Categories
Homesteading

Day 1178 and Be Labor

Much of my work is very abstracted from the real world as I am a network state Silicon Disapora type. But I grew up with much more concrete labor in the real world. And I see how people can fear picking up skills if they haven’t had so much as a shop class.

We keep some of those skills fresh living on our own land in Montana. It’s never as much as I hope but everything from hydroponics lettuce to pickling your own vegetables open source home automation and Bitcoin mining off our solar grid is on the table when you want a project.

It’s good to tinker. Even skilled labor like electrician work and plumbing can become a hobby with help from friends and the wealth of instruction on YouTube and Reddit. And you will have opportunities to pass it along to others which builds up your community and skills.

It has become harder and harder find people who are hands on with tradecraft. A friend is building a new outbuilding on his property and an electrician quoted him $7,000 to run 30’ to a new 60a subpanel and a few circuits.

Fortunately, Montana is a state that allows homeowners to pull their own permits and do their own electrical work. So for an $80 permit fee and with some help from Alex, he can do the entire job himself for the cost of materials, about $1,500.

And isn’t that a wonderful pro-social way to learn, build and make things with others? Be the labor you want to see in the world.

Categories
Homesteading

Day 1175 and the Guest

One of the joys of living up “in the country” is what you can do with the extra space. In our case, Alex decided one of those things should be chickens (despite the fact that neither one of us eats many eggs).

The bounty from the hens this week

Even with chickens not being the most cuddly animal, they have been a pleasure to “talk” with, bock-ing back and forth with them as we leave the house or return.

When the coop and run were built we knew it had to be hardened as our area abounds with predators from hawks, to coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and a particular red fox who dens near our property.

The fox in question

While we’ve long assumed the fox has taken his many prowls around the chickens and we’ve seen him on other parts of the property, this morning was the first time we actually saw him snooping the run, looking for a meal. Fortunately the defenses held and all the ladies remained safe (if not slightly perturbed by the undesired guest) until we stepped outside to shoo him away.

And of course a new recurring chore has made the list: regular checks of the security of the run. Just in case.

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Ed Note: This post was actually written by Alex. If you figured out something was off before the end, DM for a prize

Categories
Internet Culture Politics

Day 1173 and Autism Services

If you are an autist of any stripe still attempting to operate in the field I will broadcast to you. You may need to make a pilgrims and it will just be an information dump but I’ll do my best. You have to put it together yourself but the old web is not fully broken.

The maze of information is winding and the roll ups and bureaucracy winds on and off the Silk Road. Literal and metaphorical. I don’t even know how many of you bought drugs on the old internets and how many of you bought Uranium. I have nothing but Netflix and communist literature. Lots of people have opinions on drugs and whores. I am not one of them truth be told except I’m of the firm opinion whores shouldn’t side with empire but I’m not in Burke’s Peerage so what do I know.

Maybe there is a world where Bridgerton actually happened and some autistic king and some colonial wife really do live in harmony. I don’t know I’m a William Gibson fan. Pour one out for information wants to be free homies. The nerds shouldn’t have been weaponized and whatever capitalism is doing should probably check in with reality.

How to tell what a company does

You are caught in someone’s opinion. None of us know who is influencing us except the sort of dorks who map carefully and most of the nerds have day jobs. The only ones who see it are just doing their best to allocate the attention and resources. Lots of people are doing chaos magic. Maybe stop? Or summon better demons.

Any number of nerds are caught in elaborate webs of inferences. A lot of them are left wingers. Precious view are genuine communists. But also some sincere ones are out there. Most are happy to be in the recursive loop of reality in which we maintain our lives. Some of us are banging on the cage.

Categories
Politics Preparedness

Day 1171 and Choosing Life

“Since you’ve chosen death I must choose another path” It was a shitpost. I posted an acceleration meme. I happily endorse the bumpy progress of material change and the myriad human lives that choose to grow. The responses to my shitpost show that it’s no longer a joke.

Accelerate or die in style of the American Revolution “unite or die” snake representing the thirteen colonies but in the form of a network diagram.

I live in very clear reveled preferences on this front. My husband and I are accelerating the real world in our home in Montana. In two years we’ve planted a fruit orchard, installed solar grid, use the power from that grid to grow hydroponics and mine Bitcoin, we got chickens and advocate for local growth initiatives that allow people in Montana to live and grow together in mutual freedom.

I also believe those rights in the real world rest on a bedrock of natural rights enumerated in the American constitution.

And yet the constituency of safetyists somehow sees it appropriate to invoke force and the state’s monopoly on violence onto their fellow citizens.

You say “if necessary we will stop you”

And then suggest you want to engage in earnest debate. I find it hard to believe a good faith reader doesn’t immediately see the cognitive dissonance.

I do have the right to do as I choose as I am an American. We have first amendment rights.

Until you can measurably demonstrate proof that access to compute (which is just mathematics) has specific measurable harms you cannot invoke force on your fellow citizen for your personal paranoias.

The encryption wars had the same logic. So I ask people who worry about the consequences of compute power and artificial intelligence to give us what we’ve asked for in the form of measurably demonstrated specific types of harms where access to compute is a threat.

No “what if” hysterics, show me specifics and we can address those in policy. Armageddon in your head isn’t adequate. Being afraid isn’t enough.

If you can show measurable harms do so. We must hew to empiricism any time we seek to align others to our cause. Show me specific harms & we work to redress those harms. Actual crimes that exist already should be prosecuted as such. Seeking to newly criminalize a basic right because of unprecedented circumstances should be subject to the highest of scrutiny.

However if you show me you want the power for yourself to make these decisions I say no. We all keep our own conscience. We have existing rights.

I have shown through my revealed preferences I also believe this transition to more artificial will be chaotic. An age of higher variance is upon us and this can be a good thing with enough energy and intelligence. And we are about to get more intelligence thanks to the tools we have built.

I hope we can mitigate its harms. I believe we can apply ourselves in individual ways coordinated by the best efforts of those who build new tools. And that because we cannot predict with certainty we must hold firm to our principles doubly so then. We must be brave in approaching these problems as the principles matter.

Marxist Leninist thought has proven resilient

I am not advocating for revolution. I am advocating for keeping our heads and our hearts in times of change and protecting all of our freedoms.

We have historically shown the value of this position and the folly of violent control “for your own good.” Consider those classic socialist musicians the Beatles. Even they understood that revolutionary force was bad.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all wanna change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out, in

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We all doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is, brother, you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We’d all love to change your head (ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead (ah, shu-bi-do, ah)

If you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow

Revolution 1 – The Beatles

If you want to go around quoting Chairman Mao you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow. How prescient those British Boy Band Boomers were. If you are so certain a revolution is necessary but you will take my compute from me then it’s you who wishes to be the Vanguard not me.

These calls for safety and caution, lest an apocalypse scenario ensue, appeal emotions to seek a tyranny of the majority for a fantasy of control over something that “may” be dangerous but not in any empirical ways we can address together and in specific ways. They don’t want to be accountable. Accountability is a democracy not this pantomime of concern seeking control.

Appealing to fears is control. All of the issues which have been brought up in artificial intelligence and access to computer models have past analogs and parallels in our existing policy tool set and within the enumerated rights.

Feel free to specify those issues into specifics and not act like this is Patriot Act 2^nth Terminator 2 Boogaloo. We have no need to indulge in Tom Clancy level panic about sum of all fears.

To lighten the mood this is an aligned AI for you.

Terminator gave his life to save John Conner T2.

If we are in for a Copernican revolution then do not be the church. We must bring our humanity to whatever happens next. Do not seek to control out of fear.

Embrace the freedoms of affirming your right to choose your own human life. These new tools can we’ve built from mathematics and computation can enrich all our lives.

Lest you not think I take the consequences of this massive change and its potential for dislocation seriously, I live off grid with redundant power and water in Montana. I invest exclusively in solutions to the real problems we face in uncertain times including energy, open source, decentralization & trustless intermediaries. I walk this walk. The choice to make the future is up to all of us. And we should walk it in the most life affirming way we can for each of us.

Categories
Travel

Day 1162 and AirTag

Heathrow remains a bit of a shitshow and impossible to navigate. I got lost in a liminal space where all I could hear was announcements about their staffing shortages but I could see no other human in sight.

A long concrete hallway in Terminal 5 at Heathrow without any people

I got in a nice peaceful 20 minute walk without another soul. And then I was thrown into the maw of baggage claim and lost luggage.

I typically use a 3 bag cascade system anytime I’m on the road for an extended period. A checked bag, a small roller and a backpack.

I was doing a short positioning flight to get my Heathrow transcontinental. At the originating flight on British Airways I was told you can’t check in for the transcontinental so for the 3 hour “hop” flight I should check both (full flight and no overhead storage is a constant issue these days) so I should collect them at Heathrow and re-check in the morning.

Always travel with AirTags.

Somehow despite me not flying BA for the transcontinental, and the most salient fact of me not even being checked in for my longer transcontinental flight, the damn bags got “checked through” and are lost somewhere in Heathrow. They were at another terminal as the tags show waiting for my flight overnight. This was a mistake on almost everyone’s part at the various airlines.

I’m wiped as I spent spent two hours of my evening trying to locate last night but thankfully in my backpack I always carry an overnight PJ set, my medications, electronics & the “wet” toiletries that Heathrow polices like the Stasi in a quart baggie. I overnighted in a hotel just find.

I’m trying to find the luggage and AirTags insist it’s at Terminal 3. The airline says it’s in “The Bin” and should be sorted into my flight. I’ve got no other way of assessing if that’s true so I may I’ll end up in El Segundo with nothing but black Gap sweats.

My usual system is designed for this chaos and I rarely let the small grey roller out of my sight and never let my backpack be taken from my person except at security. I won’t deviate from it ever again.

The story has a happy ending even if I don’t know if my bags will make it yet. I was able to enjoy a dim sum breakfast at the Cathay Pacific lounge and get a copy of the Financial Times.

Dan Dan Noodles and fresh bao
Categories
Community Finance Travel

Day 1155 and On The Ground

It’s come as a bit of surprise to me that I’ve done so much on the ground work in the last two years. Not so long ago I was basically bed ridden and stuck inside for the extended run of the Pandemic. Now I spend half my time on the road again.

Once I was settled comfortably on our homestead in Montana and had an acceptable level of resiliency planning done, I hit the road to pursue my particular brand of weirdo off the beaten path ground work investing.

I cultivate movements, memes, degenerates, eccentrics and engineers. I’ve made many trips to far flung corners of the European continent including extended stays in the Baltics and the Balkans.

You have to experience problems first hand if you are serious about investing in the people whose ideas can have a large enough impact at country, continental or global scale. It’s easy to be bamboozled at the edges so it’s best to be clear eyed about human nature and how technology can improve or harm a given incentive set.

It’s my hope that I’ll put in some face time in other interesting geographically interesting regional hubs. I’ve got Argentina on my agenda but I’ll likely make trips to the Middle East and Singapore as well. If you are in an interesting hub with a desire to pursue ambitious ideas let me know. Maybe I’ll swing by and we can meet.

The emerging network states of culture, affinity and intellect are far flung. The type of free market capitalism preferring decentralized resiliency minded crypto- libertarians are welcomed in as many corners as we are shunned. Either way you will find me on the ground looking for ways to make our incentives improve upon our human natures

Categories
Travel

Day 1128 and Distrustful Hospitality

I showed hubris. I was pleased to have smooth sailing on my travel. A joke was made that surely we must suffer some misfortune as it’s so rare for travel to go well. Well, never call upon the gods about a bad possible fortune as you just might get their attention

The Marriot Bonvoy I was staying with wouldn’t honor my husband’s elite platinum status because he “wasn’t yet with me.”

I don’t know if that status is good or bad, my husband handles loyalty. We share status and accounts across most things hospitality related because we are married. We have never had troubles with using the status if I’m using the account before he arrives. I just used it in Amsterdam and Helsinki

Now this matters in that I only would be granted lounge access if I had this status apply as his wife. I’d been counting on lounge for both working and breakfast. Having someone handle basics like water, morning coffee and yogurt, and good working space is important for business travel.

Without that, I wouldn’t have booked the place at all. I explained that, but naturally no one cared. No amount of pleading with the desk manager or staff could convince them to honor the guest status, not even my husband calling en route himself through Istanbul.

Mind you, for loyalty and points reasons, Marriott Bonvoy is the credit card we both use in a shared account. I literally used it to pay for the stay. But without loyalty pricing and perks, the hotel in this instance was a net negative. It was both expense and inconvenience without the loyalty program. I needed to get what I paid for or I wouldn’t buy.

I stayed the night as I was exhausted but found an Airbnb for a few days and hightailed it out of the way. No sense in giving Marriot Bonvoy business any longer than necessary if they can’t see their way into acting hospitable.

I suppose I brought this upon myself. Thinking all was well and I’d been spared. In other sad news my Apollo Neuro got lost at Heathrow as I was trying to prevent my medical cooler containing injection biologicals from being confiscated. I’m really sad about that too.

Categories
Emotional Work Travel

Day 1123 and Drawing In

I spent some time packing today as I’ll be on the road a little more frequently in the coming months. The joys of the cozy Montana winter have had their comfort and I sincerely wish I’d never have to give them up. But there is work to be done.

I find travel to be a bit stressful but crucial to keeping a good read on reality. The more chaotic the narrative the more I think I prefer to do a bit of on the ground work.

I am feeling the urge to keep some of this close to my chest. I don’t know if that’s temporary as I am tired or if I think it might be beneficial to pull back as I know the road is going to be hard this year.

The uncertainty is palpable. I’ve had an interesting influx of people seeking out my opinion. I’ve got a reputation for being the woman you call when shit is chaotic. I’ll be busy so my introversion may increase as I lay ground work. We sit at a number of crossroads and it seems everyone knows it.

Categories
Homesteading Preparedness

Day 1108 and Frozen

It’s cold in Montana. I woke up at 6am as the forecast predicted the coldest weather would be around dawn. I was not disappointed. . We have a personal weather station so we can get a read right outside our home.

The station measures wind direction, wind speed, wind gust, UV & light, temperature and humidity, as well as precipitation measurements (though that works much better with rain than snow).

The weather station feeds all the data to the display screen, which then pushes the data to our home automation system as well.

Our EcoWitt showing it as -40F outside Bozeman Montana on January 13th 2024

Two interesting details you may notice. The humidity was 73% outside which looks misty when it’s that cold. The other is our house was down to 61F. That is quite a spread of temperatures even still. Also fun fact, -40F is also -40 Celsius. It’s where we Americans finally agree with the rest of the world.

I’ve definitely felt the weather in my body. The pain in my spine is worse. But I feel it elsewhere in subtle ways. My joints hurt. My skin is dry. Even my sinuses are dry. It wears a bit heavier. I won’t mind when we get back to a more normal sunny and 30F.

Categories
Preparedness

Day 1107 and -20 Below

The polar vortex that is hitting the northwest of America has come to Montana. It was an eerie scene as the light of the setting sun contrast off the dark of the inbound storm

The Bridger Range as the storm comes in

We woke up to -20F temperatures (which is -28C). That the sort of cold you can get frost bite from in less than 15 minutes of exposure.

Our weather station this morning.

Obviously this is a day for staying inside. There are however things you should do to make sure you are safely prepare for this kind of weather. Keeping closets and cabinets open and letting water drip helps with freezing pipes.

You should prepare extra layers and emergency food and water as you would for any other storm. If you have to travel make sure you’ve got a car emergency kit.

That should include, aside from a full tank of gas, “jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water and non-perishable snacks,” according to Ready.gov

Axios Prepare for Extreme Cold

We’ve got a roaring fire in our wood stove and have backups for both gas heat and electricity through our solar. So we should be snug as a bug. So stay warm outside everyone.

Alex still went in the hot tub at -20