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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dia de Gracia Eterno

I was getting a few complaints about this blog being hard to read so I finally changed the template. I changed my anarchist black and slipped into something more comfortable.  Let me know if anybody still finds it hard to read.  [10:33 pm Dec 10.  Okay, I read the comments below and changed the template again, and I can keep changing it if it's still hard to read - no prob.  (This house computer won't let me put comments below)]

I also added to and revised the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website, and posted there the media myths thing I blogged about last time. There are still more FAQs I want to add, when I get time.

What a surreal last few weeks this has been.  Cody just hitch-hiked out of Moab to the Salt Lake City area to visit relatives.  This is the first in weeks we haven't been together.

Dia de Gracia
Cody and I camped up at the cave, as well as in the near-town camp, until I began a house-sit at my friends', Deb and Ray's, over Thanksgiving.  We threw a nice Thanksgiving bash, cooking up salmon and fresh cuisine a la dumpster.  I baked a couple apple-strawberry pies from scratch and some dinner roles.  And my parents joined us all the way from Fruita, Colorado.  Brer and Haila and their baby Veda came, too.  My old friend Damian popped in, too, along with my friend John from Provo.  I got to see Damian's mom, Louise, too, after not having seen her for a few years.  A grand and happy time was had by all.  My parents definitely lit up the party, and I was glad they loved my friends and my friends loved them.  I must say it's great to have parents who are proud of their vagabond son.

Freemeal and Friends

My friend Pete took Cody and me up to Arches park a couple times to hike around and hang out and sketch.  We make a freely freaky threesome. 
That's an arch at Klondike Bluffs, on the left, that we hung out at and sketched. On the right is Moab - downtown I think - although it doesn't look too familiar for some funny reason... oops... I guess that's Moab, Jordan!

And then freemeal!  Every day at noon!  It's Moab's hub of freaky fun and palate pleasing.  My friend Auggie bottom-lines it, and my friend Michael has been cooking a lot for it, lately.  All the food at freemeal is food that would otherwise end up in the garbage.  It's leftovers from the schools, restaurants, stores, and various and sundry other spots.  It's usually quite delicious and nutritious, even gourmet sometimes, but totally shwaggy and greasy at times, too.  And you couldn't ask for a better host of company.  It's not just about hunger for food, but hunger for free community.  It crosses all class lines, and you don't have to pay for the right to sit your bum (pun intended) down and hang out.   

After Deb and Ray's house-sit, Cody and I camped out again a few days before I had to start another house-sit at my friends Phil D and Anne's, along with my co-house-sitter and good friend, Phil B. 

As I said in the previous blog entry, people ask me to house-sit.  I never ask for house-sitting or seek it out.  I often refuse it when I feel the need to be in the wilderness.  This house-sit lasts for a couple months, so I'm hoping to take advantage of this time to write.

"Do you love anybody?"

Brer, Conrad, Cody and I had a big jam with didgeridoos, xylophones, the piano, drums, and our voices a few nights ago.  It was a kind of going-away jam for Cody.  It was beyond splendid.

The next day I got an email from a stranger simply asking:

"Do you love anybody?"

I started crying.  Yeah, strangely, it came the day Cody hitched out of town and I missed him terribly.
I told Cody he can now tell everybody that he came all the way to Moab and caused me to fall crazy in love with him.  Just when I'd thought I was immune to all that. Totally unexpected.  It's a grand test of whether or not my life conforms to my own philosophy: Love and Possession - Sex and Money
He's got a beautiful girlfriend back in Colorado he is madly and faithfully in love with, and he is young enough to be my son. In other words, I'm trying to pick up my heart weighed down by crushing, unrequited, romantic love. 

On the other hand, this is exactly what I need, to learn divine love that goes beyond romance, beyond male and female, eternal. This is what he and I have mutually, and it gives me unspeakable peace.  This divine compensation makes all other loves pale in comparison. 

Romantic love is blind. Real Love is crystal clear vision of All Reality. Romantic love believes what it wants to believe. Real Love sees what is. Romantic Love comes and goes and breaks your heart. Real love never fails, through thick and thin. Real Love is Eternal. Real Love is often hidden under and obscured by Romantic love, and (if you are open to All Truth) is revealed when romantic love collapses and the heart shatters. Real love makes no distinction between male and female, old or young, ugly or beautiful.

Yeah, I don't think it's just me.  My male and female friends can testify that an angel came to town and caused lots of people here to fall in love with him.
Now, on with life.  The night after Cody left, Brer and Chris spontaneously came by the house and whisked me away to another jam at Conrad's house.  It was absolutely splendid.  Exactly what I needed.

Now life is quiet again, sort of, I think, and I am mulling over what to do with these splendid gifts I'm being showered with, mixed in with my aching heart.  I always did like bittersweets.


  1. Thank you for the color change. Much better. I'm the reader with low-vision. (Macular Degeneration) I lived in my car in Moab, UT for awhile. Sorry I didn't know about you at the time. I spent a lot of time at the library. The rest I hiked around the whole area. Also stayed at that Lazy Lizard Hostel. In a year or two I hope to visit Moab again. I hope you're still there. I really want to learn how to do what you're doing. Thanks

  2. yep. it's still hard to read.

    don't mean to be a nitpicker, but I really want to read your ideas.

  3. Hi Suelo,

    So much easier to read now; thank you. I would have kept reading anyway :)

    And, as always, the pleasant niceties which you share from your life help me remember the fountain of gratuity within myself.

  4. I wrote a greasemonkey script for my browser so that it would swap your black background and white text for white background and black text. The new template is easier, but not as easy as what my script did to your old "anarchist" theme.

    Anyway, that freemeal thing sounds like a lot of fun. Moab sounds like a nice place.

  5. Interesting comments about love and Cody. As a heterosexual male, I sometimes think that bisexuals are extremely fortunate to be able to love anyone of either sex without reservation. Of course, if one only loves platonically, then sexual orientation becomes a moot point- without sexuality in the equation anyone would be free to love anyone else without reservation.


  6. Anonymous above - I like the idea of pansexuality instead. Though primarily heterosexual in desires myself, still identify with pansexuality on a spiritual level. I can appreciate both masculine and feminine sexual beauty without necessarily feeling desire.

    Suelo - you fill my heart with love and remind me to read Rumi. It is so good to see someone living the kind of life you do openly. Anytime you are in the Denver area and need anything give me a shout. No money or barter, just freely given conversation, coffee or a couch to crash on.

  7. Hi, blog looking good to read although not quite as exciting!
    Who said "To err is human,to love divine"? Or something.

  8. A few more comparisons tonight. Suelo you do remind me of many men. I've been compiling a list of heroes and you are on it. Not because I support any cult of personality, but because you live with true integrity that most people (myself included) only dream of. I may find myself on some parallel path to one of these eventually....

    So this is a list of kindred spirits or something.

    Winston Branko Churchill starved himself to death voluntarily. That was his path and his choice. I'm glad that Suelo has chosen to do it differently.

    Everett Ruess just up and disappeared in the wilds of Utah 75 years ago. Last summer they thought they finally found his bones, but that turned out not to be the case. Everett was physically pained at witnessing the beauty of the world and being unable to adequately express or capture it with his art.

    Of course, there's also Rumi who I mentioned earlier.

    Other heroes on my list:

    Will Phillips

    Phillip Spooner

    Anne Braden

    John Muir

    Judi Bari

    Henry David Thoreau

  9. My step father died friday, and I Just finished "into the wild" Chris McCandless adventure into alaska by Jon Krakauer. The love you express for cody is understandable in the eternal perspective. Relationships are beyond mortal understanding as are many other questions. Consider yourself blessed for having enjoyed the pleasant peace of oneness if only for a brief moment. Isn't it awsome. Thanks for sharing. Peace be with you.

  10. Thanks for the changes to font color!!!

  11. Oroboros, that's quite an impressive list of heroes!

    I think you might enjoy reading the essays of Sigurd Olson, who writes about living in the Minnesota wilderness for a lifetime (especially up near the Boundary Waters, one of this country's best kept secrets and most beautiful places-- and I've been to Glenwood Springs, CO.

    Sorry-- I don't know remember how to put links into blog comments, ;)

  12. Easier to read but the crow's too big. : )

  13. Hi. I really enjoy your writings and comments on the world around you. Your views are very refreshing.

    I am far from being moneyless, don't desire to be moneyless, but I do gain alot from your insight and reflection.

    on a side note, I read your posts in an RSS reader, and don't visit your site often enough to comment on the templates...

    all the best to you....

  14. hi michael-
    i have a lot of respect and admiration for you. your philosophy and lifestyle is so interesting! i tagged you for a silly little award over at my blog - if you'd rather not participate, i understand. take care!=)

  15. I have a question for you. How do you have access to a computer and internet? Not being facetious here, this is an honest question. I'm very interested in the way you live and would love to hear from you.

  16. Suelo, I am so, so glad to read your postings from your heart. Your newfound notoriety has had you answering a lot of questions and misunderstandings, plus you've blogged about philosophical questions and answers for a long time prior to this little bit of fame.

    I have been fascinated by your philosophical explorations, bored by your notoriety, and am now delighted and moved by your sharing of your heart. I would absolutely love to hear more about the way your life feels.

    You are important to me, and I love you.

  17. Daniel,

    It's good to hear from you again, and with a long house-sit on your hands, I hope to hear more from you soon. you inspire a lot of people here, myself included. I think you are living the life so many of us just dream of living, but are worried about breaking that societal umbilical that we are all attached to!
    Take care, and write again soon!!


  18. I read about you on I think the black font heading of this blog on the black bird makes the site difficult to read.

    I think living in a cave is very interesting.

  19. Indiana here.

    Hi Daniel
    I haven't dropped a line here for a while, but you are still read. Glad, things are going all right with you.
    And yes, the new colors in your blog are very helpful.

    I can answer that for Daniel, since it's really simple:
    Daniel goes sometimes to library. Besides that, he is a part time house-sitter.

  20. I picked up Kafka tonight and in the introduction ran across this:

    Kafka's metaphor of a man's transformation into vermin is unique not only because the change comes from the man himself, but also because it critiques modernity and the impossibility of living functionally within it. In this sense "The Metamorphosis" stands as one of the greatest indictments against work ever written

    Some day I hope to produce a shirt with the slogan Parasites Unite!.

  21. Hi Daniel,
    I want to help design your banner. Here's some first ideas. Let me know what you think.

    God Bless

  22. Merry Christmas, Daniel!


  23. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Daniel!!

  24. Hi Suelo,

    Still having fun designing your banner. I took all the background photos. I did eight more ideas for your title and moved them to my other blog here:

  25. not to be the downer in the bunch..

    But doesn't the Freemeal thing come at a cost to Someone? Imho, all food serving establishments should Stop making so much food that ends up in the trash. While giving it away free (whether getting it 'appropriately" or digging it out of the dumpster) the food servers are appeasing their consciences...but still buying/cooking/using too much food.

    Also, if you are using the internet, you are using a computer. Someone is paying the tab, so while You are living without money, you are not living without cost.

    All the feelgooders here may think I'm a cycnic. Let me say, I've Been homeless. I lived without money. But Someone paid for what I ate and what I used. It just wasn't me.

  26. Agreed. A something for nothing mentality is dishonest.

  27. elle, I get the same exact comment almost every day. Again, I recommend reading the FAQ.

    M, I totally agree that a something-for-nothing mentality is dishonest. Give and the same measure will be given back to you. Give, expecting no reward, no payment, and find out what this means.

  28. Michael -
    Your banner designs are splendid, & I've been debating on whether or not to use one of them. But I'm feeling the raven is essential. The raven is both a forager & a scavenger (not too proud to take civilization's wasteful excesses), able to live inside & outside civilization, able to live anywhere in the world without possessions. Plus, he's a grand symbol in myths/religions all over the world.

    Do you have raven photos in various backgrounds?

    I also prefer to keep the introductory text (though maybe it could be placed somewhere else).

    I'm at a different house-sit now, without computer access, so I'm not able to respond so often.

  29. I don't have any photos of ravens. If you have, please send. You can get my email from my blogger profile. If you don't have good pictures I'll get some. I will include your intro text also. Initially, I left out the intro because I wanted to understand how subtle changes in a minimalist design would affect mood or suggest a larger story. You've answered that question by explaining more about the raven. Thanks! : )

  30. i've been reading your website a lot and have become really fascinated with your ideas & ways of living. i follow Christ but also have many doubts about things and don't really know that much about other religions, and after reading the section on your website about different religions, i developed many questions, some of which are: what about in mark 12:17 when Jesus proclaimed, "give to caesar what is caesars and to God what is God's"? Jesus was answering a question to whether or not people should have to pay taxes to Caesar (can be more clearly viewed in mark mark12:13-17). how do you feel about this? also, you seem to believe that all religions have truth to them, which i agree, but you don't adhere to any certain one. how do you feel about Jesus proclaiming that he is the Son of God? that he is the savior for all the world's sins? although there are many truths to your ideas, you seem to pick and choose from each religion and focus on only money. what about the other ideas in each of the religions?

  31. @Kelley, Maybe my essay will help answer some questions. Check it out.

    Merry Christmas from Outer Space

  32. All ideologies need a devil and Suelo has choosed a fashionable one, money.

  33. If he uses a computer at a house-sit then he is exchanging services so therefore it isn't receiving something for nothing. If he goes to a library to use a computer than he is using a common resource we all paid for. Even if not paying tzxes presently I am sure he has paid his fair share in the past to justify the use of a computer in a library somewhere!

  34. If he is getting Internet access from a public library, he is then using the tax money from people that may not agree with his views. He is indeed getting something from nothing.

  35. "M, I totally agree that a something-for-nothing mentality is dishonest. Give and the same measure will be given back to you. Give, expecting no reward, no payment, and find out what this means."

    Answer: Really?. That sounds like naive self-delusion. Many unhappy people in the world today give their lives for others and never get anything in return. Is this what you are recommending?.

  36. Kelley,

    I have wondered about the idea of Jesus being the son of God when we're all supposedly children of God. Seems kind of like a false distinction.

    Another point: In Buddhism, bodhisattvas are beings dedicated to the enlightenment (ie salvation) of everyone. Interesting parallel to the story of Jesus.


  37. I am very suspicious of so called world saviors.

  38. Suelo:

    I have been reading your website and it seems you have expanded the quotes and resources. Very good to see this, because it's easier to draw parallels between different religions and philosophies.

    Not that I agree with those points of view. I think they are naive and misinformed, at least pertaining to economics, but it's common to see them in those who claim to be religious or marxist.

    Also, I agree with you in your asessment of those bankers who claim to be christian. Either they don't know what christianity is about, or more likely are bound to their religions by fear of an afterlife. Poor men, what a pity!.

  39. If you walk by an apple tree and an apple falls to the ground beside you, and you pick it up and eat it, are you stealing from the tree? No, you are enjoying the fruits of nature. People seem bothered that Suelo avails himself of freely available stuff that results from current human society, but I don't see it as much different that someone partaking of that which nature and the world offers. So he uses free internet at the library, so he has a free meal from surplus food. Those things are still going to be there whether he avails himself of them or choses not to. Then again, what if everyone did this? Yeah, that wouldn't work. That would be like a whole village trying to subsist off of one apple tree. They would take all the apples, nibble the leaves, and probably end up killing the tree. That's not enjoying the fruits of nature, that's abusing nature. What Suelo is doing, because it's the exception not the rule, and is in balance with things, is fine by me. And, he gives something in return. He writes his thoughts about being free from needing things and it serves as food for thought to us. I can see it could bother people if they feel he presents himself as "this is the way everyone should be", but I don't take it that way, I take it as he's saying "this is the way I am", not that I need to do it too, but I can still learn from him different ways to think about material wants and needs.

  40. I felt uncomfortable writing in previous comment that such-and-such is "fine by me", like I'm doling out judgement and permission, sorry, I didn't mean to sound like that. Also, after writing my previous comment I read the site's banner, where it says "Wild Nature...runs on...freely give, freely receive", that what's I was thinking of with the analogy of eating an apple.
    One thought I have: if we all lived in the right balance, could the world sustain 4-to-6 billion people? My instinct is that no, it wouldn't. I guess that demonstrates right there that we are out of balance. On the other hand, it can be viewed as an "achievement" that by devising systems of money, credit, capitalism, etc. mankind has been able to wring out of the world comfortable sustenance for 4-to-6 billion people. What did it really "achieve", though?
    Pardon me, I'm using the comment section to think out loud, I'll be quiet now.

  41. I'm finally at a computer that'll let me comment in my own blog!

    Michael, I'm liking the minimalist banner idea. When more time, I'd like to work with you.

    Kelley, about "render unto Caesar", I talk about it in the FAQ #15 in the website. I also talk of it in the blog entry, "Hallelujah", of Jan 12, 2007. About world religions & calling Jesus "the Son of God": I'm tempted to give a discourse, & love talking about it. But instead I'll challenge professed Christians or anybody that if we truly follow the very basics of our own religion we can't help but see it is the same as all religions. What good does it do to say Jesus is the Son of God or the Savior of the world if nobody practices what he teaches? Has it born any good fruit for 2000 years? "Why do you call me Lord, Lord and don't do what I say?" That's my challenge. Practice what you know Jesus teaches, then I dare say you'll understand what "Son of God" and "The Way, the Truth, and the Life" really means or doesn't mean. I dare say you'll see that all religions are One. We can start with, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Try this with other people's beliefs (or non-beliefs!). Consider that they could be true, because you expect them to consider your beliefs true. It's called Agape Love.

    Daniel, thanks. Food for thought. I would clarify that if everybody freely gave & freely received, rather than working for credits, that all people on earth could live sustainably, as nature runs sustainably. That's not saying everybody should live in a cave & scavenge. So how does this happen? One person at a time, patiently, giving, expecting no credit, not worrying about whether or not somebody else is "contributing." Right now, the system is not sustainable. This we know.

  42. i'm sorry, for some reason i assumed your name was michael. whoopsie. =)

  43. Suelo, I understand why your way fo life is so inspiring to your followers. But you look ridiculous when you try to extrapolate those ideas to the real world. It is not realistic, at least at a large scale.

  44. These ideas are bound to look ridiculous to lots of folks. It would be impossible for you not to step up to fulfill this role of seeing me this way, my friend. Nothing new ever started out looking realistic or significant. A cottonwood seed! That's the miracle of nature, called faith.

  45. i like the name michael, kelli, & would take it if you call me that.

  46. Things are starting to change. These are a few of my favorite things that are free and also profitable enough to allow the creators to continue. Blender 3D, Nina Paley's film Sita Sings the Blues, Firefox, UNIX, Joe Franks blog, John K's blog. How could such a thing happen? It seems people really just want to contribute to evolution using their skills and passion.

  47. To put it more directly to the skeptics, it takes time and courage to find what we're so good at that we can give it away and people will support us for it. Suelo and the others mentioned above have done just that.

  48. What about Wikipedia?. The funny thing is that it's founder Jimmy Wales is a follower of Ayn Rand.

    Has Suelo read Rand?.

  49. Poor Miguel. This lost and ignorant sole thinks Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Wikipidia is nothing more than a tabloid for the uneducated and severely misinformed. Please Miguel, work on substantiating the facts.

    Miguel, stop passing judgment on a man for what he is doing and believes in. Or are you just jealous?

    I doubt Miguel is a legal citizens of the United States.

  50. Instead of worrying about me, you should worry about your lack of manners, ethics and education. Your thoughtless words not only show the poor quality of your intellect but the rotteness of your morality.

    Read again what I said. I am not passing judgement on Jimmy Wales, just mentioning how an objectivist can create a wonderful service as Wikipedia. It illustrates why you don't need to preach altruism or mysticism to create a non-profit, it seems.

    Is is you the one who is passing judgement. And it shows how ignorant you are of Wikipedia's usability and quality. Not to mention your weak judgement of other people and things.

    Finally, I am not a citizen of the United States, as I not even live there. Don't they teach people in school there are other countries besides the US?. I am amazed at how ignorant people can be.

  51. What did you "try" to say?????

  52. Your problem is far worse that I thought. Not only you are ignorant, but you are an illiterate as well.

    Please learn how to read before trying to understand what I say. You can not read by will force alone.

  53. Miguel, my Pupit.., come again?

  54. Get a really good shrink, you need it.

  55. You should be ashamed, that a person living in a poor South American country, where I was born, can write more coherent sentences in english than you can.

    I would recommend you ask for your money back to the schools that "educated" you, or the goverment if it was public education.

    It is clear you got a lousy education and that you got fooled on the price you paid for it.

  56. Oh, Miguel, Miguel, Miguel,

    I suggest, that you stop trying to flatter yourself and stow your impotent ego. And please abort your poor attempt at intellectualism. It's obvious to see that you have a long, long way to go with your education. Although, you do write fairly well. But keep working on it. Who knows, maybe some day, you will be "able" to write? First, learn to write and "then", try your hand at being an intellectual. Writing and intellect are both gifts and both apparently,still evade you.

    Now, please let me restructure your last sentence "for" you. Which should have read:

    It is clear that you "have" a "poor" education and you "were" fooled "for" the price you paid.

    For today, the English class is over. Oh and by the way, notice the word English is capitalized.

  57. Jeez! Should have known it was only a matter of time before an argument erupted between Miguel and someone else.

    I've argued with Miguel on this blog and made what I consider to be a kind of peace with him. I disagree with Miguel's underlying philosophy, but I respect him for providing a counterpoint to Suelo and asking pointed questions.

    For once I'm actually tempted to side with Miguel in an argument because of the racism implied in the postings of 'Anonymous'. Assuming that Miguel isn't a legal resident of the US just because he has a Hispanic name is just jumping to an unwarranted conclusion! Someone with the name Miguel could have North American ancestry that predates the Mayflower. As far as "English" lessons, Miguel writes a lot better in English than some American grad students that I've taken classes with. Errors can be forgiven even from highly educated English speakers. The 'Anonymous' of this exchange should try writing his or her criticisms in Spanish and see how well that turns out!

    Feliz ano nuevo, Miguel! (I know that ano without the accent over the n means something other than 'year', but I can't insert that character with my keyboard, so please forgive the vulgarity.)


  58. Dearest Ken,

    Thank you for your pontifications and prognosis. I also doubt that you are an American citizen as well. But most of all, thank you for your inept ability to write or convey your message in Spanish. In case you haven't noticed, this is the United States of America and an English speaking society. It's not my obligation to learn a different language. My ancestors have been here for umpteen decades and learned to speak the nation's language.

    Since you think you are such an authority about language, the next time you travel to China, Brazil, France, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc., you can always fall back on "your" inability to speak and command the English language.

    Good luck Ken. I'm sorry that your illiterate collage mates rubbed off on you. That explains much.

  59. MIguel I don't get your point that if someone uses a public computer that if they have a different belief from else they are using something for nothing. Everyone using a public computer will have different beliefs than someone else somewhere. Therefore, thats why its a common resource. Its not shared due to common beliefs thats an irrelevant point. Its there for anyone to use regardless of beliefs. I do like the apple tree analogy. If the apple tree goes bare because of use what do you do? Plant more trees!

  60. I sometimes wonder why people assume the only way to "contribute" is to do it in exchange for money. From what I can see, most money is exchanged from the poorer to the richer among us. So when we talk about getting something from nothing, we ought to be looking at those with lots more money than any of us has.

    Also, why is it considered okay to take things from nature and then sell them for profit but it is considered "freeloading" to take discarded things from the waste of industrial society?

    And so what if one guy, the only guy in the whole country, uses the internet at the library without paying taxes? He can use my share of electrons at the library if that makes you feel any better. I'm not using it.

  61. Judi and Piper,

    Are you too, both, as intellectually challenged as Miguel?

  62. To the Anonymous who is talking all the BS...
    You call Miguel and others illiterate, yet you spell college wrong, and you talk about your American ancestry, then use the term "mates" which is typically a common British or Australian term! why don't you take your hate mongering somewhere else! this is a blog for those with a real interest in what Suelo is doing, NOT a spelling test or proof of American citizenship!! grow up, and drop the hate!!

  63. Look Simpleton, I have never written anything with the word Collage in my text. You must be feeling inferior.

  64. You say tomato. I say,.... fuck you.

  65. Suelo,

    You wrote something that implied that there would be enough resources for all 6-7 billion of us if we contributed what we could and took what we needed. Is this a correct interpretation? I'm always curious about how people perceive the human footprint on the planet in relation to carrying capacity.

    -Ken (one of many sentient beings 1st, member of the human species 2nd, American citizen 3rd)

  66. To anonymous No not all. All facultities working here. Of course its easy to be rude and anonymous at the same time. You just be socially challenged,

  67. Judi,

    After following these discussions for a while, it's been my observation that occasionally someone shows up who just wants to stir up trouble rather than engage in constructive discussion. An attempt to engage them in constructive discussion will often morph into a protracted argument. They aren't interested in learning or correcting the errors of their thinking; they are only interested in winning an argument. I found it's best to recognize these rabble rousers for what they are (drama queens) early on and deprive them of the attention that they so desperately seek.

    I supposed it could be argued that I'm giving anonymous attention through this comment or attacking him/her/it in a passive aggressive way. Perhaps that's true on a certain level, but I also wish to offer some insight into dealing with this kind of commenter. As tempting as it may be to stamp out ignorance, point out fallacies, defend your own ego, and insult someone who is offensive; all of that only feeds into the offensive behavior.

    Granted, it is a difficult temptation to resist!


  68. "Anonymous said...

    ...enough resources for all 6-7 billion of us if we contributed what we could and took what we needed. Is this a correct interpretation? I'm always curious about how people perceive the human footprint on the planet in relation to carrying capacity."

    According to Peter Singers' 1999 New York Times essay if we are getting and spending more than 30k per household we are taking more than our share. I've contacted Mr. Singer about his sources. His response:

    I suggest you contact them for an update on it, as inflation must have increased it, and for details of their methodology.
    best wishes"

    I've contacted the Conference Board. I know they've received my inquiry but they never responded. If there's anyone with some clout reading this please write them and get back to me because I need this info to continue with my project of mapping over-consumption down to the neighborhood level.

  69. Piper makes me smile. Now I can tell folks she graciously gave me her share of electrons!

    Michael - I don't know stats, but I am certain there are enough resources to feed, clothe, & shelter all the earth's population. But most our resources are not going toward needs, but going toward toys & addictions & transporting food from one end of the world to another that could be grown in our own back yards! I'm quite sure there's enough food & goods thrown away in just the US alone, to feed & clothe the whole starving world. (Still, I wouldn't mind a reduction in population).

    Miguel, my friend (yeah, I feel friendship to you), I'm elated that you, not I, brought up Wikipedia! It's divine, a prime example of how anonymous volunteerism works & flourishes, invading corporate civilization! What drives humans to create & maintain it for no pay, no credit?? Complaints about Wikipedia are bogus, since it has no more mistakes than does Britannica, & it is a living, changing organism, like the brain, unlike Britannica. It's raw & organic. The fact it was started by an Ann Rand fan makes me smile. My cousin surprised me & told me my philosophies sounded much like Rand's (much to my chagrin) & gave me Atlas Shrugged. I found I like much of her objectivist philosophy, though not her views on Capitalism & her ignoring whole sides of intuitive intelligence, called mysticism. We already see how her capitalist ideas are a disaster in the USA now (Latin countries like Columbia have yet to burn themselves out on on "free" enterprise, so it's still novel & exciting to them). Also, one of Rand's prime philosophies is that reality exists whether or not we are conscious of it. She betrays her philosophy by willingly refusing to be conscious of mystic intelligence, then saying it is not real. She was a genius in rational intelligence, but retarded in intuitive intelligence.

  70. Oh I know Ken! Ayn Rand's theories may sound good in thought but impratcial in practice except for a select few.

  71. Though I haven't actually read Rand's work, I've gotten the impression that she and her followers are more interested in promoting free enterprise because it appeals to their ideas of how the world should be rather an having an earnest belief that it's the best system. Conversely, I get the feeling that most socialists are guilty of a similar bias in the direction of their own philosophy. I would like to see an pragmatic economic/social system in place: One that focuses on meeting everyone's basic physical needs- such as food, shelter, and health care- without compromising intrinsic needs- such as freedom and dignity.

    Michael: $30K a year is more optimistic than I would have thought, but if that's the cutoff there is room to hope. It should be possible to live pretty well on $30K a year if needs are kept separate from wants.

    Suelo: I agree that too many of our resources go toward toys. I can't help thinking that it would be far better to invest any surplus of our economy in improving quality of life in a real way (in the vein of the Bhutanese "gross national happiness" rather than the western "gross national product"). Once that's taken care of, it would be nice to devote the surplus to developing long term sustainability. After all, by some estimates we should have another 500 million years before the sun changes to make the Earth uninhabitable. In any case, I can't help wishing that we (as a species or a nation) had some higher goal to unite and focus on.


  72. I wasn't going to respond to what Michael and Ken were saying, but I have to say this... I'm not sure where people live that think they can get by with "just the needs" for $30k a year, but it must not be here in North Western, PA.. most of the people I know, including myself, live on ALOT less than that a year, and never consider ourselves as needy or lacking...I guess it just depends on where you live....$30k here is a decent income!! I have to laugh when I read that people are having a "hard time living" because they times are bad and they now "only" make $30k or $40k a year; maybe these folks have there "needs" and "wants" confused!! more people need to learn that they don't need a $200,000 home and a new car to "live"! comfortably!!

  73. Rob:

    I actually think that $30k a year is more than enough. In fact, it would probably be possible to raise a family on that in many parts of the country. One thing that I like about the $30k figure is that it should be possible to live on significantly less than that so that some could be saved for a leaner year.

    Of course, where one is living could have a lot to do with how far it goes. In small towns and rural areas it would be plenty of money, but I imagine it would be tough to get by on that in suburban areas that members of my family live in! Interestingly enough, I know people who live in suburbs, make in excess of $150k a year, and just about break even! Can't help thinking that I could use that money much more effectively.



  75. Happy new year.
    Very nice website.
    I am impressed.
    I like it very much.

  76. I just learned about a book called Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson that might be of interest to some. I learned about this because earlier today a Boulder, CO company called Spark Fun Electric gave away $100,000 in Merchandise, max $100 per person if they paid shipping. They cited the Anderson book as part of their rationale.

    You can argue that having to pay S&H isn't free, but I understand they were also allowing local pickups. It seems "fair" to me.

  77. Sorry, the better link to the free copy of the e-book version of Anderson's work is here.

    There's an MP3 audio archive of the book in my link above too however, for people who prefer to listen than read.

  78. Namaste Suelo,
    I just learned about you and your blog and am intrigued. Thank you for sharing.
    I hope you don't mind, but I am quoting your paragraph about Real Love vs. Romantic Love on my blog.

  79. Yes that paragraph about Real Love vs Romantic Love was very deep! I look forward to reading all the FAQ on his home site.

    I wonder how to give up our routine/rituals for his? I mean the nice bed, pillow,electric lights etc? And how he sometimes house sits then goes back to his cave... but then not to be caught up in this rat race being able to sleep in and keep your own hours must be nice.

    I don't think I could do it like him but only with a family of friends as the fear and loneliness of the wilderness discourages me. I even think I would want a gun for protection as there is so much evil in the world. I lost a brother in the rurals when I was a child to some crazies. Even now in the city I even lock my bedroom door at night to sleep securely. But I do admit all the stuff I owe is so depressing that I wish I had just the bare necessities of life woulld be so liberating!