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Culture Versus Conscience

Culture has always been the antagonist of conscience. Once we see ourselves as part of a larger entity – once we identify with it – we feel a necessity to conform to it. If we don’t, we begin to lose the existential crutch that larger entities offer us. And, partly as a result of living [...]

The next morning I called Mike’s doctor and discussed his case. Then I made a list of things that had to be done every day: Morning, noon and evening pills, no caffeine, no fried foods, and gentle walks every day, weather permitting. We set up my room, drove to the supermarket and back, ate lunch, and then took a nap.

PJ’s Q & A

This is a set of questions and answers that I included in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men and later removed because the book worked better without them. And even though I’d write it quite differently today (I wrote this 20 years ago), I still think it’s a meaningful discussion. And so I’m passing it along. * [...]

We Have No Idea How Good We Can Get

I can still remember the first time someone told me that they believed in the Calvinist doctrine of “the depravity of man.” It shocked me. To complain about human behavior I very well understood; there’s plenty of bad behavior in the world. But to flatly call the human species depraved… hopelessly unredeemable… that was, and [...]

November 22, 1963
At 8:00 we were all up. Our pre-ordered breakfast arrived shortly after, and we all ate in silence, running through our scripts and asking ourselves what-if questions. By 9:00 we had wheeled the food cart back into the hall and were making our last bathroom stops and loading our file cases and backpacks.

We’ll Be So Much Better Without Them

There are millions of people – a majority in many places – who believe in a liberty philosophy: That the golden rule is the right way for humans to interact, that centralization is a problem, that leaving markets alone is better than rigging them, and so on. But there is a problem: Rather than pushing [...]

Three days before the assassination, November 19, I had all the hardware – cameras, film, lenses, tripods and carrying cases – ready and laid out. I was prepared for entry, filming and egress. And that night I put two rolls of clothing, with a gold coin inside, in the main room of my suite.

Fond Memories of Hitching

Hitchhiking is something that is simply not done these days, at least where I live, but back in the olden days of the 1970s, I used to hitch rides on a regular basis. Lots of us did, as a matter of fact. And I’m not aware of anyone I knew, or that they knew, hitching a ride to their death… or even to an assault.

Fighting Evil Is a Failed Strategy

Sure, there are rare situations where fighting evil humans is thrust upon us, but such situations are just that, rare. So, feel free to do what you must in that unlikely event, and let’s set the subject aside, as seductively theatric as it may be. This setting aside is important, because “fighting evil” in any [...]

The next day… or maybe one more, I didn’t keep a diary… I found myself feeling better but absolutely stuck on what to do. This time I had an answer; this was simply an odd version of writer’s block, something with which I was familiar.

The Declaration of Independence… Minus Politics

I’ll begin this post by admitting that I have an affinity for “declarations” and even for “manifestos.” Whether they be particularly good or bad, the people writing such things have invested more passion in these documents than most people have ever invested in anything. By itself, I think that’s worthy of respect. Right or wrong, [...]

I woke up with half a hangover. I opened the window shades and lay back on the bed, content to stay there all day, if that’s what felt best. This was my recovery time, not from the hangover but from the onslaught of ideas and events that brought the hangover about. And this time I hadn’t forgotten the Do Not Disturb sign. I would be left alone.

Greatest Crypto Project: Supplemental

After the first part of this series ran, I was surprised to find an archive of the Dodge City Times in my inbox. I had forgotten about the DC Times. It was our third newspaper, centered on Rex’s Dodge City system. And it too was a gas.

How Do You Describe Yourself?

This is a question that recently confronted me from several angles at the same time, and so I think it’s probably a good thing to look at. There are three fundamental aspects to this, the first two of which we’ll examine. The third is mainly out of our control. How do you describe yourself to [...]

As I walked out Mike’s door, I knew the newspaper would be worthless (and it was: a coup, a ferry tragedy, and the ubiquitous political crap), but by the time I reached the elevator I realized that I could use it as a reference for further thoughts. And so I got a few pieces of scrap paper from the man at the desk and borrowed a pen.

The Untold Story of the Greatest Crypto Project Ever – PART 6

By the time DMT was up and running, Dodge was winding down and closing, and the project was winding down. Soon enough (and especially because of Rex’s irregular activity), an audit committee was formed, and we went through all the records.

Science Has Won: Might Is Obsolete

Since the Bronze Age, human societies have been arranged around brute force. Even now, governments are monopolies of violence. More than that, the very structure of government serves one primary end: to deliver violence. All else is supplemental. This model has survived on the fear of the ruled. And fundamentally, that boiled down to a [...]