Kogan Hotels = Booking.com

Kogan.com is Australia’s largest online retailer. I’ve purchased many products from Kogan and generally I am happy with their low prices.

Recently Kogan Hotels was launched (hotels.kogan.com), which allows you to book hotels from all over the world. I gave it a try only to notice that the layout of Kogan Hotels looked familiar.

I then realized that it was exactly the same as Booking.com, and when I went to Booking.com and entered the exact same details, I was presented with the exact same results, which means that Kogan Hotels seems to just get all its results from Booking.com.

Of course, there is nothing questionable about this. It just means that Kogan Hotels is useless because I already use Booking.com. The prices on both seem to be the same as well, so it’s not as if Kogan is arbitraging.

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Kogan Hotels
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Booking.com

 

Commitment Phobe by Choice

It makes my blood boil when I read Generation who refuse to grow up: No mortgage. No marriage. No children at the Guardian, mainly because it reminds me of the many people over the years who have suggested to me that now that I have turned thirty (or when I was in my late twenties) that I must be a responsible adult and buy a house, get married, and have children.

There is so much negativity about commitment phobia on men that you’d think there was a concerted advertising campaign being funded by the real estate, wedding planning, and children’s lifestyle industries in order to encourage us to spend more.

Buying a house, getting married, and having children are very personal matters, so I don’t want to criticize others if they decide to walk down these paths, but what I hate is the assumption almost everyone has that by a certain age I must do this or that. People give you all sorts of rules that are clearly just made up: you must date a girl for this long before you are officially in a “relationship,” then you must be in a relationship for x years before you buy her a ring. You must then save up y years worth of salary to buy the ring, and then you must marry her, and then you must buy a house, etc, etc. And if you don’t follow this formula like a slave, many people have the balls to tell you that you are not “man enough.” They tell you to “man up” and start taking responsibility.

Seriously? If I were a conformist beta male who followed what other people say I should do and get married, buy a house, then that makes me a true man? And if I defied society and did what I wanted to do instead, that would make me less of a man?

The term “commitment phobe” is used a lot. There is even an article on Psychology Today titled Understanding and Dealing with Commitment-phobia that talks about reluctance to commit as if it were a mental disease. I absolutely hate it when people talk about reluctance to commit in relationships as if it were scientifically proven to be some mental impairment when if fact it is not a scientific or medical defect.

Quit Your Job and Go to Chiang Mai?

I love YouTube. In fact, if you still watch normal TV, I highly recommend you buy a Google Chromecast, attach it to your TV, and watch YouTube instead. I watch about two to three hours of YouTube per day while I eat dinner.

If you spend a significant amount of time watching YouTube videos about veganism, entrepreneurship, minimalism, and digital nomadism (as I do nowadays), a recurring theme is that of quitting your job to work on your online business. Most likely the recommendation is that you move to a place with a low cost of living, such as Chiang Mai, the digital nomad capital of the world.

I have recently been reading The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, which is described by many as the bible of digital nomadism. This book gets mentioned frequently by digital nomads. This book seems to strongly recommend to its readers that if you don’t love your job, you must move. Two other digital nomad books I’ve read, Johnny FD’s 12 Weeks and Thailand and Life Changes Quick, seem to make similar recommendations. If you hate your 9 to 5 job, then just quit otherwise you are wasting your time, and you’re watching your employer’s time.

Of course, the advice to simply quit initially didn’t resonate with me. Everyone is different. I haven’t finished reading The Four Hour Work Week, but it’s clear based on reading the first few chapters so far that Tim Ferriss is not your average person. He has been starting companies ever since he was young and was likely already well off.

I have read all of Johnny FD’s books via Amazon Kindle, and his situation is slightly different to that of Tim Ferriss. Although Johnny FD makes close to $30k per month now, he spent about four to five years in Thailand not sure what he would do with his life. He dabbled with writing ebooks, Thai boxing, and being a divemaster. He finally started making serious money when he discovered dropshipping.

Everyone is different. If you are young and single, with no mortgage, car loan, or children, it is less risky to simply move to Thailand. If you are renting in a developed country like Australia, you will likely save money on rent. For example, US$1500 per month in Melbourne, Australia would only get you an average place to rent, but in Chiang Mai you can easily rent a place for US$500 or less. Even if you have a mortgage, you can rent your house out and use the rental income from your house to live in Chiang Mai.

As for me, I have not quit my 9 to 5 job yet, which is unfortunate because I hate my job! There are days when I feel like quitting on the spot, but my mood seems to go up and down. I remember I was very unhappy with my job about a month ago, but more recently I feel better. There are days when I wake up and dread going to work, and there are days when it’s not so bad.

My biggest fear with quitting and going to Chiang Mai is that I run out of savings, which means I’ll need to return to Australia and start applying for a job again, which is not ideal. Not only would I not be living my dream as a digital nomad, but it’s also quite shameful chasing your dream in a faraway land only to return defeated.

My advice is to follow Sean Lee’s advice (below), which is to only quit your job and go to Chiang Mai if you have set up at least one online business that is producing money.


I live off dividends

I would even go further. Sean mentioned in his video that you can live like a king in Chiang Mai for US$1000 per month, so you should not only aim to create income from an online business but you should also aim to invest in ETFs and produce US$1000 per month in dividends. This ensures that if your online businesses fails for whatever reason, you can draw upon your dividends, live in Thailand, and continue to keep building your online business. Your dividends should be your safety net.

Personally, I already make more than US$1000 per month in dividends, but I have no online business, and I do admit it’s difficult to get an online business going because there are so many ideas that it’s easy to get lost, but I believe that the first step is to simply devote time to trying different ideas out. If it fails, move on to something else. I am busy during weekdays with my 9 to 5 job, but on weekends I have spare time. I have discovered that I waste far too much time on weekends.

Don’t talk to your coworkers or your family about your digital nomad dreams!

Among just about everyone in a 9 to 5 job, socializing, travelling, and going out are seen as status symbols. On Fridays, everyone asks about what’s up for the weekend, and if you tell them you will stay at home and read The Four Hour Work Week, they think you’re a loser. They ask, “Don’t you have any friends? Don’t you have a girlfriend?” They may even attack you for reading a self-help book. One coworker said to me, “How can you work four hours a week? That cannot possibly work because you’re still working here!”

My advice to 9 to 5 worker is to not talk about your dream at all, and if people ask you what you’ve been doing over the weekend, you don’t need to lie, but you don’t need to be specific either. You can speak generally and tell them you are “relaxing at home, browsing the internet.”

The reality is that there is a crab mentality among most office workers. The office is filled with negative people who are fearful of being fired from their jobs. They are also envious (and fearful) of those higher in the hierarchy.

Most people look down upon status symbols like Ferraris, Rolexes, and Hugo Boss clothing, but personally I find these products cheap, especially since you rarely buy them. The worse status symbols are those accepted by society, e.g. going out with friends, taking a girl to a fancy restaurant, marriage ceremonies, having children, and getting a mortgage. Before you scoff at me calling these “virtuous” expenses status symbols, you must admit to yourself that when people talk about these virtuous expenses at the office kitchen, people are showing off. You can tell when someone is showing off. There is a snobbery vibe they give off. I have felt it, and I’m sure you have as well.

Conclusion

As mentioned above, I am not an expert in online business, but currently I am experimenting on or thinking of the following: blogging, eBay arbitrage, online stores, and buying/selling websites (e.g. using Flippa or Empire Flippers).

What is great about living off dividends is that you can live off dividends forever, which means you have a lifetime to devote to making your dreams a reality. If you simply saved up, quit your job, and moved to Chiang Mai, you’d run out of savings and you’d need to return.

 

Thoughts about Abuse

For the past week, my manager has been away. He is on holiday. Suddenly, with my manager gone, I’ve been happy at work. This is surprising given that my workload has increased significantly and as a result I have been feeling more stress (according to Tim Ferriss in the Four Hour Work Week, there is such a thing called eustress, which is good stress, and this contrasts to distress, which is bad stress). All the work that my manger did has now fallen on me, but I am still much happier at work.

All this proves to me that I don’t mind the work that I do, which is mainly just operational or administrative work. The main problem I have is with my manager. My guess is that he is stressed out with work and is taking out his anger on me.

I had a busy day at work on Friday but I managed to have lunch with a friend of mine who recently changed jobs. His new job is a manager position, so he’s had a pay increase. However, he admitted to me during lunch that he was struggling in his new role and was thinking of tendering his resignation. He plans to take time off and think about what to with his life.

He told me that his new workplace was filled with people who are overworked, and everyone there is suffering, and they take their anger out on everyone else, and he is obviously a victim of this aggression.

After work, I went to the gym. I normally bring a peanut butter sandwich to work but because I ate out with my friend today, I decided to eat the sandwich as a pre-workout meal. I was so amazed at how much energy I seemed to have at the gym as a result of eating a peanut butter sandwich! I found I was able to lift very heavy weights.

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While in the gym, the news was playing on the television, and there was a story playing about how the government was going to address domestic violence against women. An expert in domestic violence appeared on TV and spoke about how many women are dependent on their abusive husbands and if they were to leave their abusive husbands they would be homeless and living on the streets. One woman decided to leave her abusive and violent husband and instead resorted to living in her car with her four children.

While lifting weights on the chest press machine, I started to think about everything: me suffering as I worked for my manager, my friend suffering in his new job, and women suffering at the hands of their abusive husbands.

Human relationships are usually great in the beginning. There is definitely a honeymoon period. When I stated working, I was excited by the job, and I enjoyed being paid, and my manager must have been happy with me since he interviewed me and selected me. But things turned bad. Circumstances change. People change.

My friend’s new job pays him more than $100k, and I’m sure he was excited when he got the job, but then suddenly things turned bad.

When men and women go into intimate relationships, there is also a honeymoon period when the couple is in love and everything seems fine, but over time this seems to always go away, and marriage ties people together, so when the sheen wears off and the man and woman are tied together, that’s when there are problems.

It’s the same pattern that leads to abuse:

  1. delusion or optimism, leading to pleasure
  2. commitment, which is sought in an attempt to preserve that pleasure
  3. realization of reality
  4. captivity, that is, being trapped due to the commitment
  5. anger with reality
  6. abuse, as the anger needs to be channeled somewhere.

Delusion, commitment, reality, captivity, anger, and then abuse — this pattern is played out all the time across multiple situations where there is human interaction. It starts with pleasure and then ends with pain.

It seems to me that there is an abusive side to all people. Abuse is inherent to humanity. There is something within the human DNA that drives us to seek to subordinate weaker beings. We are all capable of hurting and abusing others. When we are angry, and there is someone who happens to be within our vicinity, someone who is less powerful that we are, then they automatically assume the role of a punching bag.

The key then is to never be in a position where you can be the victim of someone else’s abuse.

They say that failing to plan is planning to fail, but I believe that perfect planning is almost impossible because the future is unpredictable. Planning is often a failure because our assumptions are usually wrong. We plan to love our jobs forever, so we take on massive debt, and then we hate our jobs. We plan to be in love forever, so we marry, and then we hate our spouses.

So forget about planning the future. Focus instead on having an exit plan. More important than having a plan is having an exit plan.

Before you commit to anyone or anything, always have an exit plan.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

James 4:13-16

My Experience with Tinder

Three weeks ago I started using Tinder for the first time. I was impressed with how easy it is to find girls. Given I am an Asian male in my early thirties, Tinder seems to tend to match me with Asian girls in their late twenties or early thirties. Within a few hours, I was matched with about four girls. Like I said, Tinder is easy to use. All you do is use your Facebook account to log in, then you get presented with pictures of girls. You tell the app whether you like the girls by swiping left or right, and then the app matches you to girls who like you, and then you start messaging each other. Make sure your Facebook profile picture looks good because girls will judge you based solely on that.

There is a small privacy issue in that once you are on Tinder, members of the opposite sex who also use Tinder may see you on Tinder, but once you have enough girls you are messaging, you can configure the settings so that no one else can see you. If by chance someone you know can see you, I don’t see how using Tinder is somehow shameful. Just admit it.

I’ll be going to Bali in May, and I will be travelling by myself, so I am hoping I can use Tinder there to find girls in Bali. While in Bali, I plan to stay in my hotel room or go to an internet cafe to work online on my blog, my ebooks, and so forth. However, it would be nice if I can meet up with someone, whether it is a male or a female. One option I considered was staying in a hostel, but the thought of sharing a bathroom with strangers as well as having to sleep in the same room as them–it just doesn’t not sound appealing. I need my own room and my own bathroom!

My date with Kate

Although I had about four to six girls I was messaging on Tinder, I decided to ask a girl named Kate if I could have coffee with her. I like to have coffee with girls because it’s casual and not too serious.

This was the first Tinder date I’ve been to, so I was excited. When I arrived at the cafe, my phone was almost out of battery, and for some reason the Tinder app was buggy. I eventually met Kate. I got her a hot chocolate and got myself an almond flat white.

According to her profile, Kate is 31. She is not the prettiest girl in the world, but she wasn’t bad. She works as a secretary, and she didn’t seem to own a car, which is why she requested that I drive to a cafe near her place. She has also travelled all over Australia, to Europe, and even Asia. She loves scuba diving. After the date she seemed keen to see me again and suggested we watch a movie.

Second date

The next week, Kate and I went on a dinner and movie date. We met in the city and ate at a restaurant there. I told her that I was vegan and so needed to eat a vegan burger while she had chicken fingers. After dinner, we went to the cinemas to watch a movie.

When we separated, I wanted to give her a farewell hug, but she didn’t seem keen on it and seemed to run off, which I thought was suspicious.

Kate seemed like a nice girl. She wasn’t the sort of girl who spent too much. She had lots of discount vouchers on her. In fact, she seemed obsessive about discounts. While we ate, the overall price of the meal for two was about $60, but she had a voucher and was able to bring the price down to $30, which I paid for. She paid for movies, which was $20 (with a voucher). Given that I ate out and watched a movie with a girl for $30, I’d consider that good value.

During the date, Kate asked me all the usual questions girls ask guys in order to gauge whether they are marriage material, e.g. whether I plan to buy a house, whether I plan to apply for other jobs, and so forth.

Third date?

I was keen on moving the relationship with Kate beyond friendship. I suppose I wanted to see how far I could push it. However, after the second date, she messaged me on Tinder and told me that it was over, saying that we don’t have anything in common and we were not compatible. Of course, I may have been at fault because I tried hard to be myself and not conform, and I am a very weird person, or at least I am very different to most people.

Perhaps she didn’t like me because I was vegan. There are many other reasons why she may not have liked me. I remember she asked me if I owned a house, and I told her I preferred to invest in shares and ETFs rather than real estate. She asked me where I lived and what I did on the weekends. I told her that I live with my parents and that I don’t spend much time on weekends socializing with friends. Instead, I prefer to spend my weekends researching the markets and looking for ways to make money online. I talk about these topics with male friends sometimes, and they warn me not to speak my mind when I speak to women during dates.

I could get more friends, become a meat eater, act more manly, and move out of the family home, but I don’t feel like I’d be true to myself if I did all these things. I’d feel like a conformist. Of course, being a nonconformist will necessarily mean that most women by definition will not like you, so that’s just what I need to accept.

I will admit that I am a bit bummed, but it’s no big deal. We just had two dates. She offered to be just friends, but I declined the offer. On Tinder you can unmatch yourself with a girl and she will disappear from the app. I can find another girl on Tinder to be friends with. In fact, that is what I plan to use Tinder for from now on. I will just be friends with girls and not take it any further. Women are notorious for friendzoning men, but I don’t see what the issue with friendzoning women is. I value companionship, and like all men I do have sexual desires, but I believe that you necessarily need one supplier to meet your demands for both companionship and sex. If you want to get heart surgery, you go to a cardiology. If you want to get your car fixed, you go to a car mechanic. Rarely do you see someone who is both a heart surgeon and a car mechanic. For the same reasons, it is inefficient to expect that a wife or girlfriend can provide you with companionship, entertainment, sex, cleaning, and cooking all in one at a good price. The business model of marriage or long-term relationship is about exploiting men’s base desires (hyperbolic discounting) and then using vendor lock-in to extract wealth.

I have learned that if you want more intimacy with a girl, you must pay for it. Women are always looking for opportunities to monetize their erotic capital. Either they will ask for cash directly or they will look for clues of wealth and power and then attempt to extract a portion of that wealth using marriage. Too many men learn this reality through experience and then demand that women have sex with them in return for nothing, which is never going to happen. In order to get along with women, you must make sure that they are adequately compensated. You must accept the fact that they are simply trying to monetize their erotic capital in the same way most people try to make money when they discover they have a talent in, say, programming or accounting. If an employer must pay for the skills or a programmer or an accountant, a husband or boyfriend must pay for for the physical attractiveness of his wife or girlfriend.

Conservative Girls vs Feminist Girls

The most successful slave owner is one who can convince his slaves that their toil is honorable

There is much talk among men about how bad it is to be with a feminist, and many men seem to be drawn to women who are traditional or conservative.

For example, Rocco Casa at ReturnOfKings.com says the following:

Asian women are the most feminine in the world, both in terms of their beauty and family value. This encourages thousands of men to travel to Asia looking for qualities that have been lost in the west….

Can you imagine yourself living under the same roof with a western woman and sharing an entire house instead of just a bedroom?

You will probably need to go by her rules to be living “harmoniously.” Where does that leave you? Castrated. Even worse, a western woman will want to fool around much before she settles down, making her beloved feminist movement proud by being liberal and independent in her sexual choices. Plus, most western women smoke like a chimney, eat like a pig, drink alcohol like a sponge, and swear like truck drivers.

Would you marry such a woman? Hell no.

http://www.returnofkings.com/42888/why-western-men-travel-to-asia-for-more-than-just-sex

However, based on my experience, conservative girls have many problems compared to feminists.

Personally, I’d be very wary of traditional conservative women because they tend to believe that men must slave away at work while the lady stays at home and plays with the children and goes shopping.

Some men are fine with this. Some men are happy to work hard and financially support a loyal woman who stays at home and looks after the children, but in my opinion this arrangement is a sneaky way that men are tricked into becoming wage slaves.

Think about it carefully. In a traditional family, the woman stays at home, plays with the children, surfs the internet, and goes shopping while the man stresses at work. The man is called many great words, e.g. he is a “breadwinner.” However, in reality, the woman is using the man as a source of passive income. She is using him like a slave.

The most successful slave owner is one who can convince his slaves that their toil is honorable.

Even if a woman were loyal and looks after the children, I’d still be very hesitant about marriage because such an arrangement would result in multiple people dependent on me, and I’d likely have huge mortgage debt to pay, and debt is slavery!

The borrower is a slave to the lender. I’d rather be on the other side of the debt transaction, that is, I’d rather be the lender, not the borrower.

A slave owner (lender) has wealth flowing towards him whereas a slave (borrower) has wealth flowing from him.  

A housewife who sits back and collects cash from her breadwinner husband…would she be best categorized as a slave or a slave owner? Which way is the wealth flowing? Given that she is using her husband as an ATM, I’d suggest she is the slave owner.

I’d rather be retired by 35 and travelling the world rather than stuck in an office paying off a mountain of debt to fund the housewife lifestyle. Most men may disagree with me, but that is what I believe.

In Nazi Germany, some concentration camps had the sign Arbeit macht frei written on the entrance. This is translated into “work will set you free.”

The expression comes from the title of a novel by German philologist Lorenz Diefenbach, Arbeit macht frei: Erzählung von Lorenz Diefenbach (1873), in which gamblers and fraudsters find the path to virtue through labour….

The slogan “Arbeit macht frei” was placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps. The slogan’s use in this instance was ordered by SS General Theodor Eicke, inspector of concentration camps and second commandant of Dachau Concentration Camp.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbeit_macht_frei

It is no surprise that throughout history, slave owners sought to convince their slaves that their slavery is honorable. If this were not the case, the slaves would revolt. Instead of whipping slaves and forcing them to work against their will, isn’t it much easier to convince the slaves to want to work?

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

~Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The reason why slavery based on capitalism is much more efficient than slavery based on chains and whips is because a slave motivated by greed is far more productive than a slave motivated by fear.