Archive for the Alternative Architecture Category

‘Magic Rock’ song spell

Posted in Hikes, Pagan, Sculpture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2020 by Drogo

It was a case of unsolved mystery
jamie and trevor makin history
johnson family makin good
magic creek rock in the wood
signs in a stone to summon luck
magic rock helped them to make a buck
nature walk, magic rock, magic rock, magic rock

– Lyrics by Drogo

‘Magic Rock’ Punk Rock Karaoke version on Audiomack

inspired by a true story, told by ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ the show:

“On Saturday, May 14, 1988, thirteen-year-old Jamie Parks and his friend, Trevor Johnson, went into the woods in Washington State near the Canadian border and found a bizarre rock with strange, cryptic, alien-like drawings on it. Trevor told his parents, Steve and Pattie, about their discovery. At the time, the Johnsons were struggling to pay the bills and risking everything on a small dress shop that was opening in a new mall. Pattie took a second job as a receptionist to help pay for their rent, while Steve worked as a prison corrections officer. She later quit her job to open the store; however, this backfired when construction on it fell behind. After learning of the rock, Steve hiked to the spot with Trevor and was also interested in it. Just two days later, the Johnsons’ luck began to change for the better.”

SCOD Urban Architecture Notes

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Historic Architecture, Languages, Politics, Pub Library, Recommendations & Tributes, SCOD Online School, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2020 by Drogo

American architecture has ‘plurality and duality’. We have a variety of expression with scales of space and attitude, for the rich and poor. We have a modern design duality of rectilinear and organic architecture. Rectilinear modernists have been influenced by: Gropius, Loos, Corbu, Mies, Meier, Kahn, and Johnson. Organic modernist heroes are fewer, and there are fewer of us: Wright, Moss, Gehry, Solari, and Predock.

New Urbanist sprawl still faces the problems of commercialism vs community. Their planning principles have helped us to have more mixed-use zoning, but we still have the problems of Capitalism in decline, with an expanding lower class, destroyed middle class, and imperial upper class. New developments in Maryland and West Virginia seem to ignore the problems of population debt infrastructure, ecological devastation, agricultural decline, and transportation congestion all for the sake of profit.

Moynihan said our cities were ‘soulless’, like Diogenes he was holding a lamp for architectural self-examination. Cities are not as safe as we would like, and we should always remember their epitaphs are too often ‘military target’. Violence and migration are the main problems of our ‘urbane’ urban design. We have so often been wrong in our problem solving, it is clear we need to learn more from our past patterns of tradition. The corruption in politics that creates bad planning, can only be countered by an aware and active population willing to conspire and protest more than the elites can bribe, to bring attention to values which cannot be bought. 

‘A Pattern Language’ by Chris Alexander explains how architecture is about relationships. There are many cultural associations and historical traditions that can be better than soulless sterile machines for living. Architecture is sculpture for living, and we should not ignore sociology and heritage for the sake of industrial convenience to serve a consumer society that is destroying our global environment for profit. Yes we should have standards for structures that are able to shelter us without collapsing, but sustainability must also include the arts and nature.

 

References:

American House Now‘ by Doubilet & Boles

Better Places‘ Chapter in ‘Geography of NoWhere’

‘Pattern Language’ Relationships by Chris Alexander

New Urbanism, Second Generation‘ by Beth Dunlap

The Soulless City‘ by Moynihan

 

 

 

 

CIA Crest Archive FOIA

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Futurist, History, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2020 by Drogo

In 2017 about 13 million pages of declassified documents from the US ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ (CIA) were released online. The move came after lengthy efforts from freedom of information advocates and a lawsuit against the CIA. These ‘freedom of information act’ (FOIA) documents had previously only been accessible at the National Archives in Maryland. The trove includes the papers of Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as well as several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development.

The records were only available on four physical computers located in the back of a library at the National Archives in Maryland, between 09:00 and 16:30 each day. A non-profit freedom of information group, MuckRock, sued the CIA to force it to upload the collection, in a process which took years. At the same time, journalist Mike Best crowd-funded more than $15,000 to visit the archives, to print out and then publicly upload the records, one by one, to apply pressure to the CIA.

CREST: 25-Year Program Archive [link]

 

 

 

 

My Career in Art & Writing

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Creativity / Imagination, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Illustration, Interviews, jobs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2020 by Drogo

Memoir on My Career 2020, By Drogo Empedocles

 

I am defined socially by my supporters, more than if i were isolated and alone (obviously). Thank you for your support of my life’s work! Is my art and writing my career? I suppose it is, but not if careers must be defined purely by financial profit.

It is strange because my favorite parts of my education did not translate into making money in regular jobs, but i was not as prepared for regular jobs because of my own interests, which meant i cant really blame my art school because i didnt want the regular jobs it turns out. some of us need to spend fortunes to find that out, but trying to make the fortune back by working at regular jobs was the only real way to know whether or not there is a place there for me in conventional business. I like writing and art because I dont need a boss to do them. i still try to make money by selling my work to clients and pleasing patrons; but there is a big difference doing what i love my own way, and people supporting me as a friend, for favors that friends do. I always felt like having a boss meant i was doing work that i needed someone else to tell me how to do, so it was not really a job i would want, unless i was able to be the boss soon or the boss was my best friend. Only when my boss was friendly was a regular job even tolerable for me. Many people feel like they do not have a choice, and for many who just want to do what they are told for a paycheck or who need to provide for dependents maybe that is true; but i feel that if we want to be free, nothing can stop us from eventually quitting jobs that do not fit.

I have heard that being an adult means getting a regular job, to pay regular bills. In fact i always thought that would just happen naturally as an adult, that all my hard work in school would just translate to having the long lost career of my father’s generation. I have also heard that those pensions and life-long salaries are gone (although i still apply to the few that exist), and I know that technology has changed how work gets done, from even the ways I was taught with pencil and paper. I think this Covid Crisis is forcing society to change even more, towards the European socialist model, where a responsible civilization has a government that is by and for the people, and does not just use citizens to extract public resources for the rich. I mean, corporations still will do that, but adults will have a right to life, even if they are not enough of a competitive servant and smart enough to want to take more money from others than they need, simply because they ‘worked hard’ doing what someone else thought they should do. 

 

When someone says “if adults can’t make enough money as an artist, they should get a real job.” I imagine cutting their head off, and sending it to our magical boss; you know the one who would want an employee like me. I would get a gold star and a raise for sure.

SCOD Design Methodology 202

Posted in Alternative Architecture, ecovillages, Organic Architecture, SCOD Designs, SCOD Online School, SCOD Thesis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2020 by Drogo

How to Approach SCOD Design (updated 2020)

 

  1. Define linguistic terms for communication

Vocabulary: sustainable, community, cooperative, organic, dwelling, development, alternative architecture, art, science, nature, elements (parts), ecological (environmental), permaculture, homesteading

 

  1. Study statistics and discuss case studies (architecture types and styles): Historical, environmental, industrial (commercial), domestic (private), utilities, public (social), mixed-use, temporary, permanent, etc… [see scod blogs and references]

 

  1. Theory Assumptions: Commercial monopolies (Crony Capitalism) are destroying global eco-systems, contributing to dynamic climate change, and increasing consumerism and planned obsolescence that steals national wealth (socialism for plutocrats), which increases debt poverty and decreases democracy. [see scod philosophy and references sections]

 

  1. Design methods: Basic Needs Diagrams (3 survival, function, form, flow), 5 Elemental Forces Lists (air, fire, water, earth, spirit), Social Narratives (client description details of desires), legal framing (codes), cost estimates, construction procedure, timeline, etc. Develop your own scod design strategies based on case studies and assumptions.

 

5.  Design Images: drawings, models, multi-media

SCOD Design and Imagination

Posted in Cooperative collaboration, dreams, ecovillages, Ethics & Morals, Futurist, Organic Architecture, Psychology, relationships, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2020 by Drogo

SCOD Design and Imagination – Theory Essay [recording]

Why study SCOD design? Be prepared not only for possible problems by designing better now; but also if there are systemic collapses, having a core homestead village for redesigning a new way of life will be important. People who can afford independent homesteads will have them, but those without enough money need more affordable housing now and in the future.

Some willing and able to share space will be the heart of a scod village, others will be on the fringes as independent owners or temporary visitors; but having communal space for everyone is important for social life, public events, and council meetings. If everyone could afford their own property and everything they need like rich people, then most would do that; but the reality is that currently the way our economy works is that most people cannot earn enough to afford an independent life, and so most people need shared public property but rarely get enough from our federal, state, or local governments.

SCOD focuses more on philosophy and psychology than militant or religious preppers, because the hardest test of conventional friendship or survival during an emergency is living with people. Knowing how to get basic needs met is critical, including during the most likely emergency scenarios (natural disaster, pandemic, or war); so that comes first. Once you know where to get your food, water, and shelter; the scod design method of infinite combinations will be based on access flow diagrams (see ‘SCOD Thesis’ for examples). SCOD does not encourage everyone to collect guns or have the same religion, because freedom and peace are mainly to be encouraged without force. Diversity of martial and work training, with healing arts and cultural beliefs are the core of scod negotiations, and the spices for the flavor of life.

Working and planning with all kinds of people does not need to be permanent. Diverse experience does not need to be a risky investment, it can best be achieved with limited projects with cooperative practice. The purpose of tests and exercises are to determine what works, and what does not for those involved. Dedication and trust are earned over time, and we simply cannot be dedicated to trusting everything in every way. We learn what is reasonable to expect with wisdom by trial and error, and we learn our own limits for negotiations. If there is no reason to invest in an unstable situation, it is wise to move on.   

If the factors work well they will, but there are so many possible scenarios that those who enjoy the joy of design and writing can explore possible plans without the costs of construction. We make do with what we have, and when we need more we can get it with will-power. The factors of design are as important to scod life as the basic elements they are based on, because scod design theory is a religion of architecture in that it should remind us the purpose of possessing, sharing, and maintaining structures and spaces. Exploring scod design theory is possible even if we never find the best possible factors with serious partners, and this point is the power of imagination. We can dream and be creative even if we have serious mental disabilities, physical disabilities, or are in prison or under quarantine. Enjoy yourself, scod.

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The Problem of Systemic Change

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Futurist, Health & Fitness, History, Military, news, Rationality & Logic, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2020 by Drogo

Wave Pattern / Cyclical History Theory essay on civilization

Tidal Wave and Sail Boat[ Theme image – My ‘Tidal Wave and Sail Boat’ painting which is based on the ‘Great Wave’ by Hokusai with Van Gogh brush style. ]

Despite similarities of theories, violence vs non-violence is a critical factor for civil rights and modern history. Violent manifestos by the Unabomber or Discovery Channel Shooter, contradict the ethical wisdom of SCOD Theory. SCOD embraces more peaceful egalitarian democratic co-existence, because deconstructivist architecture can only go so far, until it has to be constructivist enough again to be utilized as shelter; the same SCOD theory applies to social systems as well. The problem of systemic change from intentional revolution is whether to advocate violence or non-violence; and how best to make needed changes. History and mythology tend to lionize violent war heroes; but modern history deviates from this due to the Civil Rights movement. 

The Netflix documentary on the Unabomber mentions the voluntary interrogation program (related to US secret agencies) at Ted’s University in relation to his psychology. I had not heard of it before, but it does sound very much like Project ‘Wormwood’ and other ‘MK-Ultra’ type operations that were unethical, and like war tend to create more terror. The paradox of using violence exists for the establishment as well as rebels. Very mathematical and scientific geniuses like Ted might have pre-existing mental health problems, but they need help rather than competitive character assassination which must lead to bodily incarceration or assassination. Despite their terrible methods, often terrorist rebels feel they are fighting for moral social or environmental justice. Their desire to do good can be encouraged with treatment, rather than pushed by further abuse or neglect. Hurting other humans tends to be less successful for defending causes, than non-violent civil disobedience protests and artistic expressions. 

SCOD theory favors peace and art not only as radical tools for social change, but also as parts of the utopian vision with which we would solve our problems and replace our systemic terror. The sadness of not being able to show your work to enough people to have a network of patrons, or the fear of not being worthy enough to do what you love are symptoms of a system that keeps us at perpetual war and in debt rather than free. Greater freedom means having more control over our own individual lives, and less dependent on the whims of others for the basics of life in civilization. The role of good democratic governments is to be run by the people, for the people. These reasons are why we like leaders like FDR (WW2 militancy aside), MLK, and Bernie Sanders. Environmental activist groups like Green Peace, ELF, Extinction Rebellion, and Sea Shepherd are disruptive so they make a social impact, but do not kill people.

Our corporate MIC (Military Industrial Complex) has our system so rigged, that paid players remove any real democratic opposition as ‘foreign influence’ aka ‘enemies of the state’ of the ‘War on Terror’ or the ‘NEW RED SCARE’. Our system bosses do not tolerate real change from third parties like the Green Party, because peace or environmental progress would reduce corruption. Corporate MIC propaganda war is a real problem.

Trump was a convenient democratic-republic glitch for corporations, as the system sometimes gets the ‘greater of two evils’ into office (see also Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I & II). Trump’s presidency was a result mostly of the corporate influenced electoral college and Hillary Clinton-DNC primary fraud. Corporate agents blame Russia for the Clinton-DNC emails getting leaked, but it was what was in the emails that turned blue states red (see WV and MI). Many voters hated Hillary Clinton so much that they voted for Trump, because at least he promised some of the liberal Bernie Sanders type changes (fighting corruption, universal health-care, and less wars). The obvious difference between Bernie Sanders and Trump is that Sanders has a successful record of fighting for populist positions like union worker rights over corporate profit; the campaign difference crucially enabled by grass-roots funding rather than corporate funding.

 The only way to hold the establishment accountable, is if you are not beholden to the criminals in power. The system usually removes peaceful potential threats like Tulsi Gabbard with smears, when they are too much against the MIC, and have too much credibility (Tulsi is an elected representative and veteran soldier), and tend to take assassination steps (foreign and domestic) when they have made too much change already (see history of CIA foreign coups, and the problematic Malcom-X, MLK, JFK, RFK cases). The Peace movement is not allowed to gain too much ground, because war is a racket for profit. People are beginning to see through the propaganda, I do not feel as alone anymore, from all the outlets I hear.

One famous example of internal change which can affect systemic change, is Dicken’s ‘Christmas Carol’. The main motivation which Scrooge will struggle with everyday after his Christmas morning revelation of joyful good-will, is his memory of the shocking awareness of self-made torture and terror that a snobbish demon of hell can be oblivious to otherwise. Religions tend to use both redemptive allegory (Jesus) and mythology (Revelation). Armageddon apocalypse mythologies are cyclical in that religions describe a ‘heavenly’ utopian life after death, before or after the next time a god decides to use their graceful warriors against their enemies. The Bible may promise eternal bliss, but it is quite clear that God can change his mind about promises if ‘Satan’ interferes (see Job). Although the ‘Beast’ may be defeated during one great war, it is clear that angels can fall from grace and become devils and demons who disobey. We have only one famous example, but how often it happens or what restrictions there may be in place at a later time are not at all clear. The Norse great apocalyptic war ‘Ragnarok’ is more clear about this wave pattern of decline and climax. The viking warriors believed that they must fight and die to go to the great hall (Valhalla) of Heaven (Asgard), where they would await the final battle of the gods after death, and the cycle of humans fighting and dying, and fighting as legendary deities would repeat again forever.

 

If we are the surviving minority, how would we make things better? How would our ‘good’ story of humanity resolve the problems of today in the future? Is it possible to have realistic and happy futurist visions?? I hope so.

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[ Audio Recording of Essay ]

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