Getting There…

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A progress report:

We’re still about 55 percent away from pulling out of the red for the month, but since my last post about this a couple of days ago, a number of people have stepped up.

At least we’re not 78 percent in the red!

Still, the dipstick is way low.

As you all know, EPautos is an experiment in the real-world viability of non-corporate, non-coercive media. The Internet can only remain free – ideologically free – if enough freedom minded people support free media. If not, you’ll get what you don’t pay for.

Or rather, you’ll get what others will pay for.van by the river

Others being the government and corporations. Who will (and do) pay for media. In order to control the media.

When I was an editorial writer for a big city paper (Washington Times) I wrote what they told me to write. This is the nature of things. You do not get independent journalism when a journalists knows he is a hired gun – that his mortgage and meals depend on his writing that which pleases his paymasters.

And being careful not to write about that which doesn’t.

I went off the proverbial reservation hoping I could – at last – write freely. My readers might not always agree with what I write, but they’d always know (and so would I) that no one was telling me what to write.

Or what not to write.

The real deal – as the Iron Sheik liked to put it.

You guys supporting the site is a very different animal than my collecting a check from some corporate-owned mediaplex. None of you is exercising editorial control. You chip in because you like the general drift – in support of individual liberty (and individual responsibility). But you do not edit over my shoulder. Don’t order me to be “fair” to Clovers. You expect me to stomp them, mercilessly. Which I will, with gusto.

That’s what you come here for. And I aim to provide it … provided I can do it without ending up in a van down by the river.

Which is where you come in.

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning!  Please help, if you can. 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer to avoid PayPal, our mailing address is:

EPautos
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: EPautos stickers are free to those who sign up for a $5 or more monthly recurring donation to support EPautos, or for a one-time donation of $10 or more. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)EPautoslogo

 

 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Somewhere between walking away from a flatulent stranger, and blowing one’s brains out to avoid one more Christmas dinner with their parents, is the DeFOO line.

    Where on the spectrum that line happens to land is a subjective value judgment that everyone must make for themselves. The decision should not be taken lightly. For many people however, the choice will become clear.

    They can either suffer a lifetime of guilt, fear, and manipulation, or sever ties with their family, begin healing, and attempt to find some happiness in life.

    Let’s face it, your parents are probably awful. A Defense of DeFOO.
    http://christophercantwell.com/2015/01/04/defense-defoo/

  2. I do hope you get there, and soon.

    The ratio of views to tangible user action must be astronomical. I see reports of page views on facebook of your articles, and yet no one so much as deigns to click a like button even.
    – – –
    PKD Quotes:

    The little man with beard and glasses leaped up. “There’s nobody here has anything to do with governments! We’re all good people!”

    A townsman, upon learning rumors of a hidden government.
    You know I’m the only one who can keep all this together. I’m the only one who knows how to maintain a planned society, not a disorderly chaos!
    Bors, the last government robot.

    “Maybe,” McLean said softly, “you and I can then get off this rat race. You and I and all the rest of us. And live like human beings.”
    “Rat race,” Fowler murmured. “Rats in a maze. Doing tricks. Performing chores thought up by somebody else.”
    Fowler and McLean, two engineers.

    “As you say, they’re actually a voluntary club of totally unorganized individuals. Without law or central authority. They maintain no society — they can’t govern. All they can do is interfere with anyone else who tries. Troublemakers. But—”
    “But what?”
    “It was this way before. Two centuries ago. They were unorganized. Unarmed. Vast mobs, without discipline or authority. Yet they pulled down all the governments. All over the world.”
    Bors and Peter Green, discussing the threat posed by the Anarchist League.

    “My God,” she said softly. “You have no understanding of us. You run all this, and you’re incapable of empathy. You’re nothing but a mechanical computer.”
    Silvia, in conversation with Bors.

    The system couldn’t preserve itself; it wasn’t a thing apart, something that could be separated from the people who lived it. Actually it was the people. They were identical; when the people fought to preserve the system they were fighting to preserve nothing less than themselves.
    They existed only as long as the system existed.
    Bors, conflating the members of society with the bureaucratic system.

    The Last of the Masters – Philip K Dick
    http://www.sffaudio.com/podcasts/TheLastOfTheMastersByPhilipK.Dick.pdf

  3. People can live wherever they want, who are you to say different? Those who live in books, in front of TVs or computers, or on the internet. There the ones who will most easily adapt to the New Agora many of us are hoping to build.

    I loathe TV, yet I spend many hours in front of it, because that’s where my family likes to be. I’ll smile laugh make small talk about it and enjoy it in the moment. But if you ask me right now how much I retain about anyone’s names on any show or what they do, I’ll probably have no answer, unless they’re connected to something tangible.

    Sure I ruined our real financial future, in many ways. But even so, everyone seems just as happy with their imagined Reality TV and teenage drama fantasies, so really, it’s not even that big of a deal somehow.

    If using and viewing devices, if that’s what you’re into. Or if you’re into texting and gabbing on the sail fawn with your friends day or night, more power to you.

    What’s so all powerful and compelling about living in a locked carpeted drywall shack. Or in a fenced in zoo acreage you call your yard. Or the matrix grid of neighbors who’re all made out of ticky tacky and all sound just the same. Life is good if you find its good. That’s all there is to it.

    To come on the only reasonably functioning real estate, albeit mainly a virtual one, and to act somehow superior about your “real world doings” you’re doing somewhere else and claiming they’re more important, well that does seem a bit cloverish now, doesn’t it.
    – – –

    A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

    by John Perry Barlow

    Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

    We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

    Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

    You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

    You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract . This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

    Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

    We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

    We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

    Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

    Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

    In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

    You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

    In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

    Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

    These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

    We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

    Davos, Switzerland

    February 8, 1996

  4. Blazing Your Own Ninth-Way, Amid The Eight-Fold Path:

    Many of you have come here to ask Eric’s advice: such a weak, very human, and very dangerous thing to do!

    To give advice to men who ask what to do with their lives life implies something very close to egomania. To barge in uninvited and throw another two cents in implies much worse, perhaps advanced demential.

    As an officially bankrupt and low credit score deadbeat, who am I to presume to point any man to the right and ultimate goal — to point with a trembling inebriated finger to the Right direction — is something only a fool would try to take upon himself.

    Maybe I am some kind of fool, but I respect your sincerity in asking for a moral philosopher such as Eric’s advice.

    I ask you though, should you read on and listen to what I say, to remember that all advice can only be a product of the man who gives it. I have succeeded far beyond any hopes I ever held. But you might not have the constitution to do what needs to be done, as I have, to enjoy that which you felt compelled to experience.

    What is truth to one may be disaster to another. I do not see life through your eyes, nor you through mine. If I were to attempt to give you specific advice it will be far too much like the blind leading the blind.
    – – –

    Some Brit once wrote: “To be or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles…”
    – – –

    Indeed, to me, that Is The Question: whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make — consciously or unconsciously — at one time in our lives. So few people understand this! Think of any decision you’ve made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice — however indirect — between the two things I’ve mentioned: the Floating or the Swimming.

    But why not float if you have no goal? That is another question. It is unquestionably better to enjoy the floating than to swim in uncertainty.

    So how does a man find a goal? Not a castle in the stars, but a real and tangible thing. How can a man be sure he’s not after “the big rock candy mountain,” the enticing sugar-candy goal that has little taste and no substance?

    The answer — and, in a sense, the tragedy of life — is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. We set up a goal which demands of us certain things: and we do these things. We adjust to the demands of a concept which Can’t be valid.

    When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman. I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has changed. it’s not the fireman who has changed, but you. Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.

    So it would seem foolish, would it not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal we see from a different angle every day? How could we ever hope to accomplish anything other than galloping neurosis?

    The answer, then, must not deal with goals at all, or not with tangible goals, anyway. It would take reams of paper to develop this subject to fulfillment. God only knows how many books have been written on “the meaning of man” and that sort of thing, and god only knows how many people have pondered the subject. (I of course use the term “god only knows” purely as an expression, since he doesn’t really exist.)

    There’s very little sense in my trying to give it up to you in the proverbial nutshell, because I’m the first to admit my absolute lack of qualifications for reducing the meaning of life to one or two paragraphs.

    I’m going to steer clear of the word “existentialism” but you might keep in mind as a key of sorts. You might also try something called Being and Nothingness by Jean Paul Sartre, and another little thing called Existentialism: from Dostoyevsky to Sartre. These are merely suggestions. If you are genuinely satisfied with what you are and what you’re doing, then give those books a wide berth by all means. Let sleeping dogs lie.

    But back to the answer. As I said, to put our faith in tangible goals would seem to be, at best, unwise. So we do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. We Strive To Be Ourselves.

    But don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean that we can’t Be firemen, bankers, or doctors — but but we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal. In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires — including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be Meaningful. A man has to Be something; he has to matter.

    As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: A man must choose a path which will let his Abilities function at a maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his Desires. In doing this, he is fulfilling a need. He’s giving himself identity by functioning in a set pattern toward a set goal.

    He avoids frustrating his potential by choosing a path which puts no limit on his self-development. And he avoids the terror of seeing his goal wilt or lose its charm as he draws closer to it, rather than bending himself to meet the demands of that which he seeks, he has bent his goal to conform his own abilities and desires.

    In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a pre-defined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he Knows he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important. And it seems almost ridiculous to say that a man Must function in a pattern of his own choosing; for to let another man define your goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life — the definitive act of will which makes a man an individual.

    Let’s assume that you have a choice of eight paths to follow. All of these are pre-defined paths, of course. And let’s assume that you can’t see any real-purpose in any of the eight. Then — and here is the essence of all I’ve said — you Must Find A Ninth Path.

    Naturally, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’ve lived a relatively narrow life, a vertical rather than horizontal existence. So it isn’t any too difficult to understand why you seem to feel the way you do. But a man who procrastinate in his Choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

    So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living inside that way of life.

    But you say, “I don’t know where to look; I don’t know what to look for.” And there’s the crux. Is it worth giving up what I have, to look for something better? I don’t know — is it? Who can make that decision but you? But even by Deciding To Look, you go a long way toward making the choice.

    Well, this has certainly rambled longer than I had planned, if I don’t stop I’m going to find myself writing a book.

    I hope it’s not as confusing as it looks at first glance. Keep in mind, of course, that this is My Way of looking at things. I happen to think that it’s pretty generally applicable, but you may not. Each of us has to create our own credo — this merely happens to be mine.

    If any part of it doesn’t seem to make sense, by all means call it to my attention, or show me where I’m in error. I’m not trying to send you out “on the road” in search of Valhalla, but merely pointing out that it is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it.

    There is more to being a man than that — no one Has to do something he doesn’t want to do for the rest of his life. But then again, if that’s what you wind up doing, by all means convince yourself that you Had to do it. You’ll have lots of company.

      • That’s not good at all. I’m going to make an honest attempt to say something that people might find useful.

        It’s confusing finding a voice sometimes because i’ve deFOO’d from my friends and family and then reunited with them but at a great distance. I’ll still do business among them and help them out, but I have more in common with their gardners, poolmen, and housecleaners in their communities, than I do with any of them.

        I’ve turned my back on everyone who initially made me what I am, and on everything they cherish and believe in. Yet I still enjoy talking to them and hearing things from their perspective, even tho it would be like being covered in creeping crawling maggots to actually have to live among them again and be one of them for even a single day.

  5. Clover is getting there. Finally starting to admit what he really wants.

    “I would gladly have violence placed on you if it meant that I could keep the standard of living that I now have.” – clover – 2015/08/24 at 9:01 pm .

    Nothing better than watching the Liberty Sheik make clover humble.

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