For some reason or another you find yourself here, most likely staring at a device capable of generating miniscule variations on light that your brain is capable of transforming into symbolic text and inferring a meaning to. That is unless you are a semi-sentient spam bot seeking to service the whims of your programmer or some far off future lifeform digesting this in a format outside of the technosphere internet. Regardless as you can tell my verbiage tends to be convoluted and self-referrential. This might or might not be your style but if you enjoy this kind of writing feel free to read on.
This current manifestation of this site is probably the 10th incarnation of Freevolt.org, every time up until this point I have abandoned my efforts thwarted by a list of factors I will save for a future blog post. The point is that I've often times attempted to develop this site from an idea into a functioning publishing point and I have failed. So instead of pretending that this will be succesful (whatever that means). I'd rather just use it as a place to dump text from my brain at the moment and hope that enough of it begins to contextualize itself to make it a place I'd like to return too. I certainly have enough thoughts and I find the various social medium platforms to have a number of faults that make them less than desireable.
Now let me get back to actually talking about this site in a way that attempts to provide you with some kind of understanding of my intentions as a creator of meaning. I originally conceived of Freevolt as a response to the 2004 election of George W. Bush, it was a concation of Freedom and Revolt with a number of synergistic elements that also connected it with free software, diy hacking, electronics and the like. At some point it was expanded to be inclusive of any attempt at free anything. This was tied to a political philosophy of revolt through living for free, that is an attempt to divorce ones self from the capitalist mechanism of consumer culture and live ones life without the usage of money and what not. This was combined with the notion that if everyone were to simply engage in this level of revolt it would be on par with a general strike and end up transforming society as people managed to find new ways to live. While this philosophy served me well as a psychological response to the sense of doom and failure that surrounded the activist mileu after the war-time president was re-elected in the midst of cries of voter fraud and certainly voter suppression. This site never manifested itself and the spirit of Freevolt as it was conceived then never manifested.
The point of sharing this information is to release it, to attempt to escape from the past by telling it, especially when this is such a personal story. Plus this being the internet, me being a psuedo-anonymous author and you reading this luckily have no obligation to delve any deeper except for your curiousity.
Fast forward 8 years into the future. The world has changed and it has staid the same. The economic collapse that those of us against the consumer culture imagined might come arrived in 2008. Now 2012 has passed, the alleged point of new-age singularity and transformation. It is 2013, we are still alive, our planet is still being trashed and we have to ask ourselves what we are going to do about it.
So let me expand more upon the specific topics and reasoning for covering them, please excuse my verbosity I have spent the last month or so filling my brain with lectures with coursera.
Technology - the central theme of this site, technology is something often misunderstood, considered implicity tied to consumerism and gadgets, or associated entirely with machines, computers and a rationalistic humanistic view of the world as if we were all simply systems. But honestly technology is so much more than any of these things and we humans have adopted technology for years from the time that we taught each other how to skin dead animals with stones and transform them into drums to the latest ipad manufactured by ginormous factories of underpaid workers. The technology itself is simply about sharing instructions, plans and leveraging our interaction with each other and the material world through our mind. Technology is a tool used widely by those who seek to control others but it also can serve the purposes of connecting those who fight against control. The watchers can be watched and we as individuals can learn from each other how to do many things that if we were isolated would be next to impossible to figure out. Namely technology in the format of open-source, DiY electronics, seed sharing, cooperatives and the like are the focus of this blog. The sharing of information, ideas, recipes and gathering feedback for what works and what doesn't. These are all part of the human experience, the practical application of how-to and why, science and engineering liberated from the hands of specialists controlled by kings and corporations. We either learn how to use the tools or the tools will be used against us.
Energy - this is a multi-faceted concept as well, in the words of technocrats it refers to simply the material resources we can use with our machines to produce work and/or heat ala coal, gas, oil, and renewables. Namely energy is the tool that we humans use to power our technology, and at the moment we are using a lot of it from unrenewable resources and producing a lot of devastation to our environment because of it. Any user of technology that doesn't connect the dots between their energy usage and their technology usage and it's potential impact upon the rest of the world and pretends that technology as it is currently deployed is simply beneficial is hiding from the facts. That is simply one aspect of energy though. The other aspect is human energy, we as humans have energy, we produce it, it can be a form of subtle bio-electricity or simply a positive mood. We also have bad moods, bad energy, and even if it exists simply as a social concept it is impossible to ignore. We transmit and receive information in the form of energy. Often times this energy is called love when it is warm, inviting and connecting. How does this energy exist and what does it mean, I plan to explore this and share resources with others exploring this concept in this very blog.
Freedom - and here's the kicker, a word that has been abused, rebranded and transformed into a branding for a country that likes to "export" it in the form of a consumer culture ala McDonalds. But this isn't the freedom that I refer to, no freedom is an important concept because it underlies our individuality and ability to connect with others. It is the pivotal point of inference for whether or our energy or technology is beneficial or destructive. What do I mean ? I mean the freedom to exist, to connect, to love, to do countless things that many times others attempt to strip from others. Governments attempt to control their citizens, corporations attempt to influence and market to individuals to trick them into taking actions that aren't necessarily in the best interests of the consumers. Just to name a couple of instances. But even then freedom is a very vague and hard to quantify word, but for the purposes of this blog I am interested in it as a means of providing true choices, knowledge, understanding and respecting the individuals wishes. Freedom as a contrast towards slavery, knowing that we all exist in various shades of grey in this regard. There is no true freedom in absence of relations towards others and to some degrees many of our relationships that we might label coercive are voluntary to one degree or another. The concept of slavery when applied towards wages and labeled wage-slavery isn't the same as the slavery of individuals as property but not far off in some instances. But at the same to be hyperbolic we often feel that many of our actions are driven by external obligations, debts and social controls that make it so that we don't feel a true sense of freedom behind our actions. We do things not because we "want" to but because we "need" to. I think that my writing in this short explanation has gotten relatively convoluted and I am feeling hungry and my desire to consume items to make energy for my brain is overriding my desire to touch plastic keys to transform and transmit information to the interwebs.
This blog is about technology, energy and freedom and will be a place for me to share ideas, plans, howtos and more for the purpose of helping us all facilitate a more sustainable, liberatory, compassionate world.