Cryptocurrency Currently

On July 9th, Jon Stokes published an article at 1729.com, Crypto for People Who Don’t Follow Crypto. It brings me back to my college days, when I was attending every last workshop I could find that was interesting. I have always had a voracious appetite of curisity.

So the question Jon is addressing is, will crypto change the world, or is it simply a bunch of speculation built on nothing. In the article he firmly sides on the former side, what is described by the editor as the long term bull case for crypto.

Probably the greatest quote I recall on the subject when I took a hard look at it in college was from the great Julian Assange over at Wikileaks. He said something very simple, and I have not been able to track this down exactly, but here’s what I think I remember. He wrote, “The universe believes in privacy.” As I said, it is a simple phrase with a very specific meaning.

Cryptography exists and is useful and flourished because of a mathematical principle of the universe: it is vastly simpler, mathematically, to encrypt data than it is to decrypt data.

Sort of like it is simpler to make someone you can’t understand into your slave than to get to understand and work with them. Why do I go here? Because it is something that Mr. Stokes did not mention in his article that I think is worth explaining.

Our economy, thanks to cryptography and cryptocurrencies is going from a violence-enforced monetary system to a math-enforced monetary system. Make sense? Let me go back in time to explain, drawing on David Graeberr’s great research in his book, Debt, the First 5,000 Years.

The first solid coins, which were mad eout of elctrum, a mis of gold and silver, were created in the kindgom of lydis and deployled in the following way to solve the problem that soldiers from the army needed to get their needs met in a foreing land filled with people they had just conquered. The easiest way to do so whwas to use these special coins and set up a taxation system ss follows. The tax collectors would come around at the end of the year, and collect taxes, payable only in the currency of the kindfom. This meant that all local people needed to stock up on the currency by the end of the year or else face violent conseequences. And, what was the only was to get these currencie coins? By offering service and goods to the invading army who were well supplied with them.

Sadly, some of us see this dynaimic continuing up to this very day, of coutsr in different forms, mostly through the real estate system. If you cann not pay rent or your property taxes, then good luck, you are on your own to serve someone hooked into the federal reserve and the banking system ultimately.

Earl’s Back!

I love listening to music. When I’m in the right mood most every genre can get me going.  Some of my favorite genres are alternative rock, acoustic rock, dubsteb, and, above all, hip-hop.  Sometimes, it can be equally entertaining In recent years, the hip-hop collective Odd Future

Lord Tew’s Landing

I’m celebrating a completed donation of $222 to Tew’s GoFundMe campaign.

Many of my ancestors left our homelands of our own free will. And I think history would bear out the truth that many of Tew’s ancestors were violently kidnapped.

And people who look like him have suffered for too long in a country where people who look like me have prospered.

We all need to get landed ( no offense nomads, of which I am actually one) as we transition to the agrarian community-based future our hearts know is possible, and I’m honored to help out my brother and future king. Not to mention, he’s committed to working within the political system to accelerate this change for all peoples all over the planet and I join him in that endeavor, in my own way. Here’s to a swift, just and peaceful transition.

Profit Distribution and Basic Income

“None who profit from the profit system may exist in it without shame.” – Theodor Adorno

(I might quip in addition: the extremely minority subset that may break Mr. Adorno’s rule are the ones we call sociopaths.)

I had not been in the habit of checking reddit regularly since my college days. But, in my personal excitement for the idea of a universal basic income after reading this short piece about Marcel Mauss, http://www.freewords.org/graeber.html, which I highly recommend, I wanted camaraderie and took to the basic income subreddit. It just so happened to be the day that Andrew Yang had declared his candidacy, based on essentially this single issue. I believe he was the first Democrat in the field to officially declare, and I must have been among the first to recognize it. I believe it was over two years ago.

I had fist come accredits the idea when I saw a book cover at Red Emma’s in Baltimore that read: Demand Full Automation, Demand Universal Basic Income, Demand the Future. This book made some arguments that I haven’t seen anywhere else, such as that a UBI would actually make the least desirable work (hard labor, garbage disposal) the most highly paid, as it should be, and this, in turn would also push that labor to be automated as fast as possible. The mechanism? Well no one would see any value anymore in doing the labor of bullshit jobs that doesn’t create any value and is just for maintenance of social status. New games of social status would develop quickly and, the real work of producing food and shelter would also go undone, until those who are wanting food and shelter would organize to meet those needs, likely paying the providers.

It also made some arguments that seem ludicrous to me know, such as it may be more carbon efficient to grow certain crops halfway around the world and ship them on cargo freighters rather than growing them locally. I’m not so sure we need such a variety of fruits and vegetables and for combatting climate changer, I think the best aspect of the UBI is that, with the correct solicit-cultural interpretation, many people could give up their environmentally degrading and possibly useless occupation to relax more, grow their own food, take care of themselves, and use far less energy. (As a good friend of mine once commented after taking an internship in a law office, “It’s not MacDonalds that’s killing the rainforest. It lawyers.” The mental image of reams of printouts of depositions and legalese all for the sake of covering our asses in an obsolete legal system!

In college I was inspired to take the radical critique of contemporary society seriously and pursue its implications in every domain of my life, and I have continued to find good reasons to be grateful for choosing that path. However, I do not want to go it alone any longer – it is time for me to turn to civics and activism to spread these ideas of cultural and legal reform. Here is a brief bio:

I wonder if I have a different perspective than many of you, having chosen to pursue agriculture and other caring and working class occupations in egalitarian contexts such as music, elder care, and hands-on-healing, teaching chi arts, martial arts, construction, fossil-fuel-free homesteading, etc. Now I live off a small stipend from some business consulting I’ve done – in an income-sharing community in rural Virginia..we run an ecological transition school and consultation for landowners who want to mineralize their territory with rock dust to revitalize the land and capture carbon faster.

But it seems to me the basic income is the most necessary next step for our nation, and my top single issue this election cycle, and I’m curious what you think. Here are my top three reasons:

One: The history of coined money is exactly the history of centrally organized war, conquest, and extortion. The first hard currencies were used by conquerors to purchase goods and services from the conquered, who had no choice but to do business with violent foreigners for the administrators of the invading empire would later demand taxation in the currency one could only obtain through favors to the military. Nowadays in our country, the military Pentagon budget is $700 billion dollars annually, and we can all remember those scandalous stories about the pentagon purchasing hammers for over $400, which ironically proves the aspect of the gift economy that sharing wealth builds social bonds.

Our society is inundated with unproductive and pointless or downright detrimental work.
Paperwork, advertising, junk food, pharmaceuticals, logging, factory farming, ect, all of which originated from a profit-driven system which squeezes surplus value from the earth, animals and laborers at massive rates. Many jobs themselves become violent, dangerous, involve overwork, low satisfaction… this causes immense levels of mental health problems and of course environmental degradation. The basic income would very quickly channel our abundance into a relief of suffering, toil, stress, and waste. (Following Graeber’s argument in Bullshit Jobs.)

So we need to democratize financial power, and get rid of this system that allows immense wealth, the financial sector, and military spending and corrupt federal government decisions to run our economy. Time to finally fulfil the liberal dream and let the people decide what’s good for them and what caring or productive labor they want to offer to others.

One Bonus: Automation. Yang himself is making it seem like this is the only reason. But I see this issue as having been relevant at least since Thomas Paine proposed the idea, and certainly since it was endorsed by MLK Jr. up to the end of his life.

David Graeber, in his book Debt, points to the beginnings of the profit system, reinforcing the relevance of history for daily choice.

And we would be wise to consider the solution that he, in chorus with prominent USA political actors, suggests. This solution was proposed in various forms by outcast founding father Thomas Paine, the saintly Martin Luther King Jr. and even made Congress’s floor during Nixon’s administration. It goes by many policy titles: guaranteed minimum income, citizen’s dividend, universal basic income… And but – the idea is simple: whenever our leaders create money, they distribute it evenly to individual adults.

A UBI is the first way a bureaucracy or state must establish itself in imitation of the unconditional generosity of the earth and sky. Please keep it mind that we are mastering the truth previously split between the commodity and the gift.

Not Worth It

I was inspired to write something about my experience with and perspective on the legal system in this country as it applies to family arrangements and so called “custody” of children, when I heard from a good friend that another mutual friend was considering taking the mother of his child to court to enforce legal rulings on the matter of family proximity in time and space.

Not Worth It

This vivid scene recurred in my eyes many times. It was the “transition” time, that moment the almighty judge had writ, when my sister and I must transfer from mother to father, under penalty of law! I was a compliant child, and my sister was righteously angry. She did not see the diplomatic benefits to compliance that I did, nor did she see the stress her tantrums provoked. Today, I honor her tenacity in unarticulated (but determined and correct) rebellion against the state’s horrendous meddling in family well-being.

She would fight with tooth and nail to cling to the door jam at the top of the elbow of concrete stairs leading up to our mother’s townhouse. Father and mother, peeling her fingers off, one by one, and slamming the door shut behind her, as she screamed like an air raid. How lamentable it is to me that my mother and father could not look into each other’s eyes and admit the obvious: There has to be a better way. We may not know what it is yet, but this is not okay. As an aside, I take responsibility for my own lack of intervention and over-compliance.

Well, they were worried about the legal consequences of not abiding by the court-ordered schedule. And as much as parents might try to hide the proceedings from their children, this is impossible and therefore counterproductive to trust because sensitive children know what is going on, and the stress and lies and enforcements of legality are ruinous to their comfort and ease in the home at an already challenging time of adjustment to initial separation.

Let me tell you, whatever your beliefs about what is right for the child, please turn them over to the child herself. Show her that we are a society of adults moving towards being able to resolve and transform conflict without the use of arbitrary courts, that function mostly to build enmity and fear between opposing parties and amass second homes for “family lawyers”.

Please, my friend, consider spending the $10,000 dollars you are budgeting for court and legal fees to go somewhere else, towards your personal development, and moving through these emotional pains. Find a passion so as to demonstrate to your daughter your love and zest for life, rather than your zeal for bringing the clumsy state into delicacies of choice at home.
Save yourself the time, the money, the stress, the bitterness, and the disease of your daughter. Buy for yourself a new chance to take on what is hurting and why, to rediscover for yourself a goal, and a purpose that is between you and God, and perhaps that is continuing to offer something supportive to your child and her mother, perhaps that is looking the other way for a while, as it seems your daughter would have you do.

I am not perfect in this regard, but I do consider it the a form of male duty to obtain the place of painful rejection and loneliness with peace. Conquer it now, in this lifetime, with this opportunity.

40 Days

This essay is my small installment in a wide-ranging and extensive criticism of the mental-health-pharmaceutical complex in the United States of America known as the “anti-psychiatry” movement. It is based on Chapter 5 of a book called Punishing the Patient by an Australian doctor named Richard Golden, which can be found online at:

https://sites.google.com/site/punishingthepatient/. All quotations are from this text.

40 Days // Schizophrenic Psychosis is a Mystic Emergency

According to the New Testament and Christian oral tradition, Jesus of Nazareth, like many Jews before him, wandered in the desert for 40 days and nights, fasting and collecting himself. After this arduous time, he was finally the empowered messiah. According to the Old Testament, the Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years after their escape from slavery in Egypt. 40 days for the individual, and 40 years for the tribe – this is the time required to reorient and reacquaint to agency, power, imagination, and intention.

The story of Jesus maintains its power and relevance in our modern and postmodern mythological horizon because of its value to any woman or man experiencing an involuntary reduction in power, or a new found peak of responsibility. Examples of the former include aging, demotion, loss of job, loss of wife or partner, and examples of the latter are a new job, inherited wealth, installment in place of privilege or leadership in art, industry, family, or village. 

Painful death and rebirth is the correct expectation for anyone going through their own transformational psychosis, and the gospel is a vivid description of how to successfully navigate through to the other side in a healthy way. In contrast, institutionalization, demonization, medication, isolation, enforced conformity, and confinement are the impotent yet profitable methods introduced in modern times.

“[Noted anti-psychiatrist J. W.] Perry theorised that schizophrenia manifests as a combination of the unconscious activating and the ego collapsing. This assessment fits closely with mystical practice, in which the mystical aspirant deliberately activates the unconscious through techniques such as word repetition and visualisations, while denying expression to the conscious self-identity… through ascetic practices such as seclusion, celibacy, and fasting…

“In comparing modern schizophrenics with mythological heroes, Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, summed up his opinion this way: ‘our schizophrenic patient is actually experiencing inadvertently that same beatific ocean deep which the yogi and saint are ever striving to enjoy… except that, whereas they are swimming in it, he is drowning.’”

Prayer and renunciation, sacred music and dance, are like dipping your toes down into the ocean of death and rebirth, biting off a manageable portion of insight into the state of one’s life and time. The schizophrenic, for lack of regular practice in obtaining manageable doses, has dove headfirst into this same ocean. The obvious solution is to teach mystical practice more widely and seriously.

But what did Dr. Perry find?

“The Far Side of Madness documents Perry’s findings after analysing in depth the psychic experiences of twelve patients over a twelve-year period. The book identifies consistent patterns of myth, ritual, messianism, and mysticism in the schizophrenic experiences of his patients.”

And he discovered that what his patients needed more than anything was for someone to actually take their non-rational concerns seriously, just as Christians often proclaim belief in Jesus as an omnipresent and healing witness to turmoil and suffering.

According to Perry, schizophrenia is itself best described as a spontaneous healing process, but it must be allowed to run its course, which he found to be usually around 6 weeks – approximately 40 days. The prepsychotic personality is the sickness, once the psychosis has begun, it is already an improvement and the individual is in the healing process. “The whole schizophrenic turmoil is really a self-organising, healing experience. It’s like a molten state.” 

Also, “The therapeutic approach practised by Perry…was to give emotional support while encouraging the person to plumb the depths of the experience. This is basically the opposite of the conventional psychiatric approach which seeks to abort the experience, usually by the application of drug treatment, as soon as possible. Perry says that in the fully supportive environment…it was not uncommon for a person to emerge from the schizophrenic crisis prematurely. When this happened, he says, it was necessary to actually encourage the person to re-enter psychosis so as to complete the process.”

And furthermore, “Most modern societies are constantly changing and are therefore in constant crisis, at least in mythological terms…people in modern societies who manifest schizophrenic symptoms are struggling to fulfill the same function as the seers in traditional societies: ‘I am not suggesting that all persons in the “psychotic” form of visionary state should be considered prophets, but rather that the program of the visionary experience and its imagery is the same in well-known “prophets” as in our little-known “patients”’” (Perry quoted in Golden).

To conclude, I find it obvious, that, in community, we are often dealing with people who are outcast and disillusioned by the mainstream society and may have critiques of that society that could earn them the label of mentally ill or schizophrenic. And, in the journey into community, they are undergoing a death and rebirth into an entirely new culture, home, and workplace. We need to expect and tolerate, welcome and play with, psychosis, and focus a great deal on mystical practice as well.

Passage West and Serenity Commune

Passage West is an historical novel by Rishi Reddi about immigrant farmers in southern California in the years before, during, and after the First World War. These farmers, the main characters in the story, were from Hindustan, a place I had never heard of, and religiously they were Sikhs. Their neighbors were a Japanese family.

Having my recent heritage mostly in New England (one great-grandparent in Kansas city), and my education in public schools of the mid-atlantic, I had never known much of the history of California, and I enjoyed learning about life as an immigrant from Asia and how these characters interacted with the European immigrants, or the Anglos as they’re called. I Like thinking of myself as an Anglo, rather than a white person. (Although I also liked the idea of a “person-lacking-color.”)

One of my primary partnerships over the past year has been with Serenity Community for Peace and Justice, an emerging commune created by and for people of color here in Louisa, Virginia. Liberation Arts had a natural synergy with a commune of color, since we teach Afro-diasporic community techniques for holistic justice and wellness.

Serenity continues to gather folks together an o-longer have need of our support. It has been a pleasure-full endeavor for me, and I as certaily sorry for the space I invaded and the boundaries I crossed as a person lacking color, who is used to moving through theworld in an entitled manner.

Wishing all the best to Serenity Commune in their next and continuing stage.

You may read more about Serenity on MoonRaven’s blog and more about Liberation Arts on our website.

Human Design

“Different strokes for different folks.” x “Do as you would be done by.”

Are these commonplaces contradictory?

Human Design offers a worthwhile personality typing system that I encourage you to explore and share. 

It helps us treat one another better, and not only along one standard spectrum of love, kindness, or I-scratch-your-back reciprocity.

Please know that if our work together reaches a certain level, these distinctions between aura types will become relevant and allow us to work at a more potent conceptual level.

For now, see my page on Human Design.

Civics

The premises of my political stance are simply thus:

Modern industry and robotics brilliantly blow away much if not all ancient wisdom and human practice when it comes to resource use and allocation. Providence has been collected and transformed.

Now, we face the puzzle of distribution of and access to this modern bounty.

The universal basic income is the best political solution to this. It is an idea that has had its some chances in the U.S.A. political spotlight, and seems to continue to grow in popularity.

However, it does not address the issue of accumulation or the possibility of inflation, which I propose to address through the biblical model of a jubilee. Every fifty years (for example), the currency tallies will return to zero and we live only on non-monetary relations.

The second problem is that of the balanced and healthy enjoyment of this newfound freedom and wealth. Only through games can we achieve the solution to this. The games solve our need to know where we are in the hierarchy without actually taking advantage of anyone else. The best games, to me, are the ones that incorporate various modalities and methods. And they are more fun to play, more fair, more real, when all players have their basic needs met and ensured.

I would love to hear your commentary and reflection on these ideas.

Connor

The Chinese Doctor

To share a vision of health and a vision of death for men from the book Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (Anchor Books, 1991).

My grandmother and Dr. Xia never had any children together. He subscribed to a theory that a man over the age of sixty-five should not ejaculate… Years later, my grandmother told my mother, somewhat mysteriously, that through qigong Dr. Xia developed a technique which enabled him to have an orgasm without ejaculating… He was never ill, and took a cold shower every day. He never touched alcohol or tobacco…

59.

In the end,

he died at the age at eighty-two. He was leaning back in bed drinking a glass of milk. My grandmother went out of the room for a minute and when she came back to get the glass she saw the milk had spilled and the glass had fallen on the floor. He died instantly and painlessly….Right up until the end he enjoyed extraordinarily good health.

177-178.