Environmental Factors

It is amazing how much a change in weather can affect me. Sleeping outdoors in a cold rain storm starts a cycle that is difficult for me to break. I wake up grumpy from lack of good sleep. Instead of starting my routine of breakfast, coffee, and writing, I lay in my sleeping bag feeling sorry for myself and refreshing Facebook. Without my daily routine of writing I seem to lack the motivation necessary to work out. This leads me to neglect my diet. I end up eating a lot more junk and sweets than I normally would and I forgot to take my supplements as well. One bad night leads me to make bad decisions where my body and mind are treated terribly.

That was basically the situation yesterday. We woke up on the side of Highway 75 in Oklahoma after a night of cold rain. It was an incredibly stressful day and we made the tough decision to rent a U-Haul to take us to Dallas instead of biking the final 200 miles or so. I felt defeated and a little like a failure. This is the first time we have abandoned such a large chunk of our journey, but it was simply unsafe. This is one of our adventures, not our last adventure. Death may be the greatest adventure of all but I am simply a Level 34 Dwarf Priest, I’m not ready to solo the Afterlife. I am trying not to be too hard on myself, bicycling is a vehicle for the adventure but it is not the adventure itself. We are still doing something incredible, even if we have to use an internal combustion engine instead of an internal plant-to-muscle engine when the roads are unsafe.

Anyway, after waking up yesterday feeling terrible I got way out of my routine. I did manage to write something but my heart wasn’t in it and I neglected my push-ups and pull-ups. I also didn’t take my nootropics or creatine, and instead filled my belly with calories. It just wasn’t a good day, but it did make me aware of an area of my life in which I can challenge myself and improve. Much of the environment is out of my control, but how I react to the environment is in my control. After all, I do have free will, or at least the illusion of free will. I’m not convinced free will exists, but that is another blog post.

From now on I am going to try and shift my perspective. When weather or other factors beyond my control change my plans I will see that as a challenge from the universe. It is easy to get into a productive routine when everything is under your control, but that isn’t how the world works. Things will be out of your control eventually, but that isn’t a bad thing. Those challenges make you stronger and quicken your growth. You can’t fight baby wolves all day if you want to really level up in life, eventually you got to go find some dragons to slay.

Ohio Should Legalize

Next week Ohio will vote on a shitty bill to legalize marijuana. From my understanding of the bill, if it passes it will grant 10 companies the right to grow all the marijuana in the state. It is a shitty bill, but I think it should be supported. I can’t think of anything that is worse than prohibition and Ohio may end up waiting a decade for another chance to vote on legalization.

Each year close to 20,000 people are arrested in Ohio for possession alone. That is 20,000 people who may lose their freedom, their educational opportunities, and possibly their freedom. That needs to change as soon as possible. We can’t keep sacrificing people’s future while waiting for a perfect bill. This terrible crony capitalist wet dream of a bill is better than the police state that exists in Ohio now. With people literally being shot and killed by police for possession of a plant we need to change the laws to take law enforcement out of the drug business for good.

The Ohio measure could also have some far-reaching national effects. Ohio is a swing state and with a presidential election coming up in 2016 a vote for legalization will force the candidates to address the issue. Many of them may be reluctant to come out against marijuana legalization when campaigning in a state that voted for legalization, it is just a bad political move to disagree with over 50% of the voters in a swing state.

I also think it is beneficial to keep up the momentum. We don’t want drug-warriors to win another battle. The donors who support anti-legalization campaigns need to feel like they are wasting their money on an effort that can’t be won. We can’t let them up to catch their breath until the drug war is completely over. A small victory for prohibitionists in Ohio could breathe new life into their cause and give them optimism, stretching the war out even longer costing countless lives.

The bill is far from perfect. In fact, it is pretty terrible, but it is what we have now and we don’t have time to wait for a perfect plan. There will be plenty of opportunities to change the bill in the future. But even if the bill never changes allowing individuals to have greater freedom is still a major victory. Eventually neighboring states will see the tax revenue flowing into Ohio and change their laws, which will for Ohio to be more competitive. Ohio has the opportunity to be the first state east of Colorado to legalize, meaning they will be closest to consumers in New York, Chicago, Boston, DC, St. Louis, and many other urban centers. This could be a major turning point in the war on drugs as long as people don’t insist on perfection above progress.

Rand Paul

I was sent a Facebook message a couple of days ago by a Facebook friend (someone who I am pretty sure I have never met in real life). He apparently had a problem with me posting an article critical of Rand Paul and wanted to know why I wasn’t voting for him. He also mentioned that I am the only libertarian he knows who doesn’t support Rand Paul. I responded to him quickly from my phone but I figured this might be worth a blog post.

First, I am hardly the only libertarian who doesn’t support Paul for President. I’m sure there are many. Second, it is possible to be critical of a person on particular issues, even publicly so, and still support them during an election. Humans are not perfect beings and we do ourselves (and our leaders) a disservice when we turn a blind eye to their faults, even if it is in the name of some sort of solidarity. Deifying a person is a cult mentality and it is dangerous.

Now to the meat of things…

As a pragmatic anarchist I find voting in national elections an utter waste of time, unless I live in a swing state and the viable candidates are so different that one is clearly a better option. If I lived in a swing state and the two candidates for President were Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum I would find my way to the polls and make a defensive vote against the crazy theocrat. But, that isn’t the case for me. I am registered to vote in Missouri and will likely be somewhere in New York when the election happens in 2016. It is a waste of my time to go to a poll and cast a vote that will make no impact on anything. If someone held a gun to my head and told me to vote I would make a protest vote against the two-party system and vote Libertarian. My view on local and state elections are a little more sympathetic because the people can vote to change specific laws. I think everyone should vote in their state or communities to legalize marijuana, lower taxes, etc, voting on local issues (especially if you avoid voting for specific politicians) is a form of direct action that can bring about real change. Politicians are little more than delayed signals to social norms, they aren’t leaders and rarely make any changes that couldn’t have been made faster if we just got rid of them.

Anarchism and elections aside, I don’t trust Rand Paul. His religious boot-licking that he has been doing recently disgusts me and his views on non-heterosexual relationships are a worry for me. I know people say he is just being pragmatic by appealing to the religious right in order to get elected, but why should I believe he is lying to them but not to liberty lovers. I don’t have any reason to believe he is somehow being covert and won’t just turn his back on his liberty-based promises when it becomes politically expedient. Also, I do think it is a serious problem that he “wrote” a book that used fake Founding Father’s quotes in order to continue spreading the mythology that the Founding Father’s wanted a Christian country or that they were Christians. Some of them might have been but it is much more complicated than that and his lack of integrity in this matter is concerning. I know he has done some good things with prison reform and has decent views on the drug war, but so do other political candidates who don’t get in bed with theocrats. His real strength could be changing the national dialogue by continuing to filibuster and working across the aisle in the Senate to expand freedom, he can shift the Overton Window that future politicians can work in. Even if he did get elected (which he probably won’t) he would be facing a hostile House and Senate, and it is possible that every problem that happens in the country would be blamed on libertarianism. Every military death will be blamed on his dove foreign policy and every economic problem will be blamed on the free market. Getting a libertarian-leaning person into the White House without some support from Congress could be a huge step back for libertarian politics.

So no, I won’t be voting for Rand Paul. I don’t really care if other people do, they can have fun. I don’t think he has a rat’s chance in hell of winning, but if people want to spend their time and money on his campaign go for it. I did the same thing for Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012, which was a little bit of a waste of time but I had some good times with like-minded individuals and I was able to get politicking out of my system early. But, this election cycle (which seems to already be too long) I will not really be paying attention or caring about what is going on with the GOP psychopaths. I’ve got too much else to do with my time.

First Impression Bias

Travelling the way we do creates a very unconventional and biased view of certain places. Little instances (like me almost getting hit by a car two days ago) will skew my opinion of a city so negatively that I don’t ever want to visit again. Even something as simple as the weather being rainy the whole visit can poison the city in my mind. This isn’t really fair, most negative events we face could easily happen anywhere in the world, but because it happened in a specific place that place is tainted for me. This first impression bias is something that I want to get over, I want to give places a fair chance and find the good in all of them.

The same first impression bias can be a positive thing as well. When we meet cool people, have good weather, or have a nice route into the city (even if it isn’t representative of the city as a whole) we end up discussing living there some day. This is particularly true if we meet or stay with super cool people. In fact, as I think about the cities I loved the most it is the people we stayed with that made it a great experience. Just knowing that a network of like-minded people exists in a city is enough to make it a potential place to live. I’m not sure if I should go out of my way to correct for these irrationally positive feelings.

I really do believe that most people can be happy just about anywhere as long as a few basic things are present, but what those things are kind of depends on the individual. Some people need wide open spaces, while others need some sort of active night life. Some need biological family nearby, while others need their logical family nearby. Some need to be able to own a multi-bedroom home, while others just need 9 sq. ft. to call their own. The first step to being happy in a place is recognizing the foundational elements that you need.

I think I’m pretty lucky in this regard, I can be pretty happy in any city of at least 90,000 people (but not too big). I don’t need a rocking night life, though I would like a decent number of food options and maybe a place to see a shitty band or listen to a comedian occasionally. Ideally, I’d like to have a smaller home with space for Higgins to play and a garden to grow vegetables. I want rent to be low enough that I can work part-time online without a supplemental job, and maybe a river or mountains within driving distance. Having a college in town would be a plus to bring a younger, more liberal and tolerant element to the city, and to provide continuing education opportunities. I’m not so concerned with the legal environment in most places, like Heinlein said “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them.”

So far on this bike ride there are about 30 cities that meet this criteria with about half of them having a super positive impression in my mind. There are even some upcoming cities like Austin, TX and Asheville, NC that already have a positive view in my mind.

These are the cities that meet our basic criteria in the order in which we encountered them, with a * next to the ones we loved a lot:

  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Santa Cruz, CA
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • Arcata, CA *
  • Ashland, OR
  • Eugene, OR *
  • Bend, OR *
  • Corvallis, OR
  • Astoria, OR
  • Olympia, WA *
  • Spokane, WA *
  • Missoula, MT *
  • Helena, MT
  • Bozeman, MT *
  • Billings, MT
  • Dickinson, ND
  • Bismarck, ND
  • Fargo, ND *
  • Cloud, MN *
  • Madison, WI *
  • Milwaukee, WI *
  • Green Bay, WI
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Kalamazoo, MI *
  • Bloomington, IN *
  • Louis, MO
  • Jefferson City, MO
  • Columbia, MO *
  • Tulsa, OK

Military Lessons

In some ways the military and college are very similar. In both cases (at least for me), the lessons I learned and benefits that I’ve brought with me after leaving have very little to do with the specific skills I was taught. Sure, I am a decent shot with a rifle or machine gun and I know how to navigate with a compass, but the real world benefit I got from those skills pale in comparison to the lessons I learned from my leaders and peers. The real benefit from the military (and college) is being around different people, having challenging conversations, and being put into a mentor/mentee situation. Here are the lessons I learned from some of my military leaders:

  • Drill Sergeant Koehnig was my first real leader in the military. Unlike my other two drill sergeants he took a personal interest in the troops and got to know us as individuals. On more than one occasion he pulled me and Private Amrine aside and would take us on walks through the woods when we were in the field. He would impart a little bit of wisdom on us and ask us our plans for the future. I don’t remember the details of most of these sessions but one particular lesson did stick with me. He basically said, “During your life you are going to have a lot of leaders, good and bad, and there is something you can learn from each of them. Take the attributes from the good leaders in your life, try to be like them, and use the bad leaders to show you what you don’t want to become. Both good and bad can be inspiration for improvement”.
  • Sergeant Baker was, by far, the most influential mentor I have ever had in my life. It is not possible to sum up all his lessons in specific stories. As my team leader in Afghanistan he was responsible for my personal and professional development and health, and he took that very seriously, but he didn’t take the military hierarchy seriously. He challenged authority when he thought the mission plan was bad, he asked us to call him Vinnie instead of Sergeant (something I never got good at), and he demonstrated often that being the biggest or strongest guy doesn’t mean you are the best fighter. He challenged me to evaluate my views on religion and the way I was raised, and he encouraged me to leave the military as a better person than I came in. He wanted his soldiers to be reading and educating himself, and when heartbreak or family problems hit any one of us he was supportive. He was also hated wasting time and would take his team out regularly to train in some advanced lessons for our martial art instead of bullshitting around the barracks waiting for Battalion to release us for the day. Out of everyone I served with I owe Vinnie the most for helping me become the person I am today. I’m sure we don’t agree on things much these days, I rarely do with my military brothers, but I don’t think that will stop us from sharing a beer someday.
  • Staff Sergeant Pearson is the opposite of Vinnie and one of those people who showed me what I didn’t want to be. He seemed to care more about his image than his troops. He had big muscles (that he would order his soldiers to feel) and talked as loud as possible, but I’m still not sure what skills he brought to the table. I did my best to avoid Pearson as much as possible.
  • Staff Sergeant Shearin was not a leader of mine for long but his silent strength always impressed me. He had the most combat experience of anyone in our unit before going to Afghanistan and his calmness in stressful situations acted as a foundation for all the younger soldiers. He was an example of what I wanted to be.
  • Sergeant First Class Barry was my platoon leader and one of the most impressive people I have ever met. Through example he showed that leaders don’t need to be loud or in your face, they can be calm and quiet. In fact, that is a better way to be a leader. When SFC Barry spoke, everyone listened. He also protected his troops from the bullshit that poured from the upper levels of the military. If Battalion had some bullshit detail for us he would do all he could to get us clear of it. Also, he helped protect me from greater punishment when I got in legal trouble with the Military Police. I know that if he hadn’t stood behind me when I went before our upper leadership for punishment things would have been a lot worse for me.
  • First Sergeant Hawley was the leader of my company when we went to Afghanistan and afterwards he moved me from my combat platoon to help in Operations. This may have been a move because I wasn’t particularly compatible with the combat role, or maybe he truly saw some potential in me. It doesn’t really matter what the reason was, he ended up being a mentor to me as I began to transition out of military life. It was pretty obvious that I wouldn’t be re-enlisting and Hawley encouraged me to take classes and hone my non-combat skills. He gave me opportunities to be a leader and sent me to military programs where I could shine. I am forever thankful for the opportunities he provided.

The Voice

I love reality competition shows, particularly anything involving art or talent that I don’t have. I think these types of shows provide a venue for talented individuals to be discovered and prosper in a way that they couldn’t ‘just a decade ago. TV reality shows provide opportunities for people where talent is more important than who you know in a particular industry. The Voice, Face Off, Masterchef, etc are all variations of the same theme, create a program that shows the talent involved in a particular art (and make a little money for everyone), it is a beautiful representation of how far we’ve come as a society. People can follow their art while bringing entertainment and value to others.

Right now, my favorite is The Voice. I think the talent is amazing, I love the concept of admission to the competition being based on singing alone, the judges are entertaining, and it is well-produced. Sometimes, while biking along a lonely stretch of road, I’ll fantasize about being on The Voice and what I would do if every one of the judges wanted me on their team. This is really a pure fantasy, as anyone who has ever heard my try to sing can testify, but I think it is fun to imagine these things once in a while.

So, if all four judges wanted me on their team I think I would go with Adam Levine. Gwen Stefani has had the most influence on my musical taste (I still have “Oi To The World” as the first track on my holiday playlist) but she is hot and I get distracted by pretty things too easily. I’d crush too hard on her and make mistakes. I really respect Pharrell and Blake Shelton but I am not familiar enough with their work to feel confident working with them. Besides, Levine also does yoga and could maybe give me some advice on how to get some rockin’ abs. If I can’t win my fantasy reality tv show, I might as well look good after I’m done competing.

Intentional Scarcity

Being on a multi-year bike ride puts a lot of things in perspective, particularly how durable we humans are and how easy we have it in a lot of ways. Adherents to the Stoic philosophy often recommend that we all intentionally make our lives worse from time-to-time to remember what we can endure and be fortunate for how much we have. The ancients advised living on the street occasionally without warm clothing or travelling without shoes or eating less desirable food. I think this intentional reduction in the quality of life also increases our empathy for people that have less or are in less fortunate situations.

On the bike ride there are a few things that are significantly scarcer than they would be if we had a more traditional life, the most important of which are shelter, water, electricity, and food. Whenever I decide to turn on my computer I need to make sure I know that we have enough energy with us to keep our phones charged. The same goes for wireless data, I don’t want to dick around on Facebook too much or else I may not be able to work without incurring extra charges. Whenever we refill water we need to make sure we are confident that we will find more water sources before we run out. These are all things we keep track of on an almost subconscious level. We act thrifty with all our finite resources.

Shelter is the most difficult thing for us to know we will have. As we travel through Oklahoma right now there are not many campgrounds, or concentrations of people big enough for websites like WarmShowers.org or Couchsurfing.org to assist us. If you look at our route plan under shelter for the most of the next week it simply says “Offroad”. Offroad means we are going to try and find a place out of sight to set up our tent. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it isn’t. If we are in a place with lots of trees it is fairly easy to find shelter, but right now we are in farmland, which offers little protection from the elements or prying eyes.

Last night, for example, we ended up setting up a tent off a highway. Unfortunately, we were not out of sight and all night long we were woken up by cars driving by and stopping with their headlights directly on our tent. I’m sure we were a curious sight and nobody meant us any harm, but it made for a terrible nights sleep. Also, there is a certain level of increased stress when you are sleeping in random place and you may not be allowed there. It is very easy to accidentally trespass or to break some stupid law. Luckily, last night the worst thing that happened was nosy people.

I think there is a perception that my partner and I are partying or shirking responsibilities because we are travelling for a few years. This isn’t a vacation though, we face struggles and challenges just like everyone else. They are different struggles to be sure, but that doesn’t mean our lives are easy. There is nothing easy about denying yourselves the comforts that come from a stable home, but it is worth it for us. It is challenging but it has made us both aware of some of the strength we have inside, and how little we really need to live with in order to thrive and be happy.

The Superiority of Online Drug Markets

As long as drugs are illegal people are going to buy them on the black market. In our modern world there are two basic ways to do this, street dealers and online marketplaces. The online marketplace is far superior to the street dealer for a number of reasons. The first two don’t really need much explanation, the drugs on an online marketplace are cheaper and more readily available. Buying drugs from a street dealer is like buying books at a small local bookstore. The prices are going to be higher* and they may not have exactly what you are looking for. There might be decent substitutes, or they may be able to order you something that will arrive a week later, but the stock of the street dealer is limited by a lot of factors. Online marketplaces in drugs, much like Amazon’s marketplace in books, is going to have a lot of dealers who have a wide variety of wares and they are going to compete directly, keeping their prices lower.

The other area in which the online marketplace is superior is safety, which falls into three categories: violence, product, and law enforcement. First, by removing physical interaction with a drug dealer you remove any opportunity for them to rob you or hurt you. I’ve never been in a situation where this actually happens but when you deal with the black market the likelihood of violence goes up. There isn’t something magic about dealing drugs that leads to violence, it is only more violent than selling beer because it is on the black market and victims can’t go to the police for help. If a drug dealer doesn’t have any emotional or economic investment in keeping you as a customer they know they can rob you without any real repercussions. Also, if you live in a place where gangs control the drug trade there will be gang violence to control territory, violence that wouldn’t happen if they could sell their product in a store like other drugs (alcohol, tobacco, etc). If you haven’t seen the tv show “The Wire” you should check it out for a realistic fictionalized representation of this. In fact, if you haven’t seen “The Wire” you should probably close your browser and go watch it right now. Nothing I write is more important than that show.

Second, online marketplaces provide better product. It is true that the person selling to you is anonymous, but they still have a brand. Sellers on Agora had thousands of sales and ratings from customers. If you don’t please your customer because you sell a bad product, your deliveries aren’t covert, your deliveries are late, or you have bad communication, then you get bad ratings and people won’t buy from you. There are hundreds of competing dealers on Agora alone and bad dealers will quickly find themselves without customers. Again, this problem could be solved by legalization of drugs so that you could just go to a store and buy some MDMA that has a label saying “83% pure” or “mixed with meth for speedy feelings” or whatever. Bringing it out of the white market allows for transparency and would reduce OD’s or getting the wrong product. Even with online marketplaces providing a check on bad product it is still important to test your drugs yourself. I recommend the test kits from DanceSafe.

The third, and most important safety issue, is dealing with law enforcement. The single most dangerous thing about using drugs is the possible interaction with police. The government can (and does) do more harm to you and your life than simply using any chemical will. The social and economic harm done to families and individuals by the government surpasses the harm done by using drugs, even abusing them, by a hundred-fold or more. If the police said that they were just going to stop going after drug users and drug sellers who don’t harm others the world would be improved greatly instantly. When you deal with a street dealer you are exposing yourself to many law enforcement risks. Not only do you need to trust your dealer, but you need to trust all your dealers customers and their friends and family. You need to be confident in this web of relationships that nobody is a cop or has any incentive to inform the police of the dealer’s presence. You are also dealing with many layers of law enforcement. City cops, county sheriffs, state agencies, and the feds are all looking for drug dealers. You don’t have those problems when you order drugs from online marketplaces. City, county, and state agencies really don’t have the manpower or technological resources to try and tap into online marketplaces to look for dealers. Besides, even if they did it is unlikely they would be able to find anyone who is operating in their jurisdiction, particularly if they are looking for major dealers instead of small time users. When ordering from an online marketplace your only real law enforcement danger is the Feds, who spend their time trying to shut down the marketplace (which is basically like cutting of Hydra’s heads) or going after major drug dealers. And even if they somehow figured out that drugs were being delivered to your house, that is still not enough to arrest you. A package being delivered to you is not probably cause that you ordered it, anybody can have something mailed to any address. They would need to be able to breech several layers of security including Bitcoin itself, bitcoin scramblers, PGP communication, TOR browser, and any IP vanishing software that you use. We are talking millions of dollars only to bust a user who doesn’t know anything about the person who sold it to them. Online marketplaces being anonymous means you would be no use to law enforcement who are looking for bigger fish.

I know there are other marketplaces out there, but Agora shutting down is still bad for everyone in our society. More money is going to be wasted on the War on (Some) Drugs. More people are going to have their lives ruined by being thrown in jail even though they have never hurt anyone. More bodies are going to be found on the street from drug deals gone wrong. More police officers lives are going to be put in danger when they raid drug dealer’s homes. The online marketplace is not a perfect solution, but it is the least bad solution until we finally end this tyrannical, racist, wasteful, disgusting war on drugs.

* As an example, when I lived in LA I knew you could get 1 gram of MDMA in crystal form for about $100. On Agora (an online marketplace that recently shut down) you could get it for less than half that price. If you bought it in bulk the price may come down to $15-$20 a gram.


I have a problem with authority. I think most of my views come down to that. I don’t like the idea that a person (or persons) get to control other people or determine their future. To me, controlling another person is to consider yourself superior to them. It is to claim that you know how they should live their life better than they do. In fact, it is claiming that you own their life in some way, that you are a superhuman or they are subhuman.

Some people are unapologetic in this claim. They say that the good of “society” outweighs all individuals and that they, through some sort of magic I guess, know what is good for society. All government operates this way, whether it is a dictator or a democracy. Government is claiming ownership over the individual and controlling what they do. It may disguise it’s actions as protecting individuals from themselves or bettering society, but it is all about control. I hate that.

Most organized religions operate the same way. Government is really just another form of religion, and vice versa. At some point most religions stopped being about pursuing truth or helping others and became about controlling what they do with their bodies and minds, all with threat of hell and torture if they disobey. They are basically threatening you with supernatural jail. They claim they know what God wants, through some sort of magic, and if you don’t listen to them then you will be punished. The way you live must conform to their interpretation of a book over a thousand years old that has been retranslated and edited a half dozen times. I hate that.

Outside of religion and government there are other social norms that most of society enforces. What you do with your body (who you fuck, what you wear, etc) and what you do with your mind (who you are attracted to, what life you want to live, your personal philosophy) all face scrutiny by the public. They may pass laws so that men with guns will enforce the norms, or they may make it a spiritual argument to force conformity. Or, society many just ostracize you, consider you a freak, and push you to the fringe. I hate that.

I hate authority. I hate the idea that you should respect someone simply because they have power over you. Presidents and Popes are not special, they are not superhuman, we are not their subjects. And the agents they send to enforce their decrees are not special either. They are simply human, they get diarrhea, have weird sex dreams, and make mistakes. No amount of training means we should respect them just because they have a badge or a funny hat. In fact, we should respect them less because they choose a profession that puts them in power over others. They sought out a job that treats the rest of the population like subhumans, maybe they had good intentions but it is results that matter, not intentions.

My Curiosity

I have a growing curiosity to try new things, and that curiosity is a major drive in my life. There is something about monotony, stability, and doing things the established way that just isn’t for me. Certainly, my bike ride is out of the norm and has allowed me to try new things and see new places, but it is more than just big lifestyle choices. Almost everything I encounter I am interested in trying at least once, big and small, as long as it doesn’t violate my ethics.

Everything seems to fall into two broad categories; experiences and knowledge (with some overlap).  Some of the experiences are pretty mild, like bungee jumping or acting in a play. Some are more risqué (though maybe they shouldn’t be) like streaking or trying DMT. Others are more hardcore like experiencing more dangerous drugs or trying new things sexually. I think my openness to new sexual things isn’t an erotic desire (usually), instead it is a fascination with wanting to try anything at least once. It seems a shame to miss out on a new opportunity if it won’t harm anyone else. Maybe I’ll like it, maybe I won’t, but I’d rather try something and find out instead of wondering my whole life. The threesome I had recently was certainly an eye-opening experience in this regard.

New knowledge is more difficult to acquire for me. As much as I want to learn a new language, play an instrument, learn how to shoot a bow, become multi-orgasmic, learn coding, became a masseuse, learn chess, get a pornosexual body, etc (I literally have a Word document called “Things To Learn” on my computer with a running list of about 100 things) it is tough for me to commit. I make excuses that the bike ride prevents it but that really isn’t the case, mostly I’m just lazy and lack discipline. Just like writing a book about my first bike ride, I want the end result without all the work. It holds me back, but I am really trying to work on this and unschool myself.

In the end, I guess I am just one of those people that are up for anything, even some dangerous or painful things (like my genital piercing) or weird things (like when I was dared in the Army to eat a giant live beetle in Afghanistan). If someone asks me to try something new I am usually up for it, and if there is something new I want to try I’ll usually ask anyone involved, especially if I’m rolling and not as introverted. As a transhumanist it is kind of weird for me to take risks, it seems like it would be in my best interest to live a safe life now and ride things out until we get to the point where we cure death, but oh well, I am a bundle of contradictions. At least I’m having fun.