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Wanderlust

I am a Gypsy at heart. Every time I go to work or home, I just want to keep going…

Where? I don’t know. Every time I see an out of state license plate, hear a new accent, or hear about a city, town, or state that sounds like it would be good for exploring, I want to go. My dream is to not have an apartment, a lease, a mortgage, or a brick and mortar anchor. The longer I spend in one place, the more I feel the pull of the world. Some people take comfort in a set routine, in a set neighborhood, in one set, sedentary city. Not me! The thought of still living in the same apartment or city in 5 years makes me nauseous and depressed.

What to do…

Every time I go visit a new city, I spend the next few weeks applying to jobs, looking up apartments, seeing what the culture and events look like there, and exploring their particular subreddit. I constantly feel the pull that there is something out there that I am missing, somewhere that I haven’t explored, and my life won’t be complete until I experience it; that I haven’t found my true home yet. It feels like the description of the Portkey in Harry Potter, as if something is grabbing me and pulling me forward to somewhere unknown, and there is nothing that I can do about it.

“because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars…”


Jack Kerouac, On the Road

There are so many places that I want to visit, and things I want to do, that being nailed down in one place from now until I die is just not an option for me. I just don’t accept that. My goal is to get a job that is 100% remote so that I can travel as much as I want, sell or store everything that I don’t absolutely need, and take off.

Things that I want to do and places I want to visit before I die (In no particular order):

  • China
  • New Zealand/Australia/Oceania 
  • Thailand
  • All 50 States
  • See the Panama Canal
  • Be in two places at once
  • Jump off of a mountain in a squirrel suit
  • Drift down the Amazon
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Run with the bulls in Spain
  • Step foot on all 7 Continents
  • Climb some mountains in the Himalayas
  • Snowboard in the French Alps
  • Climb the Eiffel tower
  • Drive a car in the fast lane on the Autobahn
  • Skydive
  • Shake Tom Waits hand before he dies
  • Para-glide

My girlfriend and I broke up over the summer, which was hard and painful, but there is a big benefit to that, as now I have nothing preventing me from just applying to jobs willy-nilly…and that’s what I have been doing. The first offer that looks solid and interesting that comes along, and it will be so long and thanks for all of the fish.

I am done with living my life in a way that makes sense to anyone but me, I don’t have to justify my existence to you, or anyone else…

I don’t know where it will be, when it will be, or for how long I will be wherever I end up…and that excites me and makes my soul smile so wide. If I find someone that is willing to have a partner that may just take off with little to no warning, that’s great, but if not, I may be just me for the rest of my life. I am ok with that, because I love myself today.

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All Writing Poetry Random Thoughts

Working Title Here

I don’t know why when I think about you
thoughts and dreams come into view.

I give you my thoughts, my dreams, my prayers, my affection, my time
Waiting, wondering, worrying, what will happen when you find out who you are.
Will you be my lovely partner in crime
Or will we simply be friends who can share…
Everything, or nothing.

I don’t know, it’s not up to me.
Either way, when it happens, it will set me free.

Either to give you my all,
or to work through the pall,
get up and try anew.

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From the Archives: Why Marxism Failed

This is a paper that I wrote in College, originally posted on my LiveJournal on April 5th, 2005

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Karl Marx believed that man, when civil society is abolished will be in a perfect free state, namely, that of Communism. For Marx, all of humanity is altruistic, a devotion to others or to Humanity (The New Webster Dictionary), and will do what is right for the other members of a society. Marx must have simply been ignoring what was staring him in the face, as both the state of affairs in Germany at the time he was writing and World History were the complete opposites of altruism. Man is selfish and egotistical. The Communist society, which is based on the idea that man is altruistic, would never and will never work anywhere except in the theoretical realm of Marx’s mind
Marx states that once distribution of labor is destroyed and a Communist state comes into being,
Society… thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic. (Page 160)

He also says that you will go down to the factory and have the machine make shirts, pants, shoes and blouses as they are needed. Well this is all fine and dandy if everything goes according to the perfectly structured plan, but what if you have people that like hunting, fishing, rearing cattle, criticising, playing baseball, writing poetry or something else, and they really do not like cutting hair or plumbing? If this is a society of normal human beings, then he is going to do the thing that he enjoys and not the grunt work. As Marx says on page 156, “life involves before everything else eating and drinking, a habitation, clothing, and many other things. The first historical act is thus the production of the means to satisfy these needs, the production of material life itself.” So, once man is “Free,” then all he has to worry about is how to take care of these needs, and if man is the same as he was before the Communist revolution, then he won’t worry about everyone else, he will just look out for number one. He is going to do what he wants to and not worry about all of the other things that need to be done in order for the society to go according to Marx’s plan. If there is a society of one-hundred thousand citizens and eighty thousand of them would rather do what they want instead of what the guidelines for the society says that they should do, then we have a society of unequal citizens, or even, individuals. Marx seems to think that as soon as man is placed within the Communist society the entire race will change its nature and that once the Bourgeois is overthrown, they will not simply see this as an opportunity to grab property for themselves and not give it to the society. Marx thinks that Man is simply an economic being, and that once money and classes are done away with, people are going to want to be equal to everyone else, when, in fact, man is a being that always wants to have an edge over his fellow man so that he is thought better of, both by others and by himself.
Property is part of economy and, according to Marx, man is an economic being. So, Marx is mistaken that when the pecuniary aspect of economy has disappeared that man will not try to acquire as much property for himself as possible. There will always be more misers that do not want to give up all private property, because no man wants another to have an edge over him and that part of Human Nature will not be given up at the drop of a hat. It is the same with the government, if the government has all of the power in the society the control over every person, all property, and what they say goes, everyone will want to have a position in the government, as it gives the mass man all of the power that he could ever want. Once that power is gained, no one in their right mind would want to give it up. All that they would need to do is just not go and hunt or fish or go to the factory.
Marx states on page one-hundred sixty-one that, “Social power… they thus cannot control, which on the contrary passes through a peculiar series of phases and stages independent of the will and the action of man, nay even being the prime governor of these.” So if the social power, or the government is something beyond the mass man and in Marxist society all men are mass men then the government and the outlines of Communist society will be beyond everyone’s comprehension. This will, in turn, lead to a society in which everyone is free to do whatsoever they please, but no one knows the reason that they are in this government and social structures, or, indeed, no one knows what the government or social structures are anymore. So, there is no God to govern morality and there is no government to rule over what is correct and incorrect in the society as man, “cannot control,” and they are ignorant of the functioning of the government, or if it is functioning at all. So, by logical conclusion, if you take what Marx says, from a society that is Communist it disintegrates into Anarchy. As, part of the definition of anarchy is political confusion, and if confusion does not come from the loss of God, loss of class structure, loss of individuality, and loss of a government that is understandable, then I do not know what confusion is.
Order tends towards chaos and chaos tends towards order. These seem like two contradictory statements but they are two intertwined truths. As order is brought about, it gives rise to chaos and vice versa. A perfectly ordered society, like Communism, will lead to uprisings and discontent, and a society of discontent will tend towards an ordered system. A prime example is that of the society in Germany that Marx was writing against. Aristocrats, Bourgeoisie, and Proletariats; an ordered society that in its form at the time of Marx was ordered so that nothing should have gone amiss, but from the order…Chaos ensued.
Marx made a mistake that other political philosophers have made, namely, a reduction of man. Helvetius, Locke, Calvin, Hobbes and others all thought, along with Marx, that they could reduce man to one quality and make a perfect society for man. However, they could not have succeeded, as man is not simply a being with one quality, but hundreds. You cannot impose a new system upon man that only serves the purpose of one aspect of a complex race and expect that man will just fall into it perfectly content with the system. T. S. Eliot, in his essay, Tradition and The Individual Talent, talks about poetry, in the sense that you cannot have a complete break with Tradition and still be within poetry, tradition links the past, present, and future. Although Eliot was writing about poetry, you can apply this idea to political structures as well. A complete break with tradition cannot, and will not, work with either poetry or societies, as there is a reason that certain aspects of poetry, and of society hold through the ages. “These are principles that every man, of every race can embrace! (Boondock Saints – The Movie)” They are things that, in society, relate to the beggar, the shopkeeper, the public official, the business mogul, the C. E. O., and the leader of a nation. When Marx creates a totally new system, breaking irreparably with tradition, he also removes those qualities that people can relate to. That is why Communism will never work out and The United States, whose Declaration of Independence was written, “Of the people, by the people, and for the people,” this is a statement proclaiming that this nation’s laws are those that are for every American and that they can all stand behind. With Communism, there is nothing of the sort.
Communism was inherently flawed. What with altruism, reductionism, believing that it was for everyone, and its breaking with tradition, there is no way that Marx’s idea of the perfectly free society could ever work. Man is too complex a being to ever accept something so different. With Communism, you are free, but at the same time your Humanity is suppressed. Abolishment of civil society would also be an abolishment of the possibility of man’s changing and improving the world in which he lives.

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From the Archives: Net Neutrality Part 2

Originally Posted on Nov 25th, 2009.

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So after I read that, this issue has consumed a good chunk of my waking hours. I cannot believe that this would even be an issue here in the USA, “The land of the free and the brave,” this would seem to be something more in line with The People’s Republic of China’s take on the internet (such as this interesting factoid, or even more disturbing, this act of censoring information). It seems, however that, because internet stores and businesses have surpassed physical locations, in revenue, especially internet advertising companies, as illustrated in this pdf, this is an issue that we must be concerned about!

As Paul Erdman once said “The entire essence of America is the hope to first make money — then make money with money — then make lots of money with lots of money.” This is true, at least in big business, and what better way to make lots of money than to make sure that your URL loads 10, 100, or 1,000 times faster than all of your competitors? I cannot think of one, for if your URL is the fastest loading, in this age of faster is better, then it won’t matter whose product is better, because people will not use the “other guy,” and soon, the “other guy,” will not exist to keep prices down.

If The Internet Preservation Act of 2009 does not pass, there are so many things that will crumble into rubble…I get depressed just thinking about it.

Please sign this petition to help stop Big Business from getting its way!

-wiggums

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From The Archives: Net Neutrality: Part 1

Originally Posted on Nov 25, 2009.

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Last week, I discovered This page and immediately signed the petition, as this is something that is of the utmost import. For those of you who do not know what Net Neutrality is even about, I will begin at the beginning.

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Taken from their FAQ:

What is this about?

When we log onto the Internet, we take a lot for granted. We assume we’ll be able to access any Web site we want, whenever we want, at the fastest speed, whether it’s a corporate or mom-and-pop site. We assume that we can use any service we like — watching online video, listening to podcasts, sending instant messages — anytime we choose. What makes all these assumptions possible is Net Neutrality.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet.

Net Neutrality simply means no discrimination. Net Neutrality prevents Internet providers from blocking, speeding up or slowing down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination.

Net Neutrality is the reason the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation and free speech online. It protects the consumer’s right to use any equipment, content, application or service without interference from the network provider. With Net Neutrality, the network’s only job is to move data — not to choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.

Learn more in Net Neutrality 101.

Who wants to get rid of Net Neutrality?

The nation’s largest telephone and cable companies — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won’t load at all.

They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. And they want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services and streaming video — while slowing down or blocking services offered by their competitors.

These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of a level playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services — or those of big corporations that can afford the steep tolls — and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.

The big phone and cable companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to gut Net Neutrality, putting the future of the Internet at risk.

Is Net Neutrality a new regulation?

Absolutely not. Net Neutrality has been part of the Internet since its inception. Pioneers like Vint Cerf and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, always intended the Internet to be a neutral network. And non-discrimination provisions like Net Neutrality have governed the nation’s communications networks since the 1920s.

But as a consequence of a 2005 decision by the Federal Communications Commission, Net Neutrality — the foundation of the free and open Internet — was put in jeopardy. Now, cable and phone company lobbyists are pushing to block legislation that would reinstate Net Neutrality.

Writing Net Neutrality into law would preserve the freedoms we currently enjoy on the Internet. For all their talk about “deregulation,” the cable and phone giants don’t want real competition. They want special rules written in their favor.

Isn’t the threat to Net Neutrality just hypothetical?

No. By far the most significant evidence of the network owners’ plans to discriminate is their stated intent to do so.

The CEOs of all the largest telecom companies have been clear about their plans to build a tiered Internet with faster service for the select few companies willing or able to pay exorbitant tolls. Net Neutrality advocates are not imagining a doomsday scenario. We are taking the telecom execs at their word.

So far, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. But numerous examples show that without Net Neutrality requirements, Internet service providers will discriminate against content and competing services they don’t like. This type of censorship will become the norm unless we act now. Given the chance, these gatekeepers will consistently put their own interests before the public good.

The cable and phone companies already dominate the broadband marketplace. And when network owners start abusing their control of the pipes, there will be nowhere else for consumers to turn.

Isn’t this just a battle between giant corporations?

No. Our opponents would like to paint this debate as a clash of corporate titans. But the real story is the millions of everyday people fighting for their Internet freedom.

Small business owners benefit from an Internet that allows them to compete directly — not one where they can’t afford the price of entry. Net Neutrality ensures that innovators can start small and dream big about being the next EBay or Google without facing insurmountable hurdles. Without Net Neutrality, startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay for a top spot on the Web.

If Congress turns the Internet over to the telecom giants, everyone who uses the Internet will be affected. Connecting to your office could take longer if you don’t purchase your carrier’s preferred applications. Sending family photos and videos could slow to a crawl. Web pages you always use for online banking, access to health care information, planning a trip, or communicating with friends and family could fall victim to pay-for-speed schemes.

Independent voices and political groups are especially vulnerable. Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips, silencing bloggers and amplifying the voices of the big media companies. Political organizing could be slowed by the handful of dominant Internet providers that ask advocacy groups or candidates to pay to join the “fast lane.”

What else are the phone and cable companies not telling the truth about?

AT&T and other telecom giants have funded a massive misinformation campaign, filled with deceptive advertising and “Astroturf” groups like Hands Off the Internet and NetCompetition.org.

Learn how to separate the myths from the realities in our report, Network Neutrality: Fact vs. Fiction.

What’s at stake if we lose Net Neutrality?

The consequences of a world without Net Neutrality would be devastating. Innovation would be stifled, competition limited, and access to information restricted. Consumer choice and the free market would be sacrificed to the interests of a few corporations.

On the Internet, consumers are in ultimate control — deciding between content, applications and services available anywhere, no matter who owns the network. There’s no middleman. But without Net Neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV. Network owners will decide which channels, content and applications are available; consumers will have to choose from their menu.

The free and open Internet brings with it the revolutionary possibility that any Internet site could have the reach of a TV or radio station. The loss of Net Neutrality would end this unparalleled opportunity for freedom of expression.

The Internet has always been driven by innovation. Web sites and services succeed or fail on their own merits. Without Net Neutrality, decisions now made collectively by millions of users will be made in corporate boardrooms. The choice we face now is whether we can choose the content and services we want, or whether the broadband barons will choose for us.

What’s happening in Congress?

In August 2009, Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3458). This landmark legislation would protect Net Neutrality under the Communications Act, safeguarding the future of the open Internet and protecting Internet users from discrimination online.

Urge your member of Congress to support this important piece of legislation today!

The SavetheInternet.com coalition also applauds the recent passage of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The law, which allocates $7.2 billion to expand broadband access and adoption, attaches open Internet conditions to all broadband networks built with public funds.

But these conditions only apply to the broadband lines built with federal stimulus money. We need to make Net Neutrality the law of the land to ensure that all networks are open and free from discrimination. That’s why the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3458) is so important. Take action today to pass this bill and to make Net Neutrality the law.

Who’s part of the SavetheInternet.com Coalition?

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition is made up of hundreds of groups from across the political spectrum that are concerned about maintaining a free and open Internet. Click here to see a list of coalition members.

No corporation or political party funds our efforts. We simply agree to a statement of principles in support of Internet freedom.

The coalition is being coordinated by Free Press, a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Please complete this brief survey if your group would like to join this broad, bipartisan effort to save the Internet.

Who else supports Net Neutrality?

The supporters of Net Neutrality include leading tech companies such as Amazon.com, EBay, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Skype and Yahoo. Prominent national figures such as Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig and Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps have called for stronger Net Neutrality protections.

President Barack Obama himself pledged to “take a back seat to no one” in his commitment to Net Neutrality. And the administration’s technology policies now posted on the White House Web site list Net Neutrality as the top priority.

Editorial boards at the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Seattle Times, St. Petersburg Times and Christian Science Monitor have all have urged Congress to save the Internet.

What can I do to help?

Sign the SavetheInternet.com petition and tell Congress to pass Net Neutrality legislation now.

Show your support for Internet freedom on your Web site or blog.

Tell your friends about this crucial issue before it’s too late

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Amanda Palmer is My Hero!

Amanda Palmers’s blog post about “A poem for Dzhokhar,” is beautiful. NO, not in its imagery, or similes, or its rhyme scheme (because it doesn’t have any), but because at the time I read it, it had over 2,000 comments on it (Some hate filled, some love filled, and everything in between.)

That’s right, you read right, A POEM, Written 2 DAYS AGO, had over 2,000 separate reactions! And this in the age of instant gratification and the days of “Tell Me What to believe!”, and Fuck Art and History and Geography and Literature, and give me what I want NOW! a POEM (written in 9 minutes) created so much controversy that it was front page news on tons of news outlets, prominent blogs, etc. (just Google “Amanda Palmer Poem,” and see for yourself.)

So, Kudos to you, Miss Palmer, good job at shaking up the norm, and maybe, just maybe, getting some people to think for themselves.

-Wiggums