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Apr 3

Anarchism and Game Theory

Posted on Saturday, April 3, 2010 in Anarchy

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I know it’s cool and everything that I’m an anarchist but people can’t see how it is practical in reality. I’ve been looking for proof that anarchism *is* practical and realistic as supposed to some Utopian dream. There’s a book written called Community, Anarchy, and Liberty
by Michael Taylor that I am hoping will address the practicality of anarchy. He uses game theory such as the prisoner’s dilemma to show that under real circumstances that anarchy can work. Sounds cool, huh?

Okay, so what is Game Theory? Game Theory is basically a math game where there are certain rules established to try to determine different outcomes. It can be applied to -everything- such as economics, marketing, and biology. It was developed in the 1940’s so it is a relatively new concept. The best example of Game Theory can be summed up in the prisoner’s dilemma.

The prisoner’s dilemma is when you have prisoner A and prisoner B. If both prisoners keep their mouth shut about the other, both of them get six months in prison. If prisoner A talks about prisoner B – prisoner A goes free and prisoner B gets 10 years. If prisoner B talks about prisoner A, prisoner B goes free and A gets 10 years. However, if both prisoner A and B talk – they both get five years. The idea is that both prisoners would talk in exchange for a shorter sentence.

Game Theory can be applied to marketing by whether someone will buy product a over product b. Or biology – will cat a mate with cat b? These are very simple examples of a much more complicated equation. But, it can be used to figure out how a group will act or behave in certain ways.

I know that anarchy has worked in the past in small communities. I don’t know exactly where to get the information about said communities but I know they exist. This book by Michael Taylor is supposed to cover that and explain how anarchy is not just a dream but a viable alternative.

I also been reading Anarchism and Its Aspirations by Cindy Milsten. I haven’t gotten very far into it but she brings up some good points right at the beginning. She mentions how the idea that people can think for themselves is a rather new idea. It used to be thought of that people needed god or a king to govern over them when the people can really govern themselves. With this realization, it completely change how people lived. Rather, now that we know we can think for ourselves and pass our own judgment about things so now what are we going to do with that power?

Feb 23

They Ignore Peaceful Protest: RALLY

Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 in Anarchy

A short story by some of my buddies. Enjoy!

Jan 29

Let's Talk Politics! Here's mine, what's yours?

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2010 in Anarchy

I am an anarcha-feminist. I believe in freedom from all forms of oppression and hierarchies. Peace, love, unity, solidarity, and punk rock. I don’t want to rule and I don’t want to be ruled. I don’t believe in any nasty isms – such as racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, classism, and specism. I am against homophobia, xenophobia, and transphobia. I detest violence. I am a pacifist. I am pretty extreme – I don’t watch violent movies or play violent games. I believe violence creates violence. That any peace held with violence – is a false peace. I believe that health care, food, water, and housing should be a right not a privileged. I don’t pledge allegiance to the flag – I want no nations, no borders. No human is illegal. I want community and people working to help humanity. I believe we have a responsibility to take care of our planet so all species can live in harmony. I believe thou shall not kill. Life is precious and should never be taken for any reason. I can see a world with no war – where people won’t ever want to leave their home because everything they ever need is right there in front of them. A world free of rape, starvation, slavery, and bombs. This world is possible – if you want it. The system is made up of people – with changing yourself, you being a person, you can change the entire world.

With that being said, I took a quiz which I took a couple of years back. When I took the quiz for the first time, my politics were aligned with Gandhi.

Now, Gandhi looks moderate compared to me. See my results here.

What’s your politics? Take the quiz here. Post a comment with your results! I am curious to see what other people are. 🙂

Jan 21

Designs and Punk Gear on Etsy

Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

So, I thought I finished my jewelry designs. I have four done so far. But inspiration struck and I am trying to figure out this design. It’s going to be something great and iconic. It’s a logo for something that has yet to be define and needs definition to represent itself to the world at large. I can do this. So, my brain is currently in logo land.

I’ll share my work once they are made/copyrighted and all that fun stuff. The pieces have anarchist/feminist/queer/vegan themes to them. The idea of the project is to donate some of the profits to charities to support the different causes. So, you get a cool piece of jewelry plus help fight the good fight.

So, I’m an artist or I pretend to be. I am still working on some awesome paintings that I’ll post pictures of them when they are done. I have very little of my current work online but you can see it on my etsy if you want.

I have a patch I made and a few vests I worked on for sell online. For stuff, here at The Riot Grrrl vest has about 2,000+ studs on it. They aren’t the cheap studs either, they are steel with bronze. Which means if you are daring like I was, you can wash it without it getting rusty. I hang dried it. It’s really clean though so I don’t think it needs to be washed again. It’s really awesome but it’s like 8 pounds of studding. The other vest is really cool and a lot lighter. It’s a classic punk vest. It’s a little ironic with the band Conflict being painted on leather. It has about 1,000 studs on it. It’s pretty easy to repaint over the bands if you don’t want those/want different ones. I used Tester Acrylic Paint Markers.

Dec 11

Punk Rock 101: A Vegetarian Queer Punk's Guide to New York City

Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 in Punk Rock 101

There aren’t many queer punks in NYC. I was one of maybe 10. The days of Meow Mix and riot grrrl are long gone. Most of NYC’s lesbian scene is lipstick lesbians modeling their life after the L-Word or hipsters who talk a lot and drink PBR but don’t do much. There’s a lot of segregation in the queer scene in NYC – depending on the color of your skin and economic class determines which parties you’d go to. I didn’t like that. I wish all the queers would unite and work together to fight against being oppressed. I tried to change it by putting on a couple of concerts trying to invite everyone to come but it didn’t really work.

Anyways, NYC is really big and corporate. That’s why I left but there are a handful of places that are DIY (do-it-yourself) or worth checking out.

First place on my guide is Abc No Rio. Abc No Rio is in the Lower East Side at 156 Rivington Street.  It has a mix of everyone.  There are punk shows every Saturday at 3pm.  There’s also a zine library, a dark room, a silkscreen studio, and a computer lab all open to the public (hours of opening vary – check out their website for details).

A couple of blocks away at 152 Ludlow Street is the Cake Shop which has live music, sells vegan, and non-vegan treats. The Cake Shop is also home of the ONLY Queer Punk Party QxBXRx which happens once a month hosted by one of the boys from Limp Wrist. It’s usually mostly boys with a handful of girls but it’s a good scene – good social scene not a cruising scene. There’s usually a few queer bands that play and it’s a fun time.

Around the corner from the Cake Shop is Bluestockings Bookstore. It is located at 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington. It’s an activist center, a fair trade cafe (not much food – more drinks), and bookstore. There’s all sorts of books there from activism, anarchy, queer theory, queer literature, women’s studies, and anything else alternative you can think of. They also host events almost every night, so check out their calendar.

About 8 blocks away and an avenue or two over from Bluestockings is St. Mark’s Place (2nd – 3rd Avenue on 8th street is the main strip) which was home to all things radical in the past. It’s has a few cool stores like Trash and Vaudeville which has anything punk you can dream of. There’s also Search and Destroy which has lots of military surplus clothing. There’s also lots of little stores on the street selling all sorts of things – it’s a cool place to check out. While you there, stop by Mamouns Falafel at 22 St. Mark’s Place for really good and cheap eats. If pizza is more your thing, 2 Bros Pizza is just a few doors down and has dollar pizza.

If you head on over to the West Village, the best punk record store in the city is Generation Records located at 210 Thompson Street. They have all the punk you could want and then some. There’s also a couple of cool chess shops on the street which might be worth checking out.

That’s about it for punk places to visit. However, there’s a handful of other neat places that I think is worth mentioning. In the West Village, there’s Red Bamboo and VP2 which are amazing vegetarian restaurants owned by the same people. You should definitely save room for the vegan cakes made by Vegan Treats which are driven into the City every Tuesday. Atlas Cafe in the East Village also has cakes by Vegan Treats but for some reason they never taste as good as Red Bamboo’s. Atlas Cafe has some great faux meat sandwiches. I also recommend Quantum Leap which has two locations – one in the West Village and one in the East. They have the best veggie burgers I’d ever had.

Bonus: Where to get Tattoo’ed/Pierced in NYC

If you want awesome tattoos, your going to have to pay for them but it’s worth it. It’s a lifetime investment. I got my ink done at NY Adorned. My artist has since moved to Austin or I would recommend her. I get compliments on my tattoos all the time – and they are some of the best I have seen. However, the guy who worked the front at NY Adorned was really rude but all the artists are amazing so pay no attention to him. If you want to get pierced, I’d go to Daredevil Tattoo which is also home of LeRoi Jewelry which specializes in all things piercings. Daredevil also does some amazing tattoos so I would check them out. I’ve also been told Invisible does awesome tattoos. There’s a couple of other good places that I can’t remember their names, but that should be enough to get you started.

Update: Bars

I don’t really like bars or hang out at them due to being straightedge – but there’s a few bars where you might run into some punks or queers or if you are really lucky queer punks.

Manitoba’s – Owned by a lead singer of a punk band. I went here once and it was very hetero and normal so I wasn’t impressed but maybe you just need to caught it on the right night. It’s located at 99 Avenue B between 6th and 7th street.

Double Down Saloon – I’ve been here a few times and hung out with some punks. Not very queer but I did run into a queer girl. Awesome jukebox with lots of punk. It’s located at 14 Avenue A.

Mars Bar – Located at 25 E 1st St – it’s totally a punk rock dive bar. I’ve never been inside – I stopped out front of it while some of my friends talked to some punks inside. I heard from the reviews that it’s really dirty, but a little dirt never scared off a punk, right?

I never ran into any punks here except for myself but my favorite lesbian bar in New York City is The Cubby Hole located at 281 West 12th Street. It’s really tiny and it gets really crowded but the crowd is usually pretty diverse – boys and girls. Everyone was really friendly when I went.

Bar Bonus: Brooklyn

I sometimes would venture out to Brooklyn and go to The Metropolitan which on Wednesday Nights is full of hipster dykes. It wasn’t really punk rock but the age crowd is 20-30’s usually when sometimes the Cubby Hole is 30-beyond. Also, a party worth mentioning is Choice Cunts ran by the Gaysha which is a monthly “raw party for rare queers”. Sometimes it only has like 20-30 people at the party other times it can have 300 – it’s a real hit or miss but it’s worth checking out if you’re around. It’s mostly girls but there’s sometimes a handful of gay boys. It’s about as alternative as the queer scene gets in Brooklyn.

Dec 8

Anarchy and Anarcha-Feminism: What is it?

Posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 in Anarchy

What is Anarchy?

To put it simply, Anarchy means not be ruled by another and not rule anyone else.  This does not mean chaos and destruction, it simply means no one is in charge of you and you are not in charge of anyone else.  Anarchy means that each person is their own entity, free to do as they please, but without hurting anyone else.  This is where peace comes in, I want there to be anarchy and peace.  Alone, anarchy could seem as leading towards chaos, as each person would be doing as they pleased.  But the idea is that everyone would be responsible caring about other human beings and not wreck harm onto another, keeping in mind that one persons rights,  cannot impede of the rights of others.  This is why I say I want anarchy –and- peace, the two together are a match made in paradise.  Peace implies no violence, no wars, no destruction and anarchy ensures freedom of the people in society.  No person is free while someone holds control over them – and anarchy ideas are intended to provide that no one holds control over you.  Anarchy usually takes the form of having small groups of people, who are working together towards a common goal.  Just because no one is the leader, doesn’t mean that people cannot be assigned to different tasks and roles within the group, so long as everyone is okay with a specific person having the task.  I recently read the article “The Tyranny of Structureless” by Jo Freeman and I think she makes a good point, that being when that if no one is assigned a leadership position, there are people in power in concealment.  I am not saying someone should lead the group, as that would not be anarchy, but if the anarchical group doesn’t select their spokesperson, outside sources will select one for them.  So, it is best that the group decides who is to be the spokesperson, which must be done in advance or give such person statements on behalf of the group.  As well as making it clear to all as to who’s who and not hiding influence within the group.  Each person should count just as much as the next person and I think there should be a reminder to the group members as such.  Usually, from my experience, people are much happier following than leading.  The goal of anarchy is to try to remove the “follower” and “leader” hierarchical setup.  It is meant to provide that everyone is a leader.  First, there’s the need to teach people to act in a non-oppressive or hierarchical matter to then focus on having a collective.  Anarchy is the ideal organization.  It is people working together hearing each other needs and helping one another fill those needs.  From these small groups, it is hopped that a bigger group can be formed, which could build bigger groups and bigger groups.  Start small and work big.  As opposed to working with the big and going small.  It means putting power back into the hands of the people and taking it away from politicians and corporations.  It means working together in solidarity and building wonderful communities.

What is Anarcha-feminism?

Anarcha-feminism is the combination of feminism with anarchy principles.   Anarcha-feminism opposes all structures of power be it patriarchy, all leaderships, and all hierarchy.  Anarcha-feminism is against government, it does not mean female President – it means no president.  “Challenging sexism means challenging all hierarchy – economic, political, and personal.” (Peggy Kornegger, “Anarchism:  The Feminist Connection”)   Anarcha-feminists want change, a complete revolution.  Anarcha-feminism stands for peace and equality for all.  It’s to end all power, all structure, and all systems of control.    Anarcha-feminism is the struggle for complete human liberation.

For me, anarcha-feminism doesn’t stop at just human liberation but it is also about animal liberation too.  It is about all beings on this planet being treated with respect, love, and kindness and not having harm rendered upon them.  It is about being an anarchist – a responsible human being who takes responsibility for their actions; one who will practice loving kindness in the absence of authority because we are beyond that.  We do not need to be policed.  We are the ones who have the highest honor and morals without the need of a God to condemn us – we are good and righteous because that is a way a HUMAN is supposed to be.

People need to be educated to think for themselves.  The problem is that the school system is set up to condition people to do what they are told without questioning.  One of the most important lessons I learned in school was from my high school biology teacher and he said, “Question everything.”  I think if more people questioned things the world would be a better place since people would be thinking for themselves and not letting others rule their life for them.  As Wendy O. Williams puts it, “The brainwash don’t even know they are brainwashed.”