Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Birthday Post

Instead of letting another birthday pass in apathy, I've decided to make it a goal to meet daily goals in the things I want to accomplish. I have a history of setting goals and not accomplishing them. How will this time be different? I'm scared that it won't. I'm scared that I will miss my goals and daily tasks and I'll go back to having vague goals with no real plans to achieve them.

I'm done with vague goals that have no chance.

I've set SUCH SMALL goals that accomplishing them on a daily basis will be easy. I'm not going to list the goals here but I will give one example. One of my goals is to do a single push-up every day. Not too hard right? Surprisingly, it'll still be a major challenge to remember to do a push-up. I need to do 1 a day. I don't have to limit myself to 1 a day, but I need to do at least 1. That's it.

I have about 8 daily goals None of them are very hard. Each of them must be done every day. I could do them all in the morning (except for one that should be done at night before going to bed). Easy right?

Small wins on a daily basis.

Small wins on a daily basis might lead to larger wins over a sustained period of time. Some of these goals will lead to progress in much more substantial goals.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Editing my own Appalachian Trail Videos... This is the result

When I started hiking the Appalachian Trail I brought with me a brand new iPad Pro and a relatively new iPhone 7. These were the tools I would use to take video footage, upload them, and wait on my older brother to edit them. The videos that resulted were pretty amazing. However, as Contention Media exploded in popularity and every would-be bride wanted a romantic-emo rendition of their wedding footage ingrained in the annals of time as a permanent reminder of the mistakes they made in their youth, Jon became more and more predisposed. I started making my own videos. The following is the result of my efforts..... some are terrible, but I hope they are getting better:

I'll have to post my favorite video later... when google decides it is good enough to be indexed in the search category.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

I'm sitting in a McDonald's on the campus of the famous Virginia Tech. I had a coupon for a buy one get one free sandwich, another for a free McCafe. I chose a Pico-Guac lime sandwich with an artisan roll and a Maple Bacon Dijon. Scarfed them both. This has been par for the course with regards to my eating habits, but I keep losing weight.

I'm burnt out on hiking. So far I've hiked 675 miles but this will be the 5th day in a row where I'm not lofting myself down the trail. Money was running low, I had to catch up. As I was sitting at a gas station working on paid writing gigs a man named Tim asked what I was doing. After a short conversation he offered to pay me to do yard work. In total, I earned about $700.00 in 4 days. I replaced my ripped apart shoes, paid my phone bill that had gotten almost two months behind (on my part), and started shopping for a new hiking bag. It was much needed.

I was going to hike out this morning but I decided not to. One more zero. A chance to write, to Tinder, to help out around the house I'm staying at, and to get inspired. Inspiration doesn't come easily.

I have a vlog that documents my journey in a way that is much different than words. I don't reveal my most personal thoughts, in general, but I capture a reduced quality vizualization of my experience. It's nice.

When I first started my journey I was woefully unprepared. The chic at Amicalola Falls asked me if I wanted to do a bag "shakedown." She would have advised me what I should or should not bring. I said "no" for a couple reasons:

1. I started the trail with roughly 300 dollars and my phone bill was approaching. My part of the bill is $150 dollars. I was unprepared and I knew it. I can't buy more stuff.
2. I was self-conscious about the poor quality of the items I was bringing with me.

As you can see in the video as I heroically walk up the approach trail (then ramble back to retrieve my iPad), I started with jeans, a heavy cotton shirt, and Wal-Mart gear. I feel like I'm a way different person, already, than the guy who walked up the approach trail in that state. I've grown comfortable sleeping in all kinds of conditions, with all kinds of people, and cooperating with others in order to reduce my costs and increase the good times.

I also started with an intention of doing low-carb eating. That was a mistake. I fell asleep on Justice Mountain twice. Luckily it also resulted in meeting a friend, Bill Murray (trail name), who pumped me up and encouraged me to keep going. "Don't quit unless the sun is shining, you've had a good nights sleep, and you've just had a good meal." The advice had the intention of creating the conditions that would make you want to keep hiking.

Bill Murray narrates the above video.

There has been one night I was really concerned for my own well being. This was 11 miles outside of Franklin, North Carolina. Ron Havens dropped me off at winding stair gap (or something like it). The temperature was forecast to drop to 20 degrees that night with winds up to 55 mph. "I've saved many a fucktard who got in over their head," said Havens after making sure no females were within earshot. Many a fucktard. On that day, the fucktard might have been me. I set up my tent next to Karma and Braveheart, neither of whom hiked that day (the shelter was full... of assholes who can all fuck off). I left my bag open after having changed into my dry clothes. The wind blew my tent over and I had to camp over the ridge. I shivered until 2 or 3 am and finally got some sleep. The next day Bill Murray paid for a shuttle to the NOC, to my eternal gratitude. That is also the day he had to return to work. The next two videos document that.

One of the most amazing things I have witnessed on the trail was BB King (then just Abby Crawford) carrying two packs down Blood Mountain. Check it out:

I had to miss my daughter's birthday. My daughter is amazing and great. And so is everyone that was willing to say "Happy Birthday" on camera.

I'm kind of in the doldrums right now. I've had a lot of fun on the trail and I want it the fun to keep going. Fun, however, is not the reason for me being on the trail. It happens, though. Check out the following:

I was going to write so much more but I think I'm going to have a seizure from this blog flipping out as I type. IOS iOS is not compatible with fucking blogger. So, until next time.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Arcade City Fraud: The Anti-Uber Populism that Fueled a Million Dollar Fraud

Arcade City is synonymous with the fraud of Christopher David (Christopher Pille). I met Chris when I volunteered for the Ron Paul Christmas Vacation for Ron Paul's 2008 presidential run. I was a volunteer and he was coordinating the Dubuque area, where many Purdue and IU students were assigned. I saw him again at CPAC living large. He had a girl on each arm and I wondered how he did it. I found out
Back when he was Christopher Pille

If you are an investor like Richard Ver, or a participant in the ethereum coin buy, and you are angry at the name change from "Arcade City" the "The Swarm," you and your money were rightfully separated (your investment might have some worth someday if you don't empower Chris to steal on your behalf.... 'but this time for real guys, I'll pay you back if you just let me have the big vat of money I've been seeking this last year'). One of the most shameful examples of how the bitcoin community has failed itself and has succumb loose wallet strings that come with the huge capital gains in the value of bitcoin is the GTEC awards in Berlin. Arcade City won first place which includes 20,000 Euros. Arcade City relies on really bad journalism from local media outlets and the overly positive journalism of Joel Valenzuela who constantly calls the impotent startup an "Uber Killer."

Christopher David wants to be a big spender. He takes the concept of OPM (other people's money) to the extreme. He took Ivan Chen O'Neill's money when Ivan funded a broke campaign in the spirit of wanting to continue the Ron Paul revolution. O'Neill's theory is that Chris rides the coattails of movements that he can barely articulate the rationale of. From O'Neill:

Before moving out to California, Chris was working with the non -profit, Young Americans for Liberty. Proving to be decent at organizing volunteers through online forums, Chris convinced the organization to fly him out to California to start another chapter. When he got to California, he failed to perform for YAL, citing other projects he wanted to pursue. He was then let go of from YAL. Jeff Frazee, then executive director of YAL would go on to say Christopher Pille was plagued with an “ambition that surpassed his abilities”

 Indeed, when I went to New Hampshire to gather signatures I had a hard time getting the entire concept of Arcade City out of him. He had very little interest in getting signatures. He had a friend from Oregon helping to organize who did most of it. Chris flew in a female counterpart of himself who claimed to be a journalist for the Daily Beast to help gather signatures. I personally gathered hundreds, Chris' friend organized the gathering of hundreds, and the female he flew in claimed to have called in afavor and gathered the required thousands needed for Independent ballot access. She tried to lecture us lowly signature gatherers about her relative worth compared to us and "if we believed in market value I would be getting all the money." Clearly, lying assholes deserve all the money.

When journalist chic was flown in to "help" in the signature gathering effort she demanded privacy in a conference room where she set up her bullshit operation to get more signatures by election day. Chris had managed to get his hands deep in the wallet of a local millionaire (he told me 15k, but other people report the dude paid as much as 25k for the signatures). I used my personal vehicle to drive him place to place in New Hampshire. Any attempts at striking up conversation were thwarted as he was working on Arcade City or something else (I was momentarily intrigued about him being legit). Everyone he had hired to help him out seemed to have devastating personal problems that required him to tow a car or pay for this or that. He paid, too (but not for signatures). Losing more and more money as he went. He wanted to make his friends happy who were closest to him but also to have absolute control of the money. When I was done with my signature gathering he owed me about $300.00 for the signatures alone but also claimed that he would compensate me for driving him around. I was paid $100.00. I told him a couldn't accept that, I had to leave with more. He held strong. Of the 15,000 dollars he could barely compensate me $100.00 after I drove him everywhere and gathered more signatures than everyone else. About a month later I was paid more from an Arcade City PayPal account. His friend from Oregon was also shorted tremendously before flying back home.

All of this is before I read Ivan's blogs or knew about him defrauding YAL for a free trip to California (along with funds, I'm sure, to pay for his housing). Ivan O'Neill does an even greater service to investors who must have their heads in the sand in order to still invest in Arcade City. He warns people over an over again, often taking a huge amount of flak from idiots who want to believe because they are blinded by anti-Uber populism.

Over the past year I've seen Arcade City morph from being a fucking joke with a basic app that did nothing into a fucking joke that won a prize with zero proof of concept, gained funding from an idiot investor, and somehow gaining the trust of Ethereum programmers who helped facilitate a coin sale to fund Arcade City by upward of $500,000 (Fact Check).

Anti-Uber Populism

Christopher David was pro-Uber before he was anti-Uber. The notoriety he gained from being charged with a wiretapping felony (under a law that was meant to protect citizens from the spying NSA) attracted the sympathy of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who is very outspoken against NSA spying and who is also pro-free market. When I saw the following video it finally clicked in my head that Christopher David and Christopher Pille were one and the same. I looked him up and asked him what he was up to. He invited me to come up and gather signatures with him. Honestly, it was a lot of fun and I wouldn't trade the experience for more money or anything like that, but that doesn't change the fact that he is a fraudster and people should be warned.

There are countless anti-Uber videos online. A lot of them are by angry drivers who declare that they won't drive for Uber unless they are surging (exactly what Uber uses surges for...). Arcade City proposes itself as a "disruptor." The word "disruption" is loved by libertarians with an economic tilt. It is a throwback to Joseph Schumpeter's business cycle theory of "creative destruction." One system replaces another, one piece of creation destroys another. Netflix and Redbox killed Blockbuster, for example.

Christopher David is no "disruptor." Neither are the programmers dumb enough to be inspired or believe in anything he does after reviewing the history of this project. The idea behind Arcade City is that it will run itself. There is no need for human intervention once it is up and running. It should be a self-propagating business. It will run with smart contracts that cannot be fooled or manipulated by a third-party (this is the complexity of the project that he absolutely could not explain to me).

When Chris had the chance to purchase insurance for the driver's of Austin he balked at the expense. Buying insurance won't help with the hotel rooms, globe-trotting, or all the blow that goes up those huge nostrils. Even for rides that were run through the app, insurance was out of the question. Instead, he declared that everyone should set up their own businesses.

Don't get me wrong, I support the idea of operating at odds with the law. What I don't support is confusing people who clearly have no clue what they are doing into getting their vehicle impounded or putting them in a financial mess on the way to the big $500,000 dollar money grab (that you were hoping would be upwards of $10 million). Shame on ethereum programmers who facilitated the sale, but good job on setting up the 7 key, 5 sig wallet.

Christopher loves hiring people on the spot. More than one time I've heard him utter the words "you're hired" when I was in New Hampshire and he was talking to various people he just met. He promised people positions within the company, for their travel to be "comped," and a number of other monetary promises he had a hard time fulfilling. The people who were actually part of the city council are more likely to have either skill with ethereum or were in the right place at the right time for his arbitrary and random decision making. Chris also loved to demean people as "his employee" or "staffer." When he stole money from O'Neill, he kept calling him "an angry former staffer" when he was questioned. As if he were the shit and a former employee was mad at him.

Chris faked a resignation. It seemed like he resigned from his CEO position but it was all in the spirit of getting more investor money or building confidence in the ethereum sale but it turns out he never left. It was more fraud.

Everyone close to Christopher David knows he is a fraud. The entire "City Council" turned on him because of his money grabbing (in his own words):

As the former ‘Arcade City Council’ prepares to use the remaining ~$570,000 from the Arcade City token sale to launch a new (competing) project (“Swarm City”) completely separate from Arcade City, I believe it’s important to inform the public how the situation has evolved to this point.
This fucker has the audacity to use the word "transparency" as a trigger to make the blind idiots who follow him. He wants to be compensated for the "intellectual property" currently in posession of Arcade City, Inc.

All seven members of the Council agreed in my “resignation” proposal to the following: “We will separately negotiate the transfer of intellectual property of Arcade City, Inc. to an entity selected by the Council.” I have received no offers or communication to begin any such negotiations. Certainly my ongoing fiduciary duties to Arcade City, Inc. prohibit me from transferring its assets to another entity for nothing in return.
 There is no intellectual property worth compensating Christopher David nor idiot investors over. Arcade City is done. It was a fraud. It will continue to be a fraud until people stop giving this asshole money.

Questions or information on the topic?
Call or text 765-431-2862

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Verge's Bad Math on Spotify Royalties

When an indie artist comes out with an album should you feel guilty for listening to the album on Spotify and not purchasing it on iTunes? Are you ripping your artist friends off? No. Hell no. Don't feel guilty. If you are are a premium Spotify listener you have NOTHING to feel bad about.

First I want to point out that we live in a special point in human history where a music artist can earn a passive income by selling their recorded music. This is a lot different than having to physically perform to earn an income which is what a majority of music artists have to do in order to earn anything.

In an article put out by the Verge the journalist does ridiculous things like look at contracts between Sony and Spotify. The artist royalties between Sony and their artists have very little to do with my argument here. Those artists have sold their rights. This is going to be about indie artists who put their music out on Spotify. She uses the "average payout" of .006 and .0084 to calculate how much money she's given the artist she listened to the most.

Here’s what that means for me. My top artist of the year was Built to Spill, whose songs (mostly from There's Nothing Wrong with Love) I streamed 267 times over the course of 2015. Using the upper limit of Spotify’s estimated payout, that would be 267 x .0084, which means I paid Built to Spill somewhere around $2.24 for an entire year of music. And that $2.24 is distributed among the music's "rights holders," which includes labels and publishers. So the band is getting even less than that. My most-streamed track of the year was The-Dream’s "That’s My Shit," and I’m sure Terius Nash appreciated the 27 pennies that earned him. I listened to 13,000 minutes of music on Spotify this year, which means I paid around one-tenth of a cent per minute. And I'm paying Spotify's $10 per month subscription fee; if I were relying on its free, ad-supported tier, the payout for artists would be even smaller.

The problem with this math (and it's a BIG problem) is that everyone this journalist referenced in the article has Spotify premium. This means that the payouts are significantly higher. They are probably 5-10 times higher depending on the listener. Each listen generates revenue and there is no set rate but 70% of all revenue that comes in to Spotify is remitted to rights holders. If you are a premium listener and you're listening to an album you are paying way more than non-premium listeners. Check out what Spotify has to say about the royalty rates.

Recently, these variables have led to an average “per stream” payout to rights holders of between $0.006 and $0.0084. This combines activity across our tiers of service. The effective average “per stream” payout generated by our Premium subscribers is considerably higher.
If you're paying $10.00 per month then $7.00 per month is going to rights holders. If those rights holders are artists who produce their own music then they will get 100% of the payout Spotify remits.

The journalist from the Verge who listened to "Built to Spill" 267 times likely paid that artist between $10-15 dollars. Let's assume that amount was $10.00. If that artists has 100 premium fans at that rate (which is not very many) that album would have earned $1,000 from Spotify.

This is payments per million listens of the average listener. 1 million premium listens is much higher. If an artist attracts 1 million premium listens then his payment will be 10k-20k (total estimation).

The song "Carry The Zero" by Built to Spill has roughly 3 million listens. That means the artist made 18k-25k on a single song. That is way more than YouTube.

So listen to "The Hugeness" album by The Hugeness.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Getting Your Short Story Rejected

Getting your short story rejected doesn't mean you should give up on your publishing aspirations. I made a quick video sharing some of my rejection stories.

I am not a professionally published writer. I earn most of my money through writing but none of that is fiction writing. Sorry for the low-quality of the video. I'm not much of a video producer. I thought this might be a good way to practice making videos.

Lesson: Don't give up on publishing. Keep submitting until the outcome is inevitable.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Need to Create Content

Why complain about someone else's content in the comments section when you can create your own content to annoy other people? Right? It makes no sense to complain in the comment section when you could be CREATING the content.

The problem here is that no one is obliged to read your content. Often your content could go unnoticed. I posted roughly 5 YouTube videos over 6 years and they have hardly any views. Should they? Of course not. There is no consistent content creation. I've not given anyone a reason to come back to my channel and watch. Or subscribe.

If you decide to become a content creator you should work on consistency first and then upgrade your quality as you progress. The quality of my YouTube videos are terrible but they will get better over time.

I've not been a consistent blogger either. I've decided to change that this month. I want to post 1 blog a day this month, just as an experiment. These are my blogs so far this month:

1. From Today: The Church as the Villain in Fiction
2. How to Twitter Properly
3. The Struggle: Struggles I am dealing with trying to make something happen.
4. 7 Proactive Steps for Publishing: I'm teaching myself here.
5. 8 Tips from an Author who went No. 1: Jeff Bennington
6. The Traffic Stop: Flash Fiction
7. Kindle Direct Publishing: Teaching Myself
8. The Ethics of the Murder of Sim Entities in a Sufficiently Complex Virtual Universe

Videos I have created on YouTube in the last year.

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