Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Black Bloc and the Low-tech Awesomeness of Ideas

Who could have thought an idea could be described as a trinket or gadget? ME THAT'S WHO.

For starters: I am an ardent defender of the black bloc. For those of you who don't know what that is, please look it up. I am WAY to fucking lazy to define it.

Seriously, look it up and come back. I'll wait.

Thanks. Now that you've done your own goddamn research and left me free to do my shit, I just want to say that the black bloc is not persuasive strategy. It is reactionary. The purpose is simple: a loud, caustic, public confrontation with police and the capitalist state in which some big business windows get broken, but no person or animal is hurt. Except maybe people who get beat to shit by police.

They are not trying to convince YOU of shit. They are doing what they mean to do: publicly confront.

Now, while I don't participate in the black bloc, it is necessary to realize its importance. In the context of civilization, societal blowback is a constant. Those who would break Wells Fargo or Bank of America's windows are people who are NATURALLY reacting within an aggressive social framework.

These banking institutions are super, super EVIL. Even those of us who BANK with them hate their fucking guts. Yet, when the only discipline these organizations EVER receive are broken windows, people are repulsed. We deplore such "violent" behavior. And then we knowingly elect murderers and thieves and are content with our decision. I'm confused.

Now, back to why civilization is so fucked up and why the block bloc is so good. While actions like the black bloc are alienating and highly risky for the participants, they also serve to alienate the institutions of civilization (the state, big business, etc.) which are, well, KILLING EVERYBODY.

The opportunity the black bloc gives the rest of us is to start exchanging ideas about these institutions and why they are so destructive, and how we can work to move beyond them with our neighbors.

There is a reason why the windows are being broken, and it's not because some dumb kids just want to break shit.

The black bloc provides instant windows for agorism, or the counter-economy, as we can use these times to shift the marketplace of ideas away from these aggressive institutions, counter-ideas that can subtly change how people behave, and so, before they know what they've done, civilization might just be behind us and we could be a whole lot freer, living in decentralized communities, living sustainably.

Pulling out the supports of these villains may be much easier than we could imagine.

The black bloc helps grant us this vision of something new. The future. Understand that newness need not arise from destruction, but broken bank windows aren't really destruction so much as a symbol of our destructive culture.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Attaining Freedom One Slide Rule at a Time

Math is some bullshit. Seriously, I have insane math anxiety. In first grade, my teacher got pissed at me for not understanding subtraction.

She met me nose to nose.

"How many fingers do you see in front of you?" she asked, taking my hand and holding it in front of me.

"Five?" I asked, tears already flowing.

"Now, take those away," she said, making me put my hand behind my back, "and how many are left?" At this point there was spittle collecting in the corners of her mouth.

"F-f-f-five?" I stammered, weeping openly.

Fuck math.

By now you might have guessed that I love calculators. They are beautiful. But they run out of power, are made of plastic, and aren't cool, lasting, free energy devices that might emerge in an open, post-civ market environment. Given that civilization is unsustainable, then the gadgets produced by the institutions of civilization are not always likely to be sustainable either. But long ago, a gadget was made that could crunch numbers fast, and you could basically own all your life and pass on to your kids: the slide rule.

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I don't own a slide rule. Nor do I know how to use one. But I'm gonna get one, and I'm going to learn how to use the damn thing. Why?

There is an ethos behind old gadgets, and that is sustainability. A cast-iron pan will last a couple of centuries if taken care of. A slide rule will last generations. Hell, you can even make one yourself. And just in case the shit does, in fact, go down, then it wouldn't hurt to know some old school methods of crunching numbers in the event of rebuilding and such.

This is strongly applicable to the awesome gadgetry we will have the opportunity to make in a post-civ environment. I don't want to "go back" to anything, per se, what I want is to redevelop an understanding of responsible, sustainable technology, and begin looking at ways in which we can create devices that will combine the ethos of past technologies, with the brilliance of the future.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Windowfarms Project

This is a great example of how to begin practices as we transition out of industrial civilization. It is also a great way to practice agorism and begin building a small piece of infrastructure for a post-civ world. Part of the post-civ perspective is utilizing the scrap parts all around us to provide for ourselves. It is a world of recycling.

An enormous amount of a population's food supply can come through growing it ourselves. In essence, this is a cheap, urban way to begin living free NOW.

My Return to this Damn Blog and Brief Defintions of Stuff

Well, it's been a while, but after telling myself to get my blog going again about a GAJILLION times, I have returned, somewhat different, somewhat changed. Over the passed few months I've worked with a variety of anarchists, and I've learned a shitload about a shitload. Plus, it has a new name!

To keep it short: I used to oppose the black bloc, now I don't, but I don't participate in it, but I support those who do. I used to be a staunch free market capitalist, now I'm not. I used to hate socialism, now I don't (at least not as much).

What I've discovered over the passed few months is that anarchism is as varied and diverse as any other socio-political theory, and as such, there is a lot of room to grow within the framework.

And now I emerge a post-civilization agorist (kudos to Lentil for the term).

What does this mean, exactly?

Post-civilization is best defined at It reads: "It might be simplest to understand that we are green anarchists who do not outright reject technology or mediation, who do not fetishize pre-civilized methods of survival.

For those whom none of the above made any sense, let me say it this way: we believe in radical sustainability – we want to create a society that can actually continue. And we want that society to be egalitarian, that is, a society of equals. We don’t believe in the myth that this civilization represents the pinnacle of human achievement, nor do we believe in the myth that pinnacle of human culture was when we were nomadic hunter-gatherers. We believe that the future can be awesome, if we make it awesome."

Agorism is participation in the open marketplace. In the context of our current system, it is "counter-economic" activity. It is a libertarian principle at it's core, and begins with the first principles of non-aggression and voluntaryism. It is free and open trading using a variety of non-violent trading methods (monetary, barter, gift, etc.) The agora is a truly free and open marketplace.

Combing the two concepts results in a free market environment wherein individuals have the opportunity to create and share without the aggressive forces of the state, or institutions like the state, hindering them. It encourages local technology and sustainable technological development, ie-a synergy of ecology and high technology.

In short, it's a fucking rad social theory.

As always, I leave my old posts up to show my trajectory form the time I started the blog and all the changes I've been through philosophically.