Thursday, October 3, 2019

Stockton to Begin Universal Basic Income Experiment

Stockton is giving free money to some residents as part of a new universal basic income experiment. Starting Friday, 130 residents will receive $500 a month for 18 months through a program called the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED)

The 18-month study — the first of its kind led by a U.S. city — aims to see whether a guaranteed income can reduce stress and, in turn, unlock new opportunities for people struggling to make ends meet. Tracking and analyzing the spending habits of the 125 individuals currently receiving the stipends, the program will also provide greater insight into the viability of long-term basic income models more broadly in the United States.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

Joe Rogan Experience Is My Favorite Show

I'm a huge fan of the Joe Rogan Experience. This is my favorite show. If you haven't seen this I would highly recommend it. I love Cornel West. I'm not a socialist, but this is the most convincing advocate of socialism I've ever come across.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Removing the filters

I've decided to bring back the diary entries here and in doing so attempt to post more frequently like I used to. Not caring about building up a readership or building a brand. I hate that shit.

I do not wish to become an internet celebrity, or a so-called social media influencer, those people are fucked up, and I truly despise everything about it, and is why I will not be using Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or YouTube to stay in touch with people, or to build up a following, or to get rich.

No, I have long abandoned the goal of making money from this blog or from any blog. Right now this is it. One blog. No promotion. No ads. Just a time capsule floating in the sea of cyberspace. It is purely for therapy, my own therapy, and if you enjoy reading it, good, if not, I guess I'll just be talking to myself, like I would be if I were writing in my private journal.

I think the value of posting a private diary in a public space is the fact that it forces the writer to be accountable for the things they say, which is a good thing. Putting your thoughts out there for anyone to read may trigger a response, it may be positive, it may be neutral (no response) or it may be negative, a response that forces you to think about what you posted very carefully, and whether your belief is strong enough to defend, or whether you need to reevaluate things, and make some changes, and in this way you learn and grow.

That's the value of the blog, if you say anything harmful or untrue, or people don't like it, or disagree with it, it's out there for all to see, whether they post about it on your blog, or if they post about it somewhere else, the consequences are fully visible and there's no escaping it, and that's what makes public journal writing a more powerful tool for personal growth than doing so in private.

Been spending more time finding free e-books to download to my Kindle than actually reading e-books. The amount of reading I've been doing has actually declined since getting my Kindle. I've downloaded hundreds of books and am always finding more, but it's kind of overwhelming the amount of choices I have that it has become a bit of a distraction. That I'll read a few pages from one book, then jump to another book and read a few pages, and on and on and on, that I don't finish anything.

Is it possible that having too many choices actually restricts productivity? That having too much freedom actually restricts freedom? That if you have a million choices you'll waste a huge amount of time just trying to figure out what to do that before you know it you will have spent all day looking at all the options and not actually picking an option.

Well, that's partly it but I've also been kind of busy. I only work part-time outside of the house, but I also do a huge amount of freelance work from home, which between my day job and my freelance work, I'm easily clocking in over 10 hours a day, staring at a screen. There is an urgency because my part-time job covers all my bills, but nothing extra, and all my savings and fun money comes from my freelance work, so there is an urgency to always be working, because you never know from one day to the next how much work there will be. Sometimes there's very little, sometimes there's more work than I could ever do.

So I've been really busy with that, working seven days a week, everyday of the year, but working all the time doesn't really agree with me. I'm a creative person, a philosophical person who needs creative space, freedom to think without the anxiety that invariably comes from making money, being an employee in a system where you are pretty much just a cog in the machine.

I'm pretty much at the point that I wish I could quit my job, but I can't. That's no longer an option for me. Maybe someday I'll be able to live rent-free in a small cabin in the woods, with an internet connection, and a cost of living so low that I could support myself entirely from my freelance work, and maybe only needing to work 15 or 20 hours a week, and the rest of the time could be spent on reading and writing and communing with nature.

In the meantime, it is important for my mental health not to work too much, to remember to make time for relaxation and meditation and to just think deeply on things. That's the value of this blog I think is that it helps to keep me on course, to chronicle ideas that may not otherwise see the light of day as they would otherwise get buried under a heavy work load of mediocrity.

All work no play, makes life rather dull, where you become more like machine, than human. It is my goal to be as fully human as possible, and it is my belief that harnessing our creativity is the key to maintaining our humanity.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Backdoor Reading Tips

Here's a tip for finding free e-books online.

If you ever search for a free e-book online you'll notice there's a lot of junk out there, a lot of spam-ish looking links that promise to deliver free books, but are actually bait links selling some kind of e-book subscription, which isn't actually free, and may not actually deliver the goods.

Sometimes you can find a free e-book searching by name and author alone, but many times you can't. So what do you do? Well, you can either just give up, and buy a copy of the book. Or you can try to find a copy of the book at your public library. Or you can search for a backdoor.

Isn't that an intriguing concept, that a term often used in the computer hacker world could be applied to your search for difficult to find free e-books that haven't been indexed by the usual title and author search perimeters?

I'll tell you how based on an experience I had today, but it's by no means the first time I discovered this secret, but it's the first time I'm writing about it.

You see I have a Kindle e-book reader which I've been using to slowly put together an extensive digital library of books, and am attempting to do so for the least amount of money possible. In other words, I prefer free to not free. If I can find a free copy of an e-book I wish to read, there's no need to buy it. Purchase of an e-book only happens once I have ruled out that there is no way to obtain it for free.

Keep in mind that in your quest to find free e-books you will discover that some books have simply not be digitized, meaning no digital copy exists anywhere. Another impediment in the quest is that some books are more strictly copyright protected than others, and so you will simply not find a free electronic copy anywhere, as it has been removed and blocked by the strong arm of the law.

So where does this leave us? To find what can be found.

I was looking for a free copy of Methuselah's Children by Robert A. Heinlein. I succeeded, but in the process I also stumbled upon a treasure trove of other books I had been trying to find but hadn't had any luck. And here they were all in one place, discovered by simply exploring the parent directory that this book was found in.

You could say I stumbled upon a backdoor. If you remember the movie WarGames, which is where I first heard the term backdoor in relation to hacking, the main character in that movie was trying to guess the password to be able to get into a game he wanted to play, and he discovered it by first going through the list of games created by the designer of the computer system he was trying to hack into. If you know the movie you'll know that he went right through Falken's maze. The point is he was able to figure out the password for the game by looking for clues found in the game creators other works.

What does this have to do with finding free books?

Easy. Look for a backdoor. If you're looking for a specific book, and you're not having any luck perhaps you should look for other works by the same author. See if you can find any free e-books posted online of this author, even if it's not the book you're looking for. Carefully look at the URL for the parent directory where this e-book is found so you can explore its contents. If somebody posted a link to one e-book, it's possible they may have posted links to other e-books.

It's highly probable you'll find what you're looking for there. If not, the other option is to look for a related genre. Figure out a list of books having similar subject matter to the one you're looking for, and search for those instead. Follow the same procedure. It's worth a shot. And even if you don't find the book you were originally looking for, chances are you'll probably find something else even better.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

My Current Bookshelf April 2019

I guess you could say I've been doing some spring cleaning. I've had stuff in boxes for nearly three years now and finally decided to unpack some of my books and put them on display. It's a little dark, but it'll have to do.

It's a snap shot of my life of the books I'm presently reading, or thinking about reading, or have once read and feel I will probably read again.

The theme appears to be Taoism, esoteric mythology, Buckminster Fuller, Benjamin Franklin, Noam Chomsky, and the 150th anniversary of the World Almanac. I enjoy looking at statistics. And often browse through that almanac and could get lost in it for hours; it's really great inspiration having all that information so readily available, and really the paperback hard copy version can't be beat.

Actually, I own a Kindle too, and have hundreds of books on it, but honestly I sort of despise it. I think of it more as a good way to preview a book, or only to read a book I couldn't read otherwise, but no question about it, if I had a choice between an eBook and the hard copy version, and they both cost the same, or better yet, their both free, I'd choose the physical book every time.

I took a picture because I enjoy looking at pictures of books and blogging about it. It reminds me of when I used to photograph my library books, and post about it here. I used to check out so many books, more than I could ever actually read, but I suppose I was more ambitious back then, since for awhile there I once had a millionaires wealth of time, all the time in the world to read (reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode Time Enough at Last); now, not so much, but I'm trying to get back there to that space, that state of mind that makes time a value in itself not defined by money, neither its absence or expansion, the space of being and doing what you wish without regards to money, not thinking about it, not needing it, not missing it, and not worrying about losing it.

That's a rare state, let me tell you, not to be enslaved by money, the pursuit of gaining it, or the fear of losing it. It's a rare balancing act to find the luxury of time, and an even greater rarity to put that time to good use.

Themes of interest I will be revisiting in my life are, the study of longevity, rejuvenation, immortality, life extension research; geomancy, I Ching, and deep mythology -- to read all the works of Joseph Campbell for one, and not rush through it; also to learn more about magic and psychic phenomenon -- of particular interest is the work of Dean Radin; and this is the book I plan to read soon: Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and the Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe.

Over and out. Until next time. See you in six months. It's a joke.