Thursday, October 20, 2011

Builders of the Future

Political movements are fickle things; individuals within it are akin to water in a river. Sometimes they diverge, sometimes they converge, sometimes they become life-sustaining groundwater, sometimes they become a destructive flood. However, one thing remains constant: they are all on a journey to the same place, the sea. Unlike water though, people have choices. Water does not decide where it goes, it just follows the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, this same effect happens with people sometimes, especially in situations where their free will has be subjugated by those that wish to limit individual freedoms, and seek to ensure that the status quo is preserved for their own gains, and seek to actively convert others to this philosophy of self-fulfillment, regardless of the welfare of others. This is the paradigm that has dominated for the last century; its effects can be seen everywhere from Wall Street to Wal-mart, from Woodrow Wilson's fateful signature on the Federal Reserve Act to the World Wars that followed. We have seen the ills of the current system, and its cancerous effects on ordinary people, it tells them that greed is good, that those blessed with less are lower than them, and that they must consume more in order to be effective human beings. However, as the current financial paradigm crumbles, exposing the malaise that it has hidden for so long, the people that are its foundation are seeing the true nature of this beast, and are refusing to bear it further along. To these people, I bring you the following message: Because we see the system for what it is, we also bear the burden to change it.

In order to change a system, one must fully break free of the shackles of that system; one must be transformed from a brick in its monolithic walls to the builder that creates the roads to the future with the bricks from the self-inflicted implosion of the institutions of the past. Now, one may ask “How is it possible for a brick to be transformed into a builder? One is just a functional object, while the other capable of utilizing other bricks to create new things.” In order to understand this, one must realize that the inherent dualism in the fact that the builder is still in fact a brick, and that a builder's job is only to enlighten other bricks to the fact that they themselves are builders, and that they may choose where to place themselves in the road that leads to the future.

To bring this full circle, back from the realm of analogy to the reality we exist in, I would like to inform you all that there exists an unlikely opportunity within the 99% Movement today. It exists in an unlikely place, a place dominated both by physical bricks and mortar and by the proverbial bricks above, that form a bastion of greed and self-interest that matches few others. I am referring to the City and Occupy of Dallas. The city, in breaking from the failings of the other occupied cities, has given the 99% Occupiers here the legitimate opportunity to show that we are not just voices of dissent, bricks under too much strain, but are capable of creating answers, the chance to become builders, and that is exactly what we intend to. We, the 99% of Dallas, intend to start to build the road to the future. We will begin to focus on transforming bricks into builders by developing a professional activist training center, right on the grounds of Dallas City Hall, as to empower other 99%ers, to hone themselves into effective voices of change, to emphasize that when given the opportunity, that Mankind can rise to the occasion, just as our forebearers.

Occupy Dallas currently has 56 days in which to demonstrate our ability to create solutions, so 99%ers in other cities, send us your best and brightest, so that they can become the most effective activists they can be, in preparation for taking the message to the pulpit of power, Washington, DC to let our collective voices ring against the walls of the buildings that have failed us in their most sacred oath, a government for, of, and by the people.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Monumental Choice

"A principle is the expression of perfection, and as imperfect beings like us cannot practice perfection, we devise every moment limits of its compromise in practice."
-- Mohandas Gandhi

Perfection is not a state, it is a process. That process is marked by sacrifice for the greater good, no matter what one's individual desires are but what is better for the community, and by living by the virtues of self-suffering, showing empathy, character, and civic responsibility. A flexible branch does not break, yet the strongest brick wall crumbles in an earthquake

Today, the City of Dallas offered Occupy Dallas the opportunity to compromise. They said that they will be willing to let us occupy a lot behind the city hall where we can spread our message with peace, and it is my opinion is that this is a good thing rather than bad. When we demonstrate that we are mature enough of a society to embrace the hallmarks of a civilized society, and that is that compromise creates legitimacy and shows organizational maturity, and that cooler heads can prevail.

Now, I certianly understand and empathize with the viewpoint that we have been oppressed and it is wrong. However, it takes a bigger person to sacrifice ones personal feelings for the benefits of everyone else, especially the children that will live with the consequences of our collective actions. It is better to turn the other cheek, it is better to be the suffering servant, and it is divine to forgive.

On a practical note, what will be the consequences of the historic issue that is to be decided here today. Lets look at potential ramifications of each If we choose to comprimise, we actually have an opportunity to demonstrate that we can do better than the powers that be, that we, the people, know how to take care of the people, and that is a powerful message. We will have the opportunity to demonstrate the ideals we represent, that every person has a voice, and that by allowing us to learn from each other and make the historic decisions about how society should be improved, and then actually live that example. On a simpler note, we will be able to have hygiene facilities  and other amenities that make for a happier, healthier society, both physically and mentally. If we choose to not compromise, we do not know the results of our actions. It is for this reason, cooler heads must prevail.

Friends, we have a chance here, a chance to promote all the lofty ideals we represent. Please, please, please make the right decision. May peace guide you.

None of the abstract concepts comes closer to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I am the 99%

I am just like you
I have dreams and aspirations that have been crushed
I have had my civil liberties trampled
I have been victimized
I have been told what to do without justification
I have been marginalized, chastised, and dominated
I will not take it anymore
I am the revolution.
Expect me.
#Solidarity #Occupyeverywhere #Occupywallstreet #Globalrevolution #GlobalRenaissance #99percent

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Searching for the Philosopher's Stone

Where we are going we do need roads, but we are going to build them. To build straight roads a person need knowledge, to build winding roads a person needs knowledge (a compass), experience (a compass and sextant), and wisdom (a slide rule (this is for you Grandaddy), which is a combination of experience, knowledge, and yes, luck). With these tools one can be fairly sure of the bearing one is following. However, these tools in the hands of a man can be wrong, but are usually not. That is not good enough, one must always search for better tools to guide oneself to where they want to go. This is the concept I like to call moral future forecasting. Yes, mistakes will be made, but one can only hope that with these tools one can discern the proper bearing, not based on the guidance of one instrument, but on all 3, to ensure movement in the proper direction. This is not as easy as it sounds. All three can be wrong, or any combination thereof. It ultimately come to wisdom to be the deciding factor, or, another analogy, watching the way the drop fall and disappear in a flurry of ripples.

People are fallible, and wise at the same time. This chicken/egg issue can often steer a person wrong, or right, or most of the time, somewhere in between. Know which is which, is always problematic, especially when one is unsure of what is the right direction, and can be skewed by personal perspective, but there are ways one can make the right decision. Life is fluid, and fluid is a state of perpetual change (thank you chemistry, lol). Watching this akin to wisdom, as studying the concept of uniformitarianism. What has happened before will happen again. This is logic in its purest form.

Now, we all know that fluke things happen, and they are just that, flukes. However, we can still garner wisdom form these things, in the form of how to react to certain things , which is experience in its purest form.

When two pure things are combined in chemistry, several things can happen: nothing, a reaction that moves in one direction, or the other. We can predict what will happen based on things that happened in the past, but this is never one hundred percent . All we can do is watch and learn. This is analogous to wisdom. In order to grow, we must take that step. We may be doomed, but I would argue that it is better to be hurt by curiosity than to never experience.

I would like to speak more of experience. Experience is also fluid. Experience would say without reference to knowledge that is what is good for the goose is good for the gander. In reality, this is not aways true in something as chaotic as life. Knowledge in this would be analogous, in this example, to a large enough sample size. However, experience is an exceedingly powerful tool, and anyone would be foolish to not account for it. However, experience without knowledge is intangible; it cannot do anything alone. This is why collaboration is critical. A large enough group of collaborators from a multitude of life paths.

I would like to speak of something I learned in the Marine Corps long ago. We had a phrase that is a truism; we referred to it a the 6 p's. Proper planning prevents piss-poor performance. As a corollary to this I would add pragmatism propagates powerful possibilities. This is the philosopher's stone; a concept that seems entirely preposterous, but in the time spent reading this, the universe has made more gold from lead than exists in the entire earth! This is not a flight of fancy, it is real. While far from practical, it speaks to what is possible, what constrains our collective reality! Despite conventional wisdom, the universe does not care what we believe, it just does what is defined by its ruleset.

A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!"
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
“A sense of obligation.”
Steven Crane
As it is my 34th birthday, I feel an obliged to digress into my personal philosophy. I have endured a great deal of pain to come this far in life. People often ask me how I preserver. The answer is that I feel that pain evokes something greater in me than others. It provokes the desire to overcome it and grow from it, because it is my morals to leave this earth much better than I found it. This is the core of my being, and will remain that way for a very, very long time, if I have it my way. Pain is what tells you that you are still alive, as the old adage goes. I am an island, but with continued support, I will build a bridge; not to nowhere, like my hopeful destination, but one that will be open to anyone that chooses to walk it with me. So please, help me accomplish my goals; I am not infallible, quite the contrary... but with help I will give my very soul to make tomorrow, better. 
Thank you so very, very much for taking the time to read this. I hope it proves enlightening to you all.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Help the helpers!

Here at Factor e Farm, words are valuable, but pale in comparison to action. When something needs to be done, it is imperative that it happen sooner rather than later. This is especially the case when it comes to the geologic survey work I am beginning out here, as it is of prime importance to meeting the development timetable so that we can bring build the new 4000 square foot workshop where the new phase of prototypes will be completed, thanks to many incredibly generous individuals that have given their money, time, and passions to do the good work that is going on out here and on the internet. Now it is your turn to help us help the world by allowing the work on the GVCS to continue. Right now, we at Factor e Farm need your help in procuring the needed survey tools to ensure that the new workshop and housing units for the people out here are the best they can possibly be. So please, if you find it in your heart to please help us help the disenfranchised, the impoverished, and those that do not have the tools to help themselves. With your support, we will not stop working until hunger does not exist, and everyone can have the life that they both need and deserve, and we propel Mankind into a new age where every voice is heard and every heart is content.
To donate to funding the geologic tool kit, please view this Amazon wishlist.
If you are not able to purchase a complete item, please feel free to donate by gift card.  Once you haved decided how much you can help, feel free to contact me @ or call 972-533-8857. If I miss your call, I will return it as soon as possible. Remember, every bit helps! Thanks so much in helping us achieve a better tomorrow!
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lay of the Land, Part 1

When first arriving at Factor e Farm, what first struck me was the large relief of the landscape. The property is situated as a strip of land bordered by a single tree line on the western edge of plot, and a double treeline on the east bounds of the property and is quite a bit longer on the north/south axis.  than on the e/w axis. During the initial examination of the land, several things were noticeable:
The slope of the land favors flooding , as the highest relief feature, a long rise on the nw/se axis that leads to a trough that strikes to the south-east towards the currently inhabited area with a dip of approx. 6 degrees.
The flood channels are shallow, and tend to split and converge irregularly. Cutting these channels deeper and making artificial convergences, as well as clearing debris from the channels would drastically alter the land's drainage pattern and avoid the unpleasant issues with flooding.
The area that seems to be the best for new construction seems to be the rise striking on the northwestern corner of property where the dip is at approx. 3 degrees.
The drastic relief has exposed multiple layers of differentiated strata with multiple soil profiles due to the difference in the underlying bedrock. There are areas with large diffuse phenocrysts of both sedimentary (calcite)and various feldspar group and breccias, most likely glacial till  buried long ago and/or  repeated flooding in the relatively recent geologic past.
The varied soil horizons offer a very favorable diversity for permaculture and other soil sciences.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

A New Path

A normal self-reflective essay would begin with something poignant and ethereal, something to ponder and set the mood for the story to come, but I will not do that here. Instead, I will give a brief synopsis of where I came from, where I am. Every self-reflective story is unique (just like our rifles in the Marines) and this one is mine.
When I start to write, it is often directed to myself as much as anyone here. I do not start with an outline, nor do I really know what experiences and perspectives will fill these pages. Just as a maker does not know what he is creating when he starts, they can make an mental approximation based on past experiences, but it is just as much about his perspective, the distilled essense of their character, mood, and the kernels of truth that are garnered from all then knowledge and experiences have accrued over their lifetime. This, combined with the ego, and the core character traits tell a story that is  beautifully flawed in that is not of neutral point of view, but an intimate look at at who I really am, who I want to make myself into, and why I have arrived at the path before me, and that path is to help the poor, the disenfranchised, and the But in order to do that, you, the reader, need to understand some things about me.

I believe that to put the good of the whole over the good of the individual is paramount. I also believe that when you do good for others, other will reciprocate in kind. It is this drive to reciprocate that brought me here, to tell you about what I am doing.

I am giving. If you need something I have, I will give it to you. I do this because so many people, many of whom will read this, have given so much to me. It is for this reason that from this point forward, 20% of what i make will go to charities including, but not limited to, Corporate Accountability International, Veterans of Foreign Wars, USO, the New Beginning Center, a charity that gives victims of domestic violence, Broken Sidewalk Farm, some notable guys down in Austin that are helping the homeless to feed themselves in a very dynamic way,Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuroimmune Disease, a group of people that know just how serious Myalgic Encephalomyelitis can be, and are doing everything they can to help the millions of people around the wold that have this illness, and to Open Source Ecology, a transcendent group of individuals that want to see that the people can ultimately build the infrastructure to start a microcivilisation, that I feel is a great model for ultimate self-reliance, empowerment, and a more perfect form of democracy, free from the collective influences of the entrenched powers that put profits above any sort of societal value.   

I first would like to acknowledge my father, Don Clark who taught me so much, a lot of good practical skills and a strong work ethic and passion for one's own self-determined tasks, and equally for the lessons I garnered when working with him about how to overcome adversity and also what does not work in starting a business, what might work, and finally, what will work. My dad is a true maker, and while he may have some flaws, just like everyone reading (and writing!) this perspectus, it is our collective flaws that make us interesting and dynamic people.

I have been a man shipwrecked on an island, but I am building a boat with the pieces of driftwood that come my way. I have had Myalgic Encephalomyelitis for the last 3 and a half years. Anyone that does not believe that M.E. is a serious illness, I would, if I could, challenge them to endure it for a few days, to get a perspective about how tough it really is to deal with. My awesome roommates and friends, Lamont Dickson, Shane Turner, Martha Wyers, Kathryn Hemmrick, Keith Thokey, and many others that have been pivotal to helping me to recover and being there to support me when I am ill or doing well, they have been giving, have always looked out for me, and have spurred me into motion when I was at a standstill. I owe you guys my life, and will always consider you family, and I want you all to know that without each of you, coming this far in my recovery would have been nigh impossible. My time in the Locust House has been amazing, even though at times it was tough, but we all came out the better for it, and I for one can say it has been a transformative experience, and for this, I thank each of you with as much gratitude I can feel.
To my mom, I am forever in your debt. You have endured so much adversity and have overcome it and then were instrumental in your help to get me better. Without your patience, and gentle nudging and other support you have given me, I don't have any clue what would have happened to me. You have seen me at my worst and my best, and I want to continue to show you that I can overcome anything with enough time and will to do the work that is needed to be done.

To Jordan, who works as hard as she can and does everything she can to support her family, and sacrifices so much daily, working away from home that takes her away from her true loves, photography, being with her husband, and talking to Dad on the phone every morning. You are an example of self sacrifice, and you should always be proud of that. Your resolve, discipline, and perseverance are a credit to you.

To everyone one that is reading this, the above is a shining example of the fact that It is through collaboration that we can overcome our collective flaws and accomplish something truly extraordinary, and now I feel like I can make a mark on society, and overcome all the obstacles in my path, thanks to all of you. Thank you so very much. With all of you're support, each one of you, as well as others, have helped me see the the big picture, and with a bit more help, I know that I can persevere, like I always have, and build the boat that will bear me to my destination.

I am prepared. Having M.E. was a road I did not have a choice in taking, but like other unexpected events, if you can recover from it, you come out better than you were before. I started this journey while still in the ironclad grip of M.E., and only having a computer as access to the world at large, I began to chart my path in life. I knew that I wanted to do something sustainable, good for the world at large, and knowing how to build computers, I decided to start developing the most environmentally-friendly computers I could. Over time my ability to control my symptoms changed, as did the scope of my goals. It is during this time that I started developing plans for a carbon-neutral web hosting business, and a cooperative of sustainable businesses working together for the common good, not for the bottom line.

It was only a few weeks after I mentally developed this business concept that I came across Dr. Jakubowski’s TEDtalk about Open Source Ecology. I was instantly hooked. This was a group of people already doing what I had only been beginning to conceptualize. I knew within the hour that this was the work that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And here I am, at the foot of the trail that leads to the top of my personal mountain.

I started this journey by asking myself if was capable of contributing more than I am now to Society, and the answer is yes; and, I suspect, the answer is yes for all of you as well. I devoted all of my being to make this possible up until now, and now it is my turn to ask each of you can make me into an instrument for good again; not for my own gains, but for the betterment of Open Source Ecology and the world at large. Open Source Ecology has a karmic oath of three. What this oath  means is that what people have done to you, do thrice to others. I intend to meet this goal and exceed it...vastly. So now I ask everyone reading this, please help me with the tools I need for this journey, so that I may pay it forward many times over. I have accumulated a list of items that will allow me to  the the most productive I can be, and accomplish my mission of organizing OSE’s logistics, and conduct geological evaluations of the land, to ensure the utmost in safety for these pioneering individuals so that their needs are met so they can continue to do the good work that they are doing, and that work will someday help the starving masses in the 3rd and 4th world, and, I believe with all sincerity, change the entire world. So don’t help me, help me help these intrepid individuals that are doing the greatest work a human being can do, toiling long hours in tough conditions so that some nameless child, not even born yet, can bear the fruits of our labor and have the kind of life we all take for granted. It is only when we engage these disenfranchised people in a positive way, that we improve Humanity as a whole, and truly understand what it is to be human.

So, what is the Ecophoenix Roost anyway? Well, this is where I will be talking about what I am doing with OSE at Factor e Farm. After all, I don’t expect you to donate to this and have no idea what it is being used for or why. And even though what I’m doing might not be into what you want to do, I’m sure that in some of the insights I share here will be of value to you. So drop in, see what I am up to, and a few words of encouragement would never hurt. :) So, for now I bid you adieu, and invite you to make a contribution that will keep on giving. Thank you all.

Interested in learning more about OSE? Visit to watch videos, participate in the IRC chat, or contribute to the wiki with your ideas!

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