Rush Hour On Beijing Subway – The Rat Race

I came across this video today in the mainstream media. It brought back some memories and reminded me why the struggle for independence and self-employment is worth all of the effort and the sacrifices.

At times I need reminding because in the current political/business environment, trying to get into a position of strength on an independent basis (and staying there) is a constant battle, one which often has me questioning whether it is all worth it and at times questioning my own sanity.

Trying to make a living online can be a particularly unforgiving and lonely experience, especially when the going is tough but for many of us, we are between a rock and a hard place. If you don’t understand my meaning, watch the video above.

I think it’s fair to say that some of us literally have no choice. Once you go so far down a certain road there is no turning back and that’s probably a good thing. I’m pretty much unemployable now, my boats/bridges have been burnt. I guess that’s what it means to be an ExRat.

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The Tiny Dot Video By Larken Rose

I came across this video while doing some online research. I really like it for a variety of reasons.

I really like the message and think that the Western world would be a better place if more people took a little time away from some of the mind-numbing activities they seem to be drawn to and instead spent that time thinking about the type of concepts and questions posed in the video, simplistic though they may be.

They should get children to ponder these questions in school ideally, but alas, schools are part of the system so that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, is it?

I also like it because without being too condescending, it is a good example of how to get a message across to the ‘typical’ internet user who might have a short attention span and who might also have difficulty grasping the same concept presented in a more complicated manner.

There are a few aspects to this, some more obvious than others. For example, the graphical representation of the dots clearly emphasises the main point and demonstrates the difference in scale. But I also like the repetition used with the sound that is played whenever he mentions ‘the enforcers.’ Does this help to get the point across? It kind of tickled me.

The use of the ladies voice interjecting to point out the ‘accurate graphical representation’ aspect contrasts nicely with the ‘story-telling’ voices used by Larken, which (coupled with the handy green arrow that appears) makes sure that there can be almost no possibility of even the most distracted viewer from misunderstanding which group the narrator is referring to.

A little light humour (‘and one little troublemaker asked, “What if we don’t?”‘) helps to ensure that any youngsters watching are entertained, along with any easily entertained adults, like myself.

There is one important point which appears to be missing, though. The ‘dot’ is armed (via the enforcers) and in most Western countries the mass of dots are unarmed and the dot uses the implied threat and the actual use of violence to intimidate the mass of dots.

Any explanation of how the tiny dot intimidates the mass of dots is not entirely accurate if this little, but not insignificant fact is left out.

Regardless, it turns out (surprise, surprise!) to be an ad - for a book. I’m not the biggest fan of most advertising I come across, but this one gets the thumbs up from me. It’s educational, thought-provoking,  interesting, different (that’s especially cool) and the viewer gets a ‘takeaway’ even if they don’t buy – a freebie of sorts. That’s ethical and smart selling in my book.

If you have any comments on this video or my take on it, please feel free to leave them below and I will respond to them as soon as I can. Thanks for visiting.

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Garbage Warrior (Full Length Documentary) With Michael Reynolds

I discovered this documentary film recently. The main character (Michael Reynolds - an architect) is particularly ExRatish – he lives off the grid, he loves independence and autonomy and he thinks outside of the box.

He also has a vision (many of them, all of the time!) which could make the world a much better, more resourceful and sustainable place, if only those visions were adopted by the mainstream. He looks at everyday items from a very unusual perspective and manages to constantly find value in doing so.

I learnt a lot from watching this and was totally inspired. There are some interesting lessons within this film – EG – when Michael crosses swords with authority, you get to see just how illogical the state system is and how almost every mover and shaker is bought and paid for by vested interests, even though their everyday actions are clearly destructive and illogical and detrimental to the people they are meant to be representing.

The battles he has with the state over simply choosing to live his life in the way he desires (which is clearly a better, freer way to live and has much less impact on anyone else or the environment) shine a light on the stark contrast between his way and their way. But his determination, including re-approaching the issue determined to adapt to their way of doing things (however distasteful and illogical that was for him) with the aim of winning the game by their rules, is simply inspirational.

There is simply no logical argument to defend the state on this issue and no logical argument that can be made against Michael’s way of doing things, yet time and time again they use their muscle to defeat him, purely out of fear that if they let him do his thing, others might see the logic and want to copy him, in which case it would become apparent to anyone who is thinking clearly that the reason the state forces us to live in the destructive and harmful manner that they do, is because it suits their aims for us to live in a way that makes us weak and keeps us dependent upon them – regardless of the fact that it is wasteful, destructive and totally unsustainable.

This type of film is one of the best examples of what I would recommend watching if you find yourself wanting to wean yourself off mainstream broadcast television, which I am in the process of testing/doing and I am finding myself noticing and appreciating a host of benefits. It’s inspiring, it provokes intelligent questions, it encourages the viewer to notice the benefits of thinking outside of the box and ultimately it provided this ExRat with another new hero of ExRatism.

Bravo Michael!

I can’t help but see the contrast after watching films like this between this and mainstream TV. It helps me to understand that for every hour of mainstream TV that is viewed, you get about three minutes of useful information, fifteen to twenty minutes of hardcore advertising for nasty corporate products using distasteful, childish and annoying advertising techniques, and the rest is just brain-mush nonsense.

To me, that’s not a good deal – my time is finite and my brain is delicate, sensitive and requires protection from harm via spurious information. Whereas the internet, if you know where to look and how to be discerning, is overloaded with quality, refreshing, inspiring material which is educational and useful.

In my ideal world, where logic and reason prevails and the proper education and nurturing of children is paramount,  films like this would be a part of most peoples’ educational curriculum – so regardless of your age, if you haven’t seen it, try putting it on your curriculum!

If you watch this film and get something positive from it, feel free to drop me a comment below letting me know what you thought about it. Thanks for reading.

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Rough Seas In Torquay – Photos From April 2012

Earlier this year, back in April (before I had a break from blogging) I took a bunch of photographs of the sea on a really stormy day (by our standards – not that impressive if you experienced hurricane Sandy!) which I made into a couple of galleries, but never got around to posting.

They’re kind of annoying me, sitting in WordPress doing nothing so I’m going to put them here.

I’ve lived close to the sea for six years now and I find it absolutely fascinating. I moved here on my own and I still live on my own most of the time, which I think contributes to why I consider the sea as one of my friends. It’s like a huge, heaving, ever changing mass of pure nature.

When I walk alongside it, it is on the one hand threatening yet at the same time inviting. There’s something about this huge mass that cries out that it is a living entity – it seems to communicate with me yet I have no idea what it is saying. The only thing I can decipher is that it is reminding me just how insignificant I really am, which, viewed positively means that my problems and challenges are actually insignificant and not worth worrying about in the big scheme of things. Thanks for the reminder, mate.

The relentless pounding of the waves on the one hand is enough to wash away huge rocks over time, yet on the other hand it seems to be making that noise to get noticed, saying, “Hey come and jump into me and have some fun and a free wash.”

If you view this water as one single entity, then it touches every continent. You could use it as a transport system and get to almost any country that isn’t landlocked. While it pounds the rocks in Torquay, the same body of water is pounding the rocks and beaches in hundreds of other places simultaneously.

Perhaps it is having a mood on a certain day on one side of the world and pounding rock into sand, while gently lapping the shore somewhere else on the other side of the world and dragging pebbles backwards and forwards to the delight of anyone stopping to listen.

As you can probably tell, I’m still in awe of my new neighbour and I don’t plan on changing that too soon. It’s worth remembering as often as possible that many of the very best things in life really are free. Why not join them in their freedom?

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Stefan Molyneux – The Handbook Of Human Ownership – A Manual For Tax Farmers

Here’s another Stefan Molyneux video for you. I really like this one and listened to it three times in two days when I first found it. Because it’s quite long, I think Stefan spent his time on the audio content and grabbed some public domain video for the background, which doesn’t always match the topic being discussed. Therefore, I treat this as a podcast – for audio purposes only.

It is narrated in the style of a teacher explaining to a new ruler of a country who is in training, how they should proceed in order to keep the masses enslaved and themselves enriched via the production of the masses. He makes some particularly pertinent points regarding the origins and aims of feminism and the indoctrination of children within the state school system.

I imagine that for some people, this video may come across as incredibly boring or depressing. It’s one of those things that is difficult for me to judge. But for myself, it’s perfect for the stage I am at in my self education and personal development. Recently, I have made big strides in avoiding mainstream media (online newspapers) and television news and other TV programming. It’s this kind of stuff that I am replacing it with, often listening to it in the background as I complete other tasks.

I hope that some of my blog readers may gain something from this kind of material. If you do enjoy it or get anything from it, please leave me a comment below, letting me know.

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