Showing posts with label Hitchhiking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hitchhiking. Show all posts

Thursday, May 23, 2019

5/23/19: The Social Media Disease - Illusion of Knowledge & Democratized Opinion

Technology enables, and social media perpetuates, prioritizing the cheap appearance of knowledge instead of fostering knowledge itself.  Also, how the Internet changes cognition and the abandonment of expertise to the holy opinion: "my ignorance is equal to  your knowledge."

Also: 
-The DIKW pyramid and drowning in data.
-The Id on Parade, the natural state of man, and Leviathan.
-What happens when reasonable voices abandon the public square to mindless mobs of roving avatars?
-When avatars attack
-A classic full-frontal Toddzilla rant salvaged from The Lost Episode about Twitter, and more.






Elias Aboujaode's Virtually You: 
https://www.amazon.com/Virtually-You-Dangerous-Powers-Personality/dp/0393340546

Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: 
https://www.amazon.com/Shallows-What-Internet-Doing-Brains/dp/0393339750

Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves To Death: 
https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1558613196&sr=1-1


More episodes/subscribe:
My travel archives: www.toddzillaX.com
Also visit: www.christophermedia.net

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Monday, March 12, 2018

ETC Pod #7: Friar Chris - Hitchhiking and Philosophy

The final episode of the Friar Chris Series begins with a discussion about the differences between bicycle touring and backpacking then moves on to deeper topics, including (@ 15:45) my experience volunteering on the Gulf Coast in the immediate aftermath of Katrina and the corrosive and corrupting effects of tribalism and dogma in the Disaster Relief Industrial Complex. We then move on to (mostly) explore the fundamental ideas behind why he and I chose hitchhiking and what we learned and experienced while traveling the country as “disposable” vagabonds loitering out on the fringe. SPOILER ALERT: Sausage Party Hope lies within!



More episodes/subscribe: www.escapingthecave.com
My travel archives: www.toddzillaX.com
Also visit: www.christophermedia.net (check out Unregimented!)

Topical cheat Sheet follows:

Monday, March 5, 2018

ETC Pod #6: Friar Chris - Walking Savannah to Seattle

In this politics-free second of three, I sit down again with Chris Dyson for a chat about his walk from Savannah, Georgia to Seattle which included enduring a turbulent breakup on the side of US 287 in northern Colorado, getting lost in rural Wyoming, and anecdotes and observations about some of the fascinating people he met along the way. Deeper topics include self-generated baseless fear, choosing existential isolation in the name of personal security, internal narratives, religion & spirituality, restless escapism, travel and aging, and more.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

ETC Pod #5: Friar Chris - Gringo On The Hill

The first of three expansive (and nearly politics-free!) episodes with Chris Dyson, we discuss the mystical route leading to his founding of The Hof, his hostel in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Peruvian Andes and the difficulties he encountered in being a gringo outsider trying to integrate into the nearby Quechuan community, including the multiple robberies endured during his six and a half years living in Peru. We also discuss "The Personal Peace Corp" and the Dennis Doctrine, tribalism, non-caucasian based racism, apocalypse cultism, the epidemic of human disconnection, the related death of the sense of community, and more.




My photos of The Hof: www.upperworldphoto.com
More: www.escapingthecave.com
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Plans? Ha!



Perhaps you've heard or read about my confrontations with "plans"?

"We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."

Perfect. Maybe that's why Steinbeck was Steinbeck:

"When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going. This to the practical bum is not difficult. He has a built-in garden of reasons to choose from. Next he must plan his trip in time and space, choose a direction and a destination. And last he must implement the journey. How to go, what to take, how long to stay. This part of the process is invariable and immortal. I set it down only so that newcomers to bumdom, like teen-agers in new-hatched sin, will not think they invented it. 
Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it."

--Opening lines: John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley In Search of America

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

7/5/17: Springfield, VT - Steinbeck Heard (Video)

The second (post-epiphany) part of the day. A more in-depth debrief is here.

7/5/17: Springfield, VT - Steinbeck Screaming (Video)

This is the first of two distinctly different parts making up this Wednesday (7/5) in southern Vermont. The trip begins "taking me", again, and its course has nothing to do with my silly "plans" (ha!). Again. Unfortunately, I hadn't realized it quite yet. Funny things, expectations! Perhaps I'll just pack the book next time.

Part of the after-the-fact debrief is here. In the meantime, have some fun at my expense. I did! 

And drive your damn cars!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

7/4/17 (3): Waterbury to Springfield, VT - Jerking the Wheel



Adventures In Waterbury

I wasn’t “getting anywhere” so around 2:30 I abandoned my roundabout in favor the interstate. My initial instincts: solid. The ramp blew. Hard. No way anyone could stop. After half an hour, despite the blister on the ball of my foot barking, I chose to walk the mile and a half thru Waterbury in hopes of better luck with Route 2 from the other end.

These little New England towns are intoxicatingly Mayberry, especially when they crackle in the summer sun with July 4th patriotism! I enjoyed chatting up an elderly couple sitting on their porch who asked all sorts of questions as I waddled past, then another chat with some folks who’d noticed me earlier. These two were stereotypically “New England”, congenial but not “too” nice, and walking away I’d come to see how conspicuous I’d become loitering in their tiny town. One unaccustomed to the appearance of drifters!

7/4/17 (2): Colcester to Waterbury, VT - Amy & The Beacon



Bob dropped me off in comfortable territory: a large rural Mobil station that happened to be alongside US-7, the road with whom I’d begun the trip almost a week before, and a short walk from I-89.

Mostly out of habit (I had Subway and plenty of water from earlier), I took a lap around the store to see if I wanted anything and caught the attention of three kids whose age I couldn’t judge. They could have been anywhere from 15-21. Seeing the backpack, they said something to each other then the brave one asked, “Are you just out traveling around to see what’s out there?”

“Yeah. Pretty much. Somethin’ like that,” I chuckled without bothering to break stride.

“Whoa. That’s like…inspiring.”

7/4/17 (1): Alburg-Colcester, VT - Daddy Mammon's Consumerist Plantation



Part 1

I'd arrived in Rouses Point feeling rejuvenated! The stomach bug…so familiar by then I’d named it Ticonderoga’s Revenge…had passed and I was ready to attack my old friend Route 2 and make my way to Maine.

Things began perfectly and generated optimism. It took just 10-minutes to hitch a ride across the bridge spanning part of Lake Champlain back into Vermont and Alburg, a little town on an islet surrounded on three sides by the lake and attached by land only to Canada.

Monday, July 3, 2017

7/2 & 7/3/17: Whitehall, NY to Alburg, VT - Around Lake Champlain (Video)

Freed from Ticonderoga's Revenge, I finally leave Whitehall, make up for lost time, and resume my relentless obsessive hitching pursuit of Route 2 and Maine.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

7/1/17: Poultney, VT to Whitehall, NY - Bill's Ark (Video)

This video is in no an adequate representation of the day but, then again, I'm no videographer. Consider this a placeholder until I properly write it up. 

"The weather unleashes a left hook and and is counterpunched by a level of  unsolicited generosity & humanity that would sooth any savage cynic. Including this one. Top to bottom, days (and people) like this are why I choose to travel this way."


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

6/28/17: Emerald Lake State Park, VT - (re-re) Retargeting Maine (Video)

Day #1 of 2017's delayed travels. This day went much the same as 2008: it began with Chris having to make a phone-based return and ended at a previously unknown state park. The 2008 similarities didn't end there. 

  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Consultation Plague

**This was originally the last section of the previous post. But I'm weary of 2,000 word posts. Consider the split an act of mercy.**




The last paragraph in my previous post was hard-earned. It literally (proper use) took years to get there because at the outset I unintentionally became caught up in the entertainer's praise-performance-praise cycle without being completely aware it had happened. Facebook took over for the old blog making matters worse, then I was convinced to follow the Toddzilla X "brand" path in 2012 and the dopamine cycle spiraled out of control when my life became a product to be marketed online...The Matrix Marketplace. Depression and a generalized and growing innate anger predictably set in as I tried to broaden my appeal via video production and podcasting. The only sustained respites between 2012 and when I discovered the wonders of depression-busting powers of psilocybin last April: traveling.

It wasn't until last year when I embraced that this (and later on my photography) isn't a "product" to be submitted to the mob for mass-appeal and approval or, worse, to be marketed in The Matrix Marketplace, that I could ultimately embrace that my message is micro-niche: intended for “my people". The Unbearably Splintered. The rest?  They're never going to get it. Why bother? Great question. Fuck ‘em.

Destination: Death

THE DELUSION OF THE ENLIGHTENED LIFE

Life’s a journey along a series of uncharted paths where only one thing is certain: death is the unavoidable destination.  There are few certainties. Etch that in stone.

This terrorizes our species of bald apes. With a sense of consciousness and its attached ego still stuck in its wailing infant stage, we cling to various mythologies conveniently placing us at the Center of the Universe™ and providing the comforting illusion that we’re cheating death. All we have to do: behave, believe, and deliver Mammon Tribute to the pulpit or kill an infidel! My concern is no longer escapist religion. Some people need it. I understand that and some days even empathize!

(But, honestly: “if something’s too good to be true…”)

That being said, the sad effect of embracing the Universal Sky Daddy Delusion is it often prevents the faithful from properly valuing our most precious commodity: life. And, embracing their journey for what it is.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Plan Less. Live More.



Along with an infamous "Hostility Toward Wealth" Facebook post that destroyed some deep friendships, this has probably become my favorite thing I've written. It's from March or April 2015 and written inside my tent in Salento, Colombia. I have to admit, and with only a slight, forced degree of humility: its nice to be able to inspire yourself! Thanks for the organic reminder, Mr. Campbell.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

On Fear (Archive, 2009, 2011)

Slightly edited excerpt from "That Uppity Ego"
August 16, 2009


Fear

Since Michigan, this is a topic I seem to be contemplating and discussing quite frequently. Fear is a never-ending fight and if we cower too often it can cripple and make us a prisoner of our own mind.

I find it hilarious when people tell I'm "courageous." Someone famous wrote, “None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.” I have known more than most! It's had a history of paralyzing me. I made a mistake in not publishing the back-story from 2004-2008, before Running with the Wind. I will correct that eventually, but it literally took me those 4-years to hit the road primarily due to fear. The “what ifs” consumed me. I was never prepared enough, never had the right equipment, or the destination was not right because too much “might happen.” Much of that was due to a lack of confidence, a major source of fear. In the weeks leading up to my departure in May 2008 I repeatedly shredded myself in my journal about the fact that I KNEW I was an obvious coward with nothing but big talk and bigger ideas, and I was sick of feeling powerless to do anything about it. This is from April 20, 2008, exactly one month before I began this little adventure:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Abyss (Archive, 2011)


 “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”  
-Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil




I’ve never read much Nietzsche, and likely never will. I tried getting thru Thus Spake Zarathustra and couldn’t. However, these two sentences have helped articulate something that I’ve struggled with for nearly two years: The idea that when you dare to confront and examine the darker, less flattering parts of life, the Abyss, your own darker, less flattering traits are inadvertently revealed to you. I believe one of the most difficult and important choices one can make is whether we choose to see what inhabits our own depths. It’s the stuff of mythology, and nearly derailed me.

Nietzsche’s Abyss was introduced to me by Henry Rollins via my favorite podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. Despite being a comedian, Maron’s conversations typically pivot toward insightful, introspective examinations of our shared, needy, frail egos and how they influence our choices and relationships. In other words, how we’re all more alike in our fucked-upitude than we care to admit!