The Demographics of Occupy Wall Street from Fast Company

1774 Lynching (aka NON-VIOLENCE DOING IT WRONG)

There is a lot of misinformation about who’s out there on the ground “occupying” things. Some people think they’re all jobless socialist stinky hippies who don’t want to work hard and get a hand out. Those of you who think that can go fuck yourself—if you ever went camping you’d know that you’d get pretty ripe.  Sure, there may be some socialists, hippies and even people who don’t want to work hard. They’re going to fall by the wayside while other people figure out what they want. The whole OWS movement to me smacks of the death of apathy and having it in hundreds of cities concurrently with social network cross-pollination is going to incubate a lot of ideas. Some of the ideas will be loony shit, and some of them will be brilliant.

What we’re seeing is a massive distributed conference between people of all walks of life and life-situations that might be compared to the early days of the American Revolution. Remember, the British empire early on restricted town meetings in places like Massachusetts (1774) as a method of control and repression of dissent. Acts like this are what drove pre-Americans to start the First Continental Congress. As an anarchist, I would help they try to figure out how to do it with zero government. But hey, maybe you think that’s loony shit. The good ideas will prosper.

Get the whole deal at http://www.fastcompany.com/1789018/occupy-wall-street-demographics-statistics?partner=gnews but the meat is here, the movement is very well represented across society and they’re not all jobless:

They aren’t all kids. Xers, Boomers, and older are also in on it: One-third of respondents is older than 35, and one-forth is 45 or older.

It’s not all students and the educated elite. About 8% have, at best, a high school degree. And just about a quarter (26.7%) are enrolled in school. Only about 10% are full-time students.

“Get a job!” wouldn’t apply to most of them. Half of the respondents are already employed full-time, and an additional 20% work part-time. Just 13.1% are unemployed–not a whole lot more than the national average.

“Tax the rich!” could hit close to home. About 15% earn between $50,000 and $80,000 annually (pretty good anywhere except in Manhattan). Thirteen percent earn over $75,000 annually, and nearly 2% bring in more than $150,000.

It may be a party, but not that kind. The movement is often identified as a liberal, even Democrat-dominated cause. But just 27.3% of respondents call themselves Democrats (and 2.4% are Republican). And the rest, 70% call themselves independents.

Not everyone tweets. The microblogging site played a big role in getting the movement started. But that’s not how most people keep up with it. Twenty-nine percent of respondents are regular Twitter users. But 66% are Facebook regulars. The biggest online community, however, is YouTube, with about 74% being regular users.

5 Links on Creationism for October 19, 2011

Professor Niall Ferguson’s “Ascent of Money—A Financial History of the World”

One thing you’re never really quite taught in public schools is how money works. Sure, they might teach you how to use paper money, checkbooks or credit cards, but they won’t really teach you the origins of the paper money, checkbook, credit cards and how much money and finance has changed in history. It changes constantly, and usually to some advantage to the state or corporation. This four-hour long documentary should be required viewing for anyone serious about Occupying Wall Street, for you need to know what schemes “Wall Street” invented to oppress you with.

For the same reason why you can’t forego all social interactions in Into the Wild, you must realize that we cannot do without money because that is the very tool we require for social transactions above the level of barter.

Finally, a note for you Ron Paul-loving gold bugs: Gold is an element, it is not money—anymore. Fwah! 😉

“Into the Wild”: The Folly of Obsessive Individualist/Anarcho-Primitivist Anarchism

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But this movie is a great example of someone who decides that they can do without society and go it alone. Amazon’s review describes it this way:

A superb cast and an even-handed treatment of a true story buoy Into the Wild, Sean Penn’s screen adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s bestselling book. Emile Hirsch stars as Christopher McCandless, scion of a prosperous but troubled family who, after graduating from Atlanta’s Emory University in the early 1990s, decides to chuck it all and become a self-styled “aesthetic voyager” in search of “ultimate freedom.” He certainly doesn’t do it halfway: after donating his substantial savings account to charity and literally torching the rest of his cash, McCandless changes his name (to “Alexander Supertramp”), abandons his family (William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden as his bickering, clueless parents and Jena Malone as his baffled but loving sister, who relates much of the backstory in voice-over), and hits the road, bound for the Alaskan bush and determined not to be found. For the next two years he lives the life of a vagabond, working a few odd jobs, kayaking through the Grand Canyon into Mexico, landing on L.A.’s Skid Row, and turning his back on everyone who tried to befriends him (including Catherine Keener and Brian Dierker as two kindly, middle-aged hippies and Hal Holbrook in a deeply affecting performance as an old widower who tries to take “Alex” under his wing). Penn, who directed and wrote the screenplay, alternates these interludes with scenes depicting McCandless’ Alaskan idyll–which soon turns out be not so idyllic after all. Settling into an abandoned school bus, he manages to sustain himself for a while, shooting small game (and one very large moose), reading, and recording his existential musings on paper. But when the harsh realities of life in the wilderness set in, our boy finds himself well out of his depth, not just ill-prepared for the rigors of day to day survival but realizing the importance of the very thing he wanted to escape–namely, human relationships. It’d be easy to either idealize McCandless as a genuinely free spirit, unencumbered by the societal strictures that tie the rest of us down, or else dismiss him as a hopelessly callow naïf, a fool whose disdain for practical realities ultimately doomed him. Into the Wild does neither, for the most part telling the tale with an admirable lack of cheap sentiment and leaving us to decide for ourselves. –Sam Graham

This movie is a grand adventure, and a cautionary tale to any ararcho-primitivist or survivalist who decides that they can do without all human relationships.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Show #40: Radical Thoughts

Most definitely get Ep. 40 of Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History ( http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/hh ) because this is a doozy of an episode.  It’s long, over two hours long and Dan covers a huge swath of American/World History with the lens on humanity’s problem with social fear. This is a must listen if you’re an anarchist, left-leaning or a conservative, because fear doesn’t know any ideology.

Please, please and please, throw some fucking money at this man so that he keeps making more shows.

Toby Hemenway’s “Gaia’s Garden”

This is the “accessible” guide to Permaculture—a word you’re going to hear a lot of for the next century as resources get more expensive. I call it accessible because the other texts available are not perhaps as well organized for the person just starting out their understanding of these systems. We were cursed with oil, and in the “Green Revolution” we used it for everything in industrial food production: fertilizer, pesticides and automation for planting, spraying and harvesting. Permaculture shows a way to produce food for yourself, your family and your future generations of family without causing more damage to the biosphere’s climate and diversity.

5 LINKS ON CREATIONISM for October 15, 2011