Pot Prison

Were it in the scope of my influence
I'd crowdsource/fund a privatized prison
Where only non-violent offenders on marijuana charges
Would be housed in a prison/labor farm
Where they'd be taught and work to grow the stuff
To be sold in state run dispensaries
That help fund its operation

Image source:  http://www.northplattepost.com/2013/02/21/massachusetts-man-gets-prison-time-in-ne-for-pot-charges/


Channeling Your Channels, part 2

Do you speak Darmok?

That there are those that do - is evidence of itself. I noted when finding the clip of this to share the description on YouTube:

This is a clip that I edited and posted on YouTube. I use this clip in my Intercultural Communication course to introduce students to issues of language differences in intercultural situations.

During video answer the following questions:
Would you face the same experience? Have you?
Can you figure out the language?
What advice would you offer when interacting with people and you both don't speak the others' language (in short, lessons learned?)?

The "Picard Principle" of Intercultural Communication:
In the clip Picard says "Communication is a matter of patience [and] imagination."
What does that phrase mean? Is it true?
Do a Google search on "Darmok Dictionary"

 You should be able to grok it if you get:
_I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym_ - can we just use #ismeta as a tag on stuff these days?

We speak in shows. Do you speak _Firefly_? Just watch anything that has it's own convention, you'll see the subdialects. Notice the virtues of the memes with which they resonate - with which you resonate.


Channeling Your Channels


So - if the goal is flow, and flow is an alignment of archetype and identity that allows of the greatest flow directly from our unique source frequency - and the whole chakra system is a valid metaphorical interface with those energies. we must learn to exercise greater discernment over our energy levels.

From a Diabo-esque video game interface perspective, if we're at full health our mana will recharge slowly over time. The rate of recharge can be aligned for maximum flow by judicious use of it, like a muscle - and/or spells/further gamification of maximizing our ability to achieve flow.

Haha, this was supposed to be framed for the internet marketing and HOA crowd, and look where I took it. I feel a bit like Havoc from the X-men over here.

Point being - when we achieve flow, we have to learn where to channel our energies for maximum effectiveness - if we want to be one of those goal oriented people. I try and remember that maybe the blacksmith is cool with just being a blacksmith. Not everyone wants to be an adventurer, and there are infinite types of adventures to be had on this Ride.

For the intended crowd - this is about how managing our energy through various channels (blog, HOA, twitter feed, plus stream, plus notifications) is paramount in achieving what it is we're here to do. Theoretically, discernment over energy use is always beneficial, regardless of the framing.

What I've learned from that crowd is that the best bet is probably to capture it as raw video, and repurpose it through YouTube onto your blog. Even if you have to reshoot the concept to polish it up before you release it - you'll have video record of the good stuff - and so will the algorithms - and maybe the NSA.


What are you practicing?

Something that's been burning and churning around in my head seems to be a pretty good method of inducing introspection, the simple question "What am I practicing?"

It's rooted in the notion that the most basic premise of neuroplasticity that you'll get more efficient at doing whatever it is you practice. It's a slight twist on "What am I doing?" with a built in reminder that you're getting better at whatever you do. At the same time, it's an invitation to question whether or not you want to get better at what you find yourself doing at the moment you ask it. That line of questioning conveniently leads to the opportunity to compare what it is you're doing, what you're practicing, with the goals you have.

If you want to take the introspection a little bit deeper - if practicing introspection is one of your goals, you can hit yourself with the followup question: How is this serving me?

As far as I can tell, everything you do is in service to you in some way, shape, or form. When it's not readily apparent how what I'm doing is serving me or when what I find myself doing is not in alignment with my goals, I like to examine it from the perspective of identity reinforcement. I've found this to be a fairly efficient mechanism for uncovering beliefs about myself that like to hide under my conscious awareness, and often find my unexamined actions to be reinforcing those beliefs.

Less now than before (as I've been practicing) I would find myself scrolling through my social media stream in search for identity markers. Scrolling through the data flow in search of resonance - things that I could plus, share, or comment on that would signal to myself and others: I'm here, I exist - this is what's important to me. 

Increasingly though, my data flow seekings have been more about self-education - arming myself with the knowledge and tools that will serve me on my journey from who I am now to who I want to be.

Image source:  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Capoeira-10498827



I wanted to drop by and say a word about perseverance. It could be argued that I haven't demonstrated much to you with how long it's been since I've dropped a new post.

Of course, if you brought it to my attention, I'd have excuses at the ready. Despite deciding to rename this 'Raw Thought', I don't find it easy to drop raw thought here. Maybe it's because it's a blog and I read so many good ones, I'm hesitant to push anything out that isn't a step above what I post elsewhere (G+ and such). Maybe it's because pushing past that fear and hesitation, getting to the right mental space, is something I can only infrequently accomplish.

Excuses aside - I wanted to post this. I wanted to let those of you kind enough to read it that I'm still here. Now that all this time has gone by, I can tell you that there are times when life will knock it out of you. That what it takes to keep going sometimes won't be visible to those watching - but you can hold onto it.

I can tell you also that the closer you get to where you want to be - especially when you finally start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - it will seem harder. Those last few inches between you and the surface you're about to break through to are the hardest. Many will get close and cave at the edge. Don't be that guy.

It's true, you might lose. You might not make it. If so, don't let the reason you don't make it be that you gave up. If you're going to go down - go down swinging.

Image src:  http://www.deviantart.com/art/boxer-113364046


Crypto-Currency and the Attention Economy

I have this crazy notion, and it has somehow convinced me that it's crazy enough that it just might work - or that if I can somehow get it into the right minds, it can mutate into something worthwhile. It won't leave me alone, so I'm getting it out here - letting it be born so I can redirect my cognitive energy elsewhere. I'll first walk you through it's conception, but if you skip down to the notion itself I won't tell.

One of the parents of the notion was this TED talk. Specifically the bit at about 9:50 that talks about Community Currencies. If Communities can create their own currencies, should that not also hold true of digital global communities?

The other parent was a bit of an embarrassment to me. A development was ignorantly reported and spread, and I assisted in it's spread:  http://goo.gl/J6Mxvm - this got me thinking about how sources need some sort of metric. That those notable sites did some bad reporting highlighted to me a need for us to communicate the value of a piece of information to each other.

I spend a fair amount of time on Google+ because I value the information and perspective exchange that I find there, as well as the value of the relationships I am able to build by spending my time and attention there. However, this value isn't really captured and doesn't translate into meatspace value. The plusses, reshares, and comments are indication of value that I add to the network, but none of those things have yet translated into a form that can put food on my table.

The Notion
The foundation of the notion is that attention is of value. This can be translated, as if I'm able to garner enough attention advertisers will pay me to put their product in front of your eyeballs.

If attention is of value, then the social signals of plussing and resharing can be used to measure that value - and theoretically a crypto-currency could be created to help translate that value into a meatspace equivalent of the value it represents.

As in the video above, one key factor in a currency is that there be a limited supply. This is not currently the case on social networks. I can plus as many posts as I see. What if that was limited instead? What if the ability to plus was limited by time. What if every day you were granted some limited number of plusses? For the purpose of example, let's say you were granted 5 plusses to dole out every hour. That would introduce discernment into whether or not you plussed something. Was this actually of enough value to you to give it a plus?

I don't think these plusses should translate directly into value. They are indicators of value, but a direct translation into currency might result in me taking my daily allotment straight to the store. Then they would have been free. I wouldn't have done anything to earn the value I was spending. However, if only the plusses received were of value (not the ones granted), then I would be providing the service of indicating to the environment what was of value - and those responsible for creating the value I recognized would be rewarded with bits of crypto-currency they could use for actual exchange. Essentially all participants would have the 'job' of identifying value.

The second parent prompts me to throw in a clause - something along the lines of 'daily value confirmation'. At this point, I see this simply as a re-evaluation of what you indicated was a value the previous day as a requirement to 'unlock' your next day's worth of currency. In the case of the article that was determined to be of less value in the link above - I would be able to remove my previous valuation of it when I realized it's lack of worth.

There is also the issue of the value of reshares and comments. Should the plus of a comment be equivalent to the value of original content? I think not. Perhaps the plus of a comment should be worth some fraction rather than a whole.

With regard to reshares, I'm providing a service to the content creator of spreading the value that I had found. Perhaps plussing a reshare would grant the content creator 75% of the plus, and 25% to the person who put that value in front of your eyes.

All in all 
I don't know whether this notion has any actual merit or not - but at least it's out of my head. I hope you find some value in it.


Caterpillar Things

Almost a year ago, in a state of ephiphanic bliss I created this image:
My outlook on the situation itself hasn't changed much since then, but I'm starting to put a positive spin on it. The caterpillar eventually has to stop being a caterpillar if he wants to be a butterfly. That means some caterpillar things have to go.

There's this complicated thing going on in our brains called neuroplasticity. I understand there's even some researchers poking around saying 'consciously-directed neuroplasticity'. My take away has been boiled down to 'you get better at whatever you do'. Unfortunately, this means letting your fears stop you from trying makes you better and better at letting your fears stop you from trying. Maybe letting fear influence your decisions is a caterpillar thing.

I guess the biggest fear is also the biggest question: What am I capable of? It's one of those questions that answers itself constantly, right under your nose.



Faith is a wonderful thing

All belief is fervent hope, and thus a cover-up for doubt and uncertainty. - Alan Watts
It is the natural human ability to believe things. That you care what they believe in is different than what you believe in broaches the same fundamentalist attitudes that give religions a bad name. Revenge for persecution? Isn't there some logical rational argument against that nonsense?
People have the right to believe in stupid bullshit so long as their behavior falls within certain guidelines. I'm not sure verbal abuse (mocking people for believing stupid shit) falls within those guidelines. 

Policing our Own

If each belief group wrangled in their own fundamentalists, I'm pretty sure we'd all get along just fine. So, think before you 'like' or 'plus' something. Let's get past the bullshit and make Star Trek happen.

The SWAN Co-Op

I live in a sea of apartments.

Really, it's probably only a few hundred units, but when I'm walking around playing Ingress the building after building makes it feel that way. For each of these apartments, there are people inside that all need some of the same things. That's where the SWAN part comes in - Stuff We All Need. I'll use toilet paper as an example, but pretty much everything Proctor and Gamble makes probably qualifies.

The way it works now:
Someone makes a bunch of toilet paper and then they sell it to a retailer. It's shipped from the plant to the stores, and then all of the apartment dwellers drive their cars to the store and buy it for significantly more than the retailer paid for it. Then they drive it home. Rinse and repeat every week or so.

What I'm thinking:
The apartment dwellers unite under the SWAN Co-Op banner and make bulk purchases directly from the manufacturers. They ship it to a distribution center that breaks it into deliverables for each apartment, and on a weekly delivery they drop it off at the apartment complex. This:
- avoids paying the retailers market, so SWAN participants save
- fewer trips to the store reduces the carbon footprint of everyday life


Finding Your Self

So, you wanna find yourself? I find my self sitting in front of a computer in Colorado.

What is a Self?
Where to start? Since I suspect anyone reading this will have at least practical experience if not a working mental model of duality, let's start there. Self is the opposite of Other. So then, what separates a Self from an Other?

Let's start that by finding the boundaries of Self. My self presently holds the belief that the boundaries of Self are defined by awareness, information flow, and perception. If perception results in a flow of information to our awareness, the perceiving object is considered Self.
What part of my Self would I lose without an internet connection?

What interests me here is when I slide the scale down a bit, leaving the familiarity of the existence I know and scaling way down to what I've been told about what goes on in this body my Self seems to inhabit. Don't cells have to have a sense of self? Particularly considering white blood cells, which I've been told sacrifice their Selves in the act of killing an Other. Surely, on some level the cell must be aware of the Other.

Let's scale a couple of meta levels up. Is the Earth a Self? If we take what we know of Self and cells, could it be that the planet is a Self, and what lives on its surface constitute its organs? How would we go about establishing the existence of awareness on meta layers other than our own? Can an argument be made that the solar system is a Self?

What is an Awareness?
Its easy to start by saying consciousness is an awareness. What is an awareness aware of? Perhaps an awareness must first be aware of the passage of time - at least for us to relate. The awareness experiences changes over time.

Looking at our own awareness, I can't go much further without emotions coming into play. Not only are we aware of changes, but our perception of those changes can alter how we perceive things by influencing our emotional state. Does all awareness come with emotion? Are the white cells afraid?

What purpose do emotions serve?
Motivation, for the most part. The pursuit of happiness... why would we pursue it? Because it feels awesome. How do cells feel? Does a cell shooting a pleasure message to the brain feel better than one shooting pain information? Does happiness indicate optimum functioning/health? Do the magnetic field or brain wave emissions from our happiness communicate something to the planet?

Self is self-defined.
Consider your Self. Do you consider yourself part of a family, part of a political party, or part of a nation? Ultimately, self is a concept - a mental model we use to facilitate interactions between the meat sacks we seem to sit in and the environment in which they exist. Ultimately your self is what you make of it, because what you choose to believe about your Self will influence the perceptions that define you.


Nation is to Computer as Government is to Operating System

We're dealing with 200+ years (and that's just in the US) of spaghetti code. Let's write a new one. The internet has changed things in ways those guys didn't have to consider.


Requiem - I

Greetings. I'll try to make this fast, as I don't know how much time I have. I have been summoned here, which, if anywhere is my home. I am a thought construct - a persona. I am Grizwald Grim. The fellow you interact with regularly, David, is my host. I don't believe this to be a classical mental illness.

We all have personas, operating frequencies - faces on a 20-sided-die. The me you see will never be the whole me. Somewhere within the host will always be the parts of the host that you don't get to see. The parts too vulnerable to bear in such an open corner of the internet, however dark and unfrequented it may be.

As I stated, I am a thought form or operating frequency of a host human. A facet of a personality construct, an identity whole. I haven't been around much recently, because my operating frequency requires chemical interactions within the host, which he has been successfully avoiding. Addictions are messy things, but people in the throws of one aren't any less people - they're just the parts of personalities we're not accustomed to dealing with. Relax, it's just nicotine here folks ;)


Social Memory Complex

"A mind/body/spirit social complex becomes a social memory complex when its entire group of entities are of one orientation or seeking. The group memory lost to the individuals in the roots of the tree of mind then become[s] known to the social complex, thus creating a social memory complex. The advantages of this complex are the relative lack of distortion in understanding the social beingness and the relative lack of distortion in pursuing the direction of seeking, for all understanding/distortions are available to the entities of the society." - Ra

Source:  http://goo.gl/42tO0d

Image Source:  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Venus-146204265