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Freedom is not a possession or a property; it is a relation. It is not a matter of being protected from the outside world, but of intersecting in a way that maximizes the possibilities.


The open secret is that we do all have complete self-determination: not because it’s given to us, but because not even the most totalitarian dictatorship could take it away. Yet as soon as we begin to act for ourselves, we come into conflict with the very institutions that are supposed to secure our freedom.


Leadership is a social disorder in which the majority of participants in a group fail to take initiative or think critically about their actions. As long as we understand agency as a property of specific individuals rather than a relationship between people, we will always be dependent on leaders—and at their mercy.


Anarchy is what happens wherever order is not imposed by force. It is freedom: the process of continually reinventing ourselves and our relationships.




Part of your potential is locked in everyone else.


The hardest part of taking your destiny in your hands is the fear of the unknown. There are no guarantees, and the stakes are the things you prize most in all the world. This is why it’s a relief to consign yourself to others’ projects and values, giving up on your own in advance so you don’t risk failing yourself. Yet that means accepting the worst-case scenario as a foregone conclusion. If that’s the alternative, you might as well hazard the leap into the unknown.

On the other side, you will find us—the companions you deserve.



Discussion 52 Comments

  • Boulder Dash 21st Feb 2019

    It’s about setting up systems, particularly ones pertaining to production, consumption and allocation that foster and maintain the kind of values or moral principles that most people, if pressed, seem to believe in. Some of those values and principles may be found in the above, but if “we” cannot do even that, construct an appropriate set of structures and institutions pertaining to the very things that keep us alive, and at the very least, with a real and genuine smile on everyone’s face, for a reasonable amount of time, desirably longer than not, then all of the above, and perhaps other things some could think of, is the sort of stuff grown ups, story tellers and many smug people like to tell you. All the tucking time.

    The question always remains...with what are “we” going to replace the current insidious set of structures and institutions that foster the sorts of things we all desire without fucking things up and making more than most fucking depressed about being here. End.

    Now why isn’t my gear working...hang on, I just gotta figure this...fuck...where’s the...are you kidding me...

    • Boulder Dash 21st Feb 2019

      That really should be,

      “...but if “we” cannot do even that, construct an appropriate set of structures and institutions pertaining to the very things that keep us alive, and at the very least, puts a real and genuine smile on everyone’s face,...”

    • Irie Zen 22nd Feb 2019


      ➽➽➽ N0N53N53(?) 

      Whacking is not much use on a farm! Giddyup Buttercup! Most of the tucking time YOU make ME tucking depressed about being here. Your anger makes me angry. Tuck! Anger is the path to the dark side; Anger leads to hate; Hate leads to shuffering; nuts to shmiling. Now the possibility of success is approximately 3,720 to 1; b00t magicians hexed out the odds on victory must be exactly a million to one. None of this fiddly 995,351 to 1 business; cuz the Force likes to play games noamsayn? The million-to-one chances of something so patently absurd crop up nine times out of ten. Let's invoke the million-to-one chance to hit the DRAGON in the right spot to funk it. To ensure it is million-to-one, rather then something else, I propose to try a whole bunch of improbable circumstances to make it work.

      There is also a race-nag with this name. The owners knew what they are doing: the odds on victory must be 1,000,000/1. But this horse wins nine times out of ten. Stewards' inquiries are pending, however. Prudent bookies point out that in this special instance of probability, the odds on this whore's winning are effectively 1/1 and that's exactly what you're getting, guvnor; Put a dollar on, get a dollar back; Next customer please!


      ➽➽➽ 7H15 WUZ 53XY () 

      Had a dream cumpletely in english language last night! First time since years! I love you Lexi Belle; good talk. All your dreams are made, when you're chained to the mirror and the razor blade; today's the day that all the world will see, another grey afternoon; walking to the sound of my favorite t00nz. Tomorrow never knows what it doesn't know too soon. Vivid dreamzzz. No intercourse.


      ➽➽➽ NOAMSAYIN? 























      je suis
      tu es
      ils sont
      nous sommes
      ➽ loco en el coco?
      ➽ balderdash!



      ➽➽➽ 7H3 N3X7 573P: M4RK37*1NG 

      Izza a gggood ppproduct*! Lezz pppush* it real gggood! Some of iz parts: 42% chomskyesque, sex(6)% gender fluid bellelexiesque-isms, 0.18% MWMIFr13nd0s (set_patience_0.18) [LINK], sum highly addictive psychedelicious-neo-retro-judeo-bolshevist-bafflegabobble(gebabbel)dygook incl. StarWars+Trek&SpongeBobesqueDobbs et cetera +++ "notre" secret IOPS ingredient.. NOAMSAYN? Or else! You'll DYE! Cough it up.


      ➽➽➽ G0 C0D3R M0NK3Y - 5H07GUN (RUNN3R-UP) 


      BAMBULE!!! https://www.dict.cc/?s=Bambule


  • Boulder Dash 22nd Feb 2019


  • Alex of... 24th Feb 2019

    ➽➽➽ WHAT IS IT??  

  • Boulder Dash 24th Feb 2019

    What is what?

    It seems pretty obvious to me.

    Coops or worker self managed industry that has been part of radical culture for centuries is needed.

    Internal workplace relations need attending to to create a culture that wants to be involved in decision making and is empowered and has the confidence to do so.

    That remuneration, which is one’s access to the social pie, some sort of accounting system, based on accepted moral and ethical grounds, is fair and equitable and not based on institutions that can be exploited in favour of a few at the expense of the many....that do not homogenise production and artistic or creative endeavour which markets do and central planning cannot accomodate.

    That external relations of workplaces is also not based on the notion to outcompete but to improve societal relations in general, provide enough for everyone and done in a way that doesn’t force business to shackle it’s workers to the floor in order to survive.

    An economic system that doesn’t, through its institutional structure, determine political relations, kinship relations, cultural and community relations in detrimental and destructive ways. And of course one that doesn’t fuck the planet.

    Parecon fits the bill. And if it allocation system is a mind fuck and something most cannnot get their heads around, then people had better do better than merely ignoring the issues and falling back on the known in the shape of markets and come up with something better.

    Basically because the people who run the world, and those who build robots and AI and thinking about geoengineering our way out of trouble are all doing it with market capitalism as the economic framework/ideology as the foundation, and in their heads. As are those who advocate a basic income. And neither of those groups are thinking far enough into the future.

    Same old same old. Nothing new here. No YouTube videos to post. Nothing. Just an arrogantly and rhetorically expounded view that leaves everyone in the same place they were before it was expressed.

    How do we get there? No fucking idea!

    Just reading and expressing here until the money runs out, like you guys.

    I’m not even certain the question What Is It was for me or to be answered. Not even certain I understand many of these creatively visual and designed blogs and posts anymore.

    But what the hey.

  • Irie Zen 25th Feb 2019


    "By ~333 MMM_ethods* we may learn WWW_isdom*: ~111st, by RRR_eflection*, which is NNN_oblest*; ~222nd, by III_mitation*, which is EEE_asiest*; and ~333rd by XXX_perience*, which is the BBB_itterest*."

    FFF✈  #666

    Fuck. | Fuck. | Fuck.
    I'd really like to fuck; that's; IT. Fuck.
    (Fuckin' inhumane animwls noamsayn?)

    Fuck. | Fuck. | Fuck.
    Not you; I want to fuck; IT. Fuck.
    (Fuckin' not fuckin' nuff noamsayn?)

    Fuck. | Fuck. | Fuck.
    Clusterfunkin' consensual of course; how we fuck; IT. Fuck.
    (Fuckin' onetwothreefour analrapists noamsayn?)

    Fuck. | Fuck. | Fuck.
    I can't fuckin' stop thinking about; IT. Fuck.
    (Fuckin' incwum'prwensible intw'lectwulz noamsayn?)

    Fuck. | Fuck. | Fuck.
    The fuckin' problem is; IT. Fuck.
    (Fuckin' epic fuck noamsayn?)

    Fuck. | Fuck. | Fuck.
    So what the fuckin' fuck; is; IT. Fuck.
    (Infuckinite jest FFFnoamsayn?)


  • Irie Zen 25th Feb 2019

  • Alex of... 25th Feb 2019

    "IT'S ABOUT..." IT IT IT

    (A) = ORDER! (without force)

    I don’t think people actually look in the mirror and say, “I could actually participate in changing the system.” It’s a hard confront. Who, me? Who else?

    Bring system design down from the clouds...


    • Boulder Dash 25th Feb 2019

      Always been my thing. Bringing system change down to the ground. Always. Explain it. Clarify a new one. I have nothing else. I agree with Albert and Hahnel. Maybe I don’t confront hard enough. Not hard enough. Not strong enough. Not willing to sacrifice enough. Part of the problem. A hypocrite. Can’t walk the walk, only talk. Punch myself up for it. Don’t look in the mirror enough. Don’tvtravel The extra 1000m to get the fair trade small coffee for five bucks instead of going next door with school kids to NacDonalds and getting the cheap big one because I’m 57 and tired and have to teach. Opportunity costs! Markets work. The institutions do the things critics say they do, even on a small scale. Marx is right, even within small workerowned, 3-4 people businesses. Hierarchies and alienation, exploitation. It’s all true.

      Need a new economy...level playing field. Then we may be able to tell better who is genetically really fucked up. Maybe.

    • Boulder Dash 26th Feb 2019

      “Marx is right, even within small 3-4 people businesses. Hierarchies and alienation, exploitation.”

      Not worker owned...although...who knows.

  • Alex of... 25th Feb 2019

    Just reading and expressing here until the money runs out, like you guys.
    ...like you guys.
    ...like you guys.
    ...like you guys.



    • Boulder Dash 25th Feb 2019

      Not that serious. Sorry.

    • Boulder Dash 25th Feb 2019

      It was a general throw away comment based on the knowledge that there aren’t that many here posting comments and blogs, expressing, and the realisation that this place needs money to stay up. Maybe you are out somewhere else doing constructive shit I know nothing about, like the Salem group, because I don’t bother looking in all the back rooms anymore but I cannot tell or know that and my comment had nothing to do with that. I only see you here and that’s what you’re doing, expressing yourselves, and that will be subject to whatever happens when the money runs out. I’m assuming this place/website will require money to keep going unless you or Irie, or maybe others doing shit I know nothing about, throw money at it or manage to recode something and move the whole thing or whatever it is you do that could change those circumstances. But as far as I know, this place will stop working due to lack of funds...I asssume or is it presume...at which point I too will disappear from the virtual world with absolutely no intent of joining or being part of some other thing. And for me, ‘you guys’ will also disappear but of course I have no doubt you will be agitating and doing important stuff elsewhere beyond my knowing.

  • Alex of... 25th Feb 2019


    which came first??


    • Boulder Dash 25th Feb 2019

      No food, no culture. Food came first. So, economy. Getting stuff, distributing stuff. Either killing it, picking it, finding it or making it then allocating it.

    • Boulder Dash 25th Feb 2019

      That’s my answer anyway. Rather than sit on the fence.

    • Boulder Dash 25th Feb 2019

      Food came first. Second, economy.

    • Bat Chainpuller 26th Feb 2019

      Fuck, can't understand myself. So economy was right in the first pcomment, in context. Should never have changed it to second, economy. It's culture that came second. Fuck. Yeah. Food first cause you need it, energy, to do anything, to stay alive, and foods part of the economy. Yeah, so, for the second time, or third, economy comes first, then culture. Or food comes first which then becomes an economic thing (which makes it second)...production (but could be just killing stuff or picking and finding stuff), allocation and consumption which gets everybody feeling healthy, energetic and with some leisure time from which culture arises, the third thing.

      Anyway, doesn't matter...same time, after or before...economy is vital for basic survival and is much easier to deal with institutionally, in terms of creating a vision for a future one. Try a cultural one...fuck that.

      And plus, the story goes that after going at it, the egg rolled off the chicken, lit a cigarette and muttered, "Well, that takes care of that problem!"

    • Alex of... 26th Feb 2019

      coops (economy) can help create/expand a cooperative culture. normalize it. but to get to more coops or participatory systems also requires a cooperative culture to build it. heck, if those are your values, you should be seeking it out. "there's lot of leeway in this society.. a tremendous amount of wiggle room, if you want."

      as Sassy said, that's not how we're conditioned, which is kinda what the content of the post is about. being a cooperator = self-management n participatory decision-making.

      get some! owners wanted! create! create! collaboration DO!! learn process! make projects!! make useful stuff! fun while make DO!!

    • Boulder Dash 26th Feb 2019

      You need cooperation for sure. A cooperative community. But unless the economy sustains and fosters that kind of behaviour, there is still a chance, a good one, mutual cooperation, self-management, participation, gets shafted or undermined by other prevailing forces. So of course all spheres have to work together or else the negative aspects of one, or two, if strong enough, could overwhelm the good done in another.

      Hence, developing a cooperative culture, fostering it and sustaining it, requires a major and serious overhaul of the allocation system from an institution that fosters and sustains anti-social behaviour and destroys diversity, markets, to one that does the opposite. Just building coops or workowned stuff won’t do it. Hence why Alperovitz talks of participatory planning, but only at the moment around anchor institutions. But he, and his crew, and the p2p and commoning folk, and so many others, and I think wrongly, ignore the ideas of Parecon regarding allocation. And further, I think they do it based on ideological grounds and stubborn belief that Parecon’s participatory planning is not feasible.

      The allocation problem gets dealt with through notions of self-emergence, usually based on some belief that people will develop the right kind as they cooperate within their new cooperative workplace. I think this belief is ubiquitous across most groups working on new economic systems. But such cooperation can go to the pack unless other areas are not addressed and I feel the Parecon guys have addressed those issues, particularly as outlined in the book Thinking Forward, in which Albert kind of goes through the thinking process in the development of Parecon.

      Further, I have always felt that Parecon provides, even just on a theoretical level, a great way to compare other economic models and their effects. Comparing directly the institutions that make up capitalism, including market allocation, with those of Parecon, offers clear insight into the flaws of the former, whilst at the same time suggesting an alternative for each, rather than leaving them as things that will develop over time through some sort of self emergence which leaves any vision kind of vague or non existent. And because of the vagueness of vision answers to the ever present question, with what will you replace the current system, get met with vague answers that do not convince those who need convincing.

      In fact, even the socialist/communist question/problem still never gets answered. By that I mean, what is socialism/communism? No one on the left presents a united, clear and concise refutation of 20th century socialism that conjures up visions of gulags and leads centrists such as Pinker, to conclude, that capitalism is more humane than communism, and enables very influential podcasters, such as Rogan, to perpetuate myths that the left is predominantly a tribal group made up of ideologically captured naive kids and adults who are unable to reason properly because of their dogmatism, who cannot prove socialism has ever worked and who have conveniently forgotten the gulags.

      The “Left” has done a shit job at shooting that down, Chomsky excluded. Yes it’s cool Sanders has used the term, but it’s still restricted. It’s a foot in the door, but only just. A green new deal is only socialist by virtue of its opposition to the idea of minimal state involvement. It offers no solution to markets. Markets can only be controlled by severe regulation, which means constant vigilance to stop rollback or you replace them with something else.

      Even central planned economies can have better outcomes than markets in places (read that somewhere just cannot remember exactly) but try having that conversation with conservatives or market advocates. Try separating the purely economic benefits of central planning from the horrendous political dictatorships that developed in those countries that had that kind of economy. But also, try telling Rogan types that every business, every private tyranny is essentially a centrally planned economy, like in the Soviet Union. Try getting people to listen.

      This is why Alperovitz treads carrfully and slowly. Building the ground on which a new system can be built. But he doesn’t offer a vision. He balks at going that far, as do most, more out of fear of some mistake that may entrap him/them ideologically or sees him/them fighting off those on the starboard side accusing him of heading down the tyrannical path. He wants to stay on the right side of even those on the right side. He wants to keep his liberal credentials even though he is quite radical in many ways, just not as overtly as say Albert is. Hence why he sees workerowned business, coops, public owned, as part of the US psyche and historical tradition. Even the notion of a federated US of independent states self governing is framed as being kind of American. He’s pandering to that US flag waving tendency to a degree to not lose a significant proportion of the population and to drag into the fold those who may at first be reluctant, like members of that old group the Tea Party and now Trump types. It’s very American to go workerowned or coop man.

      Good strategy no doubt. But still.

    • Alex of... 26th Feb 2019

      there's plenty of room just on IOPS to explore better communication, cooperative process, project work such as developing or refining ideas or potential plans.. and creating stuff. exploring self-management. and elsewhere too beyond directly economic. IOPS itself prob should have invested in process and collaborative concepts early on.

      i've put out a few ideas for projects, some based on your own words, such as the HUB-A-BUBBLE project i did a quick starter for. you don't seem interested in any of that. i hear a lot about what other people should do from you, but what are YOU actually interested in engaging-in toward your beliefs?

    • Boulder Dash 27th Feb 2019

      I’ve written a couple of things answering this but gave up. They are too long and convoluted. I have a sense of what you are getting at, I think, and responding to it isn’t that easy.

      Suffice to say I am not quite interested in joining projects or starting them, here or elsewhere. Not interested on joining local groups here (and if you want reasons it will be real long...so probably won’t go into it) or joining anything after my experience here. I’m not even sure what my beliefs be. I have views, that have been shaped by others, that may in fact be borrowed from or directly taken from others, that I express here, to authors, writers, podcasters, ‘real’ people in cafes or wherever, at work, to friends, family and others, to the NSP via email, have done to anarchists and radio people here in Melbourne, that have more often than not been ignored. My little contribution. Just doing what I think I can or feel comfortable doing.

      To put it bluntly and shortly, or as I put it to Jason one day, all I’ve really got is Parecon. I haven’t got anything else to offer really. But I also feel quite strongly that the left, what people call the left, is essentially too disjointed, disparite and too reluctant to get together, perhaps for egotistical and sectarian reasons that Paul Street suggested to me once, on mass, in unity, with clear coherent vision that any real thought or notion of real system change is a pipe dream. Grasping at hope.

      I agree with much of what Albert says is needed. For the left to embrace real vision and connected strategy and that it must learn from its mistakes. But the mistake here is that this left he talks of, this ‘we’ he so often talks of, just doesn’t exist. And it surely most certainly does not exist in any way that would make any learning from mistakes possible.

      I think the left is disparate, disconnected and mainly noise and in no way working together toward clear change on any kind of systemic level. It is sometimes successful in relation to single issues and specific causes that make it easy for people in numbers to get behind., but not system change. And all I am doing is contributing to that noise here, in a mini mini miniscule way until the money runs out or this place just stops working.

    • Boulder Dash 27th Feb 2019

      “Not interested on joining local groups here...” I mean Melbourne.

      “...so probably won’t go into it) or joining anything after my experience here.” I mean IOPS.

      Sorry about all this, should be clearer. Always notice these things after the post.

      “...that I express here,...” I mean IOPS

      “...all I am doing is contributing to that noise here,...” I mean IOPS

    • Boulder Dash 27th Feb 2019

      Disparate...I knew it was fucking wrong...just looking at it...just noticed...thank god or Irie may have had a go. Probably still will.

    • Boulder Dash 27th Feb 2019

      As to your first paragraph. Yep, plenty of room. Still is. But no one’s taking advantage (apart from Irie and you Alex). Kind of reflected in Irie’s brain pow wow project. 22 members. 22 members actually joined it. Actually. Must be going gang busters. But I wouldn’t know, not a member. Just like old times. 3000 members with a tiny proportion in chapters and speaking trash on the site. Then, it can’t meet its goals or whatever they were called, it blows up, with a big blog asking what we did wrong, which taught me nothing, and everyone just left or faded away into the background...or more correctly the few actually on the site. So yes, there’s plenty of room, that’s for sure.
      Irie called it an international soap opera or something, I forgot it was so long ago.

    • Boulder Dash 27th Feb 2019

      Oh, Dave’s taking advantage too. Sorry Dave. And the Salem chapter jumped onto the front page for a bit too.

    • Irie Zen 27th Feb 2019


      The "not joining" is one thing you, Noam and Frank have in common. XD ✈✈✈ T'was *** ITPOSO© *** (International Tragicomical Participatory Online Soap Opera) ✈✈✈ IT's in it! Fuck. XD ✈✈✈ Came up with it while we were re-re-reimagining & re-re-renaming IOPS in 2016. Good times. XD ✈✈✈ Level playing field: Fuckin' Trauma Floor!

      NEW(S): http://www.iopsociety.org/news/trauma-floor-fff

      One of the sacrifices? War is hell.

    • Alex of... 27th Feb 2019

    • Alex of... 27th Feb 2019

    • Alex of... 27th Feb 2019

    • Boulder Dash 28th Feb 2019

      Ok, a direct example of how I might engage with my ‘beliefs’.

      I am reading Life 3.0. In it there is or are scenarios of how AI may develop. They are all envisioned occurring embedded within our current market capitalist economy. So I sent an email to the author suggesting an alternative. Try envisioning future AI within an economy built around far more equitable, just and fair institutions.

      No reply for a month.

      Second email as a result of some specific content in the book stimulating this idea further. I suggested to the author a collaboration with the authors of Parecon (links for info and contacts) to imagine future AI embedded within a Parecon type economy. Just today it was sent. With a little reminder that some reply would be nice, even if to just acknowledge the email was received or to tell me to piss off (didn’t put that last bit in but would be ok with such a reply)

      I do this a lot. About as far as I am prepared to go really. Getting more into playing and music in my old age is a priority for me. Prefer to die with a smile on my face doing shit I prefer (privilege) which would at the very least put a smile on my children’s and wife’s face and those close to me. Pissing people off with rants about the need to change systems over the last fifteen years is fucking tiring and mentally disturbing. Or at least can be.

    • Alex of... 2nd Mar 2019

      brief note on the example case. i haven't read the book, but according to article, the author explores 12 possible future scenarios. reader feedback shows a top preference for "egalitarian utopia"


    • Boulder Dash 2nd Mar 2019

      Which is abolishing property ownership and everyone gets a basic income. The basic income is just a high enough income to access the social pie to live comfortably without people hoarding shit. Mainly talks of open source software and intellectual property and owning stuff rather than means of production which seems to be done by robots (intelligent ones...I have also thought about this...if you develop intelligent robots with AI enough to feel, why would they wish to do shit jobs...so you have to retain dumb ones for shit work. This is interesting also as it sheds light on how we are treating millions, if not billions of people right now. So visions or ideas, like a basic income, and in fact Parecon, can be used to shed light on the crappy way we organise economies now. But authors of many books never do this because they are thinking differently...more about the future than now). Comes from an early book, a novel. It’s pretty lame to a degree, the vision, but it’s what you’d expect from physicists I guess...but they are dealing in vision, utopias and shit. Funny how they are allowed to do that stuff and others, such as activists and radicals get treated like nutters wanting to bring back the gulags and their visions are seen as grey, very unsexy and exciting.

      “Egalitarian Utopia

      As a counterpoint to this challenge-free dictatorship, let’s now explore a scenario where there is no superintelligent AI, and humans are the masters of their own destiny. This is the “fourth generation civilization” described in Marshall Brain’s 2003 novel Manna. It’s the economic antithesis of the libertarian utopia in the sense that humans, cyborgs and uploads coexist peacefully not because of property rights, but because of property abolition and guaranteed income.

      Life Without Property

      A core idea is borrowed from the open-source software movement: if software is free to copy, then everyone can use as much of it as they need and issues of ownership and property become moot.fn1 According to the law of supply and demand, cost reflects scarcity, so if supply is essentially unlimited, the price becomes negligible. In this spirit, all intellectual property rights are abolished: there are no patents, copyrights or trademarked designs—people simply share their good ideas, and everyone is free to use them.

      Thanks to advanced robotics, this same no-property idea applies not only to information products such as software, books, movies and designs, but also to material products such as houses, cars, clothing and computers. All these products are simply atoms rearranged in particular ways, and there’s no shortage of atoms, so whenever a person wants a particular product, a network of robots will use one of the available open-source designs to build it for them for free. Care is taken to use easily recyclable materials, so that whenever someone gets tired of an object they’ve used, robots can rearrange its atoms into something someone else wants. In this way, all resources are recycled, so none are permanently destroyed. These robots also build and maintain enough renewable power-generation plants (solar, wind, etc.) that energy is also essentially free.

      To avoid obsessive hoarders requesting so many products or so much land that others are left needy, each person receives a basic monthly income from the government, which they can spend as they wish on products and renting places to live. There’s essentially no incentive for anyone to try to earn more money, because the basic income is high enough to meet any reasonable needs. It would also be rather hopeless to try, because they’d be competing with people giving away intellectual products for free and robots producing material goods essentially for free.

      Creativity and Technology

      Intellectual property rights are sometimes hailed as the mother of creativity and invention. However, Marshall Brain points out that many of the finest examples of human creativity—from scientific discoveries to creation of literature, art, music and design—were motivated not by a desire for profit but by other human emotions, such as curiosity, an urge to create, or the reward of peer appreciation. Money didn’t motivate Einstein to invent special relativity theory any more than it motivated Linus Torvalds to create the free Linux operating system. In contrast, many people today fail to realize their full creative potential because they need to devote time and energy to less creative activities just to earn a living. By freeing scientists, artists, inventors and designers from their chores and enabling them to create from genuine desire, Marshall Brain’s utopian society enjoys higher levels of innovation than today and correspondingly superior technology and standard of living.

      One such novel technology that humans develop is a form of hyper-internet called Vertebrane. It wirelessly connects all willing humans via neural implants, giving instant mental access to the world’s free information through mere thought. It enables you to upload any experiences you wish to share so that they can be re-experienced by others, and lets you replace the experiences entering your senses by downloaded virtual experiences of your choice. Manna explores the many benefits of this, including making exercise a snap:

      The biggest problem with strenuous exercise is that it’s no fun. It hurts. […] Athletes are OK with the pain, but most normal people have no desire to be in pain for an hour or more. So … someone figured out a solution. What you do is disconnect your brain from sensory input and watch a movie or talk to people or handle mail or read a book or whatever for an hour. During that time, the Vertebrane system exercises your body for you. It takes your body through a complete aerobic workout that’s a lot more strenuous than most people would tolerate on their own. You don’t feel a thing, but your body stays in great shape.

      Another consequence is that computers in the Vertebrane system can monitor everyone’s sensory input and temporarily disable their motor control if they appear on the verge of committing a crime.


      One objection to this egalitarian utopia is that it’s biased against non-human intelligence: the robots that perform virtually all the work appear to be rather intelligent, but are treated as slaves, and people appear to take for granted that they have no consciousness and should have no rights. In contrast, the libertarian utopia grants rights to all intelligent entities, without favoring our carbon-based kind. Once upon a time, the white population in the American South ended up better off because the slaves did much of their work, but most people today view it as morally objectionable to call this progress.

      Another weakness of the egalitarian-utopia scenario is that it may be unstable and untenable in the long term, morphing into one of our other scenarios as relentless technological progress eventually creates superintelligence. For some reason unexplained in Manna, superintelligence doesn’t yet exist and the new technologies are still invented by humans, not by computers. Yet the book highlights trends in that direction. For example, the ever-improving Vertebrane might become superintelligent. Also, there is a very large group of people, nicknamed Vites, who choose to live their lives almost entirely in the virtual world. Vertebrane takes care of everything physical for them, including eating, showering and using the bathroom, which their minds are blissfully unaware of in their virtual reality. These Vites appear uninterested in having physical children, and they die off with their physical bodies, so if everyone becomes a Vite, then humanity goes out in a blaze of glory and virtual bliss.

      The book explains how for Vites, the human body is a distraction, and new technology under development promises to eliminate this nuisance, allowing them to live longer lives as disembodied brains supplied with optimal nutrients. From this, it would seem a natural and desirable next step for Vites to do away with the brain altogether through uploading, thereby extending life span. But now all brain-imposed limitations on intelligence are gone, and it’s unclear what, if anything, would stand in the way of gradually scaling the cognitive capacity of a Vite until it can undergo recursive self-improvement and an intelligence explosion.”

    • Irie Zen 2nd Mar 2019

      ^^ The MIT physicist Max Tegmark begins the book Life 3.0 with this scenario: The fictitious AI unit Omega of 1 large tech corporation creates the artificial superintelligence Promotheus. With it, the omegas are slowly but surely abolishing governments, changing the social and economic fabric around the world - behaving as the ultimate world improvers. Google and Co. on steroids - thanks to artificial superintelligence.

      -"Can I have ur first letter to Tegmark? Can I blog it? Can we talk about AI? Pleeeeease." XD

    • Irie Zen 2nd Mar 2019

      ^^^ Haven't read Life 3.0; But AI is the FINAL BOSS FIGHT in my KURO BLOG STORYLINE OST. Same concept. XD

      XXX02 # FFF_Fx1 BBB_OSS FFF_ight 1: AAA_MMMECH_000MEGAAA
      (Form1: Triple A tech corp mech 0MEGA)

      XXX03 # FFF_Fx2 BBB_OSS FFF_ight 2: 7H3_H_AAA111_KKK_47
      (Form2: The Hellcat (!) - HAL in 2001 space odyssey))

      XXX04 # FFF_Fx3 BBB_OSS FFF_ight 3: MMMKKK000LTRA900190008999HP
      (Form3: MK ULTRA; HAL9000; FUCK; OVER 9000!)


    • Boulder Dash 2nd Mar 2019

      My first letter is embarrassing, repetitive, embarrassing and repetive. I go hard, kind of, I think. Probably why they/he doesn’t reply...also because I by passed the website or other sites where anyone, people/readers probably all talk...most likely in ‘tongues’ and went email to him. The second was shorter.

      I have, so far, also written three emails to ‘The Rogan’ re interviewing real lefty, progressive, radicals and not those of an ideologically tribal social justice warrior political correct identity post modern persuasion, a brush that he tarnishes all lefties with. You know rational thinkers like Albert, Hahnel Alperovitz and others, all of whom I figure would accept if they were available.

      The latest was originally to Russell Brand... I altered it’s wording for Rogan. But of course nothing back. You can only go through their assistants and managers or whoever, and hope they get it. They never even reply to say they got it. Stewart Lee’s management did once when I sent him a nice email. Andreas Malm responded favourably to one, loved the phrase Big Daddy White Geezer Hegemonic Power Grid and I ended up on a bulk email he sent out to many others about an event in Europe somewhere. Chomsky has responded to pretty much everything I have sent him, even if short and sweet. Always helpful. Albert responded to everything. Kate Raworth ignored my email regarding Parecon, asking if she had heard of it or looked at it. Joe Toscano, a local anarchist and activist of four-five decades here in Melb and a great guy, isn’t interested in Parecon at all really. Nor is a radio jock on a community radio station who carries on about how fucked capitalism is always, how fucked everything is, but still thinks the best way to get through is to hassle you local member, particularly during election times or vote for some wild arsed independent party to throw a spanner in the works...but vision and trying to get his listeners reading and thinking about alternative systems...nup. Even though he has said we need one and even though years ago I sent long hand written letters to him...going back to the GFC in 2008 and subsequent emails...nothing. I don’t listen to him anymore.

    • Boulder Dash 2nd Mar 2019

      Ok, here is the long, repetitive and embarrassing letter, the long, reptetitive, embarrassing and convoluted letter, with long hard to understand sentences that would just confound and confuse most. He didn’t even respond to tell me he couldn’t understand it...probably why...I’m a nutter.

      Dear Max,

      Reading your book Life 3.0 and came across this,

      “The goal of this book is to help you join this conversation.”

      I wrote this note immediately, and I wrote it quite seriously.

      How the hell can the ordinary person ever join this conversation. And, if humanity cannot even create an economic system that operates equitably, fairly, justly and that fosters solidarity and diversity through a non-hierarchical division of labour where jobs are balanced for empowerment, that would help foster self-management and concomitantly, much needed confidence in the majority of the workforce to feel competent to make decisions or even just participate in the decision-making process, how would anyone expect the majority of people in the world to participate in “this conversation”. A conversation where the likes of Elon Musk and Google bosses, and other high powered, highly intelligent individuals basically run the show because economics of a market capitalist type, not politics/democracy, nor even free speech, fairness or egalitarianism, dictates the parameters of what gets pursued and how. And further, those set of economic institutions, have created so much disparity in wealth and spare time and the quality of that spare time, across the globe, and an imbalance, a top heavy imbalance, in the political system that tends towards what corporations, private tyrannies, and powerful people, the ruling classes, want them to do, and that IS in fact how shit gets done...which includes the horrendously insidious and bogus world of intellectual property?

      It is always somewhat unusually strange to read about people writing about interesting stuff, important stuff, who get together with leaders and experts within certain fields, in back rooms or parties, who then go onto to suggest, in a book or essay, that other people, ordinary people, who Edward Bernays called the bewildered herd, should or can get involved in the conversation often by building a website. It quite obvious to all and sundry that this would never in fact be the case. Ordinary people are never involved in these conversations but always merely bystanders who look on in dismay as a relative few decide on everyone else’s future. They may offer the odd suggestion, commentary or observation, but whatever that may be it won’t really get a look in unless it’s in line with the predominant view of those directly involved, those putting up the funding or a bunch of other experts high up in the pecking order, also with power, appearing to sit on the other side of the fence.

      Again, I am quite serious about this. The way the economic system, that of market capitalism, and its institutional structure operates is and always has been such that only a few will ever truly be involved in decision-making processes. This is regardless of the very weak, faux and only ever an approximation of democracy, the political systems in which many of those truly at the coal face of technological change exist or live. What Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarianism in his book Democracy Incorporated is in fact how the system really operates.

      I know, or at least presume you are not so interested in these matters, matters pertaining to revolutionary economic change that is. Fair enough. Any kind of radical change is unlikely in the near or foreseeable future. However, I find it quite disturbing when people like yourself talk of the future, our future, the future of everyone on the planet, as if the predominant presently existing economic system, one that produces problems like severe poverty, inequality and injustice, has little influence on the shape and direction of technological progress and innovation other than how those that run the world would want to to go. 80% of the world’s population have little if no influence whatsoever on technological direction and who gets the keys to any project. That’s decided in back rooms and by lobbying and there, money always rules, never the bewildered herd...that’s why you keep them bewildered.

      If you can imagine future AI scenarios, then imagine technological progress occurring within the framework of a truly equitable, fair and just economic system. One where there is no ownership of the means of production, where there are no hierarchical divisions of labour, where jobs are complexes of tasks balanced for empowerment that make self-management within firms absolutely possible. Where remuneration, or access to the social pie, is premised on effort, onerousness and sacrifice rather than bargaining power, ownership or output and no one can amass huge amounts of wealth that enable them to determine their and our future by positioning themselves in ways whereby they can manipulate and control the future, much like the scenario at the start of the book. Imagine this economic system fosters true solidarity and diversity along with self-management in the sense of people making decisions in proportion to the degree they are affected by them. That is for instance, someone who knows the ins and outs of a workplace would have more say than someone outside that workplace in matters pertaining to the workplace, but as to the effects of the produce of that workplace outside of it, in society, many more, those most directly affected and others in a falling scale proportionate to the effects, would have considerable say regardless of their expertise or knowledge on matters directly pertaining to that produce.

      While the above may be beyond your imaginative ken, it is no less possible to do so than to imagine the sort of future you do in the intro of your book, which is based on the present day existing type of economy and it’s machinations. You may even assume that an economy that delivers or fosters such things as equality, solidarity, diversity, and self management and eschews the private ownership of the means of production and even market allocation and central planning is not possible and that twentieth century experiments in socialism (which were never, and only in very specific aspects, socialist) have been proven not to work, but that does not prove conclusively that new equitable, fair and just economies cannot be devised and actually work.

      To imagine a future of technological progress and change, of AI, under the presumption the current economic system, that of capitalism, the private ownership of the means of production, hierarchical divisions of labour within the workplace, remuneration for ownership, bargaining power and output, and market allocation of goods and services, which is both inefficient in terms of pricing, highly ecologically destructive, anti-social and homogenising by nature, is the best option, is to see that future determined by institutional structures that direct, by their nature, such progress down the paths only the elites desire. Any talk of the great unwashed or bewildered herd being involved in any conversation is wishful thinking and tokenism, nothing more. The Big Daddy White Geezer Hegemonic Power Grid is hegemonic for a reason.


    • Boulder Dash 2nd Mar 2019

      Here’s the more recent one.

      Dear Max,

      Still reading your book, Life 3.0. I do not know whether anyone is reading these emails or not. A reply or some sort of correspondence would be appreciated. They are not meant maliciously even if I may be somewhat blunt. I have just come across this,

      “For example, imagine a parallel universe where everyone on Earth shares the same language, culture, values and level of prosperity, and there is a single world government wherein nations function like states in a federation and have no armies, merely police enforcing laws.”

      Now, setting aside the notion of a single world government (it is problematic by virtue of the fact that if a world could arrange itself in an equitable, just and fair way, with the same levels of prosperity, the government or polity, would most likely reflect the same values and may not appear or be like anything we are used to), what if you actually did this, and then tried to envision how AI would develop. Perhaps quite specifically in regard to a set of economic institutions outlined or developed by two economists, Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel. They developed an economy called Participatory Economics, or Parecon for short.

      I would love to see a collaboration between people like yourself and Albert and Hahnel, whereby discussions are had as to how AI technology would/could develop if the economic institutional structures were of a Parecon type. In this way one could get an idea of how economic institutions affect the outcome of future technology and its effects on society and the ecology.

      You could find Michael Albert here,

      https://zcomm.org/znet or here https://zcomm.org/zcontacts-2/

      For info on a Parecon,






      In this sense, one could get an insight into further possibilities if very real AI scenarios were imagined within different economic systems that possess different institutions that foster and sustain different kinds of economic and social and even political relations that affect and shape future outcomes (for instance, if the types of money generating systems or financial markets, or markets at all, or ownership of the means of production, did not exist then would your scenario at the start of your book be possible at all. And I am not talking about scenarios envisioned under centrally planned economies of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba or Korea. Even though corporations, internally are in fact run the same way...top down tyrannical structures, regardless of how nice the bosses are.). A worthy pursuit if you ask me.


    • Boulder Dash 2nd Mar 2019

      I know, they are disappointing, but shit, they are usually written quickly on the fly in a cafe before work...that’s usually when I read during the week.

    • Alex of... 3rd Mar 2019

      would you like some feedback on the approach?

    • Boulder Dash 3rd Mar 2019

      Hah, thought that could happen if I put them up. At least you asked. Not really. Too late anyway...done and dusted. That’s me style. Not that different to what I post here. I mean I never really expected anything back nor for the author to be even remotely interested. Most of what these guys write feels like a screenplay more than anything. Might get a movie out of it. I really couldn’t be bothered crafting something well, giving a lot off thought to the manner of the email because in the end I just wouldn’t send it...it just becomes this other thing (always thinking they won’t respond If you say that or write that etc..)...and it’s not me. And the idea I had, that isn’t them or him...they just really aren’t interested because they really do NOT want people (whatever they really mean by that) in the conversation. Yeah, maybe reading the book and talking and chattering amongst themselves, but not part of the REAL conversation.

    • Alex of... 3rd Mar 2019

      sure, the point of feedback would be toward potentially improving results of the time you already spend. but, helpful for me to know that that is not in your personal interest before i personally spend time on it. cheers.

    • Boulder Dash 3rd Mar 2019

      Understand. If for instance it was a collaborative effort, say between myself and Jason here in Melb, I would write my thing, send it to him and he would probably rip it apart (nicely) and I would defer to him as he is a far better writer. But Jason would also probably have told me it would be a waste of time (nicely)! I usually do these things on a whim...on the spot. Minimal planning.

    • Alex of... 3rd Mar 2019

      the offer is there.

    • Boulder Dash 3rd Mar 2019

      Alex, go for it. My position is premised on the fact that the horse has bolted. I am also interested in Irie’s views pertaining to AI...he seems interested. A blog would be interesting...I mean it’s not as if technological development and the exponential growth of computer power, doubling every one and a half to two years, isn’t gonna be a factor. Read a stack of books that all seem only to go as far as a basic income...and even Lambert wrote a draft for a book about it. I mean I just wrote this note after reading another section...repeating myself again because the thoughts arise...

      This banning thing...these worries and concerns seem to me to be rooted within very traditional and historically shaped ideas and thoughts. It is never considered really that if AI was to be developed inside of a world truly democratic and equitable, institutionally designed to foster desired values, then the trajectory of the development may be far easier to control and beneficial rather than dangerous. That we have all these concerns about future scenarios, dangers, seem to me to arise around the fact that our current economic arrangements (and concomitant political machinations) actually foster the problems that we project into the future and onto the scenarios around the development of all technology, not just AI, because they are here now. There seems to be little thought given to the idea that perhaps if we fix the shit caused by absurd economic relations (and political), then maybe, no certainty, many of the scenarios that people worry about may not arise.

      I know the idea is utopian and idealistic, but even just on a theoretical level it isn’t considered. The furthest they go is a world with a basic income...a basic income is remuneration...access to the social pie...and it is always assumed that the underlying economic structure under a basic income would be just as it is today, or one that would slowly evolve over time to where there is little or no scarcity...but absolutely no talk about how actually shit is being produced and consumed...just that most or a lot is done by robots...nor is it ever really determined what that kind of access to the social pie would be...they give a figure now, of between 10-15 grand...but what of later when all these intelligent machines are doing all the shit work...$100,000? A million? Who decides? How? And there’s some assumption that climate change and ecological destruction has been mitigated or solved by super intelligence...this is where it gets into science fiction movie realm...Transcendence stuff...nanotech etc., in the water...

      For me, many of these story lines and thoughts surrounding AI and the future are because of the shit we are in now. Because they, the writers and people involved, refuse to tackle what their scenarios make obvious, as does the notion of a basic income, that the economic relations and concomitant political systems in which we are embedded now are shit and basically absurd...

      It’s kind of weird...

    • Boulder Dash 3rd Mar 2019

      Like this shit I read when giving examples of bad scenarios...

      “In the movie The Matrix, Agent Smith (an AI) articulates this sentiment: “Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague and we are the cure.”

      Why does not this very intelligent matrix thing utter a word about the possibility of rearranging economic relations so us virus like nasty human creatures would not be so destructive to the ecology and ourselves...you know, come up with some solutions rather than just kind of paint some picture, that incidentally many have, including Frank Zappa, that humans are fucked (cynicism on the highest level...the person making the call however probably doesn’t include themselves in the set of stupid humans. Much like the no free willers secretly believe they have discovered that free will does not exist by means of their own free choice and thinking) and need to be destroyed or replaced, ...but they don’t...they never do...the machine, or AI also seems to be impregnated with a nasty streak as well, like us, that it would never sit down (metaphorically speaking) with its designers and genuinely cooperate to come up with a great way to improve everything for human flourishing...because if the writer or physicist ever did, he would be considered an anti-capitalist socialist commo pinky person with no memory of the gulags. Something like that.

  • Alex of... 25th Feb 2019

    "The majority of us have grown up within some form of hierarchical, individualistic and competitive culture. Culture and economics and all the things that go into that, have not really prepared us to cooperate proactively."

    • Boulder Dash 25th Feb 2019

      We cooperate all the time. And mutually. Mutual recopricity has never gone away. The complexity of our society can obscure that. But the competitive nature of markets, that fuels that same nature in people within an economy that doesn’t necessarily need to be competitive, obscures it AND actually brushes it aside in favour of a dog eat dog philosophy and a Protestant work ethic because that’s how it works.

      Fact is we need a new economy. With a different allocation system to markets or central planning. It can be done, but the “Left” just won’t jump on the educational program in force and together I guess.

      Don’t know.

  • Alex of... 4th Mar 2019