Using Netflix for Ad-Free Background Music for Study or Work

I pay $14 per month to subscribe to Netflix, which is somewhat hypocritical as I generally try to avoid any ongoing recurring expenses because I feel that you are less likely to put scrutiny on your expenses when it is ongoing and recurring. If something is on autopilot, it is human nature to forget it. This is why “paying yourself first” and automating investing is a powerful tool. For example, if $1000 is deducted from your pay automatically and invested, you will save without effort. However, this principle works in the opposite direction, that is, if you automated your spending, you are more likely to spend more than you would otherwise.

Even though I apply this principle to e.g. phone plans (preferring instead to buy phones outright and use prepaid arrangements) I have made the exception with Netflix. There are many movies and series on Netflix that I enjoy, and if you stay home and watch Netflix, I rationalize that I am not going out and wasting money, and so Netflix is financially prudent.

Of course, you can watch videos for free e.g. YouTube, but over time I have noticed that free products have a downside in that even though you are not paying for the product, you are paying via watching advertising, and because advertising produces little revenue, the creators of free content don’t have an incentive to produce good art, and so much of the free content on the internet is simply people using it as an outlet to unload negative emotions (read the comments of most YouTube videos and you’ll understand) and being exposed to this negativity cannot be good for it. It makes sense to spend a little bit of money to shield yourself from the depravity of humanity.

Over time I have found that there are is such a variety of content on Netflix. I usually dedicate Friday or Saturday nights for Netflix, and during these times I’d watch something serious such as Ozark or Black Mirror. However, when I am eating dinner, I prefer to watch something that is not so heavy, that doesn’t require much concentration. There are many trashy docuseries that provide this e.g. Drug Lords or even Magic for Humans. However, often when I am browsing the internet, working at home, or even writing this right now, I want to listen to background music. The problem with using e.g. YouTube or Spotify is that these have ads, and having ads annoy you while you’re trying to relax is infuriating. This is why I have, of time, found various videos on Netflix that provide ad-free background music. Not only do these videos pay nice music but they also tend to have very beautiful visuals as well.

Note that many of these videos play not only music but e.g. the Slow TV videos may play long videos of train rides or firewood cutting. There are also many videos above that depict a fireplace in case you want to turn your television into a virtual fireplace without any of the mess and smoke.

Please also note that the list above applies to the Australian Netflix, and Netflix lists in other countries may vary.

What if I wanted to play specific music e.g. ambient music?

Even though I love to use Netflix as background music, there are some genres of music that I like e.g. dark ambient music and new age ambient music. These are not accessible via Netflix but they are available all over YouTube. In fact, just about all music is available on YouTube. The problem with YouTube, of course, is the advertising. However, there is an easy way to bypass this, which is to use Listen on Repeat.

Listen on Repeat allows you to set up playlists and fill them with your favourite YouTube music. Even though there is no audio advertising, there are many banner ads on the site, which clutters the sight greatly and slows it down, but at least it doesn’t ruin your music while you’re listening to it.

What if you are at work?

If I am at work and want to listen to music using my earphones, I prefer not to use Netflix, YouTube or Listen on Repeat because these sites are data intensive. Because these sites play not just music but also visuals, a considerable amount of data is used, and using a considerable amount of data at work for music may not be wise.

Thankfully there exists Public Domain Radio, which plays free public domain classical and jazz music. Because this music is old and in the public domain, there is no need to pay anyone royalties. Everything is ad-free and the site is very clean and minimalist. Beacuse it only play audio, there is little data used.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

 

Please Forgive Me For Yet Another Misanthropic Rant

My life is getting simpler, in my opinion. I don’t spend too much time socializing. I don’t spend too much time with friends or family, and I’m proud of that. When people asked me what I’d be doing over the weekend, I told them I would just be catching up on the reality TV show Australian Survivor. I love watching Survivor. I’ve watched every single US Survivor season, and now I’m watching the Australian ones as well.

There was a time as early as a few years ago when I felt like I needed to socialize, that I couldn’t stay home and watch Netflix. I had to be out with friends or get a girlfriend. Now I look down upon such behavior as superficial and wasteful. The problem wasn’t just that these activities are expensive. I would happily pay. The main problem is that people are either extremely boring or extremely vulgar. Humans are a despicable species. In my opinion, humans are unparalleled in their cruelty and evil. If I could flick a switch and destroy humanity, I would, but I would spare the non-human animals.

Among any group of people there is snobbery, greed, pettiness, and backstabbing. Anyone who is absent of these features is thoroughly boring, which leads me to believe that humans are inherently evil, and when they suppress their evil, they suppress their humanity, which ironically makes them as unappealing as they were when they didn’t suppress their evil.

The answer then is to just forget about people. I mostly just keep to myself now. Of course I go to work and cooperate with people, and I am a polite man, but I keep it to minimum. I won’t outright be rude to a coworker, but I’m not going to put any effort into relationships.

If life has taught me anything, it is that relationships are the worst part of life. I’ve been through so much that has opened my eyes to how bad people are. Being in a relationship and then going through a breakup is quite bad. Then I witnessed my parents divorce, and then I felt as if my father took advantage of me financially. I look around at people at work and I see only snobbery and greed. My mother just wants to use me so that someone can look after her in her old age. She doesn’t care about me at all. She just wants to use me like my father used me.

I dream of nothing more than to silently save a million dollars and then before I am forty, I will simply disappear. Where I will go is a mystery to me. Maybe I’ll go to another country. Maybe not. I’ve given up getting approval from others. I’ve spoken about my grand plans in the past and people made fun of me. They claim that it’s impossible to save up that much money. They shame me for not marrying, having children, and having a family.  They make fun of me for living with my mother.

I’ve given up rationalizing or justifying myself to others. Why do I need the approval of others? I will keep everything  to myself now. I save up silently. I even deny that I am doing anything. I purposely don’t know  what my net worth  is. When I am forty, when I should have well over $1 million in net worth, I will simply disappear. I will just do it. I need no approval from anyone. I will simply drop out of society and disappear, and I will live off dividends, as I always do. I will be completely alone, which means I will be completely free.

 

Netflixing to Save Money

When I was younger, I rarely went out. I preferred to stay inside and indulge in cheap electronic entertainment. As I invested more and more and started to earn more dividends, I found myself in a position to go out every now and then, but I have realized that I actually hate going out. I would prefer to stay home and watch Netflix. It just so happens that netflixing is much cheaper than going out, and it is very enjoyable as well.

Netflix pours billions of dollars each year into content production, which means they are able to provide extremely good entertainment to its customers, and customers only need to pay $12 per month. It’s a good deal, in my opinion. It is far better than going out. When people at work show off to me that they went out to a restaurant to a vineyard, I am not afraid to just tell them that I am a hardcore netflixer.

I was talking to colleague earlier this week about how Netflix is an investment because you save up so much money on Netflix that you are able to pour massive sums of money into ETFs. What I hate about “going out” is that it has become such a status symbol. People brag about going out and socializing as if there is something so special about it when really all they are doing is moving themselves to a new location and spending significantly more for it.

When I started working full-time, I was saving about 80% of my salary whereas now I am saving 100% of my salary and living off dividends. I think what is most important is that you pick a savings rate and stick to it. Whether you eat out, pack your lunch, buy coffee, or whatever is irrelevant as long as you stick to your savings goal. Many people focus on small things such as skipping coffee and saving $4 per day, but I find that many of these people skipping coffee are blowing their money on holidays, cars, and so forth. Often skipping coffee is not a savings plan but a reaction to blowing your money elsewhere. Picking and choosing isolated examples of how you save money is meaningless. It’s the overall savings rate that matters.

Dealing with Dissatisfaction in Life

I’ve been having boring days at work. I go to work and I don’t really have any motivation to work. I just do the minimum. If something is due soon, I do it. Otherwise, I literally just daydream. I could look out the window or stare at the wall for hours. I have a to-do list that I follow. I just work my way through the list doing one item at a time, almost like a machine.

My manager left in the afternoon because his family had an appointment with the dentist, so I took the opportunity to go the gym (there is a gym at work). While at the gym, I noticed something interesting. If I imagined that there was a beautiful girl watching me, I worked harder. My lifts at the gym became stronger. I started to use this technique and noticed that my workout improved quite a bit, and after the workout I felt really energized. I also employed this technique at work. While working I imagined there was a beautiful blonde girl watching me from behind. I am not sure if it helped me become more productive because I still felt unproductive, but maybe I was more productive than normal. 

I do admit that I am feeling empty. Life is getting boring, and I can just feel myself getting into that trap of trying to spend money to feel happy. Luckily I am quite disciplined. My total expenses equals my income from dividends. I am quite a disciplined person. I eat a healthy plant-based diet, I go the gym fairly regularly, and I invest all the money I earn from work. If these are not the mark of a disciplined man, I don’t know what is.

Nevertheless, I still feel dissatisfied, and I keep wondering what I can do to cheer myself up. There are times when I go on Tinder and start swiping, but then I think more carefully about what I’m doing. I think about all the negative experiences with dating I’ve had in the past, so I simply uninstall the app. I’ve done this about three times recently. Because I watch Netflix, I’ve been watching many Hollywood movies, and of course Hollywood movies almost always promote romantic love, so those urges to be intimate with a woman come back to me, but I know better than to give in to these urges. I feel a need to always be resisting temptation and to always be disciplined. I certainly give into female intimacy sometimes but I always correct myself and get myself back in line. I give into temptation often, but where I differ from other people is that I don’t give in completely.