Obey – Conform

>> January 30, 2020

>> Blog Post #21

If you have children, do you often hear yourself, saying “no”, or “don’t do this”, or “don’t do that” or anything else that is simultaneously an order and acts as a definitive stop you should not or cannot cross? Would you consider it liberating for your kids?  Look at those three examples above. Do you see a single one that is not a negative interjection? 

The answer is no. 

Do you feel like these types of sentences are used every day? 

If you do, chances are you are probably right. If not, consider these below. Advice, rules commonly accepted as being educational or just expected behavior (and no, you are not supposed to, nor is it helpful, to hit anyone else). 

  • don’t cross the road before looking if there’s a car 
  • don’t pick your nose 
  • don’t leave the light on in your room 
  • don’t hit your brother / sister
  • etc…

These are innocent enough. But think about how many times you’ve uttered them.

Now that hopefully you are convinced just how banal they are it is time to realize that you, were once that child and were the recipient of all these orders year after year after year. Worse, try to evaluate whether such sentences are still thrown at you on a regular, even daily basis.  

We are raised to obey, conform and not encouraged to look for alternatives. 

baa baa baa baa (bleating sound) 

Choosing to disobey, rebel, feels transgressive. But it also feels right at the same time when you know that some rules are wrong. Please share with me examples of such rules in laws, traditions, personal or professional habits if you can think of any. We’ll explore them throughout the year.

What Has Government Done To Our Money – Notes – Part 1

>> January 29, 2020

>> Blog Post #20

My little pizza experiment from the other night, and recent discussions I’ve had with an adolescent who was asking questions relative to his economics high school homework have made me want to write a few words about a book that I find extremely helpful in understanding what money is.

Why? Because I had the impression when I first read Murray Rothbard’s “What Has Government Done To Our Money” that I was actually learning how to better understand what money is.

Money is one of those terms that never seem to need to be defined in conversations between people. Most people use money every day and have done so for centuries. However, I bet you would be incredibly surprised by the answers you would get to very specific, yet basic questions about money, were you to ask people randomly in the street:

  • Where does it come from?
  • Who makes it?
  • Who owns it?
  • How is it created?
  • Etc.

Money is something that is not taught well. It actually is something that is not considered as a topic that should be learned. And this is where Rothbard comes in. He took the time to study what money is, what it should be and describes it in the simplest, most legible way I have ever seen personally.

This is a MUST-READ book, for everyone.

I have therefore decided to write some notes about it if you are interested in seeing what it is all about and in preparation for the reading that I will do to my kids when I think they will be ready for it. Reading the notes does not make reading the book optional, the notes are, the book most definitely not. You can get it for free from the Mises Institute.

The notes will be written over several blog posts. Here are the notes on chapter 1.

Chapter 1

Money is probably the most tangled economic problem there is while also being one where people would benefit from gaining more perspective about it.

Perhaps the confusion is due to the fact that people tend to focus on the daily and practical aspects of money instead of asking themselves some very basic questions that might offer them more perspective on the topic.

Some factors making the study of money necessary:

  • the world is extremely complex, and the economy relies heavily on inter-relations
  • over time, there has been a slow drift from firm economic principles
  • the entanglement of the state in money has been important historically
  • many proponents of the free market have stopped short of exploring how money could be established by the free market and not the state

For those reasons, Rothbard says that “It is high time we focus on the lifeblood of the economy: money.” The author proposes to explore the following questions in his book:

  • Can money be organized under the freedom principle?
  • Can we have a free market in money as well as in other goods and services?
  • What would be the shape of such a market?
  • What are the effects of various government controls?

The whole book will rely on a few assumptions that Rothbard makes in this opening chapter which are that people interested in it:

  • favor the free market
  • wish to eliminate government invasion of person and property

Happy reading!

The DAO Rant

>> January 28, 2020

>> Blog Post #19

Here’s a quick one.

I felt like punching someone the other day. I was hanging out at a conference, just outside of an open stage, trying to put some order in all the notes I take or voice recordings I have.

I was in a very large industrial type of exposition hall, where the entire space was open except for a few areas where talks were being held and that were separated from the rest of the hall by drapes.

The seat I had chosen when I sat down was on the side, far away from all the chairs and tables that were closer to the food courts and the kids’ play area. I thought it would be calmer and more comfortable to get some work done. I was wrong.

A few minutes after I had sat down, turned on the computer, taken the notepad out, the draped area next to me started filling up. The talk started and I wasn’t really paying attention, concentrating on whatever I was doing while also listening to some music with my noise cancelling headphones. But the talk was loud. Just enough for me to pick up some words here and there, which after a few minutes were enough to break my concentration and grab my attention. Eventually, I pieced together enough of these to understand what the guy was saying, even though I really felt like I was trying to fight it.

It was one of those dumbasses that will revolutionize the world because they understand it better than us and they have figured out just how to organize everything and put it in a freaking DAO.

A DAO, if you have never heard of one before, stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. If I were to describe it in a few words, I’d say it’s an organization, a protocol or a governance that is based on people interacting with a software where all the rules of the organization are already programmed. When events trigger some kind of reaction by the software, the execution of the response is automatic.

While I believe studying how organizations function and how they could work better is an interesting topic, I have a real problem with most of the people I meet who are working on DAOs. The guy that was talking so loud in that mic the other day was one of them.

For some reason, that I just cannot wrap my head around, supporters of those DAOs seem to believe that they know how to fix stuff and organize it better. They found their target organization and they will prove to us it is better and once we all hop on the bandwagon, we’ll see for ourselves just how great it is. And yet, no one has jumped ships. Guess why? Because they know squat.

I don’t know why they always feel like they can create something out of thin air, perfect it when no one cares and then just expect people to flock over. The myth of the creator. Playing god. That’s what it is.

The guy kept babbling about the craziest stuff, like how he hadn’t used the verb “to be” in his entire talk (the damn thing was over an hour long) because that could represent his view and he wanted to remain neutral. He’s probably the type of person that believes he could be a perfectly objective journalist if he wanted to. Fool.

You cannot, nor should you impose your will on others. Should you want to setup some kind of organization with your friends, family, company, fine. That’s your business and none of mine, and I have no problem with that at all. It’s actually interesting. But do not for one second believe you can do anything more. It would be morally flawed by essence.

Man, I really felt like punching the guy in the face.

End rant.

They Fucked Up The Corona

>> January 27, 2020

>> Blog Post #18

Joking about something serious is rarely a good idea. But I would like to keep things relatively light on the virus front as this is not the main element for me here.

You’ve probably heard about the outbreak of a new bout of something called a coronavirus in mainland china these past few weeks. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear about it in the newspaper or the radio.

Coronavirus is a family of virus, the most well-known of which is the SARS, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, that broke out at the end of 2002 and caused a reported 774 deaths in 17 countries.

The particular outbreak we are talking about right now is noteworthy for a few reasons.

First, this is a new coronavirus, one that has never been encountered before. You can probably tell it’s new because no one has come out with a catchy name for it yet. It is just referred to as 2019-nCoV. I guess someone is going to have to come up with a better name if they want it to stick in the public’s opinion and make it newsworthy.

Another interesting aspect of this is how China will react to it. A few years ago, China was accused of having held information about the SARS outbreak from the world and from its own people for several weeks, aggravating the epidemic. This aspect to me is extremely interesting as I am particularly mistrustful of how governments tend to react to these types of news. I’m not talking specifically about China, but any government. It seems to be that they have a natural incentive to protect themselves first, which they translate into something like “if the people don’t know about it, they won’t be able to blame us”, rather than informing people of potential threats. In this particular case, various articles seem to indicate that the Chinese authorities have been prompt to react and collaborate with organizations such as the World Health Organization which is a good sign. Obviously doing it before the virus has been dubbed the caliente cerveza virus shows just how fast they’ve been and how much better the world’s odds of dealing with the virus are.

Which brings me to a third interesting point about fears of a terrible pandemic that could wipe out entire civilizations. We suck at properly understanding both their chances of occurring AND the amount of damage they can cause. If, one day, we are faced with a major pandemic I am willing to believe that the most alarming scenarios and estimations might pale in comparison with reality. We have a natural tendency to believe that only something that has happened once can happen again. This is a very dangerous underestimation that could be extremely harmful to so many people. However, I also believe that we grossly overestimate the chances of that happening at all. Something that is a hundred times worse than the total number of deaths from the flu over the past hundred years but that doesn’t happen, doesn’t happen. It’s that simple.

Anyways, I fell upon this article today that I thought was refreshing in its way of talking about el virus de la muerte. Ebola sure doesn’t get as much love on the radio waves with respect to the deaths it has already caused.

Now that you have read it and see that there isn’t much to worry about regarding this specific virus, maybe you should sit back, relax and enjoy a “cold” one.

Making Pizzas – (the before)

>> January 24, 2020

>> Blog Post #17

Today is Friday. On Fridays’ we have pizza for dinner. It has become some sort of a tradition at home to sit back and relax on Friday evenings with the family. No cooking, no dishes, just some time together. So, it’s pretty fitting that I’m going to be reading and thinking about pizza in this post.

As part of the educational plan that I have for my kids and that I started describing yesterday, I want to bring one new item to think about or learn every month. I have somewhere around a dozen ideas already in stock, so I know finding topics definitely won’t be difficult.

What I don’t know, is how I’m going to do, how well I’ll be able to carry this out. I want to present my kids with things that they wouldn’t learn at school, to complement what they are already learning with qualified professionals. I’m not saying their teachers are bad, I actually do not believe them to be, but I want to make sure that they get more than just that typical public or private school curriculum that I find appallingly indigent.

I therefore need to touch on topics that are poorly taught, not taught early enough, or not taught at all. I also really want to make sure that the teaching is more practical and hands on and includes areas that are often overlooked. Why wouldn’t my kids learn how to grow things, or weld, or understand combustion?

However, this complementary education will be a little bit of a novelty both for me and the kids if I start giving them lectures. I must therefore introduce all of this slowly and gradually, both for them and myself.

My first activity will be something we do very frequently. We’ll read a book. Nothing very new here. The only difference is that I will try to discuss more than we usually do. It isn’t rare that after a specific read we discuss it for a couple minutes to share thoughts or questions. But this time is different as I want them to work a little more, think a little more. I want the topics to be explored in a little more depth and give room to their discovery of these topics. I will obviously introduce my bias in there, whether I want to or not, but I will try to minimize it as much as possible for their sake. The only way to do it, will be to be honest with them about my shortcomings: I don’t know much, and I can be wrong, and make sure that they understand that the same holds true for everyone else they know.

The book I chose is “Nobody knows how to make a pizza” by Julie Borowski. A friend told me he had just bought it to read with his daughter. After I’m done with my little experiment here, I’ll check with him if he ever got around to read it with her and if they discussed it at all. And we’ll probably end up exchanging feedback.

Nobody Knows How To Make a Pizza

The back cover of the edition I have of this book says the goal is to teach economic principles to kids in a fun and engaging way.

The author also indicates on the inside of the front cover that she was inspired by the “I, Pencil” essay by Leonard Edward Read. I had never heard of this essay before but had already watched Milton Friedman talk about its underlying concept in his “Free To Choose” videos from the 1980s. The argument he makes, is the same as the pizza argument in Borowski’s book. We often do not realize just how many people have a role, contribute, in making the most ordinary objects in our lives.

You need base materials who are transformed several times by a lot of different people, who do not know each other, sometimes at the other end of the world, before eventually, refined products or ingredients are assembled in a finished product.

I read “Nobody Knows How to Make a Pizza” in less than 10 minutes. It is extremely short and very simple.

One of my kids is having a friend sleepover tonight, so the house will be even more full than usually. I’ll try to spark a discussion at the dinner table about how pizzas are made. I want them to try and list ingredients, determine where they come from, who made them etc. I will not tell them about the book and my only role will be to act as some sort of moderator during the dinner discussion. If we can spend 5 to 10 minutes discussing this lightly, I think it will be enough. That will be the exploration or discovery process. Hopefully I will see if that is useful, fun and engaging.

Then on Saturday, I’ll read them the story before bedtime and once the book is done will revisit both the book and the Friday discussion to see what their thoughts are.

One element that I am particularly interested in touching upon is the reason why so many people contribute to the pizza or the pencil. The way it is described is a major difference in my opinion between the pizza book and the pencil story.

While Julie Borowski and Milton Friedman both agree on the fact that all of this happens without central planning, the underlying force is not described in the same way.

Julie Borowski explains that the one element that makes all of this possible is money. The illustration of that page in the book is Mr. Cheese Pizza flashing a handful of greenbacks. I must say that I cringed when I read that. I don’t like the imagery that comes with it, or how sometimes I feel like money is given too much importance in our everyday lives.

My personal opinion is that money is a tool. You could describe money as a language or a protocol that enables exchange to happen. Money in itself is not what you seek or what you should seek. What you want is what money offers you, a fancy car, bragging rights, whatever…

Now I do understand that this is a kids’ book. It is therefore much easier to use money as the one factor enabling the making of a pizza than the “magic of the price system”, which is the way Milton Friedman characterizes it in Free to Choose.

However, this is exactly why I want to participate more actively in my kids’ education. If I stop at money tomorrow night, I will have considered it a failure on my part. Or actually let me rephrase this. Eventually, I want them to move behind the concept of “money the goal” to the concept of money as a tool of exercising freedom and human action. I believe that to be what human activity is all about. That is not taught in school, at least not the ones I went to or my kids go to. It is suggested in the “Nobody Knows How to Make a Pizza”, but only if you are able to discern it. My kids could read it for the next 10 years and fail to see it as it is not obvious and probably requires the reader to possess knowledge they can’t be expected to have as a child.

What I will try to get out of this can therefore be resumed as this:

  1. I want to stimulate my kids’ curiosity and let them explore how we are surrounded with things that are incredibly complex and interesting yet often overlooked. Kids seem to be much more sensitive to that naturally and I think it should be encouraged. I think adults seem to lose that curiosity out of laziness and boredom.
  2. I want to be able at some point to have them see the economy through the lens of human action. Maybe they will like it, maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll subscribe to this school of thought or move on to another instead. It will be their choice, not mine. But at least they’ll have been introduced to the concept.

I’m sure I’ll enjoy discussing and reading the Julie Borowski’s book with my children. I’ll report back on how much they got from it and if I was right or wrong in believing that it falls short of explaining what is really at play here.

In any case, I believe you should check the book out for yourself, or if you would rather hear what I find is a much better presentation of the argument, watch Milton Friedman explain it in just two minutes. Definitely not as kid friendly, no question. But once I make enough progress with the children, I’ll let them watch it to.

Why Education Is So Important To Me

>> January 23, 2020

>> Blog Post #16

You often hear questions about what you need to teach people and what methods you need to follow or tools you need to use to teach or learn well. The focus is on the content and the format. But I find it rare to hear people discuss why teaching is important.

I think of education as intelligence, culture, experience, memories. It is the ability anyone has to use the full extent of his or her own knowledge and skills to think, act, adapt.

Cogito Ergo Sum – I think, therefore I am.

The higher your capacity to think for yourself, the more liberty you have. That is my opinion. Being particularly keen on increasing my personal liberty as much as I can, I have a strong interest in my own education. I actually shared with you, in my very 1st blog post, the desire I have to use this site as a learning tool and as a way to formulate theories I may have more clearly.

Investing in your own education is investing in yourself. You will therefore read about educational topics that I am researching for myself on this website.

However, I also have an interest that might take even more room here, my kids’ education. Being a parent, makes you take an interest in education whether you want to or not. Education becomes a daily topic, something unavoidable. Having to check your kids’ homework also opens a window to your own past and forces you to search for some perspective on the meaning of education.

My particular perspective is that I should most definitely not rely solely on school for education. It might sound obvious when you say it like that, but I was surprised to see how much I had actually fallen into that trap. It was both gradual and unconscious, dangerous.

Obviously, education comes from all of your experiences and teachings. You can learn at the dinner table, when you go on holidays, during after-school activities, sports, etc. But my kids spend so much time in school that they barely have time for anything else. Drop them off at 8:30 am and pick them up at 6:30 pm – that’s right an insane 10 hours at school per day – and you can well imagine that you don’t have much time left before bedtime, once homework, a shower, and dinner are squeezed in. This to me has become a huge problem.

My kids now have limited sources of education, with one – the school, representing the large majority of that. My kids therefore have access to one set of facts, one set of rules, one set of way of interpreting it and analyzing it. Not good.

Of all the things you can learn, I have been convinced for years that the most important one was critical thinking. It is not enough in itself, but it is mandatory in my book. I therefore need to give access to my kids to a wider range of topics to learn about, ponder, when they are learning to think for themselves. I also need to give them tips on how to think critically. This is something you can learn.

I want my kids to grow up as their unique selves. I want them to be able to disagree with me because they are capable of articulating complex thoughts, that are their own and that are backed by a vast landscape of knowledge or skills they will have developed over the years.

Learning is a lifelong path. I’m interested in this because I look to the future. My kids’ future just as much as mine. I look a few years down the road. Not a few months, but decades actually. Low Time Preference is probably key in education, that’s how the compounding interest effect becomes exponential, something I truly believe in. And you have to remember one thing, contrary to goods or products, education is something that you gain once and for all. It is not perishable, nor can it go bankrupt. It is a superb investment product.

Education is not a finite game. There is no winner, no looser. There is also no beginning and no end. You could consider that from the moment it is born a child learns – experiencing that the world is brighter and louder than in the womb for example. So, this is not a beginning, just a renewed interest in making it more of a priority in my life and that of my children.

Specifically, what I want to do this year, is to prepare one activity every single month, that I will bring to my children for educational purposes. I already have a few ideas and am sure a lot more will come once I get started. I’d also be more than happy to hear any suggestions anyone might have, or some feedback on experience folks would be willing to share.

My first experience will take place in a few days and I’ll describe it here, probably before and after.

Motivational #1 – Do Do Do

>> January 22, 2020

>> Blog Post #15

As I was writing my post and going through some of my voice recorded notes yesterday, I had an idea that I liked. There are a few ideas I collect that are extremely short but kind of inspirational in nature, at least to me. I will use some of them instead of the usual blog post once a while. It breaks the routine and something all you feel is pure motivation. Mine yesterday was weather induced.

Show up every day.

The repetition is insanely powerful.

That is how you capitalize interest, how you master knowledge and skills, as a musician, a worker, a learner, a human being.

You create material, content, quality, experience, ability.

Just show up and do stuff.

Do, Do, Do

Now go listen to this, and be happy 🙂

The Daily Walk

>> January 21, 2020

>> Blog Post #14

I had been taking walks every other day for a few months now.

The primary reason for that was that I felt – I knew – I spend too much time sitting down. I sit down in my couch or at the kitchen table to work. I drive everywhere I go, and I will sit to eat, read and watch TV. Pretty much the only time I don’t sit is when I lay down.

Actually, I should write all of this in past tense, as I changed my habits quite a bit, as I started enjoying walking very quickly. Now I can say that I pretty much walk 5 to 6 times a week. What I call walking is going for a fairly fast-paced 40 to 80 minutes’ walk. That’s what I do. I walk across the countryside or in the forest since I live very close to both.

This to me is not exercise, it is just being active and not completely sedentary. I understand and am quite happy that it carries the benefit of being good for your heart and all sorts of other health benefits that come with some form of physical activity, but it is not my primary goal. My goal is to take time for myself. And here are some of the benefits that I noticed when doing that.

No matter what time of the day it is when I walk, doing it pulls me out of the rest of my day for a moment. The activity is so different from anything else that I do, that it acts like a break. A break in thought, a break in pace.

I was surprised during my first walks at how much I noticed the weather. It was a funny feeling, like I was actually realizing that you had a better sense of what the weather was when I was spending an hour walking outside than when I was walking from my front door to my car and back. Sounds like I’m being Mr. Obvious here, but there is a thing about noticing the wind on your face, humidity, the dryness of air, etc. It reminds you that you have senses, and that you are rarely relying on them.

The other great benefit in taking this time for myself is what happens in the head.

During my walks, I do one of three things. Either I just walk in silence, or I listen to music, or I listen to a book or a podcast. I’ll walk with an ultralight voice recorder and once in a while I’ll record thoughts going through my mind or things that I thought were interesting in what I heard.

Those are enjoyable moments, where I relax, and time slows down for me. I have a regular pace from one outing to another. It is a comfortable pace for me to wander around both physically and cerebrally.

As I was listening to Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow by Daniel Kahneman which I’ve talked about a few times recently, I learned that he too walks regularly. Just like me, he has a certain pace when he walks and usually covers a certain distance. It just happens that I was listening to his book while one of my recent walks and had to stop for a moment to do some math. It’s fairly ironic, because he talks about that in his book. When you walk at a normal pace, your system 1 is active and monitors your environment. Unless you are doing something else at the same time, that would require some kind of effort or concentration, your system 2 just sits back and relaxes since no specific control is necessary. If you read Kahneman, you’ll learn that system 2 – the controller – is lazy, so he’s more than happy to sit back. Anyways, I was walking listening to the author talk about his pace and what he was describing sounded so familiar that I had to do some math to see if his pace, described in miles per hour, were similar to my pace that I know in minutes per kilometer. Math being a big strain on my brain, I couldn’t compute and walk at the same time if I wanted to make sure I got the math right.

Believe it or not, our paces were fairly similar, mine being slightly faster but I might be younger than him too. I walk at about 10 min per kilometer. Professor Kahneman explains in his book that his pace, and therefore mine, are perfect for letting system 2 be inactive. Personally, it is something that procures me an incredible amount of well-being as my system 2 is probably taxed too much otherwise. And that is an incredible benefit I get while walking. I am giving my system 2 some time off.

Everybody is aware of the benefits of sleeping well and long enough every night. I wish people would talk about giving a break to your system 2 in the same vein.

What I noticed and that will happen several times a week during my walks, is that a lot of times, it helps me organize my thoughts. It is not something I do purposely. I am not thinking while I walk about things such as my calendar or a list of tasks I need to do, nor am I trying to solve difficult situations. And yet, answers will come to me spontaneously. Something in the back of my head is working, effortlessly and helping me out. This same something that doesn’t always work when I try to push it for the same results. It feels almost magical, but it is only the result of taking time to remove yourself from the grind and treating yourself to an effortless pace. Apart from the odd day off, I now do this every day.

You Did Not Approve Of This

>> January 20, 2020

>> Blog Post #13

Today, I saw something that totally disgusted me. Something I did not know existed.

And yet, I had seen it before. It was out there in plain sight. I can’t even say that I am surprised about it now that I have seen it. Human nature sometimes is just that bad.

What do you think the following images have in common?

A picture containing floor, yellow, indoor, food

Description automatically generated
A wooden bench in a park

Description automatically generated

Modern city architecture.

That’s probably what I would have answered had someone else asked me that question. Or maybe I would have come up with something else if for some reason my system 2 had kicked in and wondered why the hell you had asked me the question in the first place.

I can only guess what my response would have been. Bad art, waste of taxpayer money, why the hell do they make things complicated when they could be easy and so on…

Another guess I’ll make is that you probably don’t know either what the common element is in those images.

Honestly, I don’t know if I would feel better if you didn’t know, which somehow might help me believe I wasn’t the only one to be fooled or If you did know. People who know can then either turn a blind eye, the worst-case scenario, or hopefully stand up and do something about it.

Now here is the answer to the question. These “things” are what are called “anti-homeless architecture” Like I said, I didn’t know there was such a thing.

If you didn’t know about those either, take a look at this thread. That’s where the pictures come from and how I learned about this. Look at each one of those constructions and imagine just how twisted the minds of some people are.

One, you have to determine you need something like anti-homeless architecture to start with. That means someone has to invent the entire concept, give it birth, make it real. Two, you have to agree that this is what you need in your town or city. Three, you need to bring it up to the town council. Four, the town has to go through some kind of RFP process to look for architects who could create such “architecture”. Five, architects actually have to agree to make proposals. Six, the municipality has to decide that it will have these built and installed. Seven, someone has to build that thing. Eight, someone has to install it.

While I do believe at this point that some people along the chain might not know what these devices actually are, it is impossible that most people aren’t aware.

Are you that afraid or disgusted by homeless people that you want to remove them from your sidewalks? Does it make you feel better if you can’t see these people? Do you actually believe that they are people? I know they have these around nice monuments to prevent pigeons from shitting all over the façade, but is that really necessary for humans?

How is this even possible? Do you not find it shocking? I find the lack of humanity in this appalling.

Every time you go vote during elections; you surrender a part of yourself. People get voted into office because they collect some kind of majority. They then govern, taking decisions on topics you will never even know were discussed, while pretending to represent you. That includes building anti-homeless architecture, and a truck load of other horrible things. They will use your vote to bring these into existence. Now you did not expressly agree to this decision, nor is anyone else “responsible”. It is just how the system works. It removes the responsibility of individuals and hides it behind a system, a group, a council. That is where inhumanity happens. But behind those systems are people. And people can be stopped. Do not surrender to them.

To vote is to abdicate. To say nothing is to abdicate.

I refuse to let people take such decisions on my behalf, in my name or with my vote, that is why I believe not voting carries a lot of value.

But there is one more thing I can do. It isn’t much, but at least it’s something. I will take a picture of these man-made creations of inhumanity every time I see one. I will post the picture online, while calling out whatever municipality I have found them in. Make people see what elected bodies do without your permission.

Because hopefully,

You Did Not Approve Of This

indecency at its finest

Creativity For A Cause

>> January 16, 2020

>> Blog Post #12

So, France is on strike. What else is new in the world?

The strikes are not newsworthy in themselves, unless you live in France and want to get an update on traffic. This is more the norm than anything else. But something made me laugh today.

I just found out about a streaming channel on twitch, that apparently was created on the 1st day of the strike – the strike is now approximately two months old. The goal of the channel is to support the strikers by collecting funds for them. To this day, they have collected over 135,000 € and the team behind the channel is said to be comprised of over 60 people.

I guess this is what cyber striking is. By live streaming themselves play video games online and providing live updates on the strike instead of working, they are collecting money to help the movement.

Pretty funny use of technology.

There have been quite a few examples of creative uses of tech this year in support of civil disobedience, fights for freedom, or just social claims like here. People seem to understand how much tools can help them whatever their goals are. They are getting organized and creative. Now they just need to learn how to do all of this on platforms they own so they don’t get de-platformed by the guys they are fighting against.