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Earl Mardle
In a Networked World, There Really Is No-one In Charge
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On the one hand Rob, yes, for sure. Burt last summer here in NZ we had both the worst drought in 70 years and the best "summer" of my life, the only time I have ever felt glad to be alive in a season, rather than for a reason. Mind you, having the place full of WWOOFERS from all round the world probably had a hand in that. And then came winter, a bit milder than I had hoped, but in any case, even at the beginning, I was worried about getting done all the things that winter allows, and I was right to worry, half of them still not done and already winter is turning to spring. I never would have believed that, at 62, I would be fretting about winter being too short, too dry and not cold enough.
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I go along 85% Rob. I've had more than enough work for the last 16 years and not had a "job". Certainly not one with benefits, sick leave, pensions etc. But I've also had a wife who HAS a "job" who provides not just the luxuries that we can do without, but the coin of the realm in which we are forced to pay our land tax, utility bills, medical expenses etc. The enslavement is not to the job and those able to create them, but to the fact that we DON'T live in Michele Bachman's world where you can pay your Dr. with a few chickens. The empires of the past enslaved the populations not by constant military presence but by using the threat of that force to make them to pay taxes in the new money. For which they, or someone for whom they worked, HAD to work for the new government. If they failed to pay taxes in the new money, they risked imprisonment, death and, above all, confiscation of their property which was then handed to some satrap or favourite. Our problem is not that there is insufficient work needing to be done, nor that there are people willing and able to do it; but that the creation of money, and the purposes to which it is allowed to be put are controlled by the beneficiaries of the status quo, who already have most of what money is available and trickle it out to the rest so that there is never quite enough to go round. That forces us either to live lives of comparative penury (a socially difficult problem) or to go into debt to maintain status with our fellows. At some point, SOMEBODY has to work for the existing system to extract the necessary cash to pay the bills, the taxes and the interest, but also to find, extract and distribute the raw materials that even you and I depend on to do the off-grid stuff that we do. And it doesn't matter how much that money is then circulated among the rest of us, since each transaction is then taxed, bleeding the money back to the source and forcing new work to be done for the money "creators". In a broken system such as we have, a limited amount of work can be done without official money, but we wont be "free" to do the work that needs doing, and exchange the value we produce with that produced by others, until we have the ability both the represent the value in money that we control, and to have that money accepted by the system as payment for the services we DO need from it, such as health care, water treatment, telecoms etc etc etc. Despite ALL the prescriptivists I hear who start by saying "what we NEED to do is ...." the reality is that the existing organism is now fighting for its life and will smash any and every attempt to prise ourselves free from it. Making food for sale? Not without an "approved" and expensive kitchen and the right certificates. Catching water from your roof? That's theft of a resource that your government has already sold to someone else, (see Nevada until recently). Grow your own food? That's both income and sales tax avoidance (see some idiot in California who stood for election on that idea last year) Garden in your front yard? Breach of god knows how many bylaws. And on and on and friggin on. What you and I, and many others, are trying to do IS a revolution, not just in it being a new idea, but in being an actual threat to those who both run and benefit from, the current system. It wont change on any scale till it breaks for certain and finally. And then, being the actual life-support system for literally hundreds of millions of people, their actual lives WILL be in grave danger. One more thing. There is a limit to how many people can do what we do. I don't know what that limit is, but just as there is a limit to the percentage of the population who can own and profit from rental property (despite what the financial advisers said) so any economic strategy, including both borrowing to spend and stern frugality, only works for some of us, beyond that, more people following the same plan results in damage to the system and it lashes out.
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Keep trying Dana. But a key to the problem is not that Americans are angry about the killing. Its that so many Americans are getting off on it. They aren't dancing in the streets, but many of them are dancing in their bedrooms, searching for video clips of what happened inside the theatre. While the culture of killing continues it will continue to produce violence as entertainment, as games, as recreation. It is not computer games that trigger these events, it is the underlying psyche that produces the computer games. From the maltreatment of the dead in Afghanistan to the glorification of the sleek death-dealing of the F22 in defiance of all logic and need, the culture is saturated in violence. Aurora is nothing more than a peek under the covers.
Toggle Commented Jul 24, 2012 on Your Gun Culture at Dana Blankenhorn
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One more. High level of drenching and treatment of animals to maintain production levels and economic value vs culling for health and productivity. Had a long chat with a new mate today whose sheep flock of Wiltshires (self shearing sheep) has very little footrot, fly strike etc problems because at the first sign he culls the susceptible animals from his small flock.
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Does the family know? I guess they do now. Its a serious question that we need to be clear about. We don't get snow here, I'd have to move 1,000 km south to be sure, and then wait for winter. But I can see organisations like Final Exit becoming a LOT more popular. I kind of like the pharmacological door, if only because the family will know where to find the body and it wont be stumbled on by some unsuspecting person. My ex father-in-law reckoned he would take a bottle of gin to the beach and take a very long swim. In the end though he just died in his sleep. I wonder how many of us will have that privilege. But then, if we work till we drop, maybe we will. Personally, I've always fancied the idea at ago 90 of being shot by a jealous husband, and no, not Jon.
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Apart from the fact that I never had a "plan" in my life, and don't have one for death either, all the rest is check marks around here. The diet is still a work in progress but as we produce more of what we eat, that will shift too. As for the end. I don't have a pension, and neither do most people who think they have. So like you I'm hoping to be active till the end. The delta of that is that the end of being active, is the end. On that subject I said to Jon Husband some years ago that I expect that we boomers will have suicide as our principle cause of death. Especially the healthy ones who reach the end of being productive. It had crossed his mind as well. So Rob, what IS your plan for the time you cease to be active and productive?
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I look forward to seeing the process Rob. Paradoxically, we have done the reverse, leaving a small property with a family-sized house to a larger one with a small-family sized house. Partly because I did the figures and decided that even if the family moved in, we would be screwed because the property was already at the limit for productivity and we needed room for more to be done. Like you, I'm in my 60's and the prospect of a health problem does loom, but like you I'm pretty dark about the future so getting used to making choices I would prefer not to have to is just practice for the future. Oh, and putting a little more distance between us and the big city where things could go bad very quickly to a smaller community looks like a better option.
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The crowd is a funny beast for sure, but it takes up new ideas best when it isn't asked to do so consciously. My grandparents were born in the 1890's, their early years preceded the motor car, but well before they died, they thought nothing of hopping on a 747 and flying home to the UK to see the relatives. They were also among those who emigrated from the UK to NZ in the 20's. No doubt it was a wrench, and they were going somewhere that turned out to be very different from their 'omes (Lancashire) but without specifically "adopting the new" they nevertheless sought, and accepted, massive changes in their lives. They were, however, quite ordinary people otherwise and not distinguished from millions of others. I think when we confront change we see a lot of resistance, but the changes that sneak up on us and snuggle in are accepted without thinking. We can look back and see how much we have changed but for most of us, "making" change almost doesn't happen and when we are asked to do it, we resist, even when it is in our own best interest to do so. Which is why I suspect that efforts to get people to see what they must do will founder; instead we need to be more like Gandhi and to be the change we want to see, to be those different people without fuss, without too much shouting, without startling the horses. It is one, bad, thing to propose being different when there is no example to see and when all the worst things that might happen can fill the mind. But when we can say, "Oh, maybe we should try some of that stuff old RobpatRob is doing, he seems to be having fun" maybe then we can ease people from the chrysalis of their present into the butterfly of their future without focusing on the gory details.
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Slightly different take. Ideas come from the outside, in. They "occur" to minds in different places at different times. The steam engine "occurred" to Hero, the Helicopter "occurred" to Leonardo, and several others through history, but the occurrence is not enough, it needs to "occur" in the right environment as well. Or to quote Charles Hoy Fort, "when its steam engine time, it steam engines'. Great ideas often occur to people in different places almost simultaneously, but unless they occur when the other necessary components of their fulfilment already exist, nothing comes of it except the opportunity, later, to look back at the drawings and see how prescient Leonardo was. Perhaps all those ideas are there already, trying to be born, hammering at receptive minds, demanding to be made but, until the world is able to make them, fruitlessly. Our minds and bodies may be just the pathways and the tools for memes to express themselves in the universe.
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Actually, History IS your therapist. Attendance is compulsory, payment is exacted from your ass without appeal or discount vouchers and the method is kill or cure. Do we have their attention yet?
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The problem appears to be that the Icelanders made specific, and present, the terms of repayment. In all other cases the responsibility and costs of repayment are being dumped on our grandchildren, an example of inter-generational theft that pretty much meets a prima facie test of the criminal. BTW, it was Greenland that featured in Collapse, not Iceland.
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I'm doing something like that here in Auckland NZ, along with plenty of others. When I walk the dogs I take note of where the productive trees are and, as they come into season I'm getting better at wandering in and asking to pick them. This year we have 3KG of pretty good olives from one ornamental border and about 6.5 litres of cider from one untended apple tree and another 40 KG of tree-ripened Granny Smiths from a couple of others. Most of it destined for cider or vinegar but maybe 10KG as fresh or dried apple chips. My neighbours too have apple and peach trees that they don't harvest and get predatory visitations in season. On the other hand, if we hope to build a sustainable urban food system, we should be doing a Johnny Appleseed with every spare cutting to fill the streets and verges with productive trees. Maybe we should be promoting the "Edible city" brand.
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Only things I'd change would be to make credit card debt the first target, followed by the mortgage. Then get gardening. I've said to a couple of garden gatherings, that if you have a choice of a second job or starting a garden, take the job and pay off the mortgage. There is no sense in having a great garden that can be taken off you. We have done all the rest and we are aiming for a weekly cost of living around $200 a week. Next is save up enough cash to keep us going at that rate for a year. Not easy when one of you discovers they need some serious dentistry. =(
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I you thought the screaming about people "stealing" software and entertainment, just WAIT till companies discover that one of us can buy a product then print endless copies without paying them for them. Another interesting point is that we can now make objects that could not be assembled from discrete parts, presumably at any scale that is greater than the diameter of the print head. SERIOUSLY cool.
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heh. If you think the screaming about people "stealing" software and music/video was noisy, just WAIT till companies discover that one of us can buy a product then print endless copies without paying them for them. Another interesting point is that we can now make objects that could not be assembled from discrete parts, presumably at any scale that is greater than the diameter of the print head. SERIOUSLY cool.
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You know that we agree on most things but the hardest of all to agree on is your last point; that we are where we have to be in order to transition to the next phase, whatever that may be. We have reached the precipice and now we have to jump, like Butch and Sundance. The real challenge is to jump as far as possible, to put our every energy into getting as far out into the new stream as we can, to find the deepest water, hoping that we can clear the rocks on the edge and not drown in the new environment. Those who cling to the old will be crushed by it, those afraid to leap far enough will not make it and even some of those who make it will find they can't swim. What you don't say is that, while we have to be here, not all of us will make it across. There will be a winnowing. It will not be pretty.
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Dana. You elevate Franky too far. Trolling is a subtle and subversive art where the Troll attempts to undermine the discourse. Franky manages bluster, sarcasm and a fine line is internal contradiction, oh, and literacy, but please don't insult the trolls.
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2010 on The ghosts of hate at Dana Blankenhorn
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There will be a LOT less trash and practically no waste, that's got to be part of the definition of resilient community. Our philosophy, though we can't yet claim to meet it, is that if it comes on to the property, it stays on the property and if its consumed here, its produced here. We are a long way from achieving that in suburban Auckland NZ, but out trash goes out about once in 8 weeks and the recycling bin more rarely than that. As we power down, there will be so much less trash because we wont be able to afford the things that come in "disposable" packaging and we will be making a lot more of the rest ourselves.
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Mar 15, 2010
Actually, mine was an ID 19 not a DS, couldn't afford that in the 70's
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I had one of those back in the 70's. Loved it. Responsible for my only speeding ticket so far when i took it out on the road south of New Plymouth to clean out the valves per instructions. Take it up to 80kph in first, then 100 in 2nd and hold it for about 3 minutes. By the end of which the coked up valves would be clean as a whistle. Unfortunately, a cop was lurking in the 80kph zone and nicked me accordingly.
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Tebow sets off my gaydar in a flash. This guy is conflicted.
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Whoa Larry, scary stuff old bean. Fortunately, we don't have the resources left to get into wars on the scale that might return some national sense of self. On the other hand, Kurt Vonnegut had a really good idea with Lonesome No More. What we need are more Wampeters and Granfalloons. Actually, what you sound like si someone who is lonely and a bit afraid of that.
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Heh. Good luck telling CNN and co that they are exploiting anything. They wont understand the statement. Exploiting other people's distress is what the media do, its in their DNA. While the specific occasion is gruesome beyond belief, what you are telling them to do is close down and go away from everything they touch. Maybe Gasho's suggestion would be best for now.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2010 on Please Stop, Anderson. Just STOP. at BAGnewsNotes
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The difference between them is that Bush only did golf and brush cutting, apart from starting wars. For Obama, the golf is a rest from the work he does, for Bush it was all he could do.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2009 on Politico's Wedge Shot at BAGnewsNotes
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