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Topic: 236: Mana From Heathens  (Read 15926 times)

Lemon

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236: Mana From Heathens
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236: Mana From Heathens #1
I should have recorded the scream I just let out when I saw this.

Cheapskate

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236: Mana From Heathens #2
Why buy Soylent when Ensure has existed for years?

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236: Mana From Heathens #3
Why buy Soylent when Ensure has existed for years?
Cheapskate, December 17, 2016, 12:44:19 am

Ensure isn't disruptive enough, man.
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236: Mana From Heathens #4
The pregnant woman who wants to eat nothing but soylant goes to a dark, dark place imo

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236: Mana From Heathens #5
Why buy Soylent when Ensure has existed for years?
Cheapskate, December 17, 2016, 12:44:19 am

Ensure has flavor.

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236: Mana From Heathens #6
Soylent: The perfect food for those who can't grasp cause and effect.
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236: Mana From Heathens #7
I was expecting this episode to be infuriating and smug, I was not expecting to it be gross.
Achilles' Heelies

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236: Mana From Heathens #8
So is Achilles Heelies an official ridiculist yet? I know Adam Bozarth and Frank West both started out as guests but reached their full terrifying potential.
NotHelpingMatters

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236: Mana From Heathens #9
I liked that "The Jungle" reference.
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236: Mana From Heathens #10
I just wanted to say that the blog posts at the end of my doc were super long, but also grade-A nutjob material that I highly recommend reading. I might post some choice quotes here later!

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236: Mana From Heathens #11
I just wanted to say that the blog posts at the end of my doc were super long, but also grade-A nutjob material that I highly recommend reading. I might post some choice quotes here later!
Nikaer Drekin, December 17, 2016, 08:11:27 pm

Oh no.
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236: Mana From Heathens #12
If "Life Without Water" is what I think it is, I promise you that it's a life-changing read.

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236: Mana From Heathens #13
I've said before, but this is the sort of thing I would've gotten into. I don't really enjoy cooking or eating as a standard; there's food I like, sure, and I willingly cook over just eating prepackaged crap when I can, but I don't really enjoy the process of making it and with rare exception eating it is just sort of 'eh'. I honestly consider that something of a personal failure, as it's led to kind of a limited palate and that can make food-based social gatherings pretty awkward. But it's a daily chore I'm not good at or enjoy, and I can understand wanting to just skip it as a day-to-day thing and save it for special occasions.

But this? This is like willingly picking the shittiest future to live in. They're having this thing that gives you horrible side-effects, apparently does include actual preparation, and doesn't even taste good! Those people describing how Soylent tastes universally described something utterly unappetizing and bland from so many directions, and they're making me realize that even I have standards. And some of them are making meals with it, which I think is entirely missing the point.

And like people have said, this stuff already exists! I have a meal supplement in my kitchen, I have it for breakfast because in the morning I can't be fucked making anything complicated! It's never made me shit uncontrollably, only really involves stirring it into milk, and tastes at least somewhat like chocolate! They have made an objectively worse product for their end, by all factors, than something that already exists.
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236: Mana From Heathens #14
The first great blog post of his I found was "How I Gave Up Alternating Current", and hoo boy does it start strong:

The walls are buzzing. I know this because I have a magnet implanted in my hand and whenever I reach near an outlet I can feel them. I can feel fortresses of industry miles away burning prehistoric hydrocarbons by the megaton. I can feel the searing pain and loss of consciousness from when I was shocked by exposed house wiring as a boy. I can feel the deep cut of the power bill when I was living near the poverty line. I can feel the cold uncertainty of the first time the power went out due to a storm when I was a child. How long before the delicate veil of civilization turns to savagery with no light nor heat nor refrigeration?

He talks for a while about how inefficient the grid is and how terrible power plants are, and then reveals his solution: a solar panel with a storage battery. He then starts going into the specific aspects of his life he's "improved", starting with the kitchen:

First, I never cook. I am all for self reliance but repeating the same labor over and over for the sake of existence is the realm of robots. I utilize soylent only at home and go out to eat when craving company or flavor. This eliminates a panoply of expensive tools and rotting ingredients I would need to spend an unconscionable amount of time sourcing, preparing, and cleaning.  It also gives me an incentive to explore the cityís fine restaurants and ask friends out to eat. In fact, I find soylent has made me more social when it comes to food. I can spend the money I saved from groceries and take out to buy a friend lunch or dinner. When soylent 2.0 reached private beta, I was thrilled to learn that thanks to aseptic processing the product does not require refrigeration, and will still keep its nutrition for at least a year. It tastes better cold but I think itís fine warm. Getting rid of my fridge was one of the greatest days of my life. Nevermore will I listen to that damn compressor moan.

I have not set foot in a grocery store in years. Nevermore will I bumble through endless confusing aisles like a pack-donkey searching for feed while the smell of rotting flesh fills my nostrils and fluorescent lights sear my eyeballs and sappy love songs torture my ears. Grocery shopping is a multisensory living nightmare. There are services that will make someone else do it for me but I cannot in good conscience force a fellow soul through this gauntlet.

I buy my staple food online like a civilized person. It takes me mere seconds to order enough soylent for a month, and version 2.0 does not require any preparation, so I got rid of my noisy blender. At less than $2.50 / meal it also saves me loads of cash, and I appreciate the use of more soy and less rice, finally bringing a nutritionally optimal PDCAAS score of 1.0 while improving the taste and especially texture. I also think itís crazy cool that some of the ingredients are made by algae rather than water-guzzling pesticide-spraying farms.

Next, I switched from beer to red wine. I buy with Saucey so I donít have to use awful retail stores. Decent red wine is surprisingly cheap, pleasurable, and does not require refrigeration. I also end up drinking less liquid overall, meaning fewer bottles to throw away (I average about one trashbag / month) and fewer trips to the bathroom, meaning for a comparable amount of alcohol, when wine is consumed instead of beer there is less electrolyte loss and less after effects.

For coffee and tea I use a butane stove. It is much cheaper and more energy efficient than a Keurig, which can use $160 of electricity / year. It doesnít waste endless non-recyclable ďK-CupsĒ and I find heats water about as fast. Also fire is much more beautiful than blinking LEDs.

With no fridge, no dishes, no microwave, no oven, no range, no dishwasher, no utensils, no pests, no cleaning products nor dirty rags, my life is considerably simpler, lighter and cleaner than before. I think it was a bit presumptuous for the architect to assume I wanted a kitchen with my apartment and make me pay for it. My home is a place of peace. I donít want to live with red hot heating elements and razor sharp knives. That sounds like a torture chamber. However, itís not a total loss. I was able to use the cabinets to store part of my book collection.

I like how he complains about the wastefulness of K-cups right after saying he just chucks his wine bottles in the trash. Up next is transportation! He starts by saying how relatively inefficient electric cards are. Emphasis mine, because holy shit it's too perfect:

Public transportation is leagues more efficient and I love trains. Still, the energy costs are substantial and the infrastructure requires a lot of maintenance. I take Uber around the city and to work (most of them are Priuses which use DC motors so Iím good there). I take the bus often too. Itís pretty good in LA. Runs on CNG.

The streets were originally made for people. The automobileís takeover has destroyed more than millions of lives (cars have killed far more Americans than war and AIDS combined), it has trampled the prime conduit of community in our cities and exiled us to the indoors to sit in front of televisions. I hope the next generation of transportation technologies will give us back the streets.

For today though, Uber works pretty well. Traffic isnít so bad if youíre sitting in the back with a book, and since I buy everything I need online Iím never running errands, which makes UberPool cheaper and more convenient than car ownership. I also found myself constantly distracted by my phone while driving, and knew other drivers were too. So, with a simple lifestyle adjustment I find Uber eliminates the pain points of transportation much the same way soylent eliminates the pain points of food. I miss my car sometimes, and I miss frying burgers, but I know both behaviors would have eventually caught up with me. After two years of relying on soylent my blood and body metrics are still optimal, and I no longer have to worry about drunk or distracted driving.

Itís easy to demonize ďbig food corporationsĒ, but the majority of Americaís calories come from home-cooked staple meals. Most of us are driving drunk when it comes to how we eat. At some point we are going to have to admit that we suck at cooking, and we suck at driving. Letís automate them already so we can focus on art, and science, and exploration. Food can be art, and driving can be exploration, but itís mostly manufacturing and commuting. I donít miss them.

All of my scars are either from cooking or driving. I noticed I have not collected any new ones lately.

Wouldn't you know, he's lifehacked clothing as well!

I enjoy doing laundry about as much as doing dishes. I get my clothing custom made in China for prices you would not believe and have new ones regularly shipped to me. Shipping is a problem. I wish container ships had nuclear engines but itís still much more efficient and convenient than retail. Thanks to synthetic fabrics it takes less water to make my clothes than it would to wash them, and I donate my used garments.

The overwhelming majority of clothing Americans buy is made overseas anyways. I just buy direct. And container ships are amazingly efficient.

It bothers me immensely that all clothing is hand made. Automation is woefully absent from the textile industry, but I donít think it always will be. For now a few new t shirts and jeans per month is not very offensive. I certainly buy less clothing overall than a typical consumer. Synthetic fabrics are easy to recycle and I believe will soon be made with biofuels. Still, this area needs some work.

He wraps it all up here, and shows that he would fit in remarkably well with the Mars One people:

The whole retrofit cost $1450, which is steep but I will make it back in due time since I donít pay for an ISP bundle or power. To me the real upside is the pleasure in being electrically self reliant.Nightmares about being trapped in a coal mine have been replaced by pleasant dreams of basking in the sunís glory. It got a little weird when I had to prove my existence to a local government and they asked for a utility bill. Good thing I still use water, for now.

If you can strip wires you can set this up yourself. Everything I used is available on Amazon except for soylent 2.0, which is only available at soylent.com.

The first space colonies will have no coal power plants. I am ready. For now though, as I am driven through the gleaming city, my hunger peacefully at bay, I have visions of the parking lots and grocery stores replaced by parks and community centers, power plants retrofitted as museums and galleries. Traffic and trash and pollution will evaporate, if only we are willing to adapt some routines.
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