Archive for the Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels Category

Philosophical Anarchism

Posted in Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, ecovillages, Legal / Laws, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by Drogo

Anarchy is absence of supreme government leaders, company authorities, or laws. Anarchism is rejection of central state or group hierarchy for collaborative democracy and independent freedom. Anarchy does not mean ‘let chaos rule’, but can be messy as individuals express themselves voluntarily. Lack of direction from a boss can be scary for many who prefer to be told what to do. Another problem is the political vacuum of anarchy allows despots to use charisma and power to shatter the ideal potential of anarchy and democracy, and create populist structures of obedience to corrupt state systems.

Anarchy is a natural feeling for many people who have an intuitive reaction to any perceived authority over them; which maybe related to our pre-history. Civilization is considered new and brief compared to thousands and thousands of years when humans must have lived more or less like other wild animals with no writing, and no language rules, in primitive anarchy. This anti-authoritarian type of human nature can manifest in complex egalitarian cultures, and thus can create advanced anarchy systems based on cultural capacities. Proudhon considered anarchism to be a political philosophy for “stateless societies based on voluntary associations”. Having no desire for authoritarian companies or governments, anarchists often try to organize and maintain voluntary institutions (like SCOD).

Labor unions (aka trade unions) are groups or collectives of workers, organized to represent their job interests within capitalism. Unions are similar to trade guilds, except they are often employees of companies that need to negotiate with bosses using social pressure and collective protest bargaining, with threat of striking vs lay-offs to enforce contracts. Safety standards, living wages, and benefits are labor themes.

Philosophical anarchism often relates to democracy, communism, socialism, and labor unions because they all are systems to empower workers to control leaders, companies, and governments by the people being responsible for their power. The term ‘worker’ (proletariat) represents the bulk of citizens or their families, and therefore the masses of society. When the workers have to power to vote directly and frequently on their bosses, companies and governments become decentralized and depend on social networks and sub-cultures.

anarchy

[see also Mondragon, Mother Jones, Emma Goldman]

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Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering

Posted in Education / Schools, Events / Celebrations, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, jobs, news, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by Drogo

Day, Month, Year, Time – Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering – You are invited to the Victorian Townhouse of the Honorable S.P. (near Market Street) __ Third Street, downtown Frederick, MD; to read anything of your choice for apx.10 minutes, and our informal group will discuss for about the same time as the reading. Tea will be served.

Democratic voting on name of group, which selections to read, whether to record, and date of next meeting.

[for actual current details contact SCOD members]

Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.

The ‘Board and Books’ Club

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, jobs, Multimedia Communication, Pub Library, Roleplaying / Reenacting, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2018 by Drogo

Urban Used Book Store and More

Before the apocalypse, some of us had opened a shop in the city for a place to sell what we made, to keep a collective library, and for a local hang out for geeks like us. We called it “The Board & Books” and it was an eclectic social community for all classes of gamers, intellectuals, artists, actors, musicians, and book lovers. We served some food and drink, but it was under the table to avoid needing to renovate and pay fees to code, to keep our expenses low since income was minimal mostly from monthly membership. If you stayed for more than an hour we asked that you pay to stay as long as you like, and that was incentive for return visits to get your money’s worth and have a chair and board to “call your own”. Walking sticks, paintings, and other home-made crafts of all kinds were welcome. On some days a smoking club would rent it, and we locked the door and responded only to the secret knock and call.

Our tiny shop version of the Pipedream Pub was called “The BOARD and Books” because we had at least one table to start with for playing games, writing, and studying books on. Table boards were also used for drinks and food when in private club sessions. The collective library was for our members to place books they liked or wrote, including old and new books. There were also prices on most of the books, on the odd occasion that someone wanted to own it for their personal private hoard. We even managed to sell a few poems.

We had old and new carved wood on display: walking sticks, canes, wands, sculptures, board panels, etc..

We had a converted piano made into a harp, flat-wide-screen digital monitor, and book shelf.

piano desk

Random paintings came and went. Art, music, and books were often traded.

Beamer and Tom made an awesome wooden table from old antiques and local barn boards.

railway-table-by-toyo-kichen-style-o

After a few years membership increased and so rates were raised to pay the bills and make some net profit, until Armageddon. During WW3 there was too much economic depression to charge much, and when the urban infrastructure became bad enough we had to close shop in the city, and focus on the Pipedream Pub in the country.  Many of the items and books from the shop were moved to the Pub library and hearth hall.

[ part of SCOD FALLOUT 2020 series script ]

Garden City Chapters

Posted in Economics, ecovillages, Futurist, Organic Architecture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2018 by Drogo

Chapter Summaries of ‘Garden Cities of Tomorrow‘ by Ebenezer Howard

  1. Town-Country Magnet
  2. Revenue – Agriculture
  3. Revenue – Town Estates
  4. Revenue – General Expenditures
  5. Revenue – Expenditure Details
  6. Administration
  7. Semi-Municipal Enterprise
  8. Pro-Municipal Work
  9. Some Difficulties Considered
  10. Combination of Proposals
  11. Path Followed Up
  12. Social Cities
  13. Future of London

 

1. Town-Country Magnet

6000 acres, 30,000 people in the city and 2000 in agriculture estates

Central council for creation and maintenance of necessary public works

(Four gentlemen of responsible positions)

Garden City planning: division of acres into 6 radiating sections and rings

Garden City built at center of 6000 acres, but only covers 1000 acres

6 large radiant boulevards (120 ft wide) divide the 6000 acres into 6 pie parts

6 circular avenues: circus and rings of beltways (not including bypass)

Central Park is 5 acres apx. of circle garden and street circus

First Ring is 1 acre public buildings around the city center

Second Ring is 6 garden parks radiating from Central Park

Third Ring is a Crystal Palace for industrial stores and market avenue

Fourth Ring is masonry town-houses and avenue

Fifth Ring is Grand Avenue (inner beltway) with restaurant gardens

Sixth Ring is outer perimeter of industrial factories, near a bypass

Agricultural estates on 5000 acres outside of city

 

2. Revenue of a Garden City – Agricultural and Industrial estates

Entire revenue is from rent and fees, not taxes

Urban rent is higher than rural land

Rent goes from residents and businesses to city government who owns all property

 

3. Revenue of Urban Estates (Town-houses, Restaurants, and Crystal Palace)

How to manage rates with cost of living and inflation

Urban Lot sizes are 20′ x 130′

4. Revenue Expenditures 1 – general observations

Accounting for how revenue supports municipal needs

Enterprises with extreme capital are not needed or desired

Small businesses are promoted in the interest of a functioning population

5. Revenue Expenditures 2 – details

Building construction and city planning: zoning, methods, details

Discussion of how 6 radiant sections and 6 rings function and support each-other

Major component size, cost, and usage.

Importance of cooperation: how to balance against selfish demands due to inter-dependence

Rent Budget goes to public pay, pensions, property maintenance, constructions

 

6. Administration: who governs what?

Most of us are both Individualists and Communists: we believe in freedom and community

Public and Private issues; temperance

Democratic politics and representation vs Bureaucratic appointments without elections

7. Local Business

Public markets are owned by the City

Retail Business is limited to the Crystal Palace with local options

Introduce tenants, prevent waste and pollution, fair competition to avoid monopolies

8. Municipal Work – pro-public service

Philanthropic charitable institutions, religious societies, and educational agencies.

Work placement office.

 

9. Difficulties of Nature and Humans

Challenges of nature, human nature, and artificial constructs will always exist.

Nothing is perfect in reality, we just do the best we can.

Better society is worth our efforts, although perfection is impossible.

  •  Chapter summaries to be continued later

 

32,000 people in medium Garden City population (58,000 larger Central City)

Rail lines and other public transportation need to connect workers to work places, and products to warehouses and shops. Distribution and traffic flow is critical for city function.

Link to original article on Garden Cities:  Garden Cities by E. Howard

*

Garden City of Letchworth, England

Report by Drogo 1999 @ SCAD, Georgia USA. Ebenezer Howard’s first version of his book was published in 1898 , under the title ‘Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform’, and was revised in 1902. The version studied was ‘Garden Cities of To-morrow‘, published by M.I.T. press in 1965 (67 years after it was first written). The preface by J.H. Osburn and a commentary by Lewis Mumford called ‘The Garden Idea and Modern Planning’, were both written in 1945.

(to be continued)

*

Community Communication

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, news, Politics, relationships, SCOD Council, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2018 by Drogo

It is part of SCOD work to learn how all different people communicate despite all kinds of boundaries and responses, and also when communication breaks down and fails to be helpful. or in light of sensitive issues, how to still have at least contact with “others”, while accepting avoidance to various degrees is inevitable.

Knocking on doors as a neighbor is an interesting phenomenon. Calling people on phones is another. Texting is one of the newest forms of technological communication. Public notices are a way to communicate in communal or common areas, but it becomes less personal and more prone to faceless propaganda “news”, because there is no dialog possible.

An apology for “bothering” someone by contacting them is considered polite, because it is assumed that regardless of whether the person wants to talk or not, it is very possible they might feel bothered or threatened by a perceived “invasion of their personal space”, even if some distance is kept between physical bodies and messaging is kept to a practical minimum while within public or common areas or being far apart using technology. However even sales people and religious missionaries will use this polite procedure, and thus the very act of starting with an apology can be seen as a beginning to an impersonal sales pitch, and adds to the length of the contact the more one acts concerned for the possible emotional disturbance of another. It is still probably acceptable with most people to use a simple general blanket apology, even if the person initiating contact is going out of their comfort zone to contact the other, which bothers the bold person simultaneously and possibly more, as the person initiating contact can feel just as vulnerable as the one being contacted, since we can be sensitive to responses no matter who contacted who first at any given time, regardless of whether the timing does or does not seem reasonable to any number of people. It can be assumed that people can consider themselves “busy” even when they are relaxing for mental health reasons.

The cyclic aspects of communication easily lends itself to circular thinking which can frustrate the best communicators. Sometimes, some people can push past the fear involved with taking a risk to reach out an contact others, despite that they might make themselves a target by their own aggressive pro-action actions. When and who and how are interesting questions, but there are mysteries of life that we can best know only by trying and then reflecting on the experience after time has passed. This uncertainty puts many of us into introverted states of paralyzed fear, but heroes and villains are those that break those boundaries. Compassionate communication in tone and scope is a quality that can determine who is a kind saint or hero of the people, as opposed to flip-side uncaring communication of a harassing gad-fly or villain of society (at least with intuitive perception, which can be wrong).

Communication with some people will be doomed, as they do not want to be bothered at any time for anything, by anyone (like Oscar the Grouch, a grumpy curmudgeon). Even when someone is just in a bad mood, they can be argumentative for periods of time with no sights on conflict resolution; and that can lead to chaos. In cases of depression those chaotic periods can be long, and when it happens over and over as a pattern it can become abusive to everyone involved. How often can we all be happy enough to communicate at the same time about the same things with others? How much can we influence others to be compassionate about our own concerns while remaining ethical and not overly-manipulative? The best wise advice seems to be just be yourself, and show other people by example how to communicate by practicing with all your flaws and attributes.

Drogo’s Funeral Party

Posted in Events / Celebrations, Pagan, Recommendations & Tributes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2018 by Drogo

Upon the Death of Drogo Empedocles, there shall be a party.

Eventually I will die. When my death comes, I will have a party for friends and family.

The affordable funeral ceremony will be a party at a park, farm, or garden; organized by my PR and any of my close friends (Beamer, Jeffy, Aeyla) that volunteer to help announce and send invitations. My funeral party will be open to anyone who wishes to attend and pay respect to my life and celebrate memories living on in their own lives. The PR will decide on the portion of my treasures (art, books, collections) to present to family and attendees who are minor beneficiaries. Paid live musicians. Fire offerings should be herbs, clothes, and my cremated ashes. If alcohol is not allowed at the property, attendees can have an after-party for toasts. Time: Noon to at least Dusk, and on to Midnight if possible.

(this is part 6 of my Last Will and Testament 2018)

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