[p2p-research] beyond "road burn-out" : what is (y)our story ?
Paul D. Fernhout
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Sun Nov 1 13:34:48 CET 2009
Politically speaking, why do you (or anyone else) not have some claim on the
fruits of the industrial commons by fact of existence as a human being?
Also regarding money, fixed abodes and so on, consider Manuel de Landa's
points on a balance of meshworks and hierarchies:
"Indeed, one must resist the temptation to make hierarchies into villains
and meshworks into heroes, not only because, as I said, they are constantly
turning into one another, but because in real life we find only mixtures and
hybrids, and the properties of these cannot be established through theory
alone but demand concrete experimentation."
Too much random meshwork may be as bad as to much structured hierarchy?
Humanity lives best in the comfortable zone between fire and ice. Between
chaos and order. Naturally, all people are tuned a little differently. Some
are very comfortable more towards extreme chaos, some more comfortable
towards extreme order.
So, just musing on this, not suggesting you change, but what if we ignore
that human rights issue, and build on the idea you mention of
inter-dependency. So, what are you supplying on your side? Teaching?
Entertaining? Could you formalize that and put a little more structure in
your life and a little more hierarchy? Not saying you'd want to, just a
thought. Maybe you could enter some sort of profession where a stream of
people pass through your life? Even being a doctor? :-) But, might some
foundation fund you as a traveling educator? Or you might find life
interesting at a university as a student in theater arts or something. You
must know a lot about people by now, bot for performing and writing. Also,
have you considered upgrading your entertaining skills for life on the road?
Like learning to do Mime? Or magic tricks? Or, if you don't already, some
for of musical instrument? Or if you know one, learn more, and learn more
styles. Lots of musicians bemoan a life on the road even though they get
paid for performing; but maybe some might enjoy it more than others.
Successful authors also tend to be ones who go to book signings everywhere,
so writing a book and then promoting it across the globe might be another
Anyway, just some thoughts. Life and action entail risk. We make our choices
about what risks we take and what ones we avoid, based on our subjective
assessment of the world, our relations, and our abilities and resources.
Hitchhiking is a physical risk, but so is despair through boredom (all sorts
of health issues there). You make your choices and you take your chances,
same as everyone.
Maybe you could become a traveling educator on the importance of vitamin D?
"Technically not a "vitamin," vitamin D is in a class by itself. Its
metabolic product, calcitriol, is actually a secosteroid hormone that
targets over 2000 genes (about 10% of the human genome) in the human body.
Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in
the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease,
stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic
pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth
defects, periodontal disease, and more."
Seriously, you might read that site in depth, and you might spread the word
in your travels, and save hundreds or thousands of lives from cancer, mental
illness, osteoporosis, influenza, and so on. Then you could feel even better
about a sense of reciprocity with the world, which we all tend to need to be
healthy, even if we don't need all exchanges to be one-for-one. Not quite
being a doctor, but it doesn't take ten years to get a degree before you can
help people, either. :-)
Another health issue to study may be fasting:
"Learn how to escape the dietary pleasure trap!"
Once in awhile, a person may actually become aware of important dietary
knowledge. Despite the tremendous commercially-motivated misinformation
campaigns waged by the dairy, cattle, and processed food industries,
sometimes a person actually comes to understand the truth about diet. At
such times, determined individuals might attempt to change their diet toward
whole natural foods—in spite of dire and unfounded warnings from their
families, friends, and doctors.
But along the way, they are likely to be met with a formidable
obstacle—their own taste neuro-adaptation to artificially-intense foods.
This challenge is depicted as Phases IV and V, wherein a change to less
stimulating foods typically will result in a reduced pleasure experience. In
the early stages, this process is dramatic because natural foods often are
not nearly as stimulating.
Scientific evidence suggests that the re-sensitization of taste nerves
takes between 30 and 90 days of consistent exposure to less stimulating
foods. This means that for several weeks, most people attempting this change
will experience a reduction in eating pleasure. This is why modern foods
present such a devastating trap—as most of our citizens are, in effect,
“addicted” to artificially high levels of food stimulation! The 30-to-90-day
process of taste re-calibration requires more motivation—and more
self-discipline—than most people are ever willing to muster.
Tragically, most people are totally unaware that they are only a few
weeks of discipline away from being able to comfortably maintain healthful
dietary habits—and to keep away from the products that can result in the
destruction of their health. Instead, most people think that if they were to
eat more healthfully, they would be condemned to a life of greatly reduced
gustatory pleasure—thinking that the process of Phase IV will last forever.
This is an extraordinarily deceptive and problematic situation that I
describe as a “pleasure trap.”
"The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force That Undermines Health &
A wake-up call to even the most health conscious people, The Pleasure Trap
boldy challenges conventional wisdom about sickness and unhappiness in
today's contemporary culture, and offers groundbreaking solutions for
achieving change. Authors Douglas Lisel, Ph.D., and Alan Goldhamer, D.C.,
provide a fascinating new perspective on how modern life can turn so many
smart, savvy people into the unwitting saboteurs of their own well-being.
Inspired by stunning original research, comprehensive clinical studies,
and their successes with thousands of patients, the authors construct a new
paradigm for the psychology of health, offering fresh hope for anyone stuck
in a self-destructive rut. Integrating principals of evolutionary biology
with trailblazing, proactive strategies for wellness, they argue that people
who are chronically overweight, sick and ailing, or junk food junkies aren't
that way because they're lazy, undisciplined, or stuck with bad genes. The
authors reveal that most are victims of a dilemma that harkens back to our
prehistoric past-"the Pleasure Trap."
Drs. Lisle and Goldhamer then call upon their clinical experience,
scientific investigations, and a recent revoution of understanding in human
motivational psychology to provide you with solutions for the challenges of
keeping on a healthful course-and how to make the most of your life.
Scientific research about both vitamin D and fasting have been done, showing
remarkable health effects for preventing disease and extending life. Between
the two, getting enough vitamin D is more important and an easier thing to
explain right now. So, maybe start with that and build from there. I mention
fasting in part because it also may be a skill you have learned, and reading
more about it might be interesting and personally useful.
Anyway, you obviously must have strong skills as an educator and entertainer
already, so maybe just go with it, but perhas accepting just a little more
formalism (not a lot, not a "slippery slope", just an issue of healthy
balance)? :-) Calling yourself and educator and entertainer about, say,
alternative health issues like Vitamin D and fasting, and printing up some
business cards with that on it, might at least make it easier to explain
your life to your mother. :-)
Now there are a lot of other alternative health issues that are quackery.
I'm not saying pedal those. These two issues, vitamin D and fasting, I can
point to scientific evidence that say they are good things for most people.
And just these two, especially vitamin D may help prevent many tragedies.
It may even help prevent the flu:
Basically, as we all spend more time indoors, as we are taught by
dermatologists to fear the sun and wear sunscreen, and as we drive instead
of walk or bicycle, Vitamin D deficiency has become a true epidemic in the
USA. It may literally be costing the USA hundreds of billions of dollars a
year in extra health care costs, plus untold suffering.
As people feel worse from Vitamin D deficiency in various ways, they may
even spend even more time indoors, given less energy and a need to use the
computer to escape other issues.
Dr. John Cannell suggests that the US RDA for Vitamin D is about ten times
too low, because it was set decades ago for healthy bones, not a healthy
immune system (cancer) or a healthy brain (autism, depression).
And, the darker your skin in the USA, and the farther north you live, the
worse the problem, as Curtis Duncan notes here:
"Why Michelle Obama is More Likely to Die From Breast Cancer than Hillary
It is true that too much vitamin D supplementation can be a problem,
(although it may be a lot less toxic than is widely thought:)
and we all need to eat well eventually. Underlying health issues can a/-o
make either vitamin D supplements or fasting problematical in some rare
cases (as can even psychological issues, like anorexia or bullimia as
regards fasting). But that is part of what you would need to study too, and
maybe have some progressive doctors you talk with, too. But you don't need
an MD to do that. Just a few days of study on the internet, plus fact
checking with some (progressive) medical doctors for increased confidence,
asking them about these websites and related studies, might be enough to
make you an amazing educator on these things (in an entertaining way).
Just telling a lot of people about the health benefits of those two things
could change the world is a very positive way, and would provide undeniable
value to anyone you interact with, as you help people you meet resist the
worst parts of the commercial/industrial world that is negatively effecting
them unknowingly. That change is something anyone might be proud of to have
helped with, as you pass on all the gifts you've received in your life to
others, and maybe even help others to see the value in their doing the same
in passing on gifts they get.
Anyway, maybe you do some of this already, I don't know; I'm just trying to
be helpful and pass on the gifts I've received in my life from others. :-)
And that also helps me feel good about myself. :-)
I get that "passing on the gift" terminology in relation to helping with
self-respect from the Heifer International:
"Pass on the Gift"
"Together we have truly built a global chain of giving — passing on time,
money, caring, animals, education, training — all ingredients for building a
better world. With your support, Passing on the Gift will go on in Heifer
projects year round."
Dante-Gabryell Monson wrote:
> Hi All,
> I feel like sharing this message with personal views I sent to the nomad
> base list,
> as it relates to my "road" to the conference in Manchester some of you might
> attend this next Tuesday :
> I feel like sharing, potentially enabling a shared reflection on the context
> of our lives,
> and how such layers of context inter-relate with the intentions we may try
> to pursue on this list and in our lives.
> "The road" can also be seen symbolically, although in my own experience it
> is also made of concrete. ( at least there is one "concrete" thing I know
> well ;-) )
> See you , Dante
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Dante-Gabryell Monson <dante.monson at gmail.com>
> Date: Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 12:26 PM
> Subject: beyond "road burn-out" : what is (y)our story ?
> To: nomadbase at lists.0xb5.org
> Dear Friends,
> I try to face my fears,
> and today my fear is related to going back on the road...
> I feel like sharing it here on the nomadbase list, as I feel that it is part
> of what motivates my intention to support nomad bases<http://nomadbase.org/>
> *Note : For translation to other languages, I suggest using
> http://translate.google.com/ to copy/paste and translate.*
> *De : Hinweis: Für die Übersetzung in andere Sprachen lassen, verwende ich
> http://translate.google.com/ zum Kopieren / Einfügen und Übersetzen.*
> *Fr : Note: Pour la traduction dans d'autres langues, je suggere d'utiliser
> http://translate.google.com/ *
> *Es : Nota: Para la traducción a otros idiomas, sugiero utilizar
> http://translate.google.com/ *
> I imagine we all have our personal histories...
> And that perhaps some parts of our histories might have elements in common.
> I am interested in understanding what your wishes may be, and perhaps how
> you feel they relate to your feelings and experiences.
> By the way, for those of you that did not meet me ,
> a quick introduction of myself on
> *Current feeling ;*
> I realize that it takes a little time to shift my mind and body in going
> back on the road, as it reminds me of states of accumulated exhaustion of
> years of isolated traveling , "hitch hiking burn-out's"
> , especially after my second year on the road : a form of traveling that I
> was not choosing anymore.
> Traveling is a condition I want to choose to use towards an objective or
> enabling creation of inter-dependence , discovery of self and the other.
> But when there is constant repetition of change in a space feeling void of
> potential for inter-dependence and sharing,
> staying stuck in a constant non-choice of nothingness and no-where-ness ,
> it may loose meaning,
> despite nothingness potentially being an interesting spiritual experience
> that can be used to overcome insecurity in every moment, and become aware of
> our layers of illusions.
> At some point of nothingness, I feel a choice can be made to create
> inter-dependence, to feel inter-dependence, to reclaim inter-dependence, and
> to develop a sense of meaning through creation and shared presence.
> *Current situation :*
> I was planning to hitch hike to London yesterday, meeting a friend there,
> while going on my way to Manchester for a conference (
> http://www.espach.salford.ac.uk/sssi/p2p/ )
> related to various inter-connected networks / media ecologies such as the
> p2pfoundation <http://p2pfoundation.net/> or open
> revolving around ideas of openness. <http://www.openmanufacturing.net/>
> I did not leave Brussels yet, but I will, after writing this message.
> I try to set my mind to going back on the road, although it may be only for
> a few days.
> *History and experiences leading to layers of context :*
> I have been back in Brussels, the town where I grew up, for one year.
> After being on the road for 5 years, hitch hiking something like 300 000 km
> or more ( stopped counting ),
> I started developing some kind of hitch hiking overdose.
> I do not think the overdose is related to hitch hiking alone, but to the
> context around it,
> a context that evolved through time.
> I ll try to detail it in this message.
> At first, I was traveling without hitch hiking, attending seminars funded
> mostly by EU money, as a "young" delegate of ecologist organizations.
> Hitch hiking evolved from there... as an approach to empower meetings beyond
> dependency on organizational power structures and funding mechanisms,
> and to inspire others in developing such self empowered net-roots approach.
> Hitch hiking, at first, was tiring, but exciting at the same time, opening
> up new opportunities for keeping faith in building some alternatives
> through meeting new people,
> while discovering new places and facing myself through new experiences.
> My body started to adapt to long distance hitch hiking trips, and my
> personal network of contacts grew progressively.
> I did not have a stable source of personal income.
> In average I lived with 100 euros a month in the first three years,
> ( through donations of people close to me )
> and in the last two years on the road, with in average 200 euros a month,
> thanks to friends, especially Cornelia.
> Some months I lived with more, some others with less, or no money.
> I was trying to find other sources of income, as there was no guarantee at
> all that money would be donated to me.
> No guaranteed allowance. And only few potential sources of monetary support
> on which I did not like to feel dependent, as many of my friends are in a
> similar situation as me ( without, or with very little money ).
> I learned to live, as many of us on this list, with very little,
> yet realize that reducing my monetary costs was also supported through
> moving every few days.
> I could not expect from my hosts to feed me, and being a guest usually
> lasted the time of what I call "a cup of tea" ( a few - 2 to 4 - days ? ),
> the time for many of the hosts I met to satisfy their curiosity.
> There was, I feel, also another reason why generally hosting did not last
> more then a few days : hosts often have their own imperatives in their
> realities, and my presence often re-questioned the sets of relations,
> activities and obligations, if not the world view in which often they felt
> they had to comply to ,
> except for perhaps a few of them that truly could feel they made a choice in
> living their lifestyle ( or that where considering making a choice soon ),
> and that could feel that by supporting me they where supporting their own
> I ended up making some very good friends, across europe, some of them being
> in a similar situation as me, living a nomadic lifestyle, and even when they
> where sedentary, or "semi-nomadic" , often living with very little, if no
> money at all.
> I am aware that it is possible to live with very little money, and
> experienced it myself,
> but when it is not in a "nomadic" mode - or "strategy" - , I feel that the
> forms of "inter-dependency" enabled through a "dependency" on money,
> needs to be replaces by other forms of inter-dependence and organization,
> such as "where can I find markets to dumpster dive", "where can I cook",
> where can I sleep, etc
> ( sites such as http://trashwiki.org , or hospitality networks to a certain
> extent, especially in nomad mode ,
> can provide certain answers )
> But it is very tiring to be isolated, even when using such tools such as
> hospitality networks,
> as most of the time is spent in uncertainty and in a wandering mode.
> Hence the importance for me of networks of friends. People that can get to
> know each other, and build relations between each other. And the importance
> for places which can support such self organized forms of organization.
> Certain existing squats may be such places. Ecovillages too.
> Yet for reasons we may discuss more in detail at a later stage, it did not
> fully satisfy my deeper intentions.
> For example, I do not want to live in illegality ( what concerns squats,
> even if I support the idea of reclaiming space - but not with violence ),
> and I do not want to live all the time in remote places ( even though I
> enjoy it during certain periods ) or in communities which in many cases
> close themselves on themselves and that in some cases develop collectivist
> cultures ( what concerns, for example, certain ecovillages ).
> I did not want to be in an environment with power structures emerging, and
> ego's fighting with each other...
> I try to find ways for inter-dependence through cooperative individualism...
> enabling the emergence of a distributed approach and participation into
> creative small scale open production infrastructures" ...
> Infrastructures which can be ( but need not be ) temporary, can be
> reproduced, re-mixed, and need not be proprietary.
> A "commons" enabling inter-dependence between cooperative individualists.
> For the moment, my main experience of such kind of physical commons seems to
> be the streets...
> I try to be receptive to the people that pass by, and learned to connect
> with individuals with whom I feel some kind of resonance, this enabling me
> to create new friendships ...
> But I still lack the feeling of "a home", or more precisely, places where I
> know I can come back to , unconditionally, and where I know friends are
> waiting for me.
> I realized that often access to inter-dependency, including access to money,
> is dependent on "recognition" that is given to us.
> By moving constantly such recognition giving access to increased
> inter-dependence can be difficult to build up.
> What I did have access to was a form of inter-dependency empowered by
> curiosity I could satisfy in the first days,
> or inter-dependency from intentional networks of friends that I try to build
> After 5 years, I was tired of moving all the time, and felt I could try to
> come back to Brussels,
> despite not having the support of my family ( not having a family home to
> come back to )
> Coming back to Brussels in my mind was part of an approach of trying to
> re-build a stronger local network of friends, through which shared synergies
> of inter-dependency could be built,
> and hopefully, through time, facilitated through increased recognition,
> potentially also leading to building up prototype infrastructures enabling
> greater autonomy in reclaiming inter-dependency, at a systemic level.
> So anyway,
> I tried to come back to Brussels earlier, but without success, as I could
> not find enough people to host me on a long period of time.
> My second attempt, last summer, worked better, especially thanks to a new
> friend Jean-Francois, who hosted me for 3 months at hes place in St Gilles /
> enough time to try to rebuild some new network of friends in Brussels,
> which could host me.
> I have been living such a local nomadic life for one year now, with more
> and at some point, with a little more money, as I could apply for support
> from social services, getting some 480 euros a month for 5 or 6 months, till
> they cut it as they did not believe I was "sans domicile fixe".
> My relation with my mother improved over the last year.
> It was hard for my mother to accept that I lived such a life.
> Hard for her to understand why I choose such a life, instead of going into
> the labor market.
> I guess this is another discussion - personally I know that I can become
> depressed if I do not do what is meaningful for me.
> It is still challenging, for any close relation I make, to keep my presence
> when I feel their expectations and ego's are reacting to an alternative
> approach, as it leads them to re-question their own actions, lifestyle, and
> perception of inter-dependency, especially when they feel I may be dependent
> on them.
> I know I bring a lot to the friends I make, and to the ones that have been
> offering me some shelter,
> but such value is often difficult to recognize, as it is in most cases non
> I also know I can together with others create much more through building up
> new forms of "more autonomous" inter-dependency,
> and thats what I continue, year after year, in keeping faith in.
> This process, which includes writing this email to this list, and connecting
> with the great work and intentions many of you here pursue,
> helps me a lot towards keeping faith in life.
> I know that nomadbases can be one piece of the puzzle in enabling such faith
> in reclaiming our inter-dependency and offering prototypes which can be
> reproduced by many more people, without using violence, further developing a
> ahimsa <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahimsa> approach , by Satyagraha (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha - in german :
> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha ) ,
> and the self organization of our time and space (
> http://p2pfoundation.net/Festivalism )
> p2presearch mailing list
> p2presearch at listcultures.org
More information about the p2presearch