Archive for theory

Why Would an Artist Architect write a book on Economics & Politics??

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Economics, Environmentalism, Organic Development, Philosophy, Politics, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2017 by Drogo

Wealth inequality is on the rise.

What does that mean for regular people?

Rising wealth inequality nationally means the rich are getting richer, more drastically than before; and the poor are getting poorer, which means they will soon have the rights of displaced Native Americans from 100 years ago. Imagine how that might affect minorities like many blacks and natives who already have the poverty of third-world countries, but are required to pay the fees of first-world plutocrats and corporate cronies?

Most of us are still feeling the Great Recession in our daily lives. The national economic ‘growth’ data that popular economists use, shows that after the corporate bail-outs sectors of our economy grew. Can you guess what percentage of the population benefited from that growth? About 1%.

Many of us middle-class people are losing our wealth when we try to sell our homes because of banker-real-estate fraud on the buyer’s behalf, devaluing old homes in areas of slow growth and using tax money to build new developments which makes a few rich while we get poorer without as many jobs, because money has been drained from the middle to go to the top.

I remember when I first noticed corporate take-over locally in the 1990’s when Walmarts began ‘out-competing’ all the mom-and-pop small family owned stores, and almost monopolized the market even for large franchise chains. Cable-companies made fortunes stringing wires around the country, into rural areas, competing with ‘WV state-flowers’ and antenna TV. Larger companies replaced smaller ones, every-where.

It is time to change the system, but it is not all or nothing. There are elements of alternative systems every-where in history, and around us in America today. If we do not have a right to live, our leaders do not have a right to rule, because they enforce the laws that make us unable to provide for ourselves, laws which we need to take responsibility to change.

Power for the people, and by the people is a constant struggle. ‘Power to the people’! We have to take the power back, from the plutocrats. Economics and politics are combined in America as a corrupt form of crony ‘State Capitalism’. No conspiracy or theory is needed to explain the reality of how corporations function, it is notoriously blatant and commonly accepted as ‘just the way things are’; so without defining every popular economic term that Madoff and Greenspan advocated, I will try to high-light the problems that affect most of us and propose solutions.

“People Power!!!” – AMM (Appalachian Mountain Militia)

I do not expect people to take my word as total truth. I want average people to get interested in how our system works, by helping them to feel that they can make a difference simply by beginning to question the establishment in intelligent ways. I am not a professional economist, I am studying finance as a hobby. For this book I am able to put forth theories by other economists, scientists, and philosophers; by rewording or quoting them. There are millions of people that disagree with my opinions, and I will not include all the information that a basic or advanced economic book would; but I will do my best to interpret and phrase jargon with references as best I can.

I designed and published SCOD Thesis in 1999 to address alternative ways to live. I was mocked by some students and professors for wanting to build a ‘commune’. It was considered absurd to be interested in village design that was not able to be financed by rich clients or the government, for ‘profit’.

I accepted the responsibility that I was a radical rebel, and system out-cast in college when I began to learn more about adult subjects, and got a clearer impression how the business world worked. My experience as a college graduate trying to ‘earn a living’ by selling myself to anyone willing to pay me, was even more discouraging and depressing.

As a drafting assistant, design partner, professor of architecture, and architectural adviser I was so in debt that any money I made had to go directly to pay debt bills, and did not allow me to save for the basics of middle-class property and personal benefit expectations that were promised to come to everyone that played by the rules of the system (higher education = more income). I found those platitudes to be hollow, even for many like me who wanted to find a life-long career within ‘good’ firms. Well it was clear the world for practicing architects was changing from what it had been. I did work with my father for years, and as partners we completed many designs and built many projects; however we made very little profit.

My father and I were successful designers, but that success did not transfer financially. Part of the reason capitalism did not work for us, was that many clients were poor, and even the rich wanted to save money. My father out of the kindness of his heart and joy to serve others, and enthusiasm for his craft, would charge fees that may have gone further during the 1970s. Combine low pay with the rise in cost of living, inflation, and this is why my mother had to support our family by working commercial retail at Walmart and teaching at schools; both jobs luckily she enjoyed as best she could. I worked many other jobs besides architecture, sometimes 5 jobs a month, and always actively found back-up jobs and projects that kept me busy. Despite only having one family car and very few luxuries for middle-class, we saw our wealth diminish no matter how hard we worked, and no matter how many clients we had.

I lived within my means, on the budget of a lower-class individual, while striving to serve the public as a middle-class citizen educated by ‘higher institutions of education’. I did not ‘drop-out’ of the system, the system was not interested in using me for the purpose that my education, psychology, and skill-set allowed. I still continue to live in this way, which I feel is the best I can do with what I have available to me.

I do not say these things to complain that my family suffered more than lower-class people, or disabled people (who can easily be disenfranchised by society and the system). I am not comparing how we lived to how other classes live, the point of being honest about my middle-class family experience is to show why I believe that alternative economic systems are important. I have always been interested in the definition of economics, and silly questions like “why do we say ‘trade & barter’ if those terms are synonyms?”. My favorite question as a child was “what makes a unit of something worth anything?”; or more humorously “can we just start using bottle caps or shells as money?”. I still think those types of questions are good.

Professionals whose public speeches, books, and conversations I have studied include Dr. Dean Baker, Prof. Noam Chomsky, Prof. Mark Blyth, Prof. Michael Hudson, politicians Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Jeremy Corbyn, and many others.

Regardless I think it is always good to hear that other people suffer from a type of economic exchange we could call the ‘oops I should have asked for more” syndrome. So I will try to include a few of those stories too for you. Enjoy the most boring theories you never thought might affect you, and keep on keepin’ on.

If I understand some economists correctly, they are saying we are living in a period like the 1920s when all growth was in the stock market; it was considered ‘capital gain’ but was really ‘striping assets’; which resulted in the Stock Market Crash and Great Depression. No pressure people.

Jeremy Corbyn in the Labor (Labour) Party in England, makes Bernie Sanders look like a centrist about public policies.

“For the many, not the few.” – Corbyn Labour party platform

“Our challenge to a rigged system, is bound to meet hostility. Change always involves taking on vested interests. The stakes are very high.” – Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour Party 2017

Great experimentation with individual and social action must take place now! I have been writing and publishing essays on Teaching, Colleges, Jobs, and systemic economic problems and solutions. In 2017 I am producing a series of recordings and essays on ‘SCOD Economics’. This Economic series includes interviews and biographies across disciplines, and intends to address both present injustices and futurist hopes.

We will discuss injustice within our educational and political system, that adversely affects people with alternative thoughts or theories that are not accepted by the conventional establishment corporate ideology frame-work that contains and controls most of the World. We are given their propaganda that “we can all have any job we want, so long as we try hard and get good grades”. Our reality based on my experience is more like “most of us can have at least a minimum-wage job with few benefits, for a limited amount of time, without job security, pathetic interest for savings accounts, the job we find may be against our own interests, and those who cannot get good grades or are bad at following orders get nothing and will probably end up in jail or homeless”. Despite these problems which I have personally witnessed and experienced, the final goal of the series is to plan for a better more sustainable tomorrow for future generations; even if the series conclusions are largely ignored within our life-times. Historic record has some worth.

From the book – SCOD Economics: Alternative Economic Theories

Economics affects everyone, even those that do not want to be concerned with money or finances. This book is a summary of alternative economic commentaries that emphasize democratic ethics. The Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development believes in valuing human lives as responsible environmental stewards for our biosphere called Earth, and seeks ways to allow for biodiversity in civilization as well as the ecosystem. We believe in less monopolies, less corporate crony politics, less corruption in government, and more ways to support various ways of life and provide future generations with the ability to provide for themselves. Please let’s work together to leave something for the children that is worth inheriting.

 – Drogo Empedocles

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SCOD Economic Theory Series

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Economics, Multimedia Communication, Organic Development, Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2017 by Drogo

Essays on Educational, Employment, and Systemic Economic Problems and Solutions

by Drogo Empedocles; May 2017

In 2017 I am producing a series of recordings and essays on ‘SCOD Economics’. This Economic series includes interviews and biographies across disciplines, and intends to address both present injustices and futurist hopes. We will discuss injustice within our educational and political system, that adversely affects people with alternative thoughts or theories that are not accepted by the conventional establishment corporate ideology frame-work that contains and controls most of the World. We are given their propaganda that “we can all have any job we want, so long as we try hard and get good grades”. Our reality based on my experience is more like “most of us can have at least a minimum-wage job with few benefits, for a limited amount of time, without job security, pathetic interest for savings accounts, the job we find may be against our own interests, and those who cannot get good grades or are bad at following orders get nothing and will probably end up in jail or homeless”. Despite these problems which I have personally witnessed and experienced, the final goal of the series is to plan for a better more sustainable tomorrow for future generations; even if the series conclusions are largely ignored within our life-times.

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SCOD Economic Permaculture & Futurist Interviews:

Tom the Data Scientist, Libertarian

Cheri M. the Permaculturalist

Beamer the Scientist, Liberal

Aeyla the Care Giver, Independent

Scorpion the Homeless, Independent

Drogo the Architect, Green

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SCOD Economic Commentaries:

My Favorite Job Was Teaching

How Crony-Capitalism Affects Education

Homeless Ways of Life

Public Art and Street Teaching

Alternative Economic Education

Graduate School Politics in Colleges & University

Permaculture in Economics, Business, & Politics

Quest For Consciousness

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References:

Economics Professor Mark Blyth

Economics Professor Wolff

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky

(Page Under Construction – links and more will be added soon)

Quest for Consciousness

Posted in Economics, Politics, Science & Math, Spiritual, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2017 by Drogo

Over the years I have toured many college campuses and made appointments to meet with staff members in their architecture departments. As friendly as some of the professors may have been, they told me candidly there were no job opportunities for me as part of their faculty, and of course none of them were paid to help me, and therefore they did not. I did lecture them on SCOD thesis, and they verified that college politics was not in my favor; despite ‘sustainability’ being a popular theory.

While exploring the Maryland University campus again in 2017 for open-house Maryland Day, among my various conversations, I did have a fortunate discussion with quantum physics graduate students and a business school professor, outside of the Science Department. We were talking about particle-wave theory, the split-test experiment, and the question of what observer consciousness, or whether they turned the lights on or off had to do with it.

I congratulated the business professor for being concerned about whether science could account for consciousness; as we have a cross-disciplinary problem of not being able to quantitatively value life-forms and the Eco-system in direct ways that protect our existence from predatory capitalism. He recognized that this problem did indeed exist, and that he “only went into business to make money”, but he was very concerned about getting the scientific establishment to acknowledge that consciousness exists. I defended the students who had volunteered to answer public questions, by telling the business professor that he was “pushing the limits of their knowledge, because science is about conducting quantitative verifiable experiments; and I wish that spirit had a residue that we could measure, but there does not appear to be much evidence that conscious exists apart from biology.”

Our two quests are linked, because monetary currency is mutually agreed upon around the globe, but life and environmental science are often ignored for profits that do not take their worth into account as variables that have economic value. If consciousness cannot be verified, given quantitative worth, and supported in monetary terms, then how can we ever develop Economic Consciousness for Life-forms? Perhaps we can begin with Bio-diversity preservation theories that do not depend on ‘consciousness’. Climate Science is getting ignored currently also, so perhaps corrupt politics or predatory instincts are to blame. On a positive note, I went to the Art Department and explained this problem during another conversation about the value of art and artist income.

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The Problems of Philosophy

Posted in Philosophy, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 19, 2016 by Drogo

Drogo’s Memoirs on Philosophy

SCOD Theory & Interpretation

Philosophical problems of the individual and community – fear, doubt, shyness, anger, language, context, willingness, depression, possessiveness, annoyingness, drama

Drama – Drama can be considered ‘fake’ or an artificial production of emotion. It is better to express drama in a place where it is desired (theater), rather than in private life, as that often proves problematic to harmony and happiness. The word ‘drama’ is associated with acting, but a good actor brings out and expresses real emotions, and so real emotion and drama are not exclusive terms; but for the purposes of relationships, all emotional expression (real or fake) should be kept minimal for functionality, but given a modest due in when it is useful, such as empathy and therapy sessions.

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Pre-Socratics: Thales, Anaximenes, Anaxamander, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Pythagoras

Seven Great Greeks: Thales, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Epicurus – 7 Greek Sages ETC > SCOD Video

socrates-plato-aristotle.jpg

Socrates, Plato, Aristotle > SCOD Video

Diogenes – I view myself as a dog, but am really more like a wolf. “Diogenes was Socrates gone mad.” – Plato. anarchist punk / Oscar the Grouch. “If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes.” – Alexander the Great > Video

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Philosophical problems of the individual mind (psychology) – soul division (reason, appetite, and spirit; id, ego, superego)

Nietzsche, Freud, Marx > SCOD Video

Nietzsche – “Will to Power”; “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.”; “God is dead, and we have killed him.”

Existentialist vs. Nihilism  (Dualities: Manic vs. Depressive, Master vs. Slave)

Will To Power – Ubermensch “Superman”; self-make; “the Hammer”; over-coming box walls; Truth = Power; defines power relative to social propaganda to control physically and mentally; redefined the sophist old maxim ‘Might is Right’

 

Human, All Too Human [1878> v1]; Thus Spoke Zarathustra [1883> v1]; Beyond Good & Evil [1886> v1]; On Genealogy of Morals [1887> vid1 , vid2, vid3]; Antichrist [1888]; Will To Power [RIP]; Summary vid; Superman vid; 12 Minute Biography;

Freud

Marx

 

 

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Artistic Success

Posted in Crafts, Economics, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2015 by Drogo

To an artist ‘success’ is always secondary to the inner need and desire to create. Even when artists are driven by desires to be rich and famous, determining their success is always an after-thought of hind-sight. The purpose of deciding what is successful is not just to apply award praise or sad regret, but more importantly such analysis concludes sustainable functionality or repetition of similar models. Insanity can be defined as repeating the same failed efforts again and again but expecting different results. To be sane we evaluate our efforts that work to achieve goals. Achievements are real success; however the problem with prioritizing success, is that inventors often fail over and over in order to innovate. This is why a practicing artist must push aside the ambiguity and hypocrisy of past and future labels and problems; and just be and do what they want. Artistic Success is part self-evaluation, part opinion of critics, and part completion of work itself; all of which matters less than our ‘will-to-make’.

Drum Circle Tips

Posted in Music Reviews, POB Audio with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by Drogo

Drum Circles do not have to be like formal music events. Drum circles are a unique form of organic musical gathering. For me this means 1. try to play with others. 2. if you cannot play with or follow others, either play your own thing, play soft as best you can, or stop playing. 3. if you need to talk, ask or suggest things respecting that just because you cannot play what someone else was playing, does not mean they were wrong.

* one common assumption in drumming is that it must always be “on beat” or straight robotic rhythm drumming. As i have said before, in drumming you can have breaks and transitions. There is no set time a drummer must drum a certain rhythm, in fact a drummer can hit a drum and never repeat or even have a pattern. Again, these are the differences between formal rigid drumming, and informal organic drumming.

As with songs, beats can change suddenly or organically to different tempos, rhythms, and individual pattern tones; and return to come full circle.

Art Evolution

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by Drogo

Everyone is an artist, just some realize it more than others. Art is any natural or artificial creation that is a design, whether intentional or not. Art needs no intention or viewer, and it does not matter what it is called; but the importance is in the contemplation of it, and conclusions it inspires.

To artists of all kinds, remember the folly of Metallica vs Napster and free your mind to flow with the evolution of the arts. Love and sharing should always come before hatred and snobbish stinginess. Relative “Quality” of the art is subjective, and in the arts is mostly opinion as it is not restricted to functionality. A trick of any trade is to be critical of the work of another, in order to make yourself look better. Some go to their grave never learning the lessons of Scrooge. Share your expressions with the World, and let others enjoy what you give or sell as they will. Most of the time you will be rewarded, and if any seek to hurt you despite your kindness, the hurt will fall back on them.

I have such a strong belief in an integrative transcendental theory of music, movies, and art, i am not sure i want to attend conventional shows anymore; to me the evolution of the arts is for people to fully support diverse artists as equals no matter how ‘talented’ or ‘successful’ the artists; and the artists must in turn consider the ‘fans’ as equals that can freely play with them, not just as observing members of their god-head cult who are unworthy to taint their ‘possessions’.

New Age Collaborative Art does require redefining terms, like changing ‘good quality’ to include collaborate improvisational spirit and skill relativism; and realizing that having skill should not be the same thing as being an exclusive snob ‘asshole’ or ‘dick’. It is fine to want to do your own art alone, or to want to make minimalist art solo; but that is very different than indulging egotism and selfishness as a demagogue or dictator. Modern art opened the definition of art to include the finger paintings of a child, mental patient, or even other animals; just as Philip Glass, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Nirvana opened the definition of popular music to include natural sounds, machine sounds, and otherwise ‘bad noises’.

I certainly feel possessive of ideas, things, and people often; but it i recognize it is often a source of social suffering when i do. Anger, hate, and isolation are natural feelings and actions; but we can decide how much we will allow from ourselves and others.

I was told all my life not to pursue a career in Art or Music because they dont make money; even my liberal artsy parents told me that… now after having died a few times and been reborn, i have a few things to say about that common statement. Popularity and Finances are only two aspects of the game called LIFE. First off we should not all strive to be Mega-stars who ‘make it big’ because the very concept is based on the framework of oligarchy and i do not want to encourage plutocracy. Secondly in an equal democracy of citizen artists we have the ability to schedule or freely live our own lives and walk out our doors without getting assaulted by pop-art-artsy (capitalist journalism). Thirdly i would rather live in a nut-house with no bills to pay, than not be able to draw or make noise.

“Copyright is an outdated concept.” – DJ Rainbow Wizard