Transcending Politics

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Transcending Politics

October 20, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions… And just as a seemingly minor invention like barbed wire made possible the fencing-off of vast ranches and farms, thus altering forever the concepts of land and property rights in the frontier West, so too will the seemingly minor discovery out of an arcane branch of mathematics come to be the wire clippers which dismantle the barbed wire around intellectual property. Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!” – Timothy C. May

The S&P closed out Wednesday at $2,144. Gold closed at $1,270 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $51.72 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.75%. Bitcoin is trading around $630 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Today is little Maddie’s birthday! I still remember, two years ago to the day, witnessing her first breath of life. I can see it in my mind’s eye just a clearly as I see the computer screen in front of me. She has become a fantastically sweet and clever young lady in two years time, and her father’s cup runneth over with pride and joy.

Due to scheduling constraints, we actually celebrated her birthday on Tuesday. A few months back I asked Madison what she wanted to do for her birthday. “I want to ride Leo the horse!”, she responded without hesitation. So that’s exactly what we did. Continue reading “Transcending Politics”

The Gamma Phenomenon

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Gamma Phenomenon

September 5, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Humanity in our time remains in infancy. We are essentially unlimited creatures, yet we have been wallowing in abject poverty – physically, mentally, and spiritually. We have natures that are suited to high adventure, yet we remain stagnant. Why? Because we’ve been conditioned only to exist, not to live.” – Prester John, A Lodging of Wayfaring Men

The S&P closed out Friday at $2,180. Gold closed at $1,329 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $44.25 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.60%. Bitcoin is trading around $605 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Little Madison is approaching her second birthday, and somehow she has already picked out her own birthday gift. “I want to ride Leo the horse…”, she says with a hopeful sparkle in her inquisitive blue eyes.

Naturally, her father considers all of the things that could possibly go wrong in such a scenario. Do you want to mommy or daddy to ride with you?

No! I want to ride all by myself.

As best I can tell, to observe a toddler is to observe human nature in its purest form… before all of the social conditioning, group-think, and peer pressure begin to alter behavior.

Assuming this is correct, the need for high adventure, exploration, and excitement seems to be embedded into the core of human nature. Madison possesses a zeal for life, and she does not tolerate any restrictions on her freedom to play and explore. Any curtailment, indeed even the threat of curtailment, is met with fierce resistance and extreme displeasure. Continue reading “The Gamma Phenomenon”

Markets and Economic Calculation

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Markets and Economic Calculation

June 7, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Monetary calculation is not the calculation, and certainly not the measurement, of value. Its basis is the comparison of the more important and the less important. It is an ordering according to rank, an act of grading (Cuhel), and not an act of measuring.” – Ludwig von Mises

The S&P closed out Monday at $2,109. Gold closed at $1,247 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $49.71 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.72%. Bitcoin is trading around $585 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Wife Rachel and I will commemorate our third wedding anniversary tomorrow! When she asked me what I would like to do to celebrate, I naturally suggested that we could do anything in the world she wanted. Her response:

I would kind of like to do something fun, but I would settle for a major house cleaning day…

Does that mean we are officially marriage pro’s?

Moving on… I think this is a fascinating time to be alive. Based on what I know about recorded human history, I doubt there has ever been a more interesting point in time to be a keen observer of civilization. How lucky we are!

As I have reckoned on before, human civilization is currently transitioning from the Industrial Age and into the Information Age. Pre-Internet society was drastically different from post-Internet society, and indeed all of modern civilization has been made dependent upon a functioning Internet. This dynamic will only deepen as all of the Big Data and Internet-of-Things trends continue to play out. Continue reading “Markets and Economic Calculation”

The Rise of the Information Age

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Rise of the Information Age

February 23, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

“If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.”
-Thomas Jefferson

The S&P closed out Monday at $1,945. Gold closed at $1,208 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $33.30 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.77%. Bitcoin is trading around $423 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

The world has undergone a massive change over the past several decades – the type of change from which there is no return. This change has been the transition from the Industrial Age to the Information Age; a transition which is still in its infancy.

The Industrial Revolution, which began in the mid-to-late 18th century, has lifted more than a billion people from the shackles of poverty, raised standards of living exponentially, and it has created the world in which we live today. Even people of the most modest means in the developed world today enjoy far more comforts and luxuries than the wealthiest kings and nobles of the pre-industrialist era. Continue reading “The Rise of the Information Age”

The Self-Referential Awakening – Heeding the Warrior’s Call

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Self-Referential Awakening – Heeding the Warrior’s Call

January 4, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P closed out Friday at $2,044. Gold closed at $1,060 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $37.07 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 2.27%. Bitcoin is trading around $431 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Happy New Year! As I touched on in my last journal entry, I expect 2016 to be a very interesting year in the financial markets. Credit has been expanding and interest rates have been falling for more than three decades now, but 2016 may be the year those trends reverse.

The “authorities” will fight such a trend reversal with everything they have, but Mr. Market will eventually assert himself. Trees don’t grow to the sky, as they say. For a more detailed look at the prominent macroeconomic trends of our time, as well as how to position your finances accordingly, please see our online course Finance for Freedom: Master Your Finances in 30 Days.

Moving from finance to philosophy…

Socrates: Everyone wants to tell you what to do and what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers, they want you to believe theirs.

Dan: Let me guess, and you want me to believe yours.

Socrates: No, I want you to stop gathering information from the outside and start gathering it from the inside.

Continue reading “The Self-Referential Awakening – Heeding the Warrior’s Call”

Decentralization and Spontaneous Order

submitted by jwithrow.decentralization

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Decentralization and Spontaneous Order

November 25, 2015
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P closed out Tuesday at $2,084. Gold closed at $1,074 per ounce. Oil closed at $42.87 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 2.25%. Bitcoin is trading around $324 per BTC today.

Not much action in the markets this week as Wall Street humanoids are gearing up for the big holiday on Thursday. Only the high-frequency trading machines remain to trade back-and-forth with one another for a few days. Despite this calm, I get the sense that a big move is brewing…

Also worth mentioning, I appeared on the SovereignBTC podcast with host John Bush last week. We had a blast talking about many of the topics I often muse on here in the Journal. If you would like to listen to the interview, you can find it at the LTB Network here.

Dear Journal,

“That was really sweet what you wrote about Madison…” wife Rachel said after reading my previous journal entry. “But the only thing you said about me was that I wouldn’t read past a certain point!”

“Well did you read past that paragraph?”, I asked with a wry grin on my face.

“No, that’s as far as I got…”

My last entry discussed the potential for the family unit to act as a sovereign institution in light of the burgeoning Great Reset, much to the benefit of both the sovereign family and the local community. The underlying theme of that entry, and of many recent journal entries, has been decentralization.

I seek to offer my unfiltered perspective when I sit down to write these journal entries, and I only write them when motivated to do so for that reason. That’s why the Journal follows no set schedule whatsoever, though I try my best to post a weekly entry. Sometimes when I re-read my unfiltered entries, however, I get the feeling that readers may come away with a more negative sentiment then I intend to convey. Continue reading “Decentralization and Spontaneous Order”

Politics is Already Dead

submitted by jwithrow.politics is already dead

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Politics is Already Dead

October 14, 2015
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P closed out today at $1,994. Gold closed up at $1,187 per ounce. Oil closed at $46.59 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.98%. Bitcoin is trading around $252 per BTC today. My attention is currently focused heavily on the gold sector in the equities market. Many gold stocks were beat up and left for dead, having fallen 90% from their previous high. This sector has steadily traded higher over the past few weeks, including a brief pull-back, potentially indicating the gold sector has formed a bottom. Has the next gold stock bull cycle begun? It could be a big one.

Dear Journal,

Little Maddie celebrates her first birthday next week! Wife Rachel has been hard at work planning the party. She has been very busy picking out decorations, sending out invitations, putting together a food menu, picking out outfits (Madison’s and her own), getting her hair cut, wrapping gifts, cleaning the house, ordering her husband to clean the house, and acquiring all necessary items from the store. I notice a twinkle in Rachel’s eye as she talks about the birthday celebration with excitement. Madison couldn’t care less.

With wife Rachel in frantic planning mode, I take the time to savor the onset of Autumn here in the mountains of Virginia. As the leaves slowly transform into majestic shades of yellow, orange, and red, I casually work to stack wood in the garage and get kindling ready for winter. I sit and enjoy a Harvest Pumpkin Brew as the early Autumn breeze gently blows fallen leaves down the gravel driveway. Soon we will take Maddie to the pumpkin patch, and we will purchase apples from the local orchard to make Apple Cider. What a glorious season!

In my previous journal entry, I suggested that technological advancements were rendering many established institutions obsolete. I want to build on that suggestion from a slightly different angle today. Continue reading “Politics is Already Dead”

The Individual is Rising: 2nd Edition

submitted by jwithrow.The Individual is Rising

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Individual is Rising: 2nd Edition

September 4, 2015
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P closed out Thursday at $1,946. Gold closed at $1,124 per ounce. Oil closed up at $46.75 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 2.19%. Bitcoin is trading around $230 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Wife Rachel took it upon herself to berate me for my past few journal entries. She said they were too gloomy. She also berated me for failing to provide any light-hearted family updates. As any good husband would, I flipped the selective hearing switch on and pretended not to hear her.

After a couple years of marriage I have learned that there are times to trust her judgment and times to ignore it. Choosing what to order from a restaurant is a good time to discount her judgment, for example. Despite my unwelcomed reminders, she has a tendency to order a meal completely unrelated to the theme of the restaurant. I am quite sure the chef is shaking his head when her order comes in. “Hamburger and french fries, are you kidding me? This is an authentic Italian joint!”, he exclaims in the kitchen. I just chuckle to myself: At least she ordered a glass of Chianti.

Relating to and connecting with other people is her forte, however, so despite outward appearances I listen carefully when she advises me on such matters. Her emotional intelligence never ceases to amaze me. Maybe it’s just a woman thing, but I suspect years of studying finance and economics hasn’t help improve my own EI much, either. So if Rachel says I should incorporate more light-hearted matters into my writing then I feel compelled to talk about her poor menu choices. Thanks honey!

Moving on to another fun topic; I launched the second edition of The Individual is Rising this week. The Kindle format will be free on Amazon all day today, and then will be discounted at $2.99 all next week. Continue reading “The Individual is Rising: 2nd Edition”

The Great Opportunity for Free Markets

submitted by jwithrow.Free Market

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Great Opportunity

August 26, 2015
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P closed out Tuesday at $1,873. Gold closed at $1,138 per ounce. Oil closed out at $39.31 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 2.00%. Bitcoin is trading around $229 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

My last entry suggested that the centralized nation-state model looks to have peaked in the 20th century. I speculated that troubling macroeconomic trends related to government interventions will lead to a “Great Reset” sooner or later – probably sooner – as these massive nation-states are forced to ramp up the printing presses in attempts to service all of their debt and unfunded liabilities.

Today I would like to point out that we are approaching a crossroads and there is a tremendous opportunity for the growth of free markets and prosperity if we can shed the 20th century paradigm of centralization. A great golden age for civilization is staring us right in the face, but few have noticed. Why? Because we have placed too much emphasis on politicians, presidents, elections, and democracy and too little emphasis on individual self-empowerment.

For starters, consider the following advancements: indoor plumbing and electricity, refrigeration, cooking appliances, heating & air systems, local and long-distance transportation, local and long-distance communication, and access to information. Each of these items were non-existent, scarce, or unreliable just one hundred short years ago. Additionally, roughly 40% of the U.S. population was involved in agriculture in the year 1900 in order to produce enough food to meet demand. Today that number is around 2% and food is more available than ever. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available at the grocery store year-round. Also, thanks to technological development, oil and gas are now more abundant and cheaper than ever. This has reduced the costs of production and distribution significantly, and it has created competition for the oil cartels and monopolies that have had a strangle-hold on the industry for decades. Continue reading “The Great Opportunity for Free Markets”

Musings of a Wayward Philosopher

submitted by jwithrow.Musings of a Wayward Philosopher

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Musings of a Wayward Philosopher

August 4, 2015
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P closed out Monday at $2,091. Gold closed at $1,089 per ounce. Oil checked out just under $46 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 2.21%. Bitcoin is trading around $278 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

We launched the inaugural volume of Musings of a Wayward Philosopher yesterday with relative success. The ebook is currently ranked #1 in Economics>Commerce and #3 in Education&Reference in Amazon’s Kindle store. The paperback is ranked #127 in Economics>Commerce after day 1.

I am slowly learning how to market online, and I must say it is extremely uncomfortable. I started day one of the book campaign off by running a Facebook Ad. I stopped using Facebook personally more than three years ago once I learned that their entire business model was to take your personal information and sell it to the highest bidder. Then I learned they may or may not be handing your personal information over to the Feds for free also. Needless to say, I don’t care much for Facebook and yesterday I paid them to run an ad for me. I’m not too proud about that, but I can’t dispute the fact that it is a medium for reaching a lot of people. Facebook told 7,688 people about my book for me. They may also tell the good folks in our intelligence agencies about my book at the end of this month, I’m not sure. I suppose they are welcome to pick up a copy also.

After setting up the Ad, I spent the better part of yesterday submitting my book to a multitude of online directories geared towards independent authors. I paid a handful of them a few bucks for a guaranteed spot on their feature list. Though tedious, I didn’t mind this method of marketing as much. These directories have built a following of people interested in self-published books and they promise to tell their following about your book for a small fee. That’s a win-win. Continue reading “Musings of a Wayward Philosopher”