How do I communicate my soul I am your perception Theatrics Temporary gestures Fading dreams Days pass I hope But still I wake And the masquerade Continues I thumb pages I sleep I try to dream again And again Splashing against the pane Rolling thunder The pillow takes me in The waves crash Blue waters Briny foam skipping Blowing across the sand Blossoming cliffs Streaming sunshine Kissing faces Shining like diamonds Stretched across the horizon Eyes close I long to sleep forever
New York strip is the perfect combination of Tender, fatty, yet lean. And the grain of meat fiber is consistent throughout, so if you carve up a steak properly, it cooks very evenly, ensuring each bite is perfectly moist and tender and caramelized.
Begin with a 1.5” steak at room temperature. Preheat the cast iron on low to medium low, add a slice of butter, season accordingly with coarse salt and cracked pepper, then cook for 5 min on each face.
Don’t touch it while it’s cooking. Just let it fry in that butter.
Time it and flip it like clockwork.
After each face is cooked for 5 min and properly caramelized, you can do the sides for 15-30sec.
Then let rest for another 5 min before eating.
It’s critical you begin with a steak at least 1” and at most 2” thick.
Under 1” and you risk overcooking the inside and undercooking the caramelized outside.
2” and you risk undercooking the inside and overcooking the caramelized outside.
I woke in a barren desert, surrounded by a sea of sand.
My lips were dry and my mouth was parched.
The sun levitated above at high noon.
I began to climb through the sand and up a rising dune.
At the top of the dune a cool wind whipped my face and I squinted into the distance to inspect the skyline.
On the eastern horizon I could make out an assemblage of tall pine that amassed into a thick forest. There I will find shade and respite.
I descended the dune and trudged through the sands heavy grip and made my way into the wood.
I hacked through the pine until I came to another sand clearing that sunk toward a center.
I collapsed at its edge.
And began to dream.
The ground began to rumble and shake, but I lay still, too parched and weak to move.
Branches broke and rocks fell all around me. But all the while my eyes fixated on the center of this sandy clearing as it rose from the earth higher and higher, as if a stone mass was growing from the earth
I closed my eyes to guard them from the whirling wind and sand.
Then there was stillness, followed by a large aching roar that bellowed and echoed all around and an intense heat that singed the pine needles all around me.
I lifted my head and opened my eyes and shifted my gaze up this cracked column of stone, until I was face to face with a large penetrating eye attached to the face of a hulking dragon
My body trembled and my mouth hung open as I struggled form a reaction.
Where this dragon once laid, sunken beneath the sand, was now a deep pit that encircled his cracked and plated body
A series of faint trickles began to form followed by the sound of rushing water, and my eyes watched as the most brilliant waters began to rise and froth from the earth, filling the pit where he once laid with the brightest blue, more brilliant than lapis lazuli.
I yearned to quench my thirst
The dragon looked at me with an inquiring eye as I crawled towards this simmering pool
As I was about to reach the edge the dragon brought his mouth to the water and proceeded to drink, and soon emptied the entire contents of the liquid pool.
The dragon then coiled his body, extended his wings, and leapt into the air.
I lay prostrate in disbelief and grief as I contemplated terms of my impending demise.
I then rolled and collapsed on my back. Above the barren landscape, soaring above the pine, I could see the outline of the dragon making his way higher and higher, when suddenly, a large gaseous fireball enveloped his outline and continued to rapidly expand outward as a massive growing cloud of steam. This was followed by the roar of a shock wave, and soon the thick cloud blotted the suns rays, and the sky began to dim.
For the first time a cool breeze passed over my chapped exhausted body.
I closed my eyes and began to lose my grip on awareness, and slowly I slid off the edge of consciousness, towards the dark afterlife that was beckoning me from below.
And then I felt it.
I clawed myself back to awareness and touched my face.
I brought it to my lips.
Nothing tasted so sweet, nothing quenched so deeply.
My eyes opened and soon a deluge of this sweet nectar began to pour from the sky, saturating the barren landscape, pooling all around.
I plunged my face into the accumulating pools and streams and drank and drank.
It was not rainwater.
It was from the Dragon, liquid infused with the barren pine lands, imbued with the Dragon’s magic, brewed right in the depths of his belly.
Vigor and vitality coursed through my veins, and joy erupted through my lungs as I proclaimed this newfound elixir of life: “Hail the Dragon’s Brew Pine Barren Beer!!”
Then I woke up.
My senses adjusted. My body was wrapped in blankets and nested in the comfort of a familiar bed.
I opened one eye then reached for my phone. 6:03am.
I unlock my phone to reveal Instagram.
The newsfeed auto populates, and my eyes are met with the most astonishing sight. My jaw drops and my eyes widen.
On the 25th of December a Tennessee man drove his RV to 2nd Ave downtown Nashville and parked it between an AT&T telecommunications facility and historic businesses and residential buildings.
Around 4:30am a series of loud bands stirred local residents to look out there windows, but they saw nothing and went back to bed. Around 5:30am these loud bands were heard again, this time prompting residents to call the police. When authorities arrived they were greeted with an automated message echoing from a loudspeaker located somewhere along 2nd Ave North. They cautiously approached the source and identified it coming from the RV. The message was “There is a bomb in this vehicle. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now.” Police called the bomb squad and began investigating the area.
At around 6:15am the loudspeaker began counting down. “This vehicle will explode in 15 minutes. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now” down to “This vehicle will explode in 14 minutes. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now.”
Police created a perimeter and told folks walking their dogs to keep a safe distance, while attempting to wake sleeping residents and evacuate them to safety.
In the last moments of the blast the speaker repeated “This area must be evacuated now. This area must be evacuated now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now.”
Soonafter a half ton explosion rocked downtown nashville, devastating twenty one buildings, and carving a hole into the AT&D Bellsouth telecommunications building, and knocking out cell service for the region.
Fortunately no one was hurt, except for the man behind the wheel who wanted to end his lonely life in a big way, while taking methodical pains to avoid causing harm to others.
As I was watching the nieces and nephews unwrap gifts, I received a text from the property manager who helps me sublet that read “Explosion downtown Nashville. Heading to the area. Will let you know if your apartment was damaged.” I was confused and stunned as I processed words, and stepped to the living room to turn on CNN, which showed a live aerial image of 2nd Ave N, with a headline that read “Nashville Christmas Explosion”, and at the focal point of these images was my very own apartment building.
However, my apartment was directly impacted by the blast. Fortuntely, I was in Florida visiting family. In addition, my loft was located on 1st avenue south, so as far as I know it wasn’t directly impacted.
It’s been more than three weeks since the explosion, and I still don’t have permission to enter my building and survey my unit for any damage. Insurance will pay me about $6k for move out fees, and up to $15k for any damages.
My hope is nothing is damaged, and I can move out, and move on.
When someone close to you dies, a piece of you dies. And it can be hard to really appreciate the magnitude of that loss.
It takes a lot of time. Usually years. The initial grieving period can be days or months. Then there is a lull, and life more or less resumes… but it never resumes the same way, though you don’t notice how.
But you go on living life, and you’ll bump up against the absence, and it will twinge and prick as a reminder of what was, and will never be again. And we involuntarily retreat from these moments and memories, turning away from those triggers, and stuff these feelings in dark corners, seemingly manageable for the time being. There is peace. Or an illusion of peace.
Months or years or decades later there is an unexplainable exhaustion that takes over. And the body and mind finally relent and a flood of emotion and memory washes over, and you realize all the unresolved pain that’s been waiting for you.
Loss is strange. The grief manifests in weird ways. Relationships. Work. Spiritual.
I have idea how to accelerate the grieving process. Just time and love I suppose. And psychedelics.
I dreamed that I was living and working in a community supporting SpaceX and Elon Musk’s various ventures. Various complexes of office and living space colored in white and red, filled with engineers and physicists and programmers devoted to the mission of Musk.
The day came where they were ready to start colonizing Mars.
But no one wanted to be the first to go.
So Elon said, “I will go” and prepared for launch in stoic style.
He suited up and everyone watched as he climbed aboard the gleaming Starship.
He was alone in the capsule, digital screens adorning surfaces of the brilliant white circular cockpit, reflecting off his spacesuit visor.
There were crowds surrounding the lunch site. Murmuring legions of energized believers in this new martian colony. The richest man on earth, the greatest visionary who had ever lived, was now taking the maiden voyage to Mars.
Excitement pulsated throughout the diverse crowds
The countdown began.
Elon, strapped to the rocket, soared toward the heavens
Until it became but a gleaming speck of sparkling light
Suddenly a catastrophic alarm sounded.
The image of Elon’s face nested in the cockpit flashed on the mega screens
In the next instant his visor was blown off from a vacuum, leaving him exposed to the void of space
The rocket began a controlled descent
Onlookers grabbed one another and started yelling uncontrollably
Running to eachother with frightened tears
Eventually the rocket began its controlled descent, intelligently maneuvering a soft landing a mere hundred feet from the launch site
Amongst the outcries I ran across the asphalt runway to the cracked pod, and quickly disengaged the locking mechanisms
I dove into the capsule and retrieved Musks icy body.
I quickly dragged his rigid body gently to a safe distance and with others proceeded to remove the sheaths of ice crystals from his body and face
There was a collective pause and everyone held their breath as they looked on intently.
An Indian man brought his head to Elon’s chest and with his fingers held Elon’s wrist to check for signs of life
I cradled his body.
The Indian man looked at me with a thousand mile stare
I gently laid the body down and backed away, inching away from the disbelieving crowd
I turned to the on lookers who were studying my face for signs of hope
I cast my eyes down and began to walk away through the crowd
wails began to emanate until the chorus of cries filled the air
Hysteria soon followed
Our greatest mind has perished! What will humanity do now! Where will we go? How will we go on?
It was the most tragic event the world had seen
The world was at a standstill of mourning
Governments ceased to function
Businesses stopped operations
The collective humanity reached for one another in comfort
I think he has far less support than he did the first election
I don’t think there has been as many trump converts as there have been defectors.
He lost by 3 million in 2016.
He’s losing key battle ground states
He’s the least favorable polling president in history, since Nixon
However! … His propaganda machine is massive
Fox News is the single biggest free propaganda outlet for him, and it has massive viewership amongst his monolithic base
He spends far more on propaganda/promotion/advertising than any other politician in history
His social media spending is outrageously expensive
So there is a very skewed perspective on his viability
It’s mostly smoke and mirrors, which is what he excels at Ironically
At this point everyone acknowledges he’s an idiot, and very few people in his base admit he’s a very stable genius
It’s obvious he’s an idiot
At this point people just don’t care, because they don’t think it’s a threat
Or they actually believe that there are bigger threats than his idiocy.
But many realize the biggest threat is not the “left” or “Antifa”, but his complete incompetence
He is a master showman, and he maintains a perfectly consistent tough guy persona
Which to the layman is a very attractive persona.
His other loyalists merely see him as a means to an end. They can muscle their policies through with him in office, since he’s mostly inept of any innate conviction or vision or principles, other than self glorification
So there is a cabal of special interests groups that manipulate Trump through flattery to push their agendas So the only way he’ll will is if he delegitimizes the election results.
He’s already crying mail fraud, and he’s installed a post master general in July of this year who, incredibly enough, has managed to disrupt 245 years of reliable USPS delivery I means it’s predictable what will happen.
He’ll lose, and then he will cry fraud
He’ll issue executive orders. He’ll demand a revote. He’ll say the system was rigged. He’ll say the fee state is out to get him. He’ll make some outlandish excuse about why he lost
Then it’s a matter of what happens next
Trump’s been handed everything, and he’s never had to confront public defeat.
He’s inherited enough money to allow him to skirt responsibility, or any other reality.
Leverage the legal system to pay off people. Litigate. Sue. Find loopholes. Etc.
His propaganda machine is setting the stage in his bases mind that the only way he’ll lose is if other’s cheat Which is a clear projection of his entire life story
I imagine when he loses, he’ll cry fraud, because he has created an appearance of fraud… but no idea what happens next.
In the authoritarian playbook, there are a few options:
He demands a revote- which won’t happen.
He acts as if there is fraudulent “deep state” coup and establishes his own coup— and issues executive orders to mobilize CBP or DHS or ICE or one of those fringe paramilitary police forces he’s been strategically currying favor with.
His radicalized loyalist base mobilizes at his order to “take back America” and they storm local and state governments and federal governments.
Because the reality is, according to the Mueller report, even though there is plenty of fraudulent law breaking to put Trump in jail, so long as he is president, he can’t be persecuted
But as soon as he is no longer president, he will be persecuted for a long long long list of criminal offenses
Just like all 30+ of his various cabinet members and campaign team and staff have been persecuted, convicted, or jailed… and he knows this.
Basically everyone around him breaks the law.
He uses money which provides him legal expertise to exploit loopholes or simply outspend to settle to avoid any responsibility or consequence.
But as a public official his deeds are under public scrutiny and accountability, and now most have come into focus. He cannot escape them except through remaining president
So if he loses he’ll be persecuted and a jailed
Like all of his associates
So there is no way he legitimately except by creating the perception that he lost by fraud.
Which provides him the justification to invoke executive powers and orders beyond the scope of a president, and consolidate power into authoritarian control
Apparently this is a relatively common interview question to evaluate your reasoning abilities:
With a population of 330 million, and an average age of death of 70, and a driving age of 18, that’s about 74.3% of the population that drives (245.2 million), and probably works a job. Assuming that 80% of these people own a car, that’s about 196 million drivers. If the average car drives 50 miles a day, and the average tank gets 400 miles, then drivers will refuel every 8 days, so every day 24.5 million drivers are refueling. If the average gas station has 8 pumps, and takes 10 minutes to fill a tank, that’s 1,152 cars a day. Let’s assume that these cars all refuel four hours a day on their way home from work. That’s about 200 cars a day. That’s about 122,500 gas stations. If the average tank is 15 gallons, and the cost per gallon is $2.00, then a gas station is averaging about $6,000 per day, or $2,190,000 a year in gas revenue. That sounds about right.
It’s taken me almost two hours to begin this journal entry.
I’ve been telling myself that I need to get in the habit of writing down my life, of reflecting more. Why? Because I feel like I’m stuck in purgatory. It’s not a new feeling. It’s familiar. As I abstract the arch of my life and perform a linear regression on my life states a pattern emerges that feels rather cyclical.
Like the hero’s archetype, I find myself in an ordinary world and a desire for more. I scan the horizon of experience and feel a draw to explore the unknown more distant parts. But apart of me feels safe and secure, and I initially refuse the call. My mentors have historically been books. They have changed by paradigm and allowed me to behave in ways that alter my inertia and change the course of my life. Once these changes begin, I’m faced with the unique challenges of adapting to the new course, which requires confronting certain uncomfortable realities. At some point I either triumph and overcome or acquiesce and regress to the original paradigm. If I triumph and accomplish my goal, I begin a process of reintegration as I resume a new equilibrium, which in turn begins an ordinary world. A world that I eventually loath and disdain, and so the process repeats.
There are many parallels between the Hero’s Journey and Ouroboros. These two abstractions possess the same fundamental structures, of circularity, of triads, of dyads.
At any rate, this circularity embodies the insane labor illustrated in the Myth of Sisyphus.
No matter which mountain I choose to climb, the resulting fall is that much steeper, and the resulting climb back up is more challenging than ever.
Life feels repetitive, routine, with the familiar struggles that are never completely resolved, no matter how strong you become, or how many times you do them.
Upon the completion of a full circular rotation, a certain apathy begins to manifest and worm its way into my everyday existence. I know it’s there because I indulge in vices which act as coping mechanisms to escape the present moments that force me to confront the banality of existence. These vices eventually begins to be destructive, in the sense that it impedes the daily disciplines that provide structure to a productive lifestyle.
Where am I now?
Who am I?
What do I want to accomplish?
I live in this castle, this mansion, with about ten other housemates.
I work for this big company who pays me well considering the lifestyle I live.
Why do I feel empty?
Why do I feel apathetic?
I suppose it’s the lack of challenges?
What is my ultimate dream?
I need my bookshelves installed in my room. I’ll pick them up on Thursday, then need to assemble. I’ll see if I can recruit Max and Matt.
In October I’ll need to move out of my Nashville apartment. That will save me about $2500 a month, which I’ve been paying out of pocket since essentially January.
In October the company will remove the 8% salary reduction that placed at the start of COVID.
Regarding business, two of my salesman will not achieve goal this year. On the other hand, my business is expected to double its growth from last year, which is astounding. It’s likely our total group sales will end the year close to $12 million. Up from our goal of $6.5 million or so.
I’ve been wanting to do more training. I don’t have a lot of confidence that the two salesman I manage have a ton of cold calling or phone experience. I purchased the book “Power Phone Scripts”. As much as I’d like to hire a third party to train them, I realize I need to take that responsibility myself. I have no idea how to train them, but I’ve started. I believe that action will lead to some order, and some useful process or culture of excellence will emerge.
All this is fine, but I’m overall apathetic.
I haven’t been exercising, though I have been surfing! I’ve been four times in 8 days now, which is great. My goal is 3-4 times a week.
I’d like to workout too, but I can’t seem to muster the discipline or desire.
I know if I was giving someone advice I’d tell them to just make a habit of showing up to the gym at a regularly schedule time. That’s the first habit: showing up. Once that’s established you can focus on routine’s and diet and other habits that contribute to health and fitness.
At the moment, however, I’m unhealthy. My weight is close to 205lbs and my midsection is the largest its ever been. I binge drink on the weekends and pop adderall and pound coffee during the week. My sleep suffers, and then on the weekend I sleep til noon or later while I nurse my weekend hangover.
Cognitively I’d like a partner or signifiant other to enjoy life with, but I have nothing emotionally to give. When push comes to shove I have no will to cultivate a relationship, or put the energy into one.
I often think about taking testosterone again. It would provide energy, libido, improve confidence, etc etc. But I want to keep my hair, and I want kids, and after five years of injections, I’m tired of poking myself every week or more.
However, the use does promote discipline. It’s a dependency that creates habits. Perhaps it is an addiction, but it’s not entirely unhealthy. I eat better, am more active, and have much more energy to pursue sexual relationships, which are insanely satisfying on many levels.
I’m on Hinge at the moment. After I match with a girl we engage in mostly boring but sometimes witty banter. Eventually my interest wanes and the conversation slows and ceases altogether. This process repeats with the new match.
I’ve deleted all the other dating apps and websites.
I tell myself I’m “healing”. I’ve always been in a relationship, or involved in some way. This new stage of my life almost feels as if being single and refraining from dating and engaging in another relationship is the right thing to do, despite my anxiety to seek out companionship.
What do I want to accomplish?
I just don’t know. I feel so apathetic.
I ride my motorcycle around Atherton, CA and it reminds me of Palm Beach Island, FL. The grand mansions on expansive, well manicured estates inspires and invokes a longing to be more and have more.
It makes me want fuck you money. And so I ask myself, what is necessary to achieve fuck you money?
That’s the greatest question.
If I could solve that riddle, I’d devote myself entirely to that enterprise, and likely sell my soul in the process, as long as there was a timeline with some end to it all.
What is required of me to achieve fuck you money?
Do I need to study industry better? Do I need to study and educate myself more? Do I need to focus entirely on my current job and dominate that? Do I need to network more? Do I need to save more? Invest? Start a side business? Write a book?
What do I need to do? I want fuck you money. I want a castle of my own. I want an estate nestled in a forest with gardens and rolling lawns and views and grand rooms filled with art for entertaining the most sophisticated and accomplished guests.
I mostly want to visualize a blueprint for this vision and know that it will be accomplished with the right discipline and focus.
I feel like a lost sheep, when I should feel like a lion.
I want to pave my way. I want to carve out a legacy. I don’t want to be apathetic and lazy. I don’t want to carry around a despondent depression that crushes my hopes and paralyzes my dreams.
I want to be more. I want to be something great. Something truly phenomenal. I want the world to be different because I have lived.
But I feel like a nothing, like smoke and mirrors. I feel as if my life is insignificant and remote in the scheme of things.
How do I make myself great? How do I change the course of my life forever?
What sacrifices must I make? What pain must I endure?
It cannot be any greater than the pain and suffering that currently plagues my waking life. The pain pulsates like an electric shock, shooting through my chest and into my extremities. It feels as if I am being seared with hot irons from the inside out. All the while my mind struggles to look beyond the present. It is consumed with minutia. It does not fly, but remains perched with its head in the ground. And all the while my life remains dark and cold and lifeless.
How does one change these circumstances?
The power is within me. The power is within my mind, my heart, my soul. The power resides in thoughts, in choices, in decisions, in actions, in commitments that are no more than dedicates of worshipping one over another.
What must I worship?
The answers are within me. They are within my mind, within my heart, within my soul. The books populating my bookcases contain traces of these answers.
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
I know in my heart that all my answers lie within me, if I should look. But I distract. I give in to distractions. I do not pray and meditate with the required intensity to peel away the layers of repressed discomfort and address the obstacles that lie in the way of my progression, and the realization of the highest form of consciousness available to me. I neglect myself, and run in circles.
This must cease. I must seek wisdom and clarity and peace with a greater blind fervor that I use to mask them.
I long for a beautiful life, with harmony and cohesion. This ideal is just that. But it’s the story I want to live.
I want a life of luxury. More than anything I want a lot of space, and I want to fill that space with people and symbols. That is the realm I dream of.
I am desperate for a change, for some clarify and direction. Everyday feels like a chore, like an inescapable purgatory.
I gaze out onto my life and observe a rippling reflection, a still pool that barely stirs. It is shallow, from the surface, but goes deep into the earth.
In June I went to Nashville for the first time in over 18 months. I then went to florida to vacation with the family, where I contracted COVID, and convalesced the week I returned home. The following week I moved into a 17,000 sq ft castle to join about a dozen other housemates.
Then, ten days later, I went to Nashville again with my two best friends and college roommates, where I stayed for a week before traveling to Ocean City Maryland, where I met up with my two childhood friends. We mucked for clams, we ate crabs, we grilled venison. I need to write them both a letter, telling them how much I appreciated their friendship, and his wife.
In this new castle I find myself living in, there are a variety of professions and personalities.
I am working to maintain a life for myself. I am working to maintain a level of professional excellence.
I wish I reflected more. I wish I journaled more.
There is lots of self loathing as I drink heavily and eat liberally, all without the discipline to work out. I just fantasize about it.
I did take up surfing, however. Tomorrow I’d like to go, even though it won’t be very good surf. Just 0.3 to 0.9. Wednesday will be better. Up to 2 meter.
It’s about a 20-30 min drive to the nearest beach. And I have about four surf spots within that range from my new home.
G still calls and texts me.
I have zero libido. And I’m fearful to become entangled in G again, though she tells me she misses me, and how much I’ve helped her grow as a person. Tempting words.
I am emotionally dead inside. I am an empty shell.
I need movement in my life.
Money drives me, and therefore work. But work is a necessary distraction from my otherwise depressing life.
I am happy. But I am empty.
I long for a permanent escape.
Drugs, obsessions, love, relationships, competition, and the like provide temporary escapes.
I am motivated, sometimes. I undulate, like a pendulum.
My brain is muted. My self is dumb. No words, no words. Just a human log in a fog.
I am living in a castle. The looks of which surprise me. It is magnificent. I will elaborate more later.
I need to write more. I just feel so dead. I drink and, now that I have some housemates, socialize. I refrain from emotional intimacy. I am drawn to the presence of others. I am repulsed by drama, in myself and others. I have an aversion to obligation. I am my own self governing person.
I long for companionship, but I am completely empty. I have nothing to give, and no one seems worth the energy to give anything I don’t have.
Good night. I plan to write much much more. This has been therapeutic.
I’m feeling suicidal. The existential depression is bearing down on my body and soul with its full force. I can barely breath. My attention span is reduced to fleeting scratches of stimuli. I loath the next breath.
I contemplate my death, and the sweetness it will bring, the ultimate finality of this slow agony that defines the shortness of life.
I’m sitting on my couch in Nashville, contemplating this existence, attempting to feel the weight of the unrelenting pain that I squeeze into the periphery as often and intensely as possible.
Everything about my life is horrifying. On some level I believe that all that I loathe can be resolved with the right attitude, but what I can’t get over is it’s eternal return.
Waking life is an abyss that consumes all that is thrown in, a sink hole that swallows all the earth, never allowing for sure footing and stable ground.
If only I could forget. How sublime the forgetful must live.
Everyone talks about how amazing our constitution is… but I’m skeptical that this document was the reason for the America’s prosperity.
I think that access to land was the primary reason. Prior to America, never before had land been so readily accessible… except there are a few historical examples of what happens when an established government provides cheap land to its citizens.
Greece and Europe became great empires because they seized land. The prosperity of their entire civilization depended on the expansion of their lands, by guaranteeing land to those who cultivated it.
They just killed or enslaved everyone who lived on it, and stole it, basically.
These new provinces then paid taxes, recruited legionnaires for the army, and provided subsistence to the army and cities.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the feudal state was born.
There was less centralization of power in Europe, except those countries unified by the Holy Roman Empire.
But the feudal states were very socially rigid. They were essentially a caste system of birthright and inheritance.
Vassals or lords governed the land. They were the protectors and hunters, composed of knights.
They gave their land to the first born, because they learned that dividing up land/property usually meant the dissolution of wealth within a generation or two.
Those that weren’t first born went into the church, and were apart of the religious caste.
At the bottom were the working class or peasants.
At the top was the king. Vassals or lords would pledge their fealty to a king, and swore to protect him. They also swore to protect the peasant class.
Anyway. The vassals and religious class were about 5% of the population each respectively. Peasants were 90%.
You were born into your class, and stayed there.
This was the rigid social stratification that existed from about 500ad to 1400ad.
These are called the dark ages.
The bubonic plague wiped out 50% of Europe’s population.
This created unprecedented mobility.
For the first time in almost a thousand years you had classes intermarrying.
The bubonic plague essentially created massive wealth transfers. Men and women would marry lower and upper classes.
Around the start of the bubonic plague in the 12th/13th century the merchant class began to wield more and more power.
For the first time people had wealth that exceeded the vassals of noble birthright.
In my mind, America’s prosperity was pretty much a result of the abundance of land and resources.
The US government issued the homestead act which essentially gave people free property. That was unprecedented. The land’s of Europe were occupied for thousands of years and passed on through generations or acquired through war.
I suspect that America’s prosperity had more to do with its favorable climate and the abundance of land/resources which were cheap and given away to anyone who would work it.
Why didn’t this work out in central or South America?
90% of the native north American population was decimated.
I suspect the populations killed in central and South America was far less.
I think capitalism only works when there is “free” or cheap property/capital available.
We have so much land in the USA, but now it’s all owned. When you have a single owner of vast sums of property, I don’t think that property is being employed effectively.
I think that the accumulation, centralization, and concentration of property/ capital is bad for economic growth, and bad for democracy, whatever the hell that is.
I think that any measures which destabilize the rigid social and economic stratification, and transfer property to others, historically seems to benefit society society.
Was abiding by covid guidelines pretty seriously. Literally left the house maybe a dozen times from end of February until June 26.
Went to Nashville June 26-July 1. All was well.
Friday, July 3 I drive to Seacrest/Rosemary Beach for a family vacation.
Vacation is good.
Dad said he wasn’t feelin so hot on Sunday. Parents said they weren’t feelin good by Tuesday or Wednesday. Then my sisters and the whole house.
I was fine. I had my own room.
On Friday July 10th my Dad got an email saying all the CrossFit coaches rested positive.
So my mom and dad and sister went to get tested.
I got on a plane Saturday morning. By the time I got home I felt off. Just spacey.
Sunday I woke up feeling ill. Diarrhea. Kinda went away. But i was FUCKIN TIRED. Slight headache. Slight ball in my chests. Slight like “cof” but like nothing serious. I was worried cause i had random bouts of asthma. Typically triggered by allergens, but it still made me nervous. But it wasn’t a big thing.
Monday morning woke up and I was like, there’s no way I can move. I can’t work. So I called work and told them I think I got covid but I’m getting tested. Got a test Monday afternoon.
Monday night was hell on earth. Aches. Pains. Chills. I was sweating through everything. Shaking uncontrollably. It hurt to move. I just didn’t move.
I woke up Tuesday feeling shitty but better. During the day I just laid there. Did not move. Could not move. No energy. EXTREME FATIGUE.
Like, gravity and pressure have increased 10x.
I was worthless. I moved twice all day. Just convalescing.
Tuesday night…. hell on earth again. Blood shot eyes. Sweating like a crazy person. Everything was drenched. My hair was soaked, and my tee shirt was literally dripping. Blankets sopping.
I had to be wrapped in like 3 blankets. If i wasn’t, it was the worse feeling in the world. I felt like I was gonna die of madness/discomfort. And I was shaking like i had Parkinson’s.
The other thing to note, is I have had persistent abdominal pains. It’s just like… back aches, but inside my abdomen. It’s made me not want to eat, so i haven’t. It’s weird cause I don’t have a stomach ache, just pain in my insides.
The other, MORE crazy thing, is that I’ve been mentally handicapped.
On Sunday things began getting very distant. Like i was in a dream.
I was very confused. My thoughts were confused. Like “what was I just doing?” Or I’d be thinking and then I’d wind up somewhere else and be like when/how/what the hell…. where did I just go?! Very strange.
In fact, I would very close compare it to hallucinating. I felt like i was tripping.
The past week has felt like a dream. I’m still in it. There’s definitely a psychological element to this virus.
It definitely creates some mental side effects, which i had zero clue would be a thing.
It kinda made the pain more bearable, cause I’d close my eyes and I’d be in these other worlds.
But it also made me feel useless, cause my thoughts were disconnected and end and start randomly.
Wednesday morning was rough. I slept from like 10am to 8am, woke up, felt like hell, and just slept till like 2pm. I woke up feeling pretty okay, physically
Wednesday night i was preparing for the hell again but it never came, which I was thrilled about.
Thursday morning i woke up feeling rough, but… better?
I slept more and woke up at noon and felt well enough to continue packing up boxes for my move.
Thursday evening it was kinda shitty but okay. Just general aches and fatigue. But otherwise fine.
Today I woke up feeling achy and fatigued, but my energy was returning.
I think it’ll linger for another week. It just seems like a deep infection. I can feel it in my depths.
But I feel the worst is over.
Overall, I would not recommend getting it.
Like, just avoid the experience, if you can. It’s not fun. It’s physically and mentally torture.
But I mean, if you do get it, you’ll be fine. My case was mild. Less than a week of symptoms, about.
It was unpleasant, but you’ll survive.
I can see how old or unhealthy people would die. It just wrecks your willpower. Takes your soul. You are a vegetable for days. Can’t move. Aches. Pains. Diarrhea.
But otherwise not so bad. I’m stoked it was short. 3-4 days of feelin like shit.
The biggest scandal the past 100 years is the vegetarian diet.
Apologies if your on board. I mean no offense. But the truth is, it’s all corporate food propaganda.
Eat more veggies = eat more shit food that corporations can patent and trademark and boost profits on.
I’m convinced there’s serious or probate food propaganda driving these insanely unhealthy diet trends. Carbs are cheap as hell. In antiquity, it’s what empires have their citizens. Rations of grain.
A capitalist says:
Oat milk, brilliant! One part oats, four parts water, some serious branding and soulless celebrity endorsement… and boom! A billion dollar company!
Veggie burgers? Brilliant! Let’s name it something EPIC!
BEYOND Meat! Totally far out!
IMPOSSIBLE burger! Gnarly!
And have it taste like meat! 100% soy, or peas, or corn starch, and beans, or whatever is cheap is hell it make.
Billions in funding cha-Ching!
I am pro raw. I think veggies are great. And meats. Basically if it’s raw, if it’s recently dead, if it resembles the organism it was when it was alive? That’s healthy!
I know I know. Eating Meat is terribly cruel. The way farm factories product meat, I agree. But it can be done humanely and sustainably. More humanely than being shredded and eaten alive by a pack of wolves or mountain lions.
But eating meat destroys the environment… nope!
If it’s done sustainably, it’s great for the environment! Hell, there were 30-60 million Buffalo roaming the Midwest a few hundred years ago!
There are currently 90 million cows in the USA. Not too far off, considering it was entirely natural, and contributed to a rich grasslands/plains ecosystems.
Meat is hella healthy. It’s the most nutrient dense food.
But the margins are shit for capitalists, and you can’t really sell it to low income people.
Sustainably raised greens and veggies and fruits are an awesome way to supplement the diet.
But man can’t live on bread/starch alone. I’m not convinced. Controversial, I know.
The food industry and Farming is the most corrupt industry in America We pay farmers to produce shit. Subsidies galore! We have excess land that can be revitalized with the reintroduction of grazing animals. There’s so much land to graze!
I’ve been reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbons. Perhaps the best history book I’ve ever read. Fascinating and equally alarming parallels emerge as you read and reflect on our current politic.
I’ve been thinking more globally since I began reading it, beyond the United States. I’ve been thinking more universally, and more in terms of centuries and millennia, than days and decades
For example, I’ve been asking myself if the USA is really the best place for opportunity, and if in 10 or 20 years, will America’s opportunities yield the ROI I should expect from my time on earth?
Or should I emigrate to greener pastures, like my ancestors did when they escaped the oppressive inequality and corrupt policies of aristocratic Europe?
In the beginning of the Roman Republic, that’s where you wanted to be. Everyone traveled to Rome to generate riches, to get educated, to get status and power.
Over time, wealth concentrated in the Italian state, and opportunity dried up
The poor still traveled to Italy to learn what they could and take it back to their homeland
But the educated Romans who knew better, they escaped Italy, and colonized provinces all over the world…. Spain, the Black Sea, Northern Africa, France, Britannia, etc.
They took their education and build amassed wealth in their distant province, where competition was with themselves, where opportunities were limited only by their imagination
Over time you watch Roman emperors birth location shift from Italy to Spain, Thracia, Gaul, Cyrene, etc…. towards the end of the Roman Empire, all the new wealth was amassed by entrepreneurs that colonized lands of opportunity
The Italian state was grossly unequal. The poor, and the ultra wealthy, and there was no middle. The mob eventually began to rule, and the emperors, out of fear, put more and more power in the hands of the army/praetor to restore order
This eventually ushered in the military dictatorship, whose absolute power left cruel ambition completely unchecked, which further eroded the republic So I’m asking myself, where is the best opportunity?
If I can leverage my American business acumen elsewhere, where would they be?
There’s too much competition in the USA. Too much inequality.
But there are many places where i think creative industry could go a long way, while leveraging American business knowledge
It’s got me thinking… I’m not sure America will be the best place to live in 20 years At this rate, at this trajectory
“If you cannot read all your books…fondle them — peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them, at any rate, be your acquaintances.” – Winston Churchill
When I approach these conversations or topics of racism and oppression I try to remain conscious of the language being used. Language has a very clear genealogy, and whether it’s speakers know it or not, can be traced back to specific ideologies, or communities with specific agendas
That being said, whenever I hear “power structures”, I immediately think of Marxism, and the critical theory it birthed, from Foucault and other contemporary Marxists
There is a power struggle with this narrative There’s a lot of history that people are clearly ignorant of
But I really don’t know what to think of what’s going on right now, to be honest. I am against racism and prejudice of any kind, but the solution to end it is very confusing. There are so many extreme proposals.
You know, in the evolution of human history, slavery was seen as a major advancement. Imagine that?
Historically, warring people/neighbors would simply eviscerate and kill the losers. At some point they decided to keep them alive, and feed them, but take their will. They said, I will not take your life, but in return, you will be indebted to me. And this slavery was born. Is slavery preferable to being killed?
The word “slave” is derived from the German word Slav, which referred to the Slavic neighbors to the East, which in the National Slavic tongue meant “glory”, because when Catholicism spread across Europe and the word of God was revealed to them, they proclaimed his glory.
What’s interesting is there is no concept of “freedom” without slavery. There is rich, there is poor. But the idea of unfree only exists when there is a lack of Will, which embodies slavery.
I feel like movements with good intentions can get hijacked by special interests with malicious intent, who hijack the narrative and pervert the good intentions of the movement, which end up sabotaging the ability to achieve the desired result. Like, radicals.
Perhaps the world is molded by radicals
They’re only radical in contrast to the prevailing systems, which violently resists change.
It begs the question if the ends justify the means
How radical must one become to achieve the end?
At what point do the radical means/methods subvert the desired end?
I always think about the losers, and how no one writes the history.
Howard Zinn revealed this phenomenon to me: Contemporary knowledge and culture and history is filtered by the rationalizations of the victor, of those who survived and were able to curate a personal history that justified their advancement
There is life, and there is death.
And at the center of reality is my life, and as I extend beyond my circles of influence, my responsibility for preserving life becomes less and less influential.
Not necessarily physically, but psychically.
How I define my identify, and who and what I include in my successive spheres of influence, ultimately dictates the value of each.
The more familiar, the more valuable.
I feel as if each person possesses a sociological web of knowledge which binds to networks of other minds.
And the web is composed of language, and the ability to leverage language to manipulate the sociological web is how knowledge is defined, and in turn power.
Language rules the world, by ruling the minds of men. We control others through language. The power of language, existing in an invisible sociological web, is the basis for government.
Laws are nothing more than words, which exist in mind alone, and their power simply a reflection of those with the most power to affirm and enforce those words in agreement.
I’m inclined to think racism is not inherently a color thing.
Slavery historically has been colorblind.
Whites enslaved whites. Blacks enslaved blacks. Blacks enslaved whites. White enslaved blacks. Etc etc.
When reading European history it didn’t seem that color was much of a factor in who was racists against who, who was discriminated against, or who was enslaved.
The Barbary pirates of the Ottoman Empire monopolized human trafficking for hundreds of years, enslaving millions and millions of Europeans, in addition africans.
It’s a complex thing
Humanity needs to be preserved If we fail to preserve it in others, we lose it in ourselves
Can we live in a police-less society? Or will we be trading one evil for another? I do feel fairly convicted that debt is the modern instrument of slavery Debt and slavery have a long history Is there “libertarian socialism” a thing?
Like, it is up to individuals to create the conditions for social wellbeing? Or is that a contradiction?
I feel like it should be a thing Instead of electing politicians that enact bureaucratic government to enable social welfare,
We elect representatives who lead and promote social responsibility by creating models for citizen lead social welfare
As much as I’m for eradicating systemic injustices, I’m just as against creating bureaucratic structures with executive power to dictate abstracted visions of social good, which may begin with good intent, but overtime I feel may lose touch with the genesis of their purpose
One thing that’s becoming clearer to me every passing year is that you can be a complete idiot and go places in life as long as you “look” like you know what you’re doing.
You don’t actually have to produce results to succeed. You can simply fool everyone into thinking that you know what you’re doing. Results can be manipulated to optimize positive image reinforcement, despite having no anchor to reality, and despite not actually knowing what the fuck is going on. It’s just a theatrical display of gestures and words. This appears sufficient for the persuasion of confidence.
I’m increasingly perceiving public success is nothing more than a coincidence, a mere accident. Many times a person appears in the right place at the right time, and they mistake circumstance for talent.
So life is more a political dance than a test of thoughtful ability.
This is both inspiring and demoralizing.
Inspiring because it’s as if a key to success has placed in my possession, and all I need to do is walk through the door and perform the theatrics and wait for the audience to encore.
Demoralizing because I find myself increasingly surrounded by empty shells of gesticulating flesh that epitomize incompetence while being exemplified as an admirable example for others to follow.
I’ve been getting more and more looks from ladies.
Typically I don’t get looks.
But recently, I frequently seem women staring me down.
Sometimes initiating conversation with me.
At first I thought it was just a random anomaly. I really don’t get attention. But there is a persistent statistical trend.
But recently something’s different.
I’m trying to figure out if it’s my beard. Or my long hair.
Or if women are just horny as hell from being cooped up at home, and the first red blooded male they see just elicits a biological response that has absolutely nothing to do with me.
Of course I like the idea of my long haired, unkempt appearance appealing to the woman’s animalistic desire to procreate.
What’s crazy is that in 1000 BC there was a complex economy which enabled complex textile weaving and clothing stitching and construction.
I try to imagine the circumstances which birthed these pants, the economy of dyes, of looms, of seamstresses.
Were they made by a person within the family? A slave?
Where they produced commercially?
Were they traded?
I try to imagine the people and tools that enabled this in 1000BC
And the lively open markets that merchants potentially sold these through. The stacks of paints, dyed different colors, with different patterns, ready for purchase by passerby’s.
This is pre-Roman.
This is at the beginning of Greek civilization, which catalyzed around 1200-900BC.
It’s remarkable to think they were making pants like this.
Always reminds me that humans haven’t changed much at all.
I imagine our disposition to be fairly consistent across thousands of years. I also imagine that the knowledge to produce these pants, either by one person or an economy, took hundreds of years or more.
Like the process of agriculture, or growing fields of cotton or linen or whatever this is made of, of perfecting the art of spinning the fibers to consistent size, of tight weaves, of incorporating patterns, of the dyes likely imported from some distant land, like India (indigo)
I always wonder how much older certain knowledge is.
We see artifacts and buildings that have somehow survived the erosion and entropy of nature, as well as intentional human destruction and defacing. And we say, ah this is the oldest!
We don’t know if that specific article or artifact represents the pinnacle of the time, or of the millennia or culture.
It’s usually just a fragment. Perhaps it represents the lowest skill and quality?
Perhaps it’s simply what remained?
I like to think that ancient civilizations have reached peaks comparable to Greek and Roman and Egyptian civilization, beyond 10,000 years ago.
But they have been destroyed by nature of man. Or cities have been built upon them.
In the America’s there’s ample evidence to suggest mass agriculture and farming. The ancient ruins now covered in over grown jungles were once situated on plains with elaborate cities, with no jungle for miles. Once the civilization fell to war or disease nature simply resumed and overgrowth buried and eroded all the evidence of greatness.
Over the millennia looters dug up and destroyed what evidence did exist until all that remains are rocks.
And we find these organized rocks and conclude a vast, yet “primitive” culture once resided here.
But i do not think that is so.
I think humans have not changed much at all. I think that it doesn’t take very long for a civilization, blessed with the right resources, to rediscover natural truths and develop sophisticated technology and tools, which surpass what we imagine they are capable of
If I went to college outta high school I wouldn’t have lasted more than a semester. I couldn’t even graduate high school.
College was only an option when I decided that was exactly what I wanted.
Knowing that I wanted to go for me changed the game. I studied because I wanted to, not because I had to. I didn’t really party. Only the last year or so. I had no desire when I was in college.
I got that shit outta my system in high school and the years I was being a couch surfing high school drop out bum. Got fucked up just about every day from 18-20. Every drug. Just partied all the time.
It was great until I sobered up and realized i had nothing to show for myself.
Every day I woke up hung over and looking for a way to cure the hang over. Like a non-specific addict. Just trying to feel better. But drugs and alcohol always wear off and the sobriety always revealed the painful reality that I had nothing, had no one, and was going no where.
Everyone I partied with and got high with moved on. Or was in the same position. Homeless or living at home working a dead end job or couch surfing.
I had a girlfriend who was like, you’re a loser. Basically like, what future could you possibly provide that I’d want?
And I was like. You got a point. I have nothing. I know how to have a good time? People love partying with me?
But when you grow up you realize no one parties. And you’re the only guy partying, by yourself.
But if I didn’t reach that conclusion by myself and decide that i was sick and tired of being sick and tired, I would have prolonged the situation.
I feel fortunate that I dropped out/didn’t graduate from high school.
It prevented me from even considering college.
When I decided that college was exactly what I wanted, it didn’t feel like work. Just felt like that’s what I was suppose to do.
I think figuring out exactly what you don’t want is in some ways more important than figuring out what you want.
Cause it raises the bar for what is minimally acceptable for life, but doesn’t force you to choose.
I don’t think we have to figure it out. I don’t think it’s possible.