It Has Already Been Written

>> April 28, 2020

>> Blog Post #66


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

US Declaration of Independance – July 4, 1776

It is the right of the People to abolish it…

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

This tweet also went by today that I thought was interesting

Some Days Are Tougher Than Others

>> April 24, 2020

>> Blog Post #64

I just learned today that a friend of mine had decided to put a stop to his business preemptively in response to future laws being passed in his country of operations.

He did not do so because what he is doing is illegal. He took that hard decision because he felt he did not want to be morally corrupt, to resort to doing things to his customers that he did not believe in. This takes some kind of guts. And I’m telling you most people would not do that. Respect.

It also took me a couple hours testing some hardware and setting up various accounts here and there to test new services.

Another friend of mine and myself also discussed several bugs we keep encountering in an app we use a lot and that is supposed to be one of the best in the biz….

It’s these days you see just how far you are from what you envision would be a better – yet realistic – future.

I think it’s good to let some doubts assail you once in a while. It keeps you grounded and humble. It also lets you realize how much work there will be to put in and how tough some situations will be. It won’t be easy. But we’ve signed up for it.

Stay strong, follow what you think is right, not what people say is. And support people who you care about.

the pic is a piece of art from probably my favorite bitcoin artist. check him out at:

The Homeschooling Book – Part 2

>> March 24, 2020

>> Blog Post #45

Guess who is going to have 5 more weeks to work on his homeschooling project?

One of the difficult aspects of having everyone at home 24/7 is that you pretty much have to take charge of the weekly calendar for everyone. How autonomous were we when we were kids? I don’t remember. Looks like the attention span of my kids isn’t very long and they look at others for ideas of what to do quite a bit. Actually, today wasn’t too bad.

I think everyone needs to get a little more bored, to hit some kind of bottom, so that progressively the will to get genuinely excited and motivated by something comes up.

I’ve started to introduce a mandatory moment for the kids to get online and do some internet searches. I want them to be stimulated enough that then they would then start going for the DIY stuff which they really like. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyways, this is just a drill. We are practicing for later. We are learning more skills patiently while the confinement lasts. But we will probably take this mindset with us after. I hope we’ll be able to learn for years to come and maybe one day we can build a family citadel with the children.

The skills we are learning might come in handy if we want to put a roof over our heads, farm the food we need to survive or just want to change our lifestyle. They might come in handy as a way of living or as a way to earn money or trade. It will, whatever happens open up our horizons.

The Homeschooling Book – Part 1

>> March 23, 2020

>> Blog Post #44

The COVID-19 induced confinement period has been an opportunity for me so far. Of course, there are many problems because of it, and I’ve ranted enough about how afraid I am that governments are just going to seize this fine opportunity to grab more power and screw us more. But, overall, the mood has been very positive, and I’ve seen it as a chance to do more and to do things differently. Having the kids 24/7 and the weather being pretty nice have also been an underlying reason for this all.

This will probably turn into some big experiment for me and I decided to take a blank notebook and start writing down all my ideas around it and I will also probably take a journal of what I do to keep track of it all.

Being in confinement means spending all your time together. It means you have to reorganize both your time and your interactions. No more school, work, week-end rhythm punctuated by set alarm clocks and meals.

As I’ve said, I’ve taken this positively. I know I have more time to enjoy – and completely loose it – my kids, and I also know that they need to keep busy.

Mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body.

I actually like the Latin version better as it includes that notion of saneness, which for a ton of people is paramount when they are faced with spending their entire days locked up with their kids.

I am still figuring out my exact setup here, but so far, I try to have my kids work every morning and then spend some time outside in the afternoon on outdoor games or yardwork.

I am guessing that physical activity would be a better way to start the day, but thee reason I am keeping this for the afternoon is that it is still too chilly in the morning these days.

Here are some of the things we have done over the past week:

  • We’ve cleaned out an area on our lawn to grow a vegetable garden
  • We’ve recycled old wooden pallets in making a compost
  • I’ve trimmed the hedges and the kids helped me pick up the branches so that the garden is clean
  • We’ve trained the dog outside – or at least we’ve attempted too, but he’s so young the distractions are too frequent for much progress
  • We started discussing how we should proceed for the planting of the vegetables, when to do it, what to plant, where to plant seeds, etc.…
  • We’ve cut off the butt of one of the leaks we ate the other day and left it in water, as it is supposed to grow back, and we should be able to repot it in a few days’ time.
  • We’ve set aside some potatoes to sprout
  • We’ve cleared out an area to grow some fruit trees
  • We’ve played a board game every single day
  • We’ve introduced more frequent movie nights
  • We’ve let the kids “camp” in each other’s’ rooms
  • We’ve started to do half of the homework on the computer in order to start teaching them how computers work. Our hunch is it might be useful someday 🙂 We’ve maintained handwriting for the other half because I don’t want them not to know how to write with a pen properly.
  • But the most exciting, or at least the one which I was the most proud of was the 10 min race between my kids to see who would gather the most worms in the yard so that we could settle into our new compost. That was a hit and got them really excited.

What I’ve wanted to do but haven’t incorporated in the schedule yet:

All of this has taken more time than it should, as being all on top of each other does create organizational “problems”. Especially when the adults are also supposed to be working etc. So, we’ve taken it one step at a time, guessing that we will probably have a lot more time in confinement anyways. At least that’s my bet.

I want my children to read every day and to learn how to enjoy it. Reading at least 30 min a day is paramount in my opinion and this hasn’t been done every day. My plan is that it should be.

I also would like to incorporate some kind of muscular wake up routine, just to get some of the kids’ energy out in the morning or during our homeschooling breaks.

I’d like to add some elements to the school program that are more philosophical or geared towards building confidence in my children that we are all capable of pretty much anything that we set our sights on if we work hard and persevere.

And finally, I would like to have them do so internet searches on whatever we plan on doing together so that they bring ideas, get creative, start dreaming and maybe provide me with some guidance on what there is to do. This should tie in nicely with the goal above.

All in all, this should be seen as an overarching goal to develop the mind, the body, the personality of each kid in their own way.

I’ll follow up on this post regularly in the coming weeks.

Voting – Letter to Jean Grave

>> March 5, 2020

>> Blog Post #36

Here is a short text that I like a lot on the topic of voting. I’ve tried to translate it into English the best I could. It was written by Elisée Reclus in 1885

Letter to Jean Grave – Élisée Reclus 

Clarens, Vaud, September 26, 1885.


You ask a man of good will, who is neither voter nor candidate, to outline his ideas on voting.

The timeframe you are allowing me is very short, but having strong convictions on the topic of electoral vote, what I have to say can be formulated in a few words.

To vote is to abdicate; naming one or more masters for a short or long period, renouncing one’s own sovereignty. Whether he becomes an absolute monarch, a constitutional prince or a simple agent of royalty, the candidate you are putting in power will be your superior. You appoint men that are above the law, since they are in charge of writing them and their mandate is to have you obey.

To vote it to be fooled; believing that men like you will suddenly acquire the ability to know and understand everything. Your agents having to legislate on all sorts of things, from matches to warships, weeding to the extermination of tribes, it will seem to you that their intelligence grows as their tasks grow immensely. History will teach you that the opposite is true. Power has always caused anxiety; chatter has always rendered dumb. In sovereign assemblies, mediocrity always prevails.

To vote is to conjure treason. Voters probably believe in the honesty of those to whom they give their votes –  and maybe they are right, on the first day, when candidates are still bathed in the fervor of their first love. But there is always a tomorrow. As soon as the environment changes, man changes with it. Today the candidate will bow to you, maybe too low; tomorrow, he will straighten himself, maybe too high. He begged for votes, now he will order you around. Can a worker who becomes a master remain himself? Doesn’t the fiery democrat learn how to bow down when the banker deigns to invite him in his office, when the kings’ valets honor him? The atmosphere around these legislative bodies is unhealthy. You send your agents in a corrupt environment, don’t be surprised if they end up corrupted.

Do not therefore abdicate. Do not give away your destiny to incapable men and future traitors. Do not vote! Instead of trusting others with your interests, defend them yourself; instead of engaging lawyers, act! Opportunities abound for men of good will. Holding others responsible for one’s conduct is to lack bravery.

I wholeheartedly salute you brothers.

Elisée Reclus.

Changes, Cycles and Recognizing Your Role In Them

>> March 2, 2020

>> Blog Post #33

I believe in come kind of flux, of cycle. Vicious cycles, virtuous cycles. Nothing is uniform. Like Taleb’s majority and minority rules. Who comes up on top under different scenarios?

I can very well imagine a small committed intolerant group coming out on top in trying to build a new world, a better world, because we’ve reached certain limits in the old world, and people have just had enough of it.

You can get a lot of support from these people. A small minority can be successful in putting a new system in place. And it can have great success. But like any other system, it will evolve across generations. Systems eventually get rigged. Systems, like security, are a process – not a state. They are an incessant combat. Eventually unhappiness and resentment grow, and the system fails or gets overthrown.

Now my hope is that we are nearing the end of a bad system, or maybe one that we should characterize as having started out for good reasons but that gradually turned bad. We want to change that bad system into a good one, knowing very well that it might fail, and also knowing that even if it is successful at first, it will most probably end up failing in the long run.

But that might not be our battle to fight. Each generation needs their own battles. Sometimes the 1st battle is realizing you have one and it falls on you to fight.

Owning Stuff…

>> January 14, 2020

>> Blog Post #10

I had a few pints of stout at the pub with a good friend of mine yesterday. It was really nice to catch up as we probably see each other every other year now and live on separate continents. As we gave each other a quick rundown of what had been going on in our respective lives over the last two years he said something that surprised me.

“Of all the people I know, you were the last one to continue to buy CDs”

I paused a second, out of surprise, smiled and we continued with our conversation, which actually didn’t have anything to do with ownership, or property but rather art.

Today, as I was taking my daily stroll in the woods and across the countryside, the thought just crossed my mind again. On a side note, I’ll probably have to write something at some point about the benefits I have found personally in taking a walk every day. Things really happen in your mind, when nothing seems to be happening.

So, what was it that struck me? It wasn’t so much the content, as I immediately felt that the statement was probably true. It did carry the warmth that comes with the feeling that you are talking to a good friend, the kind that probably knows the most trivial details about you – or embarrassing stuff. No, what I think made me pause, was that I took a second to analyze an old behavior through a different set of eyes.

I know for a fact that I kept buying CDs way after most people stopped doing so. I’d then burn them so I could also have them on a computer and transfer them on all sorts of electronic devices. That includes minidiscs if you’ve ever heard of those.

The reason I bought CDs was a mix of liking the object and enjoying unwrapping it, looking at the artwork inside, etc. I also had doubts about the quality of MP3s at first, or about the durability of digital objects and I enjoyed property of the media and the content.

Streaming came later, as an obvious service that extended a deep trend in society to stop owning stuff and just pay for service as you go. I’ve never used a streaming platform or actually I’ve never paid for one. And I probably never will as long as there are available alternatives to purchase music and own it once and for all.

I think continuing to buy CDs was the first sign that for certain things that mattered to me, I would strongly refuse to rent them. Why pay a tenth of a cent every time I listen to my favorite album for all of eternity while I could pay more, once, but never have to worry about it again? My hunch was that if I did the math, renting would be a bad deal. Obviously, I am very conscious that no one else in the universe still listens to full albums, but hey, what can I do about that?

But there is something else to it.

It has to do with the nature of what often falls under intellectual property laws.

Pick your favorite song and think about how much you love it. You should be able to hum it, since it’s your favorite song. You know it by heart. There are no new surprises in it. Thinking about it probably makes you want to listen to it right now.

By owning it, you can, whenever you want. By not ever owning the media that stores it whatever that media is, you will remain at the mercy of people who will be willing to lend it to you for a price.

I don’t want the rights of the music. I want to own the right to exercise the experience of feeling love for “knowledge” I already possess. I already know the song. I already know I love the song. There is no novelty, just the right to experience a feeling that is mine, that belongs to no one else, including whoever wrote or interpreted the song. I will not become your recurring paying customer for it if I can purchase it once, compensating the creator and all the people who made it happen until I took possession of it.

So, in a way, this is an example of how I naturally took ownership of things that mattered very much to me years ago. Buy the CDs, make backups, don’t scratch them, keep them clean, and ordered etc.….

That ownership and responsibility wasn’t much of an effort at all, because I knew why I was doing it and how much those CDs meant to me.

These days I’m taking ownership and responsibility for other things, but you might guess where this is heading next 😉