meus intuitus

Archive for the ‘Freedom’ Category

ah yes, facebook

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I minimize thee.  Nobody will be allowed to post on my wall.  I will post no more things for people to comment on.  Why?  Because I do not like what Facebook does to me.  Some people may be able to handle the beast with more grace than I, but I am finding that Facebook turns me into a whore of self-promotion.  It’s like a drug—chasing these “likes.”  Fond are my Facebook memories of having over two dozen “likes” on a given post.  Often I say to myself, and I quote, “this is going to be an awesome profile picture, I am so happy.”  Indeed—so happy that I now have something “spectacular” to showcase to the world about how awesome my life, no, how awesome I am.  Look at me and all my artsy and thoughtful pictures.

Beyond what it does to me, I dislike what it does to us.  Old friends?  I don’t talk to them ever.  I “like” their crap, they “like” mine, and we subconsciously call that maintenance of our friendship.  Certainly, I am blessed to have friends legitimate enough that even without frequent catch-ups, we un-arduously “pick up where we left off” even after months without contact.  However, I am sick of the illusion of connection that Facebook sells.  I would rather have fewer “likes” and more phone calls, emails, even just messages on Facebook; I won’t dream of written letters though—a tad archaic, quite unwieldily, and possibly awkward.

I will not quit Facebook.  It has its uses and it is indeed a marvel of modern technology.  Magnificent for networking and connecting the previously easily disconnected.  It’s a fantastic medium for the sea of acquaintances in my (any) life.  Thus, I will keep it in a minimized form—one that enables me to remain connected to a degree, but one such that I no longer feel accountable to it.  I eagerly await any isolation that may come—for it will be impetus to call those I consider important to me instead of settling for dried husks of human interaction.

No offense intended—I consider none on here shallow by any means.  In all likelihood, my friends carry the mixed blessing of the Book of Faces better than I.  Only for I, for now, it has been too much of a curse.

On this day, Day 1, I feel good.  I feel a sense of… freedom.  I feel as though I am living less for the sake of some collective approval and more for the sake of my authentic self.


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January 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm

glub glub

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I feel like a fish back in its tank.  All around me there are familiar objects, overly-familiar paths, and nothing interesting at all—except my wonderful family and friends of course.  However, even with them, I am finding that I am grabbing them all by the shoulders, violently shaking them, and screaming “You have to get out of here!  Go!  Live!  Be!”  Sadly, many of them shake their heads and mutter their fears of theft, rape, and bogeymen.  Fortunately, others concur and await only the means.

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August 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Posted in expression, Freedom

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the hitchhiker

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This month in France has filled in the gaps left by my last trip to Europe.  Despite my modest efforts, I was mostly a “tourist” during my last trip to Europe.  This time, greatly facilitated by wonderful hosts and one eccentric exchange-mate, I have achieved the status of “traveler.”

Now, I have couchhosted once, couchsurfed several times, and hitchhiked some 12-24 cumulative hours over some 500 kilometers.  I love hitchhiking.

Hitchhiking takes a bland sightseeing itinerary and turns it into a true adventure.  Sure, there are places in this world where hitchhiking may be inadvisable, but one thing I’ve learned is that in most places (even more so in developed nations), people are nice.

Think about the local and regional roads you frequent—going to the supermarket, driving to your parents’ house, driving to school:  What kind of people drive on your roads?  Parents, uncles, middle-managers, carpenters, university students; what I’m getting at is that the vast majority of people on the road are decent human beings.  The world is full of good people—and when they see me, the quirky hitchhiker, they will honk in support, laugh in good humor, throw up their hands up wishing they were adventurous enough to pick me up, or…  they will pick me up.  The people who pick up hitchhikers are among the nicest—but not only that, they are sharp and confident people.

Interestingly, more women picked myself and my female traveling companion up than men.  The men that pick us up are nice, but these women—they are smart and confident women; they have good sense and they are not the type to tolerate a bullshit or malicious hitchhiker.  However, just like these people who pick up hitchhikers, hitchhikers themselves also tend to be good, smart, and world-wise people.

Now, I’m not advocating recklessness—everyone should know how to get out of questionable situations if they want to hitchhike.  I just want to note that, in my dozen pick-ups, I have never felt threatened—and of the dozen hitchhikers I have met, none have ever been assaulted by their drivers.

With this trip to France, I have gained fond memories, great friends, and improved perspective.  However, the best thing I have gained (or regained) is my faith in humanity.

Power can do nasty things, corporatism can systemically ruin whole populations, but humans…  Humans are good.  Couchsurfing, hitchhiking—I’ll never forget the time I’ve spent traveling on nothing more than the kindness of strangers.

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July 30, 2011 at 11:02 am

iron horse

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Adding to my bucket list:  Buying a Harley and riding across America—staying with couchsurfers, eating in diners, and doing all the things a bourgeois vagabond might do.






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July 27, 2011 at 2:12 am

Posted in expression, Freedom


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Corporations are more powerful than governments are now. Their power will only beget them more power. For the time being, there are still several dozen truly competitive corporations in the global game of power—WalMart, the oil giants, ING financial, Koch Industries, etc. However, just as millions have consolidated into hundreds and hundreds into dozens, the dozens will consolidate into a handful. This handful will be powerful in a way humanity has never seen.

Empires have a rise, a golden age, and a decline. Just like empires, corporations have a life course—one that we are not familiar with because we have never seen their end. Thus far, what we have seen is:

  1. Genesis: A corporation is created by a group of investors who pool their assets to share the risk of a novel and potentially profitable venture.
  2. Self-sufficiency: A corporation lays claim to a resource or develops a product that becomes an “essential” in the corporation’s market (see: lumber, oil, bananas, radios, televisions, and iPads).  In providing or developing a product that the people will always buy (an essential), a corporation matures beyond risk-sharing.  It becomes self-sufficient.
  3. Monopoly: A corporation’s existence is threatened by competing corporations. It is in the corporation’s best interest to eradicate all its competitors. Any arguments appealing to abstract virtues (like free market competition) are null before the corporation’s need ensure its survival.
  4. Symbiosis: Governments hold the power to disrupt corporate accumulation of power. However, government is an entity of its own with its own needs and ambitions. It partners with the corporations to the advantage of the governing parties (i.e. Democrats and Republicans). This symbiosis improves the security, power, and wealth of both government and corporations.  This symbiosis is a gradual process. It begins with small deals facilitated by lobbyists and ends with overt partnership—such as that seen in today’s corporate-political-media complex.  See:  Revolving door, iron triangle, and captured agencies.
  5. Power Accumulation: As the symbiosis matures, power increases. The developing symbiote realizes its potential. It exercises its power to further ensure its power, to expand its power, and to benefit its members.  The Citizens United decision is an overt example of the symbiote’s use of power. The corporations make a bid for power, the government grants the bid, and the media plays the deal down.  However, the vast majority of the symbiote’s uses of power are much more insidious than these.   An example of “insidious” power use is the military-industrial complex.
  6. Conquest: The symbiote does not yet have absolute power over the people. The people are still somewhat conscious and cry out against corporate governance. They make petty appeals to “freedom” and “democracy.”  Fortunately, they are too many and of too many minds.  They are easily divided.

The most interesting part is that there is no person or group in control of the symbiote’s rise.  Today’s corporate power complexes are the result of centuries of growth, development, and mergers—driven steadily by business economics, population dynamics, and human nature.

Addendum (7/4/2012):  As power consolidates, an “agenda” will become more and more evident.  When the players are many, systemics and dynamics drive the changes.  When the players are few, there is greater capacity for deliberate collusion, corruption, and conquest.

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March 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm

bradley manning

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This is Bradley Manning, the United States citizen and Army Private First Class who leaked hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks.  While I do not love the latest leak (diplomatic cables), I do respect the mission of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange—that is, government accountability, transparency, and a free and informed world.  Of course, the world we live in is far from the world idealized by these (and millions of other) men (and women).  The world we live in is one where people with power are free to use their power—justly, unjustly, even inhumanely—and, with that same power, are able to escape judgment.  Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are both being held in solitary confinement (23 hours per day every day in a cement cell) without due process.  It should be noted that solitary confinement is one of the most massively psychologically damaging experiences any human can undergo.  It is not uncommon for persons subjected to extended solitary confinement to suffer psychoses for the rest of their lives.  American prison inmates and ex-POWs have attested to this countless times.  Much of the European Union has banned the practice for this reason.  There is a New Yorker article on this.

Julian Assange is to be known to the masses as a hacker and a terrorist. He is the sensational celebrity scapegoat. The publicity of his crimes and punishments are to bury Bradley Manning. Bradley Manning is to be, at best, forgotten and, at least, remembered as some form of disturbed.

Don’t say anything.  Just keep your head down.  Just keep working.

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December 15, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Posted in expression, Freedom

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comedy central is no joke

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The Daily Show, with John Stewart, featuring recent guests like Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter, and King Abdullah II (of Jordan)–discussing extremism, distortion in American media, and the middle east peace talks.

I watched the Daily Show today and caught Mr. Stewart’s interview with King Abdullah II. I was extremely impressed. Television is bullshit. History Channel, Discovery Channel, Scifi, CNN, FOX–it’s all bullshit. Then, there’s Comedy Central… oh my there is Comedy Central. Comedy Central is a troll in the idiocratic sea of cable television. With the premise of providing shits and giggles, Comedy Central engages viewers who laugh, at first, but think… and think critically, at last. It’s subtle. It’s smart…

Jimmy Carter: “I’ve heard about a rally. So you’re getting involved in politics?”

John Stewart: “No, but it’s going to be pretty funny.”

…It’s the seed of exactly what America needs.

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September 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm