Archive for philosophy

A Royal Wedding, Or A Royal Life, And A Royal World?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 19, 2018 by jtoddring
 
 
Some find a royal wedding moving and beautiful. But I disagree. Beautiful would be taking the vast fortune of the “royal” family of England and sharing it with the five billion people on Earth living in poverty, one billion of whom live in extreme poverty. Until that happens, the beautiful words and noble sentiments spoken are hollow, and not just a sham, and a farce, but an insult to our intelligence, and to humanity, and to all that is decent and good in the world. It is a lie. Maybe the young couple being married are too naive to understand these things, but their elders are not – they are simply callous: and that is despicable.
 
I do agree, however, and to put it plainly, that the celebration of royal privilege is bullshit, to quote a plain-spoken friend who has the aptitude and the common sense to get straight to the heart of the matter.
 
“Royalty” should not be celebrated or venerated, but pitied at best, for the hollowness it represents; and more often, shunned and chastised, for the corruption, vanity, egotism and greed it represents.
 
It always pains me to feel that my words may upset some people, but I always feel immediately, as well, that sometimes things must be said, even if they are unpleasant truths to hear. And I am reminded of the words of the most venerated monk and contemplative of the past 100 years in the West, Thomas Merton, whom I respect very much. He said, “If you’re afraid of writing something that might offend someone, why write anything at all?” And I heartily concur.
 
To read a fantasy novel is one thing; or to watch a fantasy movie. That may be a harmless, and even rejuvenating break from the stress and strain of daily life. But we know we are dealing with fantasy in that case. Things become problematic when the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred, as they are in the media’s fixation on spectacles and the worship of celebrities. Then fantasy becomes, not a healing break from stress and strain, but something pathological.
 
A royal wedding is broadcast on television world-wide? I couldn’t be less interested. Bread and circuses: keep the people entertained and distracted. And celebrity worship doesn’t do us any good either.
 
And weren’t we supposed to have left feudalism and the worship of monarchy behind some 250 years ago? Are we moderns, or are we, as John Lennon said, “still fucking peasants as far as I can see”? I think the answer is obvious.
 
I like a line from the film, Slaves of New York. We don’t have heroes anymore. We have people who are known for their knownness. Precisely.
 
If Martin Luther King Jr. was giving a speech, I wouldn’t miss it. But I wouldn’t cross the street to see a “royal wedding”.
 
Rather than listening to, reading, or watching drivel and pap – for example, royal galas, in an orgy of voyeurism and vicarious living, which only shows the hollowness of our souls – I think we would be better off listening to this: American Dream – one of the great speeches by the reverend (and that is not a title, but a quality of spirit) Martin Luther King Jr., or any of the words of the truly great souls of humanity.
 
The words of great leaders, thinkers, scholars and sages should be our focus, along with meaningful action based in love; not flights of fantasy into celebrity fixation, or some other trivia that the media is peddling, like opium laced with cyanide.
 
I have a dream, and it is not to be a princess or a prince, but to see the world live in peace, as brothers and sisters, in justice and freedom, in ecological sanity, under constitutional democracy, and with wisdom and love.
 
I think that is a dream worth having, worth holding dear, and worth working toward and fighting for. And I think dealing with reality is preferable to living in fantasy, for it is only by dealing with reality that such a dream can, and will, become manifest.
 
I think we should turn away from celebrity worship and vicarious living, and live our own lives, and make them regal and majestic, with dignity and humility in balance, and with an awareness of the equality of all men and women: and build a better world for all – not in the fantasy world of our imaginings, but in reality.
 
That is a dream worth celebrating. And television fantasies and princess fairy tales, or prince fixations, or other forms of celebrity worship and distraction, can never, and will never, accomplish that.
 
JTR,
 
May 19, 2018
 
 

 

 

What Do I Want? (Or, What is to be done, if we are to have any future worth living?)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2018 by jtoddring

What do I want? Well, I would like to see us move immediately to a libertarian socialist society, along the lines that Chomsky, Bertrand Russell, Rudolph Rocker, or Murray Bookchin have described. Or better: an anarchist communist society, such as Kropotkin described. But I don’t see that as something that is likely to happen in the near future. I don’t think the people are ready for that kind of radical change. Too many people are deeply indoctrinated and ensconced in dead and dying ideologies, consumerism, materialism, slave-mentality, scarcity-consciousness, illusions of powerlessness, voyeurism and escapism and vicarious living, TV culture, and a habitual, docile obedience to authority, conformity, and to the ruling dogmas (or delusions) of our time.

I would be happy to be proven wrong, but I don’t think it’s likely that we would see a near-term shift to a libertarian socialist or anarchist communist society — at least, not en masse. It will be our future, if we choose it; and it is not only completely viable, but would be a vastly better society than what we have now: but I just don’t think that is something we are going to see in the short term.

So, we keep our ideals high and our dreams alive, and work toward smaller, more immediate goals, while never forgetting our values or our dreams, and never losing sight of the long-term perspective.

For example, I think we should immediately depose and dethrone the currently ruling global power elite. That would not simply be a good thing to do — it is, by now, a matter of survival.

In the short term, as in, right now, I would be happy to see the robber barons removed from power. And I think that is a clear and obvious, undeniable necessity. What does that mean? It means removing the banking elite and other corporate elites — the billionaire class — from their current position as de facto rulers of the Earth.

That, in turn, requires a renewal, a revitalization, and a rebirth of democracy. And that, in turn, requires nothing short of revolution. We are now left with no other choice.

The choices facing us now, in early 21st century society, are either revolution, or slow death. The current order, the latest in a series of empires, is one of global neo-feudal, crypto-fascist corporate rule: and it is devouring the poor, the middle class, and the Earth — and with increasing speed. If we do not find the courage for revolution, then slow death it is.

We had best be serious about this, and honest with ourselves. Our choices have narrowed to two. What will it be, world? The choice is ours. And the hour is late.

JTR,
February 14, 2018

 

 

Bitcoin, Crypto-Currencies and Global Trends — Tipping Points Approaching Fast

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 29, 2018 by jtoddring

Question: Cryptos — Which ones, and when?

Answer: Two, and right now

Waiting for the (painfully slow) transfer of funds from one Bitcoin wallet to another — both my own, in order to be able to buy Stellar Lumens with Bitcoins (since you can’t buy Lumens directly with fiat paper currencies, it being too new) I have the painfully clear demonstration of exactly why Lumens are superior to Bitcoin: because nobody wants to wait for hours for a transaction via Bitcoin when they can have it done and complete via Lumens in seconds. Case proven — and I have not yet even purchased my first Lumen.

Recommend to buy in modest amounts: Bitcoins (BTC, on Coinbase) (still, because they are still going to be valuable for quite some time, and will almost certainly rise much higher in value yet, especially if Amazon announces it is going to accept Bitcoins, as it now seems probable they will); and more importantly perhaps, Lumens (XLM, on Binance, using Bitcoins transferred from Coinbase). I would do both before Monday, if I were you. Think small investments, for long-term hold.

Note that while Bitcoin is down 30% over the past month from a peak in December — which makes it a good time to buy — it is up 1,000% over the past year. And the big money has yet to pour in, and is about to pour in.

As to Stellar Lumens, it is a new generation of crypto-currency, which will likely do as well or better than Bitcoin, for a number of reasons. Among them: it is faster, processing exchanges in seconds rather than hours; it is specifically designed to be a platform for global currency exchange; and it has the backing of more than one corporate giant. And Lumens are trading today for $0.62 — and will probably rise to the December highs of Bitcoin, of over $20,000, and then go higher.

There are over 800 crypto-currencies in existence now. According to the best analysts in the field, most of them are worthless, or simply scams. Bitcoin and Lumen stand out as probable candidates to survive the long term, and not only hold their value, despite the inevitable fluctuations of new currencies, but greatly increase their value over the long term. Long term investment in wisely chosen crypto-currencies should be the focus. And these are the two I would recommend.

Two important tipping point events are highly probable this year, with regards to crypto-currencies and their widespread adoption. Both of them could happen by Monday; the other by Tuesday. Investment after these tipping points will still show good returns, but the biggest returns will quite possibly be over be over. You decide how to handle that information.

Sorry for the short notice, but while I’ve been following crypto-currencies for over three years, I just learned about these two potential tipping points, or triggers for mass adoption, over the past 36 hours.

But, in any case, I would recommend that you either risk a small amount based on my word — a very small amount — or better, dig into some research for yourself, and then invest, and maybe with a slightly larger, but still modest amount. (If you go above $100, be sure to do your own research — naturally.)

*

I won’t repeat the reasons here, again, why crypto-currencies are not going away, and why, like the internet, they are not a fad. If that is not yet understood, then you should dig deeper, and do your own homework. But do note this: Bill Gates has recently said that crypto-currencies are, “the future of money” — as did James Altucher, the leading crypto-investment analyst, before that.

I will only address here two points: what crypto-currencies to invest in, if you are going to invest in any; and whether you can afford to invest at all. The first question I just answered.

As to the second: If you go out for meals, eat take-out food, fast food, junk food, donuts, buy new clothes, beer, wine, or even coffee at a coffee shop — ever — then you can afford to invest $50 each in Bitcoins and Lumens.

It’s an investment, which means it involves risk. Only death is certain. Nothing else is guaranteed. But, as the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. And if you’re going to blow 50 bucks on frivolous superfluities anyway, why not take a chance with a tiny investment on something that could potentially pay off big? As Virgil said, “Fortune favours the bold.”

*

Let me make it perfectly clear. I’m not interested in get rich quick schemes. I’m not interested in getting rich at all. If I was interested in getting rich, I would have been a stock broker — I certainly wouldn’t have devoted three decades to philosophy, social and political analysis, and writing. I’m interested in helping people. Period.

Certainly I’m not motivated by power, riches or fame — clearly, or I wouldn’t have become a philosopher and a writer of philosophy: which is a virtual guarantee for poverty and obscurity, in this society, if there ever was one. I may as well have chosen to be a floor sweeper, for all the riches, power and fame that writing philosophy and social commentary would bring.

So no, I’m not in it for dreams of riches. I’m interested in cryptos and invested in cryptos, to some small degree, with my extremely modest means, for the same reason that I write philosophy and political/social analysis and commentary: because I am interested in helping others, and in sowing the seeds for a better world for all.

I’m interested in crypto-currencies (an unfortunate moniker that is, but it has stuck) for three reasons only. And they all boil down to that same one thing: helping people.

Firstly, a very small investment in select, well-chosen crypto-currencies early on — and it is still early on, because the public is not yet involved, and only one person in ten thousand has any investment in Bitcoin, for example, which is the leading crypto at this time — can provide my family with some small degree of security in an increasingly volatile and unstable, insecure world.

Actually, to be more precise, there is no such thing as security: so let’s talk about resilience — the ability to weather a storm, or hard times. Anyone who talks about security doesn’t understand life or the world. Security doesn’t exist. Security is an illusion. Nothing is secure in this world. And chasing after security is a sure way to destroy your quality of life, hollow out your soul, and possibly destroy your health and your relationships in the process. But resilience is something to strive for. Resilience is simply a matter of being hardy and adaptable — and those are two qualities which will always do us well. And certain things, or certain actions, can bring us greater resilience.

What then, brings resilience?

Investing in yourself, your health, your mind, your spirit, your learning, your personal development, your relationships, your community, your social bonds of love and reciprocity, and your skills: these things will increase your resilience in very real and important ways.

On a much lower level of priority, come things like investing in land for a simple home and garden, open-pollinated seeds, tools, off-grid solar and wind power, and other material investments such as these which will enhance and increase our ecological resilience, and also our economic and psychological or spiritual resilience.

And on a third and lowest tier, we have money and financial assets — which are the least important and least reliable of all, in terms of things that can protect and provide for us and our family, in good times and bad, and increase or enhance our resilience. But nobody scoffs at putting money away in the form of savings. It’s still a good idea, despite its limitations, of course.

Fiat money, or paper currency, “isn’t worth the paper it’s not printed on”, as the world’s leading trend analyst, Gerald Celente has said. And money in the bank is no longer money in the bank, because neither banks nor paper money, fiat currency, have any reliability anymore. But financial savings in smarter forms, can be very useful, and are very wise.

In terms of money as a form of security, I would advise first and foremost, not to rely on it. That would be a recipe for disaster. I’m talking about paper money, or fiat currencies. Canadian dollars, US dollars especially, Euros, Yuan, Yen, Rubbles, Pesos….or any other paper money or fiat currency: if your savings, investments, pension plan or family’s security rests upon fiat paper money, then you have no security. Dump it while you can, before it becomes worthless, which it will.

But investment in terms of money of other forms, such as gold, which is one of the oldest and most secure forms of money, or silver — or select, well-chosen crypto-currencies, which are soon going to replace some or all fiat paper money — are extremely shrewd, and wise investments, which can provide, if not real security, since there is no such thing in the world, then at least, some very real, and considerable degree of resilience, which will help you in good times, and can be literally life-saving, or at least life-changing, in bad times.

So, firstly, as a start — not an ending point, but a beginning point — I’m interested in taking care of my family, and in increasing my families resilience, or ability to weather hard times. And that is the number one reason why I am interested in crypto-currencies: because a small, smart investment in select, well-chosen crypto-currencies can provide that, and be a very real “game-changer” for my family. I don’t care if I am rich, or if my family is rich — it’s irrelevant to me. But I do care, and care deeply, that they are well. And therefore, I care about their resilience. And for that reason, I care about intelligent, well-thought-out, strategic investments. And certain, select crypto-currencies are, at this time, among the best and most intelligent investments anyone can make.

Secondly, I’m interested in crypto-currencies because of their power to potentially be socially disruptive in positive ways: that is, I’m interested in crypto-currencies because they have the potential to aid in the urgently necessary task of unseating the banking elite from power, and to drive positive social change by reshaping and redistributing power — economic power, which always translates into political and social power — in more democratic and equitable, free and equal ways.

Like the internet, crytpo-currencies are not going to produce paradise on Earth. But do they have the power to be socially disruptive in positive ways — which is to say, to change long-established patterns of power, and to redistribute power in more democratic, equitable, and broadly empowering ways? Certainly. Absolutely. And for that reason, I am very interested in them, as potential catalysts for very urgently needed social change.

Thirdly, I’m interested in the potential of crypto-currencies to ease the financial and economic burdens, and the life burdens, of the struggling middle class and poor, who are the great majority. As I say, I believe that every indication is that crypto-currencies will in whole (probably eventually, and not too long from now), or at least in part (and very, very soon), replace fiat paper money. When that happens, and that mass adoption will reach a tipping point sometime very soon, over the next few years, and quite possibly over the next few months, or even days, the widespread adoption and use of crypto-currencies as simply another valid form of exchange or payment — like debit cards or credit cards, gold, silver, Euros or Yen — then billions, and trillions, of dollars (and other currencies, of course, the world over) will pour into the select crypto-currencies that have proven their worth by their usefulness, and they will soar in value, a thousand-fold, ten-thousand-fold, and beyond.

That means, that a very small investment in select, well-chosen crypto-currencies now, before the tidal wave of mass public adoption hits, could bring a small fortune — certainly enough to retire on — in just a few short years, or less.

This could help at least some among the vast majority of people on Earth who are in the lower 80–90% of the income scale, and who are struggling, to finally find some small degree of security, or better put, resilience, and some much-needed and much-deserved peace of mind. And that will help people to free up their time from mere survival and money concerns, to focus on higher, more useful things — like music, art, literature, history, spirituality, philosophy, nature, family, friendship, community, creativity, personal exploration, the life of the mind, and action for the healing of our very troubled world — and something beyond mere treading water, which is what most people are doing now. And most are sinking, by the way, make no mistake, or barely hanging on.

So, I am interested in my family’s resilience and well-being. I am interested in anything, short of violence, which I abhor and strongly oppose, which has the potential to be a catalyst for positive social change in the direction of greater freedom, openness, transparency, accountability, democracy, social justice, peace, and/or ecological sanity and stewardship. And I am interested in helping the more than 80% of the world’s population who are the poor or middle class, and who are struggling, to have more security or resilience, to have more peace of mind, and to be a little more free from mere material concerns, so that they can focus on the things that make life truly meaningful and rewarding.

I believe that there are a few crypto-currencies out of the more than 800 that are now in existence which have the potential to fulfill all three goals: to increase my own family’s resiliency and well-being, to catalyze positive social change, and to turn struggling middle class and poor people into millionaires, through a very small, timely investment that is wisely chosen, or at least to ease their burden, and free up some space for something beyond running on a treadmill, like a rodent in a giant cage.

*

So that is my advice: buy small amounts of Bitcoin and Lumens now, immediately, and hold the investment for the long term. If their value goes up 10,000-fold, as I think it will, with what I would estimate to be a very high probability, then take 50% of the gains as profit, and leave the rest for future growth, while diversifying your investments. Until then, leave it alone, and forget about it.

But, in anything and everything, I must say again, remember Virgil:

“Fortune favours the bold.”

Not the mousy. Not the fence-sitters. Not the ever-gloomy cynics, who perpetually paint themselves, and everyone around them, into a corner. Not the spectators — and most people are now spectators in life. But the bold.

J. Todd Ring,
January 28, 2018

PS:

I’ve recommended Bitcoin and Lumens as smart investments. And they also have the potential to disrupt the banking system and the banking elite — which is a very good thing, and is much-needed. But I’d like to note that a small investment in PressCoin, as well, for reasons of supporting something virtuous with great potential for social change, as well as for rewards, would also be a good and wise thing to do.

Can you risk a total of $150 for the sake of catalyzing and empowering social change, helping to dethrone the banking elite, and potentially raising a fortune, or at least, a good little nest-egg and handsome return on investment for your family? Can you afford not to?

One last final note:

When the internet was first introduced publicly, many people thought it was a fad. It wasn’t. They simply didn’t understand. Now it’s ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. Cyrpto-currencies are the same.

When the internet quickly became widely adopted, and the public accepted it, then came the period when people were scared to use their credit cards on the internet. They didn’t understand that it’s just as easy, and in fact easier, for someone to take the paper receipt of your credit card transaction out of the cash register till, or the carbon copy (remember those?) out of the garbage bin, and use your credit card number to steal your money, than it is to hack into a computer network to steal your credit card information. But very quickly, again, that changed. Mass adoption of online payments occurred, just as mass adoption of the internet occurred, within less than a decade. The same is about to happen with crypto-currencies. Mass adoption is near at hand.

What exactly are crypto-currencies? Crypto-currencies are two things, above all: as Jim Rickards has said, they are just another form of payment or exchange — like debit cards, which are relatively new, and credit cards, which are also relatively new; and they are forms of currency which can be used as payment or exchange, and also as an asset class, as a means to store wealth — exactly like paper money (except that they are more secure, not less), and or like gold and silver, land, art, stocks, bonds or commodities. When the people begin to realize these two simple facts, as the (slow-learning) financial elite and investment class is now coming to realize (and they are now just beginning to pour in their billions and trillions of dollars into cryptos as a result), there will be mass adoption of crypto-currencies as simply one more form of payment and exchange, and one more form of assets, or wealth storage and investment.

The key thing, from an investment point of view, as always, is to be smart, and to be early. Being stupid or foolish is never good, of course — you need to to your due diligence. But being too slow is almost as bad as being reckless or making foolish choices. Again: nothing ventured, nothing gained. Those with keen eyes and brave hearts always make the greatest gains. Those who are glossy-eyed or slow to respond, always lose out.

Over the next five to ten years, at least one crypto-currency, and probably more than one, probably a few, will have proven their worth in terms of their usefulness, sufficiently enough to become widely accepted and widely adopted. A tiny investment in the right crypto-currency now, before the tidal wave of mass public involvement begins, could yield truly massive, historic returns, because when mass adoption hits, and mass public involvement begins, the value of the surviving crypto-currencies will skyrocket, 1,000-fold, 10,000-fold, and higher.

With regard to some things, a “wait and see” approach is best. In terms of climate change, the war on nature, and the rapidly growing and escalating environmental crisis that we now face, a wait and see approach means certain death — slow death, painful death: the death, if not of the human species, then of our civilization, certainly, and the great catastrophe that would entail. Action is required, and now.

On a much lower level of priority, the emerging shift from fiat paper money to digital crypto-currencies (meaning, simply, that they are encrypted, and also, that they are open-source and transparent, and therefore more secure and democratic than state fiat paper currencies), is almost certain to happen, and to happen soon. Waiting to see what happens means losing historic investment opportunities. Playing it safe, frankly, is sometimes, quite simply, playing it stupid.

Invest a small amount now, I would recommend, in well-chosen crypto-currencies — certainly not your mortgage money, or your children’s college fund, but something small, that you can feel at peace with risking. If you lose a small investment, you can consider it a worthwhile risk taken, that didn’t pay off. But if you invest a small amount in the right way at the right time, the results could truly be massive and life-changing. As with action for environmental and social change, which is vastly more important, that time is now. The window of opening for enormous returns on investment in crypto-currencies will soon close. Mass adoption will come in five to ten years or less — but probably much sooner, and potentially this year, in a matter of months, with major tipping points coming any time, and literally, any day.

Rule #1: Don’t rely on the media.

The major media is filled with propaganda, half-truths, distortions, and outright lies — and when it’s not promulgating propaganda and distortions, it’s riddled with illusions and ignorance, and is supremely slow on the up-take. Smart money, and smart people, move faster. Don’t rely on the major media for anything. Nine times out of ten, they will steer you wrong.

Rule #2: Don’t believe the banks.

The banking elite are very threatened by the sudden emergence of crypto-currencies, starting with Bitcoin, in 2009. They see them as a threat to their power and their wealth — and rightly so, because Bitcoin and most other crypto-currencies cut out the banks. So, when you hear Jamie Diamond, as CEO of Goldman Sachs, say that crypto-currencies are a scam, it’s because his extremely fat salary is threatened.

Don’t believe the banks. That point should be obvious. The big banks are trying to find a way to not be completely shut out of a global shift in currency systems which they may no longer control. They would prefer to stay with the current global currency system, because they effectively control it. An even better choice, from their perspective, would be to demolish all currencies world-wide, and force a single global digital currency on the world, created and controlled by the IMF — which of course, in turn, they control .What they don’t want is to be left out completely. So, they are trying to find a way to stay in the game, and not lose all power and all profits, as the global nature of money changes radically, potentially leaving them out in the cold. But they don’t like this new currency set, because it’s not their baby — it’s a threat, and far from their ideal scenario.

So don’t trust the banks, or the major media. They will both fill your head with lies, falsehoods, distortions and illusions.

Who do you trust? Trust yourself. Above all, and in every regard, on everything: think for yourself. The whole question of crypto-currencies and whether to invest or where, is tiny by comparison. Above all, question everything, and think for yourself. Wealth will come, if that is important to you, and more importantly, good health and quality of life, if you do. Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of fate, and God help you.

Think for yourself, in this, and every instance, always.

*

The Bottom Line:

James Altucher, who seems to me to be the best analyst in North America when it comes to crypto-currencies, who has been a computer coder for 35 years, and involved in investment, entrepreneurship, and Wall Street for more than 20 years — the person who said on CNBC, when Google offered a billion dollars to buy Facebook, and Facebook refused the offer, that Facebook was worth 100 billion, and was laughed at, but since proven right — rightly said that every new disruptive technology or disruptive trend follows the same pattern, and goes through the same three phases. If we want to understand what’s going on with crypto-currencies, then we need to understand this.

I’ll stick with examples from the tech sector, though we could just as easily list examples from other areas of society, including activism and social change. For example, we could point to Thoreau and the movement to abolish slavery, the Suffragette Movement, Gandhi and the movement for an independent India, or Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Whether it is disruptive technology or it is a disruptive social trend — meaning, a technology or social trend which disrupts existing, established patterns, and creates new patterns — the same three phases apply, and seem to be universal.

In phase one, only the pioneers are involved. For example, in the early days of the internet, some of the pioneers were Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon. Some early pioneers didn’t last, but these giants clearly did. And yes, there is a crypto-bubble, and yes, like the dot com bubble, many crypto-currencies will collapse, and vanish — and their investors will hold nothing but dust. But there will be early pioneers and early runners who, as with Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon, will survive, and will become global phenomena. I don’t have a crystal ball, but Bitcoin and Lumen are two of the best bets at this time.

In the early days of the internet, even the “smart money” didn’t understand what was coming. Few people saw the trends that were emerging. The same is true now. And of course, early investors in Microsoft, Apple, Google or Amazon, have become millionaires, if not billionaires. Most people did not not. Pioneers, whether they are the innovators or they are among the very first to embrace the new (or newly rediscovered, in some cases) technology or trend, or way of doing things, are somewhere around 2% of the population. 98% of people are not pioneers. They follow the crowd.

Second comes the early adopters. They represent maybe 18% of the populace. We are now, with regard to crypto-currencies, just at the very beginning of phase two.

The early adopters include the minority of people from the general public who are open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, and who do not wait for the crowd to lead them.

Also among the early adopters are the minority of those people among the investment class — the millionaires and billionaires, and the institutional investors, such as the hedge funds which move hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars around — who are quicker in seeing and responding to new opportunities.

And the millionaires and billionaires and hedge funds are just now taking notice — ever slow on the up-take, they tend to be — and are just beginning to pour in: and to pour in hundreds of billions, and possibly trillions of dollars. This alone will push the price of select crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Lumens up 1,000-fold, and higher. And this is just the beginning of phase two.

Phase three is when mass adoption hits. And that tends to come quickly, at an exponential curve, after the human flock — pardon my bluntness, but most people behave more as sheep than as human beings, because they conform too much and think too little — begin to pour in, in a tidal wave. This is when the price of select crypto-currencies skyrockets. And this could begin as early as 2018 — possibly early 2018, and quite possibly after a single tipping point event, which could happen this Monday or Tuesday, January 29 or 30.

(Note: If a tipping point event does happen then, and you miss it, don’t panic. It’s still early on. Just stick your toe in the water, at least, and soon — I would highly recommend.)

Almost definitely, mass adoption of certain select crypto-currencies will happen within five to ten years, and probably much sooner than that. You decide what you want to do with that knowledge.

These are the trends and opportunities as I see them. But again, above all, think for yourself — in everything, always.

JTR

Shell-Shock: A novel by installments

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by jtoddring

Here is an unconventional move. I am considering publishing a novel by installments. This has been done in the past, but is not the current norm. But I am not sure if it has been done while the novel is still in the process of being written. That would be a bold, and perhaps risky move.

What if the writing flounders? What if there is writer’s block? What if I want to re-write what I’ve written, re-work scenes, characters, story lines? All very risky to publish it while in vitro, so to speak.

But, on the other hand, considering the state of the world, the urgency of the times, and moreover, the rapid unfolding of current trends, if I wait until the novel is finished, proof-read, reviewed, edited, etc, before releasing it to the world, events could have passed it by, and what might have been prophetic, or at least prescient, becomes, or at least appears to be, mere reflective hindsight. Most importantly, perhaps, is that foresight is more valuable than hindsight, and the people should be warned, as well as inspired and rallied to action.

So, I am thinking about it. I will not promise at this point to continue to publish installments before the novel is completed, although I am seriously considering it; but I will start with offering a prologue, by way of introduction.

(And if there is interest, please feel free to send contributions or donations, because this writer, like most, has an income that does not exactly amount to that of Donald Trump – nor one ten-thousandth of it. But that is an aside, and unimportant.)

I hope you enjoy what you read. More importantly, I hope it sparks thought, discussion, and above all, action.

Peace,
Todd

***

Shell-Shock

The Transitional Time:

Between the End and the Beginning,
Lies the Time of Transitions

Prologue:

The History of the Collapse of Modern Civilization

 

We could say that there were many factors which led to the final collapse, and of course, there were many factors. But in the end, the chain of events which spiraled into this terrible culmination, and the collapse of modern civilization, could be said to have begun with this tipping point.

For a number of identifiable reasons, most of them identified by thoughtful observers well in advance, the global economy had become extremely unstable. (A crisis of over-production, combined with deregulation, the financialization of the economy, globalization, the off-shoring of production and profits, the evisceration and liquidation of the middle class, soaring inequality, and a kleptocratic billionaire class, were, of course, the central factors – as is now universally recognized, in hindsight.) But however one views the causes, when the collapse of the global economy finally came, a global depression hit the world like a tsunami, and things began to fall apart.

The result was chaos, panic, devastation, widespread suffering, fear, mistrust, paranoia, the further retreat into narcissistic, bunkered self-isolation and alienation, escapism, voyeurism and magical thinking, along with blame, hatred, the inflaming of old animosities, conflicts and hostilities, hunger, even greater soaring poverty and inequality, frustrations reaching a boiling point, and very quickly, riots in the streets, looting, and ultimately, in short order, revolution in the streets.

But the problem was not revolution, nor even a wave of popular revolutions springing up across the planet. The problem was a lack of resolve.

When revolution broke out, rebellion, or even dissent against a corrupt and unjust, ecologically suicidal order became viewed by the ruling elite as treason, and the crackdown began. The hounds and the goons were unleashed, and fascism arrived, in full-fledged form. Not the old fascism of goose-stepping soldiers wearing Nazi uniforms, but the new fascism, draped in the robes of smiling civility, virtue and nobility, or so it aimed to clothe itself, and parading as the salvation of freedom and democracy – both of which, of course, it was intent upon destroying.

The predictable backlash to the popular revolutions, and the repression and fascism which followed, was not the real problem. The problem was that the people buckled and submitted – at precisely the critical time when they needed to be their most bold, and unshakable.

The newly secured global corporate elite, with their henchmen firmly in control, now pushed back every advance that had been made by the people over the previous 200 years – and further, the past 800 years, since the birth of constitutional law and the Magna Carta.

It was a new feudal age, and a new and more brutal age of empire than the world had ever seen. All motion for positive social change was halted in its tracks, including all efforts at ending our assault on nature, and halting our full speed drive towards our own extinction.

Now, business was firmly in the driver’s seat, as it had been for a long time, but with a posse of goons and a fascist architecture to support it, to make sure no one got in the way of profits.

The business elite made a killing, both literally and figuratively, and the business of killing the planet was simply an externality, and an unfortunate consequence which could not be helped. The race to extinction, or at least to the collapse of human civilization, was on, and it would not take much time at the newly accelerated pace.

The eventual outcome, which came very quickly, and with frightening speed, was not only the death of the oceans, but also, and more critically for humanity, the collapse of agriculture and world food systems.

As crop failure, famine, hunger and starvation swept the planet, two other horsemen appeared: death and disease. War, or the intensification and spread of the already well-established pattern of permanent war, followed swiftly behind.

Between the sickness and mass deaths caused by famine, disease and war, the cogs and the infrastructure, the supply lines and networks of industrial civilization began to sputter, to seize, and finally, to collapse.

The fascist coup of the corporate elite had done this, we could say. But that, really, if we are to be honest with ourselves, would be to miss the point, and to pass the blame. The people failed themselves, because they caved in, when they should have stood firm.

The spirit of great hearts and great courage, such as the spirit of Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr., should have, and could have guided them, and led them to victory. But it was the spirit of fear that won out in the end. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The people thought they had problems before. Now, with the collapse, their problems really began. At least in the short term, the meek did not inherit the earth. They inherited a wasteland. Now, the best, and the worst of humanity, became vividly clear.

Blessed be the gadflies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by jtoddring

Metaphorically speaking, and only with regard to issues of the greatest importance, I wholeheartedly agree:

“When confronting your enemy, go for the jugular, and never back down.”
– Alexander Cockburn
(A journalist with a rare quality – a spine)

Alexander Cockburn: born in Scotland, raised in Ireland – of course he was a scrapper. And I love him for it.

He reminds me of my greatest literary hero, Henry David Thoreau.

“I sometimes despair of getting anything accomplished by the help of my fellow men. Their minds would first have to be placed in a kind of powerful vice, to squeeze their old ideas out of them.”

Ferocious, honest, and also true.

Blessed be the gadflies. Jesus forgot to mention that one, but I think it was implied.

JTR,
January 26, 2016

Confronting Evil: Not with a bang, but a whimper? Neither, I say

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by jtoddring

Yes, it is best to be cordial, courteous, friendly and respectful, and to avoid harsh words and harsh speech, generally speaking. But when it comes to confronting power, when it comes to addressing the power elite and their willing vassals, servants, prostitutes in high office, and other shills, we must be fierce, and uncompromising – particularly when lives are at stake; or worse, when, as at present, the future of humanity and all life on earth is at stake, and the rulers and their peons are actively destroying, not only the quality of life for the great majority, but even the possibility of the continuation of life at all.

Then, the gloves must come off, and we use language as a weapon, as well as a means of informing, inspiring and uplifting.

Sometimes, evil must simply be defeated, and while I would not go so far as to say, “by any means necessary,” I would say that there are times for dispensing with civilities, and driving a stake through the heart of the lies and illusions which surround and enchain us – or we will never be free, and our future will be bleak.

If we need any further encouragement to stand up and speak out — and with passion and boldness, and not mousy obedience, meekness or timidity — I would say that Henry David Thoreau’s, On Civil Disobedience, Etienne de la Boite’s, The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude, Erich Fromm’s, Escape From Freedom, and the writings and speeches of Mahatma Gandhi and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., should top the list of essential works to read or re-read for inspiration. As Dr. King said, we must face the fierce urgency of now — there is such a thing, as being too late.

Stand up, and speak out – for justice, for peace, for freedom, and for a better world for all: courteously whenever possible, but ferociously when necessary.

J. Todd Ring,
January 26, 2016

Ship of Fools

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 26, 2016 by jtoddring

Having compassion, respect and love does not mean we must become grinning, blinkered, deferential, obsequious and obedient, compliant fools, unable to tie our own shoe laces without the approval of some authority figure or the bleating crowd. Sometimes, the most compassionate action, is strong action. Sometimes, the most compassionate words, are strong words.

To speak the truth in troubled times is an act of both compassion and courage. To refuse to do so, proves only cowardice, and a lack of inner strength, principles and conviction. With that being said, I must say this, with all due respect.

Modern society has no respect, nor even recognition, of wisdom. It has no recognition of enlightenment. It cannot recognize sages or prophets. It barely recognizes, and in truth, places little value upon, knowledge, understanding, or even common sense. For these reasons, modern society is, sadly, a lost and drifting ship, and a ship of fools.

No wonder I jumped overboard thirty years ago. I have no desire to go down with them – either metaphorically, into the collective madness of a society that has lost its bearings; nor literally, into the mire and self-destruction of a self-created social and ecological holocaust and collective suicide. I will share what I have gleaned from a safe distance, upon a raft; but I will not bind myself to madmen. That would help neither them nor me.

Take the road less traveled by. That makes all the difference. Don’t give up. Never give up. Fight for justice and a better world for all until your last breath. But do not let the madness of a society that has lost all perspective drag you down. Trust yourself. That, at any time, and particularly in a society gone mad, is of paramount, and critical importance.

J. Todd Ring,
January 26, 2016

 

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