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People are gathering around the world on September 20th to go on strike to demand something be done about the climate crisis. This movement was started by school children in Sweden and now they are asking for help from people of all ages and in all countries. We owe it to their generation, we owe it to our own generation, we owe it to all future generations, and we also owe it to past generations. 200,000 years of human progress and we would let it go because we like the taste of a burger a lot. What did they fight for. What did they struggle to survive for. What did they innovate for. We should not take the existence of humanity for granted. If anyone has ever lost a parent think about that. They lived and died so you can exist. And what will you do with your existence? Will you make the sacrifices that they’ve all made worth while? Because you don’t have to? You know marketers who want you to consume need you to carry on like normal so they can get your resources. Please find the strength to put your life on hold for just 1 week to pitch in on letting the world know this is a crisis and we have to do something.

Here are some ideas about what that might look like.

– If you own a shop you can put a sign up that says, “closed for the climate crisis, please join us on climate strike at X address.”

-If you own a blog, podcast or youtube channel you can announce your normal content will be on hold and you’ll instead be reporting from your local climate strike.

-If you answer to a boss, you can let them know you are on strike, give them warning. Let them plan for it. Invite them to join you. Invite them to let customers know that business services are on hold for 1 week while humanity regroups to determine what to do about the climate crisis.

-If you work in a hospital, ok, you might not be joining the strike, but you can still go own strike with a shirt you where that week, or a button or from what you say to each person. “I’d be physically on strike if it wasn’t for everyone needing me here, but I do want you to know that I’m conceptually on board and I’m trying to figure out what our hospital can do to lower our carbon footprint.”

-If you are a pilot or driver. Wow, I know you work really hard. You might just want to stay at home and sleep for 7 days to let your body recoup from the exhaustion. But as much as you can you can also join physically at a strike location that would be really supportive. And let your bosses know it’s a chance to tell the customers that the pilots and drivers are on strike right now because of the climate crisis. That will impact hundreds of peoples lives. You are in a position to massively amplify the message. You know we can’t see CO2, so you have to make them feel it.

If you are a teacher of any age students, they will all be more likely to strike if the teachers are on strike.

If you are a parent, bring your kids out for the 1 week strike. How could you not? It’s their future. And this moment will be remembered in history. There will be the parents who brought their kids out to the strike as they themselves also went on strike and the ones who didn’t. Which do you want to be?

If you work in the food industry this is tricky, we don’t want people to starve but people probably won’t starve. I’d say go on strike. Just put up signs and if you are feeling generous bring food to the strikes. You can take donations for the food with a recommended donation that helps you cover the cost. Then put a sign up at your grocery store or restaurant explaining you are closed to customers but are giving food to strikers. You will touch so many peoples lives who didn’t otherwise even know the climate crisis was a real thing.

If you are in a Union, talk to your union manager. The safety conditions of your job are at steak if your company doesn’t do something to fix the climate to the extent that they can. And they can. Everyone can go carbon neutral. Through offsetting. The manager can even come up with a list of demands that the strikers are asking for. One recommendation is to go carbon neutral by the end of 2020. Offset services exist that plant trees but also you can hire an electrical engineer to figure out how to save electricity or add renewable to your business. If your company is not a carbon neutral company then you have permission to go on strike. You can’t be fired. Your union will protect you and your rights to a safe atmosphere.

What else should we be asking for. It’s up to everyone to decide. I believe we should have a carbon receipt on every purchase and we should stop all fossil fuel subsidies to start to experience the true cost of fossil fuels and then all of that money saved should be divided up and given as an award to each company and individual who can show that at the end of 2020 they had an entire year with no carbon footprint. And as soon as possible we mandate that all transactions must include on the bill of sale the carbon footprint of the goods or services being exchanged. This way someone can make a choice that is informed. Otherwise we can’t lower emissions if we just are blind to those emissions. And I don’t like the word “tax” so I personally wouldn’t use it. Just receipts and end of year rewards and lifting subsidies for fossil fuels. We could also increase subsidies for renewable if there is extra money but we really don’t need to because it’s already the cheapest method. But we probably should outlaw the creation of coal plants or plants that turn fossil fuels into energy. I mean we should outlaw the manufacturing of any fossil fuel burning product. By the end of 2020. Really. I mean let’s think about it. We probably should do that.

There is an existing fleet that will remain operational. It would be theft to take that away from businesses without warning however I think in about 10 years we should just flat out ban the burning of fossil fuels world wide. I mean we have to really. And by then we can definitely use the market pressure of seeing the true cost of oil to further reward entrepreneurs who can create the solutions for clean air travel, clean sea travel, clean energy production, clean transportation, clean food production and clean manufacturing. That pretty much cleans most things up. There are solutions in various stages of development to make every single one of those industries carbon neutral. Can we deploy them all immediately? I don’t know but it’s not like we had the tanks and guns and uniforms we needed when we realized Hitler was trying to take over the world. This should be like that moment, we realize there is an existential threat and we mobilize. Immediately. Not like, “ehhh, maybe one day we should get around to that, if it’s cost effective enough.” No, we need to jump on it now. And make some serious compromises and sacrifices to show everyone our commitment.

If we then keep planting trees and further refine sequestration technology we can actually return the climate to pre-industrial levels. We probably can’t get back the thousands of species that already went extinct but we can save the ones that still exist. Including our own species. If nothing else everyone should be on board with that concept. Let’s not go extinct. We do owe that to our ancestors for their sacrifices and to the prosperity and safety of future generations. I’ll see you on September 20th.

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I just signed a petition. Yeah, what does it really do right? Was it just click bait? Was it just harvesting my email address to sell me things? I might never find out however there is a growing precedent of progress and a lot of reasons why this particular issue grabs people.

My letter starts out with the standard default message they provide. And then I just slip into sci-fi brainstorm mode. It’s shared below for anyone to potentially get involved and run with any of these ideas. These are standard off the shelf ideas many many others have had. And by describing them I hope people who haven’t had the chance to think about these things yet can at the very least practice visualizing this future world. And in an ideal situation go through the process of prototyping and refinement that could get us actually there. Doing so is far more difficult than just jotting some ideas down. However we have to start somewhere.

Because the world doesn’t have to be ready for the future. As little as just one person with vision can realize the future. And once existing it actually becomes the present.

MY LETTER:

I urge you to work with Greenpeace to phase out unnecessary single-use plastic packaging and develop reusable options to ensure that plastic from your companies products are never again found in our oceans, waterways, or coasts.

Also…

There could be a container system with scannable QR codes. The containers go to peoples homes and back to the store. Customers automatically refunded for the container as soon as they are scanned back at the store.

And…

You could build loyalty through the program. Provide a bag with two sections because it has a divider. The bag goes on a hook at the house. All of the containers get put back in the bag with their lid on. This prevents bugs or smells. But doesn’t require residential dish washing which saves time and energy. Once back at the store the bag and the containers are industrially cleaned with automated systems tuned to not over use water or electricity which provides some efficiency saving there as well. Once cleaned and sterilized the containers and bags are ready for reuse and the same QR code embedded into the bag and container is wiped from the server and able to now refer to new data.

You could sell frozen dinners in these and other ready made meals from the deli. Cereal. Grains. Dried beans. And even liquids in a different shaped version.

You could have some that get re-processed in the store and some that actually get re-sent back to your suppliers who can transform their packaging departments into standardized machines that just fill these universal containers with whatever their product is. Their servers could talk to yours so the QR codes data is born into your system the moment packaging is complete. This gives even more up to data knowledge on your supply chain and patterns can tip off your servers of any supply delays even before you’re notified by a factory of why those delays are happening. This gives a competitive advantage to avoid being out of something you know your customers will want or need.

Why not recycle? because the first line of defense should be re-using whenever possible. And if it’s not possible then we recycle. But all of this technology exists today so this idea actually is possible.

The QR codes could be just paper printed and inserted into the mold during manufacturing. So they exist trapped in what could likely be a polycarbonate material. This way it’s very durable. That’s what they make bullet proof glass out of. And using Tetramethylcyclobutanediol it can be BPA free.

Also there is usually a rubber liner that gets gross on Tupperware. You could avoid that by having a silicon layer be set in place that the automation system can remove during washing. Think of that as flossing for containers. No dirt or bacteria of any kind would be able to remain. Technologies definitely exist that can provably kill every micro organism. And that’s what we’d need to be doing to insure health and safety.

Yeah, so develop that and you can be the first fully green grocery store. No need for any plastics really. Trader Joes’s already controls the supply chain better than many other stores so you are in a unique position for this.

Also there would be a lot of mystery boxes in the fridge at home and in the isles in the store. So…. what to do about that?

Well the QR code could be front facing. Designed to be scanned by a phone and give all nutrition and ingredients legally required. So in the fridge people would actually know what they have. Even from an app. Especially if the fridge is watching what get’s put into it with a simple $20 dollar camera and iOT chip add on that fridge companies can knock themselves out bragging about. But even with a dumb fridge you’d hopefully remember what you bought but if not the QR code can quickly and easily confirm.

In the store the shelves could have beautiful artwork promoting each product. Much bigger and much more brand able than the tiny packages that branding is currently crammed onto. And then there can be a try that at the click of the button provides one of the universally shaped containers of that product.

So it’s another type of smart store. You consider all of your store shelves to just be basically vending machines. And then you get rid of your cashiers. And you allow people into your store who don’t have an account because they might want to check things out and become customers but not get all signed up just yet. Once they see how modern and amazing the store is they’ll probably want to try it.

To build out the store you can make a modular system that simply needs a new artwork printed every time there is a new product. Or even just a screen to display that imagery. The size for each product could depend on the stocking requires. QR codes like the ones used for payments or an RFID transmitter like many phones now have could offer multiple ways to pay for something. Even a debit card scanner for each machine could work. You might wait one moment for someone to get something but this distributes the line to the entire store so would certainly reduce congestion at peak store hours.

All of your shoppers could opt into a system that helps you predict what they want and better stock. Like your current loyalty system already does. But with the added knowledge of how they moved through the store as well as what information they looked up from the QR codes of the items they considered before they bought. If that user looks up the calories of every product before they buy it or constantly checks added sugar content data then you can start to run machine learning on certain products and be able to model what they’d do before they are even in the store. And the algorithms start to form generic shopper profiles and even the floor plan can be enhanced to either make things closer for those users or spread those things out to give them the chance to discover new things not within their patterns but that you know are also not a major leap for them.

You’d know what mattered to them. And the containers going to their home could become another data point. Other guests in their home scanning the QR code of what is in the fridge to find out what it is could give you a sense of new products being really interesting to people. Food could be spreed peer to peer and even go viral. Social tools for cuisine lovers or health nuts or cost conscious buyers could allow people to get help in optimizing the food they eat.

In that optimization their is value. The better outcomes themselves are a premium service. This premium service can be monetized by charging a premium to pay for all of this new tech or can simply be paid for by the increased loyalty and reduced advertising costs your business would benefit from. This way prices remain also very competitive.

And you can start to imagine a shopping cart virtual bot. The system guesses what would likely go in your shopping cart based on what normally does and based on the frequency and an email could be generated proposing 3 shopping carts for your next week. A user who might have been ordering from home already 1 time per week could now have fresher options and reduce their food storage expense. This reduce a persons need to store lot’s of food. That brings down their rent cost. Assuming a 5 dollar delivery fee a person or hour household might spend $150 a month just on delivery fees. However there refrigerator might only need to be half the size providing energy savings. The kitchen might only need to be half the size or be able to be shared with more people providing housing savings.

And bottom line, everything would taste really good. Because you know what doesn’t taste good? Plastic.

This article featuring Robert Downey Jr. talking about the climate crisis went live on Variety.com a couple of days ago. That’s the same Variety.com that reviewed my Indie film Four Eyed Monsters. So what is happening here? Well people are being drafted. Or drafting themselves. There are too many scientists freaking out and anyone involved in media who has morals realizes that whether they are asked or not, they have to do something. Variety doesn’t typically cover weather patterns or global temperature trends. But they can cover Robert Downey Jr. recent announcement of his new organization called Footprint Coalition. And so that is the way they can pitch in. Through publicity presented in their witty voice that keeps it all still entertainment news. And Robert Downey Jr. is cracking jokes that draw parallels between the characters he plays in movies and the real life task at hand he is taking on. And that is a narrative that only he can really pull of which makes him uniquely positioned to create some major impact.  Peoples roles are being shuffled around from whatever they used to do and now focusing on what matters the most. If the house is on fire then everyone in it picks a job that they see needs to be done and we all work together to put it out. That is what is happening right now. What is your role? Where can you plug yourself in? I’m asking you to seriously take some time to think about that. Today! Please decide what you can do. Because we don’t have long. You can see my answer to that question in the letter that I just wrote to Mr. Downey Jr. Even if his organization is too busy to personally respond I wanted to share what I’m doing with the people who are managing their website. And to post the letter here since many people who know me or know my work might not realize that I’m devoting all of my professional energy to this now.  So please check out what I wrote and contact me if you want to be personally involved in some way.

Dear Robert Downey Jr.

I’ve got a master plan that fixes things in 10 years. So I can be on your expert panel of wikipedia personalities with “character defects” as you put it. LOL. AI is a small part of the plan but mostly it’s just sucking CO2 out of the air and turning it into carbon fiber. The George Washington University has published papers proving that chemical reaction in the lab. (LINK) The next step would be building a smart road system with that super strong and super light material. Think of it like the internet of autonomous transport. Above ground, under ground, on top of what used to be dumb roads, wherever it needs to go so everything can connect to everything providing robotic delivery of all items in two directions. Suddenly products can be designed with a full life cycle in mind. We can end all garbage. Everything is composted or recycled. And refrigeration is going to be a thing for history books because everything is delivered fresh throughout the day. Most environmental problems need autonomous transport to really be solvable. And self driving steel cages (cars) are not the answer. They are just a stepping stone. Energy efficient ultra light is the way to go and that’s what my team and supply chain can do. We are already selling to countries world wide electric skateboards. This is just the beginning. Next is eBikes, eScooters, eMotorycles, eCars and eventually the smart road system and the unique vehicles designed for them. eVehicles get rid of the exhaust from cars and that will be the smaller impact. Much large is the benefit of a world wide network of AI driven autonomous transportation. But that alone still wouldn’t do it. But if that infrastructure is built by taking CO2 out of the air and generating all this economic benefit from doing so… ok, yes, now that is a plan that can work. And that’s why I’m putting all of my energy in this direction and the steps that can get us there. I’d love to work with your organization. Please get in touch. Have a wonderful day. And please despite the heavy weight of this climate crisis, enjoy every day since life is truly an amazing opportunity. Let’s live life to the max and protect it for future generations. -Arin

The other thing I’ve been doing lately is posting to instagram, twitter and YouTube various videos that visualize these core ideas. The response has been fantastic and sparked meaningful dialog with contacts I’ve not been in touch with for years. Together we can do so much more than what any one individual can do. Together we can really just roll up our sleeves and solve the #climatecrisis. Really. We can do it.

10 years ago Susan and I took our film Four Eyed Monsters to its world premiere in Park City Utah. So much has changed in the world since then. So much has changed in our lives since then. Recently indieWIRE published a piece looking back at our careers over the past 10 years since the movies 2005 Park City premiere. Premiering the film lead to invitations to travel around the world for presentations, dozens of theatrical screenings, national television appearances and millions of views to the film on the Internet and corresponding video podcasts. But we couldn’t have done this without fans. Around every corner that we found success there was a sleeper fan waiting to awake and do their part in the phenomenon that was this film. Someone would be selecting speakers to be flown to a conference and liked our video podcast so would think of us. Someone would be selecting films for a festival and champion for it’s inclusion. Or someone in a casual conversation would at the perfect moment just happen to bring up our project and their friend would then go and check it out and then do the same to their friends. All of these little acts added up to the success of the project and so we extend sincere gratitude to everyone who was a sleeper agent for our film. Thank you!

Our new film, Matter Out Of Place, also never would have been possible without all of the connections and opportunities created by Four Eyed Monsters. So double thank you!

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We are celebrating 10 years of Four Eyed Monsters with a screening this Thursday at a monthly screening venue I have worked with a volunteer team this past June to create. The space is called 3B and represents the first space in a vision for a network of venues that can playback films using open source low cost computers and custom software to securely deliver uninterrupted rock solid playback to the projector and sound system.  The goal of all of this is to bring independently produced films to audiences who would have otherwise have not discovered them.

We screen Four Eyed Monsters not to look back but to look forward. Who we have been is only relevant to bring context to who we are going to be. What films are in store for the future? What other distribution innovations are possible? You’ll have to stay tuned to this blog to find out. Or come ask questions at the Q&A after this Thursday’s screening. If coming please RSVP on facebook since the space holds only around 40 people max. The event is free and is followed by a Q&A. I hope I see you there.

 

 

 

I really want to be living in a world where bitcoin is the default currency.  But to start small I’m going after all the people that I know.  That way if any of us owe each other money or are hiring each other or splitting a bill at a restaurant it’s just a quick swipe on our screens and we’re square.

But I can’t expect you all to geek out for the past 9 months waking up every morning to coindesk & reddit.com/r/bitcoin over breakfast like I have.  It’s got to be simple and spelled out and something that takes you just a few minutes to get into.  

But is it worth your time?  There are some things one must learn to intelligently use bitcoin.  And why mess around if you’ve got a bank account and pay your bills and everything is already working for you?  The answer can’t be “fancy numbers are that do fancy things are cool.”  They are but I know you need a real reason that’s closer to your reality.

Why should people use bitcoin?

Because when email was invented we stopped needing to use fax machines and cut down trees.  Because when the computer was invited we stopped needing to use typewriters and futz with white out.  Because when car was invented we stopped using horses and engaging in mass animal slavery.  Because when we discovered fire we stopped being monkeys hiding in the trees at night and started our path of evolving to who we are today.

We have a history of embracing better ways of doing things so I’m completely confident that in time we will see bitcoin technology replace our use of traditional banks to store and send money.  

Horses and fax machines still exist so I’m not saying banks will go away completely but we will achieve a more peaceful and productive society when the control of the money system is removed from those who have proven to abuse that control.  So this isn’t about clever technology, it’s about ideals.  If you’ve ever been to an Occupy Wall st event and wish there was something we could actually proactively do beyond shout at the top of our lungs then you’ve found it.  If you’ve ever been moved by a film to care about people in far away countries but wish you could do something more then simply share the link online then you’ve found it.  If you’ve ever wanted to see art and culture be better financed and wish you could do more then just donate to individual projects then you’ve found it.  Bitcoin has the power to break up the financial systems strong hold that’s keeping the world the way it is today.  You think we don’t know how to end poverty?  How to innovate politics?  How to finance the creation of new culture?  Designs and innovations for all of the above and much more will be empowered by bitcoin and it’s associated technologies.

So let’s withdraw our support for a system we no longer believe is serving us.  Remember this idea every time your at the ATM asking them for your money.  “Withdraw.”  Because if we don’t withdraw our support then we are in effect endorsing their actions.

The first step in a world built on top of bitcoin is all of us using it for anything that we can.  So I’m here to show you how.  You probably also have other friends who can show and after this blog post you’ll be up and running and able to teach people you know and together we can all learn this.

BITCOIN 101

What is a bitcoin?  It’s a monetary unit.  At the time of writing it’s worth around $625 US dollars.  You spend bitcoin like you spend any other currency.

MILLIBIT

There are 1,000 millibits in 1 bitcoin.  It’s often easier to describe prices in millibit.  Right now 500 millibit is worth around $300.  However you don’t type “500” you type “.500” because that’s how the number is accurately sent with a bitcoin application.  To deal in bitcoin you have to wrap your head around the exchange rate just like dealing in Thai baht or any other currency of a different value then your local currency.  Right now $500 dollars is worth .3 bitcoin.  So I’d say “300 milibits” when reading that number.  The exchange rate is easy to do in your head.  Try it.  What is 5 dollars in milibits at the current exchange rate?  Answer = 3 milibits.  How would you type that into the computer to send it to someone?  Answer= .003

BLOCKCHAIN

What the heck is the blockchain?  Well it’s exactly what what the name implies.  A chain of blocks.  What’s in the blocks?  Data.  About what?  Transactions.  

The blockchain is the key invention that is bitcoin.  It’s a giant database of transactions people have made and it’s stored on tons of computers that all check each others copies to insure they are the same and every 10 minutes they all update each other with any new additional transactions that have just occurred.  Each transaction takes up very little space and older transactions get shrunk down to just the essential data that validates all previously spent bitcoin so that everyone’s balances can be calculated.  It’s like the spread sheet you try to keep your checkbook info in except it’s actually accurate and real time and it’s got everyones sent and received transactions ever.

WALLET

How do you send money or see what your balance is?  A wallet.  It’s the other main invention that is bitcoin.  It’s a piece of software that looks at the blockchain to calculate how much money you currently have control of.  I say it that way because whoever has your wallet has control of your money.  Since the money is on the block chain you kind of never really have anything.  You just have access to update the block chain and spend the money that’s yours.   Because the blockchain has every transaction ever there is a trail that can be totaled up to produce your current balance.  Your wallet see’s the blockchain and displays your balance which dictates how much money you can spend.  Your wallet is also your tool to spend your bitcoin.  A wallet can be a piece of hardware but is most likely just an app on your phone, an app on your computer or a website set up to function as a wallet.

SEND PAYMENTS

To pay someone you need their address.  It’s like a phone number or email address.  You can get it emailed to you, text messaged or even us a QR code.  Because unlike a phone number or email address it’s a pain to manually type because it’s got a lot of characters.  A QR code is a bunch of blocks on a screen or piece of paper that contain digits and characters and a QR code is the best way to quickly read a bitcoin address with your phones camera.  So checking out at a grocery store a QR code might appear on the register screen and with your phones wallet app you scan that code and then hit “pay”.  Your wallet in that moment sends the payment to get included in the blockchain and what happens next is magical.

CONFIRMATIONS

Your balance is instantly reflected on your wallet but it takes up to 10 minutes to get a confirmation on your payment.  A confirmation means your payment has been added to the blockchain so it’s now officially part of the network and irreversible even by hackers.  This means you spent your money and now only the receiver can spend it.   How?  Fancy math.  I won’t get into that, but trust me, it’s irreversible and becomes more irreversible with each confirmation.  Every 10 minutes another confirmation occurs as your transaction has also made it into the next block in the chain.  Once you’ve made it into 6 blocks on the blockchain and have 6 confirmations you’re transaction is now essentially carved in stone.  So what is happening exactly?  Well the that’s another piece of magic.

MINING

It’s very expensive to be a bitcoin miner and I don’t recommend it.  I’ve done a tiny bit to get a sense of what’s going on and that was enough.  If you’ve got a couple thousand dollars and some time on your hands and are fascinated then please go learn everything there is to know about bitcoin mining.  Otherwise I’d encourage you to ignore this aspect of bitcoin because it’s highly technical and knowledge of it’s inner working offers no practical application to normal bitcoin usage except two pieces of information that are good to know.  Fees.  It really helps your transaction to process quickly to attach a small fee.  Most wallet apps do this automatically for you.  The advantage of paying a fee is that it insures miners are motivated to process your little transaction in the next block because they’ll get that fee.  So without a fee you could be waiting around a long time with no confirmation.  The second thing to know is about the 25 coins given to miners every 10 minutes.  As of this writing there are 12,411,575 bitcoins that the block chain has released per a pre-programmed code that can note be changed because it exists in the block chain.  What this means is that when you have 1 bitcoin it’s a fraction of that number.  I find this very cool because it’s a feature we don’t have with the US dollar. We don’t know what fraction of the whole our money represents because the dollar is an endless infinite sea as far as anyone can tell.  But with bitcoin we know.  We know the exact rate at which the total number of bitcoins will increase and we even know the maximum number of bitcoins that will ever be produced.  It’s 21,000,000.  So we are more then half way there.  This is important to understand because it shows how every bitcoin counts and makes up the whole.  No government can come along and just issue more bitcoins thereby making your bitcoins worth less then before.  Also no bank can come along and loan bitcoin that they don’t really have to all kinds of people thereby increasing money supply and devaluing your money.  So if the world uses bitcoin then banks and governments loose their ability to constantly debase your money.  All of this thanks to the process of mining.

PSEUDONYMITY

That word refers to the idea that an address is like a fake name nobody knows is you.  It’s not anonymous because that would mean a bunch of random strangers are making transactions with random strangers.  That wouldn’t work because the counting of all past spent coins make up the present balances of everyone so there must be a trail of all coins and all addresses at all times.  So the answer they invented was pseudonymity.  As long as you don’t affiliate your name with your wallet then people analyzing the blockchain will have no idea what your spending habits are.  Or if you are a nonprofit or a publicly traded company you can be transparent with some or all of your transactions allowing everyone to see exactly what’s going on in your business and increasing accountability.

TUMBLING

This is a method of making a payment without drawing a connection between you and another person.  It’s like doing a transaction off the record or a back ally cash deal.  Because let’s be honest, there isn’t really a problem with the blockchain knowing you bought some groceries but certain things you just don’t want to broadcast to the world.  Like if you bought life insurance policy with bitcoin than that could freak some people out and you might want that purchase to be a tumbled purchase.  You’d do this by just choosing that option when you make the payment.  BlockChain.Info offers a service to do this that you can see below.  

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EXCHANGE VS EVANGELIZE

An exchange is something to avoid in my experience.  They are services to convert local currency into bitcoin and back the other way.  In my opinion it’s more productive to evangelize.  Make a list of where you get money and where spend money.  Freelance jobs?  Full time job?  Parents? Savings?  Grocery store?  Landlord?  Bar?  Art supplies?  Plane tickets?  Computer gear?  YouTube ads?  Government?

If you google around you’ll see many of the above listed income and expenses can already be done in bitcoin but for those that can’t you can simply explain to them the benefits and do so constantly and eventually you’ll win them over.

SPECULATION

People have bought bitcoin for as little as 1 dollar a piece and sold bitcoin for as much as 1200 dollars a piece.  So money has been made and that has attracted a lot of speculators who have money they want to grow.  These people often loose faith in bitcoin if it takes a slight dip in value and sell off what they own.  What I do is different.  I use bitcoin for my savings.  Since it takes me a very long time to build up savings i’ve found that so far the little bitcoin I own has gone up in value over all even though it generally goes up and down from day to day.  Now normally when I have a savings account it doesn’t last long and I end up spending it the first chance I’ve got.  I made this mistake already with bitcoin and would have made thousands of dollars had I simply held onto what i’d been saving.  So I’ve learned my lesson and my current bitcoin savings are not being touched at all.  For someone who has never been good at keeping a savings account this is a miracle and I owe it to bitcoins deflationary nature.  I don’t want to spend my savings because i know it’s going to be able to buy me much more later then it can now.

MICRO PAYMENTS

This is talked a lot about in bitcoin circles.  The issue is that credit cards charge a transaction fee which makes selling anything less than a dollar not make economic sense.  Credit cards prevent you from spending a quarter for a newspaper or leaving a small tip on a blog or video online.  So micro payments are a way to throw money around like buckets of rose pedals on all of the things you love and are potentially capable of changing the game for media creators.

REMITTANCE

Let’s say you had a job in a foreign country for a while.  You’d need to get that money you made back into the country.  You might also need to do it fast to keep cover your home country financial obligations.   Bitcoin will disrupt the existing industry that takes advantage of people who have this need.  Immigrants having expenses back home can now use bitcoin instead of the costly alternatives.  If they can’t spend bitcoin back home yet then they can either evangelize to win over new users or use an exchange.  Most countries have an exchange that can be linked to bank accounts to move money from bitcoin into local currency and some places like singapore, berlin and Vancouver are even starting to have BTM machines that can do the same.

SECOND AUTHENTICATION

This is a password that you type in every time you go to make a payment.  This way someone needs your password to open your wallet but another password to spend any funds.  I highly recommend this if you have more then 20 dollars you protect your coins and use a second authentication password that’s different then anything else on any other site.  Also beware of security cameras that could potentially follow your fingers as you type your passwords.

BACK UP

Because it’s digital you can back up your money.  You do this by saving the wallet.dat file in a secure location.  Dropbox & Gmail might not seem secure enough but here is what makes it acceptable.  The second authentication.  As long as you have that turned on the chances of a hacker getting into your gmail, getting your wallet.dat file and knowing both of your passwords is very low.  The chances of loosing your phone or your laptop are actually much higher.  So keeping this wallet.dat file is an important step.

COLD STORAGE

When storing something like your life savings or future college tuition you or a big investment in your company you want to use cold storage.  If extremely motivated a hacker can probably break down any wall you put up including capturing your password as you enter it.  The wall that’s hardest to break down is storing your bitcoin off the internet.  This is called cold storage.  There are ways to print out the information that makes up your bitcoin or to even create it on a computer that has never even been put on the internet and then put the data on a USB stick.  Then you can keep on hand the address to that cold storage wallet and send money to it that nobody else can ever spend.  This is a good way to maintain a savings account.  

PAPER WALLET

If you want to store a large amount of money securely you can do so on paper by printing out a couple QR code that contains the entire wallet information.  Put these in a safe deposit box with a service and you’ve now got bank level security to your bitcoins. 

GETTING STARTED

So my favorite wallet is blockchain.info.  Go to that site and click “create wallet.”  Then make a new password, not the same one that you use for everything.  Make sure you write it down and the special pass phrase but guard that info like you guard cash.  Then take a screen grab the QR code once you’re logged in.  Add an email address so that a back up of your wallet can be sent there.  Add a double confirmation code.  It’s important to know that blockchain doesn’t store your bitcoin.  It’s stored by you inside the combination of your identification number they provide you and your password.  Within that information is the data that makes up your wallet.  Some of your wallet is stored in their servers but they have no way to spend your bitcoin and if they ever get shut down the wallet.dat file will work in other bitcoin wallets.  So as long as you keep a back up of that wallet in your gmail or dropbox you are safe.

So that’s it, go to blockchain.info/wallet and get yourself up and running.  You’ll have an address and a QR code and will be able to get some bitcoin from people you know.

Next is to go out to dinner with a friend who has some bitcoin and pay the bill and have them pay their half of the bill to you in bitcoin.  The fact that you are now into bitcoin is worth getting together over dinner to talk about anyway.

Then go to your employer and ask to be paid in bitcoin.  They might like the fact that instead of mailing checks or expensive payroll services they can just type in an amount and click one button and it goes straight to you immediately.  Also this can be attractive to new recruits.  They might say no but at least it starts a conversation.  CoinBase.com and BitPay.com both are potential resources for a company looking to build payroll bitcoin functionality.  

Then talk to your landlord.  They’ll like not having to wait for checks to clear and since they invested in real estate they are also likely into investing in bitcoin by just holding onto the bitcoin you send them.  Especially if the mortgage is already paid off.  A major realtor in NYC called Bond has begun to accept bitcoin.  Others are sure to follow.   

Then talk to you bodega.  Maybe they like the remittance angle or getting away from credit card transaction fees and charge backs.  Just keep bringing it up every time your reach into your wallet for cash or credit.  Just ask.  Do you accept bitcoin?  Now that you have an operational understanding of bitcoin you can now be part of the team spreading the word.

Once it’s all working for you then you can also send me some bitcoin!

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I posted about a bitcoin meet up in NYC on Facebook and a friend replies with the following:

Screenshot 2014-02-02 20.05.48

After being un-interested for the first 2 years of hearing about Bitcoin I finally took the time to do the research and learn what it actually is.  It turns out I’d misunderstood it and the realities of what this new technology can do are mind-blowing.  More then just an innovation for the sake of innovation it’s about seeding new ideology into the backbone that controls all things in this world; the financial infrastructure.  A space has been created in Wall St, the heart of it all, and what started as a group of essentially hackers are cracking there way into the system itself by having designed a better way for economic assets to be exchanged.  The way it works is we can send real world items such as money or any kind of value or asset digitally from our phones and computers over a peer to peer network with no need for a financial infrastructure so no fees and no controlling powers saying what we can and can’t be done with the currency we earn.

It’s also programable money. So you can do things such as have revenue from a film be automatically split among collaborators or have crowd funding a film project provide a key that unlocks additional features and experiences. It’s all very cool stuff. The value of bitcoin went up %5000 percent in 2013 due to a cryptographically limited supply and huge demand and many predict 2014 will be an even bigger year since things are really just getting started. I have very little life savings due to it all being tied up in the film I’m finishing but the little bit of money I do have is being stored in bitcoin where it’s gone up significantly in value.  Why let your money rot away in a traditional bank account when you could live on the edge of a new technology and buy some bitcoin.  But first you have to know a little about what the F you’re doing.  You can make mistakes and this is real money.  So come to the NYC meet up linked above or read up on coindesk.com and become a bitcoin expert.  It’s also a growing field needing consultants, developers, marketers, inventors and Artists so there are many directions you can take this.  It belongs to no company, it’s free for the world to build and expand upon.  Take the gift.

We’ve got a new feature length narrative film almost done being edited and we need some key positions to join the team and carry the film through it’s release. We’ve long since spent the crowd funding and personal life savings but we did just get a $5,000 grant from Creative District and aren’t afraid to spend it.

You can see some stills and video clips we’ve posted here.

We are seeking:

  • Digital Colorist (color balance and grade the whole movie)
  • Compositing Artists (Motion track and mask clouds, stars and other magic)
  • Audio Engineer (Mix and master entire film in surround sound)
  • Audio Assistant (Prep entire mix in Logic making pre-mix)
  • Graphic Designers (for poster and site)
  • Foley Artists (for sound effects)
  • Web Developers (for new distribution tools)
  • Video Editor (to edit the-making-of content)
  • Trailer Editor (To edit a trailer of the film)
  • Bitcoin experts (for ground breaking distribution method)
  • Marketing director (design and execute the release campaign)
  • Investors (get in on the action)

Interested? Email  a r i n c r u m l e y  (at) g m a i l (d o t) c o m   Or facebook.com/arincrumley

Arin Crumley & Susan BUice on the back of bright ideas magazine launched at Sundance 2014

Arin Crumley & Susan Buice on the back of bright ideas magazine launched at Sundance 2014

Susan Buice, Roger Ingraham, Tarynn O Wiehahn & Josh Steinbauer are the lead actors in the film.  Producing and editing with Christie Strong.  Co-Producing with Isis Masoud.  Karl JAcob executive producing. Joe Griffin, Sarah Elizabeth Greer, Marc Scrivo , Erika Smith, AJ and Joana Hotte Fittipaldi have supporting roles.  Wardrobe by Jennifer Féin.  Make up by Lune Wynyard.  Sets by Troy Peeples.  Andrew A Peterson is working with me on the score.

I want to talk directly to other filmmakers in this post.

Here is the “chicken and egg dilemma” of crowd funding. You know the power of the moving picture, you’re a filmmaker, so the idea of sitting around talking about your film just seems lame.  You really want to just show them.  But you can’t.  Because you haven’t made it yet.  Because you don’t have the money.  Which is why you’re crowd funding.  What the hell are you supposed to do?

You could make a short film first. You could shoot a trailer by getting key scenes captured on tape. You could just get on camera with the cast and crew and shoot the shit.

Here is why all those ideas suck:

  • Talking about it will just put an analytical spin and remove people from the tonal effect you’re aiming to create.
  • Shooting a trailer is very likely to end up being a shittier version of what you plan to actually do and cause more harm then good.
  • The short film will either suffer from the same problem or it will end up costing so much you need to do a crowd funding campaign just for that and be back at square one.

So here is an amazing solution these guys have employed. Make something that stirs people in the same way your film will but in much less time and very affordable production means. Don’t try to be the thing. Just have the same effect as the thing.

It’s a counter intuitive solution and maybe not adaptable to your own projects but worth stopping to look at because it’s undeniably effective.  They interview old people about being old.  A simple idea but the effect is we experience a micro version of the movie they want to make.  And they pull it off without having to give away the movies storyline or talk about everyone’s resume and do a bunch of other boring things we feel like we’ve seen a million times now that crowd funding has been around for a while.

While they interview these old people we get to see the guy who will be the lead actor of the movie interact and ask the questions.  I’ve never seen anything the actor has been in but by the time the video was done I pretty much had faith in him to do a good job acting in the film they want to make.  Just from a couple funny moments and from a demonstration of his presence.  That’s a lot better than actors sitting around talking about how they loved the script after they read it. Because here we see this guy in real conversations with real people. Talking to old people about their love lives.  That’s amazing!

I also gained faith in the director.  You might not have seen anything he’s ever created but you’re watching something he’s created now and you’re seeing his sense of timing, framing, lighting, cinematography, the sentiment, concepts and whether you understand filmmaking or not you can buy into what it is he’s doing.

The final point is that the result is spreadable content.  You can easily post this to twitter or Facebook and probably rack up a few likes and retweets because it’s got value as content in it of itself.  Yes it’s a crowd funding campaign but it’s also stand alone entertainment worth sharing with people.  Their movie is likely about many more things then just growing old but they took one of the most universal aspects of what they are doing, turned that into the doorway and built an inviting entry way.  Pro.

Check out the I’ll See You In My Dreams KickStarter page for more details on their project and to follow what they’re doing.

This reddit user is onto the story of the next decade or two.
Here is the current generational breakdown in the US compiled from wikipedia research.
  • Greatest generation.  Worked.  Saved.  Bought houses.  Have the majority of US wealth packed away in savings which they very much believe in.
  • Baby Boomers.  Didn’t save as well so all their money is in housing which they very much believe in.  Work good jobs that are essential in order to pay mortgage.  Many plan to sell home to pay for retirement in lower cost living.
  • Gen X.  Haven’t saved and haven’t bought housing.  They have the majority of the highest paying jobs which they rely on month to month for survival do to debt they created prior to landing these sought after jobs.  Sometimes end up jobless and living back home or leaning on significant other which takes them out of the job market making them less traditionally employable with every passing day.
  • Millennials.  They have no savings, no jobs, and don’t own houses but they are extremely well educated.  They have a relationship to the internet that constantly furthers their knowledge and skill set making them very attractive as transient workers.  This temporary work allows constant breaks to learn more, be creative, think and innovate.  Their digital native tendencies are slowly bringing them into the bitcoin space and once the vision of where this is headed clicks they strategize to get their hands on as much crypto currency as they can.  They embrace innovations that support their world views and have many redesigns of various industries they are dying to have the resources to create.
F A S T  F O R W A R D  1 0  Y E A R S
  • Greatest Generation.  The money the greatest generation saved is now worthless.  They had the chance to get out but didn’t completely know what was going on and felt too invested in their native currency to get out.
  • Baby Boomers.  The housing they held so dear has lost it’s native currency value but now has crypto currency value that’s real except the sprawling nature of suburbs is not appealing to new buyers so you have a Detroit effect almost everywhere and mostly metropolitan central locations have held their value which is not what the boomers had typically owned.
  • Gen X.  Many of the industries that kept Gen X employed have been disrupted or made obsolete.  Even though the world shifted towards highly competitive transient work forces they held onto what they knew which was traditional employment up until the bitter end when their companies disrupted industries were forced to close shop.   Fortunately they saw the value of crypto and invested while they still had their jobs and captured the lions share of scarce crypto currency because they were bigger believers then Baby Boomers and had more cash then the millennials.  They’re money and wisdom make them the investing body of new industries as they survive off crypto savings which they also use in a land grab for the desirable real estate.
  • Millennials.  What was happening had become obvious to them much earlier than anyone else.  They put every dollar they earned into crypto for the past 10 years and that has paid off big time.  They have created the disruptive businesses that have dealt with the many problems the fiat currency collapse caused while also making the world a more sustainable and compassionate place.  Much less poverty.  Much less quality of life disparity.  They rapidly transformed the world based on their shared values of decentralized systems, freedom of connectivity, freedom of expression and a unified in-it-together spirit that looks beyond borders.  A global economy has turned into a global community.  This support base cares for all the the elders who lost their ass because they held on too tight to what they knew.
  • New Gen.  A new generation is coming of age completely native to this crypto decentralized landscape and what they will end up doing is far to early to tell.

I went to conference today called A Shared Future. The reason I went was to document the building and launching of a gift economy app that model and actress Lily Cole is creating.

This is the event:

http://www.kweekweek.com/conferences/thesharedfuture#programme

I felt from this conference there is a fork where gift economy is splitting off from being grouped into the sharing economy discussion. It’s very different then sharing economy because renting out your spare room is not the same as blowing a strangers mind by baking them an apple pie just for the thrill of getting to show up on their door step with it. These things hardly belong in the same conference. One is utilitarian and the other is about art, expression, joy and love.

Sharing economy seems to be trying to monetize every square inch of the world and turn every aspect of life into a business. Everyone is an entraprenuer. Everyone is selling either their car, their home, their time or even selling the use of their money. Whats next… selling their body? What about an airbnb.com type site but for prostitution. Get rid of the middle men of the pimps? Empower people to monetize their assets? The effect is that money becomes more and more a part of peoples lives.

Gift economy is very different. The opposite in a way. People move away from accounting for every single transaction that takes place. Less and less are we worried about what everything is going to cost us as more and more is simply given free of charge but within a community where that is the structure so everyone gives and recieves and not just randomly but based on your actual goals and desires. Money beomes less and less central to our daily lives and social interactions and we don’t make a profit we can brag about but we do lower our costs and in that respect we do save real money too. So it might be that a gift economy accomplishes many of the same things a the sharing economy but it just does it with a different style and approach.

An employee of Air Bnb was on a panel in the morning and told a moving story of a women who used the extra money from air bnb to fight cancer and try to extend her life as long as possible. In the end the family invited Air bnb to this womens funeral. The point made was that the money and the community experience are all very valuable and created a deep coonnection with the company that is incredibly rare.

This is really great but can we do better? It’s clear that a lot of businesses want to facilitate peer to peer transactions. This isn’t new. Ebay. Craigslist. In more reccent years kickstarter.

All of these businesses want of course get a cut of this peer to peer transaction which actually makes it a peer to business to peer transaction.

One individual asked the crowd funding panel if we are simply creating new middle men. Is this innovation mostly just changing the gaurds?

Next week I go to cambridge too keep documentation of Lily Cole’s project. I am havin fun! Also a randomm gift economy note. I am being hosted by a friend who has put me up in her music studio where i can stay as long as I want and also be able to work on the score of another project I am in th process of finishing.