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Sunday, April 10th, 2011
3:51 am - Kairos: The Complete Podcast Series


Hot off the microphone, the entire Kairos series in podcast form. Including a short introduction. Comment, criticize, etc. Please!

Rowan G. Tepper - Introduction to kairos by rowan-g-tepper

Kairos I: Exemplary Acts by rowan-g-tepper

Kairos II: Kairos at the End of Modernity by rowan-g-tepper

Kairos III: La révolution post-historique by rowan-g-tepper

Kairos IV: The Whatever Messiah: We're Who We've Been Waiting For by rowan-g-tepper

Parts I and III have previously been posted. Enjoy! Discuss! Goddamnit! You don't have to read, just listen!

Pre-order a copy of The Immanence of Myth, published by Weaponized in July 2011.

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Thursday, March 11th, 2010
3:04 pm - Georges Bataille - Le Coupable - 1944


Ending soon: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230445648145&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT- Bataille - Le Coupable - 1944 1st Edition - Only one more copy left on the market. Starting bid - $49.99 - The other copy goes for $120+shipping.

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Sunday, June 24th, 2007
7:23 pm - Rampant Bibliophilia, or How One Survives As An Independent Academic

So I just got my Masters Degree in Philosophy from BC last August, got into two PhD programs, but had to make major changes in my plans after discovering that neither program came with funding, and that funding was impossible to obtain (I will forever curse the Marshall Scholarship for this), even on a second application, after I taught an intermediate level course at URI starting a week from getting my degree. Too bad I didn't realize this sooner! I've wound up having to take a second year off to re-apply, and perhaps to shift to Comparative Literature or some interdisciplinary program. Thankfully I just landed a part-time research assistant gig that'll get me continuous academic library access.

Survival as an academic outside of school was really rough at the outset, at least after my course ended (and there are far fewer adjunct positions in the spring). I found myself taking on 4 to 6 part-time jobs at any given time to make ends meet and still be able to read and write (and avoid the 9-5, which is death to me), writing software, working as a physicist's research assistant; anything to avoid an office or a temp agency. Now, at least, I've got three part-time jobs that are more than manageable, plus a gig doing some translation.

But what's really come as a surprise is that, as I am in the process of moving from one part of town to another, when I decided to sell off my old and duplicate academic books on eBay, I was met with much success. Moreover, I've found that most used bookshops don't bother to find out whether books in foreign languages are first editions, or special in any way. This motivated me to activate my latent entrepreneurial streak and go "all-in," as they say, and go into business with an online shop.

I'm here not merely to advertise it (I really have some treasures available), but also to propose to share the wealth (such as it is) - and this is NOT A SCAM - anyone referred to me from this (let me know via email or a comment), or making a purchase as a result, will receive either a 15% cut of the profits or a discount in the same amount.

Here's the store URL: http://stores.ebay.com/BooksBucherLivresForeignRareSigned ; I'm currently specializing in foreign language early editions, but there's a huge variety, and some forty more books going into the system tonight. I hope this is taken well.

X-Posted to Academics_Anon, Radical Thinking & Erotism

current mood: awake

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Thursday, December 14th, 2006
6:13 pm - Boston Skillshare 2007: Request for Workshops

(a play in one act)

SKILLSHARE ORGANISING MEMBER (SOM): Say! Did you hear that the Boston Skillshare is happening again this year? It's the fifth annual Boston Skillshare event, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15! (Location to be announced.)

YOU: That's great news! As far as I am aware, the Boston Skillshare is the only ongoing hands-on skill-based DIY anti-authoritarian conference being produced! Last year, I loaded up on carbs at breakfast, then did some yoga, enjoyed a little rum that was ear-marked for the fire-breathing workshop, and then built my own banjo out of a gourd! what a great event.

SOM: I'll say. But it can't happen again without your help.

YOU: I'd be honoured. What would you like me to do?

SOM: Well, we need folks to lead workshops.

YOU: (bashfully) Surely I don't have any skills to share. I'm just a regular Joe off the street.

SOM: That's what they all say, chum! That's why this year's organising collective has painstakingly drafted a list of workshops we might like to see, listed below - to get the gears in your mind turning in the direction of all the skills you can undoubtedly share with your fellows. Perhaps you have picked them up in your vocation, or are an enthusiastic hobbyist, or possess wisdom gleaned from the unique experience of living your life that people will line up around the block to learn.
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Okay, so here's the workshop list we came up with. Feel free to take on any of these workshops, permutations thereof, or lead a skill in something we didn't even consider!

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For more information on the fifth annual Boston Skillshare, please visit http://www.bostonskillshare.org.


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Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
11:22 am - US: Supporting Boys or Girls When the Line Isn’t Clear

Link to original article

Supporting Boys or Girls When the Line Isn’t Clear
Published: 02 December 2006

A five year old Trans girl in northern California plays with a friend.  Photo by Jim Wilson for The New York Times.
A boy, 5, left, who identifies as a girl, plays with a friend in Northern California. He began emulating girls shortly after turning 3.

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 1 — Until recently, many children who did not conform to gender norms in their clothing or behavior and identified intensely with the opposite sex were steered to psychoanalysis or behaviour modification.

But as advocates gain ground for what they call gender-identity rights, evidenced most recently by New York City’s decision to let people alter the sex listed on their birth certificates, a major change is taking place among schools and families. Children as young as 5 who display predispositions to dress like the opposite sex are being supported by a growing number of young parents, educators and mental health professionals.

Doctors, some of them from the top pediatric hospitals, have begun to advise families to let these children be “who they are” to foster a sense of security and self-esteem. They are motivated, in part, by the high incidence of depression, suicidal feelings and self-mutilation that has been common in past generations of Transgender children. Legal trends suggest that schools are now required to respect parents’ decisions.

Dr Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, encourages children to be content with their gender.
Dr Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, encourages children to be content with their gender. Enlarge this image

“First we became sensitive to two mommies and two daddies,” said Reynaldo Almeida, the director of the Aurora School, a progressive private school in Oakland. “Now it’s kids who come to school who aren’t gender typical.”

The supportive attitudes are far easier to find in traditionally tolerant areas of the country like San Francisco than in other parts, but even in those places there is fierce debate over how best to handle the children.

Cassandra Reese, a first-grade teacher outside Boston, recalled that fellow teachers were unnerved when a young boy showed up in a skirt. “They said, ‘This is not normal,’ and, ‘It’s the parents’ fault,’ ” Ms Reese said. “They didn’t see children as sophisticated enough to verbalise their feelings.”

As their children head into adolescence, some parents are choosing to block puberty medically to buy time for them to figure out who they are — raising a host of ethical questions.

While these children are still relatively rare, doctors say the number of referrals is rising across the nation. Massachusetts, Minnesota, California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have laws protecting the rights of Transgender students, and some schools are engaged in a steep learning curve to dismantle gender stereotypes.

At the Park Day School in Oakland, teachers are taught a gender-neutral vocabulary and are urged to line up students by sneaker colour rather than by gender. “We are careful not to create a situation where students are being boxed in,” said Tom Little, the school’s director. “We allow them to move back and forth until something feels right.”
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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006
5:01 pm - New book on its way

Butch Is a Noun is coming! (Read some reviews at the link, which also has a pre-order option!)

Large cover image below cutCollapse )

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Thursday, August 17th, 2006
1:43 pm - US, MA: Upcoming radical queer community meeting in Cambridge!

Hello friends,

The second meeting for the radical queer community is coming up!

This is a safe space for individuals to be open about their identity, to meet others, and to empower ourselves through performance, discussion, and organising.

One component of the space will be an open mic: a chance for individuals to empower themselves, as well as to connect us all through the sharing of our personal experiences. People can play music, read prose or poetry, screen films, rant and rave, show artwork - anything!

The other component will be a discussion on various topics, which will eventually lead into organising ways in which we can openly challenge heterosexism and break down the barriers between various struggles - this will allow us to constantly analyse oppressive components of our own community as well as other struggles.

The next meeting is on SUNDAY 20 AUGUST. This is continuously on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month.

It will be at 7pm at 45 Mt. Auburn St. in Cambridge (aka Zine Library, Democracy Centre, Harvard Social Forum, 45 Mt. Auburn St.).

It is free and open to all self-identified queers.

Please forward and pass along to any lists, groups, message boards or persons who may be interested! Thank you!

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Monday, May 22nd, 2006
7:56 am - US, NY: June Unschooling Conference

'I saw John Taylor Gatto (author of "Dumbing us Down") there a couple of years ago and that is what inspired me to homeschool.' - SE, New York

'I learned a lot about Education but much more about myself. Thanks :)' -OR, Pennsylvania

'The open workshops allowed for the kind of spontaneous discussions that felt important and authentic.' - GM, Montana

The Alternative Education Resource Organisation Presents the 3rd Annual AERO Conference:
'Educational Alternatives: Finding Our Commonalities & Celebrating Our Differences'
29th June - 02nd July, Russell Sage College, Troy, NY

E-mail: isaacgraves@gmail.com
Phone: 1800 769 4171
Website: http://www.educationrevolution.org/
Detailed Info Packet: http://www.educationrevolution.org/packet.html

Come join teachers, students, families and many others involved in educational alternatives for an inspiring, thought-provoking 4-day event!

Our keynote speakers include *John Taylor Gatto*, Mimsy Sadofsky, Ron Miller, Susan Ohanian, *Pat Farenga*, Jerry Mintz, and Tim Seldin.

Highlights include keynote panel discussions, new school starters workshop series, communities workshop series, student film festival & speakers, documentaries & films, FREE child care throughout, huge bookstore, musical performances, talent show, open workshop space, and plenty of workshops & events for all!

Sponsored by The Montessori Foundation, the International Montessori Council, Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, Centre for Liberty & Community, School of Living, Institute for Democratic Education, Students Against Testing, International Association for Learning Alternatives, & Life Learning Magazine.

-Isaac Graves
Conference Director
Alternative Education Resource Organisation (AERO)
417 Roslyn Rd.
Roslyn Heights, NY 11577-2620
1800 769 4171 (toll-free) or 1516 621 2195

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Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
8:01 am - 25 April: Unschooling on the Radio (local and online)!

From an E-mail.

I wanted to let everyone know that tomorrow Unschooling will be the topic on a local Maine radio station/Cable access public channel 2 (older shows on channel 4). I've done some research on the station and have been listening over the last few weeks. Sounds like a great format to discuss unschooling in a positive light.
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You can listen to the station live by going to http://wmpg.org/ and clicking the links to the right upper side of the page. The show starts at 1pm EST. As for cable access, it will air on Channel 2 in Maine on the weekend. Saturday 1:30am, 2:30pm and 7:30pm & Sunday 10:30, 3:30 and 11:30pm. I don't know about live; depending on your town's buy-in, you may or may not get the station. I am going to try to get a copy so I can use it on http://unschoolingmaine.com/

Wish me clear thoughts!

Laura Drew

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Monday, April 17th, 2006
10:42 am - US, NY: AERO conference, 29 June - 02 July

The Alternative Education Resource Organization Presents the 3rd Annual AERO Conference: "Educational Alternatives: Finding Our Commonalities & Celebrating Our Differences"
29th June - 2nd July
Russell Sage College
Troy, NY

Email: isaacgraves@gmail.com
Phone: 1800 769 4171
Website: http://www.educationrevolution.org/
Detailed Info Packet: http://www.educationrevolution.org/packet.html

Come join teachers, students, families and many others involved in educational alternatives for an inspiring, thought-provoking 4-day event!

Our keynote speakers include John Taylor Gatto, Mimsy Sadofsky, Ron Miller, Susan Ohanian, Pat Farenga, Jerry Mintz, and Tim Seldin.

Highlights include keynote panel discussions, new school starters workshop series, communities workshop series, student film festival & speakers, documentaries & films, FREE child care throughout, huge bookstore, musical performances, talent show, open workshop space, and plenty of workshops & events for all!

Sponsored by The Montessori Foundation, the International Montessori Council, Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, Center for Liberty & Community, School of Living, Institute for Democratic Education, Students Against Testing, International Association for Learning Alternatives, & Life Learning Magazine.

-Isaac Graves
Conference Director
Alternative Education Resource Organisation (AERO)
417 Roslyn Rd.
Roslyn Heights, NY 11577-2620
1800 769 4171 (toll-free) or 1516 621 2195

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Tuesday, April 11th, 2006
7:03 pm - Perverse?

Sexual Perversion

American Philosophical Quarterly 04/1997

Primoratz, Igor


In view of the inconsistent and, indeed, confusing use of "sexual perversion" in ordinary discourse,(21) and the difficulties plaguing philosophical accounts of such perversion, one might be tempted to conclude that the idea of sexual perversion should be discarded altogether.

Some philosophers have actually proposed just that. One was the Marquis de Sade. He developed his notorious sexual libertinism as an alternative to the traditional view of sex as by nature (and God) ordained to procreation, and legitimate only within marriage. That view rules out a wide array of sexual practices as immoral, condemning with particular harshness those that are considered immoral because unnatural, perverted. De Sade's moral philosophy does without God, but not without nature. However, his view of nature is quite different from that adopted by the tradition; it is tailored to generate the views on morality in general, and sexual morality in particular, which have made him infamous. The natural is the yardstick of the moral; but nature is merely the sum of natural laws, and everything that happens happens in accordance with these laws. That means that nothing that happens, nothing that people do, can ever be unnatural, perverted nor, indeed, immoral. Homosexuality, pedophilia, incest -- and, of course, sadism and masochism -- are neither unnatural, perverted, nor immoral and criminal, for nature is behind them all. Nature makes it possible for human beings to commit such acts, that is, allows them to do so. Moreover, nature is the real instigator, as it puts the inclinations to commit such acts in human beings. "There is no extravagance which is not in Nature, none which she does not acknowledge as her own," says de Sade. Therefore "there can exist no evil in obedience to Nature's promptings..."(22) Sexual preferences and acts traditionally, depicted as unnatural, perverted, and censured and punished as crimes against nature, are merely preferences and acts at odds with the conventional tastes in sex.(23)

Michael Slote, too, argues that the notion of unnatural or perverted behavior, including sexual behavior, is idle and should be dispensed with. Slote notes that "unnatural" and "perverted" have both descriptive and expressive meaning. The former has proven extremely difficult to capture by a definition, while the latter is easy to characterize: both words express horror. Whatever we may mean by saying of a type of behavior that it is unnatural or perverted, we always express our fear or horror of such behavior. It is this horror that points to the true descriptive meaning of these words in their ordinary use: to call a way of acting perverted or unnatural is to say that it is not to be found in nature, that it does not exist in nature. By banishing it from nature, we also banish it from our world. Both these claims are supported by the fact that people who are especially knowledgeable about human behavior are neither horrified by ways of acting most of us find horrible, nor given to calling such behavior unnatural or perverted, the way most of us do. Unlike most of us, they know, and are willing to acknowledge, that such behavior is to be found in nature, that it is part of our world.

But why should we be attempting to put those human acts that horrify us outside nature, outside our world? Because such acts are very strongly prohibited by society and most of us nevertheless have certain impulses towards them, impulses which frighten us and threaten our self-image, and which we are extremely unwilling to acknowledge. As depth psychology tells us, most of us have some deep, unconscious, repressed tendencies towards incest, homosexuality, and possibly some forms of fetishism. We repress such impulses and keep them unconscious by determining that such behavior is unnatural or perverted. "By calling it `unnatural' [and `perverted'] we think of it as banished to a world other than ours, and this helps to reassure us that the impulse toward such behavior is not in us."(24)

Of course, all such claims are false, because there is no such thing as human behavior that is not part of nature or the human world. The ordinary notion of the unnatural or perverted is therefore inapplicable in principle. Those who employ it do so because they are ignorant of its inapplicability.

full text

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Thursday, April 6th, 2006
3:05 pm - US, MA: Transcending Boundaries Conference 2006


Transcending Boundaries and Northeast Regional PFLAG Conference
DCU Center in Worcester, MA, October 27-29, 2006

Transcending Boundaries will hold its fifth conference for bisexual/pansexual, Trans/genderqueer, and intersex people and our allies.

We are pleased to announce that this year's conference will be held in conjunction with the PFLAG Northeast Regional Conference for family, friends, and allies from across the region. We hope to foster community, educate ourselves, and overcome societal sex, gender, and sexuality boundaries!

The conference begins with a reception Friday evening and we're planning workshops all day Saturday and Sunday, a Halloween party, and a keynote luncheon with nationally known speakers.

For more information, go to our website at http://www.transcendingboundaries.org/

Proposal forms can be downloaded by visiting our website at http://www.transcendingboundaries.org/workshops/

If you are interested in volunteering, contact us:
TBC: Lisa 860-280-6701
PFLAG: Roberta 603-352-6854

Please post and forward widely!

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2006
6:50 pm

On The Matrix
by Henry H. Lindner

If you’ve seen the movie The Matrix and especially if you took a real interest in it, I can use it to illustrate just what these pages are about, and my understanding of the message of the movie.

As you know, The Matrix is set at some time in the future when a man-made artificial intelligence has taken over the Earth and controls a vast army of robots. Humans have been reduced to electricity generators for the robots. They are grown in vast nurseries and live out their lives in vats, with tubes to supply food and remove waste, and with their brains hardwired to a neural interactive simulation. The simulation is called the “Matrix”. It serves to keep the humans inactive and docile while the robots gather the electricity that their bodies generate.

The authors of this story no doubt understood some of the obvious implications of this story for our present situation, and knew that our subconscious grasp of this meaning would make the movie all that more attractive. For indeed, we do live within mental Matrix — a matrix of words, ideas, ideologies, and theories with which we represent and try to understand our experiences. All animals are conscious to some extent, they experience pain, hunger, desire, pleasure, etc. Human consciousness is enhanced, and our minds made much more efficacious, by language. With words and the ideas that they can represent, we spin a web of meaning around our sensations — the inputs we receive from the Cosmos with which we interact and of which we are a part. Since the actual nature of things, and the causes of things are hidden, we must theorize about these inapparent causes. The ideas and theories we create to explain our experiences then become a part of our experience — they interpret and color everything that we experience and do. Our theories guide and even control all our thinking. Our ideas compose the framework of our own mental matrices. Richard Dawkins has described these ideas as memes.

Here’s the problem. Our memes, such as God, freedom, immortality, soul, reality, good, innate evil, government, control, laws, selfishness etc., are for the most part very old ideas, created during mankind’s infancy. They are parts of old theories that no modern thinker can begin to take seriously. However, they persist stubbornly because our entire social system is based upon them. So most of us, being raised into this mental matrix of theories and memes, are never able to escape this legacy. We do not have the time, the inclination, the belief that we can succeed, or even the knowledge that a problem exists. Universal government schooling, churches, and the mass media are the major societal tools for sustaining the matrix of old ideas. As the human past was largely an authoritarian one, with some persons controlling other persons, so our theories and memes come from that time and support today’s version of authoritarianism.

Let me turn to illustrating our virtual reality with quotes from the movie:

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave. Neo, like everyone else you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch; a prison for your mind.

Indeed, the web of old, inadequate and contradictory ideas that our society weaves for us is a prison that we cannot smell or taste of touch. It’s a prison of ideas. It prevents us from seeing reality as it is. It prevents us even from knowing ourselves — we instead label ourselves as bad and our own minds as inadequate. We try to conform to the dictates of parents, schools, and churches in order to be “good”. In my pages, you’ll find many essays addressing the false ideas that keep us blind. Indeed, we are also slaves to the system. The government we have today, our “enlightened” capitalistic, welfare democracy, enslaves our minds and thus our lives more than any system that has ever existed. Instead of a whip or a gun, it uses ideas to control us, thus its need for extensive governmental brainwashing of children throughout their developmental years. Mass public schooling was created in Prussia precisely to create a population of technically proficient but intellectually undeveloped people who would make the state a powerful and efficient machine. This coercive schooling was brought to America and instituted in the late nineteenth century here by the capitalist controllers of society for the very same reason. They wanted to turn the independent American people into obedient workers in their factories and obedient soldiers in their armies. If you have any doubts about this, read John Taylor Gatto’s Underground History of American Education. Today, our world is carved up into slave states. Each country is owned and run by an elite who use the population for their own purposes. Laws, regulations, and government interventions in business make it very difficult to live an independent life. Human beings have nowhere to run to escape this slavery. The best they can do is flee from a bad slave state to a better one.

Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is, you have to see it for yourself…You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes...Remember, all I’m offering you is the truth, nothing more.

I have worked for twenty years to deprogram myself from the Matrix in which I was raised as an American Protestant. I had all the advantages. I was always the top student and learned very easily. Therefore I did not have the handicap of believing that I was not as intelligent as the “geniuses” that created and that run our society. Once I left home, I began to challenge every belief that I’d been taught. I read every intelligent book that I could find that shed some light on the Matrix of our beliefs. I was amazed to find how deep the rabbit hole goes — and I’m still following it. I can’t deprogram you or anyone else, but I can help you along the same path I’ve trod. Deprogramming, like all real learning, has to come from you. You have to decide to live a life of total honesty. You have to decide to follow your intuition and intellect wherever they lead. You have to trust that your mind is as good as anyone else’s mind. You have to decide that knowing the truth is more important than fitting in, pleasing your parents, staying in school, staying in your current job, staying in your marriage, etc.

Morpheus: The Matrix is a computer-generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this (battery)…As long as the Matrix exists, the human race will never be free.

This accurately describes the Matrix of old religious and political ideas that enslaves us today. Most citizens are raised to be worker ants and cannon fodder. They are inculcated with a blind, unthinking patriotism. The system of government schooling, combined with government-created corporations leaves no space for natural and independent human development or society. We must obey authorities at home, school, and work every day of our lives, feeding this corporate capitalist military machine. In order to be truly free, we need to discard all old ideas and take a fresh an honest look at our situation as language-using animals who evolved on this planet. We have to discard some of our most precious ideas, like a personal God and our own immortality. We have to realize that no person has a right to control or harm any other person, even while our childrearing practices, schools, and government do just that with impunity.

Neo: You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you; a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries, a world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

Long before I saw The Matrix, I began to try to show my fellowman the nature of his prison, and the route of escape. So I identify strongly with Neo. My web pages reveal many truths that the system doesn’t want you to know — and I’m discovering more every day. I hope that they stimulate you to think thoughts you’ve never dared to think. Like Neo, I envision a world that is not divided up into slave states, a world without borders where any person can travel wherever they please. Political organization will be local only. There will be limited governments in cities, for instance. However, on a planet where all human beings are raised with love, allowed to develop philosophically, nations will be consigned to the dustbin of history. We will all be citizens of Earth. We will have specific cultural characteristics and languages, for sure, but we will share the natural religion of all mankind — philosophy. There will be no irrational religions or nationalisms to pit us against each other or cause us to exploit each other. Every human society in the world will be able to develop freely and to attain a liveable prosperity. Humans won’t have to leave their homes en masse to escape a lousy slave state for a better one, but neither will they be prevented from traveling or moving to any place on Earth.

Like Neo, I envision a world without rules and controls. Rules are just word formulas — they are always inadequate and inapplicable to any specific situation. All decisions must instead be made within a complete philosophical understanding of mankind and of society, and with complete cognizance of the individual circumstances. There should be zero tolerance for any kind of violence, but complete tolerance for human activities that harm no one else. Living our lives according to laws is just the modern version of living according to the Bible, the Talmud, or any other sacred text; only now the sacred text is created by corrupted men (and women) with their hand in kitty. We must live according to true and effective ideas, not according to government-imposed rules and controls. Disputes should be brought before chosen “wise men” who have earned the respect of the community, not before judges and juries in our legalistic system.

I see, as Jesus saw, that a rule-created, rule-controlled life is not worth living. Love and philosophical understanding are what we need to live a peaceful, cooperative life together on this planet. Our rule-based, authoritarian systems are based on cruelty and control — they banish love from our society. Governments, if they exist, should have only the limited purpose of defining property rights, regulating pollution on the basis of damage to the shared property of our Earth, air and water, and preventing non-cooperative behavior. There should be no control of any sort on personal behaviors, or on consensual adult interactions of any kind. As you’ll see in my paper Consensualism over Coercion, almost everything governments do today is outside these few basic rational functions. Everything that governments do beyond these limited functions destroys human prosperity and happiness. As Neo says, I cannot tell you exactly how society will evolve when people rediscover themselves and reality. I can’t tell you exactly what kind of society will be created by a generation of loved, respected, unschooled children who trust their own minds. I can only tell you what’s wrong with this system and its ideas, and point the way towards a cooperative society of loving, freely thinking, philosophically-developed human beings.

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Friday, December 16th, 2005
6:32 pm - QUICK, need help: Africa, micro-chip technology, what is it?

I'm trying to tell someone about the trouble with Africa and nanotechnology (I think that's what it's called) and I"m VERY poorly informed. My dh was telling me recently that there is an ingredient that is put in microchips that is mined in Africa (ala diamonds) and fuels much bloodshed. Anyone help me?


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Saturday, December 10th, 2005
10:45 am - Professor loses weight on no-diet diet


Professor loses weight on no-diet diet
Monday, December 5, 2005; Posted: 9:59 a.m. EST (14:59 GMT)

Professor Steve Hawks of Brigham Young University lost 50 pounds on his no-diet diet plan.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- When Steven Hawks is tempted by ice cream bars, M&Ms and toffee-covered almonds at the grocery store, he doesn't pass them by. He fills up his shopping cart.

It's the no-diet diet, an approach the Brigham Young University health science professor used to lose 50 pounds and to keep it off for more than five years.

Hawks calls his plan "intuitive eating" and thinks the rest of the country would be better off if people stopped counting calories, started paying attention to hunger pangs and ate whatever they wanted.

As part of intuitive eating, Hawks surrounds himself with unhealthy foods he especially craves. He says having an overabundance of what's taboo helps him lose his desire to gorge.

There is a catch to this no-diet diet, however: Intuitive eaters only eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full.

That means not eating a box of chocolates when you're feeling blue or digging into a big plate of nachos just because everyone else at the table is.
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Tuesday, December 6th, 2005
9:41 pm

Who wants to be a mod of this place? Because I want to abandon ship...

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Sunday, December 4th, 2005
12:50 pm

Two quotes I thought were interesting, what do you guys think?

"The state can't give you free speech, and the state can't take it away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free..."
--- Utah Phillips

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--- George Washington-- Speech of Jan. 7, 1790 in the Boston Independent Chronicle, Jan. 14, 1790.

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Saturday, October 29th, 2005
4:44 am

Does anyone know if a record (written or otherwise) exists of the debate between Sartre & Louis Althusser on Marx's purported humanism?

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Saturday, October 1st, 2005
11:16 pm - Hi there...New here
poetichypocrite My entire life, people told me to just wait until I got out into the 'real world', and for a while after I moved out on my own, I thought that this was the real world. Though in recent weeks, and with my utter distaste in humanity pressing on me, I have come to the conclusion that this whole thing is just a farce. Unfortunately, it is a very working and moving play.
And I came to the conclusion that none of this is life. That everything created is fakery. You can put your hands on things, and yeah, they exist, but at the same time, it isn't real. They were not brought here by the earth, but by the hand of Man, at the expense of the earth.
Everything in nature is life. Everything in society is built. The structures and the walls that we place around us, though alluring in figure, are not the real world.
Money is not the real world. The economy only exists because Man created the economy, and put value on things that are only objects created by Man. If it were not for this, life would be so much simpler.
And America is not the real world, as no country can be the singular "real world".

Though because of the fact that we are intelligent creatures, and because we put value on things, and value on our thoughts, and because we are conditioned to think this way, we will always be enslaved by society in one form or another.
Even in America, one can never truly be free.

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Sunday, September 18th, 2005
7:22 pm

"Wildness Returning"
By RedWolfReturns

It's Friday afternoon and I'm doing paperwork in my cubicle--filling out the dozens of forms needed by my boss to prove to the administration that I'm doing the job they pay me for. In reality, all the papers prove is that I spent most of Friday doing paperwork in my cubicle. Glancing at the clock on the wall, I notice that the workday is nearly over--another week has passed and it's time for the weekend. On the bus ride back to my apartment, I think about my plans for tomorrow. I fantasize about getting out of the city and maybe going camping. My thoughts carry me away from the bump & jerk of the bus and its faint mix of diesel-fumes and people-smells to the last time I sat around a fire with friends, breathed fresh air & woodsmoke, slept out under the stars, and awoke to a sunrise heralded by birdsong. My fantasy ends with the memory that I promised my best friend & his wife that I would help them move this Saturday. They have a big apartment and lots of stuff, so it will take awhile. On the walk from the bus stop to my apartment, I stop at the grocery store and buy a frozen pizza and a six-pack of beer. Later, the slight twinge of empty discomfort I experience in the silence of my studio is quickly subsumed by the flickering light and canned laughter coming from my TV and the slight buzz entering my brain as I finish my third beer. During a commercial break I hit mute on the remote control and stare blankly out the window and into the distance. I find myself thinking...just what is Reality? What is the Truth of my Life?

It's years from that particular Friday (though I have no idea what day of the week and no reason to care). I'm fishing along the shore of a glassy lake surrounded by deep green forest. The sun is tracking low across the western half of the sky and I'm starting to feel a slight hunger which tells me that it's nearly time to rejoin my people for our evening meal. My willow gathering basket contains five good-sized panfish caught today, one for each of us. On the way back to camp, I stop on the edge of an open meadow and gather some wild greens (milkweed, nettles & burdock) to accompany the fish. I notice tracks in the soil telling me that Black Bear has passed by this meadow today. My senses heighten in response to this new awareness, and I notice more signs that tell me what Black Bear was eating today. Other signs in the trees lead me to spot Porcupine lounging in a nearby Hemlock, lazily munching on a branch. In the distance, I hear the call of the Loon. A bit later, As I approach our lean-to shelter the smell of woodsmoke and sound of spontaneous laughter tells me that my campmates are already back from their day's activities. I sit with them in a circle around the fire where we share food as well as stories of our day's adventures, joys and hardships. Shortly after dinner, we bed down for the night and my thoughts slowly fade into Dream-time...

I am sometimes asked--what is the main difference between civilization and wildness? My most succinct answer borrows a bit from the words of Bob Black in his essay "The Abolition of Work". To put it bluntly--civilizing is serious work. Wilding is serious play.

The ramifications of this are profound and far-reaching.

Doing work (i.e. "forced labor") requires that we subdue our deepest inclinations--that we act contrary to our own innate will. Every moment that we spend working, one part of our psyche must maintain control over all the other parts who wish that we were playing instead. In fact, one of the most prevalent desires in our society is to either escape work--say by winning the lottery or retiring, or to somehow reconcile work and play--to get paid for doing what we love and feel is deeply important. Some in our society are able to realize such dreams, but most are never able to do so--instead, they struggle with the various yokes placed upon them by societies numerous bosses' until their spirits finally succumb and lose vital essence.

The same principle is found in the dynamics between us and every other creature drawn in to the civilizing process. Every moment that we labor to subdue the earth, one part of the ecosystem (us) must maintain control over all the other parts (animals, plants, insects, bacteria, as well as various powers and forces of nature) who wish that we were all playing together instead. If we cease (or even just slacken) our constant effort to maintain control over our environment, then life goes back to playing. It is only through constant inputs of massive amounts of energy that civilization is able to keep the natural tendencies of life on planet earth subdued.

What this all means for the big picture is that the civilizing process is akin to rowing upstream, whereas the rewilding process is akin to flowing downstream. Just like water, nature flows into open space--and civilization destroys far more than it creates, which is to say, it opens space. So, just as water always naturally flows downstream, rewilding is always happening--even if at only the most subtle levels. Ants, cockroaches, mice and rats begin re-invading suburban homes almost as soon as the exterminator leaves. Weeds (most of them edible) spring up in lawns immediately once herbicides and lawnmowers are no longer applied. Agricultural fields sprout weeds just as quickly as do suburban lawns and attract "vermin" even quicker than suburban houses. Clear-cut forests re-grow themselves with equal tenacity--in fact, the five small wilderness areas of east Texas (where I sit as I write this) were all clear-cut less than 100 years ago. And the North Woods of Wisconsin (where I spent a year living in a primitive camp in the wilderness) was almost completely devastated to build the city of Chicago just over a century ago. At this moment, wild animals are continuing to invade farms and cities--North America's white-tail deer, cottontail rabbit, raccoon, red-fox and coyote populations have been on the rise during the past century--I've encountered many of them along the edges of and within the confines of farm fields, towns and even major urban areas. I've seen red foxes slip through the streets of Denver in the late evening hunting for housecats and stealing from dog-food dishes. I've hunted feral hogs (once domesticated pigs brought over by Russian settlers) and gathered wild figs on abandoned homesteads in northern California (from trees planted by the same pioneers who were responsible for exterminating Ishi's people). During the past four decades Buffalo have been returning to various areas of the plains with help from their American Indian allies. Grey wolves are now returning to areas from which they were once exterminated--new sightings are occurring in both northern Colorado and northern Wisconsin as wild populations extend their ranges further and further south. Red Wolves are returning to small enclaves in the south-eastern forests after enduring more than two decades when their only surviving members were doing so in captivity.

Now my point is obviously not to say that all is fine and well here on planet Earth--because of course, it isn't. The environmental devastation wrought by modern industrial civilization is readily observable and should be obvious to anyone who has honestly looked into the matter. My point here is merely that despite the industrial machine's relentless holocaust, wildness has not surrendered nor is it on the retreat--in fact, it has never been on the retreat (being beaten back is not the same thing as retreating). Wild-Life continually springs from the cracks and fills every void available to it because it is essentially at play. And so similarly, human re-wilding can, and should be an essentially pro-active, playful and joyful process. While nearly all leftists and most anarchists tend to react to every crime perpetrated by those in power, Wild-Life Lives.

Wildness returns because it is the way of Joy, the way of Kinship, and the way of Spirit. Wildness returns because it IS the Circle of Life and death--it is life worth living and death worth dying--and more life springing from each death. In a land of domesticated, stagnant & wasting spirits, wildness returns because it is Life at its most essential and vital--it is Life in the Raw. It returns because in a land dominated by make-believe and illusion, it is Real. It returns because it is always here and it is always now.

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