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I’ve found one! I’ve found one! My God, they exisit.

28 Sep

Daniel Suelo wasn’t poor, a victim of bad luck, mentally ill, or even uneducated. He just decided that he wanted to have nothing to do with money. So he gave up consumer culture altogether, and for the last 9 years, he’s survived by living in a cave in Utah, and dumpster diving, foraging, fishing, and occasionally hunting for food. He spends his time in the great outdoors–and in the public library, where he blogs about it all.

Suelo must have the lowest carbon footprint of any blogger in the United States. And he’s never taken food stamps or other government assistance, and despite what his lifestyle may lead you to believe, he’s certainly not crazy. He’s just got an aversion to money.

According to MatadorChange, he was working in South America when he was first moved to consider a money-free, zero impact lifestyle:

While in Ecuador on a Peace Corps mission, he witnessed a rural community acquire increased monetary wealth through farming and shift their traditional lifestyle towards a diet of unhealthy, processed food and a newfound addiction to television … He made the conscious decision to return home, quit his job, and carve out a life without money.

Suelo himself writes “I’ve been living without a cent to my name since the autumn of 2000 (with a month’s exception during my first year)” on the front page of the website he runs from the public library.

It’s interesting to look at Suelo’s nearly decade-long dedication to anti-consumerism in contrast to the recent ‘eco-stunts’ that essentially promote similar ideals: sure, No Impact Man learned how hard it is to walk up six flights of stairs to get to his apartment for a year, but he he got a film and book deal out of it. Suelo’s got no cameras following him around, and he mostly just uses his blog to wax poetic about his living philosophy.

Of course, few would be willing to take such a plunge into a moneyless, ultra-low impact life. But simply knowing that Suelo has should be enough to make us think a long hard minute about all the stuff we heedlessly buy. Reverend Billy may be the head of the Church of Stop Shopping, but Daniel Suelo is its patron saint.

Revenge of the Introvert

28 Sep

By Laurie Helgoe

After ten years as a psychologist practicing psychodynamic psychotherapy, I reclined on the couch of my own analyst feeling burdened by my chosen work. After a day of seeing patients, I was drained. I had been trained to listen at many levels—words, emotions, unconscious disclosures—and I took all of that in and sorted it out in my mind. I was good at helping others discover and pursue what they wanted out of life. But at day’s end I had no resources left to do it for myself.

Then I heard myself say: “I don’t like being a therapist.” Pause. “I never have.” I loved the study of psychology. I didn’t love seeing patient after patient. I was perpetually overstimulated, busy decoding everything I took in. Plus, I wondered why I couldn’t tolerate the large caseloads my colleagues took on willingly.

Suddenly I felt free, loosed from expectations that never fit. And just as suddenly, I felt I could say no to the demands of others. I could even say no to being a therapist.

As a card-carrying introvert, I am one of the many people whose personality confers on them a preference for the inner world of their own mind rather than the outer world of sociability. Depleted by too much external stimulation, we thrive on reflection and solitude. Our psychic opposites, extroverts, prefer schmoozing and social life because such activities boost their mood. They get bored by too much solitude.

Over the past two decades, scientists have whittled down to five those clusters of cognitions, emotions, motivations, and behaviors that we mean by “personality” factors. Extraversion, and by inference introversion, is chief among them, along with neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness—psychology’s so-called Big Five.

cont’ article here


18 Aug

Thinking back I can’t recall a time after the divorce that I was ever 100% sure of anything.

I knew we were in trouble when Dad packed us cold toast for lunch, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see jam again. I’d watch TV and wonder if Batman would win this round, would the Fraggles continue to fuck with the Dozers, would Starsky ever let me ride in the Torino, could I be his girlfriend? I knew things we’re utterly different when I heard my Dad, locked away in his room, weep from the weight of it all. Would any of us smile?

I spent every day from the moment it all changed holding everything close to my heart, smiling, and making promises that everything would turn out because it had to. It always did, but this time I wasn’t sure.

I played mommy to the baby, and a crutch to my devastated father, blinded by grief. I learned to smile when talked to, lying became second nature. I understood quickly that my strength in the face of so much would be what brought us all through to the other side.

Natural creative instincts helped me concocted the  person for the job and by seventh grade she was perfectly crafted. A strong, sarcastic, opinionated and bold girl. No one messed with her, she wasn’t bullied she wasn’t bothered. Did people actually like her? She wasn’t sure.

Highschool brought an active social life. Many surface friends, a few closer and lots of events. In her circle she was successfully part of the social elite. With most events involving her plans, her home or her approval.

She was the perfect girl for the job. Survival Girl, Grandfather dies? Bring it! Uncle dies? Let’s do this. This was what she was made for. Nothing and no one could get through her. I was sure.

But then nothing happened. She waited and nothing happened at all. Survival Girl needed a crisis! After all, that’s who she is, why she exists…Now what?

Survival Girl was bored, tried making up reasons to exist before I realised she wasn’t needed and then start to remember who I actually am. Oh no!  Who am I?

I’m not sure.

Women. I will love them.

18 Aug

Jami: Last week a man-made a pass at me by saying, “You wouldn’t want to do something stupid with me, would you?”

All I could think was, “This is EXACTLY how I think about sexual encounters. They are stupid. Your stupid penis dangling near my stupid vagina.”

-Flicked Off (feature of: The community…check them out!!!)

I love this woman.

In fact I want to love all the women. I want to cry and laugh and scream and eat  and travel with women. I want to release myself from the past twenty years of hating women because once a women gave birth to me, ruined everything, and left.

I want to know a strong woman who will inspire me to be strong, to love  and know myself.


The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet

18 Aug

An amusing development in the past year or so — if you regard post-Soviet finance as amusing — is that Russian investor Yuri Milner has, bit by bit, amassed one of the most valuable stakes on the Internet: He’s got 10 percent of Facebook. He’s done this by undercutting traditional American VCs — the Kleiners and the Sequoias who would, in days past, insist on a special status in return for their early investment. Milner not only offers better terms than VC firms, he sees the world differently. The traditional VC has a portfolio of Web sites, expecting a few of them to be successes — a good metaphor for the Web itself, broad not deep, dependent on the connections between sites rather than any one, autonomous property. In an entirely different strategic model, the Russian is concentrating his bet on a unique power bloc. Not only is Facebook more than just another Web site, Milner says, but with 500 million users it’s “the largest Web site there has ever been, so large that it is not a Web site at all.”

You wake up and check your email on your bedside iPad — that’s one app. During breakfast you browse Facebook, Twitter, and The New York Times — three more apps. On the way to the office, you listen to a podcast on your smartphone. Another app. At work, you scroll through RSS feeds in a reader and have Skype and IM conversations. More apps. At the end of the day, you come home, make dinner while listening to Pandora, play some games on Xbox Live, and watch a movie on Netflix’s streaming service.

You’ve spent the day on the Internet — but not on the Web. And you are not alone.

This is not a trivial distinction. Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. It’s driven primarily by the rise of the iPhone model of mobile computing, and it’s a world Google can’t crawl, one where HTML doesn’t rule. And it’s the world that consumers are increasingly choosing, not because they’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because these dedicated platforms often just work better or fit better into their lives (the screen comes to them, they don’t have to go to the screen). The fact that it’s easier for companies to make money on these platforms only cements the trend. Producers and consumers agree: The Web is not the culmination of the digital revolution.

A decade ago, the ascent of the Web browser as the center of the computing world appeared inevitable. It seemed just a matter of time before the Web replaced PC application software and reduced operating systems to a “poorly debugged set of device drivers,” as Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen famously said. First Java, then Flash, then Ajax, then HTML5 — increasingly interactive online code — promised to put all apps in the cloud and replace the desktop with the webtop. Open, free, and out of control.


28 Apr

ODDtuesday is featuring Peter Root!

20 Apr

It may only be  obvious to me that Peter has very little to do. Or perhaps too much to do?

“Low-Rise” is a precarious assemblage of thousands of free-standing stacks of staples densely tessellated to create a city-like mosaic. Like a city, the staples are subject to the elements, on a micro scale. The slightest breath or vibration and the domino effect kicks in.