Trash Magic: Political Philosophy

This philosophy is contained in my book, the Trash Magic Manifesto and Action Coloring Book, which is both a free e-book in pdf format and a hardcopy paperback sold at cost here.

My arguments in that work can be summarized with a set of over-arching ideas. I will attempt so summarize those here.

Numbers are the Problem

when I looked deeply into what I felt was wrong with our industrial system it all pointed to one major problem: the primacy of numbers over other types of ideas. The supposedly competing industrial/political/economic systems like "capitalism" and "communism" all agree that some type of numerical description of value is appropriate, be it hours of labor, ounces of gold, or dollars of bank debt. Ultimately once you believe that a number can describe value you get a very similar system to the other people who made that choice.

I argue that this is a choice we made as a species which was not necessary and can be un-made. I also argue that it is a deeply evil choice which is always based on either destructive extractionist industry(dig it up, set it on fire, and bury it) or human misery(the wage labor system, which is clearly based on extracting misery from others).

I claim that the beliefs of what are called "capitalism" or "economics" constitute a religion which involves a blind faith in the reality of numbers that is not supported by the observable ways of Nature.

Free Technology

The whole point of this thesis work is to create a set of guidelines for creating technology that leads to a better world. To that end, I describe a set of design rules for truly free technology using a much stricter definition of "free" than the so-called "free software" people from the "tech" industry. I put both of these in scare quotes because there is nothing free about technology that is so hard to use that no one can use it without relying on a technocrat priest class who answers to no one(the so-called "hackers" with their awful broken software and their useless 3d printers.)

The goal of free technology is to always create a "technological complete set", which is a concept I introduce here that is a set of interacting technologies which can be sustainably managed by as small a group of people as possible to provide all basic human needs in an advanced civilization including: food, medicine, clean water, waste processing, industrial fabrication, communication, transportation of people and goods,

As I mention above, part of what makes technology free is that it can be not just used by modified and controlled by all users, not just a priest class. This means that the process of teaching people, especially children, all the underlying principles and practices to make, fix, and run that technology have to be an integral part of the technology itself.

Trash Magic

I reject the whole culture of the technocratic priesthood who currently control technology. As part of that process I reach back and take the ideas from outside of that which are called "magic", or "alchemy", etc. as better ways to describe the kind of technology I want to construct. This is in part a conscious choice to annoy members of the technocrat classes who worship modern science as a religion and get very agitated when presented with ideas that might be called "magic".

Trash refers to how all technology should be: rather than based on hoarding the products of mining, the feedstock for everything should be what is currently known as "trash". Part of what makes technology truly free is that not only does the input feedstock not cost money or need mining, but there is a stream of fresh material that is always available which can be used for future expansion. This is, for now, clearly true of what we call trash. Modern industrial civilization creates trash at an insane pace, which has an incredible bounty of valuable material. Even just the trash from the cell phone disaster is vast, consisting of billions of built-to-fail phones which have a staggering array of useful materials, chemicals and devices. Capitalism literally sows the seeds of its own destruction, and it's time to plant, cultivate, and harvest those seeds.

Post-Numerical Values

I argue that to get rid of numbers as the basis for value we must move to more of a story-based value system. By that I mean the physical things in society should be defined by their stories, which are divided roughly into two groups, which I call "tales" and "lore". The tales are the specific stories of how a particular object came to be: who made it and why, what they did, who they passed it on to, what they did with it and how and why. All things that have been used tell a story, and we as humans value stories very highly and in a way that is outside of numerical value and cannot be put in a spreadsheet.

"Lore" is the cultural value of a thing that is embodied in the methods for reproducing that thing, which all things should have. This is a combination of specific knowhow on building the thing itself which is physically integrated into the thing and pointers to other information which are useful for creating the rest of the technological complete set of which that thing is an element. Both tales and lore are to be encoded into physical things using the language tools of Roctal, Geometron, and Action Geometry, as I describe elsewhere on this site(that's the primary reason I'm developing those systems).

Return to the Oceans

I argue that for all their dangers, the oceans are where humanity should migrate. There is so much energy and nutrients out there, and private property does not encumber them as much in our current system, it only makes sense to move in that direction. Scalable permaculture at sea has already been shown to work. The current industrial system is on a path to flood most of its major cities already with ocean water. This should not be seen as a disaster but as an opportunity to start over, to bring nutrients and energy to all people in those places and eliminate the private property system which is currently the main source of structural violence in cities. Given enough time, the gangsters who currently rule society will find a way to apply private property to the flooded cities, and we must not let them get that time, and immediately build vast industrial systems outside their control before the floods happen, so that by the time the cities are fully flooded it's too late and the propertarians have lost all control over humanity.

What is the opposite of terrorism?

If terrorism is using violence to enforce ones world view on others, the opposite of that is giving away free life-giving technology to anyone who wants it(but no one who doesn't want it) regardless of their world view or religion or politics. And that is our goal here. It is also, ultimately the best way to fight terrorism. And all modern governments are based on terrorism at some level, i.e. the enforcement of their "laws" using constant threats of violence in the form of their cops and armies. All plans to combat both non-state terrorism such as the religious violence which plagues much of the world as well as plans to combat secular violence in the forms of the so-called "rule of law", war, the wage system and landlordism will fail as long as the keep using the same methods of violence and threats. To move beyond that we must base a movement entirely on building new, free stuff, and making that stuff so much better technically than the existing stuff that everyone chooses to move on simply because the new stuff works better.