The Plug

The contrast between the natural momentum and the human momentum is something I am exploring in-depth as of late.  I have little energy to actually think and write — therefore, I am resorting to video.  Currently, I use the freight train to represent the human momentum and I use views of the sound (Seattle sound) to represent natural momentum.  But tonight, I would like to spend a little time writing about what I call “The Plug” and use Sheryl Sandberg as an example of why a plug exists.

Sheryl Sandberg has been in the news of late because of her new book entitled “Lean In”.   I won’t attempt to summarize what her message is because I will let her tell you herself via the YouTube video I post below.  But, I do want to say that she is the perfect example of why capitalism has been corrupted in the United States.  She is the perfect example of why the middle class is going going gone.  And to rub salt into the wound, she is actually speaking and writing in public as though she is some sort of role model for the rest of us to admire and follow.  She would be much better off keeping her mouth shut while she collects her millions via the out of whack pre-IPO stock grant mechanism that is bringing our country to its knees.

Sheryl Sandberg is no genius that has provided innovative ideas, yet, she is one of the richest human beings in the world.  Why?  Well, she went to Harvard where she met Larry Summers who took her under his wings.  Do you know who Larry Summers is?  If you aren’t disgusted with who he is then look him up.  Let me give you a hint…played along with those profiting from the housing crisis and derivative scam that brought the country to financial ruin.  Through Larry Summers she got high-profile jobs in government.  Through Larry Summers she got connected with people at Google.  And through her work experience at Google she got connected with people at Facebook.  And through her connections with Facebook she became one of the richest people in the world.

How did she become so rich?  Well, when she became a big shot at Facebook, she was granted stock prior to the IPO (Initial Public Offering…or in other words…Facebook becoming a public company traded on the stock exchange).  Her salary is only $300,000, but her pre-IPO share grants will make her a billionaire.  Is this one woman worth a billion dollars?  Is she a human being that provides value billions of times more than the average woman or man?  If you say yes…tell me why you think she is really worth this much value?  Here is what Mrs. Sandberg has made in six months based on selling just a small amount of her pre-IPO stock shares:

Stock purchases, sales, and option exercises reported by insider Sandberg Sheryl since 2005.
  Trade Date Symbol Company Name (Issuer) Trade Type     Shares     Price ($)   Value ($)
4/8/13 FB Facebook Inc Sale 176,452 26.88 4,743,382
3/20/13 FB Facebook Inc Sale 176,452 26.06 4,599,221
3/5/13 FB Facebook Inc Sale 176,452 27.9 4,922,304
2/21/13 FB Facebook Inc Sale 176,452 28.02 4,943,302
2/4/13 FB Facebook Inc Sale 176,452 28.97 5,111,814
1/16/13 FB Facebook Inc Sale 352,903 30.16 10,642,142
1/3/13 FB Facebook Inc Sale 508,118 27.88 14,168,362
12/17/12 FB Facebook Inc Sale 235,269 26.76 6,295,092
12/18/12 FB Facebook Inc Sale 74,538 27.9 2,079,610
12/5/12 FB Facebook Inc Sale 946,588 27.71 26,229,006
11/19/12 FB Facebook Inc Sale 176,452 23.95 4,226,378
11/6/12 FB Facebook Inc Sale 176,452 21.24 3,748,193
10/31/12 FB Facebook Inc Sale 352,904 20.94 7,390,868
Total 99,099,674

So, Mrs. Sandberg has cashed in almost $100 million in six months in addition to her annual salary of $300,000 or for six months only $150,000.  Now, Mrs. Sandberg is just an example.  There are hundreds and even thousands of people who make as much or multiple times more than Mrs. Sandberg because of this pre-IPO stock grant mechanism.  If you look at the founders and entourage of tech companies that go public you will find that billionaires are the norm.

So, what is the plug?  How can companies and the economy afford to pay a few people this much money?  The plug is government debt, private citizen debt, and naive investors in the stock market.  In short, you and I pay for the über rich.  In short, you and I are the plugs.  You and I are the slaves that pay for these few individuals to become billionaires.  And the funniest thing of all is that they then feel entitled or authorized or anointed to become our role models, mentors, and “leaders”.  They feel like they have the right to tell us to “Lean In” to the human momentum because look…they can do it…why can’t you?  Well Mrs. Sandberg…most of us don’t have your Harvard connections do we now?  Mrs. Sandberg…you and your message are laughable.  You should be quiet like others in your corrupt position and just go on quietly living your über rich life style at the expense of the masses.


The Human Grind

The freight train represents the focal point of humanity from my perspective.  To me, the train symbolizes the human momentum.  Cafe, or Janice, calls the human momentum “The Grind”.  I think the Grind is very fitting for this symbolic video if you not only look, but more importantly, listen..


Lock ArtI am procrastinating on several fronts, but then again, that is my nature in regards to things
I don’t really want to deal with.  I decided to take a rather long walk to a cafe as opposed to jumping in my robotic car or simply stumbling down to the closest cafe.  The weather is particularly nice for this time of year so I wanted to get out and about.  I decided to take a walk to the locks, which is one of the busiest locks in the country.  It is really an enjoyable spot with all the activity, the Salmon Ladder, and the pretty park around the engineering wonder.

waterOne of the things I like about the Northwest is that the cities still have a lot of old industry — logging, manufacturing, fishing, boats, and trains.  There is still some blue collar feel to the Northwest.  I find this strange that I am attracted to that aspect of the Northwest.  I enjoy unspoiled beauty, but when it comes to a city or town, I kind of like the unpolished feel of old blue collar industries.  This is also a strange sentiment given I don’t know how to do shit with my hands.  I played sports all my life, but if you asked me to fix a door or a toilet…the outcome would not be pretty.

LocksIf you think about the human momentum, there are some great engineering achievements.  We have become a very industrious species and we have created some pretty amazing structures and technology.  But, what I don’t understand is for what are we building all this stuff?  Is it just so we can have more people alive and fed?  Or is there something bigger that I am just not seeing?  Is there a grand direction or purpose for which we are constructing all these amazing things?  If you know what the answer is, please fill me in on the grand plan.


Alive — Outline

nature-snow-leopardIt is not nearly enough to just be awake.  Your current awareness is analogous to a patient waking up in a hospital bed after a decade-long coma.  No, you are being too hard on and critical of yourself.  You gave the momentum a try – it just isn’t for you.  Regardless, now that you are awake, it is time to begin to think about how you will progress forward to living, and then becoming Alive.  Since the goal is to become Alive, you need to reflect on what that means.  After you have an understanding of what it means to be Alive, then you can begin to chart out a plan to live in order to become Alive.

And you must set realistic expectations.  The moments to be Alive are going to be less than the moments to live.  The moments to be Alive, given the momentum, have to be earned through pain, patience, and the precious expense of energy.  In order to define what it is to be Alive, for you, a reflection into the past is essential.  And the past can be broken up into broad periods – childhood, teens, twenties, thirties, and now.  In each of these periods, you need to think about when you felt truly Alive.  When did you feel the intensity and lust of being?  When did you feel the delicate…the sublime?  When did you experience the dark…the light?  It is the extremes we are looking for here, not the norm, not the grey area that we expense most of our waking moments and energy.  What were the mountain peaks…the deep dark chasms?  Of course, childhood may be somewhat innocent and devoid of dark chasms, but nevertheless, this is where you need to begin.

snow-leopard 1


SunriseJanuary 7th, 2013

Indeed, your present condition is critical given your financial state of affairs.  But, over the last several miserable years, you have, believe it or not, awoken.

It is because of your misery that you began to write once again.  The last time you wrote anything of content on a regular basis was during your short breath of freedom traveling alone throughout Europe for over a year.  Remember that?  Remember…that was when you decided to become a landscape photographer?  That was when you picked your subject matter — the cascade volcanoes and the northwest coast.  What happened with that idea?  Yes, you did take some significant quality photographs with your large format camera and produced some fine prints, but that only lasted for a few years.  Eventually, you let yourself get swept up completely by the momentum–years rushed on by with the great wave.  You let yourself become numb and fell asleep.  Now it is time to begin the process of waking up.  Writing is a good sign that the sleeper has awoken.

You have also learned an important skill in the last year – surviving with very little.  You never were very good with money, credit, or debt, even when you were making big money.  The temptation to Live, when there was actually time to Live, over-powered any sense of restraint.  Not that you lived high off the hog.  Hell, all you did was enjoy eating out, traveling, paying for a house and car, golf, romance – of course that is all extra expense in addition to all the other shit that costs money to live “the dream”.  You were just doing what most people do that are riding with the momentum, except, you may have been a little more aware of how valuable the time to actually Live really was.  And, now that you have fallen from the crest of that momentum, you realize how insanely expensive it is to ride that wave and actually Live, both in terms of time and money.

Believe it or not, your current miserable job is also good for you.  You can actually see and feel the very base and nature of the wave and from where it draws its power.  You get to experience it firsthand — you and the other slaves that reluctantly perpetuate the momentum, with no benefits, and not enough money to live.  You can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel how much the human being is truly worth to the momentum.  In your previous high paying desk jobs, the pain and realization of your slavery, wasted time and energy, was masked by the thin veneer of sedation, contentment, and acceptance.  But now, when you are at work, there is no confusion…this is work…not a passion…not a career…not achievement…not fulfilling…not important…not important other than the fact one needs to engage with the momentum in some shape or form to be able to live.  The key difference is a clear, conscious break and divorce from any delusion that the momentum has anything to do with your passions, interests, or fulfillment.  The problem of course is…how do you get from living to Living and Becoming?

Battle Plan and Love

Lone Wolf

January 7th, 2013

The significant decisions that you made through your own free will were made in the pursuit of more knowledge, love, and beauty.  Or, to put it another way, the momentum and your place within that momentum didn’t provide the right environment to adequately quench your thirst for knowledge, love, and beauty.  If you had chosen to stay the course and ride that wave of momentum you were born onto and groomed for, by those closest to you, then you would certainly be in a better place socially and financially, but inside you would be as you are now on the outside – bankrupt.

The major decisions you made in the past that put you at odds with the human momentum were driven by an internal rejection of, or revolt against, that general momentum.  The gut instinct and will to make those decisions independent of the momentum, was courageous.  But, as with most revolts or revolutions, you lacked a new solution, the resources, the vision, the preparation, and the know how to carve and forge your new path – the resolve, the will to stand and walk alone.  As such, the decisions you made were the right decisions, for you, but the outcome resulted in setbacks, delays, loss of precious time, or quite honestly just a fall back onto the momentum.

These decisions you made on your own defined you relative to the momentum, but they didn’t define who you wanted to become.  In order to become you have to know clearly what it is that you want to become.  And if what you want to become is significantly at odds or indifferent with momentum, then you must have a battle plan and ample resources to carry out that plan.  And if you are alone, with no support or resources from those closest to you that are themselves staunch allies of the momentum, then you must realize that becoming may be a painfully slow, lonely, and a difficult process.  But what good ever comes easily without some form of patience and pain?

Just as important as developing a battle plan and vision, you have to be careful who you surround yourself with.  You have been lucky in love (or have you?) in that you have loved several times and the women were beautiful, but they were all allies of the momentum.  The same can be said of your friends (acquaintances) and family.  Only one family member stood in opposition to the momentum, and he is your greatest ally.  If you can’t surround yourself with allies that are seeking their own paths and that are also at odds with or indifferent to the momentum, then it is best to ensure that you are alone.  Eventually, through your becoming, you will find other like-minded people who you can joyfully let into your life, and vice versa.