. I can't make you see all this. No one can. I can only describe it as best as I can. What you will experience when you understand this is what I call "Economic Enlightenment", similar to what Marx called "Class Consciousness". Once it happened to me, the world looked amazing, and the shitty propagandists selling us false hope all look like clowns in a very odd circus of vanity, despair and mediocrity. Once I understood this, I saw clearly how we are increasingly trapped in a form of Corporate Slavery, led by seriously ridiculous oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg, who thinks he's the reincarnation of Augustus Caesar or something. That's why he has that haircut! This is a guy who stole a company and hired "screen psychologists" from Las Vegas to get you hooked on Facebook the same as casinos do with slot machines. He wants to be the funnel for propaganda throughout the world. He wants to be the kingmaker, decide what people buy, who they like, what views they hold. He can only do this because so many companies spend so much money to put their propaganda on that platform. They can only have this much money because the free market is not actually free. It's bought and paid for on platforms like Facebook and Amazon. The money that was supposed to "trickle down" is instead being spent on Capitalist Propaganda on these platforms, to get the proletariate to trickle their money up through endless, nonsensical online purchasing and local businesses who send the town's money to people who can't do anything with it but buy up properties that increase your rent and cost of living. When people get drunk on the power of propaganda, they forget the lessons of the past. Propagandists always fall prey to their own delusions over time. In reality, your life is better without Facebook. There isn't anything on there that is healthy. Even if you just want to talk to a few friends, you are going to fall for the propaganda there. You can't help it. And if your bar advertises on Facebook, just think, that money could've gone into purchasing higher quality beer then sold at the same price, instead of going to Mark Zuckerberg so he can drop $30 million to buy the houses around him so no one can spy on him while he spies on you. You really gotta watch out for a guy who combines spying and propaganda all into a single app and thinks he's going to bring 200 years of peace to America. History is littered with knuckleheads like that. It's best to get off Facebook and encourage everyone else to do the same. Zuck only wants to lead himself to the Promised Land, and he's using your ignorance to fuel his own delusions by deluding you into thinking you want what he has to offer. Let's get back to beer. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** IPAs AND THE FREE MARKET VS THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM I like beer. When I worked in Germany, it was easy to walk into a bar and, like Farva, just order a liter o' beer. Often, there would only be two choices, light color or dark. As a matter of fact, even at the most famous beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest, people mostly drink the same standard type of beer, and no one complains about the lack of choice. It's quite easy. You can order with one finger. No need to see a menu or ask what's in it. It's simply beer. This worked for centuries. Consumers are fine with it. Prost! Have you ever shared a story like this and people say, "Oh, that would never work in America. Americans want choice." Yeah. Because we are flooded with Capitalist Propaganda. So if consumer choice isn't pushing for a selection, why would a free market call for it? Imagine there are two bars and one of those bars says "30 beers on tap" and the other doesn't. You're more likely to choose it, and the other bar will have to compete in some way, often by copying. This forms trends, and people mistake this for something customers wanted. Trends are always marketing. Don't believe me? What happened to fidget spinners? So now you have a bunch of beers that no one asked for, yet will now demand. Competition creates more Capitalist Propaganda to create demand for something you never even wanted, but makes you think you do. And that's the best propaganda. You think you are thinking for yourself. This is the fallacy of consumer choice. If you want to understand just how important that last paragraph is, consider this, "consumer choice" is the same propaganda they used to get you to carry around a device that spies on you 24/7 and sends that data to people you don't know, and you can't stop it, can you? You chose that. You wanted it. Not only that, but you paid $1,000 for the device to opt into their spying program, for the privilege of being mind controlled by the propaganda their AI selects for you. Did you read the Terms of Service? As bad as you may have thought Communist Propaganda was, Capitalist Propaganda is far better, and far stealthier. You believe you have freedom of choice. But your only choice is usually take it, or leave it. Oh, you need it for work? Maybe find a different job. Or just succumb to mass surveillance, and next year, you can drop another grand on a device with a marginally better camera. There is a way to free yourself. You just have to understand the nature of propaganda. It took me a while, but I eventually broke free. Under Socialism, there would be laws against the exploitation of consumers. Capitalist Propaganda tells you that this takes away your freedom. This is a lie. Regulations give you the freedom to not have to worry whether the beer you're drinking has poison in it. Germany has a lot of regulations on beer. It has the Reinheitsgebot (purity order), a law passed in 1516 that states that beer can only consist of water, hops and barley. Note, this is a different use of the word "purity" from earlier, as beer is itself a mixture of things. Historically there have also been regulations where beer could only be sold regionally, so no matter what part of Germany you were in, you only got a certain brand of beer at the bar, but it didn't matter because they all had the same ingredients. They could make wheat beers or unfiltered, but they were generally variations of pilsners and lagers. One meaning of the word "Lager" in German is "storage", meaning the beer was brewed in a way that it could be stored, allowing them to brew in bigger batches and store it. Lagers use a more complex brewing process, so only larger breweries would make them, but this worked because of protected territories. America has a similar system, because each state has its own regulations on alcohol, but this is changing as corporate lawyers fight to homogenize the rules favorable to them, but the consumer loses control. Big brands tend to be lagers as they have general appeal to a wide audience. Did you notice this is the second time I pointed out that corporations create homogeneity? Without regulations, corporations create Fascism. That is why I tell people that we already live in the NWO but corporations rule the world instead of governments. Why do you think so few conspiracy theorists make this connection? Propagandists are paid a lot of money to keep even our small community confused about the reality of what's happening. Now, check out conspiracy and you'll see what I mean. They are spreading propaganda for the NWO over there and don't even know it. I tried to point that out and they finally banned me. Oh well. They'll figure it out in their own time. In America, in 1978 it became legal to brew beer at home. This is what led to the explosion of new beers in the US decades later. Americans don't have purity laws, so could test new recipes. But people didn't generally like IPAs before, so how did they become so popular that they control 30% of the market? Marketing, of course. Create the market and tell people what they want. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It was invented by the British as an easy way to make a beer that they could drink in India. People only drank it out of necessity, as the other beers couldn't make the trip. IPAs are very easy to make and very forgiving, because if you mess it up, it already tasted bad anyway. As people started trying to get into microbrews, they often didn't have the capital to make lagers at small scale, and also wanted a simpler process so they didn't have to hire or train expert brewers, IPAs are cheap and easy to make at smaller scale. In order to make it drinkable, brewers experimented with many different flavorings. This created a cult following of craft IPAs, where people would drive hours to stand in line for hours to try the newest concoction. The trendy nature of the craft beer world kept people training their palate to adapt to the taste of an IPA, making people start to actually like them. The flavorings made people think they were different, so even if they didn't like it, marketing tactics kept people coming back to try the latest blend. Your palate can adapt A LOT. Swedish people love Surströmming, but watch this video of Americans trying it for the first time. They tried to get me to eat it several times, but I would rather sit in a sauna until Tuesday to avoid smelling it while watching them eat it. It really smells that bad. IPAs enticed people with popular, aromatic ingredients like bananas and pineapple. This is what I call "flavor propaganda". It's not bad in and of itself, but it can be easily misused to cover issues with quality or hide the taste of preservatives. Since we don'e have laws like Germany, you're left to rely on the knowledge and honesty of the bartender to find out. They don't make this info readily available, which is another form of Disinformation. So if you think you actually like IPAs, just remember, you are just like a Swede eating rotten fish. A lot of propaganda went in to making IPAs popular, but it's the cheapest, easiest product to make that can be sold at the highest price, so they become popular. This is what business students call a business plan. To overcome the bad taste, IPAs were marketed as "classy" to shame you if you choose the more expensive to produce and more appealing pilsners and lagers, which were given a bad name due to being associated with major brands like Bud Light. This makes it harder to market microbrew lagers, which can only fetch a certain price due to association. And this is what is referred to as the "race to the bottom" in Capitalism. Instead of trying to innovate ways to produce the beers you want, they just figure out how to get you to pay more for an inferior product, just like they do with BBQ. They make you think you want it. From this you can understand why "food" is full of junk that you wouldn't feed your dog. Whatever legal poison helps cheapen the product is considered "smart business", another propaganda term designed to hide the reality of doing immoral and harmful things to other humans for profit. If you make money on it, it's good. As if there aren't better choices we could come up with if there truly were a free market with an informed consumer. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** STRENGTHEN THE FREE MARKET BY BEING AN INFORMED CONSUMER We don't need a Communist Revolution to make positive changes, so take off your ski masks and put your Antifa flags down. I like microbrew culture and still enjoy IPAs, but understanding the marketplace is how I do my part as an informed consumer and job creator to help create the world that I want to live in. I encourage you to do the same. Vote with your dollars. Don't let the Zuck-type sociopathic, corporate people in a distant land decide what you consume by looking at ads on his platform. Visit local breweries and talk to the brewmaster. Don't reinforce alienation from labor. Connect with the people who make the things you buy. Support independent entrepreneurship. These are the paths to a brighter future where we share in the abundance of wealth. Discover Economic Enlightenment for yourself and realize that We The People are ultimately in control. Wealth inequality is greater than it was in France before the French Revolution. Don't let this train take us into the depths where another Lenin will arise and spend the night shooting people. How you choose to spend your money today is what decides what will become the society of tomorrow. And remember, you always have the choice to buy nothing at all. I never saw a billboard that said that. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** LET THEM DRINK BEER! I hope this gave you a glimpse behind the curtain of Capitalist Propaganda. Propaganda isn't just political, it has invaded everything and it's at full blast right now. I hope you can piece together how Capitalist Propaganda is actually designed to make you subservient by controlling what you want so they can maximize their own profit and teach you to accept whatever they offer, the homogenization of choice. However, your life is your own and you should remain in control of all aspects of it, including your desires. Richard Wolff is an economist who studied at three elite universities in America and discusses how he was not able to even learn about Socialist Economics in the ivory tower, even though Capitalist Propaganda calls universities leftist. He found no department in America that is even willing to teach it or study it. Capitalist Propaganda censors these ideas, especially at the university. People in power don't want the serfs to learn about themselves. Check him out on YouTube. You'll realize that unchecked Capitalism leads to Fascism and Slavery, which is why they want to get rid of the minimum wage, so that we can return to sharecropping which is already increasingly happening in America under different names, like "student debt", "mortgages" and "insurance". Don't you think it's odd that a person has to go into debt so they can generate profits for corporations who really ought to be paying for this education themselves? If you have to go into debt before they'll hire you, it's much easier to negotiate against you. If you want to see other examples of propaganda, check out this random tweet from one of America's Top Capitalist Propagandists. These are very odd pictures, and the only thing I can see in them is that they must be promoting those outfits, likely the blue dress, maybe those men's outfits as well. One thing you know is that she didn't become a billionaire by letting any single opportunity to enrich herself at the expense of others pass her by. I didn't look it up, but I am certain they sell that blue dress, or whoever does paid her to post this. That's the main reason celebrities use social media. It's marketing. Their whole schtick is to sell garments made in a sweatshop in a foreign country by people who can't even afford a beer to Americans who are facing bankruptcy and homelessness themselves. Read the replies of the tweet. These people have influence that vastly outsizes their understanding of their impact on the world. There are guillotines in the comments. There usually are. I'm seeing them a lot lately. This type of propaganda is everywhere. And it's destroying America. Just like propaganda led to the demise of Nazi Germany, we could be looking at the same thing, but worse. It could start off as famine. If you're having trouble deciding between the beers you are being offered, it's probably because you don't want anything at all, in which case the proper choice is: nothing. Or, try tap water. Maybe you're just thirsty. Now ask yourself, when you envisioned yourself at a bar, did you ever think to order water instead? Did you entertain the idea that you didn't even want a beer. That's the power of suggestion. What if the rest of the world just cut America off from the means of production outsourced to areas with cheap labor? We would have our own famine and likely war. And if we have a revolution here, with the masses in the country being so disinformed about everything and not having any sort of class consciousness at the moment and instead stuck in alienation, the leader that rises here will likely lead to something horrifying. And we censor ourselves from pointing out the simple fact, that the only way America will survive is to tax the deluded royalty like Kim and Mark back to reality, so they can't indulge their reckless, childish delusions by selling off the very fabric of our nation to the highest bidder. That doesn't make me a Socialist, that just makes me honest. Enjoy your beer! *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you understand how you can empower yourself. I'm excited about the one I wrote for Election Day tomorrow to keep our NOPOL spirits up while all the politics clouds the airwaves. Cheers!
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