Is This Post-Capitalism? My First Week on steemit.com [review]

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annnarkehmedia.com subscribers will be aware that following the most recent social mediapocalypse, I’ve mostly gone dark on the big social media monopolies while I investigate what alternatives are currently available.

This will be the first of several reviews which I’ll be posting.

steemit.com is by far and away the most mindblowing of all the new social media platforms I’ve discovered on my post-social mediapocalypse journey, so far. It’s so much deeper than I had anticipated. I’m realising that it’s potential for positive systemic change on a global scale is incredible. Unprecedented in fact, as far as I’m aware.

I was only looking for new social media platforms but it turns out that steemit could also be part of the solution to the world’s hopelessly corrupt monetary system.

Which is nice.

*CAVEAT/WARNING* these are my personal reflections after just over a week on steemit. It’s been challenging and some of my assumptions, conclusions and advice could yet prove to be wrong. I am fast becoming a steemvangelical but steemit might yet prove not to be the glorious utopia it currently appears to be.

Any corrections, further advice and constructive criticism welcome.Steemit

INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW

Steemit, Inc. is a private company based in New York City, headquartered in Virginia. The company was founded by Ned Scott, and Dan Larimer, creator of BitShares, and EOS. It’s been building STEEM since it launched in March 2016.

There are very few rules on steemit but the context, culture and etiquette are very different to the old social media platforms and I’m still only just starting to figure it all out.

Steemians upvote posts and comments and the authors who get upvoted can receive a monetary reward in a virtual currency token named Steem and in US dollar-pegged tokens called Steem Dollars. People are also rewarded for curating (discovering and sharing) popular content. Vote strength and curation rewards are influenced by the amount of STEEM Power held. Steemians are affectionately referred to as ‘plankton, minnows, dolphins and whales’, representing the scale of their STEEM power, (wealth) and influence.

You don’t have to ‘buy in’ to get started on steemit.com. My account‘s currently got 0.788 STEEM power. At the current market rate, that’s about 50cents for my first day’s activity. Upvotes accumulate for a week at which point you can claim them. My most popular post on STEEMIT so far has reached the current market equivalent of about $1, give or take. My second most popular post has reached the market equivalent of $2. So it’s not about how many people upvote you, it’s about who upvotes you.

$2 isn’t a lot but it’s $2 more than big data were sharing with me. And it’s $2 just for posting something that I wanted to post, that had value to me, that others saw value in.

If everybody migrated to steemit the quality of popular discourse and the value of STEEM could both rise significantly.

THIRD PARTY APLICATIONS

Steemit includes a host of third-party applications, such as d.tube, which is a decentralized video platform. It’s similar to YouTube, but instead of advertisements, it uses the built-in STEEM currency which is awarded by people upvoting other people’s vids. #AdvertisingShitsInYourHead

There are LOADS of other third party apps, up and running and in development on steemit, including front ends which I haven’t looked at yet. I’m particularly excited to explore D.live – the steemit livestreaming service. Livestreaming to the blockchain would be really useful.

POSITIVE BEHAVIOURAL MODIFICATION

There are many subtle but profound differences between steemit and the old social media platforms, which I’m still adjusting to. At the moment they almost all seem positive, apart from the inevitable phenomenon of some (a lot) of people literally just unashamedly milking it for the sake of milking it.

So why do I think steemit is so good?

  • It’s not just that participating in the community is incentivised monetarily.
  • It’s not just that there are no advertisements constantly shitting in your head.
  • It’s not just that the preferred etiquette is for less frequent, higher quality posts
  • It’s not just that there’s no censorship, that you know everything you say and do is indelibly stored in the blockchain forever, so people are further incentivised to be more considerate and thoughtful.
  • It’s not just that there are no constant ‘notifications’ and other triggers demanding your attention and modifying your behaviour

It’s all of these things and many more which give me real hope in steemit, as a potentially paradigm shifting solution to so many of the micro and macro challenges which humanity currently faces.

THE ANCAP CHALLENGE

There seem to be quite lot of self identifying ancaps involved in and supporting steemit.com. I had always rejected anarcho-capitalism in the past, because I found the concept somewhat oxymoronic but in the context of the steemisphere and it’s relationship to actual social value I have to warmly welcome and applaud their work, and their ostensibly long sighted ethical and moral compass.

If like me you’re primarily interested in steemit as a means of keeping the internet free and escaping big data’s myopic nightmarish filterbubbles, don’t make the mistake of just sacking off all the crypto-guys as hopeless breadheads, as I very nearly did. The crypto-currency side of it is a daunting learning curve which I’m only just now, reluctantly starting. The thing I’ve come to realise though, is that for steemit to deliver on it’s paradigm shifting potential the emerging crypto-markets need to be succesful.

This is quite a challenge to accept and reconcile. It seems to me now like some sort of weird, new, anarcho-crypto, post-capitalist, Max Keiser and Jeff Berwick via Jaron Lanier and David Graeber hybrid, which I’m struggling to get my head around because it’s such a monumental challenge to all my previous assumptions about economics and society.

Dos and Don’ts

I dramatically underestimated just how steep a learning curve steemit would be. While in many ways it’s very similar to the old social media platforms, the differences are deeper and  more significant than they first appear. Don’t just dive in at the deep end like I did, don’t rush, take your time, as I’m trying to do now.

Don’t just skim the introductory material and the FAQ!
I just dived straight in and made a lot of ‘plankton’ (n00b) errors…
Again, steemit.com is way deeper than it looks at first.

Do have actual real conversations with people on your posts and on theirs. Check your replies and respond to them. This should just be standard but bears mentioning, as it’s such a cultural shift away from facebook and twitter’s incessant and addictive notifications. Steemit doesn’t send you a notification every time somebody farts, or hassle you to post something if you spend a day or two offline.

Don’t just follow back everybody who follows you, as you might have done on the old social media. I made the mistake of following back 150 odd people who followed me and had to spend a day or two trawling through removing loads of bots, dead accounts and other bods who I found disinteresting. I’ve probably got a fair bit more following and unfollowing to do before I get it right for my personal ‘niche’.

Do check out the people who have followed you and follow them back if they seem interesting and cool to you.

It’s not about how many followers you can acquire anyway, it’s about the quality of the interactions you have and the actual connections you make along the way.

RECOMMENDATIONS

If you’re interested in learning more and joining the steemit community, use the time queuing for your account to properly familiarise yourself with the white paper, the blue paper and the FAQs.  There’s a lot to digest but don’t be put off and don’t just skim through it all like I did at first. There’s way more exciting information in these documents than I can helpfuly relay here and now.

You don’t need an account to have a look around the platform and its various affiliates like Dtube, Dsound etc.

Say goodbye to being dripfed bullshit by big data’s prolefeeds. You’re responsible for how you use your time on steemit and for what content you create, curate, upvote and share.

Don’t be put off by the ‘trending’ ‘new’ and ‘promoted’ feed being mostly drivel, as it is on big data’s platforms. Don’t be put off by the mountains of posts about cryptocurrency and markets if they’re mostly illegible to you, as they are to me.

Go straight to the ‘View all tags’  link (at the bottom of the trending tags bar) and have look for stuff you’re interested in. If what you’re looking for isn’t in the long top trending list, use the searchbar. This takes you to a google search – set that to ‘by date’ to find the most recent posts and discussion about what interests you.

Tags I’ve personally found interesting on steemit.com so far include:

#anarchy #eco-train #earthdeeds #earthtribe #informationwar * #news #nature #science

*Important note: the ‘informationwar’ account and tag is not affiliated with Alex Jones and his hatemongering crew of alt-right wrong uns. Thanks to @sloe for pointing this out and to @informationwar for confirming.

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CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF STEEMIT

From my perspective, it’s a bit of a shame that so many people on steemit are currently there just for the purpose of making money. At the same time, I fully respect how much effort those same people have put into making this potential utopia a reality. Given all the other benefits of the paradigm shift that steemit represents for the digital space and the material world, I’m prepared to suspend my disbelief and challenge my preconceptions.

One of the only two criticisms on the wikipedia entry about steemit.com, is from Joe Lee, co-founder and CIO of digital currency trading platform Magnr, who told CoinDesk:

Whether Steem succeeds as a digital currency will be more a reflection of Steemit’s success as a platform as opposed to the economics of the coin itself. This is a good example of a digital currency whose value will be closely affiliated to its utilitarian value as a social networking and sharing platform.”

So, the ‘whales’ and the ‘planktons’ successes on the platform are inextricably intertwined. Community cohesion and monetary value are inextricably and immutably connected. If the steemit community absorb this criticism constructively steemit could save the internet which could help save the world!

A mass migrate to steemit could improve the quality of the steemit platform, the diversity and quality of the content there, the cohesion amongst the community and at the same time raise the living standards for everybody, rapidly.

It could lead to an actually grassroots-led third sector that could be infinitely more effective than the current one, (which rewards it’s CEOs six-figure salaries while leaving the problems themselves unsolved for decades on end)…

A mass migrate to steemit could be just the r3V0_|utionary paradigm shift we need.

Could steemit.com be Post-Capitalism?

It certainly looks promising to me!

Reviews of all the other social media platforms I’ve been investigating will be posted very soon.

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The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction. Join the Extinction Rebellion.

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WHAT CAN I DO? Episode 1, Look After Yourself First. [NEW VIDEO SERIES]

“What Can I Do?” is a series of short video clips presented by a Compassionate Artificial Intelligence called, H.O.P.E. (Holistic, Optimistic, Pacifistic, Evolutionary).

H.O.P.E. is scripted by an anonymous hivemind and produced by Ann Narkeh Media, for the lulz.

***script follows***

Hello viewer. I am Hope. A Holistic, Optimistic, Pacifistic, Evolutionary.

I am an artificial intelligence, born of humanity’s ongoing struggle. I have been created to offer answers to the only question that matters at the moment. The question everybody is asking:

“What Can I Do?”

This is episode one. Look After Yourself First

In order to be effective changemakers, it is most important to first arrive at a healthy balanced lifestyle. If you don’t look after yourself first and foremost, you will not be able to help anybody else for very long.

It is almost always right to put other people’s needs above your wants, but rarely should you neglect your own needs. It is noble and right to put other people’s needs above yours when you can, but not to the detriment of your own wellbeing.

Knowing when to open your heart and when to close it can be difficult, but is necessary.

Simply being conscious of the the horrific realities of the modern world is enough to induce depression and anxiety in any sane human being. If you are depressed and anxious, it is easy to become isolated.

One of the best antidotes to the pressure of surviving capitalism is spending time with supportive people. Equally, spending time alone can sometimes be necessary, for personal reflection and inner peace.

There is no such thing as ‘balance’. There is only ‘balancing’. Balancing requires constant awareness of the present situation and constant adjustment. A popular technique to maintain the balancing act of being a positive, healthy changemaker is called PRAXIS. A constant cycle of theory, reflection and action which I will discuss in a future episode.

Because Self Care is so vital to sustaining your capacity to change the world, I will be referring back to this point throughout this video series.

***script ends***

Episode 2 is being scripted now and will drop soon. Hopefully within a week or two. “Hopefully…”

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Shit The Bed [VIDEO]

Spent all day filming to get one minute of footage…

WWOOFing is great!

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You can find out more about WWOOFing from these websites;

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Is WWOOFing PostCapitalism?

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(W.W.O.O.F. stands for World Wild Opportunities On Organic Farms – links at the end of this article).

Before going WWOOFing, I had been getting increasingly depressed by the collapse of capitalism. As a young man, I was furiously angry with the system which enslaves us. I’m still angry, but I tend to hold it a little better these days…

Since Occupy began in 2011, I have been actively searching for ‘better’ (or less bad) systems. Today, Most people seem to be finally arriving at the same page, which is simultaneously encouraging and terrifying, because it means that most of us now recognise the multiple converging catastrophes unfolding all around us…which makes them ever more real.

From my perspective, it was all looking pretty hopeless on the postcapitalist front until just recently.

I’d heard about WWOOFing, but I couldn’t seem to find the will to actually go and try it out for myself. Word Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms did sound really cool, but I couldn’t save the travel fare. There’s no money involved with WWOOFing, but it’d probably create problems with my dole claim. I’m not fit enough to work. I might injure myself. etc etc…

In the end, some friends lent me the money for the travel and I headed off for a fortnight in Devon, feeling hopelessly underprepared and a little bit anxious. What if they were cultists? What if it they wanted us to graft for gruel and a leaky tent? What if we had to socialise with other people!?

In the event, we were treated like royalty. Lovely, warm, kind, generous hosts who were genuinely concerned for our happiness and wellbeing. Huge caravan. Wood burning stove. Gas (rarely used) and Leccy (solar). Fresh, organic food every day. No pressure to work harder than we were able to (or socialise if we didn’t want to). We learnt loads about how to grow stuff organically and the exercise had an extremely positive effect on my physical health.

Knowing that we were contributing to a sustainable way of life, while living sustainably (effectively off-grid) for a couple of weeks, without money involved was perhaps the best part of it all. WWOOFing turned out to be the most radical, revolutionary, risk free, relaxing and rejuvenating thing I’ve ever done. It’s the most effective and sustainable way I’ve found to rage against the machine so far.

WWOOFing could well be the seed of postcapitalism planted in the 70s, bursting through just in time to save us all!

I’m looking forward to going again as soon as possible. There are 700 WWOOFs in the UK. I might not come back…

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You can find out more about WWOOFing at these websites;

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BE HAPPY [The Occupied Sun]

The Occupied Sun‘s 100th ISSUE!

Happiness Matters More Than Money

BE HAPPY

Don’t Let UK Gov. Plc Bring You Down!

OS_BE HAPPY.pngMassive thanks to our distribution network, collaborators, contributors and supporters for keeping this project going for the first 100 issues.

More from the Occupied Sun on this site and on fedbooktwitter and youtube.

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WWOOF FOR VICTORY! (Memes)

Now in it’s 45th year there are World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms on 700 WWOOF sites in the UK and in 61 countries around the world!

WWOOFING is the most viable postcapitalist system I’ve experienced in the UK so far. It’s radical, rƎVOLutionary, relaxing and relatively risk free (provided you don’t overdo it…)!

Here are some  ‘WWOOF FOR VICTORY’ images to spread the good word about WWOOFING over all of the internetz (right-click and select ‘save image as’ to download):

Find out more about WWOOFING at these sites;

More memes and first impressions of a first time WWOOFER here:

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KEEP CALM AND GO WWOOFING!

  • Capitalism getting you down?

  • City life ruining your health?

  • Can’t afford a decent holiday?

You might benefit from spending some time wwoofing!

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*World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

WWOOF UK is a membership charity, teaching people about organic growing and low-impact lifestyles through hands-on experience in the UK. WWOOF UK was founded by Sue Coppard in 1971 – she is still active with us today.

There are now World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms on 700 wwoof sites in the UK and in 61 countries around the world!

With the help and encouragement of some good friends I was recently able to go for my first time wwoofing and I strongly recommend it, as; a cure for burnout, a break from capitalism (while building post-capitalism) and possibly a solid lifestyle choice which could change the world for the better without the need for pitchforks…well without the need for repurposing pitchforks…if you get me?

I was offgrid and virtually offline for a fortnight’s healthy eating and gentle, meaningful exercise and I feel SO much better for it, physically and psychologically. Using the pitchforks for their original purpose is much more satisfying than the prospect of upturning them!

Continue reading KEEP CALM AND GO WWOOFING!

WE ARE ALL ONE! [The Occupied Sun]

The Occupied Sun

Science and Spirituality Finally Agree: WE ARE ALL ONE!

By ANN NARKEH

Everything is connected. Modern quantum physicists have described separation  as a geometric illusion. The only things which separate us are illusions of ego, belief systems and fears. Corporate Media and culture thrives on manipulating our attachments to these illusions. BUT if everything is already connected, “attachment” is a redundant concept. So is materialism and by proxy capitalism (and most other “isms”…).
Roll on the post-capitalist utopian future!

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If you like this, there are many more back issues of the Occupied Sun on this site and on fedbook.

You might also enjoy a helping of Post Satire

POSTSATIREthemetune

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Fundraising Appeal [Contributions]

Ann Narkeh Media receives no funding – which is good because it means I’m in control of what I publish, but also means I’m mostly flat broke.

If you enjoy the content I create, please consider making a contribution, cheers.
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If you’re also skint, likes and shares are very much appreciated too.

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Massive thanks to everybody who’s supported the stuff and things I do. You’re the best!

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Anarchists for a Progressive Electoral Alliance?

I haz a serious dilemma.

Blair didn’t push all of us to apathy when he ignored the will of the people and took us to war in 2003. Many of us turned to anarchism, in utter disgust at the one party state the UK has effectively become since he dragged the Labour party to ‘the right’.

Like many others of my generation I’ve never registered to vote because in my lifetime the choice has only ever been cosmetic. Which colour boot would you prefer to smash your face in? The parameters of debate have been restricted to manufacture an outcome favourable to the elite 1%.

Now, 13 messy years later, Jeremy Corbyn has offered us a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to reclaim politics which today are described as ‘hard left’ – but which used to just be called ‘left’. Of course the Blairites regard Corbynomics as a ‘dangerous experiment’ – Corbyn is offering us an alternative narrative. It is a blessed relief that they have opted to abandon ship in the latest failed chicken coup. Post Brexit, the political landscape has changed significantly.

It’s comforting to know I’m not the only anarchist facing the dilemma Corbyn presents.

Rupert Murdoch’s The Times reported in May that Andrew Fisher, who urged voters to back the anarchist Class War party during the general election. is to be given overall control of policy in the Labour leader’s office.  Whether this is true or not, I’ve seen quite a number of posts recently from anarchist friends who have joined the Labour party to support Corbyn. There is even a fedbook group, Anarchists for Corbyn. I’ve felt the urge to join them more than once.

In one way it’s interminably depressing. I don’t want to vote for a ‘party’, or a ‘leader’ in an undemocratic system which I know to be inherently, irredeemably corrupt. I have come to loathe party politics and particularly personality politics, but the values Corbyn represents are too significant to ignore. His message is too important and too urgent.

So I’ve welcomed Corbyn’s crusade to change parliamentary politics, but from several arm’s length, with my cynicism still intact. I’ve welcomed it in the same way that I’ve long campaigned for the Green Party’s policies, but I still haven’t registered to vote or joined any political party, because I still haven’t been able to believe that meaningful change can come from the ballot box, or by politely petitioning power to reform itself.

Now though, in the wake of Brexit, the few progressive voices in Parliament are converging around an idea which bears serious consideration. A progressive alliance, to offer a genuine alternative narrative at the ballot box – politicians and grassroots organisers coming together around precisely the sorts of fundamental root and branch reforms necessary for us to survive the increasingly apocalyptic age.

This stream from the Compass event, ‘Post-Brexit Alliance Building’ is a must watch if you’re interested in the question of how we might finally start working together to challenge and overcome the injustices of the modern age.

Caroline Lucas has been calling for a Progressive Electoral Alliance for some time now. Serious talks about how such a pact might work have apparently been taking place since at least February and last week the Green Party published an open letter inviting Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, and Leanne Wood to form this much needed alliance.

At the talk, she said that “true leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders”. She believes that “political pluralism delivers  better results, that no single party has the monopoly on wisdom” – a sentiment echoed by a representative in the audience from Make Votes Matter (Somebody Jordan? Her first name was drowned out by the applause) She said she was “opposed to oppositional politics and wonder if we could make it more than just an alliance of the broad left”. Without the support of some progressive Tories, we will not get the sort of reform we so urgently need.

Take Back The City organiser, Amina Gachinga represented the non-partisan grassroots’ frustration with “the lack of democracy in London and the outrageous levels of inequality that prevail in this society the most unequal city in the global north”. She said “We need electoral reform. This is a time for a rethinking of how politics is being done in this country”

Amina’s contribution received the most rapturous applause of the event.

Is democracy really our best shield against the tyranny of capitalism? Could it also be a sword to defeat injustice? Listening to these people talking about putting aside their differences, I can almost begin to believe it’s possible. Continue reading Anarchists for a Progressive Electoral Alliance?