BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Do you think The Good Life could be remade, with me or Dave playing Tom Good (maybe not!)? If you have seen something on TV or heard something on the radio recently that you want to talk about, tell us here.
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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196124 Big Al
Wed May 12, 2010 10:16 am

I watched the full first programme and was quite surprised that it wasn't the usual tripe dished out about greenies making a difference when they also drive a landrover or range rover and have "left the city" for a year etc.
The fact that he drove an old P reg astra made a difference to my thought train straight away. Also the fact that he said he had been working very hard to get his plot into some working order for months where as normally the plot is all ready well tendered to start with etc.
Also the comment about the couple inviting him for dinner when he said that he didn't think they would have had he not been doing this experiment etc. This point is pertinant to me as I'm seen as the excentric in our street as one friend of my son said " I fully expect your dad to have a bomb proof shelter under the house stocked with all sorts of food, wood and wepons......

Still they neighbours spend thousands making the shops richer each week and I live within my means now.

All in all a wonderful programme but then again it was made by the BBC !!
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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196128 grahamhobbs
Wed May 12, 2010 10:52 am

Sorry folks this programme made me cringe, a self-indulgent very comfortable vicar / tv presenter plays at being a penniless hippy, working for nothing for a couple of days of the year (lambing and hay making - very pleasant diversion for a couple of days), keeping a couple of chicks, growing a few potatoes and a glut of tomatoes in a walled garden rented from the squire for £25/year, and generally relying on handouts from his parishioners (who probably wouldn't give tuppence to a real down and out). He couldn't even bake his own bread.

Really what has this got to do with a self-sufficient or moneyless life. As for his spiritual insights........................

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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196130 Annpan
Wed May 12, 2010 10:55 am

grahamhobbs wrote:Sorry folks this programme made me cringe, a self-indulgent very comfortable vicar / tv presenter plays at being a penniless hippy, working for nothing for a couple of days of the year (lambing and hay making - very pleasant diversion for a couple of days), keeping a couple of chicks, growing a few potatoes and a glut of tomatoes in a walled garden rented from the squire for £25/year, and generally relying on handouts from his parishioners (who probably wouldn't give tuppence to a real down and out). He couldn't even bake his own bread.

Really what has this got to do with a self-sufficient or moneyless life. As for his spiritual insights........................


That is precisely what I thought... I watched about 20min before turning off...
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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196205 southeast-isher
Wed May 12, 2010 7:14 pm

Wasn't my thing as such although very interesting to see the beautiful local landscape here. I felt much the same as what Graham has said about it. Shame really as i love the BBC and i'm all for them putting on more self-sufficiency type programming.

Put that DVD in the post to you absinthefairy so you can make up your own mind - other two will follow.

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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196215 MKG
Wed May 12, 2010 9:31 pm

Money is only a formalised system of barter if you think about it - if you work, you get tokens instead of the stuff you need for your direct needs. You then swap the tokens for what you need. So, if it's possible to live with money, it must be possible to live without it. The only problems arise when you try to pay your Council Tax in cabbages.

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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196253 prison break fan
Thu May 13, 2010 7:39 am

Absolutely agree with Grahamhobbs. A walled garden for £25 a year? He should be sharing it with the rest of the village, and to work for people to give him money for petrol is just ridiculous! pbf.

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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196286 theabsinthefairy
Thu May 13, 2010 11:14 am

Thank you south east isher

Is not a service or product in exchange for money - well - isn't that just work?

When is work 'work', how and when does the exchange of notarised tokens move from barter to work?
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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196300 Big Al
Thu May 13, 2010 11:53 am

grahamhobbs wrote:Sorry folks this programme made me cringe, a self-indulgent very comfortable vicar / tv presenter plays at being a penniless hippy, working for nothing for a couple of days of the year (lambing and hay making - very pleasant diversion for a couple of days), keeping a couple of chicks, growing a few potatoes and a glut of tomatoes in a walled garden rented from the squire for £25/year, and generally relying on handouts from his parishioners (who probably wouldn't give tuppence to a real down and out). He couldn't even bake his own bread.

Really what has this got to do with a self-sufficient or moneyless life. As for his spiritual insights........................


Thats a good thing about this forum in so much as I didn't think of the programme in this light. I thought of it being better than the usual diatribe of city banker leaves city to become a good lifer type programme but the points you raise Graham do strike a chord especially when one of the comments was something like "....says the man with the porche and the woman with the jag"!
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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196321 MKG
Thu May 13, 2010 4:12 pm

theabsinthefairy wrote:Thank you south east isher

Is not a service or product in exchange for money - well - isn't that just work?

When is work 'work', how and when does the exchange of notarised tokens move from barter to work?


I think that's directed at my comment? What I was saying was that a service or product (work, if you like) in exchange for money is exactly the same thing as a service or product in exchange for another service or product - except the exchange is deferred by the use of tokens. I think the change in philosophy occurs at the point people confuse the idea of "a token representing goods or services" with "money - the all-powerful thing which makes the universe operate". Money is simply another version of "goods", and so is still, basically, a mechanism of barter.

I think that's clear. At least, I thought it was clear as I wrote it. Now I'm not so sure :lol:

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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196559 theabsinthefairy
Sat May 15, 2010 6:39 pm

Mike - my comment was not so much directed at you but more inspired by your previous comment and a thought said aloud.

There seems to be a grand canyon sized gap between 'working for money' and 'bartering for an exchange of services or goods' yet it is one that is difficult to articulate and even more difficult to explain, but appears to be the basis of modern society.

I think a lot of personal philosophy plays a part in defining the the differences and personal views of money muddle the water even further.

Money in its purest form " a mechanism of barter " is coloured by perception and interpretation and that makes it money not just tokens representing goods or services.

Sorry - mental drivel. Going to put the chickens to bed and have a glass of wine now.
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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196569 paul123456
Sat May 15, 2010 8:13 pm

Hello there,

if I click on the link the bbc tell me to F@$( off , unfortunately it is only available for the UK !
Have they never heard of 1 europe ? not that I like it , just look at what happend with greece , spain next
then portugal , Ireland and then the UK ?

regards,

Paul

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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196810 Big Al
Tue May 18, 2010 8:09 am

I don't know wether this is relevent to the discussion or not but in the first programme he swapped some walnuts and veg for a loaf of bread, some milk and a box of cornflakes with a shop owner. The camera man said " didn't she [ the shop owner] get the better deal there?" the vics reply was that she had to make a profit from the transaction and he didn't. I wondered then and still do, if there was a monitary value [ in his head] to this transaction in so much as he had placed a monetary value for his goods that was more than the cost of the bartered goods [ bread, cornflakes, milk] of which she had a monetary value.

I think that people will barter goods and services but in the background there will always be a system where people value things in a monetary sense........ after all would you for instance think it was a good barter to milk 1000 goats by hand for a bacon sandwich breakfast ?

Just a thought,
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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196834 MKG
Tue May 18, 2010 10:22 am

It's very relevant, BigAl. Precisely the point, in fact. Barter is, basically, "I need this and you have it. You need that and I have it. We can do each other a service". Obviously there will always be an idea in the background of relative value. But then, as soon as money is introduced, that idea becomes entrenched as "monetary value" rather than "real value". If you desperately wanted a bacon sandwich and you had an extra packet of fags that you weren't too bothered about, you'd be happy to do a direct swap. Along come the monetarists and say "But the fags are worth more than the sandwich - you should have asked for two". The thing is that at the point of the transaction, the sandwich was more desirable to you than the fags and so the fags were NOT worth more.

A monetary system fixes exchange values which are naturally variable and we end up in the artificial situation of "knowing" the immediate value of everything. The old tithe system was much more practical in that respect - a tenth of your produce went to the church, so in a lean year the church got less even though it was still a tenth. Replace that with money and you see the problem - the church would have got their one and a half marks or groats irrespective of the produce for that year. Less produce, but the same money. Which makes the produce more expensive. Which today is called inflation. But that's the nature of money.

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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196852 grahamhobbs
Tue May 18, 2010 12:25 pm

I was rather scathing about the first episode but the second one I found a bit more interesting. Not so much the naval gazing vicar, who I find extremely irritating, but some of the people he met along the way. Unfortunately the encounters were very brief, I would have preferred to have heard more of thoughts of the budhist monks and the muslim guy for instance, and Tinkers Bubble could have been a programme in itself.

Regarding the discussion on bartering, in bartering, in an average situation, the value of any goods is the amount of labour that has gone into them. So you can equate so many fags with a bacon sandwich. Money represents this labour value in the exchange. The problem are things, as you have suggested, like scarcity that can override this the real (labour) value and the exchange can become very unequal. But what if you have scarcity (or monopoly) of money, then everything becomes unequal? Money can make money and the rich get richer and richer - unless we do something about it.

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Re: BBC How to Live a Simple Life.

Post: #196889 theabsinthefairy
Tue May 18, 2010 5:28 pm

Big Al wrote:I think that people will barter goods and services but in the background there will always be a system where people value things in a monetary sense........

I think you are quite right, we are so accustomed to seeing the cost of something as opposed to its value, that it gets harder and harder to see their real worth.

So it set me to thinking whether we are getting a 'fair' exchange on some of our barters and I came to the following conclusion using a recent example,

my OH fixed a car for a neighbour recently, it took him most of the day, in return he received 5 sterre of wood.

but... if you look at it from a monetary point of view

a day's labour in a garage = at least 200 euros
5 sterre of wood = usual cost 40euros per sterre = 200 euros

a truly fair exchange on a monetary basis you would think

but ...... (bear with me - I am going somewhere with this!)

OH = 1 day labour, no parts used, just taking something apart, cleaning it, then putting it back together,
Neighbour = part thereof of day cutting wood down, cutting it to size and then stacking it - probably a day in terms of hours spent building a stack of wood sized at 5 sterre.

Therefore - a perfectly equitable barter.

Which means that both sides of the exchange had the same value in monetary / time terms.

It would be easy to leave yourself open to feelings of resentment and of being used if both sides have disproportionate ideas of value though - and I think here you can see the value of money - with its agree values known by both sides.

My problem seems to be that whilst I agree with the face value of the money in my hand I don't agree with the price demanded by the vendors usually. :angryfire:
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