Giving Thanks 2018

Giving Thanks 2018

Grateful this year to be living with my family in a new part of the world, and to my employers and colleagues who trust in me to be part of a team seriously combating ignorance, systematic denial, and the deathly status quo. Grateful to all my friends who are family who share in our peace, honey in the heart, and joy and laughter. Grateful to all of my spiritual teachers, especially those mundane ones who walk their talk. Grateful to having bought our first Holland Fiet yesterday, cruising around the Amsterdam canals. Grateful for simplicity and through that abundance. Grateful that my son will be able to grow up with a better social network that doesn’t steal and sell his data, but lets him have privacy over his own life sharings. Grateful for all of the people collectively turning the tide against fascism, environmental degradation, and the serial murder of mammals. Grateful to the technologies that allow our whip crack minds to connect, and even more grateful for those in-person heart vibration connections. Grateful to the cold air, the damp air, the trees shedding their leaves, and to those retaining them–each a lesson in surrender in their own ways. Grateful to my homeland of California, and to all the natives everywhere who have set me off on the path of becoming indigenous again. Thank you to the friends who have mirrored, shared their struggles, checked me at every turn, honing and refining my capacity for empathy and solidarity. Thank you for the easy lessons, and the hard. May all beings everywhere be free. May my heart always lean into...
Believing in one’s story until it collapses

Believing in one’s story until it collapses

My screed in the current Adbusters (ironically posted on Facebook while decrying Facebook) describes the difficulty of addressing a monolithic view of value, knowledge, and teleology. The ability for the successful to numb themselves to the fallout of their “progress” creates a vicious circle of moral and sensory blindness. In order not to act with compassion towards the environment and people destroyed because of your actions, especially those that make your life ever more plush and appearing “secure,” demands a tremendous amount of learned selective desensitization. It requires reprogramming the natural instinct of your cells and mirror neurons to feel empathy, reach out a hand, sigh, and lend some muscle and coin to repair a broken life. It requires hating oneself enough to treat strangers with contempt based on superficial differences. It requires inner fascism. Thus, the oppressors, are also the oppressed. But they are not oppressed by real material conditions exogenous to them as much as from the clutches of their own insatiable ego, ever defensive, ever vigilant, ever insecure. The call I make then, is to support with solidarity the evolution already underfoot: We need to shut the 10,000 Pandora’s boxes opened by technology, and doing that will require technologies. But those technologies must be different from the single, aggressive one we have. An indigenous science, a feminist science, a postcolonial science — all are needed for any hope of change. We need to go where scares us to know our courage. May we be humbled by the sublime, overwhelmed before the creations which created us. May we work in inner and outer service only towards the...

The best men’s pants I’ve ever made

I love comfort, style, and versatility so much that I decided that if the perfect pair of pants didn’t exist, I’d have to bring them into creation.   My current crowdsources campaign at BetaBrand to make these amazing pants needs your support! Please vote here for the creation of these industrial pinstripes, and get 30% off when they are made! Here’s a description of them. They look and feel even more awesome than this write-up can convey, so vote today! Roll-up Pinstripe Stretch-Jeans you can wear for days Versatile nonsynthetic men’s pants are hard to find. A pair that keeps you warm but you can still wear in summer. That falls just right on your boots but also work barefoot. Pants that look stylish at the office but possess the ruggedness for rock-climbing, skateboarding, or even just playing with your dog or kids. A pair you don’t mind wearing without underwear. Finally, Industrial Pinstripes. These pants are like your favorite pair of jeans, with a little more class and a lot more flair. They both look appropriate for a night out, and can be rolled up to look snappy when things get hot the next day. Black (with white) pinstripe (and brown with white) tough but soft strong cotton with 2-4% spandex for give, extra crotch room (a generous yoke), and a loose but flattering shape in the legs and butt, Industrial Pinstripes have gusseted knees, wrap around pockets in the back, 2 in the front (with coin pocket), and a smartphone pocket and tunnel hammer loop on the right thigh. It has silver rivets accenting the pockets, and a silver ring hanging...
Entering the realms of uncertainty

Entering the realms of uncertainty

The Wisdom of Uncertainty is probably Alan Watts’ best-known book. In it, he describes the fundamental openness of the future, the horrible indeterminacy, and the lack of control that is indicative of our condition as embodied beings in this collective experience we call human life on planet earth. This embodiment, this consciousness, is a fragile, finite thing–despite the ramparts and buttresses especially western civilization has erected to attempt to dam(n) the inexorable flow of life and death. This fear of death, what Freud diagnosed as Thanatos, or the death instinct, is precisely what compels us towards our destruction. For the desire for death (thanatos) and the fear of death, are just the Janus faces of craving and aversion. That is, both instincts, are out of alignment with the fact of death itself. And of life, for that matter. Death and life are not events or limns to be fetishized, but respected. As we’re reaching a low for the human race, ecocide, renewed racism and sexism, there is hope. And there is despair. Resting in either of these is unwise, as they are both incomplete half-truths. The steps back with every step forward, are indicative of predators and parasites holding on to their host, believing that their stability and certainty is tied up with dominating others. There is no recognition that maybe they themselves also are fluid, queer beings, subject to change and metamorphosis. No, instead–and in fact what ontologically makes a parasite a parasite–they are blind to the potential to be anything else. They are scared of evolving. They are scared of readapting to a changed ecology. This is...
Technoptimism is Techonaivité

Technoptimism is Techonaivité

Believing in one’s story until it collapses is a common theme of those failing to live up to Eudaimonia, the notion of a life well-lived. Those whose lifework becomes discredited and desecrated in the twilight years of their life, no matter how successfully they were, or thought they were, cannot be said to have died happily. The Silicon Valley in which I live, a culture infused with the cocaine high of technological breakthroughs, grates against my earthly sensibilities. Riding on the crest of adrenaline, discovery, and money, what many in the fair Bay Area know, is not in fact what is. This temporary party-atmosphere, around until catastrophe hits, is the last hurrah of capitalism . Whether technology will trap us in a surveillance state, or liberate us from mediating political, economic, and social predators, dangles in the hands of deliberate planning and meta-organizing on the part of those developers. As users and citizens, we are all developers. Not knowing the implications of one’s discoveries is very different from saying that there aren’t any. The neoteny of tech bros and gals, and those few beyond and between, is part of the enforced juvenilization of tech “campuses” and a society that values brain plasticity over wisdom. After all, wisdom doesn’t sell. You can’t fake wisdom or put lipstick on a pig’s face with wisdom. No, but with new forms of glitz and glanz, mind control, and exploiting our dispositions as mammals, money is to be made! Thus, tech people are predisposed to think, act, and do as children do. They are rewarded to do so. But this has consequences for where...