My friend Joe Atwill came to visit me in Auckland, and we wanted to do a show talking about what it means to be a truther, and how to be the best one you can be.
My friend Joe Atwill came to visit me in Auckland, and we wanted to do a show talking about what it means to be a truther, and how to be the best one you can be.
It seems I’m not the only one. Burning Man’s first Chief Technology Guru, Brian Behlendorf, is one of the whales of the tech industry.
BB went on from Burning Man to Davos and the World Economic Forum, and is on the board of the EFF and popular “secure” communications app Wickr. He also used to run the SFRaves mailing list. Oh, and half of the entire World Wide Web runs on his Apache web server – which is open source.
His plan to fight fake news? Put Snopes on the blockchain. Get the list of “what’s fake news” and record that on the blockchain so everyone can rely on it as absolute fact.
The title of the video is “what if the Internet could not tell a lie”, but in fact what he is describing is a single source on the Internet telling us what is a lie and what isn’t – driven by Snopes.
There has been a massive purge of “alternative news” channels and videos on YouTube since the Progressives were defeated in the election by a huge margin. Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Snopes and Reddit were all caught trying to silence conservative voices and stories, while promoting all sorts of things from cultural marxism to communism to child abuse to cannibalism.
Meanwhile, the Snopes founder spent all the company’s money on hookers and blow – and then hired the hookers to be fact-checkers and married one of them. You couldn’t make this shit up. Not only that but he just easily crowdsourced nearly a million bucks more, despite this abysmal track record of fraud allegations over the use of company funds for personal pleasures.
This is who Brian Behlendorf thinks we should use on the blockchain to determine “truth” once and for all? Yes, seriously, it is. Watch the video.
In other bizarro alt-media news, Alex Jones of InfoWars also married an escort…allegedly.
Who says any of these organizations should just be assigned the role of determining complex arguments, such as the JFK Assassination – where the CIA just “lost” an entire volume of their files on Lee Harvey Oswald, after years of stonewalling their release. Are we to believe the official conspiracy theory of 9/11, 19 hijackers with box cutter knives? The University of Alaska just completely debunked the official story about the collapse of Building 7, which was not hit by any plane – so what is true? The official government story, or the scientific conclusions? Why not record the case for and against any topic under debate, present the evidence for both sides, and let the people decide what they find most compelling.
Snopes, Google and Facebook do not deserve to become the arbiters of truth. What ever happened to Objective Truth, “truth is truth”?
There is only one truth, everything else is just opinion. Let the truth speak for itself, and if there are questions over truth or arguments of “alternative facts”, let’s get them ON THE RECORD too. Get all the evidence out, record the Grammar and the Rhetoric, let the people use Logic and decide for themselves. We need the pertinent facts and documents out there in the public domain. And then debate their existence, authenticity, or relevance.
What we actually need is to use the blockchain to record truth and facts. Record all the stories around a topic – even the rumors – and let people expand on them or deny them with opinions and evidence. Like WikiPedia, but one that can’t be censored for political or other, more shadowy reasons. Bitcoin is not really suitable for something like this, Ethereum is better with its smart contracts capability, but both these blockchains are busy doing financial transactions. What is needed is links to an immutable data store like the Internet Archive. In some cases the amount of data around a topic (such as JFK, or Burning Man) will be very large. Other topics, such as disaster relief using the blockchain, are newer and easier to get one’s head around with less controversial content.
The point I agree with BB on is that decentralized, distributed ledger technology is the best hope we have to fight against censorship. Will the solution come from those deep within the Deep State? Or from We The People?
In part 2, we lay out some of the Where and When of this story. It’s free, amateur content, based on Open Source Intelligence. Please forgive some minor slips of the tongue; references for the claims are in the notes to each slide.
Please download and share this video widely, they are trying to suppress it.
Part 1 starts here. There is a lot of information, a lot of ground to cover, a lot of foundations to lay. Burning Man is not just a rave. There is much more to it, and when we look at it in its proper historical and geographical context, an incredible story unfolds.
Audio-only Podcast: Gnostic Media Episode 247
Yesterday I shared some of my personal Burning Man stories. How I first got caught up in this thing. Even though Cargo Cult was not so long ago, a lot has happened in my life since then.
I have tickets for this year, and my plan is to attend…if they’ll have me. Which is the point of this post. Are we really all welcome? Even the critics? Even people who speak truth, and debunk propaganda? How far does Radical Inclusion really stretch?
If you speak out against the Ruling Group, do you get blacklisted (like a cult)? Or is this truly a city of freedom and inclusion?
I started this blog in February 2012 to comment on what is being said about Burner culture on the Internet. Since we began, the global Burning Man hype has been catapulted to unprecedented levels. Now, I’m not claiming sole credit for that. New stories about Burning Man appear in the media at least once per week, giving me a steady stream of content to share opinions about. How do those stories get there? BMOrg’s team of at least half a dozen full time PR staff may have contributed; The Simpsons and Oprah sure didn’t hurt. Having a year-round Burning Man reporter embedded at the Reno Gazette-Journal didn’t hurt either.
In that context, 1500 stories about Burning Man going to an audience of millions is just more momentum to the avalanche…
Bringing truth into an environment constructed upon propaganda and magical thinking has not occurred without ruffling a few feathers. That’s the nature of truth.
I feel that we have been successful in waking some people up. But for every Burner who may have seen the light, there’s at least one who has been brainwashed into thinking we’re the Enemy.
As Bohemian Grover Mark Twain once said, “it’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled”
This year Burning Man celebrates its 30th anniversary. Attendance is higher than ever, ticket prices are higher than ever, demand is higher than ever. Everything seems great, right? Why do I have to complain, when it’s clearly all just swell?
At the same time, we’re told “we’re saving the world”. That’s good, right? Surely we can just talk about how we’re saving the world, rather than complaining?
Well, I would love to. But it’s not up to me: I don’t hold the purse strings of their nearly $40 million annual budget. We have to look at where the money gets spent. Is it really going towards world-saving activities?
The best the Org could come up with at their recent Global Leadership Conference was $3000 of art grants split between 4 projects. And they think this is making the world a better place? IT’S TWO DA VINCI TICKETS AND A VEHICLE PASS. Plus tax, handling fees per item, $22 to post a letter, etc.
That’s what the new 2016 innovation of “Art Tickets” bought. A total of 2 of these VIP tickets were used for doing good in the world. The other *cough* 998? We will probably never know what happened to that money.
Just the increase in vehicle passes from $40 last year to $50 this year brings BMOrg an extra quarter of a million dollars cash. For providing nothing. And we’re supposed to bow and scrape about this $3k?
Nobody could really be that stupid. Which makes me wonder if this is all some sort of giant Kool-Aid test. How much bullshit can we dump on this community and still get away with it?Ticket and art budget shenanigans being two recent cases in point.
They’ve employed Ministers for Propaganda for 23 of their 30 years. Their magickal cauldron is called the Devil. The event takes place inside a pentagon, with satellite images freely available. It is all right there in everyone’s face. No irony required.
Over the last few years, in addition to writing this blog I have also been working on a book about the Shadow History of Silicon Valley. It has been an intriguing, surprising, baffling, and exhausting adventure. There is no “Hero’s Journey” here for me. I am no longer trying to discover myself, or figure out how the world works. I know how the world works – and it scares me. There should be more people trying to spread awareness, to break people out of their trance. Instead, society is being deliberately dumbed down. Propaganda, logical fallacies, and cultural Marxism rule the day. Facts like “vaccine problems get prosecuted in a secret court“ get conflated with propaganda like “anti vaxxers are ignorant and want to kill little kids”. Or “Trump supporters are all racist Nazis”.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” George Orwell, 1984
Why should you care? Maybe you shouldn’t. Nobody is forcing you to read this blog. I am just writing to share my opinions to whoever is interested. The BJ is doing that too, and if you like their propaganda better than our facts, then please enjoy.
I am researching the history of computers. Burning Man plays a small but important part in this story.
I am certainly not trying to harm Burning Man in any way by learning about it and writing about it. I love Burning Man. I think everyone should go at least once in their lives. What drew me to this party in the first place was the idea of experimenting in different ways of civilization. Let’s get back to that.
I have chosen a very specific channel for publishing my research at this time: Gnostic Media. Jan Irvin’s work is founded on the Trivium Method, which I encourage everyone of any age to learn. It is one of the most powerful tools I have in my life, one of the few antidotes to propaganda that I have ever discovered. It is a framework you can use to relate to your reality. This happens to be the claim made by the “Hero’s Journey” framework that Esalen promotes:
The main difference that I see between the two frameworks is that the Trivium Method encourages you to focus on facts and what is known and visible to the five senses. It encourages logic, analysis, and critical thinking. The Monomyth Method, on the other hand, encourages groupthink and magical thinking. It is excellent for consensus decision making, inclusion of minority viewpoints, positive emotions, a sense of teamwork, and a feeling that we are all one. It is woefully inadequate for r/K selection theory K breeding of closely knit clusters of success.
I believe that to survive and thrive in the new digital world we need to rely on the most ancient of skills: Grammar (Who/Where/When/What), Logic (Why), and Rhetoric (How). If you get the grammar right – meaning that you have a clear understanding of Who the players are, Where everything is happening, and the timeline of what is going on – then the What, How, and Why can become self-evident: they unfold automatically.
The Magical Thinking Propaganda method means that you use words and charisma to trigger peoples’ emotions. You want them connecting to the leader and following them; you don’t want them thinking too much about the Why, How, and What. Using this method, you can lead people into doing illogical things that are against their own self interest. Drugs and hypnosis can be used to enhance suggestibility.
The Trivium Method wants us to consider crystal clear facts, and identify speculation and contradictions. As much as possible we use primary source documentation. Whenever we quote someone, we are quoting them verbatim. We provide citations and references supporting our claims. References used by the Magical Thinking method will most often be to prior examples of Magical Thinking, that are presented as authoritative.
Disciples of the Magical Thinking method will say that the Trivium Method is negative and fear based, or they will otherwise try to discredit it. They will say that their positive methods uplift people, while negative approaches only hold people down and create limitations.
The Trivium is thousands of years old, and is the basis for a classical education. If the results of applying it are negative, it is because what is being considered is negative to begin with. Magical Thinking is only ever positive; reality is relative, something to be distorted and manipulated.
Which one should you believe? Magical thinking says trust the charismatic leader. Trust the cult that wants to disconnect you from the outside world. The Trivium Method says learn how to do your own research and make up your own mind. We present facts and evidence; consider them. We don’t say “our method is superior”. We say “prove us wrong!” It is significant that competing philosophies do not share such a focus on the truth.
Think for yourself, question authority.
What would I have to gain from lying to you? Money? What money? This is free. I’m not selling any thousand dollar tickets. Power? What power? Burning Man doesn’t impress people any more. There’s no power in blogging. Friends? I have plenty. If anything I could lose social capital from this course. Ego? I would be better off writing my own memoir than studying the exploits of others.
If you doubt my motivation, perhaps allow your head to entertain for a moment the possibility that I am an honest man with good intentions. If I was, then what would I do? How would it look different from what I’m doing right now? I am putting my good name (already smeared by these people) and perhaps even the health and wellbeing of myself and my family on the line. For what gain?
What if there actually isn’t an expectation of gain? What if it is about Gifting, and Communal Effort? Noblesse oblige. Leaving someone else’s alleged principles aside, what if I really want to Leave A Big Fucking Trace? Something permanent, that might last beyond my years. The same Beasts the Founding Fathers tried to fight – Tyranny, Secret Societies, Central Banking, and Imperialism – are alive and well, and stronger than ever. Now in the 21st century becoming smarter and smaller and less visible, attacking our very minds and even our souls with electronic, chemical, biological, and anthropological weapons.
We, humans, our species, we need to wake up – urgently. Corporations and Artificial Intelligences should not be allowed to become the apex predator species on this planet. They can never be punished, never be jailed. Who do they account to? We have had 2 full Presidential terms since the Wall Street crimes of 2007-8, which have been clearly exposed in movies like The Big Short, Inside Job, Margin Call, Too Big To Fail…not to mention all the mainstream media. And yet, nobody gets in trouble. Why not? Why do we just passively accept corruption, corporate coups, and human rights abuses? Am I supposed to just sit down, shut up, and take it? ARE YOU?
If you’re still wondering WTF I’m talking about, please allow me some time. It’s taken me three years to get to the point where I can publicly share this research. The introduction is more than 2 hours because there is a lot of ground to cover. [I’ll try to make the next part shorter, I promise!] I think you’ll find it interesting, I certainly have putting it all together.
Am I trying to hurt Burning Man or the Org? Absolutely not. I love Burning Man. Everyone should go, at least once. See for yourself. Be inspired at what there is in this world, Disneyland, the Maker Movement, Art Basel, and Spring Break all wrapped up together. That’s still – after 30 years – a pretty unique and special combination, no matter who’s pulling the strings.
I have made an effort to place my research into a broader historical context, which should not in any way impede the Burning Man Project’s ability to raise donations and Black Rock City LLC’s ability to sell tickets. I am not responsible for any organizational turnover or management issues within that group of companies – which recent times have seen a lot of.
I’m just a Burner, checking things out for myself, doing the research, and sharing it with you all, for free. Open your mind, or not, it’s up to you, I’m not preaching anything but truth. After truth comes reconciliation. I hope that then, the creativity and advancement of humans can truly be unleashed.
A Burning Man artist has responded to my request for feedback in yesterday’s post Follow the Money, with a most interesting tale.
From Anonymous Burner:
Thanks very much for sharing that. The artist raises some good points.
Specifically, from a $3 million budget, the numbers work out to:
$1,290,000 Art (43%)
$570,000 Admin (19%)
$1,140,000 Services (38%)
Heavy Equipment Rental was $2.45 million in 2014.
From a $1.2 million Black Rock City art budget, in 2016 they are paying for:
60 Honoraria art projects. Partial grants, artists have to raise most of the project costs themselves
33 Guild Workshops. Regional projects. Projects required to raise almost all the funding and supply personnel themselves.
The “Turning Man” contraption
The Temple. Partial grant, artists who “win” the project have to raise most of the funding themselves
A blacksmith shop
Possible other sculptures
Is the $90,000 what gets spent on art across Burners Without Borders, Black Rock Arts Foundation, Burning Man Arts, and all the other non-Playa activities?
[Update 3/15/16 5:44pm]
The artist has responded to some of the questions raised in our comments. emphasis ours