Smokes your problems, coughs fresh air.

Category: Society

Exhaling on YouTube

I’ve created a YouTube channel separate from my private account and branded it “BigSmoke”. The channel’s purpose is to breathe some fresh air into some online discussions that I follow(ed). Actually, the content is the sort of content that I used to want to put more of on BigSmoke, but which I now found to be better suited for long-form discussions than for laying down my views from some ivory tower.

The first three puffs of fresh air feature my brother Jorrit:

  1. In the first puff, recorded shortly after he (and me too for the nth time) quit caffeine. The cue for me to want to do that podcast (and stop putting off this creative endeavor indefinitely) was when he told me that quitting caffeine took a heavier toll on his body and mind than did quitting smoking and drinking at the same time a few months earlier. I though that that was a great story to put into perspective that yes, caffeine really is a serious, addictive drug that can interfere not just with your dreams but actually with your dreaming!

    Production-wise, the worst part of this first podcast is that my face is tiny, because I used Google Meet and neglected to install a browser extension to undo its limited layout support or to even just click my own face when I was talking.

  2. The 2nd puff of fresh air centered around meaning. Without the caffeine in my system, I was having more trouble than usual to find the meaning in my “mostly for money” job that’s really doing nothing to make the world a better, more beautiful place. Also, my self-discipline had declined to a long-time, leaving too little time and energy around work-work for more creative meaningful endeavors (such as doing podcasts).

    There was a bit of a production problem with my 2nd puff of fresh air. The one published is a re-iteration of the same discussion we had some days before that but for which I recorded an empty audio stream of my docking station’s unconnected microphone input instead of the audio stream of the laptop port in which my microphone was actually plugged in. At least I did find Jitsi, which allowed easier side-to-side video frames.

  3. In the 3rd puff of fresh air, we zoom in on some topics that we brushed past in the 2nd without really touching. I talk about my pain and shame of being mostly just another cooperating cog in the machine that is wreaking planetary-scale havoc and that is grinding ecosystems all over the world out of existence. Jorrit’s focus is on the harm that’s done to human happiness by our culture (and also the “away with us” culture of which I’m sometimes a part). We try to make our visions on self-discipline collide, but we end up finding more agreement than we expect. Most of our disagreement turns out to be superficially bound to societal structures which we both would rather see transformed than preserved in their current sickly form.

    We switched back to Google Meet for this 3rd recorded conversation, because the free Jitsi server we used was performing shakily that day.

Dubai as an example for us all

Some Oct 2 2012 wisdom from SlashDot user fuzzyfuzzyfungus: “Dubai is an example of the glorious harmony between (middle) east and west! A city that wraps the middle east’s robust traditions of rule of law and enlightenment liberalism and the west’s values of sober financial honesty in the civic-planning expertise of Vegas developers on PCP… Truly, an example for us all.”

Humanity Lobotomy – The Importance of Net Neutrality

In the early days, radio used to be a two-way communication system. Radio communication played a part in social, religious and political dialogs between people. Later, big corporations like NBC and CBS produced 97% of nighttime broadcasting in the United States; all courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission. We cannot let them do the same to the internet.

Push the limits

Besides making good music, Enigma also writes meaningful lyrics. A quote from “Push the Limits”, from the album “The Screen Behind the Mirror”, by Enigma:

Don’t submit to stupid rules
Be yourself and not a fool.
Don’t accept average habits
Open your heart and push the limits.

The irony of this is, that while most people agree with this, they don’t really understand it or put it into practice. This was true for me personally as well. It’s all too easy to accept consensus reality without a second thought. But this consensus reality is often misleading and it can be hard to oppose it, mostly because of social reasons.

Anyway, my suggestion for today is: read the quote again and apply it. Allow your doubts to float to the surface and express them, because I know those doubts are there.

Ron Paul: Going the Distance

Here I am again with a message about Ron Paul. He asks not to give up, even though election victories are already practically claimed, prematurely of course. He also wants to organize a march to Washington D.C., to give the media something they can’t ignore, like they usually do.

Take a look at this campaign update.

https://youtu.be/ryMliyeIDp4

And learn more about the revolution march.

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