Thursday, October 30, 2014

Black Hole Sun

Castor and Pollux

In Greek and Roman mythology, Castor and Pollux were twin brothers known as the Dioskouri. Their mother was Leda, but Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus, who seduced Leda in the guise of a swan. Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are sometimes said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.

In Latin, the twins are also known as the Gemini or Castores. When Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together. Zeus granted the wish and both were transformed into the constellation Gemini. The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire, and were also associated with horsemanship.

They are sometimes called the Tyndaridae or Tyndarids, which is seen as a reference to their father and stepfather Tyndareus.

Both Dioscuri were excellent horsemen and hunters who participated in the hunting of the Calydonian Boar and they later joined the crew of Jason's ship, the Argo.

A replica of the Argo.
During the Argonauts adventures, Pollux took part in a boxing contest and defeated King Amycus of the Bebryces, a savage mythical people in Bithynia. After returning from the voyage, the Dioskouroi helped Jason and Peleus destroy the city of Iolcus in revenge for the treachery of its king Pelias.

When their sister Helen was abducted by the legendary Greek king Theseus, the brothers invaded his kingdom of Attica to rescue her. In revenge, they abducted Theseus' mother Aethra and took her to Sparta while setting his rival, Menestheus, on the throne of Athens. Aethra was then forced to become Helen's slave. She was ultimately returned to her home by her grandsons Demophon and Acamas after the fall of Troy.

Castor and Pollux aspired to marry the Leucippides ("daughters of the white horse"), Phoebe and Hilaeira, whose father was a brother of Leucippus ("white horse"). Both women were already betrothed to cousins of the Dioscuri, the twin brothers Lynceus and Idas of Thebes, who were sons of Tyndareus's brother Aphareus -- which made them cousins. Castor and Pollux carried the women off to Sparta wherein each had a son; Phoebe bore Mnesileos to Pollux and Hilaeira bore Anogon to Castor. This began a family feud among the four sons of the brothers Tyndareus and Aphareus.

The cousins carried out a cattle-raid in Arcadia together but fell out over the division of the meat. After stealing the herd, but before dividing it, the cousins butchered, quartered, and roasted a calf. As they prepared to eat, the gigantic Idas suggested that the herd be divided into two parts instead of four, based on which pair of cousins finished their meal first. Castor and Pollux agreed. Idas quickly ate both his portion and Lynceus' portion. Castor and Pollux allowed their cousins to take the entire herd, but vowed to someday take revenge.

Some time later, Idas and Lynceus visited their uncle's home in Sparta. The uncle was on his way to Crete, so he left Helen in charge of entertaining the guests, which included both sets of cousins, as well as Paris, prince of Troy. Castor and Pollux recognized the opportunity to exact revenge, made an excuse that justified leaving the feast, and set out to steal their cousins' herd. Idas and Lynceus eventually set out for home, leaving Helen alone with Paris, who then kidnapped her. Thus, the four cousins helped set into motion the events that gave rise to the Trojan War.

Meanwhile, Castor and Pollux had reached their destination. Castor climbed a tree to keep watch as Pollux began to free the cattle. As Idas and Lynceus approached. Lynceus, named for the lynx because he could see in the dark, spied Castor hiding in the tree. Idas and Lynceus immediately understood what was happening. Idas, furious, ambushed Castor, fatally wounding him with a blow from his spear—but not before Castor called out to warn Pollux. In the ensuing brawl, Pollux killed Lynceus. As Idas was about to kill Pollux, Zeus, who had been watching from Mt. Olympus, hurled a thunderbolt, killing Idas and saving his son.

Returning to the dying Castor, Pollux was given the choice by Zeus of spending all his time on Mount Olympus or giving half his immortality to his mortal brother. He opted for the latter, enabling the twins to alternate between Olympus and Hades. The brothers became the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini ("the twins"): Castor (Alpha Geminorum) and Pollux (Beta Geminorum). As emblems of immortality and death, the Dioskouri, like Heracles, were said to have been initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries.

Even after the rise of Christianity, the Dioskouroi continued to be venerated. The fifth-century pope Gelasius I attested to the presence of a "cult of Castores" that the people did not want to abandon. In some instances, the twins appear to have simply been absorbed into a Christian framework; thus fourth-century AD pottery and carvings from North Africa depict the Dioskouroi alongside the Twelve Apostles, the Raising of Lazarus or with Saint Peter. The church took an ambivalent attitude, rejecting the immortality of the Dioskouroi but seeking to replace them with equivalent Christian pairs. Saints Peter and Paul were thus adopted in place of the Dioskouroi as patrons of travelers, and Saints Cosmas and Damian took over their function as healers. Some have also associated Saints Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Melapsippus with the Dioskouroi.

The twins are mentioned in the Bible as being the logo for a shipping company that carried Paul to Rome (67 AD): Acts 28:11 (KJV)—"And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux."

While this article may be way more than you ever wanted to know about Castor and Pollux, just remember (if anyone asks) that these days the two are most often associated with astronomy and are known as "the Gemini Twins."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chaos Theory

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” -- Albert Einstein

Chaos is generally regarded as the opposite of order. Like everything else in the universe, there is a balance between the forces of order and the forces of chaos -- at least, most philosophical views take this stance, although there are those who believe that in the larger view, even chaotic systems are part of a greater order that we cannot always see. That, however, is a topic for another day.

Chaos Theory is the study of what was heretofore termed as nonlinear and unpredictable system behavior. Traditional systems studies deal with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions. Chaos Theory looks at things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on.

Unpredictable order of fractals.
These phenomena are often described by fractal mathematics, which captures the infinite complexity of nature. Many natural objects exhibit fractal properties, including landscapes, clouds, trees, organs, rivers etc, and many of the systems in which we live exhibit complex, chaotic behavior. Recognizing the chaotic, fractal nature of our world can give us new insight, power, and wisdom. For example, by understanding the complex, chaotic dynamics of the atmosphere, a balloon pilot can “steer” a balloon to a desired location. By understanding that our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected, we can hope to avoid actions which may end up being detrimental to our long-term well-being.

With that said, understand that chaotic systems are necessarily described as extremely complex and any detailed studies must include computer modeling simply because the equations are far too complicated and contain too many variables. These computer models often fail due to the degree of complexity.

How often are weathermen correct?
The truth is, mankind can only rely on certain general principles when it comes to Chaos Theory. What follows is some of those general principles.

The Butterfly Effect: This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. It may take a very long time, but the connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at just the right point in space/time, the hurricane would not have happened. A more rigorous way to express this is that small changes in the initial conditions lead to drastic changes in the results. Our lives are an ongoing demonstration of this principle. Who knows what the long-term effects of teaching millions of kids about chaos and fractals will be?

Unpredictability: Because we can never know all the initial conditions of a complex system in sufficient (i.e. perfect) detail, we cannot hope to predict the ultimate fate of a complex system. Even slight errors in measuring the state of a system will be amplified dramatically, rendering any prediction useless. Since it is impossible to measure the effects of all the butterflies (etc) in the World, accurate long-range weather prediction will always remain impossible.

Order/Disorder Chaos is not simply disorder. Chaos explores the transitions between order and disorder, which often occur in surprising ways.

Mixing: Turbulence ensures that two adjacent points in a complex system will eventually end up in very different positions after some time has elapsed. Examples: Two neighboring water molecules may end up in different parts of the ocean or even in different oceans. A group of helium balloons that launch together will eventually land in drastically different places. Mixing is thorough because turbulence occurs at all scales. It is also nonlinear: fluids cannot be unmixed.

Feedback: Systems often become chaotic when there is feedback present. A good example is the behavior of the stock market. As the value of a stock rises or falls, people are inclined to buy or sell that stock. This in turn further affects the price of the stock, causing it to rise or fall chaotically.

Fractals: A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos. Geometrically, they exist in between our familiar dimensions. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. For instance: trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc.

If one looks carefully, chaotic systems seem to be everywhere. They make up a great part of our daily lives and we plan for chance encounters with the weather or opportunities at work or a chance encounter that may lead to a romantic interlude. Life is full of chaos and, to a certain degree, we count on it and even attempt to predict the outcomes of chaotic systems. Upon recognizing a chaotic system (we seem to automatically recognize chaos, do we not?), sometimes we can step back and see that within the larger picture, there is an order to the chaos. That is when the ambitious may decide to duplicate, or at least attempt to understand how the system works. To a certain degree, we are able to make predictions about the weather, but, as you know, the prediction business can be risky. Ask any Vegas gambler.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What To Do With Pesky Truth

We like to believe that credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down someone in a powerful position. After all, we've actually seen it in action per the recent example of the owner of a professional basketball team. Wait a minute, that wasn't exactly criminal activity, was it? That occurence was due to the NBA owner's personal biases, wasn't it? Well, he was pilloried like he was a criminal. But I digress. Once in a while, you might hear of someone in a local government somewhere who got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Sometimes these people lose their jobs and their reputations and sometimes they don't. However, I am of the opinion that there are those who, through their connections and extent of accumulated power, are essentially bullet-proof. The Clintons, for instance. The Obamas. The Pelosis. Come to think of it, any past US president seems to get a pass. These days, we have an entire government from top to bottom that is rife with corruption from local reps all the way to the top executive position. The justice we common people long for seems totally out of reach and our masters are free to run roughshod over us, corralling us like animals with their authority, their bureaucracy, and the onerous weight of freedom-killing laws. It is a government fashioned against the people by egomaniacs, lawyers, and authority addicts who willfully ignore and "get around" the law of the land.

The media no longer serves the American people (or the people of the world for that matter) and yet, elements of the truth emerge to drift through the population as rumors and conspiracy theory. Truth is a persistent motivator. The powers that hold the reins of government control the media and use it to distribute their propaganda, to create illlusion as often as necessary and pay for it all through the use of America's oppressive tax system.

Allow me to break it down for you. If an inconvenient truth breaks out, government mouthpieces adopt the following techniques. Most will sound familiar to you.

1. First, dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.

2. Wax indignant. This is also known as the "how dare you?" gambit.

3. Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "paranoid" or "hysterical.")

4. Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.

5. Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nut," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot," and of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and defending the "more reasonable" government and its defenders. You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned. For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.

6. Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money (compared to over-compensated adherents to the government line who, presumably, are not).

7. Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.

8. Dismiss the charges as "old news."

9. Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hangout route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken. With effective damage control, the fall-back position need only be peddled by stooge skeptics to carefully limited markets.

10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

11. Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. For example: We have a completely free press. If they know of evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing they would have reported it. They haven't reported it, so there was no prior knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report the leak.

12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely. For example: If Vince Foster was murdered, who did it and why?

13. Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or publicizing distractions.

14. Scantly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them. This is sometimes referred to as "bump and run" reporting.

15. Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to attribute the "facts" furnished the public to a plausible-sounding, but anonymous, source.

16. Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges "expose" scandals and champion popular causes. Their job is to preempt real opponents and to play 99-yard football. A variation is to pay rich people for the job who will pretend to spend their own money.

17. Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the question, "What could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon hour on Internet news groups defending the government and/or the press and harassing genuine critics?" Don't the authorities have defenders enough in all the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television? One would think refusing to print critical letters and screening out serious callers or dumping them from radio talk shows would be control enough, but, obviously, it is not.

Even with all their resources, somehow thinking people are able to put the pieces together. The real story comes to light and spreads. History may be written by those in power, and places like Wikipedia are controlled by leftist scribes -- yet, somehow millions of people arrive at different conclusions. I think maybe it is because the truth takes on a life of its own and lies can only be propped up for so long. Those who willfully choose to believe a lie do so at their own risk. While it may fill their pockets and give them some material status for a time, eventually it will wreck their lives. You can't build a house on shifting sand.

Partially taken from David Martin's 17 Techniques for Truth Suppression.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Death Of Meriwether Lewis

Meriwether Lewis
Meriwether Lewis (August 18, 1774 – October 11, 1809) was an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark. Their mission was to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, establish trade and sovereignty over the natives near the Missouri River, and claim the Pacific Northwest and Oregon Country for the United States before European nations. They also collected scientific data, and information on indigenous nations. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him Governor of Upper Louisiana in 1806. He died of gunshot wounds in what was either a murder or suicide, in 1809.

On September 3, 1809, Lewis set out for Washington, D.C., where he hoped to resolve issues regarding the denied payment of drafts he had drawn against the War Department while serving as governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory. Lewis also carried his journals with him for delivery to his publisher. Lewis intended to travel to Washington by ship from New Orleans, but changed his plans while en route down the Mississippi from St. Louis. He decided to make an overland journey via the Natchez Trace and then east to Washington. The Natchez Trace was the old pioneer road between Natchez, Mississippi, and Nashville, Tennessee. Robbers preyed on travelers on the road, and sometimes the land pirates killed their victims.

According to an October 18, 1809 letter written to Thomas Jefferson, on October 10, 1809, Lewis stopped at an inn on the Natchez Trace called Grinder's Stand, about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Nashville. After leaving dinner, he went to his bedroom. In the predawn hours of October 11, the innkeeper heard gunshots. Servants found Lewis badly injured from multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the head. He died shortly after sunrise. The same account was published in the Nashville Democratic Clarion and repeated with some embellishment by newspapers across the country. The Nashville newspaper also reported that Lewis's throat was cut. Money Lewis had borrowed from Major Gilbert Russell at Fort Pickering to complete the journey was not recovered.

While modern historians generally accept his death as a suicide, there is some debate. No one admitted to seeing Lewis shoot himself. Three inconsistent accounts are attributed to the tavern-keeper's wife Priscilla Grinder, though Mrs. Grinder did not leave a written account. In one account, the writer said that Mrs. Grinder claimed Lewis acted strangely the night before his death. She said that during dinner, Lewis stood and paced about the room talking to himself in the way one would speak to a lawyer. She observed his face to flush as if it had come on him in a fit. After he retired for the evening, she continued to hear him talking to himself. At some point in the night, she heard multiple gunshots, and what she believed was someone calling for help. She claimed to be able to see Lewis through the slit in the door crawling back to his room. She never explained why, at the time, she did not investigate further concerning Lewis' condition or the source of the gunshots. The next morning, she sent her children to look for Lewis' servants. In one account, the servants found Lewis in the cabin, wounded and bloody, with part of his skull gone, but he lived for several hours. In another account, Lewis's body was found outside. In the last account attributed to Mrs. Grinder, she said that three men followed Lewis up the Natchez Trace and that he pulled his pistols and challenged them to a duel. In that account, Mrs. Grinder said that she heard voices and gunfire in Lewis's cabin about 1 a.m. She found the cabin empty and a large amount of gunpowder on the floor.

Priscilla Grinder's testimony is held as a point of contention from both sides of the murder–suicide debate. The murder advocates point to five conflicting testimonies as evidence that hers is fabricated, and the suicide advocates point to her testimony as proof of suicide. In the book The History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, first printed in 1893, the editor Elliott Coues expresses doubt about Thomas Jefferson's conclusion that Lewis committed suicide as presented in the former President's Memoir of Meriwether Lewis, which is included in the book. In a lengthy review of information available to him in the 1890s, Elliott Coues states:

Route of Lewis & Clark expedition.
"Undoubtedly Jefferson wrote in the light of all the evidence that had reached him in 1813, but it appears that his view of the case was far from being that of persons who lived in the vicinity of the scene at the time. That Governor Lewis did not die by his own hand, but was murdered and robbed, was common report at the time, as vouched by some persons still living...."

The only doctor to examine Lewis' body did not do so until 40 years later, in 1848. The Tennessee State Commission, including Dr. Samuel B. Moore, charged with locating Lewis's grave and erecting a monument over it, opened Lewis's grave. The commission wrote in its official report that though the impression had long prevailed that Lewis died by his own hand, "it seems to be more probable that he died by the hands of an assassin." His mother and relatives contended it was murder. A coroner's jury held an inquest immediately after Lewis's death as provided by local law; however, they did not charge anyone with murdering Lewis. The jury foreman kept a pocket diary of the proceedings. The pocket diary disappeared in the early 1900s.

From 1993–2010, about 200 of Lewis' kin (through his sister Jane, as he had no children) sought to have the body exhumed for forensic analysis, to try to determine whether the death was a suicide. A Tennessee coroner's jury in 1996 recommended exhumation. Since Lewis is buried in a national park, the National Park Service must approve; they refused the request in 1998, citing possible disturbance to the bodies of more than 100 pioneers buried nearby. In 2008 the Department of the Interior approved the exhumation, but that decision was rescinded in 2010 upon policy review, and the Department stated that its last decision is final. It is making improvements to the grave site and visitor facility.

When Clark and Jefferson were informed of Lewis' death, both accepted the conclusion of suicide. Historian Stephen Ambrose dismisses the murder theory as "not convincing", stating:

"What is convincing is the initial reaction of the two men who knew Lewis best and loved him most. William Clark and Thomas Jefferson immediately concluded that the story of Lewis's suicide was entirely believable, Clark on the basis of his intimate knowledge of Lewis's mental state and more explicitly on the never found Lewis letter of mid-September [1809]. Neither Jefferson or Clark ever doubted that Lewis killed himself."

Historian Paul Russell Cutright wrote a detailed refutation of the murder/robbery theory, concluding that it "lacks legs to stand on":

" a result of the continued, intrusive problems haunting Lewis during the final months of his life, he became increasingly unstable. This to such an extent that in time there was, for him, only one escape, a fatal rendezvous."

These problems included Lewis' debts, heavy drinking and possible morphine/opium use, his failure to prepare the expedition's journals for publication, his repeated failure to find a wife, and his role in the deterioration in his friendship with Thomas Jefferson. Lewis died while travelling to Washington to petition the government after it had refused to honor drafts paid by Lewis as Governor of Louisiana Territory, leaving him in potentially ruinous debt. He had written his will and attempted suicide already on this journey, having to be restrained.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

“Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government.”

-- Dr. Henry Kissinger, Bilderberger Conference, Evians, France, 1991

Asimov's Robotics Laws

The Three Laws of Robotics (Three Laws or Asimov's Laws) are a set of rules guiding the actions of robots and other artificial intelligences that were originally devised by science fiction author Isaac Asimov. The rules were introduced in Asimov's 1942 short story "Runaround", although they had been foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. The Three Laws are:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

The Three Laws form an organizing principle and unifying theme for Asimov's robotic-based fiction, appearing in his Robot series, the stories linked to it, and his Lucky Starr series of young-adult fiction. The Laws are incorporated into almost all of the positronic robots appearing in his fiction, and cannot be bypassed, being intended as a safety feature. Many of Asimov's robot-focused stories involve robots behaving in unusual and counter-intuitive ways as an unintended consequence of how the robot applies the Three Laws to whatever situation in which it finds itself. Other authors working in Asimov's fictional universe have adopted the Three Laws.

In these times with questions surrounding how the emergence of real robots will impact human society, Asimov's robotic laws seem to have a legitimate place in the construction of artificial intelligences.

Since their inception, the original laws have been altered and elaborated on by Asimov and other authors. Asimov himself made modifications to the first three in various books and short stories to further develop how robots would interact with humans and each other. In later fiction where robots had taken responsibility for the governance of entire planets and human civilizations, Asimov also added a fourth, or zeroth law, to precede the others:

0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

The Three Laws, and the zeroth, have pervaded science fiction and are referred to in many books, films, and other media.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Consensus Reality

Consensus reality is a really cool term with which to impress your friends. In a nutshell, it is defined as that which is generally agreed to be reality, based upon a consensus view. For instance, if I say all human behavior is acceptable if it doesn't harm anyone, and you agree, then we have a consensus. From that consensus, we inform our congressman and he (or she) writes a law (after some sort of significant donation or promise from us) that says all human behavior is OK as long as it doesn't harm anyone. Essentially, the same process is performed in other fields of human endeavor, such as law, education, science, philosophy... I'm sure you get the picture.

Now, the problem is when we don't, in fact, fully understand or agree upon the nature of knowledge or ontology, and therefore it is not possible to be certain beyond a reasonable doubt what is real. Accordingly, this line of logic concludes, we cannot in fact be sure beyond doubt about the nature of reality. We can, however, seek to obtain some form of consensus, with others, of what is real. We can use this consensus as a pragmatic guide, either on the assumption that it seems to approximate some kind of valid reality, or simply because it is more "practical" than perceived alternatives. Consensus reality therefore refers to the agreed-upon concepts of reality which people in the world, or a culture or group, believe are real (or treat as real), usually based upon their common experiences as they believe them to be; anyone who does not agree with these is sometimes stated to be "in effect... living in a different world."

Throughout history this has also raised a social question: "What shall we make of those who do not agree with consensus realities of others, or of the society they live in?" Hmmm. Perhaps we should ostracize them, make them outcasts. Laugh them out of our parties. Make fun of their ideas.

Children are sometimes been described or viewed as "inexperience[d] with consensus reality," although with the expectation that they will come into line with it as they mature. Sometimes, we may call adults eccentrics, or mentally ill, even enlightened or divinely inspired, or evil or demonic in nature. Alternatively, differing viewpoints may simply be put to some kind of "objective" (though the nature of "objectivity" goes to the heart of the relevant questions) test. Cognitive liberty is the freedom to be the individual's own director of the individual's own consciousness and is fundamentally opposed to enforcement of the culturally accepted reality upon non-conforming individuals. Effects of low cognitive liberty vary from indifference to forced-medication and from social alienation to incarceration to death.

In considering the nature of reality, two broad approaches exist: the realist approach, in which there is a single objective overall space-time reality believed to exist irrespective of the perceptions of any given individual, and the idealistic approach, in which it is considered that an individual can verify nothing except their own experience of the world, and can never directly know the truth of the world independent of that.

Consensus reality may be understood by studying socially constructed reality, a subject within the sociology of knowledge.

Consider this example: reality for people who believe in any particular God is different from reality for those who believe that science is sufficient for explaining life and the universe.

In societies where God-centered religions are dominant, that understanding would be the consensus reality, while the religious worldview would remain the nonconsensus (or alternative) reality in a predominantly secular society where the consensus reality is grounded in science alone.

In this way, different individuals and communities have fundamentally different world views, with fundamentally different comprehensions of the world around them, and of the constructs within which they live. Thus, a society that is, for example, completely secular and one which believes every eventuality to be subject to metaphysical influence will have very different consensus realities, and many of their beliefs on broad issues such as science, slavery, and human sacrifice may differ in direct consequence because of the differences in the perceived nature of the world they live in.

However, realities may also differ amongst a population of those who believe in the same "particular God". These differences in realities between two or more distinct populations within the same religion have a wide range of real consequences. For example: the differences in the perceived realities between Sunni and Shiite interpretations of Islam; have left the two groups at odds with each other for centuries. There is a well-documented history of disputes arising from these theological differences within certain pockets of the Islamic faith, which has repeatedly led to violence between the two groups. The same can be said for the Great Schism within Christianity between Catholics and Protestants, which has many similar conflicts as well. The differences between Christian and Muslim perceptions of reality ultimately led to The Crusades. That didn't turn out well for anyone. As a matter for debate, some would point out that the same holy war between these two religious groups has continued well on into the 21st century.

A third group worth mentioning would be those with an Agnostic perspective of reality, which is ultimately more humble in its assessment with reality than both the atheist and "any particular religious" reality. Their view of reality expresses more humility in the sense that they do not go about assigning answers to the great questions. The reality of an atheist or religious individual is one with definitive interpretations and proclamations of absolute truth in the metaphysical universe. This reality requires some arrogance (or, if you prefer, some faith) on the part of individuals who claim to understand absolute truth. It is important to note, that the lack of religion as a function of an individual's reality does not necessarily entail a lack of concern or emphasis of morality. Likewise, the existence of religion as a function of another individual's reality does not necessarily entail the understanding or commitment to morality.

All righty then, I am so glad we got this business about consensus reality cleared up. Feel free to use this new knowledge and the term "consensus reality" to bolster your friendly debates. Good luck in picking your reality. Choose wisely.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rules Of The Road

Most articles on hitchhiking start with something like, "When I was in college, once I decided to hitch to Yosemite over Spring Break..." or something to that effect. Now, there are a few of us who actually hitchhiked to get to places without being on vacation, like work or to see a girlfriend or to pick free apples from an orchard in the next town. Whatever the cause, whether you're planning a long trip or a short sprint across the county, it's always good to bear a few things in mind.

For one thing, the police (Sheriff's deputies, Highway Patrol, etc.) always check you out if you're trying to hitch a ride, so keep illegal contraband tucked well away. I say this because the old hitching adage of gas, grass, or ass is still generally in effect today. Plus, it's not a bad idea to have some kind of a deterrent from bad actors, you know, like pepper spray. It's a bit difficult to conceal your uncle's AK-47 in your pack. Besides, if you need it, it'll take forever to pull it out. Best leave it with your uncle. Thanks for offering, uncle.

Generally speaking, hitchhiking is not just for hippies, ski bums, and axe murderers. It is, rather, one of the easiest ways to see the world on a budget, and make a few new friends in the process. All you need is some common sense, a little etiquette, and an opposable thumb (unless you're traipsing through Thailand or the Middle East, in which case, do NOT stick your thumb up and out. Just don't).

So, although it’s not mandatory to give your driver anything, it is good practice to offer to pitch in on gas if you can afford it. It's karma, dude.

Remember, safety first. The best way to stay safe is to be like the Boy Scouts: be prepared. Plan properly and give yourself options. Don’t depend entirely on anyone for anything whether on the road or at home. I'm sure you've heard all the scary stories about thumbing a ride in the US. It's mostly hype. However, with that said, don't be a damn fool -- you're still getting in a stranger's car. Stay alert, buckle up, and, if at any time they pop Rob Zombie into the tape deck, immediately bail out.

If one of these picks you up, you must pay before you get off.
Good countries in which to hitchhike include New Zealand, Cuba, Netherlands, Germany, and Israel. Texas, mainly because of the oppressive police presence, is not a particularly good place to hitchhike.

Here's an obvious tip you should know but probably don't always follow when traveling: If you want to increase your chances of being picked up (on the road or at the bar), be sure to shower and dress like someone you’d want to travel with; no one wants to do someone a favor when it means stinking up their car.

There is a method to successful hitchhiking. For instance, a long trip (cross-country) requires a good map. It pays to know where you're going. Become familiar with the road numbering system, if there is one. On US interstate highways, even numbered roads go east/west, and the higher the number, the more northern the interstate. Odd numbered roads go north/south, and the higher the number, the more eastern the interstate. Three-digit interstate numbers indicate spurs and loops off the main interstates. In Europe, two digit numbers ending in 5 indicate a reference road that goes from north to south, whereas those ending in 0 indicate reference roads that go from east to west.

Take precautions. Scan your ID (and passport, if traveling internationally) and e-mail it to yourself. If it gets stolen, print out copies at a library. For passports, go to an embassy with your copies and do what you need to do to get a new passport. Americans must provide two passport photos and fill out a few forms to get a temporary passport.

Make a legible sign stating where you're headed. It gives the appearance of legitimacy. It tells people that you're on a planned trip.

Hitch from a good spot. Get on the side of the city or town that's in the direction you're traveling. E.g. If you're heading west, get on the west side of town. Your spot should be on a straight stretch of road (700 meters in either direction). Cars on a super-highway are going too fast to stop -- chances are better when the speed limit is 50 or less. Make eye contact with passing drivers. Wearing sunglasses is not a good idea because it obscures eye contact.

Do I need to tell you that the cars need to be traveling in your chosen direction?

Have a visible and easily manageable pull-over and pick-up area nearby.

No other hitchhikers in sight -- if someone is there first, remain out of sight and wait your turn.

As mentioned before, present yourself well. Look like you know where you are going, and what you are doing. Have a clean, well-kept appearance, hold a clear, neat sign, and smile!

More interesting but useful factoids: You're less likely to get picked up if you wear too much denim. Shorts on male hitchers are looked down upon in many rural communities in the American South and West.

Super short hair tends to make people assume that you are from an institutional setting (prison, military, asylum, boarding school, etc), or recently released from one. This can work either for or against you.

Couples tend to wait longer, based on 'real estate' issues in passing vehicles, however, make it clear from the start that you're in a relationship with the woman, or else the driver might go after her; be protective.

Rain will not increase your chances of getting picked up, especially if you're totally drenched. Snow, however, or a recent snowfall, however, tends to increase odds of getting a ride. People generally don't mind the occasional snowflake on their upholstery, as it brushes off easily, before it melts, but rain on clothes tends to collect in seat cushions.

I cannot stress this next point enough. Be selective about which rides you take. You'll actually get to your destination faster if you pay attention. It's better to travel 50 miles and get dropped off at a gas station or truck stop than to travel 100 miles and get dropped off in a bad hitchhiking spot. So use that map! If you've been on a busy roadway for more than two hours and people aren't stopping, you're probably on the wrong road or the wrong side of the road. Duh! If someone stops and you don't want to take the ride, for whatever reasons, tell them you want to wait for a ride that's longer or takes you to a better position. Just because they pull over doesn't mean you should get in. Always follow your intuition.

Hitchhiking across the US takes about 4-6 days. West to east is faster than east to west.

For obvious reasons, the less baggage the better. However, a backpack clearly shows your intentions, while being empty-handed may look a bit suspicious. Using a suitcase or garbage bag instead of a knapsack automatically voids you from most rides, as well.

In most European countries it is all right to hitch on smaller or secondary roads, but illegal and very unpleasant on highways.

If it's raining, an easily removable poncho or umbrella may indicate to picky drivers their car won't get soaked. That said, if you have time, it is often better just to wait out a rainstorm.

Many drivers will be more likely to pick up a hitcher who appears to be walking. Do not walk away from a good hitch-hiking spot though! You are more likely to get a ride in a good spot where a car can stop, than in a bad spot, walking.

Be polite with the people who stop to take you in their car, and remember to thank them for the ride.

Hitching is anything but an exact science but cars with kids and (mysteriously enough) camper-vans are tough crowds. Consequently areas full of tourists or holiday travelers are hard nuts to crack.

The "hitchhiker's thumb" is unknown in parts of Asia. In South Korea, simply put your arm out with your palm facing down, then make a gesture for getting someone to come to you.

In the UK and most of Europe, it works great. Befriend a truck driver and get them to give you an old used Tachograph Chart. Hold this up to passing trucks when hitching, this will make you appear to be a fellow truck driver and therefore greatly increase your chances of them stopping to give you a lift. Since North America does not use Tachograph, this would probably not have any effect beside confuse the drivers.

Do not hitchhike next to a disabled vehicle; you do not need the cops or owner investigating. Also, most passing motorists, upon learning the vehicle isn't yours, will probably decline your ride.

Do not hitch at night, unless in a well-lit spot, and avoid hitching on paydays in rural areas. You do not want a passing drunk to clip you.

Hitchhiking is illegal in some states and countries like Australia.

Not only in Asia, but in some European countries, the "hitchhiker's thumb" may be taken as an insult.

Each time you hitchhike, you are taking a risk by getting into a car with a stranger. Exercise caution and good judgment, but be aware that caution and good judgment won't protect you if you are picked up by someone with ulterior motives.

Hitchhiking on the highway can be dangerous. Use judgment as to whether the ramp is better than the main line.

Watch out for cops. Even if it is legal where you are, you may get questioned. Over-zealous cops are everywhere.

Don’t hitch in places where it is important for the driver to concentrate on the road, especially at crosswalks or areas where children are at play.

And so, that's it. If you find yourself looking for an adventure or you just want to get across town because your car blew a rod, use these common sense rules and you'll be fine. Unless, that is, you run across an inbred yankee family in the backwoods of northern New York State. All those weirdoes don't just live in Georgia, you know.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Corruption Is Like Shifting Sand

It is breathtaking how corrupt our elected officials in the U.S. government have become.

Corruption is so endemic in American society that most simply accept it as "normal" and ignore it. "It's not that bad," they insist. But shouldn't we all get angry when we find out that the Federal Reserve has sent billions of dollars in bailout money to addresses in the Cayman Islands? Shouldn't we all be slightly curious when 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he is "not going to spend my time focusing on the Federal Reserve"? Shouldn't we be amazed when Nancy Pelosi says that "elections shouldn't matter"? Shouldn't we all demand someone be held accountable when we find out that a CBO analysis shows that the "$38.5 billion" in spending cuts will only reduce the budget deficit for this year by $352 million dollars? On top of everything else, shouldn't we all be absolutely horrified when the TSA gropes little 6 year old girls and virtually none of our politicians demand change?

Perhaps you've already heard of the "budget cut deal" where 38.5 billion dollars in budget cuts are largely illusory.

According to the Washington Post, the Congressional Budget Office says that the budget deal will only cut the budget deficit for this year by less than one percent of what was being claimed by Republican and Democrat leaders.

"The Congressional Budget Office estimate shows that compared with current spending rates the spending bill due for a House vote Thursday would pare just $352 million from the deficit through Sept. 30. About $8 billion in cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid are offset by nearly equal increases in defense spending."

If that's the case, then why bother at all?.

The reality is that U.S. government budget increases by over 2 million dollars every single minute. So the entire "savings" from this "budget deal" will account for approximately 3 hours of government spending.

The U.S. government ran a budget deficit of $188 billion dollars for the month of March alone. We are in debt up to our eyeballs and it is getting worse at an exponential rate.

As a responsible citizen, YOU must understand that neither political party is the least bit serious about dealing with our debt problem. Why? Because they've got theirs, baby!

Have you heard the one about the Federal Reserve sending billions In bailout aid to the rich in the Cayman Islands? It's not a joke.

Most Americans don't even begin to understand what the Federal Reserve is, and yet the Federal Reserve gets to throw trillions of dollars around while being more or less completely unaccountable the entire time.

In an article for Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi claims that "The Fed sent billions in bailout aid to banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses. "Our jaws are literally dropping as we're reading this," says Warren Gunnels, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. "Every one of these transactions is outrageous.""

So how does it benefit the American people to send billions of dollars to some ultra-wealthy people down in the Cayman Islands?

In light of what we have already discovered, it is absolutely amazing that Congress still refuses to authorize a complete audit of the Federal Reserve.

The corruption within the Fed is simply astounding. Especially when one considers that the United States is a country that was intended to be led by its citizens.

Unfortunately, many of our top politicians openly declare that they have no intention of going after the Federal Reserve.

If there was any doubt that Mitt Romney is just another shill for the establishment, please read the following two statements by Romney.

According to Politico, Romney recently told CNBC's Larry Kudlow that he is not concerned about the Federal Reserve at all. "I think Ben Bernanke is a student of monetary policy; he's doing as good a job as he thinks he can do," Romney said when Kudlow asked what kind of job Bernanke is doing. "I'm not going to spend my time going after Ben Bernanke. I'm not going to spend my time focusing on the Federal Reserve."

That about sums it up. The Republican candidate with perhaps the greatest amount of "establishment support" says that he thinks Bernanke is doing a good job and he does not plan to spend any time focusing on the Federal Reserve.

Moving on to other famous loudmouths, Nancy Pelosi recently declared that "Elections shouldn't matter." During one of her speeches, Pelosi implored establishment Republicans to "take back your party" so that elections won't "matter" as much. Huh?

"To my Republican friends: take back your party. So that it doesn’t matter so much who wins the election, because we have shared values about the education of our children, the growth of our economy, how we defend our country, our security and civil liberties, how we respect our seniors. Because there are so many things at risk right now — perhaps in another question I’ll go into them, if you want. But the fact is that elections shouldn’t matter as much as they do… But when it comes to a place where there doesn’t seem to be shared values then that can be problematic for the country, as I think you can see right now."

Apparently Pelosi wants America to return to a time when all of us just went along with the false left/right paradigm and when we were all content to sleep while the establishment agenda rolled along.

And finally, there's the case of a 6 year old girl shaken down and molested by the TSA. If you haven't heard of this already, you're living under a rock. How far have we fallen when a 6 year old girl has to have her private areas touched in public by the TSA before she is allowed to get on an airplane?

This what America has become in a few short years. This is what George Bush meant when he cautioned the American public about a new world order. We will now subject ourselves to anything as long as the authorities insist it will keep us a little bit safer. Soon, America is going to be unrecognizable.

One town in Missouri has actually banned Girl Scouts from selling cookies in their own front yards. How crazy is that? Just try opening up a lemonade stand and you may be faced by a SWAT team.

In Cleveland, authorities have announced plans to have "trash supervisors" snoop through trash cans to ensure people are actually recycling according to city guidelines.

The control freaks we keep voting into office seem to have an obsession with running every detail of our lives.

Houston Mayor Anise Parker w/wedded partner.
In many areas of the nation we aren't even allowed to perform acts of kindness anymore. For example, in Houston, Texas, a couple named Bobby and Amanda Herring that had been feeding homeless people for over a year has been banned by the city from doing so. As you've probably heard, Houston has other problems surrounding its homosexual rights agenda. The lesbian mayor has recently backed the city's lawyers in a move to subpoena sermons and notes from five fundamentalist preachers.

At one public school in the Chicago area, children have been banned from bringing their lunches from home. Instead, it is mandatory that they eat the food that the cafeteria serves.

At all levels, our system of government has become corrupted beyond all recognition. What happened to individual freedom? What happened to the US Constitution? Government corruption is out of control and it is getting worse with each passing day.

Washington is rife with corruption, much of which is actually legal. The politicians and other insiders insist that more ethics laws and lobbying rules are the solution. Some even say the only answer is campaign finance laws that restrict 1st Amendment rights.

Make no mistake, leftists and globalists are behind the corruption. Republicans and Democrats are simply two ends of the same stick and both are equally corrupt. Unfortunately, the worst of the two now control Washington. They use Marxist ideals and revolutionary tactics to further an agenda of collective subjugation. Equality has replaced liberty as the battle cry for the zombie masses. They are as insane as your ex-wife and her crazy Aunt Harriet locked away in the attic. More to the point, your life, opinions, and freedom means nothing to them other than a threat to their own quest for absolute power. Wake up, America. Throw out the bums.

A sampling of documented corruption in the US:

2009–present -- Barack Obama Administration
Executive Branch

Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014 - It was discovered that officials in the Phoenix VA hospital lied about how long the wait times were for veterans to see a doctor. An investigation of delays is being conducted by the Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki, voluntarily resigned.

ATF gunwalking scandal – Attorney General Eric Holder was held in Contempt of Congress after refusing to release all documents which the House of Representatives had demanded concerning the Fast and Furious gun walking operation. (2012)

Terence Flynn, an appointee of Barack Obama to the National Labor Relations Board, resigned in May 2012 after being accused of serious ethical violations by leaking information to the National Association of Manufacturers.

Martha N. Johnson, head of the General Services Administration, fired two top GSA officials and then resigned herself after it was revealed that $822,000 had been spent in Las Vegas on a four-day training conference for 300 GSA employees. (2010)

IRS admitted to inappropriate investigation of conservative political groups associated with the Tea Party. President Obama labeled the IRS’s actions "inexcusable." He demanded and accepted the resignation of Steven T. Miller Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Other actions arising from the scandal included:

Joseph H. Grant, commissioner of the IRS Tax-exempt and Government entities division, resigned on May 16.

Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Office of Exempt Organizations, stated she had not done anything wrong and then took the Fifth before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She retired after an internal investigation found that she neglected her duties and was going to call for her ouster.

Legislative Branch

David Rivera Congressman (R-FL) was indicted as a co-conspirator in an $81,000 campaign-finance scheme to prop up a little-known Democratic candidate who used the illegal cash to trash Rivera’s rival in the Democratic primary.(2012)

Rick Renzi (R-AZ) on June 12, 2013 was found guilty of 17 counts against him, which included wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators.

Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) was arrested on December 23, 2012 and later pled guilty to drinking and driving in a Virginia court. The court fined him 250 dollars. He was sentenced to 180 days in prison, but served no time.

Trey Radel (R-FL) was arrested on October 29, 2013 in Washington, D.C. for possession of cocaine after purchasing the drug from an undercover law enforcement officer. As a first time offender, he pled guilty to a misdemeanor in a Washington, D.C. court, and was sentenced to one year probation and fined $250. Radel took a leave of absence from office to undergo substance abuse treatment following his conviction. Following treatment, he initially returned to office with the intent of finishing his term, but eventually resigned on January 27, 2014.

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pled guilty to one felony count of fraud for using $750,000 of campaign money to buy personal items such as stuffed animals, elk heads and fur capes. His wife, Sandi Jackson, who is a Chicago City Alderman, pled guilty to filing false income tax statements at the same time.

Laura Richardson (D-CA) was found guilty on seven counts of violating US House rules by improperly using her staff to campaign for her, destroying the evidence and tampering with witness testimony. The House Ethics Committee ordered Richardson to pay a fine of $10,000. (2012)

John Ensign (R-NV) resigned his Senate seat on May 3, 2011, just before the Senate Ethics Committee could examine possible fiscal violations in connection with his extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton. (2011) (see Federal sex scandals) In May 2012, aide Doug Hampton (R) in what became the John Ensign scandal reached a plea deal with prosecutors, the details of which have not yet been released.

Michael Grimm (R-NY) has been indicted for campaign finance violations. He has not been proven guilty.

Judicial Branch

G. Thomas Porteous Federal Judge for Eastern Louisiana was unanimously impeached by the US House of Representatives on charges of bribery and perjury in March 2010. He was convicted by the US Senate and removed from office. He had been appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton. (2010)

Samuel B. Kent Federal District Judge of Galveston, Texas, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about sexually harassing two female employees. He had been appointed to office by Republican George H. W. Bush in 1990. (2009)

Stop Being a Slave

Whether you want to admit it or not, there are conspiracies in the world, and those conspiracies are always conducted by people “in the know” against those who are ignorant or naive of back-room machinations.

Past slavery was largely based on force, but modern-day slavery is even more widespread because globalists use all the scientific tools at their disposal to win hearts and control minds, convincing people that they are free, so they must be living self-directed lives.

There are signs that the mind-pyramids that technocrats have built in order to enforce their 21st-century global plantation slave system are unsustainable.Many of us believe that freedom is the natural state of man and anything else is a perversion and a crime.

In that regard, here are 10 ways that you can help collapse the pyramids of control.

1. Media and Intelligence - Information is knowledge and knowledge is power — this is where it all starts. Turn off the TV, stop passively receiving information that turns you into an idiot at the teat of the “idiot box.” Get creative: start a blog, a neighborhood newsletter, radio show, public access TV or YouTube channel, write encouraging letters to companies you appreciate and nasty ones to those you boycott; DO something; anything to increase awareness. Homeschooling is another great way to help short circuit the negative influences of systematic programming. Even if you don’t agree with homeschooling, or are not able, there are concepts that you can help introduce into your public school to enhance education. Intelligence – there are technologies to thwart constant surveillance, as well as low-tech solutions to high-tech tyranny. The Internet is being used to monitor the public, but it also provides an opportunity for the public to watch and report the real criminals. Use the system against itself.

2. Health and Agriculture - Why do tyrannical systems always move to declare methods of independence such as farming, vitamins, raw milk, and natural medication like cannabis as underground contraband systems that threaten the health of society? Clearly because this is a cornerstone of freedom. Learn to make your own medicines, trade on the underground, support other states (and countries) who have embraced food freedom, and stand your ground by forming local community resistance against food and health tyranny. Moreover, simply making your mind and body stronger by pursuing what is natural and healthy will give you more power to challenge the system in every other way.

3. Energy and Technology - Support true economic development and pursue open source solutions to all technological problems that can affect humanity on the widest scale. These are the technologies that have been suppressed in the past, their creators destroyed; but now there are too many people pursuing goals to free humanity. Embrace innovation and technology, but only as it leads to self-empowerment, self-determination, and genuinely helps the human and environmental condition. There are reportedly many free-energy patents being kept from the public. These technologies can’t be kept secret forever as long as the Internet remains free and open. Support all efforts to maintain Internet freedom and the right to pursue innovation.

4. Mobility and Flexibility - Always be willing to adapt and move. The structure of tyranny might be global, but there are always pockets of freedom that tyranny ignores — normally based on economic interest. Become adaptable, don’t buy into the “American Dream” of having possessions to define your self-worth. Once you discard the unimportant things, look for specific towns, states, or countries to escape economic decline and those which promote freedom. It’s a difficult decision to pick up and move, especially when extended family comes into play, but discuss your ideas and the evidence for your concerns openly and honestly, and be the first to pioneer the building of a new future — if things begin to collapse in earnest, you will soon be sought after by those who once doubted your “crazy” reasoning.

5. Prepare for the Worst - Along the same lines as being mobile and flexible, make sure that you store enough supplies to get through a few months or more of tough times. The current system relies on your dependence and they can easily control those who live just-in-time lifestyles. Most people don’t realize how much they “need” the system until something like a blizzard knocks out their power and wipes out the grocery store shelves. It’s wise to store back-up food, have the ability to produce food, gather tools and other items needed during power outages or other disasters, and actively pursue any and all other survival prepping and self-sufficiency techniques.

6. Refuse to Pay Unjust Debt - This is a moral decision based on the information that much of what was created to be a “loan” was based on a predatory system. As they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and that is duly noted, but when confronted with an enemy that has deliberately contrived devious ways to steal productivity and the fruits of honest labor, then the principle of justifiable self-defense is invoked. Forget about your credit score; it is the invisible chain that keeps you in prison. Refuse to pay debts that you know were fraudulently imposed. Remember, the banks never had the money they “lent” to you in the first place; they created it out of nothing to buy your servitude. If you are hesitant to simply quit paying the criminal banks, then learn how to reduce your exposure to all debts.

7. Create New Banking Systems - We have seen economic collapse taking down countries like dominoes across the third world, and, if you can do the math, we seem to be headed the same direction. The money junkies in the Federal Reserve and our federal government cannot and will not stop. It is up to us to develop systems which permit us to completely withdraw our support for the current system and shield us from manipulated collapses. This may be the most productive way to break free from modern slavery; whether it’s switching to local credit unions, storing precious metals instead of cash, engaging in barter systems or using alternative currencies, or supporting full-blown monetary reform, reliance upon the imposed system is what props it up.

8. Learn a Skill - Learn as many skills outside of your day job as possible. This can be as simple as giving more attention to your hobbies like fishing, hunting, gardening, painting, blogging, tinkering on cars, building things, sewing, cooking, etc. Whatever useful skill you’re most passionate about, learn more about it, become an expert at it, and acquire the necessary tools to start a side business with it. By doing this, you’ll reduce the dependence on your job and find much more fulfillment in life. Remember, skills are the only form of wealth that can’t be taken from you. Additionally, form clubs or partnerships with your neighbors and share your skills and tools to form a stronger community that will be resistant to whatever the systems of control throw your way.

9. Boycott - Activists have enjoyed many recent victories through boycott, most notably the rapid removal of “pink slime” meat from major supermarket chains following public outcry once they became aware of the product. It goes to show that the public still holds the power over corporations, but the masses must be educated before they’re moved to action. Not you though. Readers of this post know exactly what companies to boycott and why. Start living your principles and follow through on your knowledge. Voting with your dollars DOES work, but not if the aware crowd refuses to do it.

10. Taxes - Taxes are the most controversial of all. How do you feel knowing that money is extracted from you by force to be injected into systems around the world that create violence, rip apart cultures, and put us on a path of complete annihilation and self-destruction? This is slave-like thinking in its highest form of denial. No Constitution of any country anywhere in the world openly recognizes that it is lawful to forcefully extract money you have earned, enslaving you in perpetuity to kill others with it, upon penalty of imprisonment. It’s the final chain to be broken, and is admittedly the thickest. How can a machine be built without the funding to build it? The entire prison system we see around us has been built with our own money. Did you authorize it? Did you authorize the preemptive wars, bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, the high-tech surveillance grid that enslaves you?

These are all things you can do on your own. You don’t need to influence politicians, or ignite a mass protest, or wait for an uprising. There is no cavalry coming. You are the change you seek. Get out there and become more self-reliant and the system will lose its grip on you. If enough of us do this, the system will fall apart by its own unsustainable making. Refuse to be a slave today and unchain others by sharing this article and implementing the tips on this list.