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* BFU Weekly Journal *
documenting creation of a
Visionaries Learning Center

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BFUniv, BFU college, self-directed e-learning, Bastiat Free University


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hacker Interviews A Tyrant

Most of you have read the free online novel Hacktivism End Game - Complicit Simplicity. Many have read the short story prologue, *hacktivist*. It seems right to add an interview as an epilogue, a story of slavery and extortion:

A Hacker Interviews A Tyrant


His Nibs was on a rant, and he was mostly right – just a bit extreme; as usual. I knew when I walked in and saw him drinking port instead of wine as his evening glass of thought provoker, he was working up to something big.

“Tell me I'm Wrong;" he started. “There are two types of governments.”

“You were on this last week,” I replied. “Tyrannies formed by elites manipulating the masses by installing puppets in a democracy, and dictatorships that skip the appearance of fairness and rule directly.

He waved me off. “The purpose of argument is to get your premise accepted as a given -- so I simplified and overextended. I'll assume for now you finally accept at least part of that idea. Lets go a dualism deeper.”

“Isn't dualism a bit inaccurate, there is no complementary balance to your idea, both forms you mention are malignant, neither positive.”

“You're right. There is coffee in the kitchen, let me think on how to rephrase that.”

I settled down with my coffee, and waited him out.

“Your point illustrates why I've searched deeper. No duality; and other citizen management tools are available besides democracy and totalitarianism. It's too vague an argument to gather a consensus.”

“And...”

“And that's why I needed to go deeper, exploring the origins of governments. The idea that people need to be manged by people that can't manage their own lives is ludicrous on the surface. You would have to be carefully taught to believe that.”

I looked at my notes and prepared questions, "Y
ou've covered that in The Case For Coercive State Education: 'States can not afford to ignore the propaganda value of indoctrinating captive children, starting with loyalty oaths and on to rewritten histories. Let children starve before allowing them to grow up thinking for themselves.”

“I sometimes forget you've read my books. During court proceedings I had time to write them, I didn't expect my enemies to take time to read them.” He paused a moment, then continued. “Let's consider the two ways governments first formed. We will exclude small family and tribal units that were assimilated into larger units.”

“Such tribes and families still maintain their basic functions, balancing individual needs against group survival.”

“Good, you understand. It's larger groups, preying on natural instincts to create artificial unity in dissimilar peoples, that interest me today.”

I prodded him a bit, “That sounds like a good thing.”

He reacted to that, “What?" Then he paused before: "Oh yes, it sounds good. Like most such arguments, forgetting differences and assimilating all into a common culture always feels right. That's why governments publicly pursue such ideals regardless their real goals. Their populations unite behind them: 'As long as it's our culture others are forced into.'”

“Forced is a loaded word, what about choice?”

“Hah! Well challenged. That would be natural, for individuals or tribes to want to migrate toward something better. Unfortunately that's not how governments work. Governments are not the individuals they represent, the societies they rule, or the nations of like individuals they divide with intentionally contentious borders. Just like corporations, governments are artificial constructs for managing livestock.”

“I think I see where your ruminations are taking us.”

“Quite right. That is one of the two divisions of government origins.”

“People as livestock? That would be slavery.”

“It was and is slavery. Today we have found free range livestock is healthier and more productive – but they are still slaves. My house arrest is a reasonable example. My jailers and those confined in smaller cells may call it freedom, but I don't. Freedom is not relative. You are either free or a captive.”

“And the second origin of governments?”

“Extortion: hunter gathers collecting any perceived surplus of farmers and merchants.”

“Barbarians.”

“Perhaps, but many barbarians were of more ethical stock than the population centers they sometimes looted.”

'Define ethical for me.”

“Causing minimal damage, doing what you said you would do. That second part requires any counter-parties to do what they said they would do; or any agreements are voidable without notice. That's why an ethical reputation is important: your reputation argues for your actions.”

“That's okay for now, but does ethics align with raiding barbarian hoards?”

“More frequently than with leaders of governed masses. The first sack of Rome was limited to one day of souvenir and gold grabbing. It was pay, and pay back, for the conquering soldiers. Compare that to the prolonged enslaving of entire civilizations by Rome.”

“Granted, if for no other reason than to progress in recording your memoirs.“

“An accurate history of our times must have a summation of current power-politics. Taxes and fees increase political influence by extortion.
Laws and regulations create piecemeal slavery. "

“So?”

“Both the debauched Romans and the steadfast Huns have their analogs today.”

“These are your slave-masters and extortionists?”

“No, but they are stones of prior edifices from which current castles are fashioned.”

“How encompassing is your vision of history and current politics?”

“I'm still considering, but I believe all current governments will fall under both of these categories. The Federation of Liberated Cantons and King Jacob's Elldee are but interesting experiments. If the FLC endures another century we will call them a success: but they won't be mentioned as free states in next millennium's history books.”

“There are un-noted historical exceptions to your theory?”

“Many. Parts of the Hanseatic League, The Vikings in Iceland when it was warm and fertile, some North American tribes such as the Iroquois and Apache, The USA for eleven years between the Declaration Of Independence and the Constitution, the CalBaja Free State. There were others.”

“Historians will argue with the short time frame for the USA.”

“Most intellectuals ignore or argue against all truth that contradicts what they have accepted. Those that lived then knew what happened. Richard Henry Lee authored the Bill Of Rights to correct the constitution. Too little, too parsed before passage, too late. The errors of limited people's rights and expanding government privileges were already propagating. Jefferson said something like: 'Tyranny is when government has powers denied to citizens.' He knew, but still, he was human.


“So your indictment is I am either slave or slaver, extortionist or co-dependent victim.”

“Not really, I'm speaking of governments, not individuals. There are free people, but no free peoples. As I recall, Voltaire said 'Man is free when he determines to be free.”

"And a counter quote as long as we are playing history: 'I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more if they had known they were slaves.' - Harriet Tubman. But I'm here to record your thoughts before your execution.”

“Ouch. Direct as usual Jon, that is why I requested a hacker as my biographer. I also know my biography will be read, especially if it is banned throughout the world like my other books. If nothing else, write a novel to reveal these truths. You have always been an ethical barbarian.”

“And you have always been the puppet master of the governments you are now revealing. Your story needs to be told and understood. That I have known your methods and fought your bureaucracies does lend credence to your insights.”

“You ruined a good thing for me. Perhaps your Friends Of Hacker Jon will change the way the world runs. The international court has ruled I will not see that day.”

“That the court would not condemn your policies until you were ousted from government shows little has changed.”

“Slavers, murderers, and thieves travel together, but leave their wounded to be devoured by following wolves.”

“I still hope that ethical hacker's proactive actions, as were applied in Elldee, will spread and at least genocides and repressive regimes will decrease.”

“Don't count on it. What King Jacob is accomplishing in Elldee is amazing, but it is easy to imagine it not lasting past his death. The world is full of pragmatic egotists like myself. We will find a way to enslave and steal once he is gone – perhaps sooner.”

“With that our time is up, your jailer approaches. I can envision a day when instead of hoarding and stealing, the mindset will change to allowing increasing abundance.”

Scar closed the interview; “Good luck with that. It argues against history. But maybe that's your point.”

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Time for a change - a new style of BFU Journal


"Regardless of what you have been taught to believe; your most important asset is time - not money or possessions, your most important impact will be made through relationships - not through positions or certifications."
- Allan Wallace

As you've seen in recent post I keep writing more and more on Squidoo, and less and less here.

Squidoo has more tools than a blog, and each entry grows in readership over time, instead of disappearing into the archives. I've tried various archiving methods on other blogs, but with few exceptions, older post just sit there unread. If you want to try Squidoo too, there will be a link on my "lens."

It does take more time to build a quality Squidoo page, but over time readership increases. It is fairly easy to find and improve what I've written, something that rarely happens to these journal posts. There will be BFuniv tweets most weekdays on Twitter, most updates, quotes, and comments should only need those 140 characters. We will still send out quarterly Bastiat Free University e-mails to let you know how your university is progressing.

Here is the new BFU Journal style I'm going to test for a while. I have a Squidoo lens that lists what I've written there. At the top of the page I will list my most recent pages, the others will be grouped by category. If you want to treat it like a blog, just look at the most recent entries.

If you find something interesting, say about education, scroll down to the Finding A Cure For The Common Education module to access more lenses on the subject. I will be playing with the format - over the next few months it may change occasionally.

Go take a look, the page is titled:

"An eccentric old fellow who trains visionaries." - a lensography

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blogging Break

I'll be out of town a great deal during the next week or two; subscribe to the RSS feed and you will know when I return. I had planned to talk about the competitors of BFU this week, perhaps I can do that when I return.

For a few interesting reads, try these:

A rewrite about the inspirational Dr. Margarita Pereyda

A chance to challenge your independent thinking

And as close as we will get, for now, to a Foreign Language Department for Bastiat Free University and the Netcohort Institute.

Best,

Allan


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Thursday, June 12, 2008

No Anti-bureaucratic School Rants Today

Well, except the title of this journal post.

It would be easy to rant, but you probably already know about the problems I'd address. Another rant would scare off folks that want to know more, and put the awake few to sleep. There is a better way. If we need and want change - let's listen to someone successful at creating change.

"To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
R. Buckminster Fuller

This should be easy, the old model is already obsolete. However, it is self perpetuating. What we need discover is a way to break the chain of delusion that impels new cows into the slaughter yards. Ranting, while easy, is not the answer.

"My days of whining and complaining about others have come to an end. Nothing is easier than fault finding. All it will do is discolor my personality so that none will want to associate with me. That was my old life. No more."
Og Mandino

I can look at this post and see where my mind has tried to slip into anger and hostility. A release of anger and angst will not achieve our purpose of expanding viable alternatives to the common education. Once our better learning regimes are expanding; creating battles will not tear down the entangled webs of sophist rhetoric.

The BS, MS, and Phd will just get piled deeper and deeper. (you know what BS is, MS is More of the Same, PhD is Piled higher and Deeper.)

Creating a better mouse trap is also no guarantee of the world beating a path to your door. The world must know of it, and it must be enough better to justify replacing the old and developing new methods of application.

It is apparent in this post-bureaucratic era that integrity, accomplishment, and actual knowledge are becoming more important than diplomas. We realize this makes options like free universities, the Netcohort Institute, unschooling, homeschooling, and open schools an overwhelming improvement when compared with most existing educational platforms.

The reason to beat a path to our independent doors clearly exists.

The next step is to let the world know it is worth the journey.

.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Importance of Education and the Power of The Internet

I have several lenses at Squidoo about education, learning, knowledge, and understanding.

I have one The Importance Of Education that has an almost seasonal quality about it.

It appears that at the end of a school year some teachers assign a project to their students that requires a definition of "the importance of education." The first reaction of many students is to Google the assignment. That leads them to my page.

Now I don't have an approved book in their school library, the public library will not have any of my materials in their reference section, and they won't easily discover the advantages of self-directed learning in available periodicals. They certainly won't find an outline for the Netcohort Manifesto or current information about student directed learning at the Netcohort Institute.

What does happen, is their search engines will direct them to a trusted website that offers fresh insights into the importance of education -- and they discover my lens. At the least they will discover there are both social and personal reasons for education. They may use that bi-pole relationship to develop their essays. The open information in the lens is not necessarily what educational authorities would approve for their coerced students.

By the power of the internet, both sides of the story about educational importance are told.

To the horror of bureaucrats -- students can make up their own minds.


"The shocking possibility that dumb people don't exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn't real."
John Taylor Gatto



Mark up a big plus for the Internet.


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Thursday, May 29, 2008

an anti-bureaucratic manifesto

Sixteen realities of this new era.

This started as a module in my Bureaucrat Tipping lens, but seems too cumbersome to remain there. I'm loath to throw it out without putting it somewhere we can find it, so it will sit in the archives of the BFU Weekly Journal.


Unless of course it gets enough comments to justify working on it some more.

A week later I've decided to build a Squidoo lens around this idea; go ahead and visit Netcohort Manifesto.

an anti-bureaucratic manifesto
  1. Humanity is composed of individuals.
  2. Every functioning individual is better equipped to determine what is best for themselves than any other person.
  3. The "one size fits many" bureaucratic age is over - it ain't coming back.
  4. the world is still full of bureaucratic age misfits believing it is their calling to run the lives of others. Their world is shrinking, and in some cases imploding.
  5. The technologically empowering age of the individual has begun; individuals are starting to self-tailor their own lives.
  6. The social axiom with the greatest potential -- Do as you wish; without harming others and their rights to do as they wish.
  7. If you so tailor your life so as to optimize opportunities for yourself and those you love, everyone benefits.
  8. A life well lived is a disruptive technology.
  9. Any exchange of loyalties is an ongoing negotiation. Individuals can choose where and why to direct their loyalty, and when to remove it.
  10. Loyalty is now born of respect, not of position. If you are posturing for position, any loyalty perceived as gained is ephemeral.
  11. Respect, or lack thereof, is reciprocal. Now is the time to change the equilibrium point with those important to you.
  12. Institutions that seek quality relationships with their constituents are destined to find like measure to what they uniquely offer.
  13. Too big -- a balloon waiting for a pin.
  14. Too small -- the first step to success. Creative "too small" organizations and individuals are a pin box.
  15. In fast paced technology environments what you know is far more important than where you learned it.
  16. Your capabilities and character are becoming far more important than organizational position or certificates.
This was a good start, do you have an idea to add to the list?

Perhaps some speculative fiction showing human rights hacktivism will better portray these ideas?

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Seeking A Cure For The Common Education

A frontal assault on wealthy and entrenched educational bureaucrats is not the answer.

As a side note there is encouraging news, some of those education industry bureaucrats have noticed us and started to snipe. These may just be scouts or pickets taking a random shot, but we have made some wary and dangerous. Good.

No, a frontal assault is not yet within our power. As awareness increases of the dysfunctional education system our numbers are increasing - there is no need for covert action. What we need to do is flank institutional education's Maginot line fortifications. Approved formal institutions and their supporting ramparts are all intimidation, mono-directional, and with no sustainable depth.

Here are a few of the salients we have introduced while searching for routes around open conflict.

Teach yourself and learn more
. (Renaissance learning)

Develop peer to peer tools for accelerated learning - P2Pedu
. (Netcohort Institute)

And an acknowledgment of how little we really know
. (we be ignorant)

"Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge." - Mark Twain

The days of common education, where boredom and authority are used to create wage slaves, are almost over. The days when being a wage slave had any value have already started to fade into memory. You are the vanguard of a new movement, and you are proceeding for your own good and the good of those you love.

Perhaps we need a William Shakespeare style, Henry V Agincourt speech:


Enter the KING

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Creating an Internet Presence

Squidoo has been putting together some interesting tools. I've been doing most of my writing over there. The Squidoo pages don't seem to suffer from aging as much as web posts, and they are easier to keep up-to-date.

Squidoo now has a voting widget that might just allow me to show off what I have there. If this works you will be able to look at a list of my Squidoo pages and vote individual pages up or down.



The pages with material most like what you have found here will be scattered throughout the list (seeking a cure for the common education, that kind of stuff). Read the titles and the brief summary and pick what you would like to review. Read it and then vote.

Your vote on any connected page should show in all locations that have "grabbed" my list.


I will soon be adding more pages to the list, called a plexo, and they should also be added to the list available here. If you haven't given squidoo a try, it's both easy and fun - especially once you get used to their module page construction tools. They keep trying creative ideas - that keeps it interesting. It also has a web 2.0 community type of feel.

Here is an invite to try Squidoo.

Squidoo is better than free - they have an ad share program that kicks back a small amount of money on each page.
If you make $15.00 there we both get another $5.00 (mine goes to Bastiat Free University). They use Paypal - if your country does not, you will need to find a work-around.

From the looks of it, well done mature lenses currently average a bit less than a dollar a month in ads alone. Some better individual lenses bringing around $10.00 a month; that amount seems to be rising. Many lensmasters have also found significant affiliate income using the site -- some saying Squidoo works well with Clickbank.

Squidoo also shares Google love well - links from there will help your other web sites and blogs. Link your "squidoo lenses," together and multiply the effects.

Click through to see the plexo

There are quite a few nicely presented learning and education lenses - read them and then vote.

Best,

Allan

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Renaissance Education

There has been a page about reviving Renaissance Education over at the main Bastiat Free University site for quite a while. It is an overview of what makes the BFU approach different from bureaucratic age education.

There is now a new Squidoo lens that details what is encompassed by the label of modern renaissance education. There are techniques, books, and ideas that can help you self-educate in the classics. This will be a fine guideline as you pursue wisdom and understanding.

There is also the start of a Top 100 classic Books List that you can add to.

Renaissance Education: understanding, wisdom, and a keen eye for logic can be developed by anyone willing to put in the effort required.

You will enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life.


.

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