Last week we talked with our adviser and CEO at Nusantara Trust Dr Walter Tonetto. He answered a number of questions that interest our customers.submitted by digitalgoldcoin to golderc20 [link] [comments]
How did you land in the cryptocurrency / blockchain space?
I was advising startup businesses in the technology space, and when 2016 came around, I asked Scotty, the feisty chief engineer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, to beam me into the heart of the finance system; I felt more and more the irresistible tug towards remodeling the current toxic financial system. Purposive remodeling, of course, is going on all the time, and it’s a knife that cuts into two directions. The vast majority of the ‘woke’ crowd actually believe that they can ‘disrupt’ the power of the elites that control all money flows. Bathing limestone statues – registering about 4 on the Mohs scale and 0 on the scale of reason -- of past leaders in district waters may give you a feeling of breathing the air of revolution and tiring unknown muscle-groups in your shanks, but think of it like a father watching his child toss around shovels of soil in a sandbox; he smiles benignly from afar, knowing it won’t change a thing; all the luxurious appointments at home won’t get touched. It is a grave illusion to suppose that by playing around with payment systems and technologies we will actually change the role and the emission of money. You may be permitted to become the shoe-shine boy in the royal household, but don’t think you will marry the princess and dilute the royal blood! But understanding the constitutive parts of power aggregation, and working over significant time-frames, allows for approaches and solutions; -- but these should come not from another adversarial position, thus merely marking a displacement of the incumbent, a change of guard, but from an authentic re-orientation, of making benefits much more widely possible and not creating monetary systems that are grossly imbalanced and highly destructive. That, and not building tech stacks, is the challenge!
What was your initial reaction to bitcoin?
Well, I was following the file-sharing service Napster since it started, around 1999 – when the U.S.S. Enterprise was sitting pier-side at Huntington Ingalls Newport shipyard, rusted and gutted, and to me the P2P sharing paradigm was always present in my mind, shining buffed and radiant, so even the centralized Napster was something wholly natural to me – Dr Sheldrake calls it morphic resonance. We live with a great deal of blurriness, though. On the one hand, we think of the virtues of sharing; on the other, there is a seemingly indefatigable impulse to control and dominate. Sean Parker, after founding and floundering with Napster, became a cocaine-snorting egotist and president of Facebook. Collecting money for a charity, he gets aggressive with people who do not follow suit. A control-freak in overdrive. Notwithstanding the technical variations, BTC, seemingly freeing us up from fiscal controls and yet showing our craving for money, exemplifies the flawed perception at the root of things. Monero, which sounds like a much faster, highoctane vehicle, a CV8-Z of the crypto-track, beats BTC in regard to privacy and fungibility, though BTC has advantages in other areas.
Which is a much more common trend nowadays?
It’s hard to make out the shapes of wild-life in the current kangaroo market we’re in. The bulls and bears have mauled one another, and the kangaroo, bereft of oxygen on account of wearing a tight mask, is hopping wildly everywhere. But clearly the possibilities of digital currencies became un-tethered via Bitcoin and the querulous and hidden Satoshi. I like to think of him more as an idea rather than as a person; an idea is generally more malleable and consequential. For instance, rather than laud the benefits of crypto for FX and cross-border payments, the possibilities of a central-bank issued digital currencyENCOMPASS THE POTENTIAL to inscribe new roles for programmable money; for how money is issued, how it is used, and what role custodial mechanisms (traditionally in the hand of commercial banks) might have. I see HUGE potential for private firms to enter the equation here, but we need more open-minded and intelligent regulators that do not always look for the rungs of the career-ladder in any move they make! A DAO could be most helpful here, but we are currently under the terror of algorithms that are not concerned with the welfare of the greatest number of people. If I had the time I would coauthor a book on this theme with a skilful mathematician (perhaps with my son, who is completing a Ph.D in near-term Quantum Algorithms).
In 2018 I was keynote speaker at the BlueWhale forum in Seoul, and I spoke about an Algorithm of Peace. I had a clutch of people approach me straight after the talk, some from Korea, others from the U.S., and ask me to develop my ideas in book form.
Where do you see the price of bitcoin going over the next few years?
I wouldn’t speculate, but since everyone is shilling it, it is bound to keep pushing north, occasional blockages otwithstanding. I always look for twists and incongruities in the usual narratives on offer. Many BTC fans talk about the unbanked, but BTC is held by what will become another elite in due course, and the unbanked will later be serving them the chilled drinks between innings, as usual.
Do you think that there’s a time for altcoins to break out and move away from the movements of bitcoin? What’s that tipping point that needs to take place?
I have some notions under which alt-coins can take the lead and leave bitcoin behind, but it’s too complex to explain the conditions for that to occur. Once very solid use-cases have been established with a clutch of alt-coins, bitcoin might begin quavering in his boots. That alt-coins should take BTC as a benchmark speaks volumes about the lack of maturity of this young and over-eager market. The fuzzy umbilical cord is always present like a foot-tangle; alt-coins must find their own ground, and clip the connection to a vagrant father. Finance needs clarity and not fuzziness. Keep in mind that many sovereign nations bridle at the calamitous influence of the US on payment systems, so nations are building their own messaging systems outside SWIFT, and their own securities exchanges are following. But remember: these are all crumbs: the U.S. can shut down payments to any recipient accounts by informing the payments company and doling out threats. And since all alt-coins and fiat currencies are connected to payment gateways in some form, the U.S. would have to begin reforming its archaic ACH structure to enable efficiencies in the financial pipes, which does not offer real-time payments functionality. This accounts for the relative simplicity (and success) of the PayPal business model (which Venmo and Dwolla later emulated without using credit cards). But understand that the elites will always protect the real crown jewels, and incite wars (or street battles and racial squabbles, as we’re witnessing in the U.S. in mid 2020) so that they can get away with major financial heists in broad daylight. It’s all smoke and mirrors, and scorched talons if you look closely: you cannot trust the reflection you will receive on a smoky pane. Only the big players know the predetermined outcome.
One fundamental misprision occurs amongst alt-coin apologetes: they fail to understand how markets move and what the designated role of money is in markets. Even if you want to displace something, you first need to understand exactly what you’re dealing with, but that is rarely the case. Yes, banks are structurally and constitutionally part of the problem, but no government will dare cross swords with them: there is still too much aggregated power. Ripple and Stellar are two Blockchains that are working with, and not against, banks, and that likely makes them much better candidates for wide acceptance.
What’s one must-read book you recommend to everyone?
That depends so very much on who’s sitting opposite me! I wouldn’t push what is not naturally aligned. But I would push a couple of films urgently, as essential viewing for everyone:
“Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” (and a sequel), which profoundly shocked me, but confirmed my suspicions. Talking about books: one gets a good sense of the kind of books I would counsel people not to touch, unless an overweening impulse bade them otherwise. For instance Steve Pinker, a favourite author of Bill Gates. Pinker in Gates’ hands explains a lot about the character of the reader, the latter of whom I consider one of the most dangerous people on the planet at the moment. If we stay with Pinker for a moment, since he’s famous and fashionable (Harvard professor with a Medusa hairdo and an effete libertarian air, who in “Better Angels of Our Nature” has affirmed that man is not innately good), we note in his presentation in regard to his ineptly titled book “Enlightenment” that he falls prey to the very flaws he chastises, the classic Münchhausen trilemma (in Jakob Fries’ phrase). Picture Baron Münchhausen pulling himself out of quicksand by his own hair! That he is beholden to neoliberal befuddlement becomes clear when two of the opening images of his talk show Vladimir Putin with a rifle andDonald Trump speaking on a podium. The classic neoliberal Harvard think-tank shows reason to be failing and drowning in pious gestures to the cognoscenti and anointed. I like to look for effective counters for specious and shallow argument: for instance, Rupert Sheldrake’s “The Science Delusion” is a splendid book that bucks the Dawkins’, Pinkers and other materialists of this age. You see, if one listens to Pinker with the head alone, his pedestrian epistemology might not irk, and some ideas might appear plausible enough in a desultory encounter, but if you really want to know the meaning of things, and discover how it relates to the heart, you feel betrayed and given short shrift by him. Among the platitudes he gives out in carefully parsed syllables, the movement of his forehead and eyes betray the spirit behind the façade. Yet I always look, like Yeats, for those who “had changed their throats and had the throats of birds”!
What’s the rainbow trout of the year? Nut-like flavour, the eye still gleaming, with tender, flaky flesh? There are many books I could cite for different genres. The vast majority of modern writers, for all their accomplishments, lack genius, don’t really understand the art of writing, and so cannot hold my attention for long. For those who are open-minded and spiritual, “A Course in Miracles” cannot be bested, but don’t touch it unless you’re really willing to dive deep. There is no need to save the world, since it is nothing but projection; there is no world. You might experience the deepest sigh of relief, as if Atlas had cast off a burden after the Titanomachy. Paul Celan once remarked that “reality is not simply there, it must be sought for and won.” Snorkeling near the surface and blowing bubbles won’t cut it.
We are living in times of great manufactured unrest, which will only heighten in coming months and years, and so I would offer a guernsey to Seamus Heaney. I had met him many years ago, alas cursorily, at a symposium at Waseda University where I was working as a Gaikokujinkoshi, an Associate Professor, where another Nobel laureate, Kenzaburō Ōe and he were giving a reading. Heaney was inspired to write “The Grauballe Man” on the basis of the bog man that he had seen in a book of prehistoric times, but the troubles in Ulster were alive in him, too:
As if he had been poured in tar, he lies on a pillow of turf and seems to weep
the black river of himself. The grain of his wrists is like bog oak, the ball of his heel
like a basalt egg. His instep has shrunk cold as a swan’s foot or a wet swamp root.
Talking of Japan here, methinks, is an aculeate observation of Japan:
Cross the intersection at Shibuya Station in Tokyo on a forbidding wintry evening — touted as the world’s busiest cloverleaf — and you will feel this is Eliot’s London Bridge revisited, with quaggas (think half zebras) preserved in the tar of the five crossings; — flattened ebon bones dreaming the dreams of Pleistocene mammoths — as the mass of the dead mill past you, chasing some mirage, and often accompanied by a revenant that must have been disgorged from a Pachinko parlour. Blanched lilacs float in minarets of light beyond these bituminous quaggas, bidding the odd-toed ungulates in their psychotropic dernier cri and fuddy-duddies in theirstygian suits to sup here or buy over yonder: all tethered to their devices. One might be surprised that no cracks are forming at these arced crossings with strange requisitions folding into the hiemal air. And yet it is still more odd that so few people see this as a primped and pimped potter’s field, a graveyard for those who’ve lost their way. We’re living in an age where the multitude of the dead are pacing among us in perdurable trysts with other zombies.
The above text is from one of my unpublished works; again it speaks to me – and perhaps to you – about the quiddities of this age. There is a distinct sense of zombification taking place on the planet at the moment. Is your lineage that of Dolly, or are you magnificent and free?
Do you have any theories about who Satoshi is?
I don’t really, though I follow the haughty chit-chat at times, especially in the jejune forums LinkedIN provides. I think the person has a good reason to remain concealed (forever), but that is also a major factor why I have never fully trusted bitcoin as an investment proposition.
Keeping the provenance concealed suggests a number of things, none of them conducive to embracing bitcoin as a common form of payment.
What do you think about the prospects of gold in connection with the uncontrolled money printing by different Central Banks?
Gold is what BTC can never become, especially when its provenance remains totally unclear – as well as its likely endgame! Central Banks engage in quasi-criminal activity – and one hopes the future prudent regulator won’t be making it too difficult for people to hold gold bullion. The Perth Mint might be a splendid little dot on the global map, but beware of holding your assets in the form of gold coins: many governments will regard them as forms of payment, and may impose all manner of restrictions on the possession of it.
Let's dream a little. How stablecoins can be used after 5 years from now?
I believe the great RESET is coming – even Davos and the U.N. are alerting us to that. The Covid19 panic has been declared by more than 1500 German physicians as a “global Mafia-style deception”, and while Big Pharma and Bill Gates will likely earn trillions of dollars by the useless and potentially dangerous vaccines that will be foisted on “free” citizens, the finance system as a whole will need to be RESET. We are already receiving an inkling of how draconian and void of reason and concern for the people most governments of the world are reacting to a harmless lab-manufactured virus (virologist Prof Luc Montagnier, Nobel Laureate in medicine in 2008, said that), so it’s possible that regulators may become more tyrannical, and under some pretext or other forbid the use of alt-coins. STABLECOINS can be over-collateralized, allowing absorption of pricing fluctuations, but it will be hard to call. I believe many are bound to fail, and that even earlier, despite all their most valiant efforts: as soon as the RESET comes, which is likely to come with all manner of encumbrances. There are many reasons for the issuance of stablecoins, some having opposing views, but all are dependent on trust – and we don’tknow yet if digital currencies that governments will issue will by regulatory over-reach (including absurd compliance requirements) displace other contenders, but you can assume that the tyrannical forms of governance we are currently experiencing suggest that all kinds of skullduggery are possible.
Do you see the problem of fiat stablecoins in the fact that annual inflation constantly depreciates them? An investor who bought $1000 USDT now and sold these tokens in 10 years for $ 1000 will receive much less money.
The problem occurs if we’re converting things back into payment forms that are fundamentally flawed. Inflation and Black Swan events are the major threats to stablecoins, and tethered crypto-values to natively burdened propositions recalls my earlier idea that we have not yet cut the umbilical cord to bitcoin. On the other hand, stablecoins in their current flavour are perhaps best viewed as transitional schemata that will need later revisitation.
You are a very successful Crypto and ICO Advisor, what is the secret behind this success?
I’m not sure if I’m very successful, but I always try to shoot a straight ball. Here are two instances where my input has not been heeded in any way.
I recall one of the first ICOs I advised. I was sitting with the owner on a Telegram Channel, and after some power Q&A sessions online, we were literally hearing the millions of dollars tumble in neat digital hashes into the inbox within a couple of hours of the ICO opening. He had a bottle of Scotch on his table, and by the end of the session he had reached his hard cap and was besotted to boot! The age of digital money had placed the foolscap on his pate, but the script was no longer legible. I cannot determine if his sobriety ever returned. The prudential advice I had been giving him previously – and that we had discussed in great depth -- was over coming weeks thrown out of the window, and I assume other bottles of Scotch ended up on his desk and didn’t last long.
Here is another example. At one time a well-known ambitious individual in the U.S. cryptospace, a young lawyer, asked me if I wanted to start a crypto compliance organisation with him.
When I think of him now and the feathery assistants he congregated around him, I think of the lines in Dickens’s “Bleak House”: “Mr. Tangle’s learned friends, each armed with a little summary of eighteen hundred sheets, bob up like eighteen hammers in a pianoforte, make eighteen bows, and drop into their eighteen places of obscurity.”
Simply to continue serving wine from the same sour vats won’t do. I saw that as a prospective idea, and offered some important advice to get the ball rolling. Soon we had recruited many eager beavers to the exercise, and there was talk of it becoming an influential body. I was naïve enough to assume at the time that my co-founder, a black college asketballer with body tattoos who had a write-up in a major paper on account of his ambition and aggression, was actually interested in asking some fundamental revisionary questions about compliance in relation to the freedom of the citizen. When I suggested we don’t just copy the traditional compliance template and rather probe more deeply, he became insolent and very aggressive. That confirmed my instinct that most ambitious players in the crypto-space are actually dyed-in-the-wool bourgeois, and don’t care about improving the system itself.
What is your advice for upcoming Crypto startups and investors?
You might know the technology well, but do you know the business? Does it really deeply address, even solve, a problem? How much life experience do you have, and how well do you know the market? Can you create a market for your product or services? If yes, how will you do that? Have you only got yes-men around you, or are you willing to listen to those who speak Tacheles to you? If you’ve come to water the plant of your ego, your business will flounder. Most achievers keep their ego initially in check, and get the work done.
For investors the answer I would give is rather complex, but here’s a brief response: often the mandate of investors is very narrowly girded, and they trust their old boy networks, and rarely venture out and follow their instincts. That is foolish, and also the recipe for a dull life.
Perhaps a general observation that everybody might ponder with profit is the idea that we know really so very little of the world; that the news and information we are are offered and digest, even when it is tendered by so-called ‘experts’, is often seriously ignorant. It seems our perspective is getting narrower all the time, as if our mind is shrinking and we block out knowledge.
Let me give another current reference point. In 2020 everyone is fearful of viruses. Viruses currently have a bad rap! We have no idea what they actually are. We are always hobbling around with our fearful partisan gaze, and what is good today becomes bad tomorrow. Yet viruses are adroit and malleable messengers of inter-species DNA, in some sense regulating vast populations of organisms. Think of them as cellular simpletons: mere protein shells with few genes, but endowed with the ability to replicate easily despite their paucity of genetic instructions! They form alliances, you might say, with other forms of life. And they are deeply mysterious to our acquisitive and ignorant segmenting intelligence: how can the papillomavirus cause horns to grow on rabbits; and at the same time cause hundreds of thousands of cases of cervical cancer every year? Is one good and the other bad? It would seem so. Such simple summary, like Pinker’s reductionist view of the world, might becalm for a moment, but does not offer lasting satisfactions. To read the world along the axes of like and dislike, as the Buddha had warned us, leads to great suffering.
I’m told by someone who met Bill Gates a long time ago that the man was apparently even then obsessively fearful of viruses (imagine a pendant to Lady Macbeth, continually cleansing his hands). But do we have any clue what viruses actually are, and how they benefit us all in so many incalculable ways? When the child crawls around, it picks up antigens (bacteria and viruses) and on that basis builds its immune system. At various points of that contact and exchange new forms grow, and other forms decay and die. Like CO2, viruses are suddenly declared dangerous and that we need to shield ourselves against them. Yet how many people know that marine phages rule the world, and rule the sea? This was not discovered until 1986. An electron microscope showed that every litre of seawater contained up to one hundred billion viruses, almost as much in dollars as BillGates expects to make off vaccines in 2020. If you put these viruses end to end, they would stretch out forty-two million light-years! Viruses offer stunning genetic variety, and they are the very pulse of life! When viruses swallow oceanic microbes, they release a billion tons of carbon every day: imagine squalls of marine snowfalls, powdering the porous sand of the deep. Imagine the white nights of St Petersburg under water, celebrating the magic of life with the same skill and abandon as the Mariinsky Theatre, to an audience of gastropods, deep-water fish and lovelorn mermaids.
Seamus Heaney, when he passed in 2013, spoke the word Noli timere (“Do not fear”) to his wife as he breathed his last. Instead of being fearful, we might do well to assert that we understand nothing of the manifold wonders of this world! Let us cultivate the virtue of wonderment, and fear will find no habitation in our house:
And lonely as it is that loneliness Will be more lonely ere it will be less— A blanker whiteness of benighted snow With no expression, nothing to express.
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces Between stars—on stars where no human race is. I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places.
Website : https://gold.storage/ Whitepaper: https://gold.storage/wp.pdf
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|After the crazy adventure you embarked on, what are you up to now? And how did the experience impact you personally? :)||My god, the confidence is incredible. I now have done the scariest thing most people can imagine and I enjoyed it immensely. It's hard to get scared of the challenges of this world when you have that under your belt. I'm 23, I'm a part-time mattress salesman, part-time Bitcoin news aggregator. I'm in a fantastic relationship and the future is fucking bright. :D.|
|Sounds like a solid career plan.||Hell yes, one thing is for sure, putting that on a resume WILL get you the interview.|
|That's awesome, my SO and I have always talked about just selling all of our belongings and going traveling, this inspires me to start bugging him about it again :P.||Awesome! I also made a video a while back if you need more motivation. Link to www.youtube.com|
|You are so adorable! I want to be best friends with you.||Aaawww.|
|Good on you for doing this. I've done a few such trips/journeys in my life as well (except with different goals, constraints, etc.), and like you it changed my outlook on life and my fellow man/woman forever. How many miles would you estimate you traveled in those two years? What was your favorite location and why? And of course the reverse, what was a shithole you couldn't wait to get out of and why?||Hello fellow traveler! Glad to hear you got a lot out of it as well. I would say I travelled approx. 3000 miles total, crossing the country twice and going up and down coasts a few times.|
|Stockton!! My wife and I were both born there. Shitty town indeed.||Glad to hear ya'll are out!|
|My town was actually mentioned on reddit! Stuart florida is where its at man!||Hey! Do you know the Vintage Guitar Shop that used to be there?|
|What about Houston?||Didn't spend much time there, but I do hope to soon!|
|Where did you poop? If outside, did you carry toilet paper?||Best question ever. EVER. I always pooped indoors, fast food restaurants mostly. Sometimes libraries and other establishments, but mostly fast food places.|
|Were you ever harassed by the cops for loitering/sleeping in public/etc.? If so, how did they handle your lack of I.D.?||I got two tickets for "trespassing" (sleeping on private property), one cop to search my bags for drugs (Not my thing) and several skeptical questionings. There were also a few times where I got tired of hitching and decided to just walk on the highway so a cop would give me a ride to the next exit. Worked almost every time. :D.|
|How did you pay the fines for the tickets?||Let's just say I didn't pay them...|
|What (if anything) came of it?||Nothing, they were local so as long as I don't get in any legal trouble in those cities I'm fine.|
|When did you decided enough is enough and it's time to head home?||Actually, part of why I left was to get away from my abusive parents. I went back when I decided I wanted to see them with new eyes, to make sure I wasn't just being young and rebellious. I've since cut ties with them for good. Best decision ever. :)|
|Sweet, were you ever in a life threatening situation?||Nope.|
|What did you do during winter months? I mean, depending on where you ended up, it's awful hard surviving the elements.||Like the birds, south for the winter. Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Florida.|
|Would still freeze in texas and arizona though. I live in texas.||Me too, warm sleeping bags are still essential.|
|Could you comment on what your absolute necessities were, what you carried with you at all times?||A lot of the time I had literally only a sleeping bag, sometimes books, sometimes a guitar, sometimes a tent, etc. also a bag of paper notes from people I met. Still have that. :)|
|How was Minnesota?||Didn't make it to MN on that trip, been there since (in summer) loved it.|
|When arriving at a location, were you preferential to any routines?||Look around, find a place to sleep, find other travelers.|
|Any wildlife encounters?||Almost stepped on a rattle snake! Jeee-Zus!|
|How many times did you get laid?||Enough. ;)|
|What did your friends say when you told them of your plan? Did some try and talk you out of it? Did some want to join you?||At the time I was having a falling out with some major friends (I was becoming an Athiest) but the other friends and coworkers I told thought it was crazy, but crazy awesome. I think it was inconceivable to them at the time. No one tried to talk me out of it, but no one wanted to join either.|
|You mentioned in another comment about your abusive parents. Did you grow up in a very religious community? Did you coming out as an atheist influence your relationship with your parents?||Nail on the head. Evangelical Christians. Turns out their love is conditional on doing what they want you to do.|
|Why no ID?||Because it's awesomer (now a word), I wanted to go as far to the bottom as I could.|
|What was the best and the worst you found down there?||Best: Knowing I could live and enjoy what most people consider the scariest.|
|Worst: Wasn't able to go to all the cool money-costing things.|
|I was kind of hoping for. Best: (a remarkable story about human kindness) Worst: (A terrifying story involving a satanic sex cult, a truckload of ferrits and a currently seated Senator) A follow up question: Why?||What if I told you a remarkable story about a trucking sex cult of ferrit senators teaching me lessons of sexy human kindness? And why? Because it was fun!|
|Go on...||We'll lets just say never talk to a French canary unless you're ready to line dance with Frank Zappa again.|
|You have lived the life I dream about||exquisite|
|I guess I'm curious about more details about how you got enough food every day? How did people react when you asked for "throwaway food"? How did your family/friends react to all this? Did you tell them you were going to do this before you left or did you just take off?||Okay, so when I felt hunger coming on I would go to the nearest restaurant/gas station/place with food and tell them what I was doing and ask if they had any food they were going to throw away or work I could do in exchange for food. Most were at least nice in saying no (usually for legal reasons(lawsuits)) but many actually whipped something up, something new and fresh, those people were awesome! Some reacted rudely or confusedly, but the vaaast majority were at least nice. :). My family/friends thought it was absolutely nuts, some knew beforehand but others just heard through the grapevine. As far as skyping, message me some times that work for you, I'm in central time.|
|How old were you when you embarked and what made you decide you wanted to do that? Every day The thought of just fucking off like that crosses my mind.||I was 20, I wanted to radically change the direction of my life, and what better way to do so? I learned about things I could never have imagined existed and I'll tell you it was one HELL of an education.|
|That is awesome. But did it drastically change your life? Are you humble & don't need money to be happy? Or did you learn something and apply that to make more money or what did you learn??||I would say It helped me see money as more of a tool than anything. If the money isn't fun, it's not worth going after. Once I got that happiness ought to be the goal and not money, money became easier to obtain and less scary.|
|I know you're done for the night, but hopefully you'll answer a few extra questions sparked by your "one HELL of an education". How did you decide where you wanted to go (after you went to Oregon)? I saw you mention in a different comment that you tried to find other travelers when you got to a city. How does one do that? Message board, gathering place? What, if anything, did you sort of "toss in" which ended up really coming in handy? And last but not least, simply any other advice you'd have that might seem obvious to you, but not to something only starting to consider hitching?||It quickly becomes natural, but you look for tourist areas, street musicians, people with big backpacks, etc. Take this as an opportunity to practice being somewhat of a radical. Test the bounds of what is socially acceptable and determine when it is a good idea to run beyond those bounds. Try to live so differently from how you live now that you'll have no choice but to see the world differently on the other end. Be the guy you want to be. But you must build him(her), he won't just come when you ask him to, you must prove that you are worth his presence. BONUS QUESTION: I loved traveling alone, I saw it as a great opportunity to get to know myself (and practice #6), traveling with a partner is not bad, but I think being alone will help you in ways a partner cannot. Learning to be comfortable alone is key. Plus, you'll always make friends and travel with them short-term, so you will never be too lonely. Also, you can do a lot more alone. If you're alone you only need a consensus of one which although sometimes may not be easy, is a hell of a lot easier than a consensus of two or three. Aye! Of course! The most important advice! Have fun! Thanks for the good questions, feel free to let me know how the adventure goes, my message box is always open. :D.|
|Reminds me of Alexander Supertramp||It's an honor.|
|What was the worst and best thing strangers did foto you?||The worst was a man who decided to molest me in my sleep. I became much more cautious about people after that and did not have anything similar happen ever again.|
|The best were numerous, being given guitars was great. All the people who gave great meals, advice, rides, places to stay, stories and tips for where to go were awesome.|
|What is the most memorable advice you received?||"Never fall into bored submission" and "You'll do fine wherever you go, kid."|
|Wow, that's heavy, there's some amount of weirdos out there! How was your mood, we're you down a lot? Or embracing life?||Most of the time it was a blast, but that was a shitty time as one can imagine...|
|I want to put the former on my wall. I want to put both on my children's wall, if I ever have any.||Do it, send me pictures. :)|
|Of course! I would have thought enough was enough at that stage||Yeah, but the other rewards were great, and I learned how to avoid that. I had been getting bad vibrations from the guy, but ignored them. No more of that.|
|Well, I guess I'll start. Did you have any crazy experiences? Was there a reason you did it?||Getting a ride from the leader of the local chapter of the KKK -Hopping a train from California to Oregon -Traveling with crust punks and hippies -Being given a total of 5 free guitars on my journey.|
|Why did I do it? I wanted to go out and see the world without having money or joining some group. I wanted to see what life was like on the bottom, or as close as I could get.|
|What is crust punk? What happened to all the guitars? Glad you are safe and well!||Homeless punk rockers. :) As far as the guitars I gave them up when I was done with them. Thanks!|
|What does "on the bottom" mean to you? To me, it means living under a bridge with several untreatable horrible diseases, no support whatsoever, and getting physically attacked daily, or something.||If that happened to you, I have to say that absolutely sucks and I'm sorry. As for me, yes it could have been "worse", but that's not what I'm referring to. I mean being by most people's standards "on the bottom", no money, no social standing, few resources.|
|If you could re-live one day of this journey...which day and why?||I think the first day, it would be fun to feel what it was like pre-adventure again, I'd love to compare my happiness to now. (Much happier now)|
|What was the most fucked up thing that happened?||I was walking towards the desert in Blythe, California getting ready to find a spot to camp, when a drunk man in a poncho comes up to me and says his name is Running Bear. He offers me vodka and says I can stay in his shanty. He points to the arco gas station and says "You see that gas station? I built that with my own two handsss, man!" He took me to his uncle's property where his shanty was and showed me his uncle's barn, which was full of giant tires and explains "Don't sleep in there, the black widows will eat you alive!" he then shows me his uncles giant fiberglass tubs. "Don't sleep in there! That shit will cut you up!" He explained that he and his girlfriend, a "skinny white bitch with biiig fake titties" would cook a rotisserie chicken for dinner. The chicken was raw and sitting out in the open air outside on a table. There were peppers and lemons near it. He explained that I could sleep in his shanty and I did, but I woke up not too long later to hear him and his girlfriend arguing, ending with him pouring gasoline all over her. That was very scary and sad, I didn't know what to do so I just left.|
|What was the most amazing?||Same goes for amazing, but I'll just say when I arrived in New Paltz, NY and within a few minutes some friendly voices asked if I wanted to go swimming. :)|
|What surprised you the most?||Also hard to answer, but for now I'll say the sheer amount of people living this kind of life. Maybe millions in the US alone.|
|What didn't you realize ahead of time that should have seemed stupidly obvious?||NOT TO BRING 100 POUNDS OF STUFF.|
|What's the worst and best parts about not carrying an ID?||Worst, maybe more risky? Didn't really find out. Best? More badass.|
|What did you miss the most while you were out there?||Consistency, I love surprises and chosen instability if it's for something worthwhile, but I'm glad to be in a predictable world again.|
|What do you miss most now that you're back?||Spontaneity. The opposite of the above. But fundamentally I'm glad to be here times 1 million, just as I was glad to be there times 1 million. :)|
|What did you do for personal hygiene? Showers, clothes, etc.||At the time (things have changed) I showered a couple times a month on average, when I was invited into someone's home, or I swam.|
|How did your hair look in the end (head and face!)?||Face has always been pretty clean as I seem to be incapable of bearding.|
|How did you handle coming back (financially)?||Started from the bottom, asked for help, and worked like hell.|
|I'd like to add that I'm jealous and wish I could man up and do this. I've wanted to for years, but it's hard to drop all of my friends and family and leave them worried.||I always say if it's gonna be one of those things you're gonna kick yourself for you might as well do it. We all will die one day.|
|What would you say is a good age to go on such an adventure? I'm sure being young helped against any hitch-hiking suspicions from others.||Being young helps, but as long as you don't look crazy and aren't an asshole, you should be fine. Too many people use age as an excuse for anything.|
|Ive dreamed about doing this sort of thing before, the only thing really holding me back is my girlfriend. did you start out with any sort of itinerary? a list of spots you wanted to see? what did you bring with you, change of clothes maybe? backpack? protection? it hought if were to ever actually start to walk i would want a gun or some sort of fighting proficiency. What tips would you provide to the intrepid traveler?||On weapons: I did start out with a knife, but soon realized I'd rather just not put myself in situations where I'd need protection and ditched it. Never needed it. When I started I brought everything. Tent, axe, books, everything. I kept getting rid of more and more stuff until I had just a sleeping bag and a couple odds and ends. When I started, I wanted to go to Oregon, and I did, then when I did that I just went wherever I wanted to. :)|
|Where and when (month-wise) did you start? how long did it take to get to oregon? was that leg of the trip more walking or hitching rides?||Orange, CA. October 1st. It took about two weeks to get to Oregon, I was mostly hitch-hiking, but I was just learning at that point.|
|Sounds somewhat like Into the Wild. Was it a similar experience?||Very similar, except I chose not to try to escape my fellow man.|
|What's the best way to safely pick up a hitchhiker, or to safely hitchhike?||For both: talk to them. Get a good reading on them. Are they calm, happy, attentive? You may be in the car for a while, do they seem like they'd be fun to hang out with for a while. AVOID CHARITY CASES, either their car broke down and it's no big deal or they're on an adventure and don't want charity cause they're having fun. In both cases, play it safe, there will be plenty others. My average pick up time was about a minute, so if you don't pick them up someone else will. Make sense?|
|What are you up to these days?||I live in Austin, I'm a part-time mattress salesman, part-time Bitcoin news aggregator. I'm building an awesome relationship and those are my major focuses. :)|
|Should also note that I'm working towards getting my income completely online so my SO and I can travel regularly, maybe full time.|
|Hi! Thanks for sharing your experiences! My question is, based on your experiences, how do you think the experience would differ if you were female? Did you encounter a lot of women on your travels as well or was it mostly men? Any other relevant thoughts about how gender would affect an experience like this?||Hey there, being a dude makes it easier I'm sure. The women I encountered were either in partnerships, teams or packing weapons and a dog. Unfortunately we live in a world where men like to rape from time to time and that is something to be aware of. Although I can't give direct advice on the subject, I can say it is possible but to be smart. Wish the world was different. :(|
|What was the most unbelievable/craziest thing you saw on your travels?||That's a HARD question to answer, so I'll give a crazy thing. I was picked up by a team of traveling magazine salesmen. They were all young and shared the same hotel room. (I have my doubts they were actually selling magazines) the leader took me to a strip club and said he wanted to hire me as a bodyguard and would train me with firearms. I got the hell out. Crazy enough? :D.|
|This is one thing normal people don't usually believe about traveling. Things get weird fast when you jump off the map.||Hell, things are already pretty weird on the map!|
|Is that right? or are you exaggerating? I imagine there'd be some stigmas attached to such an awesome adventure. what kind of labeling has been layed on you?||If you know how to tell a story right, you can get anyone excited. They'll bring you in just cause they want to hear the story.|
|Do you fear that as you acclimatise to being back in a modern society that the joy you achieved as essentially a stoneage traveller will turn to depression as you find that the travelling nature of humanity is strangled out of you by things such as work and sitting down?||Fuck no! I feared that, but I'm now working towards getting my income online so my SO and I can travel regularly! Plus after doing that for two years I really appreciate me some stability. :D.|
|So what was your typical day like?||Typical day is hard to say. If I was trying to get somewhere, I would be standing on the side of the road with my thumb out or walking. I sometimes walked for days at a time. When I would get hungry, I would go from restaurant to restaurant asking if they had any "throw-away" food I could have for free.|
|If I was in a city or town I wanted to stay in for a while, I would be hanging out with other travelers, playing music, asking for tourists leftovers or exploring.|
|Lots of aviation, but this is as close to a typical description I could give you for now.|
|aviation.||YES AVIATION!!! LOTS OF AVIATION! No, err, umm variation, autocorrect.|
|Good god, you're as fast as you are chirpy.||Blows smoke from recently fired pistol.|
|You mentioned that you brought books with you. Have you ever thought of writing one about your travels and adventures? I would imagine plenty of people (including myself) would enjoy reading it.||I have thought about it, what would be interesting to you in a book like that?|
|I'm sure you had plenty of crazy experiences and learned some important life lessons on your journey. Both of which would be worth reading about. I'm pretty sure everyone has wished they could do what you did at one point in time.||I'll continue thinking about it, it would be fun to write a book...|
|Hey, I hope it isn't too late to ask some questions: Did you ever get mugged or robbed on your way? And what's the best advise you might have for someone who wants to do something like this? Thanks!||Nope, no mugging. I did leave a tent in the woods for a while and it was gone when I got back, but I would hardly call that a robbery. The best advice? If you want to do it, go do it. But that's good general advice too. :D.|
|Zombies..||Zombies love hitch-hikers. Case closed.|
|I'd love to, in fact I'm planning to after my degree :)||Do it! Have a ton of fun!|
|What kind of books do you read?||George Orwell - Down & Out in Paris & London.|
|Stefan Molyneux - On Truth, The Tyranny of Illusion.|
|Timothy Ferris - The Four Hour Work Week.|
|Dale Carnegie - How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.|
|Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead.|
|There's many others but these are the first that come to mind.|
|Did you ever met Kai the hatchet wielding hitchiker ?||Unfortunately no...|
|Ok, have to ask: How did your mom and dad feel about this adventure?||Scared shitless, but I should clarify that my parents were not good people and this also helped me get away from them.|
|Damned sorry to hear that. Sounds like you turned out pretty well though. Stay pure!||Thank you, I think I did pretty well with the random crazy I was born into.|
|How often did you have to sleep in the woods? When did you decide the tent was not needed?||I'd say 75% of nights were spent in the woods, I was rarely getting rained on and lugging around the tent was a bummer, so I decided just to use the sleeping bag and find other modes of shelter ( buildings, tall trees, etc.) for those few rainy nights. Eventually I discovered that tarp are the best things ever for rain protection.|
|Was there any part of your adventure where you were stuck with no options and thought "damn this was a bad idea..." ?||Not really, I always had options. But sometimes I was scared that I finally had run out. I now think I'll always have options until I'm dead.|
|What do you think were the most important skills?||Understanding psychology, trusting my guts, logic ( to avoid crazy people), improvisation, understanding fear, assertiveness, curiosity.|
|Congrats. Sincerely. Like many others here I have long dreamt of doing the same. Have you considered sharing more of your stories in the form of a novel? I would love to read about it, in more detail than here. Did you every feel on the brink of giving up and going back to the norm? If so, what made you feel that way, other than the stability?||As far as the novel goes, that may be something I'm interested in, but at least at this point, I'm not. What kinds of details would you be interested in hearing more about?|
|As far as "giving up", no, I don't think so. I don't see what I'm doing now as much different, just a later section of the same life. I loved hitch-hiking, but I also love having a job, and an apartment, and buying cool soap dispensers. I think life can and might as well be awesome and it wasn't difficult to stay away from not being awesome, if that makes sense. :D.|
|I'm sorry I didn't mean giving up in that notion. what I meant to say was, at any point did anything happen to you or maybe just home sickness that had you wanting to go home, or to see your friends? Sorry for the poor grammar and all. 420.||Not really no. I didn't like my home life so much.|
|Simple question but how old are you?||Simpler answer 24 tomorrow. :)|
|So how old were you when you left home?||I was 20.|
|What' styling you down? If you don't mind a stranger prying..||"Brooo... What's stylin, man?"|
|I know some travelers and they all seem to have acquired some sort if nick name over the years, were you ever given a street name?||I gave myself the name "Felix Walker" then later just called myself "Home."|
|Interesting. Any particular reasoning that you wouldn't mind sharing?||Sure, Felix is Latin for happy and Walker is English for walker, plus it's catchy! Home was the name of an Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes song I really liked at the time, it was clever due to my "homelessness" and it was catchy!|
|Hahaha I like that. You seem to have good humor, I'm sure that served you well in some less-than-comfortable situations I'm sure you found yourself in.||Humor always helps.|
|So, I was also a big fan of Into The Wild. I was wondering, have you crossed over the Salton Sea at all? I have planned to take a trip their senior year of high school (Junior now). I just want to explore the country before I start all my hard work you know?||I haven't, but you should! Please take some time off, everyone wants it, everyone needs it, not enough do it. It'll make you wiser and more badass.|
|No doubt man. Thanks for answering!||No worries!|
|Any advice for someone who wants to do something similar? I hope to one day take off on my bike from my home in wisconsin and keep going south until i hit ocean - hopefully on the southern tip of south america! Im currently a freshman in high school, so i have plenty of time. I've been thinking of taking a year off from school after i finish high school, before going to college. Is that a good idea, or should i wait until after college?||Brother, if you weren't legally bound to stay in school now I'd say go now! A lot of people tell themselves they'll wait until after their first year of college to do X, then until after they graduate, then until after they've had a good job on their resume, then after they're married, then after they have kids, then after the kids are grown, then when they retire. By that time their motivation is gone and their health is going. Don't do that. Either do it now or do it soon. It'll be awesome.|
|Thanks for the encouragement! How much of your trip was planned? Did you just take off one day or did you map out a specific route?||No worries, I started with the goal to go from souther California to Corvallis Oregon, after that I had flexible, general goals that I made up as I went along i.e. Get to East Coast, Go to New York, go back to California, etc.|
|What did you eat?? I'd love to do this but I get suuuper cranky without my food. I think I'd need to pussy out a little and bring money for food.||Food! You'll be fine, lots of strangers will give you grub. I came nowhere near starving.|
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