The Ledger is Already Distributed

The ledger is already distributed. All that is left to do is connect it.

Much of our thinking around distributed ledger technology (DLT) is backward. Personal information should be stored locally on personal hardware devices, and served to those who request it, not stored in centralized databases under an associated, yet disparate, user id.

Public blockchains, like one for land or car registry, for instance, or any other transaction for that matter, should be the repository for the associations and outcomes of said transaction. For example, a hash on a public blockchain may reflect that KEY XYZ transferred TOKEN 123 to KEY ABC. How much about KEY XYZ, TOKEN 123, and KEY ABC is made available is up to those who have a stake in the transaction choose to reveal.

All this not only already exists but also occurs in both our digital and real life. The missing link is connecting the distributed ledger of our personal information with the public ledger of our social interactions with other entities.

Bane of Earth

bane of Earth
spawn of Hell
devil incarnate
clawed from the womb of the Mother
forged in the furnace of selfishness
fueled by ancient blood
fire-breathing monster of the indolent mass
serpentine footprint spreads
marking in stone
passage of the Beast

Vanity of a Bike Commuter

I feel so much cooler
than the people in their cars.
They can feel it too.
Even the wealthy woman
in her sixty-thousand dollar Lexus
looks with envy at my
five hundred dollar Specialized
as I glide noiselessly past,
through weather she would not check her mail in.
I can feel their animosity grow
as I illuminate their selfishness and fear
with my example of non-conformist green living.
Who does he think he is,
riding a bike in winter?
Why doesn't he get a car
like everybody else?

Cafe News, Vol. 3

So there I was, no shit. I love when there is truth to vernacular. I pushed myself off the ground and spit a little blood. Damn, that shit tastes good when you know you earned it.

Thank god for a fair fight. I was so exposed I was already dead, save my life had been spared by the thin veneer of honor. Of course I’d been up once myself and could have walked away. That was gone; two down as I shoved myself to my feet and got square. I probably couldn’t take but one more. I know my limits.

They told me to stay down. I only choose to press on when I feel certain I’m right, when I believe the blind lady of justice can’t help but deign to my position. I couldn’t see straight. Things kept fading in and out. The left knee was quivering a tiny bit, beginning to fold. The left fist scoffed and ordered the troops to kill the first traitor to admit defeat.

There was nothing left of strategy or gamesmanship. Tired as any, the finish wanted its arrival just as much as I. Give off with your deception and declare a clear victor. Suspend the tension of whether or not there’s a question. There is no question. Only control of a moment.

I strike first, betraying my disguise. I feign defense. By design I counter only, only to set precedence. I am just like you. I want to be first. I don’t want to be limited to the course of reaction. I too want to choose the instant when.

I miss but force a back step, an episodic loss of balance. I have planned for this need for redundancy. I have planned for many such events.

When things go wrong, they go wrong fast. You think you have it all figured out, have deciphered all the riddles, have finally conquered all. One moment you are the god of your own experience and your will is law. The next moment you’re on the ground wondering what exact instant it went wrong. It’s the same moment, you realize much later after deep reflection. It’s the same fucking moment.

I don’t really remember much other than coming to. After that I remember being conscious, but the images are so vague, the memories so fast and faded, I can’t express them. After a while, I could think again, could see and hear the world the way I had before, filed my thoughts the same way. But I always knew there was this time before, this time when I was someone else. Someone who had not yet chose.

Life went back to normal or so it seemed. Nothing in life ever seems normal. I lived better, which is always good. When all else fails, failure doesn’t. In all but the weakest it can only strengthen, save in final conflict with death.

Why I was fighting, one can only guess and only one can know. I think it is inherent, like the Buddha said. I can’t help but fight. It is how I know I’m here.

Everyone knew I was a fool, just like I knew they were. It hurt sometimes, when there wasn’t enough tension or sex or sexual tension to make the punishment worth the crime. Physical only goes so far. After a while, only pain feels real. Blood always tastes good when you earn it.

I like taking a lick. It’s a trait I take great pride in. I take one hell of a punch. It’s surprises people sometimes. I mean, shit, it surprises me.

What I hate is stepping right into it. It seems fitting when the body fails; it’s the mind I have a quarrel with. Where were you on that one, genius? Off patting yourself on the back somewhere? It’s as if you planned it or something.

Wait a minute.

The Anarchist Charter

The fact is we must accept our anarchist state. There can, and should, be associations, individuals banded together in common cause, but anarchy is the default, so this is where we must begin. Not “you are a citizen of this country or that” or “you belong to this political system or that”, no. Our starting point is, you are a human being, and you are accountable to yourself.

Certainly, there is the family into which you are born, your tribe, your community. These hold and shape you until you achieve your majority. But they should not make any claim to your sovereignty. “Pledge allegiance to the flag.” Such demands are atrocities.

No individual or association can make a sovereign claim to the Earth or portion thereof. Any such claim is unsubstantiated, bordering on, not other nations, but the ridiculous. The oceans of air and water that encircle the globe affirm this truth. The inhalation of Asia is taken in conjunction with the exhalation of America. We are all inhabitants of the same world. The full extent of the Earth is held in common trust, for the good of all.

All nations, then, from this point forward, are rendered null and void. They remain, as voluntary associations, for as long as their constituents deem appropriate, but they hold no sway over the  emigration and immigration of peoples. Any person or group of persons retains the right to reside wherever they may desire, so long as there exists in that place the means to do so.

Abolished and rescinded is the privilege of any individual or association, national or corporate, to the private ownership and control of the natural resources of the Earth. Those who make use of these Commons must recompense their fellows for any said use. This holds as much for their instauration as their extraction. Payment for such use of the Commons will be entered into a global trust, and a share of these proceeds paid to every member of society on a regular basis.

All land will be relegated to its highest and best use, as indicated by the best available science. Soil, its conservation and regeneration, and the agricultural use thereof, will be the primary determinant in further land use decisions. Organic production, carbon sequestration, and the quality of air and water claim paramountcy, with all other concerns subservient to these considerations.

Of our current associations – social, politic, and economic – their sights must be set on realizing this state, and their agenda likewise. They shall not, for now, be disbanded, for over time self-determination will properly establish their reconstitution. They are, in fact, necessary to our cause, else they would not exist, a prerequisite of continued evolution. However, to them applies the above directive, and nothing less will be accepted.

The lives of the people are theirs, and their right to live freely shall not be impeded, in so far as the exercise of that right does not impinge upon the rights of others to do the same.

Let us set forth, clearly, the basic principles that guide us. That all are created equal, with equal right to assume responsibility for their own lives, to exercise that right to achieve their highest possibility, and, in doing so, contribute to the greater social welfare. That all have equal stake in the use of the Commons, which is the whole of the Earth, for their provision and subsistence. That our use of the Earth and the natural resources that comprise it be guided by their own organic articulation, which may be understood through observation, measurement, and deliberate reflection. That we minimize entropy while promoting diversity and regeneration in all our ways and practices. That we find joy and meaning while realizing our purpose as the stewards of life on Earth.

Let no individual or institution come between us and this intention.

Tragedy of American Culture

Rain keeps falling, the very heavens weeping as our community mourns the loss of a child, taken too soon by a culture that values presumed convenience and a romanticized notion of personal liberty over a young person’s life.

Is the individual who caused this at fault? Of course. We must all be accountable to our actions. But there is something deeper going on here as well. Why is a man driving intoxicated through an area where people live and play in the middle of the day? Is this due entirely to his personal failing? It is easy to say it is, to escape our own complicity in this tragedy. But it would not be true.

Like those caused by guns, which similarly account for 12 deaths per 100,000 people in this country each year, this death was caused not only by an individual but also by an instrument, one glorified and perpetuated in our society. This instrument, the automobile, is the leading cause of death in the first three decades of life, followed immediately by self-inflicted gunshot wound.

By contrast, the country of France has 2.83 firearm- and 5.5 traffic-related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Why the disparity? Sheer numbers, brought about by cultural orientation. In other words, an obsessive infatuation with the car and gun. The United States has by far the highest concentration of firearms, a world leading 120 per 100 inhabitants, compared to 15 per 100 for France. And we travel double the road miles, 13000 vehicle kilometers per capita versus 6200 for the French.

It is important to note here that the French have one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world, at 12 litres per capita per year. In comparison, the rate in the United States is 9. It should also be said that the ratio of urban to rural population in the two countries is essentially the same, at approximately 80% urban. This by way of dispelling the notion that alcohol is to blame for this tragedy or that automobiles are a necessity here more than France.

No, we in this country simply prefer owning guns and driving cars to protecting its youth.

We’re Living in Someone Else’s Movie Set

To a child, this world of toys and cartoons, every artificial meme and construct, all the things that influence them and create their world view, is theirs. It belongs to them. What is strange about this is that, although they assume it, they had no hand in its creation— it was imparted to them by a bunch of 35 year olds in a design studio somewhere.

When I was a kid, the world as I knew it was made up of Sesame Street, Lincoln Logs, and Fisher-Price Little People. Later that became Lego, Star Wars, and Dungeons & Dragons. Those things made me the person that I am today. What I didn’t know, couldn’t have grasped, was that there was some 30-something somewhere imagining all these things for me. If I had, I would have thought it was a little weird. Why is this old guy making kids’ toys?

Of course, who else is going to make them? The kids themselves can’t, obviously, so somebody has to. Thing is, the vast majority of companies aren’t out to craft some grand milieu. They wanted to derive profit Z, saw need X, devised solution Y, and took it to market. What the sum total of this activity meant in terms of mise en scene, let alone the effect that living in such an environment has on the human psyche, rarely enters into the equation.

But couldn’t it? And, more importantly, shouldn’t it?

When profit is the only motive, so many other things just get left by the wayside. There just isn’t room for them. Wouldn’t it make more sense, rather than externalizing all these costs and their associated unintended consequences in order to make a profit, to turn the model on its head?

A better way might be to ask the question — if we can accomplish this thing exactly the way we want to, the way that we think is best for everyone, achieves the most ideal outcome, minimizes the downside i.e. external costs/unintended consequences, and maximizes the return on resource/energy investment, will it still turn a profit, or at least be sustainable?

If life is a movie, then the built environment is its stage and the artifacts of daily life the props, and we the directors, production designers, and cinematographers framing and creating it. Now imagine your favorite film, its carefully calculated construction, the attention to detail, and compare that with what you yourself are creating in the world. Hopefully there is as much thoughtful consideration given to your work as there was to theirs.

Black Socialist Rappers of America

I preach M.L.K. every day
Brother Malcolm knew the way
is that all u got 2 say
talkin' violence 4 your pay
that ain't y I came 2 play
ain't y I joined the fray
ain't y I mosh the stage
write rhymz across the page
damn straight I share your rage
we grip the bars of the same cage

if u ain't wit me ur against me
ain't that how the story goes
and these beatz preach the same message
treble hookin' bass straight 2 the flowz

     Brotherz ... come together
     Sisterz  ... show us the way
     Motherz  ... teach your children
     Fatherz  ... what can I say

I don't find glamour in a gun
though I once thought I might
saw Boyz in the Hood and Menace
try relate 2 the plight
but folx keep killin' their own people
with the crak rok and such
leanin' on what's (his)tory
like itz sum kind of crutch
never been above impoverished
in the Great Income Poll
but that has never kept me
from achievin' my goalz
sure I slung a little ganja
try 2 make my endz meet
but my friendz slung sax bak @ me
so it in essence came free
point is us poh'z in this 2gether
we're @ odds with the Man
and we'll all B slavez 4 ever
in their bourgeoisie plan

2day it is no different
then it waz in the past
poh sellin' out each other
2 the dominant class