The Frugal Algorithm

My WordPress site has now gone live: The Frugal Algorithm. In the opener I wrote

We are too often seen as consumers in a disposable society, whose primary interest is what new toy to buy, and how much garbage we generate. When faced with difficult times, we buckle down reluctantly, anxiously waiting when the times are better and we can return to a time of “prosperity”, prosperity in this context meaning buying more stuff. Our societies are based on the concept that worth is measured in goods, and the ultimate health of the collective is based in gross national product and balance of trade. We work to buy, and we buy to work.

But what if we broke the cycle?

Other writings:

As stated, The Frugal Algorithm is based in WordPress, while my other sites stay at Drupal. The theme at Frugal City is a modification of the WordPress theme, Barecity, which I thought was an appropriately named theme. It’s minimalist, much more so than my other sites. Again, though, a minimalist design fits the site concept.

I did have to modify the theme to make it XHTML compliant, and WordPress isn’t as XHTML friendly as Drupal, but the differences just keep me on my toes.

The site is actually more of a celebration of the times, then not. I’m not downplaying the unemployment and the real fiscal worries we all have—heck, I’m teetering at the edge of the abyss myself. But in my readings about the Great Depression, one thing I noticed is that the people during the 1930s seemed to be more capable of directly facing the troubled times. Today, we’re more likely to put our hands over our ears and hum “LaLaLaLa!”. We tell ourselves and each other that we’re trying to maintain a positive attitude but what we’re really doing is denying reality, and in doing so, denying others their reality. Life is just a bowl of cherries.

Not long ago, some happy soul pontificated that the only reason people don’t have jobs is that they weren’t really trying. Not really trying…Last week, a company was looking for 100 new employees in the St. Louis area, and held a job fair. Over 3,000 people showed up at the fair. This is addition to a couple of thousand other applications given online. It worked out to 50 people applying for each open position.

Facing up to the times means being aware that other people may be struggling. It means learning how to manage when you’re struggling, yourself, or how to live so you don’t get to the point where you’re struggling.

The Frugal Algorithm isn’t a doom and gloom site, but it’s not a haven for the Shiny, Happy People, either. It’s a way for me to work through my fears, and maybe help others do the same. More importantly, the site’s focus is on recognizing that a person’s value is not based on the toys they own or the money they make; to find something real, inside.

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