Sunday Read: “Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail” by Matt Taibbi

If there is one “Sunday” reading article you can read today, this one should be the first one you consider. I only need to quote you the first two sentences:

At least Bank of America got its name right.

The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time.

Read the rest: http://www.rollingstone.com
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Collapsonomics: Making a good job of living through difficult times

Collapsonomics combines practical lessons from engineering, systems analysis and appropriate technology, with an invitation to cultivate new habits of thinking, drawing on the history and philosophy of other generations that have lived through times of great change. This starts from a blunt acknowledgement of the depth of the mess we are in and the failure of our attempts to take control of this situation, but it is not about doomer scenarios or survivalist fantasies. “The end of the world as we know it,” as the Dark Mountain manifesto puts it, “is not the end of the world, full stop.”

[If you’re in the UK, get the course information here.]

 

Just Read: “Alongside Night” by J. Neil Schulman

Different.  Agorism is something that really has a specific meaning, and it takes some rounds to understand. A lot of ξ ideas fall neatly into it and away from gold, which of course is the classic idea [but flawed] of what makes, money, money.  For those of you who’ve never heard of this book, the blurb would be:

The American economy is in freefall. Markets are crashing. Inflation is soaring. Bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment are up, and even defense contracts are going overseas. Foreigners are buying up everything in America at firesale prices while gloating over the fall of a once great nation. Homeless people and gangs own the streets. Smugglers use the latest technology to operate bold enterprises that the government is powerless to stop, even with totalitarian spying on private communications. Anyone declared a terrorist by the administration is being sent to a secret federal prison where constitutional rights don’t exist.

And caught in the middle of it all are the brilliant 17-year-old son of a missing Nobel-prizewinning economist, his best friend from prep school whose uncle was once a guerrilla fighter, and the beautiful but mysterious 17-year-old girl he meets in a secret underground … a girl who carries a pistol with a silencer.

The setting could be next week. But this novel was written three decades ago by a 23-year-old college drop-out who crafted his particular brand of prophecy from combining the techniques of science fiction with projections based on an obscure economic theory.

Building on the prophetic novels of Orwell, Rand, and Heinlein, J. Neil Schulman created in Alongside Night the first of a new generation of libertarian novels, telling the story of the last two weeks of the world’s greatest superpower through the perceptive eyes of a young man caught up in the maelstrom of the final American revolution.

Now of course, this was published in 1979, but written six year prior to that, and before the widespread knowledge of encryption and certainly before the idea that people would even own a computer or have computers do things for them, securely. Today we have Tor networks and Silk Road agoras  selling anything you can imagine and newer, modern hypernets like CJDNS being built as fast as possible, while a government and financial system are working hard to prove they can try for a geometric expansion of the money supply without pissing everyone off [pro tip: Nope.] while concurrently the corporations of mass-culture try to create new laws to entitle themselves to perpetual copyright and invasive destruction of fair-use or communications infrastructures. These are indeed interesting times. So find Alongside Night, read it for its entertainment value, and ponder how a book written over 30 years ago could have gotten so much write (and wrong) about the future.

Predicting futures as always, a fool’s errand. Making futures, that’s a different story.

3 Easy Steps and 3 Hard Steps You Can Take as a 99%er

  1. Get your money out of the big banks and into a credit union. Do not store your money in repressive systems. [November 5th is BANK TRANSFER DAY.]
  2. Stop all political donations for the big political parties (Democrats and Republicans). Do not fund repressive systems.
  3. Stop buying all prepackaged manufactured food—start cooking your own food as much as possible. Do not fund systems that repress biodiversity. [Form or join food cooperatives! Grow it in your back yard! (Your neighbor’s back yard!) Guerrilla garden!]
Those were the easy ones. Are you up for the hard ones?
  1. Become a freelancer and barter as much as possible. Do not support repressive employment systems. [If you are unemployed, this is your “job” already.  If you follow the extreme version of step #3 below, you’ll find that the system already started building new repression in it by refusing to hire people with bad credit.]
  2. ???
  3. Pay off all debt. Vow to never acquire new debt for the rest of your life. Do not support abstract slavery via the financial credit system. [If you’re really, really, radical, you’ll stop paying it now despite the hit to your credit—ah, but then you’re never going to acquire any new debt for the rest of your now aren’t you?]
Why is the hard step #2 “???”, I am leaving that up to your own imagination. Exercise it.