Category: Indigestion

Indigestion 10/17/2013

How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses

I fucking hated public school with a passion and when I first read A.S. Neill’s Summerhill in Jr. High, there was no longer any doubt in my mind that the school system was an absurdity. This was also the period in my life when I began to learn about anarchism, specifically because anarchists have been pointing out problems with what we know of as schooling for as long as they’ve been writing (and they weren’t the first, as this article demonstrates). I don’t think that the internet and other forms of digital technology make these methods of teaching any more possible than they were in 1911 when anarchists opened up the Modern School, as the article wants to suggest. However, I do think that these technologies create an easily observable example of the basic principals of what may be called anti-authoritarian education, which have been doubted so much in the historical debates surrounding schooling.

The article also points towards some of the reasons why schools take an authoritarian form, but I think there are more factors than the demands of industry and contemporary businesses. The history of compulsory education in the United States goes back to the 17th Century and the methods used, which weren’t terribly different from today, were brought over from England. The Nation State had a lot more to do with it than market interests. By the time industrial capitalism really began to take off in the US, progressives like John Dewey were already spouting theories similar to radicals about education, but were likewise mostly practised as alternative education. The demands of capitalism enter the picture much more-so in the 20th Century, but didn’t have much of an impact on this aspect of schooling.

If you want a really good summary of this history from an anarchist perspective, I highly suggest this: http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/matt-hern-the-emergence-of-compulsory-schooling-and-anarchist-resistance

Women who feel entitled more likely to endorse benevolent sexism, study finds

Big surprise, women in the US with a higher sense of entitlement contribute to sexism because they feel like they deserve to be treated like princesses.

Two Wal-Marts Are Taken Advantage of Because of a Food Stamp Glitch… People Freak the Fuck Out

With the apparent response to this event, you’d think that Arizona Democrats put a bunch of paper signs on their windows with masking tape …or something. What I find interesting about this as a talking point has more to do with the way in which food stamps wind up funding Wal-Mart and places like it. This is something that I’ve been bringing up for a while: corporations have plenty of self-interest in food stamp programs since so many people (and I don’t know the figures) spend them at those corporations. I think it’s interesting that this argument against food stamps is available for small government, anti-corporate right wing types and yet they want to stop thinking at their petty “poor people are lazy and don’t deserve my hard earned money”. Then again, I don’t think those types would be any happier if small local business and shit got a little fatter from food stamps. Anyway… fuck Wal-Mart, let’s eat.

99 Life Hacks That Could Make Your Life Easier

I really like little life hacks since I don’t usually go about small, everyday tasks in the most rational way… and that’s an understatement. There’s some ones in here that I think are neat. What more could I ask for from this kind of thing?

…..AAAAANNNNND if You Haven’t Heard, the Government Shut-Down is Over.

Indigestion 10/14/2013

Charlie Brooker Still Kicking Ass with Black Mirror Series

The first time I ever saw something from Charlie Brooker, it was his hilarious summary of every news report you’ve ever seen on network television. I spent a good while browsing whatever I could find on YouTube (most of which is a bit dated for me to bother posting). Over the past few weeks, I was recently reunited with Brooker’s satirical brilliance with his recent BBC mini-series, Black Mirror. The mini-series is dark, cynical, and sometimes futuristic. It begins in episode 1 with a story called the National Anthem …something I think anyone with a sick sense of humor will enjoy. It’s easy to find a way to watch this episode that suits you, so I won’t spoil it. While the National Anthem sets a precedence for psychological terror, Brooker also comes around to some lighter themes; for instance, in season 2’s Waldo (which is another one I thoroughly enjoyed). While I do have my favorites, I would definitely recommend watching every episode of this sexy show.

Facebook and Google This Week

new-facebook-logo-64x64This week, Facebook makes it more difficult to keep your shit hidden from other users and Google puts your face on blast in their ads. If you use either of these, this article is worth reading (assuming you even give a shit).

$52.6 Billion on Secret Government Programs? Yup.

Funding for 2013’s secret intelligence operations is actually down from 2012, but thanks to Snowden we can talk about this with concrete figures. What we also know from Snowden’s leaks is how this funding is used: counter-intelligence, offensive cyber warfare, domestic spying, etc. etc. I can’t say that anything about this news is surprising for me, but it’s worth mentioning that this was the big week when  this year’s secret operations’ spending was revealed.

Forbes Magazine Kind Of Gets Into the Anarcho-Capitalist Debate

Apparently, the epitome of mid-20th Century Anarchism took a historical turn, rebelling against anarchism’s moral roots in Marxist class analysis and promoting capitalist markets as the utopian vision of stateless society …”anarchy”. For fuck sake! I’m not sure if this is a win or a lose for socalled anarcho-capitalists. It’s certainly a narrative that I’ve heard some anCaps spout in, even if they leave off the end of Forbes’ article which concludes that these ideas are utopian, like all isms. What Forbes does get right to an extent is that anarcho-capitalism is extremely moralistic and academic. What it gets wrong, of course, is almost everything else about anarchism.  The article uses some quotes from Malatesta, Proudhon, and Orwell to represent the anti-capitalist version of anarchism as primarily a moral philosophy and a utopian one at that. Quotes which would be obscure to anyone who hasn’t studied their authors’ thoughts about anarchism and not very representative for anyone who has.

While it is interesting that they contrast turn-of-the-century anarchism as one of “the Deed” from anarcho-capitalism since anCaps aren’t exactly known for their direct action, it doesn’t really explain what propaganda by the deed means or how the phrase suggests an anarchist praxis. Even though they quote Proudhon, they still credit Marx for anarchist economic thought and fail to mention that Proudhon was Papa Mutualism. The Orwell quote is probably one of the least interesting things he said about anarchist Catalonia and that may be because they author didn’t finish the book to comprehend even Orwell’s account of what happened in those two years and after with anarchism in Spain. Not to mention that including Ayn Rand’s thoughts on Nietzsche is worth a thousand face-palms in an article about the moral grounds and failures of anarchist thought.

While Forbes certainly didn’t make any new anarchist friends with this article, it may have at least annoyed a few anCaps.

CrimethInc’s piece, Global Battle for the Soul of Humanity is fucking EXCELLENT

CrimethInc returns to their Situationist-inspired roots with an up-to-date critique of their own former radical projects and the radical projects of others today. There are so many quote-worthy nuggets in this piece that a third of the way through it, I stopped taking notes as the rapidity of direct hits continued on through the rest of it. For anyone that gave up on CrimethInc because of their early manifestation as oogles (or whatever), this isn’t the first piece that could have set you straight, but it is a good one.

 A Photographer Makes People Uncomfortable With A Sexy Exhibit of His Mother

My opinion about this is about as dry and calloused as the title I chose for the link would suggest. Among some of the other works mentioned in the article, Pretend You’re Actually Alive takes center stage with the photographer’s images of his own mother having sex, pretending to be a corpse, and talking about ageing. That’s nice, it seems like an extensive effort to publicly broach the topic of parent-child openness concerning sexuality though. Towards the end of the article, another one of Leigh Ledare’s series is mentioned which also taps into feelings of discomfort that develop through sexual relationships. In the latter, Ledare asks his ex-wife’s new husband to photograph himself having sex with his ex-wife in the same location that Ledare earlier photographed himself doing the same thing while him and his ex were still married. All I can say is that I wouldn’t want to know Leigh Ledare personally and become a potential subject for some other public exploration of sexual uneasiness.

 

Fuck the Police, All Cops Are Bastards …but if you weren’t yet convinced, here’s a story about cops targeting disabled students in multiple drug busts.

Every week I see new stories of police doing something terrible, stupid, terribly stupid, or worse. This is no exception, except that it’s easy to passively consume this story just by watching the videos included in the article.

 

The Charles Manson Movie Made By Punk Rawkers You Probably Haven’t Seen

An animated musical made by members of Green Day, Blink 182, Rancid, and AFI about the Manson Family, how can you resist? This is one of those movies that are considered a classic in my absurd cannon. I didn’t watch it for the first time this week, but I did get really excited to play some of the songs from this movie for friends. The entire thing is available on YouTube (direct link above). After watching it, you’ll know what I mean when I say “I’m not a Hippy, I’m a Slippy”.

Indigestion 10/09/2013

Another Day in the Demystification of Christianity

The Passion of Christ“Jesus Christ is a fabricated cover story for an Imperial psychological warfare operation born out of the First Jewish-Roman War in the first century.” – http://www.covertmessiah.com/

On October 19th, Joseph Atwill will be showing his documentary and talking to the British public about the extent to which claims are true of ancient Roman’s having invented Jesus Christ …entirely. The basic thesis is that the story of Jesus Christ was an invention of first century Roman elites, who in having run into tactical problems crushing Jewish insurrections in Rome, decided to rely on a psychological approach. Supposedly at this talk, Atwill is going to present confessions made in the first century in regards to the invention of Christ. Unable to watch the documentary myself, I can’t give much of an overview of what the facts are that Atwill depends on to evidence the specificity of his claims. Although, generally I don’t think it is so far-fetched a notion that Jesus Christ is exactly what many people have thought him to be …a political tool used for social control. I will definitely be following how this story unfolds and hoping to not be disappointed by the quality of the research.

A Skeptical Inquiry into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Laughing_Data(One of the fictional representations of an INTP)

This week I attempted to field the opinions of a comrade of mine about personality theories, specifically Myers-Briggs, which is based on C.G. Jung’s cognitive functions and archetypes. Although it wasn’t much of a debate, my comrade’s opinion in my words (after what I can only imagine was a short exploration) was that like astrology and other such bullshit, the Myers-Briggs is worthless pseudo-science and fundamentally flawed because of the Forer Effect. While I especially agree because the MBTI is often administered on the internet and verified only by the test subjects, I had already invested enough energy into studying this system to mine it for anything useful.

Before getting to Myers-Briggs, personality theory in its entirety doesn’t have the most solid basis. Whether someone is considering psychological type theories or psychological trait theories (the two main forms personality theory takes), the best they seem able to conclude is that an individual has tendencies or preferences towards the use of certain behaviors that in concert may or may not closely match predefined types. At their worst, type theories will come right out of someone’s ass (which can be seen in abundance with New Age literature, Astrology, and novelty tests taken on the internet or in teen magazines) and trait theory can describe traits which hardly have any universal ground in human behavior. Of the better examples of personality tests there is the Big Five, the MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), and the TAT (Thematic Apperception Test), none of which I will be covering for numerous reasons.

Like even the most superficial and astoundingly absurd personality tests, it’s easy to find an abundance of true believers on the internet. Unlike many of those tests, the MBTI is often used as a professional tool for career advisement and other forms of counseling (even though the 1991 National Academy of Sciences committee concluded at the time there was “not sufficient, well-designed research to justify the use of the MBTI in career counseling programs”). Based on testing subjects for strengths in 8 different cognitive functions, it offers an array of 16 personality types …only one of which represents the best fit for anyone, everywhere, for their entire life. These cognitive functions are divided into four dichotomies, each of which concludes a dominant functional use of introversion/extroversion, intuition/sensing, thinking/feeling, and perceiving/judging. Although all eight of these terms have specific definitions, they are meant to be understood in combinations (such as Extroverted-Sensing and Introverted-Feeling) which are difference in predominant use for each type. Fundamentally, there is good reason to believe that these cognitive functions exist and can be understood in this way; but, accuracy in testing how much and to what extent someone uses them is low for the MBTI (except on the introversion-extroversion scale) and it is questionable to what extent they can be understood dichotomously.

Another consistent problem for the MBTI has been that around 39-76% of the time people re-test, they are assigned a different personality type. This has been true for me over the years, having most consistently been assigned INTP (which apparently has a high correlation with the DSM’s schizotypal personality disorder – lol), but also at times having been assigned INFP, INTJ, and others. So far, it’s looking pretty shitty for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. From personal experience I can tell you that when I was assigned different types, there have been very specific context-related reasons for why I would have been giving answers these other types give. This criticism is often countered with MBTI-supporters saying that anyone can use any cognitive function, but more considerate testing and verification would show that I have always been one type and that when I obtained different results it was because at the time I had a reason to be using those other functions more. It’s a nice surface-level retort, but I probably wouldn’t have been in those contexts mentally, emotionally, or circumstantially to begin with if I was really at bottom one type for always and ever.

Some of the few things that have been interesting in studying Myers-Briggs are that the statistical distribution of types in the population seems to be consistent, the cognitive functions themselves and how they relate to behavior is informative, and some social dynamics which are talked about when various types interact (or people with preferences for various cognitive traits) might be useful. In the online forums, I noticed that I did have a lot in common with those of my type or close to my type which I didn’t share with those who were further from my type. Even though there are 16 individual types, they correlate with the 4 temperaments of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, and Rational which has its own interesting history) and it seems to me like this more general categorization has shown the most broad behavioral distinctions. The most I can say that I’ve be able to use from studying this has been the correlations between cognitive functions and various forms of behavior (which isn’t specific to Myers-Briggs). Admitted and despite my apprehensions, if someone were to ask me how well a description of my usual MBTI type represents me, I would have to say more accurately and better than anyone or anything else’s has before (except my own, which this has nothing on).

Conclusion: pretty much unfounded, only somewhat useful, and only sometimes meaningfully descriptive.

Some Works of Impenetrable Beauty

A friend of mine posted a link to the Codex Seraphinianus, which is the work of an Italian architect, illustrator and industrial designer from the 1970’s. Though I love the images and the use of an untranslatable script, I couldn’t quite remember where I had seen something like this before. Then while reviewing the blog I was looking at, I remembered that I had heard about the Voynich Manuscript from watching one of those ancient aliens guys talking about it as some kind of mysterious artefact that somehow suggested extra-terrestrial life. I don’t even want to get into criticisms of the ancient aliens show, considerations of DNA scientists recently discovered in the Earth’s atmosphere that they’re almost certain is extra-terrestrial, or proposals that human DNA has ET connections. What I do want to do though is show you these two pretty picture books!

The Voynich Manuscript

The Codex Seraphinianus

[Reason for Lack of Content Today: I have had shit to do and haven’t been reading as much… that’s why]

Indigestion 10/06/2013

~Death Lake Magic~

stoneducklake

A lake that turns living creatures to stone? I’m in love!

Natron is both the name of a lake and the naturally occurring mineral after which the lake is named. Animals immersed in a solution of it will die and become calcified (with a few rare exceptions).

Nice…

Westboro Baptists Come Too Close For Comfort To Woman Enjoying Herself

I’ve gotten myself off in some pretty unsexy places, but it’d really take a kinky mood for me to even try to pull this off. Congrats to Get Shot! for making something of a statement …or at least for their heroics in marketing, as this mostly seems to have the effect of being an advertisement for their porn site. Apparently, they are the first band on Earth to start a porn site, so they say… and I don’t doubt them. To point out the obvious, I’m sure as with Suicide Girls and God’s Girls, it’s pretty heteronormative and arguably sexist material. As for pranks that the Westboro Baptist Church has faced, there’s been some other goodies from Bash Back! (only one of which is the first video on the site) and Russell Brand.  I feel like Westboro Baptist Church is a dead horse by now …which means flog the fucking thing until its remains are barely recognizable. Fuck them.

The US Indicts 13 Anonymous Comrades

At the beginning of the week, the FBI used its delete key on piece of shit Ross Ulbricht and the site Silk Road. On Thursday, the State indicted 13 comrades for alleged participation in Anonymous’ Operation Pay-Back: a retaliatory effort to slap the government for trying to delete the Pirate Bay. As has been the misfortune of many radicals and resistors, the State is using its gruesome grand jury process for prosecution and of course, to see who will crack and rat out other participants in Anonymous-related direct actions. If you don’t know what a grand jury means, you can find out all about them here. Good luck to those who will probably be called the [something] 13.

The NSA and GCHQ Target TOR

This Guardian piece is a pretty good overview of the battle which has been taking place between the NSA and everyone who uses TOR for whatever reason. The bad news is that the NSA has been able to take advantage of vulnerabilities in older versions of Mozilla Firefox and theoretical methods for de-anonymizing TOR users have been presented in secret NSA documents. The good news is that newer versions of Firefox are not vulnerable to these NSA attacks and TOR itself is pretty fucking resilient. Something interesting that the piece touches on is the conflicting interests of the State in maintaining the security of TOR.

Exploring Generational Difference with Dr. Larry Rosen

In Phantom Phone Vibrations: So Common They’ve Changed Our Brains?, Dr. Larry Rosen’s thought-crumbs are briefly featured midst even more inane quotes and links about the psychological impact of mobile phones (such as a lady who mistakes cow moos for her phone and a research paper that concludes its subjects don’t need treatment for phantom phone vibrations). Feeling burned, I wanted to at least explore the topic a little more by checking out what Dr. Rosen has to say …beyond almost nothing. I visited his website and navigated over to the media section to watch his interview.

From this interview, it seems like Rosen’s main area of interest is in the way which different generations and technologies relate; a conversation topic which frequently comes up for me. While the generations are categorized by Dr. Rosen into a number of groups (the Baby Boomers, Generation X, the Net Generation, the iGeneration, and Generation C), he also relies on a binary split between so-called “Digital Immigrants” and “Digital Natives”. This distinction comes into play with Generation X, after which people who are born are no longer migrating into a foreign world of digital technologies, but are native to . Comparing a Digital Immigrant with a Digital Native can be quite dramatic, with Baby Boomers struggling to keep up with 8 year old computer consultants and 9 year old smartphone application developers. Since it is these younger generations of Digital Natives that are mysterious and fascinating, explaining the extent to which these technologies shape their communication skills, daily routines, learning methods, and working habits becomes the focus of the interview.

What Dr. Rosen finds is that Digital Natives are more creative, switch between tasks more often and may be better at it than Digital Immigrants, face problems comprehending the impact of context while communicating, rely on text messages and social networking sites more than e-mail and phones, and lose sleep to mid-slumber conversations. This lays the groundwork for the advice Rosen later has for the Digital Immigrants that are parents and teachers. He also briefly mentions that digital technologies are making us all look like candidates for ADD, OCD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Voyeurism, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Facebook Depression Disorder. <-lol

Ok, so what this guy is saying isn’t surprising or too controversial. If you’ve ever interacted with someone under 30, you’ve probably noticed most of this. Being on the cusp of generational transitions in a number of systems (born in 1985), what interests me the most about this is exploring the details of different rule-sets I’ve learned to rely on if someone is older or younger than me. It’s a frustrating position. The Digital Immigrant in me is nostalgic for using landlines and payphones to orchestrate outdoor meet-ups, while the Digital Native in me can’t stand being on a telephone call for very long, hates the organization of work by older generations, and yet doesn’t intuitively understand the sorts of context-recognition issues that come with growing up immersed in digital communications. It’s a very strange mish-mosh of traits from both sides of the generational split.

Down and Drought’s TAILGATE: PHOENIX’S SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL SPIRALS OUT OF CONTROL

In local surveillance state news, Down and Drought has busted out another one of their top-notch pieces. This time, we get to read all about recent practices and technologies used by the Phoenix Police Department at a college football game and how this ties in with broader campaigns of state repression in the area. You wouldn’t know from the material I’ve included so far in Indigestion, but local anarchists have been doing an excellent job of exposing the police state here and maintaining a fresh analysis of ongoing struggles. A lot of this can be seen from references to past events in this current Down and Drought article, as well by checking out some of the other articles and resources on their site.

Petty, Shortsighted Americans Outraged At Legislature That Represents Them Perfectly

…Just a break for some more the Onion lolz leading into…

We Asked a Military Expert if All the World’s Armies Could Shut Down the US

Well here we fucking have it, the question of all questions about  US geo-political power: Who would win in a fight, the United States or the Rest of the World? The military expert’s short answer, “The combined military air- and sealift capability of the rest of the world would be insufficient to even get a foothold on the continental United States.” As for taking up a revolutionary position in the United States with this as the global last word scenario, it’s a grim picture. Though, revolution and even asymmetrical warfare are a lot different than this frontal battle type of hypothetical. And even that aside, I don’t think that the futility of a revolution in this country makes anarchist positions futile. If you can’t beat em then join em logic is horse shit. But I’ve digressed, military expert has a reasonable way of explaining the problems with anyone and everyone conquering the United States, which I thought was worth my five minutes.

Swiss to Vote on Guaranteed $2800 Monthly Income for All Adults

$2,800 every month?! Fucking hell that’s more than I’ve ever made at a full time job. That’s actually almost three times what I usually make if I’m lucky enough to get 40 hours of paid labor. Ok… ok, well good for them. Let me go and unclog my motivation from the toilet now.

Steve Lambert Asks Americans If Capitalism Works for Them

Steve Lambert is spot on when he demonstrates the problem of talking about capitalism by saying that it is like walking up to someone and asking if you could have a conversation with them about the Lord, Jesus Christ. His current project gets around some of these problems by making the question personal with a giant sign he is touring around with that reads “Capitalism works for me!”.  Local passers-by step up and push a true or false button, adding a point to either side of what looks like a score board. It’s actually a little more involved than you would think without hearing Lambert talk about his project (for example, in one of the videos on his site). Check out his introductory lecture and some of the interviews… see if he’ll be in your town!

Indigestion 10/02/2013

This is the first digest in what I plan to continue as an ongoing project. I’m not sure how frequently I’m going to do these because some of this is more interesting the earlier it is read, but I’m considering a weekly if not bi-weekly release. My thoughts are that instead of passively consuming and then sharing this media on Facebook, with the exception of a comment about them here and there, I’m going to accumulate these things I read and watch and make an effort to write something more substantial in response. Admittedly, the point of me doing this is to get myself back into the habit of writing more frequently and about more contemporary and relevant issues. I don’t have any real expectations from this project except for the latter affect on my own daily life rituals.

Area Man Unsure If He’s Male-Bonding Or Being Bullied

I often like what I see on the Onion and this is no exception. I don’t want to ruin a joke by analysing it, so I’m just going to let a bit of man complaining drift into this next piece…

Dating Tips For The Feminist Man

The audience targeting in this is so damn goofy that my conclusion is …I like this article and I don’t. Let’s start with this second paragraph:

“You’re a straight monogamous cismale who identifies as a leftie. Maybe you’re a Marxist or a socialist; maybe you’re an anarchist. You respect women. You would never act like a player. You fall in love with strong, smart, feminist women. You believe that our movements are stronger if they include everyone.”

I almost stopped reading there as a queer, almost monogamousish sort-of person, who could sometimes be thought of as not cismale, and who is anti-Left or post-Left or something like that. But ok, that’s me and I’m sure there are plenty of these types the author is aiming at who for some reason have shit interpersonal relationship skills. This article is more-so advice for just about anyone and with the emphasis on hooking up, this may not be the sort of advice someone is looking for when they think of dating tips (there’s less talk of on-date etiquette and more talk about what to do before, during, and after having sex). There’s some good don’t be a fucking dick tips which some people may need to hear every so often, even if they’re not the target audience or even that much of a dick. So when it comes to elaborating on exactly what being a dick means, this is definitely a good reference. There is some other issues I have, for instance my individualism and values for mutuality and solidarity aren’t a contradiction, contra #11. I also have problems with #16, considering that behaviours of “retreat[ing] into your head or use[ing] logic to disconnect from empathy when you find emotions coming your way” is more than just an effect of sexism …and it’s fucking ablist to tell someone who isn’t neuro-typical with emotions that it is. Then again, the author might as well just add neuro-typical to that list in the second paragraph. Aside from that a lot of what bugs me is word choice and the main concerns of the piece come through fine.

 

Yes, My Musician Kids Have Jobs. They’re Musicians.

A nice example of parenting from the father of a Days N Daze member …or at least that is what I was told with the article’s posting since it doesn’t actually mention what band this guy’s talking about.

I can relate to this article in my own way because I was brought up by parents with a very similar attitude about my creative projects and lifestyle. Just as much, I often overheard my folks putting what I was doing in the language of business or in some way justifying to their friends what they were letting me do in supposedly adult terms. I know I didn’t think about what I was doing in that way and I have no idea if this band does because really, I haven’t listened to them much. But, I’ve had friends who have faced some nasty consequences from their parents in their struggle to basically just live a different lifestyle. In their perspective, any labor (creative, social, etc.) that has come with surviving with different values was seen more as a compromise than the pursuit of a profession and a good amount of “fuck work” masked the actual work this article points out. Either way, go Dad.

 

FBI seizes underground drug market Silk Road, owner indicted in New York

First of all, some of the responses I’ve seen to this have come from the naive perspective that Silk Road is the terrorist go to hotspot on the dark web. I’m not sure how anyone could get this idea if they’re already familiar with TOR routed websites, and if you aren’t I’d suggest this decent overview from GeekBlog’s YouTube. That being said, boohoo for almost a million people who were getting their thrills and chills from Silk Road …and even more boohoo for all the agorists, free market fundamentalists, black market enthusiasts, bitcoin utopians, or in other words white, middle-class economics geeks with scorn for history. Most of the tears will be coming from Ross Ulbricht, though. The man supposedly behind the Silk Road owner account Dread Pirate Roberts, who allegedly succeeded in two BitCoin-operated hired assassinations, like any good ancap says shit like this: “Now, my goals have shifted. I want to use economic theory as a means to abolish the use of coercion and agression amongst mankind … I am creating an economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.” Apparently a world without the systemic use of force is a world with… oh, a world which uses systems of coercion and force paid for in digital currencies. But at least everything could be a legitimate commodity in that world, right?

Here’s some discussion by anarcho-capitalists being trolled by some anarcho-friendlies on Reddit

 

Coming Soon? An Occupy Wall Street Debit Card

In other capitalist apologizer news, the Occupy Money Cooperative is making headway on its plans to digitize your currency with comrade Deutsche Bank and ally Visa. I agree with the point at the end of this article that since Occupy is a consensus-based movement an approved cooperative, spoke, or whatever shouldn’t use the Occupy brand. If some Occupy-associated group wants to compete in the financial instrument markets then as I’d argue for anarchist groups associated with the Occupy Movement, they don’t need approval to do so. Overall, the Occupy Money Cooperative can go fuck itself and I don’t consent (in the fantasy that is now Occupy) to their association to begin with.

For further insight and critique of the scum bags that are the Occupy Money Cooperative, I’ll leave you to check out Suzahn Ebrahimian’s article which carries a similar perspective nicely.

 

The ‘sell-by’ dates on your groceries are useless. Here’s why.

I take it as a given that ‘sell-by’ dates are useless, but I never realized exactly how incoherent these systems are and food waste is one of those stastical figures that doesn’t stick in my brains.

There’s no question that food waste is a problem both from grocers and from restaurants. This issue has bothered me since I heard someone compare how many people go hungry nationally and globally with the insane amount of food that is thrown out in the US …and that’s before thinking about how much food would be saved from a more reasonable diet and the real impact vegetarianism has the more people adopt it (even though I don’t). Granted, the issue with ‘sell-by’ dates is a problem that I’ve benefited from in a huge way from dumpstering and the same can be said for plenty of people I know. I am pretty sure though that I would prefer to live in a community that does not produce so much food for the bins in the first place.

 

Disinfo Wars: Alex Jones’ War on Your Mind

Alex Jones… sucks. You can read this article if you want some specific data which demonstrates the extent to which he sucks, but you probably already know that this guy sucks. The article itself is, not bad. I don’t find its main argument very useful – which is that Alex Jones disrupts the spread of credible research and he might as well be a CIA operative carrying out COINTELPRO – for the most part because I think that’s an obnoxious argument that gets tossed about whenever someone thinks they are entitled to more attention for their research. I’ve known plenty of idiots that are Alex Jones fans who are impossible to convince of Jones’ bullshit; but, I’m positive that those same people would latch onto some other hokey garbage if Jones wasn’t around. What’s interesting to me is how much this dip-shit lies. I can verify for myself several things he’s lied about (every black bloc and riot being a false flag) and much of his commentary is clearly looney tunes. But, some of the things in this article show that Alex Jones isn’t just in the wing-nut camp, he’s intentionally deceptive. Even in his somewhat well-known documentation of the Bohemian Grove’s Cremation of Care ceremony, his sensationalizing goes beyond mere hype and into straight-up deception: the mother fucker was invited to it and snuck in without any fear of consequences.

 

 

Arizona Democrats, Obama Supporters Trash Office of Congressman David Schweikert

Come… QUICK! Somebody just put sticky notes on the principle’s door! “Pssst” whispers one teacher to another, “I heard it was actually student council members.”

trashedoffice

Nope, just a bunch of liberals letting off some steam; or, more like unrolling some masking tape.

What Happens If The Debt Ceiling Is Breached?

When economics tries to be doom and gloomy, it’s still some pretty dry shit. Instead of posting something about the government shutdown though, I wanted to put some focus on this. I’m not going to bother summarizing this one since I read it to learn more which also is to say that I probably couldn’t perform much of a critique (or even a summary). But there you go! That does it for the first half of the week.

 

 

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