30 September 2023

During a very busy week pulling the various levers of my business, I've been thinking about people I know and have known who constantly careen from one crisis to the next, attempt to latch onto anyone around them who has resources of one kind or another, and seek bailouts. 

I don't have much time for anything else when my activities are in full swing, so the little bit of poking around this subject that I was able to do I did with speech-to-text online searches with my smartphone as I moved between job sites. Not knowing where to begin, I tried a variant of what I wrote in the opening here, "people who are constantly in crisis." I also tried, "people with constant drama in their lives," or something along those lines. That mostly turned up results for people who thrive on drama, a personality type that seems to angle for finding or creating situations where they can be a "fixer." 

That wasn't it. What I've experienced time and again is more like a "drowning man" type scenario: someone gets in over their head in some way, thrashes about, and attempts to simply grab on to the nearest person to them. It tends to end with both going down (unless the frantic drowning man can be subdued, but that's getting off topic). 

I don't recall the train of thought that followed, but I tried my search again including "self-sabotage." That's when I started getting hits for something called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD for short). It sounded interesting, so I looked into it. That seemed to line up more with what I was seeing in a couple of people recently and have experienced with others in the past. Not exactly, but there was some traction there. I see and have seen in these people impulsivity, drug and alcohol abuse, unstable relationships, out-of-whack self-image, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation. It seems to check a lot of boxes.

From the literature that I've reviewed thus far, I don't feel that I can consider it perfectly definitive of what I've been trying to wrap my head around when it comes to these types because it's apparently relatively rare, affecting maybe 1-2% of the adult population. So how could it be that I know a greater percentage of people who seem to exhibit this condition? Maybe I'm just lucky? 

The part that is missing from the literature per my own experiences, glaringly, is the "bailout seeking" part. It seems that BPD sufferers are more about emotional support, belonging, and reassurance than material. I suppose that the transfer of assets to someone who exists with this condition could be perceived that way by them, as it would no doubt carry with it a sense of reassurance about their relationship with another, but the consistent absence of the specific topic from the literature I've read thus far makes me think that it's better explained by something else. 

The only other thing I've come across that seems to match up is something called the Upper Limit Problem. In short, it's a psychological term that refers to a person's programed perception of how many "good things" they deserve in life. When that limit is exceeded, they self-sabotage to bring themselves back down to their set point. (This apparently is also sometimes called the "Oscar Problem," due to some successful actors imploding personally and professionally after winning an Oscar; if you search for this term, however, you'll mostly find a bunch of whining about race. Yawn.)

There's perhaps something here, but I think it may actually point back to me when it comes to how many of these types I seem to be acquainted with. Not that I'm somehow attempting to sabotage myself by associating with them, but that I largely exist in a social circle that is full of people that are nowhere near my own capacities. I can't think of a time that I've ever hit a milestone and then started feeling bad in any way. I also can't imagine a future me who would. If however I frequently meet people who seem to be acting out behavioral patterns that are suggestive of this phenomenon, then perhaps its an indication that I've surrounded myself with people who are not my peers. That's not a good thing.

That is something that crosses my mind from time to time, and it does bother me, especially since what seems to come with it is an eventual, practically inevitable request for a bailout. "Hey, I did a bunch of stuff with foreseeable, avoidable negative consequences and the shit that I've been throwing at the front of this fan over here blasted back into my face. Can I have some money?"

To continue to associate with such people while also avoiding this aggravation requires basically hiding who and what you are. You can't talk about your aspirations, plans, and successes with them, because they begin counting what's in your pocket. Those things are big parts of life, however, and they're intensely interesting. At least it is to me. If you have to hide it all the time though, what's left of socializing? "How about this weather today, huh?" "Did you catch the sportsball game last night? Wow, right?" It gets lonely. No thanks.

I have been making efforts to change this situation. Big efforts. But, progress is slow. 

Things that are worth doing are almost never quick and easy.

24 September 2023

So it's been a while since I've used this thing. A long while, a couple of years. 

A lot has changed for me since then. 

At present, I've been thinking about making use of this platform (and the domain I keep paying for, but have just been sitting on) as a creative outlet. I think the "why" is that most of this type of energy, I've been directing it toward social media platforms rather than something more involved like this. Facebook, Twitter, etc. I deleted my Facebook account years ago. I haven't missed it at all. I gave Twitter a go, then got rid of it for a time. I tried it again when Elon was making noise about buying it, then stuck around for a while after he did and it looked like it could become more than the cesspool that it was. It is still a cesspool, and Elon seems to be embracing that now, rather than all of the great things he talked about making it, with shadow banning becoming official policy (their new CEO's "lawful but awful" and "freedom of speech, not freedom of reach" stuff). Mastodon is good, but there's a learning curve to it that stymies most people, it seems. In my experience, people would rather stay on familiar platforms and be abused because that's "more convenient." It's pitiful. What's worse is that in exchange for said abuse, the victims make their abusers rich. What a racket. 

I'm not willing to stick around for such stuff, however. I prefer walking away from bad relationships and bad deals. It may be inconvenient, difficult, disappointing, etc. I think the alternative, just putting up with the shit, is worse. 

That said, I'll explain the flags I've placed in the banner of my blog today: the flag of Liberland, the flag of Mexico, and the U.S. flag, inverted, a signal of distress. 

I'm a part of all three of those now. I'm a U.S. citizen by birth. I'm a citizen of the upstart nation of Liberland by choice. I'm a resident of Mexico, also by choice. 

I haven't been happy with being a U.S. citizen for quite a while. In short, I think this is a dying country, specifically because we have abandoned everything that it was supposed to be. A few months after the last time I used this blog, I attended Nomad Capitalist Live in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, in May of 2021. I was looking for options. I found some. It was that event that started me down the path of internationalizing my life. It was there that I became an e-resident of Liberland and began acquiring the means of gaining their (our, now) passport. I also learned of the particular advantages of becoming a resident of Mexico, per my situation, and I met and made good friends who helped facilitate my becoming one. That process began the following August, and just after the new year in 2022 I finished the process in Mazatl├ín, Mexico. 

There's a lot more to these stories. I'll save those for another time, I'm not trying to write a novel today. For now, I'll leave it at this: "Go where you're treated best," the motto of Nomad Capitalist. Like my stated reason for becoming interested in using this blog again, I'm looking for better places to be and to do, in the ways that suit me.

The dominant social media platforms are shit, so why continue to participate?

Countries can (and should) be approached in the same way.


01 March 2021

Millions of 2019 Tax Refunds STILL Not Issued

I found this article this morning:


"The Detroiter, who has been out of work during the pandemic, is expecting a tax refund of more than $4,500 for 2020 via direct deposit...She's hoping she'll see that money sooner than an anticipated refund for her 2019 income tax return, which is still hanging in limbo somewhere..."It's been over a year now," Brodis said. "They accepted my taxes last year on Feb. 7. It doesn't seem like it should go that slowly, but there's nothing I can do to speed it up." (emphasis added)

 Oh, but there is! 

It's simple: DON'T GIVE TAX FREE LOANS TO UNCLE SCAM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Print out one of these: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

Use the deductions worksheet on page 3, and note that lines 1 and 4 ask for ESTIMATES (so "guess" high! Enter the maximum amounts for everything you can here)

Carry line 5 back to the W-4 form, sign, turn in to your employer/HR department.

The strategy here is to get your per-paycheck withholding down as low as you can possibly get it, so you keep your "tax" money in your pocket ("tax", because if it's refunded to you, you never owed the tax, you just ceded control of your money to Uncle Scam for a year... or more). It might mean you end up having to write a check to Uncle Scam instead of receiving your own money back with no interest, but then you're not sitting around like this woman (and millions of others) wondering how you're going to pay for heat, food, rent, etc. Even better: when you are holding the money that you might actually owe, you can earn on it all year long before you have to fork it over to Uncle Scam. 

I know that there's many out there that use this ridiculous system of overpaying their taxes as a sort of forced savings, because they otherwise lack the discipline to not spend every dollar they get their hands on. I guess I can concede that it works ok for those kinds of people... until it doesn't! When Uncle Scam fails you and won't return your money, he offers no apology, suffers no penalty, and will not compensate you for your losses and inconvenience. For those of you going through this now, perhaps this pain is finally worse than the "pain" of disciplining yourselves and learning to save and invest on your own?

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