This summer, Edward Snowden made himself perhaps the most famous person of the year by leaking information about U.S. surveillance programs. In several days of interviews with theGuardian, Snowden explained, “I’m willing to sacrifice all of [my life] because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
Not only did he expose to America and the rest of the world just how vast Big Brother is, but Snowden also put the U.S. government on its heels. Nearly every claim made by the U.S. defending the program, including those by President Barack Obama himself, was proven to be a lie. Thankfully, only 1% of the information that Snowden took has been released. He truly is a libertarian and an American hero, and he is already being vindicated.
2. Chelsea Manning bravely speaks out
For over three years, former Army Private Chelsea Manning was illegally detained, kept in solitary confinement, and humiliated for her decision to leak documents to Wikileaks showing that the U.S. government routinely engages in torture and war crimes.
She finally received a trial, and although she has been sentenced to prison for over a hundred years, she was thankfully acquitted of the bogus “aiding the enemy” charge. Thanks to a flimsy case, a good defense, and the support of millions around the world, what would have been a dangerous precedent for the future of journalism and transparency never took place.
In a letter to Obama requesting a pardon, Manning said, “I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.” Throughout the entire ordeal, Manning was nothing short of composed, and serves as a courageous example to the rest of us.
3. The U.S. didn’t bomb Syria
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), as principled as he is entertaining, summed it up on his Twitter feed.
It is amazing how quickly war fever rises and fades in America. Remember Syria? Obama drew a “red line,” and the media was bombarding us every day with propaganda about how the U.S. must bomb Syria to stop Bashar Al-Assad from using chemical weapons on his own people.
This scenario has worked before, but thanks to an amazing surge of grassroots American opposition, the likes of which the U.S. establishment has rarely seen before, the war drums suddenly stopped beating. Congressional offices were swarmed with calls against a war in Syria, and the U.S. backed off. It was an absolute pleasure to see the American public say no, especially when the great journalism of Seymour Hersh has proved the war skeptics right.
4. Bitcoin surged
The Federal Reserve’s monopoly on creating money and artificially controlling interest rates allows the government to expand without end and creates a corporatist, boom-and-bust economy that is antithetical to a free society.
Rather than dismantling the Fed from the inside, using alternative currencies may be the best way to slay this dragon. Gold and silver are still popular, but it is astonishing how much Bitcoin has exploded in the past year. Bitcoin provides individuals with anonymity, convenience, and most importantly, a way of circumventing fiat money. Libertarians are divided on its merits, but it will be very exciting to see where the market for Bitcoin (and other alternatives) will go.
5. Americans reject interventionism
Last month, a Pew Research poll that measures Americans’ perception of their country’s place in the world found that for the first time in half a century, Americans want the U.S. to mind its own business overseas. At the same time, however, Americans want increased involvement with the rest of the world non-militarily through trade, cultural exchange, and diplomacy. This shatters the myth of “isolationism” and is a huge boost for the libertarian foreign policy position.
6. Rand Paul filibusters for more than 13 hours
Back in March, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) delivered a 13-hour filibuster excoriating the Obama administration’s drone warfare policy, while defending civil liberties and constitutional law. This earned the wrath of the predictable detractors in both parties, but the grassroots left and right stood by Paul. Not only was Paul’s filibuster a great show of political swagger, but it also helped to bring light to an issue that is still plagued in darkness and secrecy and is deadly as ever.
7. Ron Paul “retires”
Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) may officially be retired from public office, but he is busier than ever. The man responsible for the biggest spread of libertarian ideas in recent American history now has his own TV channel, a homeschool curriculum, another best-selling book, and an institute dedicated to non-interventionist foreign policy. Even at 78 years young, the godfather of libertarianism is still not going anywhere.
The War on Drugs has been an absolute failure. It has resulted in the largest prison population on Earth and is perhaps the greatest factor behind the militarization of police and the erosion of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Colorado and Washington both decriminalized marijuana, which not only defies the authority of the federal government, but also will hopefully set an example for other states to follow suit.
10. Obama gets photoshopped
Early this year, the White House released a photo of Obama skeet shooting at Camp David, something the president claims he does “all the time.” The photo came with a disclaimer that it was supposed to be for publication purposes only, “and may not be manipulated in any way.” A few hours later, there were too many photoshops to count. Poking fun at political leaders is a healthy tradition in any free society, and it was so wonderful to see so many defy the president’s wishes in even the smallest way.
Robert Taylor has been writing for PolicyMic since January 2011. He spends his time writing, ranting, reading voraciously, and advocating the virtues of economic and political freedom. He has written for multiple websites and dedicates himself to …
What was only a few weeks ago, August 10, 2013, I was at a meeting Gaia’s house with Cronus, we were learning some advanced techniques for getting into rapport with other people, as we start building Titania. For those of you who don’t know, I have been involved in Titania with Cronus since 2005, when I met him at the Palm Beach County Libertarian meeting. How I got from Anthem to Boca Raton was a trip in itself. And don’t even get me started on talking about the “Trip” back to the Phoenix area. On the way, I lost the belt on my Sally Car and she was a tight squeeze, so when it went, it bent the valves. Word to the wise “when you have an interference motor, change the belt at 100k”!!!! I spent 2 weeks broke down in Fabian Texas. Now that’s a story, I taught myself how to pan, to get Sally and me back to Phoenix.
Since becoming aware of these Power Brokerage Cartels and the damage they do to humanity, (9/11, Gulf of Tonkin, Martin Luther King, JFK, Jesus Christ, the War of Northern Aggression, The Holocaust, the Decimation of the American Indians, the Spanish Inquisition etc, etc, etc) it’s become a passion of mine to completely disengage from the system, most especially the “legal” system. I don’t want to have anything to do with them, so I don’t. It’s also another reason to do the Morpheus thing. Recently I was able to travel to Dallas to hang out with my good friend Jordan Page, and even though, the trip home was a bit more hairy, courtesy of the Toothpaste Stealing Agents (TSA) still I made it there and back, without ID. But hey, that’s another story. Its another good one, so keep on coming back!
Walking Through Valley of the Shadow of Death
So there we are at the meeting and someone mentioned that Foster Gamble, the creator of the Thrive Movement was going to be at Libertopia. Cronus had already been communicating with Foster and I knew he had to press his flesh. So as soon as I heard this, my instant reaction was to say, “I will be at Libertopia, even if I have to pan handle to get there. And if I have to put Cronus in a four way to get him into my conveyance to get him there, I would do that as well.” Well, I wouldn’t really put him in a four way and I didn’t want to pan to get there either. We all have our own lives to lead, without being coerced. I just wanted to have everyone know, including myself – ‘Brother, I am going to be there’. You can make a million dollars or you can make a million excuses, you cannot do both. I’d like a million federal reserve notes please, so no excuses from me.
To me it’s all about the decision. Make it firm and know you are going to do it. Fear, doubt and worry can never even enter into your mind. I run the program backwards and then it’s just a matter of showing up and doing everything possible to make it happen. 90% of Success is just showing up. Actually I would rate it at 100% ’cause I have never sold a deal when I didn’t show up. This is where many people get hung up and allow fear, doubt and worry to take over. They come up with excuses on why they can’t do it, or why it won’t work. When I was studying the Kabbalah in Boca Raton, I was told “whatever you resist, THAT is what you need to do.”
Then it’s just a matter of putting your faith in yourself and god. That’s when the magic happens. Those who are atheists can put their faith in themselves and the god of logic. I don’t give a shit. In AA they told me you want god to be the doorknob, god is the doorknob. That was another eye opener. Wait a second…I can believe whatever I want to believe AND my beliefs do not require anyone else to believe as I do…That’s Heavy. When I came to grips with that one, it was like a heavy weight was loaded off my shoulders. You can use it too, if you like it. At least it works for me, and right now, this is my movie, not urs. The faith thing is what does it for me. I believe in Destiny, which happens to be my daughter’s name, ‘Destinee’. What works best for me, is the 23rd Psalm. I have it taped to my steering wheel. I read it several times a day. I do not profess to be a Christian, I prefer born again PAGAN.
Psalm 23 The LORD Is My Shepherd
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord FOR EVER.
Well, the week before Libertopia, I had a major epiphany: Forever is a long time right? Forever extends into infinity into the future and it also extends the same way in the PAST! That being the case, I am IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD RIGHT NOW!… Baby! So many digressions so little time, and pixels too, lol! The other one is shall, is the strongest word in law. Like thou SHALL not Kill. Ten Commandments shit. Some guy asked me a few months back, when I was at the Arizona Freedom Fest, if I was “Saved by Jesus” I told him “the LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. Tell me what more I need to know.” Shut his ass up. That’s because it is IMPOSSIBLE to want ’cause “I SHALL NOT WANT”, maybe I am just crazy.
After having the most awesome time at Libertopia and meeting all the super strong’s people there. I was giddy to have all the fantastic conversations with everyone, and you know who you are. I also had the extreme pleasure of having dinner with Mike Badnarik, Foster Gamble, Clyde Cleveland, Bob Podolsky, Bernard von NotHaus, Gaia, Mercury and Keith, not once, but TWICE. What a coup d’etat to have all these heavy weights endorsing the Titania Project! I had the extreme pleasure to introduce Clyde Cleveland, Michael Badnarik, Foster Gamble and Bob Podolsky for a panel discussion on the Titania Project. It was just plain crazy! Like Straight Up and Down! The video will be out soon. I hope you will sign up on the site and I give you permission to add the alt names on the pictures. If there is a picture that you would like or one you want me to delete, email me at M-o-r-p-h-e-u-s@titanians>.<org (no dashes). I will get it to you in higher resolution and without my watermark in it. I do take donations in BITCOIN 1DMGuMppvRjg21jj3Eo7TYmwWvuY1Dsyh4
San Diego, California, August 30th to September the 2nd –4th annual Libertopia Fest 2013 at the Town and Country Resort Hotel, located 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108. Libertopia is a voluntary community, based on principles of Freedom, Peace, Honor, Responsibility, Respect and Spontaneous Order. Libertopia is a unique event that features an environment of actually living the freedom philosophy in ones daily life.
In conjunction with the spirit of Libertopia, of living the life you have always wanted, are 4 major freedom activists, who will be communicating the benefits of the Titania Project:
Humanity’s BIG PROBLEM is simply our societal institutions consistently making unethical decisions. All the other problems our species faces are simply symptoms of this one pivotal challenge. To cure the symptoms of war, hunger, poverty, financial slavery, police brutality, government corruption, the war on drugs, GMO foods, chemtrail deployments, gun confiscation, asset forfeiture, media collusion – or any other manifestation of treasonous violence inflicted on the public under color of law, we need only create ethical institutions.
Come to Libertopia to learn what some of the brightest minds in the freedom movement are doing to bring this about.
Start taking effective action to establish an ethical, creative, loving, grassroots-based culture that leads directly to a world of peace and prosperity. The answers you’ve been looking for are available NOW. Stop wasting time hacking at the branches of the tree of tyranny and start attacking tyranny at the root, where it really counts. See you at Libertopia! Roll the Bones!
WE WILL HAVE SPECIFICS ON THE TIME AND PLACE FOR BREAKOUT MEETING AT “COMMON SENSE REVISITED” BOOTH
Edward Snowden Readies Private Plane for Icelandic Asylum
Reuters | Posted: 06/20/2013 6:38 pm EDT
REYKJAVIK, June 20 (Reuters) – An Icelandic businessman linked to WikiLeaks said he has readied a private plane to take Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed secret U.S. surveillance programmes, to Iceland if the government grants him asylum.
“We have made everything ready at our end now we only have to wait for confirmation from the (Icelandic) Interior Ministry,” Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson told Reuters. He is a director of DataCell, a company which processed payments for WikiLeaks.
“A private jet is in place in China and we could fly Snowden over tomorrow if we get positive reaction from the Interior Ministry. We need to get confirmation of asylum and that he will not be extradited to the U.S. We would most want him to get a citizenship as well,” Sigurvinsson said.
Neither a WikiLeaks spokesman nor the Icelandic government were immediately available for comment.
Snowden, a former employee of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton who worked in an NSA facility in Hawaii, made world headlines this month after providing details of the programmes to the Guardian and Washington Post and fleeing to Hong Kong.
Earlier this week, WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said a middleman had approached him on behalf of Snowden to seek asylum in Iceland.
The Icelandic government, which has declined to say whether they would grant asylum to Snowden, confirmed it had received the message from Hrafnsson.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, a lawmaker for the Pirate Party in Iceland which campaigns for Internet freedom, said the only way for Snowden to travel to the Nordic country would be to have Icelandic citizenship.
Snowden has mentioned Iceland as a possible refuge.
Iceland has a reputation for promoting Internet freedoms, but Snowden has said he did not travel there immediately from the United States because he feared the country of 320,000 could be pressured by Washington.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over allegations of sex offences, visited Iceland several times in the run-up to some of the website’s major releases. Assange denies any wrongdoing.
WikiLeaks and DataCell won a ruling this year in Iceland’s Supreme Court against MasterCard’s local partner.
The court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the payment card company had illegally ended its contract with the website. WikiLeaks’ funding had been squeezed without the ability to accept card payments. (Reporting by Robert Robertsson; Writing by Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
Is Edward Snowden, the twenty-nine-year-old N.S.A. whistle-blower who was last said to be hiding in Hong Kong awaiting his fate, a hero or a traitor? He is a hero. In revealing the colossal scale of the U.S. government’s eavesdropping on Americans and other people around the world, he has performed a great public service that more than outweighs any breach of trust he may have committed. Like Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who released the Pentagon Papers, and Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician who revealed the existence of Israel’s weapons program, before him, Snowden has brought to light important information that deserved to be in the public domain, while doing no lasting harm to the national security of his country.
Doubtless, many people inside the U.S. power structure—President Obama included—and some of its apologists in the media will see things differently. When Snowden told the Guardian that “nothing good” was going to happen to him, he was almost certainly right. In fleeing to Hong Kong, he may have overlooked the existence of its extradition pact with the United States, which the U.S. authorities will most certainly seek to invoke. The National Security Agency has already referred the case to the Justice Department, and James Clapper, Obama’s director of National Intelligence, has said that Snowden’s leaks have done “huge, grave damage” to “our intelligence capabilities.”
Before accepting such claims at face value, let’s remind ourselves of what the leaks so far have not contained. They didn’t reveal anything about the algorithms that the N.S.A. uses, the groups or individuals that the agency targets, or the identities of U.S. agents. They didn’t contain the contents of any U.S. military plans, or of any conversations between U.S. or foreign officials. As Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists who broke the story, pointed out on “Morning Joe” today, this wasn’t a WikiLeaks-style data dump. “[Snowden] spent months meticulously studying every document,” Greenwald said. “He didn’t just upload them to the Internet.”
So, what did the leaks tell us? First, they confirmed that the U.S. government, without obtaining any court warrants, routinely collects the phone logs of tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of Americans, who have no links to terrorism whatsoever. If the publicity prompts Congress to prevent phone companies such as Verizon and A.T. & T. from acting as information-gathering subsidiaries of the spying agencies, it won’t hamper legitimate domestic-surveillance operations—the N.S.A. can always go to court to obtain a wiretap or search warrant—and it will be a very good thing for the country.
The second revelation in the leaks was that the N.S.A., in targeting foreign suspects, has the capacity to access vast amounts of user data from U.S.-based Internet companies such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Skype. Exactly how this is done remains a bit murky. But it’s clear that, in the process of monitoring the communications of overseas militants and officials and the people who communicate with them, the N.S.A. sweeps up a great deal of online data about Americans, and keeps it locked away—seemingly forever.
Conceivably, the fact that Uncle Sam is watching their Facebook and Google accounts could come as news to some dimwit would-be jihadis in foreign locales, prompting them to communicate in ways that are harder for the N.S.A. to track. But it will hardly surprise the organized terrorist groups, which already go to great lengths to avoid being monitored. Not for nothing did Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad go without a phone or Internet connection.
Another Snowden leak, which Greenwald and the Guardian published over the weekend, was a set of documents concerning another secret N.S.A. tracking program with an Orwellian name: “Boundless Informant.” Apparently designed to keep Snowden’s former bosses abreast of what sorts of data it was collecting around the world, the program unveiled the vast reach of the N.S.A.’s activities. In March, 2013, alone, the Guardian reported, the N.S.A. collected ninety-seven billion pieces of information from computer networks worldwide, and three billion of those pieces came from U.S.-based networks.
It’s hardly surprising that the main targets for the N.S.A.’s data collection were Iran (fourteen billion pieces in that period) and Pakistan (more than thirteen billion), but countries such as Jordan, India, and Egypt, American allies all, may be a bit surprised to find themselves so high on the list. “We hack everyone everywhere,” Snowden told the Guardian. “We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world. We are not at war with these countries.”
For most Americans, the main concern will be domestic spying, and the chronic lack of oversight that Snowden’s leaks have highlighted. In the years since 9/11, the spying agencies have been given great leeway to expand their activities, with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court, which deals with legal requests from the agencies, and the congressional intelligence committees, which nominally oversees all of their activities, all too often acting as rubber stamps rather than proper watchdogs.
Partly, that was due to lack of gumption and an eagerness to look tough on issues of counterterrorism. But it also reflected a lack of information. Just a couple of months ago, at a Senate hearing, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, one of the few legislators to sound any misgivings over the activities of the intelligence agencies, asked Clapper, “Does the N.S.A. collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” To which Clapper replied: “No, sir.” (He added, “Not wittingly.”) At another hearing, General Keith Alexander, the director of the N.S.A., denied fourteen times that the agency had the technical capability to intercept e-mails and other online communications in the United States.
Thanks to Snowden, and what he told the Guardian and the Washington Post, we now have cause to doubt the truth of this testimony. In Snowden’s words: “The N.S.A. has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”
Were Clapper and Alexander deliberately lying? If so, perhaps Snowden should be extradited to the United States and dragged into court—but only as part of a proceeding in which the two spymasters face charges of misleading Congress. I suppose you could make the argument that he is a naïve young man who didn’t fully understand the dangerous nature of the world in which we live. You could question his motives, and call him a publicity seeker, or an idiot. (Fleeing to Hong Kong wasn’t very smart.) But he doesn’t sound like an airhead; he sounds like that most awkward and infuriating of creatures—a man of conscience. “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things,” he told Greenwald. “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
So what is Snowden’s real crime? Like Ellsberg, Vanunu, and Bradley Manning before him, he uncovered questionable activities that those in power would rather have kept secret. That’s the valuable role that whistle-blowers play in a free society, and it’s one that, in each individual case, should be weighed against the breach of trust they commit, and the potential harm their revelations can cause. In some instances, conceivably, the interests of the state should prevail. Here, though, the scales are clearly tipped in Snowden’s favor.
I’ll leave the last word to Ellsberg, who, for revealing to the world that that Pentagon knew early on that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable, was described in some quarters as a communist and a traitor: “Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA’s surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect.”
is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.
We are an open source venture and as such we facilitate the collaboration of hundreds of online volunteers. The Development Team Wiki page is Here. If you?re a project contributor and aren?t listed, please edit the page.
FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR – MARCIN JAKUBOWSKI
Marcin came to the U.S. from Poland as a child. He graduated with honors from Princeton and earned his Ph.D. in fusion physics from the University of Wisconsin. Frustrated with the lack of relevance to pressing world issues in his education, he founded Open Source Ecology in 2003 in order to make closed-loop manufacturing a reality. Marcin has been the lead fabricator, designer, blogger, and technical curator for OSE?s prototyping thus far. His main interest is evolving to freedom by eliminating resource scarcity as the main force behind human relations – with the wise use of modern technology adapted for human service. He lives and works at OSE?s land-based facility, Factor e Farm in rural Missouri. Marcin wakes up early, practices yoga, cooks indian food, and he?s very ambitious. He has been selected as a TED 2011 Fellow. See his TED Talk on the Global Village Construction Set. Contact: opensourceecology at gmail dot com
MEDIA DIRECTOR – ISAIAH SAXON
Co-founder and Director of Encyclopedia Pictura, a creative team working in film, game design, architecture and agriculture. He has won numerous awards for his music videos, including Video of the Year from DA&D, UKVMA, Antville, and Spin Magazine. Esquire called Encyclopedia Pictura ?The Directors of the Future.? EP is currently in development on their debut feature film, DIY in 3d, which aims to be the new heroic myth of the Maker Movement in America. They are co-founding an augmented reality gaming startup as part of the DIY transmedia world. For the last two years, Isaiah has led an effort to build a unique hillside neighborhood in Aptos, California called Trout Gulch. He lives and works there along with 17 others. He is co-founder of Trout Gulch Farm. At Open Source Ecology, Isaiah directs the online information architecture, explainer videos, presentations (including this year?s TED Fellows Talk), and Kickstarter campaign. Contact: isaiah at encyclopedia pictura dot com
ADVISOR – ADRIAN HONG
Adrian Hong is Managing Director of Pegasus Strategies LLC, a strategic advisory firm working with governments, funds and NGOs.
Mr. Hong was an inaugural TED Fellow (2009) and TED Senior Fellow (2010 – 2012). He also manages Indy Incubator, an incubator and accelerator for innovative and socially-conscious businesses and non-profits.
Mr. Hong contributes regularly to national and international media, including Foreign Policy, Fox News, The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, and has briefed and advised parliaments, ministries, diplomats and governments around the world. He is an advisor on Global Insights & Research for Brand USA, the United State’s new travel and tourism promotion initiative, a member of Delta Airlines’ Ideas In Flight advisory initiative. He is also a mentor at Spark Labs, Korea’s premier startup accelerator.
Mr. Hong currently advises or serves on the boards of several non-profit and for profit ventures, including Open Source Ecology, Lumoon Vision and Street Symphony. He is also co-founder and former Executive Director of Liberty in North Korea, an organization focused on human rights and refugee protection of North Koreans. Mr. Hong was a visitor at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy (2010 – 2011), a Visiting Lecturer teaching “America, Human Rights and Foreign Policy” at Korea’s Ewha University (2008), and was selected as a 2009 Arnold Wolfers Fellow at Yale University (2009). He was also selected to receive the the Japanese American Citizens League ‘Vision Award’ (2009).
Mr. Hong is also co-founder of the TEDxSanDiego conference, held annually since 2010, and founder/curator of the TEDxTripoli conference, founded in 2012.
WEB ADMINISTRATOR – ELIFARLEY CRUZ
Elifarley Cruz is a software engineer from Brazil who has contributed to a number of open source software projects and to the P2P Foundation as a co-editor. A long-time Linux user, he’s passionate about open source software and hardware, knowledge sharing and the commons. He believes in the abolishment of artificial limitations and unrestricted sharing of knowledge as ways to bring forth the true human potential and take society to new heights. Mr. Cruz is helping OSE with IT issues, administration of the forum and wiki, and is a True Fan. Contact: elifarley at opensourceecology dot org
BUSINESS CONSULTANT – LUIS DIAZ
With six years of progressive experience in formulation, implementation and execution of business and marketing strategies, Mr. Diaz actively participates in the organizational development and operations of OSE. As an advisor in strategic planning, he aids in ensuring that the organization?s vision is properly implemented in accordance to its governance, bylaws and mission. Previously, Mr. Diaz was engaged in launching several new ventures and provided guidance in the areas of brand design and development, financial planning, internal management systems and human resources. Contact: lad93978 at yahoo dot com
Leo Shares how easy it is to raise quail as a food source. You get 200 eggs per female bird 6-8 weeks after it is hatched. 6-8 days in the incubator. the cages are 2 x 2 x 8in high and you can keep 12 birds per cage.
Two years ago, I spoke to a gentlemen who had started and sold four companies. He was currently working on a new project that sounded very promising (for all I know, he has already sold that one too). We had just heard a talk in which the speaker told people that the whole key to business success in our time is patent ownership. Without it, no business can really succeed.
So I asked this gentleman what he thought of the talk. His response was quick (I paraphrase here):
“I’ve never once bothered with patents. They are expensive and pointless. They produce no revenue on their own. They sell no product or service. And they harm development by hemming in a company on a preset track. I need to be able to customize offerings and change what we do day to day. Patents bias a company toward old solutions even when they don’t work anymore.”
As much as we hear about patents, we might suppose there is some sort of direct link between them and the innovations we enjoy in our lives. Someone invents something and shows the plan to a bureaucrat. The exclusive license is issued, and away we go.
Economic historians have usually assumed a direct link between patents and innovation, basing much of their chronicle of history on records at the Patent Office. Much of what we think we know — that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, that the Wright Brothers were first in flight, that Thomas Edison holds the record for inventions because he has the most patents — comes from these records.
But is it true? Most patent holders assume so. They cling to them as a source of life and defend them against all encroachment. Some businesses build up their war chests with patents as purely defensive measures. The more you own, the more you can intimidate your competitors to stay out of your territory.
So how important are patents in generating innovation? The answer is not much, according to four economists from the Technical University of Lisbon. They are circulating their research on a platform sponsored by the St. Louis Federal Reserve. They looked at the best innovations between 1977-2004, as listed by the R&D awards in the journal Research and Development. They matched 3,000 innovations against patent records to establish the relationship.
Their findings are remarkable: Nine in 10 of the innovations were never patented. They were just created and marketed, and changed the world. In other words, it’s the market, not the bureaucracy, that innovates. The authors grant that there might have been downstream versions of the same innovations that were patented. But that fact actually doesn’t change the implications of the study, namely that there is no relationship between the existence of the Patent Office and direction and pace of innovation.
As you dig through their citations, you find other nuggets of information. It turns out that other researchers have found the same thing in early parts of the 20th century and even all the way back to the middle of the 19th. The results keep coming up the same way: There are patents and there are innovations, but they have little or nothing to do with each other.
These results are a classic case of the huge chasm between pop science and real science. In the pop version, people imagine that they will dream up some idea, file a patent, and then bring it into production and become a billionaire. The reality on the ground is that 90% of patents go completely unused. They are suitable for hanging, but not much else.
The patents that are actually in play in this world are used as weapons by big shots to hurt their competitors. They don’t cause business to succeed; it’s the reverse. The bigger the business, the more it is in the market for patents to help the big business hold its place in the market. They prompt lawsuits that go on for years that are eventually settled with an exchange of cash. Meanwhile, rather than actually fueling the innovative process, they put it on hold. So long as a patent is in existence, other innovations are legally bound not to do what they do best.
The software industry is an excellent case in point. In the 1970s and 1980s, patents were rare to nonexistent. Companies made money by making stuff and selling it, just as free enterprise would suggest. Then, the industry grew. People like Steve Jobs who once touted that talent for stealing the ideas of others began threatening other companies with lawsuits. Young programmers today know for a fact that if they ever come up with anything that threatens a big player, the small company is going to be hammered.
Two parallel streams of innovative software strategies have been running over the last 10 years: 1) highly protected and 2) patentless open source. Apple and Microsoft represent the patented style. Google is much more inclined to the open model. Companies like WordPress reveal their code to the world and make money in other ways. A good test case comes from the big smartphone war between Apple’s iOS, on the one hand, and Google’s Android operating system on the other.
The consensus today is that Android is winning hands down in terms of new users. The open-source system is roaring ahead with more than half the smartphone market already and a growing percentage of the tablet market. In terms of moneymaking, the app economy of the iOS is actually doing much better. But consider that it had a huge start, whereas the Android came much later. My own impression from dealing with both is that Android is moving ahead in every area fast.
We need to rethink our assumptions about the role of patents and innovations. If they have nothing to do with each other, and if patents actually dramatically slow down the pace of development, why not get rid of them altogether? That’s exactly what many of the old liberals of the 19th century pushed, and it the case is further bolstered by Stephan Kinsella’s Against Intellectual Property.
Government planning never works. Laissez Faire isn’t perfect, but it provides the best chance for innovations to appear and thrive and for prosperity to result. The lesson for anyone with a business idea: Run with it and don’t wait on a bureaucracy.
May 11, 2013 (LocalOrg) – It was inevitable. A technology like 3D printing that essentially puts cheap labor, manufacturing, and retail all in the same place – upon one’s desktop – spells the absolute, utter and permanent end to the monopolies and unwarranted power and influence of the corporate-financier elite who have lorded over humanity since human civilization began – a permanent end the elite will fight against with the total summation of their ill-gotten power and influence.
The pretext being used to begin this war, is a 3D printed gun built and demonstrated by Defense Distributed in Austin, Texas. After designing, printing out, and firing the 3D printed gun, the US State Department demanded that the designs, distributed for free on the Internet, be taken down – claiming tenuously that by posting the designs on the Internet, arms export bans may have been violated – this the same government that is on record, openly shipping arms, cash, and military equipment to its own listed terrorist organizations from the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK or MKO) in Iraq and Iran, to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in Libya, to Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise,Jabhat al-Nusra.
The US government has demanded the removal of online files which allow users to 3D-print their own unregistered gun at home.
The blueprint has so far been downloaded more than 100,000 times since Defense Distributed – which spent a year designing the “Liberator” handgun – made it available online.
Last week Defense Distributed built the gun from plastic on an industrial 3D printer bought on eBay for $8,000 (£5,140), and fired it.
The Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance wrote to the company’s founder Cody Wilson demanding the designs be “removed from public access” until he could prove he had not broken laws governing shipping weapons overseas.
3D Printing: The Sum of All Corporate-Fascist Fears
For several years now, buzz has been growing about 3D printing. Small companies have begun opening up around the world, selling 3D printers, or using 3D printers for small run production, filling niches, or shifting markets from large corporations and their globalized supply chains, to local, decentralized business models. While governments like those in China have embraced the technology and wholly encourage a grassroots, bottom-up industrial revolution, others, like the US have only feigned enthusiasm.
After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again.
There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns.
Caterpillar, Ford, Intel, and Apple are large globalized monopolies – the personal manufacturing revolution would not see “state-of-the art labs” open up in towns across America to help augment the bottom lines of these Fortune 500 corporations, but would see decentralized alternatives to these corporations cut into and utterly gut their bottom lines – a reality US President Barack Obama and the corporate-financier interests that dictate his agenda must surely be aware of.
Image: Local Motors’ Rally Fighter vehicle. The unspoken fear the establishment holds regarding 3D printing and other forms of personal manufacturing is that their central globalized monopolies will be replaced by increasingly smaller, localized companies like Local Motors who already provides a model for “microfactories” and the localization of auto-manufacturing. Job creation, profits, wealth, power, and influence will be redistributed locally, not through government handouts, but by way of technology and local entrepreneurship – ending centuries of disparity between the people and the “elite.”
In the case of Ford and other big-auto giants, who by right should be shuttered and out of business already had it not been for their unwarranted influence and power buying them immense bailouts from America’s taxpayers, there are already alternative business models undermining their monopolies. In America itself, there is Local Motors who recently gave a short tour of their manufacturing facility they called a “microfactory.” These microfactorires represent the next step in industrialization where small companies will cater to smaller, local markets and niches, entirely replacing the centralized Fortune 500 corporations of Detroit, barely clinging to life and their unsustainable, antiquated business model as it is.
Video: Inside Local Motors’ Rally Fighter and open-source collaborative microfactory production.
The only conceivable means by which big-auto monopolies could hope to survive is by having the same bought-and-paid for politicians it used to bail its collapsed business model out with, impose sweeping regulations to make it illegal for “microfactories” to operate. We can already imagine, by extrapolating from the US State Department’s move against Defense Distributed, the arguments that will be made. These will be centered around “safety,” “taxation,” and perhaps even claims as bold as threatening “jobs” of autoworkers at Fortune 500 monopolies.
Similar ploys are currently working their way through a legislative and sociopolitical gauntlet in regards to the organic food movement.
This is a ban that’s going to be virtually impossible to enforce: as almost any music company will testify, stopping online filesharing by banning particular sites or devices is roughly akin to stopping a tsunami with a bucket.
Another approach might be to attempt to ban or regulate 3D printers themselves. To do so is to stifle a potentially revolutionary technology in order to address a hypothetical risk – and that’s even before the practical problems of defining a 3D printer for the legislation. It would have to be defined broadly enough for a law to be effective, but narrowly enough so that enforcing the law doesn’t take out half of the equipment used in every day manufacturing. It is likely a futile ambition.
Indeed – as a 3D printer is essentially nothing more than circuit boards, stepper motors, and heating elements to melt and extrude layers of plastic – it would be as impossible as it would be ridiculous to try to stem the tide of 3D printing by regulating printers, as it will be to attempt to regulate and ban any and all “prints” that threaten the current establishment’s monopolies and hold on power.
Everyone is eventually going to have access to this technology and by consequence, the ability to print out on their desktop what Fortune 500 corporations have held monopolies over for generations, including arms manufacturing, automobiles, and electronics. The age of empire, corporatism, and elitism is drawing to a close, but apparently not without one last battle.
A d v e r t i s e m e n t
How to Win the Battle
While some may be paralyzed in fear over the prospect of their neighbor one day having the ability to print out a fully functional weapon, it must be realized that like all other prolific technologies, the fact that it will be in “everyone’s” hands means that more good people than bad will have access to it, and it will be in their collective interests to create and maintain stability within any emerging technological paradigm. Just like with information technology, where malicious activity certainly exists, more people are interested in the smooth, stable function of this technology in daily life and have created a paradigm where disruptions happen, but life goes on.
People must embrace, not fear 3D printing. Key to its integration into society is to ensure that as many people as possible understand it and have access to it. This must be done as quickly as possible, to outpace inevitable legislation that seeks to strangle this revolution in its cradle.
Education: We must learn as much about this technology as possible. 3D printing incorporates skills in electronics, 3D design, and material science. Developing skill-sets in any of these areas would be beneficial. There are endless resources available online for free that offer information and tutorials on how to develop these skills – just an Internet search away.
Alternatively, for people curious about this technology and seeking to get hands-on experience, they could seek out and visit their local hackerspace (an extensive list of spaces can be found here). Hackerspaces are essentially technological fitness clubs, where one pays dues monthly for access to a space and the equipment within it to work on projects either individually or in a collaborative effort.
Image: Cover of “Hackerspaces @ the_beginning,” which chronicles the creation, challenges and successes of hackerspaces around the world. The original file can be found here, and an online version can be viewed here, on Scribd.
Hackerspaces generally attract people with the necessary skill-sets to assemble, use, and troubleshoot 3D printers currently on the market today. They also possess the skill-sets needed to build 3D printers and other computer-controlled manufacturing systems from parts that as of yet have not been “regulated.” Generally, hackerspaces host monthly workshops that help new people develop basic skills like soldering and programming, or 3D design and even “builds” where purchased 3D printer kits are constructed with the guidance of a resident expert. The proliferation of this knowledge will make the already daunting task of stripping personal manufacturing technology from the people, all but impossible.
Developing Local Institutions: It is essential to both expand existing hackerspaces and their use of personal manufacturing technology, as well as establish and build up new spaces. Ingraining hackerspaces as essential local institutions in our communities is one of the keys to heading off the coming war on personal manufacturing and other disruptive technologies sure to gain the ire of legislators as corporate-financier monopolies begin to suffer.
A place where people can go learn and use this technology, as well as collaborate in its advancement will turn 3D printing and other disruptive technologies from curiosities, into practical tools communities can use to reinvigorate their local economies, solve local problems, and overall improve their lives themselves, independently and self-sufficiently.
A hackerspace can start with something as simple as a single table with several chairs around it and some shared equipment used during weekend get-togethers with friends, and can develop into something as significant as a full-fledged organization with hundreds of members and global reach.
Ignoring and Circumventing Illegitimate Governments and Their Declarations: As already cited, the US government is currently funding a myriad of its own listed terrorist organizations to horrific effect from Iraq and Iran, to Libya and Syria. To declare a 3D printed gun “outlawed” and its presence on the Internet a “violation” of arms export laws, is as hypocritical as it is illegitimate.
The government, in a free society, works for the people. The people have not asked the government to ban 3D printed guns, just like they have not asked for the myriad of laws the government is currently citing as justification for its unilateral declaration. The government does not dictate to the people what they can and cannot have or what they can and cannot make. As such, we are not obligated to respect their declarations in regards to 3D printing any more than we have demonstrably respected their declarations regarding so-called “intellectual property.”
Just as file sharing continues unabated, while alternative media supplants what is left of the corporate-media’s monopolies, a similar paradigm must be developed and encouraged across the tech community in regards to 3D printing, personal manufacturing, and other emerging disruptive technologies such as synthetic biology.
Already, parallels are being drawn between 3D printing and the shifting paradigms of information technology and file sharing. Whether or not the average person joins in against the war on 3D printing and personal manufacturing, the tech community will almost certainly continue on with their success from the realm of shaping and moving information to the world of shaping and moving atoms. However, for the average person clearly aware that “something” is not quite right about where things in general are going and who are seeking solutions, establishing local institutions that leverage unprecedented technology to solve our problems ourselves, without disingenuous politicians and their endless schemes, seems like a sure choice.
There is already a burgeoning community of talented people working on bringing this technology to its maturity and leveraging it for the benefit of communities and individuals. If we are to ensure this technology stays in the people’s hands and is used in the best interests of the people, then as many of “the people’ as possible must get involved.
Do some additional research into 3D printing, locate your local hackerspace, and/or start a hackerspace of your own. Start looking into buying or building a 3D printer and developing ideas on how to use this technology both for education and for local, tangible development. The future is what we make of it, and if we – with our own two hands – are making nothing, we have no future.
This article was posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:10 am
John David Garcia (March 25, 1935 – November 23, 2001) – founder of the Society for Evolutionary Ethics (SEE), taught an enlightened vision of ethics and human purpose via four books, dozens of articles, lectures, seminars and attempts to found schools based on his ideas. He did these things mainly in the US, then in Chile and Mexico.
A self-described moral protagonist and scientific generalist, he sought to advance human evolution through increased moral awareness and creativity. (Creativity = Intelligence * ethics). He viewed the evolutionary ethic as a “rational alternative to death” and devoted his life to learning, teaching and creating. He once described his main intellectual contribution as having synthesized the ethical visions of Spinoza and Teilhard de Chardin.
His first book, The Moral Society (1971), presented the fundamental theories and scientific basis for the evolutionary ethic and then detailed alternative applications, the “Moral Society” being the rational alternative to death of the species. He restructured his evolutionary ethic theories and re-applied them in his best-selling “PsychoFraud and Ethical Therapy”, a condemnation of contemporary psychotherapy based upon its failure to begin with moral purpose.
Students and admirers of Garcia generally consider his third book, Creative Transformation (1991), his finest work; a logical extrapolation of evolution in general and autopoiesis in particular. Autopoiesis process, otherwise known as Amplification, a process refined by his protégé, Bob Podolsky. After offering a review of human evolution and awareness, he offered a practical guide for those seeking to expand their creative potential. For Garcia, creativity was the measure of, the key process within, and the ultimate purpose for morality. He advocated creativity as a motivator of human action and a teachable process with the potential to increase forever (a Teilhardian idea).
Garcia believed that specialization in one area of study was a mistake; a poor compromise made because most need to maximize their employability in the short term. He preferred to earn his living filing for and licensing patents, starting companies and offering his intellectual talents.
Garcia’s formal education ended when he had earned his second master’s degree because he felt that academia generally comprises people who are too specialized and who focus more on impressing others with their own mastery and intelligence rather than helping increase the mastery and intelligence of their students.
According to Garcia, in the past people were seldom confronted by a need to choose between happiness and creativity because the environment that people found themselves in was “forgiving” enough that actions that maximized happiness tended also to increase creativity (e.g. as an unintended side-effect). As the human environment has changed (e.g. via progress in technology and communications and population growth), happiness has become less and less acceptable as a guide to human action, with the result that if most people continue to pursue happiness as their ultimate goal in life, the outcome is likely to be disaster for the human species.
Garcia’s response to this observation was to spend the last 30 years of his life trying to persuade as many people as possible to devote their lives to maximizing creativity instead of happiness. Garcia defined creativity ) as the — namely, the physical, biological and “psychosocial” (human mind and human culture) environments. In 1983 he organized the School of Experimental Ecology in Oregon and thereafter assembled various groups (favoring octets) to experiment with his creativity enhancement techniques.
Later, he subscribed to the theory that the human brain is a quantum device that can receive information from beyond spacetime, namely, from David Bohm’sImplicate Order. He designed and experimented with a “Quantum Ark” to act as an interface between mind and “higher order information systems”.
Garcia’s inventions included the “Electronic Signature Lock” (and related biometric techniques) for security applications, a real-time computer system for expedited dispatch of taxis, and an automated electronic vehicle localizer (used extensively in cities and ports). He co-founded the Teknekron Corporation.
Garcia was fluent in English, Castilian, French, Portuguese, Italian, and German. He also spoke passable Chinese and read other languages, including Hebrew
He died on November 23, 2001 in Springfield, Oregon with his wife, Bernice, and daughter, Miriam, at his bedside. The majority of his extended family was in his house for thanksgiving at the time, he had been battling illness for several years previously.
Garcia’s ethical beliefs have been summarised as follows:-
Whenever one must choose between happiness and creativity, one should choose creativity where creativity is defined as the ability to predict and control one’s environment.
An alternate definition of creativity: creativity is whatever qualities of the human mind that enable people to discover new scientific laws, invent new machines or create new works of great art or assist others in doing those things.
An ethical act is any act that increases the creativity of at least one person without decreasing the creativity of any person.
No person has a right to any part of another person’s life or property, except, possibly, by prior mutual, voluntary contract.
Although many aspects of the U.S. Constitution and many of the Amendments to the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, proved a great success, Majority Rule proved a failure. No electoral majority in any existing country can be trusted to make creative or ethical decisions.
Garcia published 15 works in 18 publications and in 2 languages.
This Wikipedia is the article page on John David Garcia that was taken down and I found on http://Waybackmachine.org and posted here. Not sure how to get it up on Wikipedia however I dont have the time or extra energy to figure out how to do this. Let me know if you do and want to help putting back up.