Posts Tagged ‘Mindful Consuming’


Data mining is the latest tool used by the system to condition us. It is what you might call “bespoke advertising”. OK it’s harder now but years ago I learnt “do not listen to adverts”. What were adverts trying to do? Get me to spend money on items I didn’t necessarily want.

Let’s be clear, I do buy items that are advertised but I don’t buy because of the way they are advertised. I buy a car. From the occasional adverts I do see, is there any information in those adverts that could help me make a better decision? Am I really going to find the woman of my dreams if I buy a Lamborghini?

The political point about advertising is mindful consuming. Mindfully choose. Facebook ads – don’t click. Why am I getting all this spam? Because people click. Mindful people don’t click.

To my mind all of this furore concerning data mining can be strategically overcome by mindful consuming. What does our class control? Consuming. They want us to spend money in a certain way so don’t. If data mining puts an ad on your facebook page, never click. It is simple.

But mindful consuming as a class is far more powerful. Why does the Israeli government spend so much effort fighting the BDS movement? Because boycotting the other apartheid in South Africa contributed significantly to the changes there.

Mindfulness as mindful consuming is an attribute of the path that is beyond conditioning.

Why does this affect liberals? Because they are such avid “liberal” consumers. They want to be free to consume. Where is their sustainability when their “struggle” means being free to consume? Click-bait only works for ill-disciplined minds, be mindful of what you are doing, of how you are consuming.

The above is not contained in this excellent BAR article LINK on Cambridge Analytica. The article is good because it shows that the 1% are into data mining. It shows that what is going on with the Trump strategists is no different to Obama’s strategists, no different to Blair’s strategists, and only a development from Thatcher’s Saatchi and Saatchi.

Confront people, make them mindful, make mindful consuming a political startegy. Data mining only works with the conditioned. If we are a class in struggle then we don’t wimp out with feeble-minded click-baiting. Let facebook waste its money giving me a BAR advert ….

Or skin-lightening cream??

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Data confuses me

Posted: 21/01/2018 by mandtao in Big Fashion, Big Food, Big Pharma, Freedom, Insight
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I watched this interesting talk with Russell Brand and Jacques Peretti, and am totally confused by the reference to data as being the corporate currency.

The issue is advertising as far as I understand. It has always been my practice to ignore advertising; I know it is not everyone’s practice – I often heard schoolkids singing jingles. In the talk Russell and jacques were discussing that the new big corporations are the tech giants who know your data. With this data they can tailor-make the ads that appear when you are online. I never look at ads, use ad-blockers and edit the hosts file primarily to stop their use of my bandwidth by opening new windows. I make it a rule never to click on an ad.

I understand that I might be unusual in doing this but this type of mindful consuming ought to be a common-place act of “resistance”. The corporations need our consuming but if we choose how we consume then we have some control. So I am confused.

For me the issue is mindful consuming. Firstly my mindful consuming is limited because it is not easy to buy organic food. But I have two sources and if I make the effort my veg can be organic. I cannot find “organic” meat, that is a worry. But I try to avoid factory products because of additives and preservatives. I have my car and my computer stuff but I rarely buy more than I need. Mindful consuming is sustainable, and in this world resistance needs to be sustainable. I therefore am confused.

In fact data makes them vulnerable. If they rely on controlling us through advertising yet we are consuming mindfully then they are vulnerable to a movement of mindful consuming.

I don’t live a life of consumerism but of course I do consume. But it is my money, my labour, my savings, my pension. As Russell likes to use the word “revolution”, then isn’t mindful consuming revolutionary?

I do remember getting angry when last I lived in the UK and I was forced to use Direct Debit so that they could take my money effectively from salary. I was not used to this as I used to go and pay my bills. Now I go and pay my bills. So it requires some time and effort to do this but I have some control.

This issue of data confuses me, but these people would not use it if there was no profit. But if there is mindful consuming they don’t have control. If directing our consumerism through data and advertising is the future, then organising mindful-consuming is the answer.

Look at how Israel is frightened of BDS, is this not mindful consuming? Back in the day some people did not buy South African produce, this seems common sense to me. So I am confused.

Mindful consuming is “easy”. Avoid BigFood, BigPharma, BigFashion. Consume mindfully. Organise mindful consuming. For committed comrades/revolutionaries data is something we can take advantage of through sustainable and mindful consuming.

What am I missing???

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Organic P2P Board Thailand

Posted: 10/09/2016 by zandtao in Health, ONE planet
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In Evaluating Communards I was a bit dismissive about the P2P process, but on reflection it has great potential for the mindful consumer. I am going to describe how it might work in Thailand, particularly as there are a group of digital nomads in Chiang Mai.

One focus of mindful consuming is organic food. There is good potential for an organic food network in Thailand because there is a plant-based diet called cheewajit, and people following this diet would love access to an organised network of organic food.

At the same time in my town there has recently appeared a farmers’ market, and I have a feeling it is being promoted by the military government.

Thailand is a large country and has distinctive growing regions, rice in Issan, root veg in the North and fruit and leafy veg in the South. As far as I can gather there are two main distribution centres, Chiang Mai in the North and Bangkok in the South. This is probably a gross simplification but it will suffice for an initial proposal. Root veg from the North appear in markets down South, and fruit from the South appears in the North; existing distribution deals with this – somehow. I live in Eastern Thailand (in one sense the South), and local farmers take their produce to distributors who weigh and then pay them; somehow it is then distributed elsewhere.

In Bangkok they have an organic distribution network of sorts. People pay and a box of organic veg is delivered to them. Because the people have paid already, farmers are prepared to grow proper vegetables for that distribution. Together with farmers’ markets in the more affluent areas like mine there is tremendous potential for the mindful consuming of organic veg to be organised.

It is my understanding that many Thai farmers have a patch of organic veg for family, the farmers understand how much pesticide they are forced to use for distribution so they have an organic patch for family use. At the same time the Bangkok network managed to tap into farmers willing to grow more organic if there was a demand. P2P could tap into that demand.

Suppose there was some kind of noticeboard which advertised organic veg. People could order from this noticeboard, and goods could be despatched from distribution centres in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Through Line people could advise the notice board of what they have available to sell and could deliver to the central distribution centres. It is done now so it could be investigated as to what changes were needed for the organic produce to fit into the noticeboard. If the noticeboard could liaise with existing limited infrastructure there is potential for an organic food mindful consuming network in Thailand.

In addition I’m a big fan of community currencies. It seems to me that such a P2P community could use a community currency. Depending on trust such a scheme could just be held online, and money would return to being the facilitator of trade or barter. I am not a user of Bitcoin, not do I understadn whether those that have a go at Bitcoing have a vested interest. But a P2P currency monitored successfuly would be a great benefit from P2P

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1%-world and monasticism

Posted: 18/02/2016 by zandtao in Struggle, War
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In Brad’s latest blog he discusses amongst others monasticism:-

“Yet Nishijima Roshi said that retreats lasting more than three days removed a person too much from what he called “daily life” and strongly advised his monks against participating in such practices, let alone making lifelong commitments to monastic communities. Instead, he wanted his monks to integrate their practice fully into their daily lives in the work-a-day world.”

This is noble but for me it raises two issues:-

• Monastic Training
• Mindful consuming in Daily Life

On monastic training there are two sides, for the monk themselves and the lay they teach. Perhaps the monastic life is the most fulfilling it can be for that monk, developing her/himself and teaching others the Dhamma.

A monastery provides a place of learning and a place for retreats, these are both necessary for those in daily life. I note both of these points on monastic training, am judging from a distance and don’t feel I can say too much on these as it has to be a personal decision.

On mindful consuming in daily life I want to address the question of 1%-world. For most nowadays daily life means contributing to 1%-world. Most jobs are working for the 1%, and most consuming is also consuming produce made by the 1%. And what does the 1% do? Anything to make a profit – including starting wars. When a “monk” makes a noble decision to go back to daily life, he is making a decision to contribute to 1%-world and all its implications.

Can we then choose not to be a part of daily life in 1%-world? Off-the-grid communes. Amongst other things that Occupy did was to start organic communes, I think. Anyway that is what I mean – a commune in which people work for themselves and try to trade with like-minded individuals. Ideally this would be barter, (or even a community currency) but any monetary involvement with the currencies of 1%-world should be limited.

Monastic communities do not usually consider the economic implications of monastic existence as it is usually about the Dhamma or faith. In other words their priority is the teaching and they involve themselves with 1%-world to obtain the finance to continue their teachings. In this I feel there should be questioning, how much is their economic involvement contributing to the global damage caused by 1%-world? Can they fund their teaching in ways that limit their involvement with 1%-world?

In this day and age where economic relations govern all and are controlled by people who cause such suffering – the 1%, is it acceptable for monks to separate themselves from the economic implications of their lifestyle? In terms of seeing what-is-what, how much should they be presenting awareness of 1%-world?

And in the end what is the noble purpose of returning to daily life about? Helping people cope with life, helping people cope with the conflicts that are caused by working in 1%-world. I am no expert on communes either but coping with human frailty in relationship has got to be easier than dealing with the overpowering suppression of 1%-world to prevent a compassionate and caring society.

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