Monday, October 31, 2011

Letter to Allen (Wanderers List)

Hi Allen ---

"Religion" might be a misnomer, so we could say "ethnicity" and imagine one like the Jungian Society, which actively taps psychological resources through rituals involving symbols, dreams, incantations of various kinds.

I've been to some
of these Society's lectures with Wanderer Nancy. The venue is a church building, but the content is not specifically Xtian in any way.

It's not that you can practice all the rituals within the format of a lecture (any more than in the format of a toast). No, the meeting hall is more for comparing notes and discussing the various dharmas (teachings) one picked up along the way, in whatever vision quest.

At least one speaker had met with Jung personally, had stories to tell.

I would say television successfully spread a world religion of consumerism / shopping that had been hitherto unknown. Many societies tend towards frugality, ship shape, no excess, minimal -- as an aesthetic, not as a sign of "poverty" (the few assets may be of high net worth). This notion [of] filling your garage and basement with cruft as a counter to depression and in reward for "working hard" would impress many a wise ass Cro-Magnon as stupid / psychotic to the bone.

I would not identify this phenomenon exclusively with "capitalism" however as giving individuals more power as routers, when it comes to spreading assets to nooks and crannies, with guidance from shared screens, might be the basis of a systems science with no special allegiance to the capitalist heroes when it comes to demonizing all competing "isms" (a sign of weakness).

For example, I regard the standing military as essentially a socialist institution (shared public property, institutional wealth over individual wealth) and the above description matches various soldiering philosophies regarding increased unit autonomy and self-direction within the ranks.

On the other hand, the shared focus on "capitals" in the sense of cities, state capitals, might merit the use of this word for some other ideology as well, supranational in focus, urbane and metropolitan.

So for the sake of debate let's call the new religion "capitalism" while reminding ourselves it's a rather different "invisible hand" this time, as the investors think more like Jung & Swedenborg than like Smith & Maynard or Marx & Engels.

Adorno and the Frankfurt School remain influential I would suppose, but I gamble more heavily on Vienna Circle influences, know those horses better (gambling is not verboten in this namespace, or call it "church bingo"). Yes, I'll offer myself as an example capitalist in this namespace (aka "designer religion"). In my case, it's another fork within Quakerism (we're dime a dozen on those). In other tellings, the Unitarians played a pretty big role. Depends on the historian, as always.

CSN / Cult of Athena

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I'll have to check with the CFO if there's a financial claim on the English language word "cubby", which works in Scrabble. Will the King of English sue if I revector it slightly? Or maybe he'll join us in this use of the short form of "cubbyhole" (we suppress the "hole" aspect, but don't deny it completely -- "accentuate the positive" as they say).

So what's "cubby"?

A cubby is an alternative to Pod (not iPod, just Pod), which is another place to park your body while working, quite possibly in cyberspace. Mostly it's an alternative to "cubicle", which most cube farmers know well, as their home-away-from-home. You get tricked: buy this expensive home with a mortgage, but then you're gypped out of getting to live there most the time, as you squeeze into (a) a commuter vehicle, perhaps single occupancy and (b) a cubicle, often without window or privacy, where you get "supervised" for much of your adult life, not unlike elementary school, but they pay you.

The "cubby" is more of a complete dwelling unit solution and might be added to a camp situation without default demands. It works will with grid hookups, like an RV, but if these are not available, it works with various more semi-autonomous solutions involving composting, rain water harvesting and solar / wind energy collecting. We're talking about a large catalog of Office Depot supplies (you'd think Home Depot but the plywood industry is dead set against us at this point, plywood domes notwithstanding).

You get an operators manual and getting the thing going feels a lot more like booting a computer than doing upkeep on some ranch style suburban Frank Lloyd Wright wannabe. You've got a lot to learn, and might even need a special school (special ed) before putting "cubby friendly" on your resume. Like if the first day on the job for Verizon they send you to a call center in the Andes, and you've faked knowing the basics, you might not figure out about heat, or how to run the comm center. Best to not fake it. Find a retreat center that offers real experience, perhaps through your local church (try Amigos, maybe Steve Martin will take your call).

"dwelling machine rendering"
(by Andrew Owens)

The Fly's Eye Dome has become somewhat the signature / logo for the Cubby movement. There's a sidebar where we alternately heap scorn on, and collect donations for, the cube farmers, who now seem like they're living on squalor. There's "building sickness" and the shame of being gypped. There's knowing some of your peers are enjoying life in the Cubby club, whereas you're still expected to run around in a cube farm, like some rat in a maze, like Algernon before he took the red pill and got smart.

How does all this relate to CSN, other than we're thinking of staff housing? Well, because of the draconian laws against off shore gambling, we'd had to bring this in house more in terms of a subscriber service, like cable or satellite. Then we don't think of it as gambling, but fundraising, with the games serving a didactic purpose. Rest assured, we don't plan on keeping it this way, so completely out of the public eye. But for now, we have to use the "private party" motif, lest we come across as some unregulated casino trying to escape the Federal jurisdiction. That might work on Native American properties, but this is Portland, Oregon we're talking about.

There is a dome at OPDX by the way, looking something like a Cubby, but that's mostly a secret. There's a skin over it, making it look like a regular tent. Nothing illicit, just under the radar.

Note: you can wear a Cuffka in your Cubby, why not?

Undercover Dome
proto-cubby, OPDX campus

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


"My ideal is a certain coolness. A temple providing a setting for the passions without meddling with them."

-- Ludwig Wittgenstein (Culture and Values)