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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Decade Dents

A decade has passed already!  The last one totally went out in a blast.  My head is swimming.

Before I get started, I decided to add a quote from Joanna Douglas in this news release about corporate greed, confirming what I constantly witness all over this country:

This week the New York Times reported a disheartening story about two of the largest retail chains. You see, instead of taking unsold items to sample sales or donating them to people in need, H&M and Wal-Mart have been throwing them out in giant trash bags. And in the case that someone may stumble on these bags and try to keep or re-sell the items, these companies have gone ahead and slashed up garments, cut off the sleeves of coats, and sliced holes in shoes so they are unwearable. [to read the full article, go to Yahoo's Shine]

I would also add that most these items are made by underpaid workers in overseas sweatshops so you can buy them cheap.  Please settle in your mind that you'd rather starve or go naked than to buy anything at Wal Mart or H&M.  Please.



Domestic Life

I'm still in Moab.  It's like Siberia here.  People don't remember it snowing here so much, and so frigid.  But I'm being soft, still house-sitting at my friends', Ann and Phil D's, with my co-house-sitting friend Phil B, two Australian shepherds, a cat, six fish, and lots of plants. 




Life was fairly mellow over the holidays.  I took a break critter/house-sitting from this house, leaving it in Phil B's hands, and critter/house-sit for my friend, Drew.  He had some interesting books to read and videos to watch.  I read a biography of Byron Katie (she's amazing), the Upanishads, the writings of Chuang Tzu, and Money and the Meaning of Life, by Jacob Needleman.  I'd recommend Needleman's book if you want to look at money through a bit different lenses than my own.  Drew has the series of Kung Fu episodes (that old 70s series), and I watched a few.  It reminded me how that show was part of what inspired me to live as I do today.

Oh, yeah, Drew's neighbor, Charlie, went away for the holidays, too, so I got to cat-sit for him, too.  Charlie has been amazingly generous with me.  He helps me with bicycle repair, is letting me use one of his working bikes, and has offered to give me one of his old bikes when I fix it up, as well as a bicycle for my new friend Yolanda (I'll be talking about her in a sec). 

I went to the community dinner on Christmas day, a bash for the whole town of Moab put on by theWabi Sabi thrift store folks.

Interior Life
I've been doing a lot of contemplating, continuing to update and refine the essays on my website, especially


(this one is hard-core Bible theology, withheld from us by church business interests).

These subjects are so intensely intriguing to me I sometimes can't contain myself.  These are all kind of leading up to the epiphany I had in the Gila wilderness last summer (while I was giving another go at living off the land).  I'm still working on writing down this epiphany, which is about the laws of compounded interest in wild nature, compared to the compounding interest of banking in commercial civilization (which I call Canaan).  It takes in the enigmas of interest banking in the Torah, as well as the allusions to interest banking in the Gospels, and the commercial relationship between Jewry and Christendom, including what spurred on the pogroms against the Jews down through the centuries, as well as the underlying cause of world poverty, wars, and oppressive politics.  It's turning out much harder to articulate and write down than I'd thought.  It is a way touchy subject matter, a bit scary, in fact, so I'm proceeding with caution.

Yolanda

The latest intriguing chapter in my life has begun today.  A woman named Yolanda came to Moab to try out living my lifestyle with me.  We've been in e contact for over a year, since before the publicity stuff, and she finally decided to take the plunge.  She took a bus up from Phoenix to Green River, Utah (no, Greyhound does not come all the way to Moab!).  I decided to hitch-hike up to Green River to meet her at the bus station to hitch-hike back to Moab with her, since my father instinct did not want an attractive young African American woman hitch-hiking alone, especially since she'd never hitch-hiked before.  I started walking north of Moab, with a sign I made that said "Green River".  I had an exact spot where I had planned to hitch, outside the city limits, so I kept walking to that spot, sign in hand, so passing cars might see it and stop.  But none did.  I wondered why cars rarely stop unless you are actually standing and facing them (I remember wondering the same exact thing last summer as I was walking out of Taos, New Mexico).  Then I saw the exact spot where I had envisioned stopping to get a ride.  Right when I arrived there, putting my pack down, not yet facing traffic, a car stopped to pick me up and said he would take me all the way to the Green River bus station.  This same thing happened last summer walking out of Taos, a car stopping to take me all the way to my destination at the Albuquerque airport!).  It was a confirmation to me that my going to get Yolanda in Green River was destiny, just as it was a confirmation to me that my going to get James in Albuquerque last summer was destiny.  We arrived there at the same time the bus arrived, and here I'd thought she'd have to wait hours for me.  We hugged, got our stuff together, and started walking toward the interstate.  The same bus Yolanda had come in on caught up with us, and the driver asked us if we wanted a ride, 20 miles to the Moab exit!  From there we got a ride back to Moab from a wonderful Moab couple and their baby.

As we were walking up to this house, Conrad stopped to give us a ride.  A welcome ride it was, since Yolanda, I'm sure, was exhausted after all night in a bus.  Angels brought us all the way to our destination. 

Last summer it was a magical encounter with James, who had come to join me from Chicago.  Last late fall, it was a magical encounter with Cody, who had come to join me from eastern Colorado.  This winter, it is a magical encounter with Yolanda, who has come to join me from Phoenix.  All the beautiful people, where do they all come from?

So here we are.  I wonder what'll happen next.


84 comments:

  1. I've only had time to skim your updates, but have them saved for later reading. A couple quick thoughts:

    1) I appreciate this:

    Prostitution can be a spiritual path.

    It immediately reminded me of the temple prostitutes (and I'll be careful here to not necessarily confuse religion with spirituality - this link also goes to lengths to differentiate ritual sex where the temple received donations from prostitution also).

    There have been times where I loved my work*. I've struggled though with the idea that if you do something you love for money, ultimately you wind up doing it for the money and not the love any more. It is one way to kill love, right? I think that is part of the reason I appreciate your writing Suelo. It feels to me like the only honest work is that which is done without compensation. Once the U.S. didn't have a personal income tax. The fruits of a person's labor were seen as the origin of value itself and just were not subject to taxation.

    * an Internet-ism for what I used to do is "conslutant" - a consultant with many customers - it equates 'slut' with 'prostitute' of course whereas I usually see the former as being done without pay.


    2) Taking out a loan is mistrust that everything you need is in the Present Moment.

    I really appreciate this too. My own path has been credit-free for the last year now, and I'm very happy with it. I paid off the last of my own student loans just as the "credit crisis" hit.

    3) All the energy from the sun is freely given.

    This I appreciate too. You remind me of this recent piece at the NY Times about ethical eating, especially the last paragraph.

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  2. Wow, the NYT article really emphasizes how impossible it is for any living thing to manage without taking something from another living thing.

    We are, all of us, parasites. But there is no other way to live. The only way to exist without being a parasite is to be dead. And I'm not entirely convinced of that either.

    @Suelo: I've been thinking a lot about religion and spirituality lately. I was particularly interested in your remarks that getting rides like that reaffirmed your path as being your destined path. I still haven't quite sorted out how I feel about destiny versus free will-- but I have had experiences similar to yours. When I finally made the decision to leave an abusive marriage, things fell into place at such an astonishingly fast pace that at the time, I referred to it as "jumping off a cliff, and being caught by God's cupped hands." Nobody could make the decision but me-- but once I made it, by Jove, it was like the universe joined forces to help me, with finding a place to live, getting people to help me move, giving me a roommate to help with living costs and childcare.

    It is still not possible for me to believe that I had some kind of help in that situation.

    What is your take on miracles? I don't classify myself as a believer in any particular ideology, but I have definitely witnessed miracles.

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  3. Just read the Seven Headed Dragon article ... it's brilliant. Keep up the good work.

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  4. grasshopper - I remember also the Kung Fu series, although I was not a fan, not inspired by Caradine's acting. Funnily enough, saw him walking down the street in San Francisco near the Wharf. Same thin stringy hair. peggyvan

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  5. "Please settle in your mind that you'd rather starve or go naked than to buy anything at Walmart"

    This strikes me as rather odd coming from someone who has sworn off using or earning money. Reminds me of an old joke about the Pope giving advise on birth control...

    You no playa da game, you no maka da rules..

    seriously though, how viable could your way of life be if you freely admit that you depend on a "house sitting" gig to spare your "soft" soul from the harsh Rocky Mountain winter?

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  6. I finally got around to getting a profile!

    Anonymous 9:55:

    I don't see what's odd about someone who has sworn off using money advising others not to spend money. Seems completely consistent to me!

    I had a housesitting gig in the middle of a Rocky Mountain winter that was otherwise spent living in a tent. By the end of the two weeks the gig lasted, I missed my tent.

    Personal experience aside, how viable is a way of life that relies on slave labor to convert non-renewable resources into unnecessary crap that ends up in a landfill? At least Suelo is making a conscience driven choice not to support THAT.

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  7. Further down in the article:
    "...WalMart spokeswoman, Melissa Hill, acted surprised that these items were found, claiming they typically donate all unworn merchandise to charity. When reporters went around the corner from H&M to a collections drop-off for charity organization New York Cares, spokesperson Colleen Farrell said, “We’d be glad to take unworn coats, and companies OFTEN SEND THEM TO US."
    Notice how the Times says 'acted' surprised, rather than 'seemed surprised' or 'was surprised'? The Times really is the master of the subtle smear...
    H&M I've never heard of, but I think WalMart has the right idea by donating these items to organizations. You see lots of things in Value Village and places like that with the tags cut off...and that's how they get them, the new stuff anyway. Trouble with VV and their like is I think they're getting to be a racket - there was one of these clothes-sorting agencies on my mail route; the BMWs and Mercedes were lined up out front, and the buses brought the slave day-labor from downtown to sort the stuff...Oh Well...
    Now if WalMart had a policy of having Sales to clear the market rather than a policy of 'No Sales', you'd probably get a better price than the 'charity' organizations charge - these guys are getting greedier all the time - they charge more than new retail even for old clothes.

    RobertB

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  8. My impression was that Suelo is not advising to NOT spend money, but HOW to spend money. If he wants to preach the gospel of moneyless living that's fine. But he can't at the same time deliver self serving sermons on how to spend your money. Christ wanted to drive the money-changers from the temple, not encourage them to be more charitable.
    This is the problem I see with our host here. I also want to admire his convictions and choices. But there is an inherent contradiction in his lifestyle, which he himself has acknowledged. By accepting refuge from friends with nice warm homes, eating out of dumpsters, and even using library computers for internet access, he is implicitly condoning the "moneyed" world. He is living with one foot in the door, so to speak. What if we all accepted a moneyless existence? Would there even be an internet to chat on? If you can make it through winter in the Rockies in your tent, more power to you. But it seems to me Suelo is no modern day Jeremiah Johnson. That's all I'm saying.

    Anonymous955

    Oh, and Robert. The NY Times tried to exonerate themselves today by publishing this story..
    "Where Unsold Clothes Meet People in Need"

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  9. Eh, I don't have to be sexually active to condemn unsafe sex practices? I think that's a pretty good analogy. People who don't use protection will spread disease. Do I only have the right to preach that gospel if I'm regularly using a condom too?

    People who shop at WalMART and H&M encourage bad behavior by those companies. Spreading awareness of that bad behavior and wasteful practice is a good thing, I think. Suelo seems to be about preventing waste, so I can't see any contradictions at all (or what I do see simply doesn't bother me).

    Speaking of paradoxes and waste, another hero of mine has worked with WalMART to improve fleet efficiency.

    I appreciate both approaches to the problems of waste. We need RMI as much as we need Suelo.

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  10. Like just about every other institution, WalMart has a mix of good an bad things about it. I had a temporary job at a WalMart a number of years ago and didn't feel like they really treated their workers with much respect. Since then though I've heard good things about the "greening" of their business model. However, I still think that selling unnecessary crap, even green crap, based on slave labor is unsustainable.

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  11. @Al
    Thanks for the link...
    Good follow-up in the NY Times story (for a change)...all of a sudden companies aren't so bad after all. The comment in the article however about "risk having people show up at a store seeking refunds on clothes that were never sold. That’s why many retailers will damage unsold garments..." is nonsense: that's why the retailers and manufacturers who donate cut out the tags!

    RobertB

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  12. @Al
    Nietzsche said it all when he defined 'master-slave morality'. (Not within the common use of the words).


    RobertB

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  13. Doing a bong hit and watching GRASSSHOPPPERR was the favorite part of my day back then!

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  14. What I would like to know, where is Yolanda staying? It sounds like Suelo must have a team or a staff of house sitters, all sitting at one house. Sitting around and enjoying the fruits of someone else's labor. Reading the home owner's books, watching their television, DVDs, using the telephone and their computer. Enjoying a soft bed and cushy furniture. Showers with bow coo hot water, laundry facilities and probably a decked out kitchen. Not to mention the rest of creature comforts. I'll bet when the home owner returns, they're floored at the utility bills. "Wow Suelo, my electric bill is triple and how did I use 47000 gal. of water last month?

    I know I have a lot of plants, but how much water can a fish drink? I noticed that you turned up the temperature for the hot tub. Was it too cool for you?

    Suelo, a short while ago, you were introduced to me through the Denver Post. Since then, I have read a large percentage of what you have written. While I do agree with much of what you write, I do read between the lines.

    Example; there is a farce program on television called "Man vs. Wild". This guy is "supposedly" dropped off in some wilderness. Sometimes jumps out of air crafts into deserts, jungles, arctic conditions with only a shoe lace, a letter opener, shorts and t-shirt. The program wants the viewer to think that he is entering an adverse and hostile environment. Meanwhile, there is a camera crew taping all the antics. But what you can't see, are the SUVs and the mega $ motor homes that sustain all the BS. I doubt the guy (actor) could actually survive a cold snowy night in a McDonald's parking lot. You are much like this. Maybe you should start your own reality show. You could title it "Look at Me, I Live For Free".

    On another note, you condemn a judgmental society. So why are you so judgmental? Why do you spout and tout unoriginal thoughts and philosophies? You remind me of the professor at a Boulder college that was found guilty of plagiarism. I know, you know, whom I'm referring to. Boulder, CO. seems to sprout more nut cases than any other place in the United States.

    Let me make a prediction about your future. You're in your late 40's. Right? Your so called experiment might last till your late 50's, but I doubt. Experiments ultimately come to an end and another one takes off. Eventually, you will have no choice but to come back and live in the real world. Unless, you are booked with house sitting gigs for around 40 years. Upon arrival at the staging point, in the real world, you will look back and think, Wow, I can't believe I lived like that. Now I want money. Then, you will write a book and try to sell movie rights. But find no takers. The reason will be that they find you to be one of the world's finest hypocrites. But eventually you find a low life, sleazy producer that pays you a pittance. At that point, you are a confirmed hypocrite and a slave to money.

    Let me refresh your memory and don't shoot the messenger. I'm using your own words, "nothing has permanence". In other words, the closure of your experiment is looming. At the end of all experiments, there is a lesson to be learned. This is your lesson, "Gee Whiz, I don't need to dumpster dive any longer. I have plenty of Crow to eat".

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  15. I hope everyone who reads this blog will help me write a eMail Campaign To Free Toups (Please read> http://cbs4denver.com/local/Ski.bum.a.2.1417037.html

    This has me fuming. Please get involved.
    Here are a few emails Address for you to start with. Please pass it on to you email contacts. It could as easily be Suelo.

    http://www.fs.fed.us/contactus/#email

    http://conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm

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  16. Judi,
    Paaaleeeeeeaaaaasse, shut up...........

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  17. I admire you very much for your philosophy of living without attachment to money, and living with only what is given to you. Have you ever heard of the spiritual practice known as Falun Dafa? It tells of the truth of this world, and the purpose for being human. If you're interested, read the book Zhuan Falun or visit www.falundafa.org

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  18. It seems fairly apparent to me that even though I'm not nearly the intellectual most who post on here are, at least I understand where Suelo is coming from. Yet people are intent on wasting their time being critical.
    None are so blind as those that will not see!
    Uncle Cracker

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  19. I have been reading this blog for some time, and always agreed with Suelo's way of doing things, but as Anonymous said in an earlier post, I am starting to "read between the lines", and what I am reading is very disappointing...Suelo seems to be " selling out" the very concept he claims to live by! he claims to be moneyless, which may be true as far as not "having" money in his pockets, but "house sitting" and watching movies,using the utilities, eating out of the fridge (this is,of course, an assumption..I doubt he dives many dumpsters when a stocked kitchen is down the hall!!), should not be considered living without money. living full time in a cave/shelter, and growing/scrounging your own food is truly living without money...living while using comforts that money buys isn't true to what he claims to be doing. it saddens me to say these things, because I truly believed in what he was doing, but if he is going to claim to live a "moneyless" existance, then he needs to do just that, and not sit in a house watching vidoes! I still enjoy the blog, but be true to what you claim, because that is what draws people to this site!!

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  20. Suelo lives a life without exchanging money, not a life without value-laden interactions with other people and the culture at large. He adds value to the world, why can he not watch a video or two every once in a while? How does that taint the fact that he doesn't exchange cash with anyone?

    I think that being able to get your needs met without cash is a great survival lesson for everyone regardless of whether he's "pure" or not. Purity is for the rigid mind.

    If there were no industrial culture like we have now, none of us would use the internet at the library or worry about clothing thrown in the dumpster and it would be a non-issue. Moneyless in a culture of too much is different than moneyless in a culture of not enough. It's also different in a culture where all needs can be met sustainably. He is a product of our culture, not outside it. His life makes sense to me. When we have a sustainable world, his way of life won't make sense. It won't be necessary.

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  21. I agree with Piper.

    Also, as someone with extensive house sitting experience, I have noticed that people want house sitters so that their houses look lived in. The best way to use that is to actually use things. Have the TV on for anyone passing in the street to see in the window. Let people hang out in the hot tub.

    In my experience, I tend to use fewer utilities than the owner of the house would- I have trouble justifying keeping the heat up above 62 in the winter and turning on AC before it gets about 85 in the summer. This is for a combination of environmental reasons and respect for the homeowner. I have also been asked to eat any perishables in left in the kitchen when the homeowner leaves- to do otherwise would just be wasteful.

    The flip side of this is that a comfortable home is great, but I'm guessing Suelo's cave is pretty nice too in a different sort of way. (I know my tent was actually more comfortable than most apartments I've lived in!)

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  22. Barbie and Ken,

    Oh, I'm sorry, I meant Piper and Ken..., Neither of you, have a inkling of survival or sustainability. Sustainability is the ability to survive without outside help. That means fending for ones self with what Mother Nature provides. NOT with what man provided/provides. This includes the food in a dumpster, the dumpster that holds the food. A true survivalist makes a boat out of a tree, a house out of sticks, stones and mud. Tools/utensils from wood, clay, stone and bone. And so-forth.

    Suelo is not a survivalist. Not even a naturalist. Suelo is a opportunistic Opportunist. DBA/AKA "The Fraud".

    I just can't wait until his book and movie comes out. His web-site will dry up faster than a horse apple on black top in the Canyon Lands in mid of August. Suelo and his web-site is a farce and will fade away into cyber space. Suelo won't be able to live locally because of the BS that he contrived.

    Though I've never met Suelo, I have figured him out. He will be leaving soon. And never to be heard from.

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  23. Anonymous 10:48

    If something is sustainable it can be continued indefinitely. Without the interference of large asteroid impacts, variations in solar intensity, or the introduction of a marauding technological species (us) the Earth's ecosystem is sustainable. It could be argued that human life on Earth before the industrial revolution (definitely before the agricultural revolution) was sustainable.

    I don't think Suelo ever claimed to be a survivalist and he openly recognizes that his lifestyle isn't sustainable in the long run because it is reliant on a system that isn't sustainable in the long run. I don't see this as fraud. Opportunism, maybe. (Why not take advantage of opportunity if doing so doesn't harm anything or violate your principles?) But not fraud.

    He has discussed the possibility of a book- which he wouldn't profit from. There already is a movie ("Moneyless in Moab")- which I don't believe he has profited from.

    If Suelo sells out, I'll be the first to say: "Well, damn! I guess that wasn't meant to last." But until that happens, I plan to enjoy knowing that there's someone out there living his life based on his conscious in a way that most of us are incapable of.

    So why are you (and so many others) so quick to judge Suelo (and everyone else)? Time will tell what his true intentions are. Why not just appreciate the uniqueness and creativity that he displays for now?

    By the way, it's axiomatic that if Suelo sells out, traffic to this site will disappear. Plus, in that event I doubt Suelo would care.

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  24. Humans do not survive fending for themselves in isolation. We did not evolve to live that way and to suggest that as criteria makes no sense. It's especially nonsensical considering Suelo's goal is not to live in isolation from humanity but to live within our common culture without using money.

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  25. Anonymous 10:48
    I am inviting you to come stay with me and live moneyless with me. My life is an open book, and you can actually see for yourself whether or not I am a fraud, without making assumptions, and even teach me what you know. This invitation is serious. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and regard you as a man standing behind your words. If you stand behind your words, I am elated that you know how to live without money and can teach me some things, because I have no models or help from moneyless experts (since I've never personally found any living) and I would be a fool to pretend I am doing this perfectly and couldn't use authentic help. We can even live off the land if you like, where you choose. Please email me. This is a serious invitation. You will have to give up your anonymity, of course.

    You might even find I am human and appreciate respect just like anybody, and I will offer you my respect.

    I also ask you to read at least the basic FAQ if you want to get an idea of what I do and help me out, because it is very apparent you haven't read most of it yet.

    I will summarize for you, again, the core of this philosophy, so you can work with me better: Giving freely and receiving what is freely given or cast off is the only sustainable way to live, inside or outside civilization. It is the way of Nature. And there is not, cannot be, and never ever has been a self-sufficient organism or particle in all the universe. It's about giving up that delusion and realizing dependence on one another.

    I have never asked for or sought out house-sitting. People ask me to do it, so they don't have to put their animals in kennels, so the plants don't die, the pipes don't freeze, etc. I've been asked back to the house-sit I'm at now every year for the past several years, as with other house-sits. I use less utilities than most people and I bring most my own food, and eat what they leave because it is better use in my stomach than in the compost pile. And, yes, I watch a video now and then, and I use the computer and don't feel the least bit guilty about it. I usually can't wait to get back to camping out.

    Freely giving and freely receiving does not help us until we make it part of civilization.

    Thank you so much for your comments, positive & negative, everybody.

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  26. Suelo, 10:48 here,

    You dance pretty well. But you didn't answer my first question, so I'll ask it again. Where is Yolanda staying?? Is she at "Bed Rock", cliff side or pandering as a house sitter?

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  27. Suelo is his own best critic. Read all he has written and realize that he has struggled with the money connections of dumpster diving and house sitting.

    He has never claimed perfection or anything near it, never claimed to be a naturalist or survivalist. All he has done is to endeavor to learn all the lessons possible by living without possessing or exchanging money.

    He has freely and generously shared here the good and the bad, his own inner and very personal struggles with his own experiment. I don't think anyone can offer a criticism that he hasn't turned over a thousand times in his own mind. He is genuine and original. Perfect he is not, but who is?

    He has also never claimed and has even discussed at length that not everyone can live by dumpster diving and house sitting. At that stage the money economy would collapse and a new way of life would have to emerge. Does this negate his endeavor? Not in the least.

    The world has benefited enormously from the saints, the prophets, the philosophers, writers and thinkers. Not everyone can escape the toil of daily living, but for those who do, if they freely share their wealth of knowledge and contemplation with us, then the entire world is better for their efforts. I count Suelo among the best of them.

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  28. Bravo, Michael, Bravo, Suelo!

    Uncle Cracker

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  29. Well put Michael. I see in Suelo some Thoreauvian qualities. From the chapter on Economy in Walden:


    I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one's self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely... It is not necessary that a man should earn his living by the sweat of his brow, unless he sweats easier than I do.


    One young man of my acquaintance, who has inherited some acres, told me that he thought he should live as I did, if he had the means. I would not have any one adopt my mode of living on any account; for, beside that before he has fairly learned it I may have found out another for myself, I desire there there be as many different persons in the world as possible; but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father's or his mother's or his neighbor's instead.

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  30. I think the main point in all of this is Suelo accepts whatever falls into his lap.
    He needs food and he finds pizza in a dumpster.
    He's out in the wilderness and he catches a fish.
    Some friends need/ask him to house-sit, and he does.
    It seems like wherever he is, under whatever condition, he IS provided for.
    I think we need to learn THAT lesson.

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  31. I would like to hear an answer to the question "anonymous" asked in a previous post..."where is Yolonda staying"? is she house-sitting as well? if she is from Phoenix, is she planning on staying with Suelo till???

    Since Suelo is staying at a house for now, then he should be able to answer all the questions asked of him...he has the access to the computer more often now..if he wants!

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  32. I can't comment in my own blog at the house, so had to come into town to the library.

    Yolanda is staying with me at the house-sit, with the permission of my friends, the owners. Soon we plan to camp out. She's from the south & wasn't prepared for the bitter cold here, so I'm glad it's warming up, and her necessities are amazingly falling right into place. She's never done anything like this before and I'm amazed at her courage to take such a radical plunge.

    Anon 10:48
    Are you up for my invitation?

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  33. Hi Daniel,

    Greetings from wintery, snowy, upstate NY. I recently found your blog via a link from another blog. I just want to say that I think what you're doing is very admirable and brave. I can relate to so much of what you write, your thoughts on life and how it should be lived. I also think you handle the naysayers very well. I look forward to hearing more about your adventures. As a middle-aged, black woman, I want to thank you for going out and meeting Yolanda at the bus station instead of letting her hitchhike alone. I wish the two of you well. ~Lynn

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  34. The more I read from this site, the more it smacks of sophistry. Let's take an example..

    "Nature abhores prolonged suffering, and naturally selects it out. Commercial civilization thrives on prolonged suffering. You will rarely, if ever, find a malnurished or obese animal in nature. If you do, it will be immediately selected out. But commercial civilization not only coddles chronic illness and faulty genes, but it passes them on from generation to generation. And we have the gall to call nature cruel." Suelo, Our Fall From Grace..The Beginning of Money.

    Tell us, do you believe that commercial civilization, or let's just call it civilization if you will, in creating modern medicine to treat cancer and other chronic diseases, is less merciful than nature? Or do you believe that nature is more merciful to allow earthquake victims in Haiti to die quickly, or "selected out" as you say, and commercial civilization, in mounting a relief effort only prolongs suffering? Or let's make it more personal. If you contracted a violent illness from eating out of a dumpster, would you run immediately to the nearest emergency room, or would you lay down in your cave and croak?

    Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) suggested that the Kingdom of Darkness stems from the proselytizing of scripture, demonology, and the mixing of Scripture, relics of religion, and much of the vain and erroneous philosophy of the Greeks.

    In other words, garbage in garbage out.

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  35. I'm glad to know your are well and finding friends and miracles too. All the best.

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  36. Suelo:

    I am interested in your concept of capitalism, because you state it's a disaster and unworkable. I would like to know why.

    I agree with you in that capitalism is not as beautiful as most of it's proponents claim. Yes, capitalism can be very ruthless and immoral, but so is any kind of goverment including socialism, and even Nature. So, how can you prefer a primitive immoral system like Nature over a more civilized immoral system like capitalism?. Aren't you being hypocritical when you characterize capitalism as immoral and nature as moral?.

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  37. Miguel,
    You really do not want answers to the questions you pose to Suelo.
    You need to start your own site and quit bothering people here.

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  38. Al:
    Your comments are so valid. I have mulled over these same questions for years. But what you quoted from me is not from textbook sophistry, but is very simple observation that most of us know, but we are afraid to speak it.

    There is a reason I say "COMMERCIAL civilization."

    I don't believe civilization with its medicine & technology are evil. They arise from nature, just like the technology of antibodies arise in our bodies to fight germs in the everlasting interplay between life & death, positive & negative. It is natural for us to help the sick and dying, as long as we don't fall into the delusion that we can eliminate sickness and death. That's no more possible than eliminating negative charge and keeping only positive. We can rack up positive charge & push away negative temporarily, but negative eventually returns stronger than ever. Common sense.

    But this lack of common sense is the delusion of our commercial civilizations: hoarding positives, oblivious that we are racking up overwhelming debt that will pounce back on us!

    Every one of us life-forms is guaranteed to experience what Haiti has experienced: ugly death. Whether it happens in mass or individually, it is death, not pretty. We can never escape that reality. There is no solution to eliminating death, but there is a solution to ending prolonged suffering. Haiti has experienced prolonged suffering for centuries, suffering which is a direct result of economic injustice, first introduced upon that island (when it was called Hispaniola) by Columbus and his greedy band. Nature makes ways to end prolonged suffering, through natural selection, and we make ways to fight natural selection.

    It's the marketing of technology that's the problem, & the delusion arising with it that we can eliminate death & suffering from the universe. It is natural for us, like antibodies, to battle negatives, to keep the interplay in balance, but it is delusion to think we can ELIMINATE negatives!

    I used to work in hospitals & questioned why we kept geriatric people alive who wanted to die, whose family wanted them to die, & we wanted them to die. None of us could admit this, because we were all bound by a skewed sense of morality & fear of death, all contributing to great profits for the medical industry. I have been afraid to say this, what we all know, until now.

    Miguel:
    You make good points. I honestly would rather live in capitalistic USA than live in the old "Communistic" USSR. True communism is from the heart, not government-imposed. But that's not saying our capitalism is just. It has too high of a price on the rest of the world. It's true that it matters not what system we have. It's about our hearts: if we as individuals take more than we need, then it won't work. The system of the USA is bound to fail because we as citizens take more than we need.

    When you take more than you need, others get less than they need. Again, it's the simple law of positive and negative, the law of the infinite universe. How can we change the most simple laws of the Universe? Are we God?

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  39. Suelo:

    You say: "When you take more than you need, others get less than they need."

    If you mean with this that I should live like a pauper, then I don't agree. I believe it's fair for a few ones to be rich, and most to be poor (not miserable or abused). Money is power, and power is generally focused on a small number of people. It's a fact of life, like it or not.

    However, I have learned about an interesting application of your idea, namely I tend to give the objects I don't use or need (no matter how expensive) to someone in need of them. Otherwise if they are useless to myself and others, I destroy them.

    That way I leave space for the new. Because if there is not space for the new, progress is not a straightforward process.

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  40. Miguel:

    Why should power be concentrated in a small number of people? I don't want power over anyone but myself, but I know that if someone else has power over me I don't have as much power over myself as I should. Why should I have less power over myself just so that some power hungry jerk can have more power that can be abused?

    Another observation:

    "if there is not space for the new, progress is not a straightforward process." is an interesting comment given the prognostications you have made in the past on this blog about immortality. You have hit on the biological reason for death: older organisms have to remove themselves from the ecosystem in order to keep from consuming the resources needed to support their offspring. If the old don't die off, there isn't room for subsequent generations and evolutionary change isn't allowed to take place.

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  41. Miguel,

    Is your hobby, trying to sound intelligent?
    I must say, it's not working..

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  42. To Suelo and others:

    It would be great to hear your comments about my perspective on this discussion.

    I’m redefining evolution and economics. I think there are scientists gathering evidence to support views like mine but they are much more careful to publish.

    http://theperplexity.blogspot.com/

    Here’s some excerpts.

    Based on my definition most human activity is trivial & redundant, yielding a higher likelihood for a meaningless human experience for many, but not all. Those who are fulfilling the basic tenants of evolution are pursuing the leading edge of information and making new applications with novel perspectives while at the same time extending the possibility for others to pursue the same leading edge of information building on information. Factoring in figures on overpopulation, over-consumption and existing advancements the bar is now set very high for most people.

    For example, If I was a genetic engineer working on the space station and dating Björk I would be fulfilling the criteria. If I'm pursuing the leading edge of information through research and education I can stick around. So perhaps since I have developed this explanation and am broadcasting it I have saved myself from being evolutionarily meaningless. Perhaps not but more likely now that I'm broadcasting my beliefs.

    Evolution is information building on information (i plus i). The energy transferred through evolution is propagated hierarchically which then overlaps to produce a rhizomatic (aka semi-lattice structure). The more complete formula would then read (i plus i)^h.

    In any event, it turns out that my idea of framing issues in terms of evolution is catching on. See page 32 of Scientific American Jan 2009.

    We often hear about "survival of the fittest" and "natural selection" which I believe are concepts co-opted by the robber barons during Darwin's time and now by many executives and ideologues to get more productivity out of their minions to serve their misguided conceptions. Natural selection is a constraining force imposed based on environmental conditions. It's the box containing the information. But the information and it's growth force can be argued to be of greater influence than environmental constraints. I don't think our social and economic systems have fully taken this into account.

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  43. I just want to add, I think Suelo is fulfilling the tenants of evolution for two reasons.

    First, he's clearly shown he's only taking what he needs. By doing so he is giving others the opportunity to pursue information building on information, if they choose.

    Second, he has a well developed philosophy and plan of action that he is demonstrating and broadcasting so others can follow. He has taken previous religious and economic information and built on it. By living the philosophy he is showing how this combined information applies at the most current situation.

    Congratulations Suelo! You did all this without getting a bio-engineering degree, without risking your life on the space shuttle and without sleeping with Björk.

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  44. I just picked up The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel and am looking forward to reading it. I'll pass it on when I'm done to the first comer asking for it....

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  45. Ken: I used to accumulate many things I didn't need, that why I were able to see Suelo's wisdom in that quote. Anyway I don't agree with the more literal interpretation Suelo seems to recommend.

    Death doesn't have to be reduced to a materialistic concept of physical death, that's too simplistic a view. Death is everywhere, if you are able to see it.

    If my prognostications are correct, we will only get rid of the most obvious variety of death, namely physical death.

    Finally, power is what it is, not what you think it ought to be. You can have subjective power over yourself, but the dynamics of power in society are always the same, only superficial things change.

    Anonymous: I am glad to hear that you are not impressed by my inteligence. Play a sucker to catch a sucker, is the name of the game.

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  46. Yeah, I would be very happy if we could do away with put-downs of people's intelligence or name-calling here, even if we disagree with them or even if they do it to us.

    Miguel, you have hit upon something very profound. But I see no difference between "physical" and "other" death. We and everything really do die, literally, physically and mentally, moment by moment, and suffering happens when we cling to things, whether things or thoughts, keep them from dying & passing on naturally. Our desire to make these bodies permanent comes from the same desire to accumulate wealth. It's all one. The conquistadors who came to the Americas were obsessed with two things that came from the same mind: finding the fountain of youth and finding gold. They're one thing.

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  47. .........."survial of the fittest".......... "natural selection".
    Hey, The Queen owns Canada, and she is the largest individual landowner in the world.
    Just because she was born into the right family.
    Ha,ha. The jokes on you.

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  48. "jokes on you"

    That's a good example of how the society has been fed a red-herring by robber barons or has naively been focused on the wrong thing.

    Natural selection is a constraining force imposed based on environmental conditions. It's the box containing the information. But the information and it's growth force can be argued to be of greater influence than environmental constraints.

    I'd like to know why is everyone focused on the box instead of what's in the box?

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  49. I don't mean to ridicule your intelligence, but you are simply confused as to Darwinian evolution. Darwin defines natural selection as a selective pressure on a genetically diversified population, which permits life to adapt to changing environment through speciation. It has nothing to do with senescence and death through natural causes or disasters. This is not "natural selection" but mere indifference of nature to the lifecycle of the individual. If you want to have a philosophical discussion of the wisdom of man in confronting nature, that's one thing. But let's leave evolutionary theory out of it.

    On the other hand one could argue, as some have, that humans have evolved to a point where technological society (enabled by "commercial civilization") permits us to bypass the conventional evolutionary mechanisms based on genetic selection (e.g. gene therapy, fertility drugs, human cloning). This is presumably what you are driving at in your arguments, and I agree that this is an outcome of human arrogance, and a dangerous fallacy. However, I don't see life saving, or life prolonging medicine and technology as unnatural or evil. It's simply a matter of quality of life and availability of resources, as to how much we are willing to invest in such efforts. In that regard, we are no different from nature itself.

    The goal in life is to die young, as late as possible - Ashley Montagu

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  50. Suelo, I don't think accumulating wealth is bad, per se. Although I can see how it can be damaging to society, as it concentrates power in a few at the expense of the rest.

    My point of view is that money should be flowing continually to be effective, to avoid stagnation. If you can do that, it's not bad if you are accumulating money at the same time.

    Some robber barons learned the lesson of using their money to entertain others or create social acceptation, instead of being too avaricious with their money.

    Flux instead of stillness.

    My point also holds with regards to indefinite lifespans. It could hinder growth and harm society and the environment. But if used well, it could be the next golden age of humanity.

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  51. I go along with Ray Kurzweil. Biological memory systems (DNA) and our technology (books, silicon memory chips) are one in the same. Biological evolution and technological evolution are one in the same. Techological evolution has outpaced biological change and we are merging with technology. I disagree "The goal in life is to die young, as late as possible" The goal is to contribute to information building on information and to extend that possibility to others as we are pursuing our own channels.

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  52. I disagree when Al said "Christ wanted to drive the money-changers from the temple, not encourage them to be more charitable."

    I'm only half way through the Bible but I've got this list so far that I think contradicts Al's interpretation.

    Bible support for ultralight views.

    2 Cor 8:9-15

    John 2:16
    John 6:27
    John 12:25-26

    Luke 3:11
    Luke 9:3
    Luke 9:58
    Luke 9:62
    Luke 10:3-4
    Luke 11:37-41
    Luke 12:13-34
    Luke 12:27
    Luke 12:33
    Luke 14-33
    Luke 16:13
    Luke 16:29-31
    Luke 18:18-30
    Luke 19:8-10
    Luke 19:45
    Luke 22:35
    Luke 23:31

    Mark 6:8-9
    Mark 8:34-36
    Mark 10:17-30
    Mark 10:21

    Matthew 6:19
    Matthew 6:24
    Matthew 6:28

    Neh 8-10

    Psalm 39:6
    Psalm 82:1-8
    Psalm 84:10
    Psalm 119:36-37


    1 Samuel 2:29

    2 Samuel 7:5-7


    Here's why Jesus wanted us to live a simple life:

    http://theperplexity.blogspot.com/2009/12/merry-christmas-from-outer-space.html

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  53. "Suelo is his own best critic."

    Nobody is his own best critic.

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  54. Zero Currency is one of the best blogs out there.

    Even if I don't agree with it's ideas.

    It's definetely progressive stuff.

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  55. Suelo:

    Please return to the black background, it's more original and authentic. This blue backgroud seems from a republican blog. Are you a fan of George Bush?.

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  56. Black backgrounds are for porn sites. I would like a blue background.. with little animated goats munching on dollar bills. That would be more original.

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  57. George W. Bush was the one who told Americans that they should keep shopping when he was asked what Americans could do to help after 9/11.

    I like the idea of the goats, though it wouldn't be in keeping with the simplicity that the blog seems to be based on.

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  58. Al: I have seen many great blogs with black backgrounds. In fact that's my main reason for asking Suelo to return to the old one.

    Ken: According to what you say, George W. Bush was a pragmatic man, at least in respect to economics.

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  59. Miguel,

    A few days ago, a poster suggested that you start your own blog and go away and desist from bothering us. I second the motion! There is an abyss in cyberspace that truly needs your grand expertise of knowledge, experience and background. While Suelo's site is way over your head, I'm sure you could find your own gathering of dim followers. Such as yourself.

    I also have a question. Is your mental and intellectual handicap a result of your mother taking thalidomide while pregnant with you?

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  60. I would suggest you learn some manners before misjudging the mind of another. It shows a lousy education and no dignity.

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  61. "Keep shopping" might be economically pragmatic advice, but it's not how we won WWI or WWII. Plus, it's only good advice in the relative short term. In order to have a sustainable economy, we need to get away from relying on continuous growth and debt.

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  62. I think it's a moot point to argue if Bush gave the right economic advice or not. It's clear people were very scared and offended to be able to understand a "Keep Shopping" advice.

    Also we can notice Bush didn't understand the feelings of Americans and offended them by recommending to forgeting about it and "Keep Shopping". So we know he did not act as a pragmatic politician.

    On the other hand if Bush had appealed to heroism, he would have been accused of being a demagogue.

    I believe Bush should have asked for patience and more trust in the goverment.

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  63. I found your website and blog this morning. I am inspired by your gentle determination and focus.
    The economic structure is on the brink. Listening to US senators say that in Oct 2008 if the US gov had not intervened the US ecomony would have fallen in 12 hours and the world ecomony would have followed in 24 hours has to make us consider the fact that in our life time we may all be living without money. I think the possibility in the short time may be scary but in the long time this will provide us a chance to be humane humans again. We'll have to work together.
    I have always been fascinated with the life of Francis of Assisi. I believe he got it.
    I'm unfortunately not there yet. I live in a house in Canada with my husband and daughter. We always have a large garden and are able to can and freeze our veggies so that we can eat them throughout the year. However there are many things that we use that rely on us paying for them, heat, water, power etc. We still buy food too. We have a long way to go to where you are. But the fact that we are thinking about options is important and I hope that many others are thinking too. We are going to need some ideas when the monetary system falls apart. Thank you for giving us food for thought!!!

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  64. Al, isn't it clear that everything is part of natural selection and hones life to what it is today, weather death (from diseases, disasters, conflicts,whatever) to social and sexual attractions, to just chance walks into right areas? Disasterous ice ages & quakes & volcanoes also made us who survive today who we are. And disasters, as horrendous as they appear, also end prolonged suffering of many, and thus strengthen the gene pool. All chance appears indifferent, as the sunlight and rain appears indifferent, coming down on the just and the unjust without discrimination. But this "indifference" truly created and ever creates us all. What a mystery! Genesis is literally in the present tense.

    I am not going to say whether or not our money system is part of evolution or inhibiting it. I'm just pointing out the prolonged suffering coming out of our system that I don't see existing outside it. If we are happy with this prolonged suffering, then we can continue our status quo.

    Sorry, can't comment on other comments now

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  65. Well, first of all it is not correct to say that everything is a part of natural selection. Catastrophic events can result in extinctions,which do a little more than "strengthen to gene pool". They wipe it out entirely, which is not such a nice fate if you value your species. Moreover, freakish accidents, like lightening strikes, are by their very nature stochastic and therefore fail to "select" desirable genes, unless there's a gene for resistance to electrocution. But seriously, as to your main point that natural selection aborts unnecessary suffering, this is also refutable. For instance, selection for sickle cell anemia occurs in African populations living in conditions with persistent malaria. So nature displaces the short brutish life with malaria with the longer brutish life with anemia, simply because the longer lifespan allows individuals with sickle cell to reproduce and pass on their genes.

    Finally, as to whether extending life by technological means is unnatural/unmerciful (prolongs suffering), consider the words of Peter Medawar, a Nobel laureate in medicine who thought deeply about natural selection...

    "I turn now to considering the prolongation of life by attempting to lengthen the lifespan or by the use of medical engineering. Because he was a deeply religious man, I think it specially significant that Francis Bacon in his Valerius Terminius describes the true purpose of science as the discovery of all operations and possibilities of operations from immortality (if it were possible) to the humblest mechanical practice.
    Today research on the lengthening of the lifespan is looked down upon as irrelevant and antisocial--antisocial because such a procedure would compound the population problem and to some extent the problem of unemployment...
    The fear that it is undignified to attempt to prolong life in this way will not bear examination. All medical treatments as humble and simple as indigestion pills and plasters such as we apply to cuts--all such treatments if they are effective at all are effective in a way which on an epidemiological scale can be measured by an increase of life expectancy, however minute it may be.
    A more lively topic of current discussion is perhaps the use of medical engineering to try to same victims of physical or medical accidents from what would otherwise be certain death. By "medical engineering" I mean all the apparatus of intensive care, intravenous feeding, perhaps dialysis as a substitute for kidney function, blood transfusion if necessary, and the mechanical ventilation of the lungs. All this apparatus has been alleged to deprive death of its dignity: it is a "prolongation of death", the critics say rather than a prolongation of life.
    I disagree strongly with this view which is deeply unbiological: there is no more deep-seated biological instinct than that which expresses itself as the firm grasp upon life, there is more dignity, as there is more humanity, in fighting for life than in passive abdication from our most hardly won and most deeply prized possession.

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  66. I for one am very content with my estimated life expectancy. Having observed the aging of myself and others, I think that there is a tendency to lose mental agility and adaptability as we age (although this can be fended off through diligent mental exercises and compensated for through experience). Additionally, I know that I'm gradually emotional baggage and physical scar tissue that will be more burdensome as I age. Given these factors, I see another 30-50 years of life as about right before I'm ready to cast off all of the accumulated baggage of a lifetime and start over!

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  67. Ken, I agree. A lifespan of 30 or 40 years is more than enough. If you want to live a long life I would say that living to your 50s is acceptable.

    Although my ideas might change in the future due to advanced technology, I think you have a good point with the emotional and mental baggage issue.

    However the physical scar tissue is going to be a non-issue with advanced genetical engineering and nanotechnology. The aging process is going to be controlled at a molecular level.

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  68. Indeed... life is about quality, not quantity. In my search for a high quality life, soon I will be leaving my job of 4.5 years, my home state of 29 years, and heading out of the east coast megalopolis to learn to live free without debt and without dispensable possessions. As those New Hampshirites say, "Live Free or Die." Suelo, your websites have given me some good ideas. Thank you! Maybe I'll see ya 'round.

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  69. Sorry, folks, if this is turning into a male ego cock fight of science knowledge. But cock fights are also part of nature, so here goes...

    Al, I still can't see how anything in the universe could not be part of natural selection! Natural selection chooses or wipes out entire species, too. We most likely wouldn't be here if it hadn't wiped out the dinasaurs, and definitely most life as we know it wouln't be here without the wipe-out of primordial algaes. And we might soon get wiped out, to the earth's relief.

    Same with lightning. When I was a kid, our pet dogs wouldn't go to the tops of mountains during storms, while we did, & we almost got struck! Those ancestral dogs who didn't know better got struck out, leaving the wise.

    The sickle cell thing is a good point. I had a prof who considered sickle cell a good adaptation, for that reason, but I've also had my doubts. But he also pointed out how diabetes kept the Kung Bushmen healthy & happy for thousands of years, because it is a survival mechanism to help them sustain themselves through long fasting. Such diabetes would be illness in this environ & culture, just as it has now become the Bushmen's handicap now that they got "civilization".

    Your quote sounds lofty, but it still doesn't face up to reality, why we are overpopulating ourselves to death & overconsuming to death. What is the mechanism that causes us to do that? It is natural for healthy life to have will to live & fight for life, & it is also natural for life to say, "enough", and let itself die. If it doesn't, it is a self-destructive cancer cell. Have we become cancer cells? When I was a health volunteer in the Peace Corps, I thought it barbaric that the indigenous people I worked with would do nothing to get an old woman to the hospital when she had a stroke! Against their wishes, I got her hospitalized, & the they were bitter toward me. After mulling over their "barbarism" & my own "morality" over the years, I finally understood.

    Passion is nature. If it is our passion to prolong life, as it is for redwoods, then this is what is meant to be. But if our motivation is monetary profit, guilt, & possession, then we have what we have today: intense prolonged suffering.

    I am still curious if we can find such prolonged suffering & passing on of bad genes, including the likes of sickle-cell anemia, outside human civilization. I could be mistaken in my views. Let truth survive the natural selection of proof, even if it means I & my theories get knocked down.

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  70. Suelo, you are forgetting some "natural" life forms do not die or get old, as the Hydra.

    Hydra (genus):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydra_(genus)

    Hydra - Immortal Metazoan life form, Example of Immortality:
    http://www.imminst.org/forum/index.php?act=ST&f=48&t=884

    Is nature responsible for this?.

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  71. Check this one out too:

    Turritopsis nutricula:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_nutricula

    Is this natural?.

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  72. I view evolution as information building on information and that technological memory systems are an outgrowth of biological evolution. Looking at it from this perspective life forms such as the Hydra and the Turritopsis nutricula (what is that a nuclear powered turnip?) are branches on the ever-growing tree that hit a dead end. We as humans and our technology are at the forefront of information building on information and as Spider-Man once said, "With great power comes great responsibility."

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  73. I'll be brief as this thread has gotten rather long. I don't regard this exchange as some sort of cock fight, but just an honest debate that might help us make sense of the world we've created.
    First off, I'm pleased to hear that you are willing to rethink you hypothesis when presented with conflicting evidence. If you are interested in the interplay of disease and natural selection this book Survival of the Sickest" by Sharon Moalem, discussed the connection. His examples are mainly in the human population, but there is no reason to believe that it is not a natural phenomenon in other life forms.

    I don't know that I can concede your point about natural selection. I understand the notion that anything which acts on the gene pool could influence the evolution of a species. But that doesn't mean that everything does so. A more cogent example might be a disease like Alzheimer's, which only strikes older people. If it doesn't affect their ability to reproduce its unlikely to influence the genetic makeup of the progeny. For that reason it doesn't get 'selected out'.

    Finally, Michael makes an interesting point about evolution of the mind. However, this is not a novel idea. It was discussed more than half a century ago by the same Medawar I mentioned before. I recommend his essays The Future of Man, which distinguishes this form of evolution, called exosomatic heredity, from Darwinian (endosomatic) evolution. He makes some startling observations, which might be highly relevant to this blog. This has nothing to do with the invention of money and credit, but with the Lamarckian, that is instructive, nature of exosomatic evolution. We are simply evolving too quickly for the limited resources of the planet. Something must be done. Medawar points to the paradox - Science and technology are held responsible for our present predicament but offer the only means of escaping their consequences.
    Would you be interested in discussing this in your next post, Suelo?

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  74. Thank you Al! This is the kind of information I am interested in. These are the kind of posts and sources that will drive this discussion forward. I look forward to reading all the links provided.

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  75. Yes, I'm very interested in looking at these things, Al & Michael, thanks. Not having read "Survival of the Sickest" yet, I wonder if her study also includes non-human, non-domesticated populations. And I wonder if something like the Alzheimers Al mentions would be selected out in a hunting-gathering tribe. Does it exist in wild creatures? These are the questions we are afraid to ask but must face.

    BTW, I see all conflicting ideas, like conflicting creatures, coming together as kinds of cockfights. Cockfights are not a bad thing, but, in fact, very necessary for natural selection. I welcome conflicting viewpoints here, even if they mean I might slink away bloody & defeated.

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  76. I predict this discussion will end up proving that we need to live a simple life for a number of decades until the rest of the world hopefully get's a clue regarding overpopulation and over-consumption.

    Suelo's role as a broadcaster of the simple life will be deemed useful but people will demand more from Suelo.

    Suelo or some other "Survivor Man" type persona will post video tutorials on how to deal with specific situations when living without money and other possessions. Basically what he's doing now one-on-one with his visitor.

    He'll be using the leading edge of technological evolution to educate the masses efficiently so that our species can continue to be the leaders in information building on information.

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  77. I just found your site, so I apologize if this is a redundant question, but have you seen Douglas Rushkoff's book, "Life, Inc."?

    Keep up the inspiring work!

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  78. A couple of points:

    I followed Miguel's link for the hydra and read another article about biological immortality that was linked to it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_immortality

    As I understand it, biologically immortal species might not "age" in the way we do, but they have high mortality rates from other factors in their environments.

    Also, even if afflictions that affect us after we've had the chance to reproduce don't get selected out of the gene pool, nature may select us out when we are subject to those afflictions, thereby saving us from the suffering of those afflictions.

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  79. To clarify my point about biological immortality, high mortality rates from environmental factors would reduce the need to have death programmed into an organism. If predators or other environmental factors remove members of a species from an ecosystem at a high enough rate, that will allow older members of a species to get out of the way of their offspring.

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  80. If humans achieve biological immortality, we could make a big roman circus were people compete as gladiators, with bets and all, to allow removal of older members of a species.

    Or we could move beyond our little planet, and conquer the stars.

    So many posibilities.

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  81. I read Love and Possessions - Sex and Money,

    and the thought that came to mind is from the book, "The Cloud of Unknowing."

    "God can not be grasped, except through love."

    Jim

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  82. Hey Suelo, It's Jose. Nice to see that you have so many readers. Just saying hi and glad to see you're still going strong at it. Hope to hang out sometime again and talk stories.

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