Let’s Start with an Assumption

I made a mistake this weekend. I took the bait and fell into a trap.

I mistakenly got into one of those “discussions” about something I believe. The kind where I’m talking about something I believe so completely that there’s no convincing me otherwise. The other person believes the opposite just as completely.

We dance around about high level stuff for awhile mincing words, throwing clever examples and anecdotal evidence back and forth. After sometime I realize the truth: we disagree so fundamentally that there’s no reconciling our differences about the superficial details.

I realized (or maybe re-realized for the umpteenth time) that we often or almost always have different base assumptions, different Truths™ that we base all our other ideas upon. I am going to try an experiment, when I can’t not get sucked into these conversations that I should otherwise prefer to avoid, I’ll start by stating my assumptions.

Let’s start with the assumption that animals deserve liberty, too.

Let’s start with the assumption that for the same reason you don’t believe in all the gods of other religions, I don’t believe in yours either.

Let’s start with the assumption that the suffering of animals (both human and non-human) and the wholesale destruction of the planet are intrinsically linked.

Let’s start with the assumption that we are running out of oil (of natural gas, coal, fresh water, arable land… of all life supporting systems) and that Our Way of Life™ cannot continute forever.

Let’s start with the assumption that infinite growth in a finite system is not only not preferable, but simply not possible.

Let’s start with the assumption that if something didn’t work before (especially if it hasn’t worked for years/decades/ever), doing more of it this year won’t work either.

Let’s start with the assumption that you and I might (or probably) won’t agree about everything and that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b44x1


Old Boing! Collective Mission Statement

I found this buried on an old hard drive. Boing! is a house in Salt Lake City. It’s cast has changed a lot over the years (like the Bike house). At the time that this was written (~2005), the group was trying to make the house a little more of a community resource and less of a group of kids living cheaply.

The Boing! Collective

Mission Statement, an introduction

The Boing! Anarchist Collective exists for the purpose of providing / reviving a sense of openness and community for those who may feel disenchanted or alienated from the society in which we live. We are here to spread political awareness, hopefully leading to action in some way or another, and to show that there is another way to live outside of the impersonal and destructive (on so many levels) system that has been marketed to us from every angle since the day we were born.

We are an open household of tightly knit friends who are dedicated to the all-encompassing struggle that a long history of fear and exploitation has and will continue to ensure we all experience. As such, we have given up many small personal comforts in order to provide comfort for anyone seeking it. We are open from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm everyday and have many community resources that we encourage all to take advantage of, regardless of race, gender, political belief, sexuality, religion, class affiliation and lifestyle choice.

These include:

  • Complimentary internet access.
  • A large lending library (which we hope will become larger).
  • Political videos and dvd’s, some available for sale, all to be borrowed.
  • A large zine collection.
  • Media for sale at no profit to us, that are otherwise hard to get.
  • A group meeting area (must be arranged in advance).
  • Food Not Bombs, every Sunday at 2:00 pm.
  • Cafe (A)narchista, taking place every Saturday at 3:00 pm; including free food, skillsharing and fun.
  • A comfortable place to hang out, talk and just be yourself.

We would like to provide a more comfortable arrangement and more resources in the future. As for now, we simply want you to be aware that we are here, and we want you to take advantage of that fact. Come be a part of something inspiring, participate in what inspires you.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b3yF2

global war map

STRATEGIC ARMCHAIR COMMAND has a nice “global war map” in .swf (flash movie) form. it’s not animated or interactive. just countries color coded by the level of war they are at. red being the highest. red also being the color of the u.s. (minus alaska and hawaii which are a mere orange), iraq, iran, afghanistan, pakistan, saudi arabia, israel (and palenstine, even though it isn’t listed as its own nation — i guess, this is based on NATO or UN recognitions of statehood) and north korea.

global War Map

orange countries:

  • alaska / hawaii (u.s.)
  • russia
  • south korea
  • india
  • bhutan
  • hainan
  • brunel
  • malaysia
  • singapore
  • indonesia
  • australia
  • vanuatu
  • swaziland
  • lesotho
  • guinea
  • uganda
  • algeria
  • libya
  • egypt
  • sudan
  • eritrea
  • somalia
  • syria
  • jordan
  • oman
  • yemen
  • italy
  • france
  • switzerland
  • u.k.

dark blue (smallest possible):

  • greenland (denmark)
  • falkland islands — off the south eastern tip of south america (u.k.)

these truly are sensational time we live in.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b3YB1

the lib freq

got enclosures with wordpress worked out. thanks to thefolks that put together the hack for it.

also, put together the format for the podcast. now, all’s that’s left to do is work out the kinks and start doing it. i’m still getting over my voice sounding weird to me recorded. and talking to a mic rather than a person. soon, though. soon.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b3Y92

comparing opensource software development to global guerrilla warfare tactics

i’ve been reading a lot at the global guerrillas blog. and i’m just floored by this guy’s thought processes. the connection of disparate models is just amazing. here he compares the opensource software model to that of the global guerrilla warfare model.


Release early and often. Try new forms of attacks against different types of targets early and often. Don’t wait for a perfect plan.

Given a large enough pool of co-developers, any difficult problem will be seen as obvious by someone, and solved. Eventually some participant of the bazaar will find a way to disrupt a particularly difficult target. All you need to do is copy the process they used.

Your co-developers (beta-testers) are your most valuable resource. The other guerrilla networks in the bazaar are your most valuable allies. They will innovate on your plans, swarm on weaknesses you identify, and protect you by creating system noise.

Recognize good ideas from your co-developers. Simple attacks that have immediate and far-reaching impact should be adopted.

Perfection is achieved when there is nothing left to take away (simplicity). The easier the attack is, the more easily it will be adopted. Complexity prevents swarming that both amplifies and protects.

Tools are often used in unexpected ways. An attack method can often find reuse in unexpected ways.

really mind blowing ideas. it’s got me thinking a lot about how these kinds of ideas can be applied activism [though, i do hate that word].

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b3Y72

i got arrested once

well, actually, a hand full of times for miscellaneous activist stuff. the arrest in question, though, was at a critical mass that we had in bloomington, IN. it was the first event in our “week of resistance” to show our support for a fellow resistance figher, frank ambrose, who had been bogusly charged with tree-spiking (charges later dropped for lack of evidence) and to show the feds that we wouldn’t back down in the face of repression COINTELPRO tactics.

so everything was going fine. in a smallish college town of around 70,000 we had a critical mass of about 250-300 people. which is really really awesome. then tension between the swarm of cops and the hundreds of traffic blocking bicyclists hit a point of no return. cops starting pulling people off their bikes in the back of the ride. all hell breaks loose. and a bunch of us end of getting beat up and arrested. this picture was take of me being carried away by three cops. which i think is funny, because i weigh, like, 120. take note of the asshole on right of the picture. between the red and black flag and the cop. he’s the undercover cop that tackled me leading to my arrest. there was at least one other undercover in the ride. fortunately, the cops didn’t get there grubby paws on my bike. friends were able to smuggle it away.

critical mass arrest

this also happened that day. my long time friend and bandmate, ian phillips, was pulled off his bike, thrown to the ground, got a knee in the back and THEN got pepper sprayed. that pool of liquid coming from his face is pepper spray.

ian's critical mass arrest

anyhow, i found these two photos tonight while going through a box of old papers and arrest related stuff. thought i’d post them.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b3Y11