Originally Posted: 2009-02-26 4:29pm
Build a new, rational, primitive but free life w/ me in Alaskas wild - m4w
- Status: 27 year old single white male. Never married. No children.
- Physical: 6'0" tall, 160 pounds. 21 Body Mass Index. No physical handicaps or allergies
- IQ: 138 (Informally tested)
- Financial: $4,500 in unsecured debt. $500 in assets
- Education: High school diploma, Associate's Degree. No plans for future formal education
- Religion: Atheist
- Psychological: Bites finger nails, drinks a little too much, uses pornography more than would like to. Sought treatment for "sex addiction."
- Criminal: One arrest (carrying a concealed weapon without the government's permission).
- Demeanor: Serious, sensitive, direct, quiet. Myers-Briggs type: INTJ
- Status: 18 - 24 year old single female. No children.
- Physical: 5'2" - 5'6" tall, 105 - 115 pounds. 19 - 21 Body Mass Index. No physical handicaps.
- IQ: 120 - 140 (Formally/Informally tested)
- Financial: < $5,000 unsecured debt. $1,500 in assets
- Education: High school diploma/GED
- Religion: Atheist or agnostic.
- Psychological: A history of drug/alcohol/tobacco abuse, as well as treatment for disorders such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD are acceptable.
- Criminal: Arrests for curfew, skipping school, weapons, or drugs are acceptable. Having been Baker Acted is acceptable aswell.
- Demeanor: Serious, sensitive, shy, quiet, listener. Myers-Briggs type: INTJ, INTP, ISTJ, or or ISTP,
March 1st - June, 1st, 2009.
- Work full-time at moving company and part-time in fast food to pay off unsecured debt and gain $500 in capital.
- Sell $500 worth of assets to gain additional $500 in capital.
- Purchase $1,000 worth of equipment, supplies, and transportation.
- Join community/faith-based sex-addiction group for short-term control of pornography problem.
- Reestablish ability to meditate for at least 1 hour continuously with ease (alleviates tendency to bite nails and/or drink in excess)
- Continue practice of eating an "Alaskan" diet consisting of 70% fat, 10% carbohydrate, and 20% protein.
- Lose 5 pounds of body fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle. Reduce heart rate to 55 BPM
- Communicate with you regularly (see Section "HOW" for details).
- Work (if necessary) in order to pay off unsecured debt (if necessary) and to acquire capital (if necessary).
- Sell assets in order to supplement, or accentuate, capital acquired from working; reaching a total of $1,500. Sell or store any other assets.
- Join sex/love and/or alcohol and/or narcotics and/or nicotine abuse support group (if necessary) in order to get short-term control of problem(s) (if any).
- (Re)establish ability to meditate for at least 1 hour continuously with ease.
- Establish, reestablish, or continue the practice of eating an "Alaskan" diet consisting of 70% fat, 10% carbohydrate, and 20% protein.
- Lose 5 - 10 pounds of body fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle. Reduce heart rate to 55 BPM.
- Communicate with me regularly (see Section "HOW" for details).
June, 1st, 2009 - Indefinitely
Both of us:
- June 1st - Travel from respective home cities to Anchorage International Airport; meet in person for first time.
- June 1st - May 2nd: Travel together from Anchorage Internationl Airport to town of Glenallen, AK via prearranged private transport.
- June 2nd - May 10th: Hike from town of Glenallen, AK to Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge
- June 10th - Indefinitely: Scout and establish semi-permanent camp site; live at camp-site indefinitely.
- February 26th - March 7th: Discuss "WHY" (see below) together.
- March 8th - June 1st: Implement steps laid out in "HOW" (see below).
- June 1st - June 10th: Travel
- June 10th - Indefinitely: Live together in a primitive fashion.
- Our respective home cities
- Anchorage International Airport
- Glenallen Highway between Anchorage, AK and Glenallen, AK
- Glenallen, AK
- Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
- Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge
For the sake of proving to ourselves that each of our sets of philosophical convictions - however different or similar to one another they might be - work; in the most fundamental sense of the word. If they prove to work, we live. If they prove not to work, we die.
In the wilderness there is nothing to obscure the answer. The wilderness isolates the function or dysfunction of the convictions we implicitly operate on every day. By reducing their application to life's most basic challenges, we are forced to evaluate them - and the sense of identity known as "ourselves" created by them - in the clearest terms possible. In a complex society - today's - we are all, to some degree, simultaneously both victims of unclear evaluation and perpetrators of it. The purpose of this change in lifestyle is to know, should I survive the wilderness and choose to rejoin a complex society, my place in it. Once that has been determined, should I encounter unclear evaluation, I will react with the appropriate amount of empathy or scorn and direct it in the appropriate, and only in the appropriate, direction.
I attempted to answer this very question using this very method once before. Last year. Alone. I failed to follow through with the experiment and turned back without having ever left Anchorage city limits. It has taken me nearly a year to identify why it is that I failed, and I have found a number of reasons. First, at the time, I convinced myself of two specious arguments for why I should abandon the task. My back pack was far too heavy to carry a considerable distance, and I was also deeply discouraged by the site of two fellow pedestrians being prevented by the Anchorage Police from hiking along a stretch of the Glenallen highway I had planned to travel. Both of these things were and are valid considerations, but they were not and are not sufficient to explain my having failed. They are merely symptoms of an overlooked cause.
I know now that the source of my failure is that I attempted to make this lifestyle change alone; without a female companion. A woman would have been able to carry the weight I could not; both literally and figuratively. As contrasted with being alone, or even with another man, a woman's mere presence would have reminded me that this was not a test of my manhood, but of my humanity. I would not have been left with no option but to carry more than I could, or to attempt the unrealistic, unnecessary feat of walking the additional 200 miles from Anchorage to Glenallen.
I am proposing neither this time. Instead, I am suggesting we share the burden, and spare ourselves unnecessary burdens aswell. I am suddenly willing to do this because I have suddenly come to deeply appreciate that the relationship between a man and a woman is like no other. That unlike all other human relationships, the value that is added to an individual from even the possibility - let alone the actuality - of a romantic relationship is not merely optional, but necessary. Psyhchologically necessary. Non-negotiable. Essential. Like food, water, shelter, and art, the ability - and opportunity - to deeply love someone is not something that someone attempting to determine the validity of his convictions can eschew. To attempt to live on one's own terms, isolated from the distortions of society, is one thing. To attempt to live isolated from one's own nature - and his or her natural desire for physical love - is another entirely. It is true that the presence of another person who has also been living immersed in the distortion of society is, unavoidably, a possible source of distortion which would seem to threaten the integrity of the experiment, but when more closely considered, such a possibility cannot be validly considered necessary to avoid.
Make no mistake, the journey and the lifestyle change, at least in the beginning, will be frought with risk and full of traumatic adjustments and sacrifices. In addition to the risks the natural environment poses, the resulting psychological pressures will offer an added layer of risk to my safety as an individual and yours aswell. I am well aware of this potential, and that is why I have chosen to seek out a companion in this upfront, impersonal manner. I surmise that, despite our objective compatabilities (listed above and verified in the months before our departure), should we be unfamiliar enough with one another that the chances of exarcerbating any irrational tendencies brought about by emotional attachments will be mitigated. Ideally, because of this initial unfamiliarity, we will both be driven to act as rational and good towards each other as is possible; leading to not only success against the challenges of survival, but also harmony, respect, and possibly even love between us.
The primary goals of this journey and life style change are personal to me, but to deny that equally as important - and in a sense, equally as personal - is the need for the pleasure of companionship is a recipe to me to repeat my failure. I will not attempt this without a woman at my side. Living alone (or even amongst other men) in the wilderness is equivalent to an animal's existence, and a man cannot live as an animal indefinitely. He can, however, live as a man for as long as he likes; regardless of his surroundings. Reason, freedom, productivity, companionship are, in my opinion, requirements for survival right along with food and water. I have searched and searched, tried and failed, and the only setting in which I am confident that I can have them in their unadulterated form - and, more importantly, be certain that I have them - is far from civilization; armed with only the minimum of equipment and knowledge society owes me for forcing me into this quandry, the esteem I retain for the integrity of my soul despite the quandry, and the hope and joy which a companion and, possibly, a lover would give me.
I am aware that to most it would appear ludicrious that I would want to find - let alone expect to be able to achieve - the level of compatability necessary to survive and flourish in a harsh environment like Alaska's wilderness with a person who is one step below a complete stranger. Here is why I disagree: I believe in the supremacy of reason over all other mental processes. In fact, it is one of the central philosophical tennets which I tenuously follow while I exist in an increasingly irrational culture. I am absolutely certain that it is a person's ideas, and not one's emotions, that exist first. And, while obviously I do not believe that making explicit and validating one's ideas is a simple, pedantic, nor automatic process, I do hold firmly to the conviction that it can be done. It stands to reason then that if two people hold roughly the same ideas, and who exhibit roughly the same behavior, the basis of a mutually-beneficial relationship already exists between them. Once that is recognized, all that is left for them is to verify it. Doing so in a challenging and dramatic fashion merely expedites the process. Thus my approach to this experiment, as you previously saw in the section entitled "WHY." However, recognizing that all great things do not come easily, I have endeavored to create a formal outline which, if followed, I believe will allow both of us to reach the beginning of our journey prepared.
Over the next 3 months, before we meet face to face for the first time, much will have to be discussed between us. Not so much that the excitement of learning about a new person, and the natural pleasure of adapting to his/her acceptable differences is taken away, but not so little that the practicality of making this journey and lifestyle change truly spiritually fulfilling disappears. I have attempted to create a schedule - filled with both necessary disclosures and personal improvement steps we should make - that I think will give this experiment a real chance of success. I have attempted to present the various information which we will share in a sequence that I think will give us the clearest picture of the other person in the timliest, but also most emotionally-palatable, way. In that spirit, I have arranged those topics from the most essential to the least essential. I think that by following a schedule, and going about meeting it as systematically as possible, much of the akwardness and fear inherent in meeting someone in this way will be reduced.
What follows is a detailed account of my proposed - no, required - steps to be taken by both of us until it is time to depart for the wilds of Alaska:
1) During the first week of March, all that should be exchanged between us should be 10 - 20 emails; discussing our general feelings about the world at large, the legitimacy of this lifestyle change, any suggestions to alter the schedule you might have, and our general thoughts and feelings about meeting and living primitively with someone in this way. We may write as much or as little to each other as seems necessary, depending on the quality and the temprament. But in the interest of seriousness and mutual-respect, we should conciously decide to limit this period of discussion to extend no later than March 7th.
We will also exchange between 5 and 10 photographs during this time.
2) From March 8th through March 15th, assuming we are both still interested in seeing this through, we will have our first telephone conversation. Nothing specific needs to be discussed - it can quite acceptably be a repitition of the previous week's discussion topics, but with an added degree of intimacy coming from voice contact. Also in this week, should the phone conversation go well, we will prepare and share detailed financial statements (credit reports from one of the Big 3 credit reporting agencies); but still taking steps to protect our security. At that point, should I be satisfied that your financial situation is viable, I will explain, ask for acceptance, and should I get it, execute the detailed financial plan I have constructed for myself in order to get completely out of debt and raise the necessary capital to fill out my equipment and transportation requirments for the experiment.
This will also inagurate the weekly practice of me proving to you, and you proving to me (if necessary) - through the sharing of pay stubs - that we are working (if necessary) to put our finances in order.
We will also run criminal background checks on one another during this time.
3) During the 3rd week of March, we will both have complete physical and STD testing done. We will share these results with one another. If you have no already done so, you will go on birth control.
4) The last week of March will consist of my enrollment in a sex-addiction support group in order to get a short term (9 week) stranglehold on the emotions which drive me to look at pornography at the cost of damage to my self-esteem. You will, if necessary, enroll in a sex/love and/or alcohol and/or narcotics and/or nicotine support group. We will begin a weekly practice of providing proof to each other that we have attended these meetings at least once per week.
5) In early April we will begin discussing the purchase of hiking and camping equipment. While I still own approximately 80% of the equipment I took to Alaska last year, I, like you most likely will, will have to purchase a number of items as well. I can provide quite alot of assistance in this area, as I did extensive research into the benefits and drawbacks of various fabrics, metals, et cetera.
If you are not already on one, you will also begin phasing yourself in a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, "Alaska diet" during this period; providing grocery receipts as proof. I will provide proof my own practice of this diet as well.
We will also discuss and continue and/or begin a regular strength training and exercise routine; and commencing a weekly policy of sharing "progress photos" with each other - clearly showing decreases in adipose fat and/or increases in muscle tissue.
6) In the second half of April we will purchase equipment, supplies, and airline tickets. I will also set final arrangements for ground transportation between Anchorage International Airport and Glenallen, AK. We will share all documentation necessary to prove these transactions have occured.
Also, during this time, you will, if applicable, provide proof that you have submitted a 30 of 45 day "intent to vacate" notice from your rented house or apartment.
7) Early May will be relatively uneventful. We will continue our traditions of weekly telephone calls, pay stub, credit card statement, grocery receipt, and support group reviews, as well as "progress photo" sharing.
8) In late May, for good measure and to prove to one another that we are absolutely dedicated to this lifestyle change, we will each write 3 - 5 page essays restating why exactly we wish to go to Alaska and live. We will share these essays with each other no later and April 28th.
9) And then, finally, on June 1st - we will travel to Anchorage and meet, face to face, for the first time! It will be the first day of the rest of our lives!
- Location: Orlando, FL
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