Worldschooling, Voluntaryist Ethnicity, & Statist Parenting (36m) – Editor’s Break 087

Editor’s Break 087 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: his family’s recent travels and worldschooling; the many features of what constitutes a voluntaryist ethnicity; why the family can be viewed as a totalitarian institution and a call for voluntaryists to parent consistently with their principles; and more.

Listen to Editor’s Break 087 (36m, mp3, 64kbps)

Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”.

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Negative Social Preferencing, ICE Edition

On June 19, New York based artist, programmer, and activist Sam Lavigne published a list of 1,595 Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees and publicly available information about them (remember those two words: “publicly available”).

Lavigne provided a public service that in anything resembling a free society would be completely uncontroversial. Instead, moral panic ensued.

Github deleted the information from its repository. Twitter suspended accounts calling attention to it. It eventually found a home at WikiLeaks.

On June 24, the US Department of Homeland Security (of which ICE is a subsidiary) claimed “heightened threats” versus its employees and reiterated recommendations (per CBS News) “including not displaying work badges in public, being careful with public conversations and using caution on all social networks.”

Donald Trump’s Internet base — which loved WikiLeaks when it released emails exposing corruption in the Democratic National Committee — exploded with rage, calling for a raid on Ecuador’s UK embassy to drag Julian Assange to America for “justice” (he’s been held incommunicado for months and presumably had nothing to do with this project) and for charging Lavigne as an accomplice in any attacks on ICE employees.

To see what a tempest in a teapot this is, remember the “publicly available” angle.

The sources for Lavigne’s database are the ICE employees’ own public LinkedIn profiles, on which they openly state who they work for. Their reasons probably run to networking with others in similar jobs, and seeking other employment, but once you put something on a public-facing web space, the public gets to notice.

Lavigne didn’t hack into an ICE computer. He just took information that anyone with a web browser could have found any time they cared to look, and organized it into a more convenient format.

But let’s just suppose that Lavigne had instead built his database from, say, a leaked ICE personnel list. If so, so what? These people receive their salaries from taxpayers and claim to work for “the public.” On what grounds can they claim a right  to have their employers not know who they are?

As far as “threats” are concerned, the real but largely unspoken one is well-deserved negative social preferencing.

If decent people know that the guy next door abducts people at gunpoint for a living (or conspires with others to facilitate such kidnappings), they probably won’t invite that guy to their next backyard barbecue. Especially if some of the other guests may speak Spanish.

Until ICE is abolished, which can’t happen soon enough, the next best thing is to make it an unattractive employment option.

If you work for ICE, you should be denied service at restaurants, denied communion at churches, and have to explain to your kids why they aren’t invited to other kids’ birthday parties or play activities. And thanks to Sam Lavigne, we know who you are.

If you work for ICE, give your two weeks notice, find a job in the productive sector, and work hard to redeem yourself and live down your sordid past. This is an opportunity. Seize it.

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Commitment Isn’t the Starting Point

In Make Waves, I wrote “If you’re passionate about something, and you can’t motivate yourself to take that first step, then your first step is probably too big.”

This was a point I made earlier on a recent episode of The Minimalist where we answered questions from callers about goals.

When Ryan & Josh posted that quote on Twitter, someone asked the following question: “What if you’re passionate about nothing and still can’t take the first step?”

This is a question I hear a lot. So I thought I’d tackle it here on my blog where I don’t have to abide by the character limitations on Twitter.

Here’s what I would say to anyone who doesn’t know what to do because they’re too overwhelmed by the process of trying to sort out what their life passion is:

Don’t force yourself to be too specific too soon.

Before you try to figure out what you love, take some time to follow up on what you like. Instead of seeking a big epiphany about what you want to do for your entire life, make a small effort to explore a few things that seem interesting to you right now. Commitment isn’t the starting point for creating your life. Curiosity is.

Too many people place an unrealistic pressure on themselves to find their “one true calling” while overlooking the wisdom and directional clues to be gained from cultivating a sense of wonder towards everyday life. We approach the process of finding our life path as if it’s supposed to be like falling in love at first sight when it’s really more like figuring things out on a first date.

If you’re not passionate about anything, then your first step is to release yourself from the pressure to be passionate about some single specific thing. Then give yourself permission to playfully explore whatever you’re curious about without feeling the need to marry it or monetize it right away. Repeat that process again and again until your knowledge of self begins to manifest in the form of creative impulses that you can’t resist expressing.

Exploring your curiosities is like pouring water into a cup. If you keep doing it, the water will eventually spill out in every direction and you’ll have a condition called “overflow.” Being passionate about something is the result of creating a condition of “personal overflow” by consistently nurturing your sense of wonder.

Life isn’t going to just walk up to you and say “Hey, here’s a single specific passion that I’m going to assign to you and this will provide you with all the insight you’ll ever need about what to do for the rest of your life.” What life does give to you, however, are questions. At various moments, you’ll find yourself intrigued by certain types of conversations, stories, topics, hobbies, games, styles, etc. And you’ll find yourself asking all sorts of questions about how those things work. When those moments happen, your job is to follow your curiosities just as Alice in Wonderland followed the white rabbit: all the way down the rabbit hole until your life begins to intersect with the characters and adventures that seem uniquely designed for you.

No one has all the important answers about what they’re supposed to do, but everyone has interesting questions they know how to pursue. Prioritize the questions that make you come alive over other people’s answers about how to make a living.

Passion is like a flower. Curiosity is like a seed. Your dream of building a wonderful garden will never be realized until you’re willing to patiently nurture your small seeds of curiosity even though they look far more fragile and unflattering than the beautiful end goal you have in mind.

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Problems with “Authority”

I don’t mean I have problems with “authority”, I mean there are problems with the concept of “authority”. Besides it being the most dangerous superstition.

Obviously, I’m speaking of political “authority”, not expertise. Two unrelated concepts; one word used for both. Confusing by design.

“Authority” is the power to molest. That’s really all it is. This power is based on superstition, but beliefs have consequences.

Probably, in the big picture, this is the thing “conservatives” get most wrong. Along with their absolute rejection of their greatest responsibility, while crowing about everyone else’s “responsibility”, that is. They don’t understand what “authority” is, so they end up worshiping something nasty and disgusting, and criticizing others who see it more honestly than they do.

Political “authority” isn’t a real thing. You shouldn’t respect it. But you should realize dunderheads will murder you if they feel you have disrespected their delusional “authority”. Individual beware.

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