Author: Tio

My experience with the Manjaro Forums

My experience with the Manjaro Forums

This is about my past 2 years experience with these people, but to be honest it is an experience with some of them, not the majority of them. The article won’t be as long as it should since I linked to a bunch of discussions to highlight my points. In all, the Manjaro Forums are littered here and there with very mean schoolgirls that I felt like they conspired against me and TROMjaro :)). And TROMjaro became, from a Manjaro “spin” that was appreciated by a bunch on their forum, to this black sheep that admins got allergic to. And I wonder why since I’ve been very friendly there….let’s see. We debated about the trade-free idea, morality and ethics, about Manjaro and TROMjaro, and more.

I added some videos of me scrolling through the threads I linked to just in case Manjaro removes them. You can easily pause the videos to read through them. It is almost like I scroll for ya’ :). If the videos cannot be played in the browser, right click and “save link as” and watch them on your computer.

I like computers. They are a great tool that let you express your thoughts and do stuff. You can write articles, make videos, podcasts, websites, software, and so forth. My relationship with them started in the late 90s when we had a very old computer – so old you won’t recognize that as a computer. Black and white, using floppy disks. I was playing around through the MSDos system back then. It even had 2-3 old and weird games installed.

In the early 2000 a french lady came to Romania (via a school program or whatever) and stayed at our place. Eventually she bought us a Pentium computer. Now in color. Now even bigger floppy disks. I was playing Aladin and other such games, while poking around Windows 95. I quickly learned a thing or two about Windows and evolved with a few Pentium computers and pirated versions of Win98, later on XP, Vista or Windows 7.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/_LVjLA5HrQYM/TJzCjCGtDDI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/CEPOCg21dFA/w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu/all-widows-driver-logo.jpg

For more than 10 years I was playing with Windows. I was the guy you would call to install Windows on your computer or repair your Windows installation. I tweaked Windows to its limits so much so that I remember one day the “internet” guy came to set up my connection and windows looked so different that he was unable to navigate my computer. Like you would click a tree and the file manager will open haha. I spent so much time in front of the computer back then, learning how to make websites, edit videos or photos, and much more.

I never knew of another operating system. Until around 2012 when I started to hear more and more about Ubuntu and Linux. Back then Windows was pushing an awful update called “windows-ads-8”. They started to push ads inside the operating system and made it collect as much data as possible, and overall I felt like I don’t have control over this monster.

I tried Ubuntu and I was super impressed about this new world of Open Source. No drivers needed (everything worked out of the box), a Software Center (so bye bye using Google to install weird .exe files), and so easy to customize. I liked it so much that I migrated to it for several years, learning more and more about what Linux and Open Source are.

Although there were so many Linux distributions out there (Ubuntu being one of them), and me testing many of them, one stood up. Manjaro. Manjaro brought what Ubuntu lacked: super easy installation of software and access to a lot more software than Ubuntu by default. Their “software center” was full of every app, driver, and package you can imagine. I loved it. I didn’t have to use the terminal ever again to install some specific packages like I did in Ubuntu. Manjaro was also pushing updates faster so you got to taste the bleeding edge of the Open Source. After 4 years of using Ubuntu I switched to Manjaro.

Manjaro also had a great forum full of knowledge and from my experience back then, full of very nice people.

I am doing a lot of online work. I write books, make documentaries, videos, curate videos, news, software, documentaries, courses, I have a music website, a personal blog, and more. I am super busy so I need a computer that works. Although Manjaro didn’t work very well out of the box, in time I made it work thanks to the updates pushed by the Open Source community and some help from the Manjaro forums. I wanted to help Manjaro by suggesting some (maybe) knowledgeable improvements from my past experience with Windows and Ubuntu.

I started by making this post on their forum in 2018 “What I would add/change to Manjaro” (video). I just wanted to suggest some improvements.

The feedback was overall nice and at times useful, but then you’d see comments like this out of nowhere:

we seem to have this topic every couple of months and almost always posted by a newcomer hell-bent on changing Manjaro to their vision of what they want it to be without paying the dues necessary to even really now what that is. Not in truth.

Maybe you could read their posts and you little gossip-whores can get your ■■■■ together on this topic?

My best advice is to get some more (a lot more) time under your belt truly using Manjaro as-designed. Really learn Manjaro, rather than your very limited, mostly cursory examination before you go anywhere else with this topic.

Your post is specious at best.

You can read the entire thing for yourself to see that all I wanted was to suggest some improvements. A month later, this guy Jonathon closed the thread out of the blue with the message “I need to read through this thread. Call me tomorrow.”. Tomorrow never came for Jonathon or no one called him because that thread remained closed.

I said ok….you know, their forum, their rules. Interestingly after months, they did implement one of my suggestions from that post: to sort installed applications by date. So apparently it was a useful suggestion in the end.

Next I thought to suggest to them to add more types of packages in their Software Center, like appimages, snaps or flatpaks. “Appimages, snaps, and flatpaks in Manjaro’s Package Manager” (video). That post got a lot of attention and the responses were mixed. The discussion seemed a bit more fruitful, but guys like this Jonathon either started to have a crush on me or hated me for some reason. 🙂

He’s sarcasm is palpable :).

In the end I understood that it can be a bit complicated to add these other packages to the same software center. I said ok, I got their points. Now, 2 years later and they did just that. Flatpaks and Snaps are integrated into their Software Center….and it is great. But seeing so many no-sayers being bothered by a mere suggesting such an idea, was depressing.

In time I wanted to suggest some applications that were not found in their Software Center so maybe they can add them. I didn’t know how that works so I thought to suggest stuff. This (video) post is an example how the discussion escalates very quickly into a very mean tone. Jonathon seems to be my nemesis haha. At the end of this thread he posted a comment then closed the thread so I can’t reply. Later on we at TROM ended up making an app for AUR for that image converter that I was suggesting…And also, like Jonathon suggested, to make a post and ask if anyone can add these apps to their repositories, I did so here (video). No one did them. We made them eventually…

After some more discussions on their forum I decided to build my own version of Manjaro since that could be easier than requesting this or that. I said it could be a great way to also showcase this idea of trade-free in action, applied to software. I did so, after weeks of learning how. I got some help here and there on their forums. And I did it.

https://www.tromjaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/simple-desktop.png

I even asked (video) how to not duplicate the work and be part of their team to add new applications to their repositories, but that led to nowhere….I wanted to help directly, I asked how, but I wasn’t able to.

A few months later everyone started to get pissed off when Manjaro made a deal with a company called FreeOffice and started to promote their Office Suite instead of LibreOffice, which was trade-free. Basically Manjaro wanted to ship with FreeOffice by default and get rid of LibreOffice. FreeOffice is a freeware, meaning that they use the word “free” but it is almost as relevant as using the word “meat” as in MeatOffice, since they are so much about Free as they are about Meat. They are selling pro subscriptions if users want to really use their software. We know this tactic very well. All companies engage in it. So I, like others, wrote about it on their forum. My comment started here. What followed was a heated debate of the influence of trades on such projects. And, again, in the end, after such discussions, Manjaro agreed not to ship with MeatOffice installed by default. Maybe my noise added to the decision, yet while making the noise, people on the forum jumped at me like wild dogs.

I finished TROMjaro and I wanted to showcase it on their forum since they have a section where people post their versions of Manjaro. And so I did here (video).

This post is now locked and hidden from Manjaro’s forum or any search engine, so no one can see it unless they have the link. What was so awful about this thread that they made it like that? I recommend you to read it for yourself to judge. Basically all I wanted is to showcase what we did with TROMjaro. But shortly after, I was accused that all I wanted was to promote our “ideology” and such….

This Jonathon even moved the discussion about the “ideology” to a different thread, so that we “keep on point” in the first one. Here (video) he moved it. Guess what? He closed it in a few days or hours, I don’t remember….There is a interesting discussion in this thread and I recommend you read it ;). We basically debated over this trade-free idea. What is trade and so forth. It is an interesting discussion overall. I tried my best to keep calm and reply to their points. In the end their questions were very silly but well….

I tried to communicate with these people over private messages as seen here:

One of the private messages is in romanian since the guy was apparently from romania – he contacted me to “threaten” me haha

And this one when I contacted Jonathon about him editing my comments:

Aaron also posted about TROMjaro in their German section of the website, to then have its post removed entirely by the same Jonathon. Aaron contacted the guy in charge of Manjaro (since the guy is from Germany) but not much was done….

It is interesting that when I first made TROMjaro and showcased it to some people on some threads on their forum, some of them recommended me to brand it as TROMjaro to be better like that (more unique). We were using the Manjaro logos and such, because I didn’t care. Yes it was and still is Manjaro with some tweaks and unique features. Actually the guy in charge of Manjaro’s Gnome version (what we use) thought me how to brand TROMjaro so that I can remove the Manjaro branding. And so we did. To later on be “accused” that all we did is to remove Manjaro’s branding and added our own….

I really started to feel like on the Manjaro’s forum there are a bunch of mean schoolgirls that want to poke at you, and from that moment on, after the post about TROMjaro that got the attention of thousands of people, I was doomed on that forum :). I simply could not mention TROMjaro without someone being “mean” to me about it. Like take this recent post where someone asked what others think about TROMjaro and the first reply is from my crush, Jonathon, who says:

It is not the first time he deflects people from TROMjaro to other Linux Distributions. Funny part is that he recommended one that is already dead, Cleanjaro. Better dead than sorry, right!? :))

Over the past 2 years I think I mentioned TROMjaro a few more times, and others did it too, for sure, but I do not know if all of these posts are still available or not on their forum. They are keen to close threads and/or make them invisible. At one point this Jonathon started to edit my comments to remove links to our TROM books when they were questioning me about our trade-free idea. They were saying that linking to our stuff is promotion….I mean these are the sources I have about the idea. Jeez…

Seeing their childish attitude I decided to forget about their forums completely, despite me using them in the past to help others too, so not only to fix my own computer problems. Until today….

You see, Manjaro pushes a lot of updates almost weekly. That’s great since it means a lot of new features. But that also means users are bothered with constant update notifications. On top of that, it makes it mathematically more likely for the system to break here and there if you push so many updates. Overall we keep TROMjaro super simple and updates go smoothly most of the time. At times they break stuff and I have to deal with the aftermath for TROMjaro users that contact us, and the same is true for manjaro that has to deal with the same aftermath but in larger quantities. From my experience Manjaro could make it easier for people to deal with the updates and also to install and remove software. Just a few minor improvements can make the experience better in my view. And so, like in the past, I thought to make a post on their forum to tell them about my ideas. And guess what happened? 🙂 They closed the thread in a few hours after I posted. Am I that evil? Please read the thread if you have the time and decide if this thread should have been closed… “A few ideas about handling the installation and updates of software in Manjaro after 1 year of experience” (video).

I was about to add this comment when they closed again the thread:

As the story goes, maybe in a few months time they will take these suggestions into account….

It is sad to see this attitude from an Open Source project. Maybe some of these creatures got too bothered by all kinds of users posting crap on their forum and their patience is as thin and robust as a fart in a storm. 🙂

I wanted to make this blog post to let people know about all this. I will definitely stop posting on their forums. It is beyond ridiculous how they handled my threads and comments. Maybe you have the time to go through these pages of content, maybe you don’t, but it is the proof that some of Manjaro Forum admins are like little kids that get protective with their toys and if they get pissed off by you then you can fuck off cause they will forever hate you! “meanfaceemoji”.

The good part is that, Manjaro being open source, I can continue the work on TROMjaro uninterrupted and undisturbed. Despite our differences we can use each other’s work. I can suggest features to Manjaro directly to their project’s Gitlab pages and forget about their forum. There at least it seems like they are more “pro” and these mean little girls from the forum do not travel to such places that often.

In the end, I made some of them think a bit about this trade-free idea and I’m sure TROMjaro made them curious a bit in like “what the fuck is this”. At least that, if not more ;).

OurMinds.Online, a new project

OurMinds.Online, a new project

I created a new project: OurMinds.Online. Before I explain what it is, I want to explain why it is.

Many years ago I bought the tromblog.com domain thinking that I will start a blog-like-website where I can quickly and easily write about interesting topics. I started a blog around 2006 in the romanian language and I used it as my mind-collector for many years already. It is damn comfortable to have access to such a place where you can cook your thoughts at low flame. No distractions. No competition. No disposable content. It is you and your mind.

But in today’s world humans choose to rent their thoughts to these “social ad networks”. Sure, it is a comfy way of transcoding your ideas into these “posts”, through your “mandatory” account. Billions are on faceplant, instapoop, twerkter, and the like, so for them having a “blog” is too old fashioned. Too difficult. Too expensive. Too unknown. Humans got trained by today’s trade-based society to want 100kg of content now! And in powder format so that they can easily mix it with water and drink it in-between taking a shit. Thoughts are brief and meaningless. They must be shocking, extreme, or in image format in order to suck-in some likes or reactions. Else they disappear. It is the dementia of today’s Internet. Thoughts come and go. Disposable content. A post-posted 5 hours ago seems long forgotten into the abyss of other disposable thoughts.

It is true that making your own website seems like cooking again. We are used to fast-foods, or meals that come pre-cooked, and all we have to do is either order them or put them into the microwave. It is fast, we say. It is easy, we think. But despite those being true, eating junk food may have some impacts on your health such as obesity or other disturbances of your insides. Having a blog seems like starting to cook for yourself. And, in a way, it is. But the advantages are palpable.

I will explain.

Faceplant banned me a few times because I posted some titties or ass-chicks, or some “violent” message on their platform. Despite these posts being about educational content, they got evaporated by their system faster than most men ejaculate at their first sexual encounter with a female. Under a minute. These posts never saw the light of the inter-web. These “gestures” are a reminder that you are not allowed to post your thoughts on such networks, you are only allowed to post certain thoughts. You know, similar to what China does overall. It is the same. Look, if it taste like poop, it smells like poop, and it looks like poop, then stop eating that chocolate! Faceplant and China are the same kind of ‘chocolates’.

So, despite being easier to eat fast-food meals, in the long run all you do is rent your thoughts to these platforms that will become your Pavlov, training you like Pavlov trained his dog. In small but consistent steps, your behavior will reflect their rules. Today they ban your dick, tomorrow they ban you protest. On top of this, they collect your data and inject ads into your face, so these platforms are anything but free. And they are ugly and cluttered.

You are their customer, but they did a hell of a job to make you feel like their “user”, their friend. You know….they just want to connect the world…. A few weeks ago I saw this documentary and I almost puked when one of faceplant’s high rank bosses said that their mission is not to make money. That’s secondary. Their mission is to connect people. Sure…and the US military’s mission is to say “hi” to people from all over the world. Greet them. Meet them. Visit their places and remember their faces.

Ok. An account. Constant trading of data and attention. Plus, limited choices in terms of what you think and share on these high flame ovens where everything evaporates really fast. So, how else can one share their thoughts online? Well, this is either much harder than you think or much easier. If you are already a wixfanboi, then for a merely 9 euros a month you get access to an easy tool to create your website. Yes, you only get 3GB storage, or like my inner photographer would say “enough to host a few high quality photos and one video”. Yes you get 2GB of bandwidth, so hopefully you are one of those that no one knows about, because if Eva, Mily and Bono go through your photo gallery twice a month, they will completely destroy your monthly plan. And yes, going for a 13 euros a month plan will give you enough to satisfy your tits. Their website builder is “easy-and-fun” to use and all that.

There are a plethora of such services out there nowadays, and they seem to be one step away from social-ad-networks in terms of “your-place”. Although I understand that it is easy to pay these centralized places to host your thoughts, my thoughts are too important for me to surrender them to any company. So, how do I cook then?

WordPress for now.

I will make some articles on tromjaro.com about how one can create an entire website, in an very easy manner, on their computer and broadcast it online without the need of any company. This is a new thing, but a super exciting one. For now, we still need some companies to create and host websites, else how can others access them?

If faceplant is like fast-food (someone else cooking high fat and high sugar food for you), and wixy is like that Blue Apron thing, that sends you home the raw ingredients and easy-to-follow steps to cook one meal at the price of three, then WordPress is mostly like you having access to a supermarket and buying what you need and cooking what you want. Doesn’t seem so daunting, right?

If you use Dreamhost (where we host our websites for now), it costs you around 4 euros a month to have a Wodrpess website with unlimited bandwith and storage. Of course these are “unlimited” as in “limited but you probably won’t exceed our quota”. In any case, for almost 3 times less the price, you could have a WordPress website. But then, it is hard to build a website in Wordpres you say? Those days when WordPress was only managed by Bobby who finished IT, are gone. Wodpress, the default installation (done by your hosting automatically most likely), is what we use for OurMinds.Online and it is as easy as wixy, if not easier. You can choose any of the thousands of templates out there, then customize it (easy-peasy, drag and drop, click and edit). Then any page you create, post you write, is as simple to do as any Word document.

Add text, images, buttons, galleries, super easy. I won’t go into details, but if anyone is scared of WordPress, then this “anyone” never got to taste the default WordPress installation in 2020. It is almost like never going out to buy food for yourself, thinking that’s too complicated.

So, cooking in WordPress is super easy and if you want to get cocky, and cook that Italian dish, you can do it in WordPress, granted that you learn the simple notion of themes+plugins. In WordPress you have blocks of elements, drag-and-drop style, and you have to install and enable them and tweak. After all, if you want to cook some exotic dishes you should at least read some recipes or watch some video tutorials, else you should stick to that fast-food. Despite WordPress, the default installation, being super simplistic yet complex enough for the vast majority of needs, it also allows a great expansion of creativity and complexity, something the other alternatives do not allow. You can also easily export all of your WordPress data and move your stuff to another server if Dreamhost or others start touching you inappropriately. Not to mention that you can even install WordPress on your own computer and run it from there. But that’s for the chefs.

So, now that I made my arguments of why it is important to have your own online space, and how to do it, let’s talk shortly about OurMinds.Online.

TROM is now comprised of a bunch of heads that, over the past 2 or so years, got more and more close to each other. More vocal, More themselves. They want a voice. Some have one through their websites, videos or other means, but some do not. For some setting up WordPress may still be challenging and it is understandable if you never had to deal with such cooking before. On top of that, I can cook pretty well in WordPress, so I can help out very easily.

TromBlog was more than my place, I wanted it to be a place for other TROM-like-minds, but then I thought it will be difficult to fact-check everything people may post in TROM’s name. So I gave up to the idea.

A few weeks ago, my neighbor Dima (the pirate who’s sober), told me about this idea of his to create a website where TROM-like-minded people would post. He said, it could be interesting for the ones who “follow” us to have a central hub where we post, rather than us posting on our own websites, spread across the ocean of the internet, like lonely migratory birds. I argued against that since, again, I was thinking it is a pain in the ass to keep an eye on the possible BS that some may post and such. Plus, I won’t give up my tiotrom.com anytime soon. He said he can copy-paste the articles that we write on our own websites, to this central hub. But….you know, some of such articles have custom made layouts and such….I argued against. On top of that I was busy with other stuff so I said if he wants to do it, he should try and see what’s the result. But I said I won’t be able or willing to help :D. I was a mean-machine.

A few weeks have gone and then Jen, this other TROM creature, sends us a “rant” (article) about this COVID-19 spectacle. Very good “rant”. But it was in a Google Docs…she writes very well and in a very interesting way. But Boogle Gocs?! I also talked to Yoann who wanted to build his own website…he’s another TROM-mind :). So then I said, fuck it, let’s build a super simple WordPress website and host it on TROM’s servers and give trade-free access to these creatures. One thing was different from my TromBlog idea: this time it’s not a TROM project, it is an independent one so anyone can post whatever they want. So, I won’t stress myself over what anyone posts. It is a trade-free service that I create for them. Period. 🙂

And so, OurMinds.Online was born. Now anyone close to TROM has a voice. It is their trade-free supermarket of goodies. They will find here the most basic ingredients to create any food they wish. Sure, we are limited in terms of storage space for example, but that’s a real limitation not an artificial one that these other companies create. There are no trades. No data collection, no ads, no one to censor the content. The website is divided into Thoughts and Minds, and they are self-explanatory. A mind is a person. A thought are the person’s ideas. So, you can see an accumulation of our thoughts on this website, or our individual minds. I made sure to keep this website super simple and to the point. I hope you all like it and we will start posting more and more stuff there ;).

In time, I want to give access to more and more people to post there. But we need to know them a bit, else we end up with conspiracy theories and all kinds of crap, and we don’t want to pollute this space. OurMinds.Online is a trade-free “service” for a few TROM people. Let’s see how it will evolve!

Why I got married?

Why I got married?

This is me, Sasha, and the mayor of a small Romanian town. He, through the power of himself, declared us “connected”. United. Glued. Forever sticky with each-other. I also wear a “camiseta” – that kind of shirt that you usually wear for special events. It is not mine and I don’t usually wear such things. Sasha is wearing a traditional romanian shirt. :))

I know, you may think yourself “What in the fuck…”. I do the same. But we did this because we had little to no choice. Not because we liked or wanted to. This is going to be a long post that summarizes some 9 months of my life. I need to take this off my chest. I also want to draw the attention to why this “marriage” ritual is more than a cute thing that people do. It is an abusive and mindless ritual.
 
How come I, the one who make fun of such rituals, got married?
 
I created TROM Documentary in 2011 to, among many things, poke fun at such rituals and to make people aware of such nonsensicalities. And now I’m part of them. But why? WHY? Well, there is a good reason why.
 
It started some 2 years ago (as far as I remember) when Sasha contacted me to help with TROM. She just discovered the project and really liked it. This was not unique since many people have contacted me to help with the project over the years. But Sasha started to help immediately and even created some discussion groups on FB and offline, where she would take each part of TROM Documentary, watch it with other people, and discuss it afterwards. She also made some Youtube videos with these discussions. Here. I thought that’s super interesting and I was super happy to see someone that’s so pro-active. We got in touch more and more over email and on Riot and I even participated to one or two of her online discussions. She was also helping with proofreading the TROM books and other materials. So, she was helping a lot and she was very interested in the project.
 
She had a website where she was posting about her very-interesing-life. I have to be honest here, I didn’t look at the website very much until later on since I was so busy with TROM. Basically she traveled all around the world for 10+ years, meeting all kinds of cultures in her way, and having a very different lifestyle than your normal Kathy. I traveled between my room, bathroom and kitchen for the past 10 years, but despite that we realized that our values (let’s call them TROM values 😛 ), were very much aligned, like Musk’s ‘penises’ when they descend.

After a few months, maybe more than a year actually, of staying in close contact and me realizing more and more that she is serious about not being a Kathy (sorry Kathy, nothing against you m’am, but the world is full of normal people), I asked to her to let me help rebuilding her website to highlight her lifestyle/ideas even better. To make something unique out of what she got there. I helped a few other people/projects in the past with their websites when I considered what they did as interesting. I like doing that. So it was nothing out of ordinary for me to propose that to her. It was really interesting to see Sasha writing about her unique exploration of Earth together with linking to relevant TROM info. Awesome photos, awesome stories. Smart writing. I really liked it. What she did with her blog was medicine done right. It was like when I was little and my mom used to put medicine in my soda drinks. A tasty way of getting healthier. Combine a “cool” lifestyle (that’s more than cool, it is interesting) with in-depth materials about our society, culture, tech, science. Sasha put the medicine out there in this easy-to-swallow-way. And I just wanted to make the “holder” (the cup) of her stuff, a bit more interesting.

Why Sasha was Aaron?

Side note: After swimming in these “activism” waters like TROM, TVP, TZM and the like for a bit, I noticed how many (MANY) people are in for the “making friends” of it. They want a connection. They want relationships. They want a community. Nothing against that, but to me that’s a bit puckey. If you are in search of a community on top of being interested in the project, then great. But if you make it more about the social aspects of it, then I hate you. I struggle like crazy to make these ideas (TROM ideas) easy to grasp and known, and if people join mostly to talk to others and find friends, then it is extremely disappointing for me. I failed. And I saw people that were in search of girlfriends and such, in these groups, more than they were interested in the projects. Girls (vagina-and-boobs-shaped humans) are a rarity in such groups. Thus, when they are present, I saw penis-and-no-boobs-shaped humans hitting on them. Perhaps because people in such groups are quite lonely, they would absolutely love to be in a relationship (feelings, sex, whatever) with another human that shares these “weird” values that very few share. Let’s be honest, finding a girlfriend (if that’s what you want) who is also interested in how this society works, is quite rare. Guys are more interested in such topics (statistically-observed-by-me and-others). So, in a way I get it, but it is uncomfortable to see such situations where people use such interesting projects like TVP, TZM, TROM and the like, to “hook-up” with others. I’m not saying they join for that reason, but that’s what I observed a bunch of times with several people.

Ok. So. I realized that I am quite an abnormal creature. Even compared to the people from such groups. I do not need a community, or a relationship. I am perfectly fine by myself. All of my life I lived alone basically. Relationships? A girlfriend? What are those? How do they smell? I tried them in high school for a bit, then in collage. I realized that they are over-hyped by our culture. Boring. And non-interesting to me. Both the community and relationships. Give me the sexiest girl in the world, make her my slave, but if we don’t share these TROM values then it cannot work. It is a no-brainer really, but something people might be very naive about when they only look at the wrapper of the package, instead of the “package” itself (values). So even in that scenario I’ll end up with a sex slave that might stress me out more than I stress her. In college I fancied about “relationships” a little bit and I remember a girl asking me to please stop poking jokes at her boi Jesus when we are together…..Yeah…..sure….If religion is bullshit, I’ll call that bullshit, like it is. So no thanks. I won’t ever be able to stay close to such normal creatures that are both shallow (know very little about the waters they swim into), and plain simply crazy (full of BS ideas and pseudoscience).

The idea here is that I am so curious about the world (what the fuck is happening) that I don’t give a fuck about anything else. Period. I don’t dream about a girlfriend, friends, a community, a horse, a sex slave, or a new car. If those will emerge somehow then great (no sex slave tho – humans need-be-respected-and-not-harmed), if not then I don’t care. So, with that being said, I was never in pursuit of anything but TROM-related-stuff for the past 10 or so years. I never joined any meetings anywhere (not even online, except let’s say 2 or so), and I never wanted to meet people in “real” life. Not even TROM people. I don’t know, but it was always uncomfortable for me. Just leave me alone. 😀

For the past 2-3 years I was a bit more lose in the sense that a few people said they want to visit me and I was like “eh….ok….will see”. Normally I won’t even reply to such messages. I realized that life is short and I spent more than 10 years alone in my room writing stuff and making videos. Why not try to taste from a different kind of lifestyle? And so Aaron ‘forced’ me to accept his invitation to visit me. 🙂 He came to visit me for 3 days, after we worked together for like 2 years online. He was the first TROM human I met. Then I thought, with him, to organize a TROM meeting in a few months time and invite some close-TROM-friends. So we did. I liked Aaron a lot. Such a great human.

Now, why was Sasha, Aaron?

Because I had no other interest in Sasha more than I had in Aaron or the other TROM people we invited in May. For me they were equally friends. TROM friends. No expectations like “Oh, let’s invite Sasha so maybe we get together and I finally have that girlfriend that I was dreaming all along.”. I had no such “visionary” projections about my future.

In any case, Sasha was one of those that were invited. She was happy. Very. And she came last out of all, arriving 1-2 days later in Spain, after hitchhiking from Russia. Crazy! This is when we all met her:

This is her and her backpack. Can you tell which one is which? Because I offered my help to carry that backpack up 1.448.566 stairs to the house where we would stay, and trust me I felt like carrying Sasha and her entire family all the way. I never in my life had to carry something as heavy as this backpack. This girl must be strong to carry that thing from Russia to Spain. Small but strong.

People came. We had fun for 3 weeks. Almost. I was kinda sick, peeing blood for like half the meeting. I thought that backpack bursted something inside me. In this meantime me and Sasha ended up together. Two planets from different solar systems, coalesced. How that happened? I don’t remember. I think one day I woke up and I was informed that me and Sasha were a “couple”. I was fine with that. It was quick. I was sick. I think I was taken advantage of. IDK. 🙂 – No, I am joking of course, we got really well together and it was unavoidable to coalesce. Gravity.

Before this meet-up several of us discussed about the possibility of moving together after the meeting was over. Only 3 of us (me, Sasha and Aaron) moved together right away. It took us 2 weeks to find an apartment in a town that’s 90% full of empty apartments for like 8 months a year. We were refused because we were not a family, we look too young, or we wouldn’t be able to prove that we have a steady income and such. It was an awful experience. We were lucky to find an apartment through my sister’s bosses that own a rental company.

Anyways, now me, Sasha, and Aaron moved together.

 

But it was the beginning of an end. Only 1 month after we moved together and the flowers were blooming in our young hearts, Sasha had to leave Spain. Why? Was she sick? A lesbian? Did Aaron and Sasha had a relationship behind my back? Did I start to snore too loud? Mnot. The thing is that in this society you can’t just live on Earth. When you are born here, then you can’t go there that easily, or at all. Imaginary borders are well maintained and supported by pillars of paper. They call them IDs, Passports, VISA (Vehement Inspection of the Soul and Ass), etc.. Sasha was born in one of the Earth’s ‘gardens’ called Russia. Then she hopped into USA. So she had 2 “nationalities”. But I was in Spain (Europe). She, russian-american, Me romanian-european. The truth is we were like oil and water in this society. We could not mix under its rules. The papers won’t allow for that. Sasha wrote a great blog about this Prison Earth we all are inmates of, so I highly suggest you go read that.

Sasha had to leave. USA? UK? No-way? She chose UK. Was closer to Spain and a friend of hers was beyond kind to let her stay there for free in her apartment. Just one month after we signed a 1-year contract for the apartment (rental), Sasha had to leave to UK and stay there for 3 months. The Europe prison says that someone from USA can only stay for 3 months in Europe and then leave Europe for 3 months in order to be able to come back for another 3. 3 is the number of the god europa, a bitch of the sea. UK is part of Europe (but not “properly”) – so Sasha was able to use that as a saving boat. Sasha leaving Spain was not as easy. I thought she was used to going places and sleeping in a tent :D, but the thought of leaving Spain so quickly and maybe having to go to US or somewhere else and work, put a toll on her and I saw her very sad. So sad I really got pissed at this society to the point of wanting to punch the society in the face. She was low on money so it was quite a bad situation. She was also in the middle of writing a book about her life and getting interrupted by these stupidities that our society is so proud of, is soul crushing. I “forced” her to create a fundraiser for her book and a Patreon (link). Fortunately a few kind people donated money. We were both kinda at the edge: financially, emotionally. Anyways, she left. She stayed there for 3 months. She didn’t have to work thanks to the donations she received and this friend of hers that was so nice. It was ok in the end.

The only positive part is that while she was there, we talked on the phone almost every night. I swear VISA made our relationship better. We got to be best friends and in no way we would accept this bullshit paperwork to split us apart in this idiocratic society. If this doesn’t sound like the start of a romantic movie, then I don’t know what. I call it Shrek 5: in the search of the lost queen.

The queen got back after 3 months and we had to quickly think of something to be able to stay together. This is a photo I took after we “recovered” her from the airport in Barcelona.

 

Now we were in Spain. Sasha could only stay for 3 months there. How can we fix this?

RIDDLE TIME:

We have 2 young (yes!) creatures on planet Earth. They are humans.

1. Sasha. Purple. She is labeled as russian-american.

20200114_224133

Places she can go to (source 1, 2):

This bitch can go everywhere around the world you might say. The red and blue is where she actually can go and stay, the rest are places where she can stay somewhere between a month and three months on average. The grey is “bitch you need to ask first and we may refuse you, and if we accept you, you won’t stay for long.”

1. Tio. Blue. He is labeled as romanian.

20200122_173219

Places he can go to (source 1)

Even this cunt can travel a lot with the romanian passport. But, except Europe, every other place on that map he can only visit for one to three months on average. The grey area is a no-no. Including USA and Russia, where the human number 1 can reside.

The following is an interactive map I really struggled to put together. Here is Planet Earth. The most gifted rock in the Universe. Purple and Blue want to be together. Live together on this rock. But how? I combined both of the above maps into one to showcase where Purple and Blue could stay together, because the above maps do no justice to the injustice. Those shades of green there may make people think that we could have lived together pretty much everywhere.

So. Let’s make it dark.

Where you see dark grey, those are the areas where we could have stayed (both of us) for a few days to up to 6 months maximum. That within a year, or less period of time. Simply put these dark grey areas are for tourists who go there to visit. On top of this, all of such dark grey places have their own rules (trades you have to respect) – so is not like you simply go there and all is fine. Or it’s not like it is so easy to access these places.

The black areas are areas where at least one of us can’t really go unless they get a VISA. And that’s usually difficult if not impossible to get for humans like us who do not have a job or money.

Blue is where blue can stay, but not purple (except for 3 months every 3 months). And purple is where purple can stay, but not blue (except if he gets a VISA for a period of time – months – which is difficult to get).

Now click on the map, on any tribe, to see where we could have stayed and how. The rules there. The conditions.

 

To my surprise there is ONE, 1, UNO, place where both of us could stay “forever” and ever and build our kingdom of TROM. That orange island there on top. The great island of Svalbard. It is the only place in the world where anyone can go. From anywhere. No VISA. No restrictions. Almost…What’s the catch?

  • Population somewhere over 2 thousand people. Few and in-between.
  • Very “wild” and cold. You need a proper jacket and a gun. And I mean it. It is required when you go out to either have a gun and know how to use it, or go with someone who has one and knows how to use it. Why? Polar bears. Fluffy and deadly.
  • It is expensive to go there. Flights alone are in the hundreds of euros.
  • It is difficult to get there. Likely you have to go through Norway (its mother land), so if you can’t access Norway then you can’t really access this place.
  • You can stay there if you can financially support yourself – being part of Norway you can be sure the life there is one of the most expensive in Europe.
  • You won’t have access to healthcare or other social systems unless (probably) if you pay for that which is (probably) super expensive.

In all, it is great to see that such a place exist, but in no way this would be an option for us. We would barely have the money to buy a ticket there. But then, unless we hunt polar bears with our bare hands, we could not make it. Here’s a cool video about the place:

Now, there are ways for you to go to most of the world’s tribes and live there. Like having a job there, or invest into a business, buy land or whatever. Meaning, if you have money you are able to go. But even then it is a bit complicated. We don’t have any jobs and are barely making a living so these are no options for us. We looked and looked and looked into ways of staying together on this planet and we could not find any that could work for both of us. Unless we decided to become 100% slaves and try to get a job – tho without a diploma (me) or a proper one (her), even that would have been nearly impossible.

What are our options then? Very few, if any. So, we decided to get “married”. This way the tribes seem to allow us to live in Europe at least. It is so ridiculous that a piece of paper that basically says “these two people are together” can be so important. If this isn’t Idiocracy then….. Needless to say that none of us ever gave a fuck about this marriage ritual. Most people on this Planet seem to be enslaved to this idea, even the most skeptical of them all are pray to it. Which is very weird to me. But if that’s the solution then fuck it. Let’s do the stupid ritual and have that paper that will allow the Purple inmate to live in Europe. Let’s try to see if Blue and Purple can live together.

RIDDLE TIME OVER. LET'S 'HACK' THE SOCIETY.

We were in Spain. Aaron left to Switzerland to work so that he can make some money to then be able to stop working for months (maybe even 1 year). Me and Sasha decided to try and get married in Spain. We had 3 months to solve this fuckery. We went to this special-building that deals with marriages. The woman gave us a list of what we need in order to get married in Spain. In short we needed:
 
  •  A valid “ID” card. Like your face and some letters and numbers that prove you are real and you are owned by this or that tribe. We had those. Passports.
  • Another document to prove you were born. Somewhere. We had them. Tho Sasha had to ask her father to send them from Russia…
  • A document to prove where I live in Spain and where Sasha lived for the past 2 years (in the bloody world). I have such a document. Sasha does not since she traveled around the world. She didn’t have a “place” to stay for the past 10+ years. Except here and there, rentals or mostly staying at people’s places. But this was an issue. However perhaps we could have lied about it.
  • A document to prove that you are not married. I mean….what the fuck. Aren’t “authorities” suppose to know that. Why are they asking you for an ID card and all that when you get married, to then not know if some citizens are married or not. How come I have to prove it? Anyways, this was a paper we needed to take from our tribe’s embassies. Costly and for mine would have taken about 3 months to be “delivered”. Too long. Sasha could only stay for 3 months in Spain and she was already there for a few weeks already (time it took us to go here and there and ask around for what we need).
  • Another document to prove that you are ABLE to get married. Ha.ha.Ha.hA. ha. Lord Jizas. They are serious about this shit. But it is for real. There is such a document. I don’t know what that means but….well…haha. We probably could get this one too, though would have taken a while to get it from our tribes.

The really cunty thing about it was that Sasha needed to have documents for both of her nationalities. In Russian and English. From both tribes. That would have been really difficult and complicated. More than that, we were obliged to translate all of the documents for both of us (of course, since our species can’t even talk one universal language). Despite all that, we tried….but we realized that we can’t do it in a 3 months time-frame. We also noticed that when you submit the marriage papers in spain, you have to be interviewed….Maybe they would ask us what are our favorite colors or foods. I don’t know what these people are up to, but to me this all smells like Hitlerism. The entire situation. We were also in great difficulty regarding the Spanish language and its many dialects, because we struggled to both understand these motherfuckers and talk to them.

Spain was kinda impossible. Let’s try Romania.
 
Our last option was to go to Romania and get married there. I hated this. Oh man…I hated. Look….I hate Romania so much, and I hate it even more when I know the people there who are so religious and culturally smashed, that I feel like I am going back 4.667 years when I get there. Yes, there are interesting people there and it’s hard to judge a tribe just by looking at a few members, but from my experience it is a very backwards culture overall. And you won’t feel it that deeply if you don’t get to live there. I mean, it is the same environment that made me want to hang myself in highschool. I ran away from that environment. I don’t want to go back. Especially going there to “get married”. Let me tell you something, in Romania 3 things are extremely important in everyone’s life: cars, houses, and weddings. All sprinkled with pseudoscience (beliefs). If you have these 3, you are living the life. If one is missing, you might be a failure. A Romanian in their 20s wants a car and a wedding, and in their 30s a house and kids. In their 40s they are confused, and after 50s they argue with their TV, not even giving a damn that no one listens to them. In their 70s and they simply wait for the end of their life.
 
Side note: I don’t think romanians like having kids that much. It’s more like “I had to do it”. So I won’t list that as a “must” despite everyone having kids.:P
 
But weddings are a THING in romania. You think about them years in advance, even before meeting your soul-mate. My parents used to have something called “zestre” for me and my sister. These were “objects” (stuff), that was put aside for when we get married. Carpets, plates, forks and knives, bed sheets and maybe even house flip-flops and pajamas. They were stored in our old balcony. The 4th floor of the building. We were not allowed to touch them. They were new. They were waiting for us. Collecting dust. They were sold eventually, or used for us or for bribes….I think my parents realized we were not normal kids and we won’t get married anyways. How wrong were they, right!?
 
So once you find your soul-mate, after going through a few cunts and bitches and a few STDs, you finally realize that your soul-mate is like that Happy Meal toy: looks great on TV and on the Mec’s shelf, but once you start using it you realize it is of a very poor quality and boring as fuck. But hey….you are getting old and your parents keep on telling you to “find the one” and “keep ‘it'”. So you do. You talk to the one and plan for the “unification”. Must be in June-July, 2 years from now. It is warm and people might not be so busy with their jobs, so more people may come to your wedding. You see, in Romania weddings are not just a celebration, they are a business. You plan ahead what restaurant to rent, what nameless (but ‘famous’) band to hire, what food to serve (must be exotic and named in ways that you can’t pronounce). And compare all that with how many people you may invite (usually over 100) and how much money to ask them for the invite. Yes. In Romania when you are invited to a wedding, it is not free. They will tell you up-front how much it costs. Usually around 100 Euros per person. For a few hours of eating and drinking and listening to very loud and very awful music. But look, once you accept the invite, the ones getting married have an obligation to come to your wedding too. So it is an investment.
 
With the date settled, you hunting for the “stuff” you need (food, food, drinks and drinks, music and a restaurant), you need clothes. Expensive and disposable. Fuck the guy. The girl stuff is the expensive one by far. How much? A quick online search shows this:

On this website you see prices that average somewhere around 3 to 4.000 lei. “lei” means “lions” in Romanian language and it is also the official currency. So, how many lions equals one elephant? Well, 4.000 lions is around 1.000 Euros. Or, like my grandma used to say, almost twice the average salary in Romania. And look at this price range on the same website:

So the prices range from 400 Euros to 1.100 Euros. And people in Romania, despite living in one of the poorest tribes in Europe, keep buying these disposables. A wedding normally costs several thousand euros. But you can make the money back from the “guests”. 200 people paying 100 to 200 euros to come + the “gift” they each HAVE to give you, means that you are making the money back. The “gift” is another Romanian thing. At a wedding everyone is “obliged” to give a gift to the glued-ones. That means money usually. A few hundreds more. Some give them thousands.

Weddings in Romania are a very distasteful business. And they dare to make 2 of these. One is the official one where you sign the gluing paper that recognizes your relationship as “marriage”, and the religious one where they involve the creator of the universe. That’s the main one for which you need all of those preparations.

I am telling you that so you understand how hypnotized Romanians are with this weird and pucky ritual.

Anyways, fuck that. Back to us.

So, knowing how big of a deal this wedding stupidity is in Romania, I really didn’t want to go there. Of course we would not do those primitive and idiotic things, but we will be forced to do the “official” ceremony and since I am from a very small town where everyone’s hobby is to gossip about others, then people will find out that I am getting married and I’d have to put up with their primitiveness. But well, we had no choice. We had to do this, so we booked flights to Romania on the 30st of December. My parents were already in Romania (they migrate from Spain to there every winter since there’s nothing for them to work here in that period of time).

So. We are packing our bags and I am trying not to lose my mind because I feel like going to a shithole hell. I wanted to make a documentary about this ridiculous situation. I filmed some stuff and took some photos here and there, but overall I was very disturbed mentally to be able to focus on such things. Plus, I didn’t want to compromise our situation with this….

the adventure in romania

Bus from our small town in Spain, to a near by one. Wait 1h for another bus. From there to Barcelona. 4.5 hours drive. Traffic jam in Barcelona. The bus was ok. No one wears seatbelts except us and an old british couple that I saw. People think they are invincible in buses. Well, ok. We arrive at the airport and for me these places are one of the most polluted on Earth. Polluted with stupidity and abuse. You feel like a proper inmate there. You are a subordinate. You are scared not do do any “wrong” move or have an “improper” attitude. It is the human version of a livestock factory. Everyone there is so serious and the prices for food and drinks are 5 times higher than in that tribe. It is a rip-off. A scam. A prison. A place where you won’t find any humans. Seems like everyone is a robot. A mindless machine. Here and there you may see a heavily armed robot. As if these places are the battle ground of an invisible war. Not to mention how charlatans these airline companies are. We used WizzAir. This company is so awful that customers made a website called wizzairsucks.com. Buying a plane ticket feels like and endless stream of additional services. Feels like doing your taxes. Feels like a puzzle. Feels like crawling naked through a stream of mouse traps. You want insurance? A car to pick you up from the airport? Priority checking? A better seat? Chewing gum? A massage? A handjob? A subscription to stewardess porn? You name it, these fuckers are not an airline company, they are a service-selling company and you are their customer. That’s all. The “continue” (next) button on their website (while you fill in your information) is always hidden underneath a mountain of such “options” layered with a ton of colorful ads.

 

Then, they dare to tell us that you HAVE to buy a seat in order to continue. Despite not being mandatory they make it look like so. Just read the bellow message we were faced with:

I think this image says it all. Man, “capitalistic” morons may really enjoy this option-full society we live in. So wonderful. We had to “risk” it and not buy seats at the expense of checking in (whatever-the-fuck-that-means) only 48h before the flight. That was our punishment for getting 2 free seats….for the tickets we just bought. Imagine if bus tickets would be as fucked up as plane tickets. And after they check your face, your documents, face again, documents…be aware not to trigger the metal detector…strip yourself of your belongings and walk a shit ton through a maze of gates, shops, and scared people….you sit in a narrow seat for a few hours being greeted by mildly sexy flight attendants that only want to sell you more shit at 4 times the normal price. No thanks. I sucked your cock so much, I don’t need a salad and a perfume.

Anyways. Airlines are the top most charlatans of them all.

We are on our way. We land in Romania. There my parents wait for us with a relative with a car. It is 3am. 31st of December. The “New Year’s Eve” they call it. Me and Sasha give no fuck. We drive for 4 hours from Bucharest to “my Romanian little town”. The driver wears no seat belt. It is foggy, cold, dark, and the traffic/roads are awful like usually in Romania. The seat belt still makes little sense for the driver. My parents brought sandwiches and some traditional Romanian sweets for me and Sasha. Very nice. Very good. They are good people. I hear them talk about politics, jobs, normal stuff. I listen. I ignore. I want to arrive home. Sasha sleeps. She does that all the time when we travel :D. That’s good. For her :)). I can’t really sleep in a bus, plane, or car. I need to be there to see what’s happening. There bothers me. I can only sleep here, in my own place.

We arrive. Home is nice. Home is our apartment in Romania. My parents invested pretty much most of their money that they make here in Spain into that apartment (not a lot tho). It is a Romanian thing. You work abroad and build your nest home. They did a good job. The apartment is cozy, spacious, nice. Nothing exaggerated. Minimalist I’d say. And cozy as fuck :D. Basically my parents and my sister put money into that apartment. I didn’t really. I never had money for helping with this. I feel a bit bad but it is what it is.

We took a nap. We woke up in the evening. My parents “prepared” everything for this New Year’s Eve. Again, me and Sasha don’t care about such events, but ok…nice for them to do these. We went quickly to my grandma’s house where some relatives live (my grandparents died a few years ago). I saw Mike. He is the “hand” from TROM Documentary :D. When I created TROM he was there. He is my cousin and he was my only friend for many years. He got a bit trapped in this weird trade society for the past years so we didn’t stay in touch that much for these past years. I was happy to see him. We came back home. My parents had presents for us waiting underneath the Christmas tree. Sasha insisted we also buy some gifts (nothing expensive) for them from Spain. We exchanged gifts. It was nice. I was ok with these.

I invited Mike over. It was me, Sasha, Georgi (my sister), Mike, and my parents. We were eating something. Nice food. Nice everything. Then, around 00:00 my parents went into “waiting for the countdown” mode. Tun in to the TV. Open the champagne. I hear my father saying something about having money in the pocket so the New Year “sees” you with that and you will be lucky the entire year – you’ll have more money. All of this kinda smacked me into the face realizing that this is not my world. And I don’t want to be part of this. Till then it was ok, but then I kinda realized that these little moments, repeated many times over my lifetime, made me angry at this society and people in general. These “little” things that to me showcase how people don’t really care about what’s real. They hold onto all kinds of weird beliefs and simply record and stream them forward. Mechanisms for this consuming culture.

A week, no progress. Since slaves (unfortunately for them) work all year, they will get a break for a few days in this period of time. They call them holy-days. Nothing holy about them tho. So, we could not do anything in the first week when the slaves had a break.

the adventure in romania: the journey of papers

First, we go to this “official” place to ask exactly what we need for the marriage. A small room with old furniture. Two women there. Often they were eating. They were moderately nice. They said we need:

  • birth certificates for both of us (Sasha has to translate her Russian birth certificate into Romanian)
  • passports (Sasha has to translate her American passport into Romanian)
  • a medical paper (hm…yes…) – to showcase we are capable of marriage (ha-ha-ha)
  • a paper to prove that Sasha is not married
  • two declarations from Sasha that say the same thing that she is not married, she is alive, has a vagina, and will respect the Romanian laws

Proving that Sasha is Sasha

We need to go to Bucharest (4 hours away from Horezu – the town I’m from) to the American embassy to get that paper showing that Sasha is Sasha and she is not married. We read online that there is no such paper in the US…so what now? They say they will give us another one, like a declaration from Sasha about all of these. We hope it works. We go to Bucharest and stay there for 1 night in an airbnb so we can go in the morning at the embassy. We take an old bus and we get over-charded. But fuck it.

There, in Bucharest at the US embassy, a “beautiful” building guarded by a big Romanian dude with a big gun. He only let’s Sasha in and tells her to leave everything with me, outside, including her phone. Outside was very cold. I am waiting across the street, freezing. Sasha is inside – she had to raise her right hand and “swear” in front of authorities there that she is over 18 and not married and she agrees to marry with me. The funny thing is that Sasha’s name is Russian (Alexandra Davletshina Rashidovna) but her last “residency” was in Hawaii. So, imagine this, in Romania (an unknown tribe from Europe), a Russian citizen raises her hand in a US embassy and says: “Me, Alexandra Davletshina Rashidovn, from Kamehameha Haleiwa Hawaii, want to get married to this long-named-romanian-citizen.” Hilarious. And Jezus Christ of Nazareth, this world is primitive as fuck. It is scary. She stays there for about 1h, but she manages to get that holy paper.

We go back to Horezu with the paper. One of those women looks over it and says it is not good…we explain that’s the only thing the US can give to us. She “flips” the page of the document and there it is: a paragraph (a short one) basically saying “This declaration/paper is the only thing US can provide bla bla bla…” and that seemed to have done the trick. The woman accepts it as “true”. Magic!

Translating the papers

We talk to this dude in Horezu that has a tiny office in a very shady place. His business is to officially translate documents from ANY language. We should have tried him with a Swahili….My parents dealt with this one eventually, and managed to get the papers translated. Overall they were the ones doing most of the lifting with the paperwork. Huge thanks to them. So they go there, they pay, they translate the papers. They need to be both translated and “legalized”. Like someone has to translate them and someone else needs to put a stamp on them. Both cost. But we have them a few days later.

We don’t have AIDS

Next thing is to go to a private clinic, that ironically is across the street of the big governmental public hospital, to get tested for HIV. It costs less than 10 Euros for both of us. I have no clue what’s the deal with this test, but I am happy Sasha is clean haha. Or is she?

We go to this small room where mostly old people were waiting to either get some results form the tiny private clinic, or ask for tests. And it was a very sad sight. Here in Spain, with this healthcare system that’s free, you are assigned to a “general” doctor where you go to complain: my head hurts, I’m puking violet, I might have another penis, I am pregnant, etc.. This doctor is a “good-and-knowledgeable-friend” that can then advise you, treat you, or send you for tests or to specialists. It works. And you never talk about money because it is free. In that Romanian clinic it was the opposite. A young girl at the counter was advising these old people what blood tests to do based on a brief listening to their complaints in a sea of other people waiting in line, talking to each other. Two rooms there: one at the entrance where people were “ordering” their tests, and one clearly marked with a Jesus icon on top of the door, where the blood and urine were collected. I think that’s all they did, the two fluids of the universe: blood and pee. I remember one old lady saying that she feels pain here and there and everywhere and wants a “full” set of tests. And the young woman at the counter saying “yes, let’s do them “all””. And the old lady had to pay around 100 Euros only for the tests. That could easily be half of her pension. This is not healthcare. This is not science. This is witchcraft and a market. For one, there are no such thing as “all” tests, especially when it comes to blood or urine tests. There are tons of such tests, trying to detect a plethora of things. Never “one”. This is so ridiculous. And second, to charge people so much money for such tests, is inhumane. These are old and sick people, and companies take advantage of them. The Romanian healthcare system is a “free” one as far as I can tell, like in Spain, but since doctors are used to take bribes and overall Romania is a shithole, people prefer to go to the private clinics that may offer a better waiting room and better hopes for the clients. And third, blood and urine or any other tests mean NOTHING unless you have a system that will deal with the results. To fix the problem. “Oh, hi m’am, we did this blood tests and we are pretty sure you have cancer. Now, good luck with that ’cause we don’t deal with the treatment. We only tell you what’s wrong with you.”.

Anyway. We go there. We give them our blood. The results come the next day. Interestingly my father could go there to pick up the results…I mean, these are personal medical results how come they agree for someone else to come pick them up? We take the results (we don’t even know what are the results) and we go to my Romanian family doctor with them. We pay for all of these things. There, an old waiting room. Looks like USSR. Looks awful. Inside the cabinet there she is. The lady. The legend. The woman. The doctor. The She. A female general-practitioner in her 60s (probably), who recently had a stroke, staying in her doctor office listening to Rihanna and smoking. I swear! You don’t get a better Romanian experience than this.

I managed to take that photo. It is unbelievable that a doctor smokes in the office. There were kids in the waiting room….She looked at Sasha and said “Yeah I wanted to see her. She looks good. Congratulations!”. And we left with the medical papers from there. Great job, doc!

Declare again….

So, with the passports and birth certificates (translated), with the paper from the embassy, with the medical papers….all that was not enough. Now, we had to go to a special office where Sasha had to give 2 declarations. That she is she (again), and that she will respect the Romanian laws and she accepts marrying with me….For this they required us to “rent” a translator. A certified one. We go to a nearby town (1h away), in this little office to do the declarations. It takes them around 3 hours to do them because for one they didn’t understand why 2 and not 1, so they had to call the Horezu women and ask them. And second because one of these women’s kids (from that tiny office) was sick and she had to leave from time to time. In this time the translator came. She was young, around our age. Her English was not that great, but whatever. BUT….and I will apologize for saying this because this girl was very nice and calm, but she was a Piñata of bullshit. Piñata are these colorful “things” that people put all kinds of candies inside, and others (usually kids) have to smash them with a bat. IDK why, but whatever. This translator was full of conspiracy theories, horoscopes, after-life theories, nutritional advice, alternative medicine and so forth, that if you were to smack her with a bat, you’ll see the cream of the bullshit falling from inside her. The moment we met, she said she will read our “horoscope” and tell us about ourselves based on our date of birth. She talked non-stop about these fucked up things, about her life, about nothingness. For 2 hours. Me and Sasha felt abused. Raped mentally.

 

At one point I started to get into conspiracy theories too, thinking that someone plays a prank on me and tests me with this – like maybe they hired an actress to fuck with me (as if I’m that important for anyone to pull this prank on me…). But considering I am a “soldier” of the army of debunking bullshit (see TROM and all I do), having to face this Piñata was perhaps the most painful thing I had to observe since I didn’t want to comment much if at all about her BS because I didn’t want to upset her and maybe have no translator to help us with the paperwork. A compromise nearly impossible for me to accept. But I did….

Anyways it was only 10 Euros for her service, but I felt like losing 10 billion neurons at the same time. We get those 2 declarations, since those were the last we needed.

Passports, birth certificates, medical papers, embassy paper, declarations. Fuckin’ christ. Now that’s it. We go back to the original-office with all of the papers. They look through them. And look….check to see if these 2 humans can be glued officially together or not. See if the papers match the creatures. It is almost like scientists trying to describe the atom, not by looking at it and analyze the thing directly, but by looking at some papers that describe the atom and try deny the existence of the atom or some of its properties since the papers don’t agree with the reality. And that happened to us because they looked at the papers and faced a dilemma: Sasha’s name has 3 names :D. You know the last name and the second name or whatever. Family name, and your name. That weird combination we all have. So her name is A B C. Russia may recognize her family name as A and the B as her last name, where C is what you inherit from your father in terms of name. The US, does it differently, and Romania does it like US perhaps. So, all in all her Russian birth certificate was translated into Romanian as A B and her US passport was translated as A B C. So, those 2 didn’t match. Big-f-deal. But for them it was a big deal and they said they refuse to merge us together. We called the translator that translated the birth certificate and that woman clearly explained that she translated it correctly. So everything was legal. It was simply an issue with how tribes interpret one’s name. Sasha was physically there, and we had the original papers and their translations, but the papers didn’t match so Sasha didn’t exist basically. See? The atom is there, you just have to look at it and describe it. But that’s the opposite of how our society works. Our society looks at papers in order to define the reality.

It was a funny situation (if real, and I think it was real) where in Romania someone was wrongly declared as dead. Now the guy goes to authorities to complain about that, but since it was declared dead already, he was unable to make any complaint about it. I don’t remember what happened to the guy, but it you are declared dead then you are fucked since you basically cannot live in this imagined paper-based society humans built.

Anyways. We had to kinda bribe the translator to translate the birth certificate wrongly in order to match the passport. Another wait, another spending. My mom also had to bribe the women in that office to kind accept this situation as such…

FINALLY.

All of the paperwork was in our possession. We submit that. It is approved. On 31st of January the great merging will occur. I am asked how we want to split the goods, I say “m’am I only have a laptop on my name and she has hers; I think 50’50 is a good deal; we just keep our laptops”. 😀

We are a month in with this bullshit in Romania but at least we are close to be done with it. 31st of January is a week after we submit the papers. We are way more relaxed but the entire thing puts a toll on me (and on Sasha too of course), but I am close to having a mental breakdown.

The clash of values.

From the beginning, since we decided to do this bullshit marriage thing, I was very clear with everyone around me that we correctly label this nonsense as “bullshit”, so we don’t care about anything more than hacking this society in order to stay together. More to that, everyone who knew me (my relatives, family, ‘old friends’) should have known I don’t give a shit about such things. I poke fun at such things all the time actually. Despite all that, people who found out about the “event” (I never told anyone I think, but well…small city, bored people) started to congratulate us. Even my parents took it seriously and at one point I was asked if I need help to buy “rings”. Look, these people seem nice and that’s how they express themselves. They don’t grasp the fact that marriage is not only an invention (imagination), but an abuse. Me and Sasha were abused into this stupidity in order to let us stay together. Live on this planet together. And now we get these “congratulations” from people. Tell me, how can I react to that!? Because I felt a mix of feelings from extremely sad to furious. It is like in China you may only be able to stay together with a partner that has a social credit above 700, and you struggle to get your credit score above that in order to live together, while at the same time protesting about this abusive rule. Yet, your relatives congratulate you for achieving that above 700 social score. How does this sound? Because it is the same with the marriage. Where is the difference? We wouldn’t have done this stupidity ever if we were not without options.

So yeah, seeing how people around us take this seriously was extremely frustrating because I also could not be a jerk and get angry when they congratulated us so I had to fake a sad “thanks” at the corner of my mouth. But I really felt like being trapped in a horror movie where people are not humans, they are robots with whom you cannot talk. With my parents it was a game of “let’s pretend you care and I don’t” that we kinda respected as much as possible until one morning, a few days before the gran’ event, when my mother asks me what I will wear for the event, and I said that I don’t care, these things are stupid and I simply left the conversation. My family got very upset at me for that, but I was simply at the edge of my sanity there. Like…I have to go through all of this bullshit with papers, with delaying my TROM projects, with spending money, with pretending to be part of the mindless norm, and all that, and now you want me to be a clown? Like, “Hey, at that abusive event, what are you gonna wear?”. A few tears and loud voices later inside the family, an unnecessary development, and we agree to please my parents and talk to them about what the clowns are going to wear. Again, my parents are nice people, and without them we would have had great difficulties solving this problem, but their values are not in line with ours. They didn’t fully understand why we are doing this. In any case, we agree to wear some “respectful” clothes to not trigger the zombies when we go there. I was wearing a t-shirt from my sister (it was a male-shirt that she had), and Sasha a “traditional” Romanian “thing” and my sister’s boots and jacket. We are pretty now. Everyone seems ok with us. Let’s play pretend.

THE DAY

A day before “the day” I had to pull myself together and try to control myself because I felt like I want to kill someone. I pushed myself away from society from age 15 or so. Rarely interacting with the normality. And now I get to interact with the most nonsensical of stupidities. I faked it a lot and I felt like I could not handle it anymore. Then, a day before the event I convinced myself that the world is not a tragedy. It is a comedy. These people are hilarious. They are retarded. Idiotic. But hilarious. Like, look at the fuckers….they want us to pretend as if we get “glued” by papers. By swearing. By writing with a pen on a piece of paper. By saying “yes”. Ha.ha.Ha. Let’s just take it as a comedy.

 

My parents bought cookies and flowers and champagne for the event. We are ready. Since we needed the translator again (the Pinata), she arrived in the morning and my mother dealt with her. They went for a coffee. The event is at 12PM. We get dressed. We need 2 “witnesses”. My parents are the ones for the job since it is only going to be us and my parents, and maybe Georgi (my sister) for the fun of it. We go there. Then, in about 5 minutes after we arrived, I see my mother’s sister coming there with flowers. Dressed-up. I’m dying. Yes, she in her own right is nice towards us, coming there for the event, but like I explained it is like we celebrate an abuse. They don’t get that. But I do. I’m like ok…the world is a comedy….just stay calm for 30 more minutes. That’s all…

We go inside the building and I hear this woman (my mother’s sister) saying that we should wait for the others. THE OTHERS? What the fuck. Apparently more relatives are coming. Including Mike. MIKE! Why? Out of everyone I didn’t expect Mike to come since he should understand this is a bullshit thing. I was having tears of anger inside my face about all of this. No one told us this is is going to happen. What a shit-show. A bunch of relatives arrived, they are 10 times more dressed up than me and Sasha, and of course they bring flowers and congratulate us. I feel like a clown in a prison. I feel humiliated by the society. Is the world a comedy? I’m struggling to laugh.

They are there. It is what it is. Fuck it. Let’s get done with it.

Now the mayor is coming…Jezus Christ…ok….

He comes there and the first thing he asks me is who are the Godfather and Godmather. I’m like….EH? Like…and I look around….I see Mike and Georgi and I signal them to come over. I don’t know what the fuck are Godmothers and Godfathers but that worked.

And it starts. We face the mayor. He faces us. He says that first we need to listen to some music….a “nicely dressed woman” pushes with fashion the play button of a very old music player (big, I think it still uses cassettes). Here’s a recording of that – I blurred it intentionally so you don’t see our sad faces while we are being executed.

We were very amused by that cringey moment. Then the music stops suddenly. And the procedure begins. The mayor reads some stuff from a piece of paper and declares us “husband and wife”. Wow. That’s it. We sign some papers. Everyone stares at us. They open a champagne and bring the cookies. It is a 10 minutes cringey moment (again), of people sipping champagne from plastic disposable glasses, and licking a cookie. At the same time congratulating us and taking some photos with us. We force a smile or two because all is done now so we are at least happy for that.

At one point the mayor asks Sasha what religion she is. My mother, being her, screams from the other side of the room “they are atheist”. A bit of a silence in the room…the mayor is surprised and proceeds by lecturing me that even the great Pascal said: “If there is a God and we pray then that’s good; but if there is a God and we don’t pray…isn’t that risky?”. I was about to punch him in the face with either my fist or an argument. Like…my friend….if there is a God and all he wants is for people to pray to him then that’s a PIMP,  not a god. But I didn’t want to cause any problems for anyone. I wanted to get out of there as quick as possible. Look, I was never the one who will shut’up in such moments. I will bark some science there. Fuck the mayor or anyone. I don’t care. But this time I really didn’t want to fuck things up and create a brawl. I sucked society’s dick so far, I can suck it for a few more minutes. The conversation quickly melted away after he also bragged a bit about how great Romania and Romanian people are, and how intelligent and such.

Now we wanted to go home but these people that came there….like…what can I do with them? I felt bad for them. To see them so dressed up and coming there and now, 10 minutes later, send them home. But I didn’t invite anyone…so…For sure it took them more time to get ready than it did for me and Sasha. We went outside and we slowly moved away from them. Me, Sasha, Georgi, Mike and the Pinata went to a bar to eat something. The Pinata had to come to us from an 1h away town, so she was waiting for the bus. I thought let’s give her something to eat first. She was nice, again. But man she was crazy. She even said if she can stay 2 more days at our place now that she came to this city….eh…no. Sorry. But what the fuck….She likes hugging trees, picks up clues from the outside world to guide herself, is looking for her soulmate, can read horoscopes and can heal herself of viruses just through the power of her mind. So, no thanks. She seems to complicated for our taste.

We go home. Me and Sasha are so happy now that everything is over. What we don’t know is that it isn’t.

Next morning my parents throw a “party” for these other people who came to the ceremony and had to go back home in 10 minutes. For our relatives. At my grandma’s house. Just a barbecue to be honest, but still something I won’t ever like to be part of. I didn’t want to be a jerk so I went there with Sasha to say hi. A bunch of relatives there. They, of course, congratulated us even more intensively. One of them, who is also a chemistry teacher, gave us a present. A Jezus icon….

From shitting on these values to being sad and feeling sorry about that.

This entire experience made me super super sad the last days of this entire circus. I perhaps never felt so sad in my life. It was an extreme mix of primitive and crazy values (zombie people) + extreme kindness. I almost felt like crying at the thought of laughing at such a present and the human that gave it to me to see me doing that. Because their intentions are good and kind. I don’t want to shit on this. But at the same time I am annoyed to the extreme by all of these rituals that have nothing to do with reality. To see them celebrate our enslavement to this society. It was very tough for me mentally to get dragged through all of this. I got to feel closely how humans are, unfortunately, not humans. Yet at the same time not wanting to make fun of their values there and then. Just to accept that sadly this is the reality and try not to upset them. Imagine this human who say puts a bit of an effort and kindness and happiness into going out there to buy something for Dani. The human wraps the package nicely and is happy to go give Dani the present. Dani thanks the human. Then when the human is not around Dani opens the package. It is a religious icon. Dani laughs and says how stupid it is. Even throws the thing away. If the human would see this, would be soul crushing. Like a cliff of happiness (buying the present, giving the present), being crushed suddenly by such an attitude. That would suck. And I didn’t want to do that. So I chose not to make too much fun of this ridiculous situation we’ve been put into. At least not that much or there, so that I won’t hurt anyone. At times me and Sasha were laughing in my room about all of these situations we were forced into, and my parents would hear us and thought we laugh at them, especially since they don’t understand english. That made me feel very bad.

RIDDLE TIME OVER. ALMOST

Let’s see. In order for me and Sasha to be allowed to stay together we had to go through a shit ton of papers and offices and eventually get married. Pay money (over 1.000 euros in total), go this place, that place, ask for this and that. Swear in front of authorities. Play by their rules. Translate shit. Wait. Travel. Wait. Travel.

But. Now that the marriage is done, can Sasha live with me in Europe? In Spain? We read on the Europe’s official website the following:

“If you are married or in a registered partnership with an EU citizen that is living, working, studying or looking for a job in an EU country different from the one they come from, EU rules make it easier for you to join them there.” (source) Luckily I “live” in Spain….

Based on this, I understand that if Sasha wants to stay with me for more than 3 months she needs a residence card. Let’s see how to obtain it:

So basically we have to go to an Immigration Office or Police Station with a Form (EX-19) that we cannot find. The link there doesn’t work. The links from official Spanish gov websites do not work. We found it with the WayBack Machine….Anyway. That form + a valid passport + my Spanish residency card + proof of the family link. We had all of these documents already. Sasha is allowed to stay in Spain for 3 months in a period of 6 months. She already stayed in Spain for almost 3 months in the last 6 months period of time. From our calculations she could have come back to Spain for 9 more days till her VISA expires. We thought 9 days is enough to submit those papers, since once you submit them they will extend the VISA till they give her a residency card. So we thought in those 9 days when we go back we submit the papers and that’s it. Ok. Done. Booked plane tickets. Happy and relaxed that we go back to Spain.

We managed to take a van from this city to the airport directly. Nice. Ok ride. Great car. We had to wait in front of the police station for it (no bus station for this one). Weird but normal in Romania.

Before leaving Romania let me tell you a few random things about it. Of course based mainly on this small town we lived in.

stray dogs

I complained about this before. But it is worth complain again because it is such a weird sight to see these massive “wolfs” on the streets. It makes going for a walk a challenge because you never know when they’ll simply jump at you. Here are some videos from the little town we lived it (not taken by me):

This is a video I filmed from our balcony. These dogs want to eat cars. You can’t even drive properly. Just wait till the guy gets into the car and drives away.

everyone for themselves

In Spain, everywhere you go, it looks like Spain. The infrastructure. Roads. Buildings. Services. And so on. In Romania is the opposite. Even in that little town you’ll see 10 types of road signs, 20 types of garbage bins, 40 types of sidewalks, unlimited types of street lights, and so forth. Look at this street sign (I haven’t seen such a stupidity – like how are drivers suppose to read this one while they are driving?):

I think there is a business with garbage bins in that city because you either see none or a dozen of them packed in a tiny space. As an example only on this street to you will find “recyclable” bins. And it is a mockery because they are of a very poor quality and no one uses them properly. How can you have such garbage cans to recycle paper when it can rain in those things. Or glass. Or how do you empty them to recycle? I bet no one cares about them. It was just a business. It is so clear when they put a fuck ton on a tiny street. See the video:

Like look how in this very tiny park there are a ton of garbage bins. And don’t tell me they put them in order to keep the place clean because that’s ridiculous.

This is a random park in Spain of similar size. Look at how many garbage bins there are there:

One more. This is a newly built street by this new mayor. He is proud of it. Just a 200 meter street (sidewalk) that’s full of garbage bins every 2 meters or so.

Look at this house. A corner of it eats half of the sidewalk. Hilarious.

They put these cemented things on sidewalks where people would park their cars illegally. Haha. Apparently laws do not work. Now neither cars or people can go on these sidewalks. Brilliant.

You’ll see there 10 really old houses and then 2 palaces. The contrast between the rich and the poor is something you cannot miss. Also, I think 2 out of 5 houses are unfinished in Romania. It is incredible….

We also found a little kid…we were walking home from our “marriage party” when we saw a little kid (2 years old or so) across the street, about to go into the street. Confused. I didn’t think twice, I crossed the street and took the kid. Tried to ask him where the parents are so maybe he can point to somewhere. But no way, he was too confused. I felt so sorry for him. Interestingly he was in front of the police station and across the street from a busy gas station. Employees from the gas station saw the kid for several minutes but did nothing. That’s to show how these people don’t really care or they are simply not willing to interact with any situation that is outside their own shit. We took the kid straight inside the police station. The guys thanked us and tried to figure out what’s up with the kid. We left after a while. We have no idea what happened to the kid. Sorry for the little guy. I really hope his parents didn’t let him on purpose there in front of the police station to abandon him.

people are crazy

Look at this “sacred” place…you tell me sane people are living near by?

Here’s our boi Jesus taking care of criminals soldiers.

the air quality is as good as smoke

Look at this photo. That’s not fog. That’s smoke. People are burning everything they can and the entire town smells like smoke. It is awful. Even opening the window of our 4th floor apartment is a challenge.

the nature is a garbage bin

This is the closest nature to that town. It was a place we used to go when we were kids and despite being a garbage bin back there too, now it is 5 times worse. Dead animals, clothes, plastic, poop. Everything thrown there, amongst the sad trees that are wondering what kind of world this is.

people are lazy

Here in Spain it is normal for us to go for a 10km walk every other day. Using your legs is part of our routine. But in that town in Romania, people take their car to go to a supermarket that’s 500m away from their place. Not only that, these “kings” use home delivery for buying fast-food. They sit almost across the street from the fast food, yet they order food at home. Can’t even go and buy it. It is so funny. Here’s a real photo of them:

the parts we enjoyed

I loved the apartment. As I said it is very cozy. Warm inside. You need no slippers. Soft carpets :). Calm. Relaxed. My room is the smallest but it is fine. It has a window opening to the balcony where we often stayed. The view from the balcony is nice. You can see the sunset and Venus every night. My mother makes the best cookies I’ve ever eaten and my father would go out to buy something any time you need anything. Or simply he would go for you anywhere anytime. Go to this other 1h away town to get us some papers? No worries, he goes, no questions asked. My parents are very good people, and despite us seeing the world through different brains, we still have things in common and I enjoy my relationship with them. Mike and Georgi are really great friends and they were there. I loved when we watched some cool documentaries in the livingroom, all of us. Then discuss about them. Sasha even wrote a poem in the Romanian language and read it for all of us to hear at the New Year’s Eve. Hilarious as fuck and surprising as fuck. We laughed like nuts.

And look, you’ll find beautiful places in Romania for sure. And very kind people and all that. Yes, overall I think it is a not-very-good-to-live-place, and that’s unfortunate for people there. Human beings (call them romanians) are whatever the environment pushes them to be. I complain about them but I understand what makes them like that. And I dream to one day be the president of Romania and transform this shithole into a smart paradise and give it as an example to the world so we can change every tribe out there. And I mean it, I fantasize about such things :D. If there was a chance to change the world through politics, I’d give it a try. I would love to help every romanian. Make the healthcare system the best in the world so everyone has access the the greatest and most human healthcare. Transform the transportation entirely. Take care of the natural places Romania has. And a huge fuck more. Of course, we need to think globally as humans, not as romanians and such.

BACK TO US. BACK TO SPAIN.

We arrive in Spain. Finally. Dima and Mara, great TROM friends, wait for us with their car at the airport. Makes it much easier to get back home. We arrive. We are so happy to be back. Next day we go out. Green, sunny, blue sky, blue sea. Look at us, happily married. :)) (stupid joke)

I am happy to meet Dima and Mara. Happy to get that Microsoft Surface Table to test TROMjaro on it. Happy to be back. Oh yeah, “that” tablet. Sasha has a tablet that she didn’t use anymore. A Microsoft Surface Pro from 2013. She had it in Russia, no one using it. I told her to tell her father to send it here because I may use it. I realized it is a great tablet. Her father sent it to use at the beginning of November from Russia to Spain. Spain detained it for 3 months – a huge shitshow. We barely got it in February. Anyways, things looked good. We felt no rush to solve the papers bullshit.
 
Police station? Immigration Office? None?
 
Ok. We go to the police station (like the mighty Europe website recommended) with that form filled in and all the documents. They tell us we have to go to Girona (1h away) to the National Police. Ok. Next day we go there. They tell us, “no you have to go to the Immigration Office, on the other side of the town”. We are ok with that. 20 min walk. We arrive there. They don’t let us in. They tell us we need an appointment. They give us a paper with instructions. Ok. Fuck. We sit on a bench trying to navigate to that super long URL from that paper they gave us (use some fuckin’ URL shortenings motherfuckers, damn….). We fill in the form for an appointment to only be greeted with “Sorry, no more appointments available”. We try for half an hour. They close at 2pm and it’s almost 2pm. We go back to tell them that we can’t make an appointment. They said they know. It is difficult. Try more. Try in the morning at 9 or so. Ok. Fuck. Sasha only has 3-4 more days of VISA in Spain. Can we schedule in time?
 
The rush to save Sasha
 
The next 3 days we try to schedule every day. My mother also tries to do that for us. It is impossible. These fuckers let you fill in the form (which is not easy – select, write, pay attention, fill in the bloody robot captcha), and then they say “sorry no more appointments available”. I even recorded myself trying for almost 2 hours without stopping. This is a disgrace and a mockery. Like….should I try every single day to do this? Can’t they have a better system where I submit my request and they contact me when they can schedule an appointment for me? It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen. We try to call them, to make a complaint, to….We don’t know what to do anymore.
 
Sasha has 1 more VISA day of stay in Spain by our calculations and she gets terrified by the thought that if she will get caught she may be deported or Spain may refuse to let her in for a period of time (ban). Sasha traveled all around the world for the past 10 years and people love to read her stories. But one reason she did this was because she could not stay in one place for long. Now, she found a home and a prince :). So she really wanted to be able to stay here for a while. Of course I also wanted that. So the risk was quite big if she would break the law and maybe they will deny her the residence card or will get her into troubles. We’ve read on governmental websites and the european website a lot and they really say she needs a residence card and this residence card takes a while to be approved and they may dig into your past and stuff so we didn’t want to risk it with her overstaying her VISA. Sasha got so scared and sad she started to cry and she made me so fuckin’ sad and angry at this society. This human that does nothing wrong, to the contrary she does volunteer work, is so scared because of this fucked up society that all it does is to scare innocent people and never stop the “bad actors”. So, because she was so concerned about all of this, and I too was concerned and didn’t want for Sasha to be fucked by the situation, we decided to book flights back to Romania for the next day. 200 Euros. She could stay in Romania for 2 or so more months. We planned to go there then come back here when her VISA “renews” so we have more time to deal with the residence card. I even called Rafa (our good TROM friend from Spain) to ask him if he can help us figure out some legal stuff. He studied law. He is such a warm hearted guy. He is from Spain so we hoped he may know more. He looks over the information: if Sasha can stay, about VISA, about the situation itself. He calls friends that work in the justice department or study it. All that, for hours, a day before we had to leave. In the end he kinda says it should be fine for Sasha to stay even if her VISA expired but he cannot tell for sure. The more he looks into it the more confusing it seems. At first he thought that Sasha could stay without a problem since we are married, but after reading (like we did) online and official sources, nothing was clear anymore. Many thanks hermano! 🙂
 
The next day was about to be a complete rollercoaster of emotions and projections.
 
So, here’s the plan now: we pack our bags today and tomorrow we go to the townhall, police and even Girona to the immigration office to complain to them that we tried to make an appointment but we can’t and her VISA expires. All of that before the departure time of our plane in Barcelona. K. We pack. We try to sleep (barely). We wake up in the morning and are going to the townhall. On our way my family calls this woman that’s from Honduras to ask her how she dealt with the residency card for her kids since they were in a similar situation. The woman says it take months to make an appointment for the residency card (fuckin’ christ), and you basically have to try every day to get one. Inhumane! But she also says we should not worry since Sasha can stay here without a problem even without a residency card. They said they did that and many do that. However that’s not what we have read from official sources. We can’t take it for granted. But she says to go to this office in Girona and ask for a VISA extension.
 
We go.
 
We enter what seemed to be that office. They say “nah, it is that building across the street”. We realized it is the same immigration office we’ve been before to. Damn. But we go there and explain the situation to them. We are honest….like wtf people…we try to be as legal as possible but help us for fucks’sake. They send us to this police department. They listen to us and send us to another. Same building. Finally. Now we can talk. We explain the situation and the police officer asks for Sasha’s passport. We give it to him. He goes to check it. I am a bit concerned of what he might say.
 
FUCKIN SURPRISE.
 
The guy comes back and says: “yeah so if you are married with him, then you can stay in Spain without a problem, indefinitely”. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!? So all of this stress, the tickets bought, the tears, the scare….and now we find out she doesn’t even need a residence card to stay!? Just….WOW. But we are so happy that we don’t care anymore. We are over the moon! She only needs a residence card if she wants to work (which she might be forced to because we are broke) – so we need to continue to be slaves to their system of making an appointment for that residency card. I even recorded that guy with a hidden camera to make sure we have that on film in case this is going to cause us troubles. But I doubt. They checked. They were the authorities there. That’s it. Fuck it. Now we go back home to our cozy apartment in Spain.
We can finally be relaxed now that Sasha can stay here. Forever. Of course we lost a lot of money with all of this bullshit. And so much stress that I’m still recovering from it. It started in May last year, and barely now it is over. And we are the lucky ones. Sasha has 2 nationalities (so greater access to the world) and I am “european”. Imagine people from India, Iran, China and the like who want to be together with others from other tribes. Don’t be fooled by smart TVs, bendable screens, 5G internet and redidt memes. This world is a prison.

Until a year ago I was alone and life was more simple in many regards. It was me and my computer most of the time. I didn’t have to deal with authorities, paperwork, and so forth. It was mainly me and the online world. Now, I know more people. More than me. I like them. I like Sasha a lot and I would have done this for her even if we were not together. Without a doubt. She should be able to not run all the time from this society.

My life is better now with Sasha. We get along so well. Everything is great. We help each other when it comes to TROM stuff. We even learned to cook paella and fideoa. Traditional Spanish foods :)). We want to have a relaxed life here so we can focus on our work. Sasha on her personal book and helping with TROM stuff as much as she can, and me fully-TROM stuff.

For a simple request, “Me and Sasha to be able to live together on this planet Earth”, we had to go through a ton of stress, spend money, bend forward in front of authorities, get scared, move from one place to another, and so forth. It took us many months of struggle. And all, for a piece of paper that writes “Tio and Sasha are now glued together”. This, and only this, nothing else, allows us to live together in Europe (at least Spain and Romania from what we know now). If this doesn’t sound like an abuse to someone, then this someone is perfectly zombiffied by this society.

When people “congratulate” us, I hope they read this blog and understand that there is nothing to congratulate us about. They should be furious that Planet Earth is a prison. The fact that you didn’t get to feel it like we did, it makes no difference. It still is a prison and sooner or later you’ll feel it more or less. And the moment you stop getting angry about being fucked in the ass by the society, you will become its prostitute. A zombie. Someone who looks alive from outside, but it is dead inside. Yes, some celebrate marriages and enjoy them and feel no problem with these rituals. Good for you. But remember that they are used as a mean of fucking people in the ass in this world. They are, in the broader context, a perversity. A disgrace that is indirectly (and sometimes directly) forced upon humans. And most seem to just accept it and do it voluntarily. I never understood why anyone wants to get married. If you love someone, then being together should not be as fragile as a piece of paper.
The best/worst time of my life.

The best/worst time of my life.

I feel a bit sick and I am peeing blood. Quite a lot of it. I also canceled TROM-Cast for today. So I thought let’s make this blog post and update you all about me. My life. And I.

Trying to compress half a year (or more) into a few words. Hard. But let’s do it. I tried to do this before, several times, but I didn’t have the time. Go.

So, a year ago Aaron who translates everything from TROM into german, came to visit me in Spain for 3 days. My first “meet-up” with a TROM human. It was great. We planned to make a bigger meeting in Spain so I decided around november last year to invite some 12 or so people who were close to the project, to come here in May. They got super excited and we rented a house for May 2019. A few could not come unfortunately. But the present heroes are: Dima, Mara, Sasha, Yoav, Aaron, Seb, Sofie, Rafa, Vicky, Cody.

This is me (haha) in my tiny room in Spain, back in 2011. Right after I got my first donation: 1.000 dollars in total, to buy a new computer and redo TROM.

I had to improvise and adapt to that little room. I had no chair and that thing I was staying on was very uncomfortable. The monitor was very far away from my face, and my astigmatism doesn’t clear things up ;). But it was good. I worked many hours every single day. 8 months in total. That’s me basically for the past 10 years or more. Alone. Me and my computer.


This is another, even smaller room, where I made TROM from a bunk bed. On my back looking at the ceiling where my monitor was in a constant terror of falling down. Poor thing.

This is from my room in college (rented apartment – no furniture, we had to find some). Plus, no washing machine. Don’t get fooled by the monitor, it was the only good thing about my system and was cheap actually. I still have that monitor btw. Since 2009 or so.

A big room it’s true. But fucked up chair, and computer, and everything else. Those football players on the wall are to cover the fucked up wall, and that bottle…is not ALCOHOL! 🙂 – it is water. I don’t drink alcohol. This is when I first conceived TROM, in that room.

I loved the computer world because it was a world that I could control and manipulate. I was a little god in a tiny universe. I realized that my god powers can extend if I switch from my romanian blog to making some videos into english. And so I made TROM.

Many years later, surviving through the calm world of being alone :), many times being told that I am too lonely, things changed 180 degrees. My loneliness allowed me to focus 100% on my godplan :). To me it was an advantage, though at times I felt a deep sadness inside. Don’t know why, maybe because this society is constantly reminding you that your life is not the “proper” life, and can get you at times. But from that perspective I was ok. Still stressed out because I was living among normal people who don’t care about this world at all: from atoms to money. For them this is “what it is”, and “that’s that”. For me, it is not. I am curious and furious. Curios about how the world works (whales and evolution, quarks and stars, and everything in between). And furious about this messed up trade-based society that fucks all of us up.

So we end up here:

People came in May. A bunch of them. I was very excited and a bit uncomfortable to be honest, since I am not used to be around people :D. The first 2 weeks or so we got to know each other better, had a ton of conversations, planned some stuff in regards to TROM and this trade-free idea, went to the beach, to the mountain, for long hikes, and so forth. ACTIVE. I struggled to make sense of it all. On one hand I absolutely loved it. I even jokingly said that if my life ends now, I am happy with how I lived it :D. Seeing these beautiful faces getting this idea of TROM that I thought I will forever incubate it alone (in my room), was the best thing/feeling in my life. To feel relaxed 100% around a bunch of people, for me, it means I’ve reached paradise haha. Because my entire life was everything but that. These people “got it”. They seemed curious and furious. Like me. On the other had I felt robbed of my time that I could have dedicated to work on my computer. I wasn’t god-in-the-computer, I was tio-in-a-group-of-people. I am used to my digital god powers and to be alone working on stuff, not with a bunch of people around. But if anything, it was the discomfort of moving from this to that. And nothing else. These people were fantastic.

Then, after a few days of intense activity, I felt sick. Like stomach sick. Mind you, I am used to long hikes and little sleep. I am fine with doing physical effort despite living inside a computer. I live in a very small town and it is normal for me to go for like a 10km walk a few days a week. But this time I did a lot of effort. I thought the food I eat made me feel stomach sick and the effort. Woke up the next day, went to to bathroom (like every creature with a bladder does), and because guys have this front-row seat when it comes to the miracle of peeing, I got to notice how instead of the yellowish stream that I am used to see every morning, I saw a dark red stream. And that wasn’t the beginning of a rainbow! No. That was blood. And boy I can tell you this is not a pretty sight. I immediately felt even sicker because I understood something is wrong with me. But I tried to lie to myself that maybe food can change the color of the pee in this dark reddish color. So I brushed this aside for a few hours because I was too distracted by those beautiful faces.

I continued to feel this sick feeling in my lower abdomen, and the second time I went to pee I saw the same kind of stream. That’s it. Fuck it. I am bleeding form inside. Of course I could not know (even remotely) what it could be: the effort? my bladder? kidneys? All? I told the guys about it and I rushed to the emergency room. There I provided a urine sample and they confirmed that I have a lot of blood in my urine. They asked me several questions and sent me home (told me to go to my doctor the next day). From that moment on everything changed for me. I simply could not enjoy the TROM meeting anymore because I was too concerned about the reason why I was bleeding and why so much blood. For sure, 100% sure, something “bad” happened inside my body. What followed was days going to the ER and appointments to doctors, and a struggle to try and enjoy the rest of the time I had with these people. We made that trade-free video, filmed some interviews, watched some weird things on the night sky through the telescope (like planets and stuff 🙂 ), and still had some fun. But I could not really enjoy it. At that point all I wanted was to sit down, relax, and be alone maybe. I could not join the guys for several hikes, and I love to do hikes, and that’s because what I realized was that when I was doing any kind of moderate effort, like carrying some heavy bags, going up the stairs sometimes, and so forth, made me pee blood visibly and feel stomach sick. If I then relaxed, I could see no blood. Exercise = blood. Not doing much = no blood.

It was very weird because it was so obvious. Like if I would do something of moderate intensity NOW, I would pee blood in the next 20 minutes. If I stayed in bed the next hour, no blood. I explained these symptoms to all of the doctors I’ve been to, but neither them or online searches could find this symptom anywhere.

The test that scared me

The general practitioner (the family doctor) then recommended me a test to check if there are melanoma cells in the urine. In other words, to test for cancer. The problem is that if that test comes back positive and they find cancerous cells, then you are pretty fucked. Blood in urine can mean cancer of the urinary tract. If it is bladder then your chances of surviving are super low. Like you’ll have at best 2-3 years of life. Kidney cancer is less dangerous and more treatable, but still, this test only finds aggressive forms of cancer so a positive result is a very bad news. The test was at the end of our meeting in May and it made me less and less engaged mentally with this entire thing. How unfortunate. Most of my life I’ve been alone and now that I finally found a bunch of amazing friends, I got into this health mess, being tested for cancer. From “the best time of my life” to “the worst time of my life” in just a few weeks. After 20 something days of staying here, everyone left except Sasha. I’ve previously talked to Sasha about the possibility of us moving together here in Spain, to rent something to split the costs. Other TROM people wanted to do that too, but Sasha was the only one to stay. Aaron also decided to move with us, but he would come later on in July.

The next days were stressful and crowded. I lived with Sasha in my little room in my parents’ house, while we were also searching for an apartment to move in. We could not find anything. In the meantime I decided to not wait for the cancer results and just go ask to the hospital for them. If I didn’t I would have have to wait a few more days. I went inside with Sasha and Georgi (my sister). We asked. They said the results were negative. Fuck yeah! I felt so good. Damn! Now everything seemed easier. I am cancer free! Or am I?

After a week or so we found an apartment through Georgi from the rental company she works for. This city is full of empty apartments but no one is interested to rent for long term, since it is not profitable. So thousands of apartments are not used most of the time. The apartment was great! 2 rooms, 1 for me and Sasha, 1 for Aaron. A nice livingroom. AC. Close to the beach. 150 Euros each for the rent (monthly).

But what about my health? Before continuing let me tell you that my parents, Georgi and Sasha helped me a ton this period of time. They came with me to the hospital, helped with whatever they could, and also kept me busy so to not stress too much about it all. Kudos to them!

Back to my health. It’s been a few weeks since it started. We investigated infections and trauma, cancer and other things. I started to pee less and less blood. Even when I was doing some effort, I didn’t pee blood anymore. I went to the doctor to continue the investigation. Before the cancer test and other tests (including abdominal ultrasounds), the doctor seemed pretty sure we will know what’s the cause, but the opposite became true. We had no idea. He said they didn’t find any cancerous cells but they found some “abnormal” cells in my urine, and that from here on he doesn’t know what to do so he sent me to an urologist. In a month time. I said ok. I started to feel better and no trace of blood in urine. The mega-TROM-trio was now living under the same roofs. The goofs.

My health investigation continues and becomes even more mysterious.

I went to the urologist. He asked a lot of questions. Told me that they found blood in all urine samples, so regardless if I see it or not, I am still bleeding. They also found proteins in the urine. That is a sign of a leakage from the kidneys. He sent me to 3 more tests. First is to repeat the abdominal ultrasound, second is to repeat the “cancer” one. Fuck! But, the more I’ve read about that test the more I realized is not 100% about cancer, is mostly about the analysis of the cells in the blood: cytology. So, not specific to cancer. For the first cytology test I had to provide an urine sample at the doctor’s office, that he put in 3 jars. Now I had to provide for 3 consecutive days. This one seemed to be more accurate which made me think that maybe they will find some cancers cells now, that they didn’t in the previous one. So it became stressful again.

The third test. A beauty! 🙂

The third test consists of a camera that they insert through the penis and into the bladder. Yeah. I immediately said no. I don’t want that. I’m not homo. And I left the doctor’s office. :)) No, of course I was ok with anything if we are trying to figure out my health problems. This test is kinda a definitive test to check for any problems from the tip of the penis to the bladder. If you have cancer, or a tumor, or lesions. That’s the test for you.

The ultrasound was fine. The cytology one I still don’t know the results…the camera one…all was clean and fine, which was the most welcomed news. First, let me tell you about how it went. Basically you go there, get Adam with them, then they use a syringe without a metal head to inject some anesthetic through the penis. That burns, ok?! Quite a lot. Very uncomfortable. In the next minutes the doctor comes with a long tube, quite thick if you ask me, and without asking what’s your favorite color, what movies you watch or what college you’ve been at, he inserts that mother-fucker-camera through the penis. We didn’t even get to know each other man. What’s wrong with you!? So now, they push it deeper inside you. It is like you get fucked in the penis, if you can imagine that. 😀 The worst part is when it goes by the prostate cause that’s a narrow space and I almost dropped a tear there. Once it is inside the bladder you simply feel a pressure but not pain, and you can watch on the monitor your insides. It takes a few minutes and then is over and your dignity remains in that office.

But I was super happy because, before this test, I knew that if I had cancer of the bladder then with this test we’ll find out for sure. So the great news was that I was clean. Very. Spotless.

Since around mid July to now (2 or so months) I didn’t experience any problems. I ran, hiked, walked, did all kinds of physical efforts and everything was fine. I became so relaxed after the camera test that I didn’t care much. I also had no dignity so that helped :). The “best time of my life” was for a reboot. Season 2. Some characters are back! New are coming. Some left the show. Sasha had to migrate to UK as a fugitive 😀 because her visa expired but she’ll get back in October for good. Seb and Sofie moved here! Wow. So cool. We made 2 desks for them. They live 10 minutes away from us. Extra-Spanish and chévere people Rafa and Vicky visited us, then the great Roma, then some other non-TROM friends. What is this!? Why are so many people coming over? 😀

In this Season 2 I also went to a kidney specialist. Talked a lot with them. They said they see 2 possible issues that I’ll mention later.

Yesterday

I went with Seb and Sofie to build a desk for them. We scavenged through the garbage bins for pieces of wood :D. People put stuff near garbage bins that are quite good. So we found stuff. We built a desk. (photos are from when we’ve built Seb’s desk a few days before)

In this entire time I kinda felt sick. Stomach sick. I realized my pee is dark and it looked like blood. It was for sure blood. Again! Fuck! I then realized that 2 days before we went to a big hike and I did a ton of effort…perhaps the story repeats! Fuck. I said I’ll take it easy.

Today

Last night I worked a lot on TROM and at around 5-6am I started to feel some stomach discomfort. Nothing unusual. Went to sleep. Woke up. I still felt that discomfort. Went to the bathroom and peed. Rainbow? no. Fanta? no. Cola? yes. It was blood. Quite a lot. Confirmed. It is happening again. The entire day I kinda peed blood, without even doing any effort. So that was odd. I also felt uncomfortable and sick. I got concerned a bit to be honest because it confirms that something is happening for sure, and it didn’t just go away. Something is wrong with me. But what?

Let’s pretend to be doctors. Let’s analyze.

I am peeing blood. It seems like I do that all the time, but it is microscopic. At times I pee a lot of blood (macroscopic). Losing a lot of blood it is a concerning sign because it means that something inside you doesn’t work properly. So we need to find the source.

I also pee proteins. Like M&M’s, Twix, or Mars. 🙂 Which means the kidneys are losing proteins. It is a leakage somewhere. We know that for sure. Except these it seems everything is ok with me. Based on these, the issue is for sure coming from the urinary tract. Kidneys, the tubes that go to the bladder, the bladder itself and the rest. It cannot come from anywhere else. We isolated it. Let’s catch it!

Now: we did 2 full abdominal ultrasounds, a ton of pee tests to test for infections, cancerous cells, and a lot more. Blood test and some physical tests. The camera test too (Remember? I don’t!).  Based on all of that my assumption is that the lower part of the urinary tract is ok. No bladder or prostate issue or anything in between. Which is great! I am confident that’s the case. So we are left with the upper part of the urinary tract to investigate. The tubes from the bladder to kidneys, and the kidneys.

The kidneys.

These evil twins that have a problem with the censorship (filtering). They let some stuff out, and not other stuff. Mine got hacked and their algorithm seem not to work anymore.

The kidney specialist said we are now investigating 2 things:

1. a genetic defect that makes the tubes inside kidneys be very thin so they leak proteins and blood into the urine
2. an autoimmune disease that deposits certain molecules in the kidneys and make them fail over time – that’s what I understood

The first is a no problemos! You can live with that for the rest of your life and experience no problems. But it might be the other. A progressive disease is…well….progressive…so it gets worse over time. I barely found some info about these issues. They seem to be very rare. So, the first “option” doesn’t seem to produce visible bleeding, so I am thinking it must be the second. So the second might be split into 2 kind of diseases as I’ve read here. But mainly it is this one and it seems like I fit the description pretty well. 

To summarize: it is a disease of the immune system. Your immune system fucks your kidneys up. If it is an aggressive form there are a variety of diseases that are occasionally associated and discovered while doing the investigations for this disease, like cancer or heart failure. But seems to be rare. So the disease can be moderate or aggressive. It can (and probably will) lead to kidney failure though it takes many years for that to happen. There are very few people suffering from this disease so not many studies went into it unfortunately. There are no treatments, only ways to maybe slow it down and manage it. In the end you may need a kidney transplant and in some cases, even after the transplant the immune system will do the same shitty things to the new kidneys. Jerk! Though I suppose that also takes “years in the making”.

Why I fit the disease:

Why I don’t fit the disease:

So. It is a good possibility that I do have this disease. In November I’ll have to provide more pee samples, like collect pee for an entire day in a big jar :D, to test for any issues with my immune system. And then they will take a tissue sample from my kidneys. We are getting close to solve this mystery! I am curious as fuck!

In 2 days I have another appointment with the urologist. I don’t think is much to do there if you ask me, but I may be surprised in an unpleasant way. He’ll probably tell me about the cytology test results, but even if they find some “cancerous” cells, they are from kidneys probably. Hope not. But the most likely disease is the immune one. And if that’s the case then I’ll deal with it! In the worst case scenario I may need a kidney or two for transplant in a few years (or a lot more years) time. And I am already bombarded with offers from these nice TROM people haha. If I have too many offers, I’ll sell some and pay for our servers haha.

I am now sitting in my comfy gaming chair, writing this blog in Collabora from TROMCloud 🙂 thanks to me, Alexio, and Stoic. I have a lot of news to tell you about ;). My health issues will probably continue for the next months or years and I’ll update this post when I find something new. So probably I just have to get used to it.

This November I want to plan for the next TROM meetup for the next year. We want this to be a yearly thing. I want to do cool stuff, and I’m already doing a bunch of. My life changed so much these past months, for better or for worse, but mostly for better. I am surrounded by the most awesome people. Thanks to them, and their kindness, I am able to cope with these in a decent way ;). Else I would be alone and stressed.

And if you want to donate a kidney, just in case I need one, calm the fuck down! There are some other people on the list so behave yourself! 🙂

To be continued….

update: 28.09.19 - giving birth to a meteor (almost)

After I wrote this blog post I decided to use this cool new app from the healthcare system here in spain. They really have a cool app where you can chat with a doctor, call them, get health tips based on where you live, etc.. So I said “Hi” on their chat. “You know, I’m peeing blood for the past days” I continued. I explained my symptoms and lucky they spoke english so they decided to call me. They suggested it is better for me to go to the emergency room because peeing blood may mean there are blood clots forming and you may not be able to pee. That was a selling point for me. Imagine going to pee and not being able to. Or it stops mid-way. I really don’t want that cause then they have to somehow  “fix” that. So, I went to the emergency room. I felt ok. They did a few tests: physical, blood + urine. Said all seems fine but yeah I still pee blood and they are gonna’ rush with that kidney test so I don’t have to wait 2 more months. They said I could do it the next week. Again, a selling point for me. I was happy. I could not participate to tromcast but I was watching it live from the hospital :):

I could only watch for some 30 min. I liked it. These guys are great :).
 
So now I was heading home and I had a slight lower abdominal discomfort. While on my way home, in the car, the discomfort got more and more uncomfortable. Went to my parents’ place to eat and yeah, I could tell, it was a bit uncomfortable but not unbearable. Got back to my place at around 10pm. The guys were done with the cast and I decided to meet them and go for a little walk. Me, Georgi, Seb & Sofie, and Aaron. The chosen ones. After some 20 min or walking my lower abdominal pain got more painful and localized. Left side. Back. Radiating to the front. But I thought I went to the emergency already and they saw nothing wrong so that gave me the confidence that nothing could kill me now :D. On our way back the pain got so intense that I could not walk very well. I had to take 2-3 breaks, sit down, then continue. I thought I’ll go home and stay in bed, get some sleep because the previous night I didn’t sleep much, and will be fine. WRONG! VERY WRONG!
 
Came home and tried to go to sleep early, like at 12am (yeah, that’s early for me!). The pain was growing in intensity and I simply could not fall asleep. I was sweating like a pig and it was a very bizarre night overall: super tired, a lot in pain – sleeping for like 5 min then waking up for 1h, then again falling asleep for 4 min and so forth. What’s a dream? What’s reality? Why isn’t this mother-fuckin-pain going away? I started to get worried. I said that I’ll go to the bathroom and if I still pee blood then I’ll call the ambulance. And it was indeed a very bloody pee. 6am and I texted Georgi that I’ll call the ambulance so they know (she and my parents). Called 112 and through an English translator I managed to summon an ambulance. I went to the hospital again. This time in pain. Georgi came with me.
 
There the pain got so intense that they gave me an injection straight away. Haven’t had those in like 15 years since I was in school – the injection, not the type. Butt injection. 🙂 It was very nice! 🙁 The pain went away so that was fantastic. They did an ultrasound and there we go. Finally we see something. My left kidney was ‘inflated’ and there was a meteor in there. Do you know that meteors, those “shooting stars” are only the size of a grain of sand? That’s interesting because they produce so much light when they enter the atmosphere. But anyways, I had one there – self-made, earth-like. I knew that I had these (not-cool-people call them “kidney stones”), and I suspected this was the reason I am peeing blood, but the doctors seemed to dismiss this “theory”. After the confirmation of the inflammation and the meteor, hell broke lose on me. Apparently pissing one of these (meaning getting it out of the kidney in a natural way) is one of the worst pains a human can experience. I’ve read that online. I’ve felt it in the hospital. There I am while I was dying:

It may not look like, but I was dying. The pain is so intense that if someone would give me 1 million euros to walk 100 meters in the next 20 minutes, I would have lost that million. The pain was in my lower left side of the abdomen, radiating to the front. Imagine a huge knife stabbing you in the back while at the same time twisting itself around. I had to call the nurses twice to give me more drugs. Last drug was so nice I felt dizzie and happy at the same time. And no pain. But my friends, that pain was intense. Never experienced that in my life. I’d do 5-penis cameras tests instead of one night like this.

The pain was managed with painkillers and I went for another ultrasound. Surprise! No meteor 2 hours later. Apparently it went out of my kidney. Yes! We had some answers. From where the pain was coming, from where I was bleeding. Or was it?

After all of that, some 7-8 hours in the hospital, I came back home and they recommended me some pills like Paracetamol to manage the pain. I took one pill at 3pm. I didn’t pee blood that visibly anymore. But at around 10pm I had a massive pain in my middle lower abdomen (front this time). I had to stay in bed for 1h and after I took another Paracetamol it went away. The hospital also messaged me to come by next day to check my kidneys, just in case.

I went to sleep at 12am and slept till 8am. Slept very good. No pain. Great!

Today, at the time of writing this section (hence the date in the section-title), I went again. I already know the drill: get naked, spread your legs, and start whistling. Oh wait that’s for something else :D. So yeah, I go there, again blood sample, urine sample, physical tests. All seemed fine except, again, I have microscopic blood in the urine. They could not tell me if this is a kidney-meteor related issue or it was since May, but they are now doing more tests just to make sure all is ok with me. So my next tests are: 24h pee collection to test for that autoimmune disease (I have to provide the sample next week and have a schedule with the specialist on 7th of november); a CT (radiology) scan with a contrast substance – this is a detailed scan of the kidney (and not only) where they inject a substance in your bloodstream and then scan your abdomen – this one can detect obstructions, but also tumors and other diseases; plus I also have an appointment with the urologist. Damn, many! Never ending 😀 – but is fine because we get to investigate all of it in detail. If the reason for my bleeding and symptoms is this meteorite (or a few of) then that’s no worry at all, but perhaps the doctors want to make sure that is nothing more serous than that.

Now I have no pain but I am concerned the pain may come back, though perhaps now that I almost gave birth to that meteor, is not gonna’ hurt as much. It may take weeks for the meteor to “go through the atmosphere” of your body, but unless it blocks something in its way, it should not be painful or as painful. I have 2 types of pills at my disposal if so. Let’s see. So far I am happy that the theory of the meteor is now a reality and it is perhaps what caused me so many problems for the past months. But it may not be the entire story. We shall see.

To be continued….

update: 02.10.19 - the meteor strikes again

Last night I wend for a walk with Georgi and I started to (again) feel the damn pain. I barely reached home. Stayed in bed, hoping it will go away. I was confident that now I had some painkillers at my disposal. I could take 1 every 8h. I took one at 10pm and the pain was kinda gone. But it came back in like 2 hours. A 5-6 pain. More to the front left side of my lower abdomen. No way for me to sleep with that pain. Around 2am it become a 6-7 and at times an 8. It was growing in intensity. I could only take the next painkiller in like 5 hours. Too late. Messaged Georgi and we decided to go to ER again. It is 40 minutes away. Good decision! We reached ER and I was in serious pain. The doctors recognized me already. They gave me a painkiller directly through my veins and the pain went away. So good!

My arms look a bit like those of a drug addict haha, because of so many needles that poked me over the past weeks. We had to stay there some 10 hours or so. A lot. Very tired. Managed to take like a 30 min nap in that hospital bed. Basically it is likely that the meteor travels from my kidney to the bladder and in its way there produces more damage, thus the pain. It may happen again….maybe even today. But the good news is that this is 99% likely the cause. I mean, it is the cause of my past weeks symptoms. Probably the past months symptoms but we still need to do more tests for that. The good news is that today they basically didn’t find blood in my urine – first time in the past months. This makes me think that the meteor was the one irritating my kidneys and making me pee blood since May. That’d be a perfect scenario ;).

Now I can take painkillers every 4h so that helps me a lot: mentally and physically. I will only take them if I have pain. So far I am ok. The doctor said the meteor may take another 5-6 days to leave the atmosphere and land in the Toilet ocean. We shall see ;).

Something else now. These past years and especially past months, I had to go to the hospital many times. The last week was a lot of that for me. In ER they “transported” me with a wheelchair (just in case) – cause at times I was on painkillers or on perfusion. They would take me to do an ecography for example, and they would put me in a short line of patients waiting for that. I only shared these rows with super old people who were very crippled. I was also, many times (or all the time), the only “young” patient in the ER. I saw this guy once, with swollen legs, you could see the veins and some dark patches on his skin. Very old. Could not walk. Coughing slowly, almost not willing to cough anymore. He was my neighbor waiting in line. I had these weird feelings about my life….I realize that I am super young still and I should use my body more. Maybe to go places, travel, hike, see stuff, meet stuff, experience stuff. Because one day, I’ll end up like my in-line neighbor. And I won’t be able to use my body. This is a sad feeling, but there is no escape from that. Yes, I find a lot of value in my online life/work, and yes I also go for short hikes and go out daily…I really like my life when I’m not sick. But I’m also thinking that my body will cripple and I will miss it at one point. To be able to walk, run, play, and just feel tired and that’s all, is an amazing feeling. The older you get the more problems you’ll have with your joints, muscles, other health issues, etc..

As much as I praise the Spanish state healthcare system, I don’t want to experience it very often. I want to just live and enjoy life. Take it in.

Life is like an ice cream. If you don’t lick it, it will melt 🙂

Luckily I am still healthy despite all of this. Maybe there’s only the meteor. Maybe I even have an autoimmune disease that won’t affect my life that hugely. regardless, I am still healthy. And young. I only experienced 31 Summers on Earth :). Maybe, like I talked to the most-traveling-traveler Sasha a few times, I may take a slight break from my online life at one point and just buy a motorhome and go travel for a bit. Just some nature, no thoughts about the fucked up society. To see how it is. We shall see ;).

To be continued…

 

update: 14.10.19 - probably I'm fine 😉

I had a CT scan of my abdomen (kidneys and gallbladder and all in-between). All great. Except a few more kidney stones (very small ones), everything is fine. They will “wash” away with water. DRINK WATER! And I’m already doin’ it! I used to drink Coca-Cola all of my life. Not anymore. Now I wash my insides with water.

Today I went to the urologist and only stayed there for like 2 minutes because everything was fine he said. I only have to do 1 more test and have 1 more visit with the kidney expert. But everything is perfect at the moment. Yellow pee. No pain. Let’s do stuff! 🙂

update: 07.11.19 - I'm fine

So, after all of this scare I can finally say I am FINE. I went today to the kidney specialist. After liters of urine samples and blood, CT scan, ultrasounds, penis-camera, and so forth, we have some kinda definitive answers: the meteorite fucked me for the past months. It fucked my kidneys to the point of degrading the function of my left kidney a bit. Even this last test (the 24 hours urine collection) showed that my left kidney is still not 100% functional, but close to that. Very likely it will recover. They still found a little bit of blood in urine but they said these can be normal after getting hit by that meteor so hard. Will do another such test in March to make sure all is 100% fine. So, ALL GOOD PEOPLE. Fuck me man, this was a scary experience. But kudos to this healthcare system here that took care of me, kinda trade-free. 😉

I won’t say this is the best time of my life since I’ve gone though all of these, but I am definitely gonna make it the best time of my life from now on. It will always be the best time of my life, till is not ;).

Take responsibility! And how to do it properly!

Take responsibility! And how to do it properly!

Long time since I wrote a blog post, and I’ll explain you why in another big one when I have the time to do it :P. But now, take responsibility!

When you manage a project or more, for many years like I do, you get better at it but also busier and busier. I used to be a “creator” and now I’m a “creator-manager” because I have to manage many things. I don’t even want to start by explaining what I’m managing because it is a lot: TROM-jaro (test, curate, build, report…), TROM books (review, write, design, promote, memes…), VideoNeat (keep it active), and a ton more. Any website looks bad on mobile? Well, tell Tio about it :D. Typo in a book? Tell Tio to fix it. Bugs? Tio. Criticism for any of our materials?…Address it to Tio. Did you translate any of our materials? Tell Tio to add it to tromsite.com and check it. New ideas about how to manage these projects or what to be added to them? Well…Tio is there to listen. You can’t find God in your life? Ask Tio where the dude is. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that I am busy means that people are interested in such things, which is fantastic. But I am unable to cope with it. However instead of complaining I DO STUFF to fix it.

Translations were killing me.

Before eating the meat, let’s eat some veggies. First of all, TROM (and other projects that I manage) create a lot of content: new books, videobooks, audiobooks, videos of all kind, tools, curate apps, news, memes, etc.. I am overwhelmed with the many formats and kinds. So, if anyone wants to translate any of our projects, how is he/she going to do it? They need multiple programs, access to our projects and so forth. A TROM book needs a Draw Project file to edit it + the PDF to translate the text and get the links from + a way to host it + a way to display it (a reader).

Fixing the mess.

Alexio, who is part of our TROM team, told me about this awesome new website builder called TiddlyWiki. In short is a neat way to build a website where you are not required to login or use any special software to do it. Do it in the browser if you wish. So, I took a lot of my time to rebuild tromsite.com in that format. Entirely. You can see the result here: https://www.tromsite.com/translation.html#:HOME.  And the instructions of how to do it, over here: https://www.tromsite.com/translation.html#:Instructions. It was a massive amount of work, but at least now I can take this off of my pressurized chest now. There, people have everything they need, in very simple forms, to translate and dub our materials + host this website anywhere. If that doesn’t help, then nothing will. Yes, people need to know how to host this website, but if they follow the steps (very simple ones) in the instruction PDF, then they can do that easily. I gave them the details, the links, the means. It is my way to say goodbye translators! With a smile on my face. Translators are amazing people who do a ton of work, so don’t take this wrongly. I live with one in the same apartment and he is a german-translating-machine. A super nice guy who does a shit ton of work. That’s why when I decided to divorce myself from managing the translations, I made sure that anyone can translate tromsite.com without my input.

For tromjaro.com it is even easier since there are no files to translate there – so via a plugin anyone can translate the site from the site itself. No hosting needed. Just to translate.

For trade-free.org it is a bit more complicated because that website is weird. It is a new kind of website which streams videos from p2p. But if you follow the simple instructions form the main page you can do it! Roma made a super cool script that allows for a new kind of 100% custom made translation process.

So, tromsite.com, tromjaro.com, and trade-free.org are ready for translate!

I can’t tell you how good I feel knowing that I won’t have to deal with the translations. Look….I want to do stuff ok? I don’t want to manage stuff! I want to make some cool videos, a new documentary, new books, and so forth. But I want to make sure all of these can be easily translated. But please translators, leave me alone 🙂 – I (we) gave you more than you need for the job, and if you feel at times that is a bit difficult for you to translate something or host your translated website, then please take more responsibility and learn how to do it. I simply cannot hold people’s hands for everything. They need to do it by themselves. Be strong! Be translators! Also, use our Translation Chat from here https://www.tromsite.com/act/#translate-dub and others will help you out. 😉

I think, in general, I would like for people to take responsibility more for such things. I didn’t know how to make videos, but I learned because I felt it was important to make the TROM Documentary. Same when it comes to websites. Or Linux. Or other things. We need more people who do stuff, rather than just talk about doing stuff or relying on others to teach them how to do stuff.

I am so busy I can’t even write blogs anymore 🙁 – I want that life back, ‘alright?!

Now that translations are away from my personal space, I hope that I will have more time for creating stuff and that translators will be able to more easily translate these creations. I won’t even thank you, translators! Please do it for you! Not for me. Stay awesome!

Why trade and not scarcity?

Why trade and not scarcity?

So these days we had a TROM-Cast, like we usually do, but this time we discuss about our new trade-free.org project. It got the attention of some people, and new ones participated for the cast challenging the idea. To make it super-mega short, I “created” this path now for “social change” via “trade as the source of most problems”, and some think is not a good idea. I’ll keep it all extremely brief since I already wrote thousand of pages on the topic.

How I got here?

1. Since high-school I realized that money fucks things up. Pretty much all problems were due to money. No money for food, rent, science, exploration, whatever. My parents had lots of debt and I saw what influence money had over people. I was angry.

2. I saw Future by Design in 2006 – it was about an old man saying the same things: the monetary system creates these bad behaviors and we need to go beyond money, and build a different world. He called it The Venus Project. I agreed. I was intrigued. I forgot about it.

3. In the meantime I opened a personal blog where I was writing about today’s problems and how they are mostly created by money and that we can think of a different kind of society without money. I didn’t remember TVP much. I was writing. I liked it.

4. In 2009ish I saw Zeitgeist Addendum, a continuation of the first Zeitgeist that caught my attention years before. I saw this old man again and I loved it. It resonated with me a lot. Fuck yeah, there are people out there thinking the same as I do and want to change this world. I felt happy and motivated. In the documentary it was emphasized even more that money is the problem and a solution could be this Resource Based Economy envisioned by the old guy. But the old guy kinda made it clear that this is just his view of this kind of world, not like the world should look like that. He seemed very humble. The following 2 years I wrote more stuff, watched/read everything with and about TVP, and I realized that maybe it is possible to create a different kind of world beyond the monetary system. I was dreaming. I liked that.

5. In 2010 I decided to make a series of videos about all of this since I felt it was nothing of the sort out there. I spent 1 year watching and reading and listening to whatever it was online about TVP, TZM, and the like. So much that I remember (even now) some videos word by word. I was engaged.

6. In 2011 I released the 14 hours documentary I made. My idea was this: present the problem and then what solutions there are to this problem. The problem: the monetary system. The solutions? Multiple, although I focused a lot on TVP since it was the only coherent idea about how a future beyond money could look like.

Now I knew: the monetary system is the problem and TVP is a solution for it. Moreover, I understood that scarcity creates systems of barter/trade/money, and that the solution (generalized) is abundance. But I didn’t get a very clear picture of none of these from TVP/TZM. I refined further: scarcity and poor education created this monetary system, and the general solution seems to be abundance (a resource based economy as a model for it) and a scientific education. I became more knowledgeable. I felt like growing up mentally.

7. Next 2-3 years I orbited around such ideas and I started to dislike something: the notion of a Resource Based Economy. Why? For one, because the term implied too much emphasis on resources and this creates confusion (people associate it with “going back to the ol’ living”), and second because people misinterpreted what TVP was talking about (I would say). I always saw RBE as TVP. Same thing. Like, “Look, TVP’s idea of an RBE!”. But some people were saying that an RBE is not necessarily TVP, although not really showing any other RBE out there except interpretations of TVP’s RBE. TVP and RBE were splitting apart in people’s heads. I was also becoming skeptical about TVP’s ability to “build this world”, and actually I never thought that’s how it is going to happen. Even in TROM I said: if most people understand such ideas, this kind of society will emerge. I became doubtful and a bit confused. It was a war of words out there and interpretations.

8. From 2012 to late 2016 I had the ‘opportunity’ to work closely with TVP. I was excited! It was happening. I managed TVP’s magazine and helped them with a lot of stuff. I wrote a lot for the project. I wrote more and better sourced articles than on my blog.

But TVP and those following the project became so obsessed with taking TVP too literally that it made me sick. These people proclaim to have “the solution” for this monetary system, yet they lack any relevant details about it. You just have to trust them. This attitude sparked many to dream about this new world and a transition towards it. I felt like they forgot that TVP’s RBE was a reaction to the “monetary system” problem and it was A solution – at least that is what I got from Jacque… TVP people focused too much on this RBE that it got ridiculous to the point of hearing some proclaiming an X year transition plan. I didn’t even mention RBE in these years since I found it ridiculous to be taken as literally as “this is the world we will build”. These 4 years or so working with TVP made things more confusing for me. It was not anymore a problem needing a solution, like the monetary system needing to be changed into something else, but it was “follow TVP and RBE”. From “one of the solutions”, TVP became THE SOLUTION in many people’s heads. I didn’t like it. I started to doubt TVP’s intentions quite a lot. I always felt like TVP is a great inspirational project but didn’t think that they really proclaim to actually build this world themselves. That I did not see as feasible at all.

9. One book that changed everything for me: The Money Game and Beyond. I said, look….my initial thinking was that money is the source of most problems and we need to go beyond that somehow. TVP’s RBE is a great set of ideas, but not to be taken so literally since they had nothing to back up such a massive plan. They struggled to composed a few teams here and there for infinitely smaller task than building a city, and were all very inefficient from my experience….if TVP can’t even put together a team to make a good website, how in the world are they going to build the world? TVP blew 200.000 dollars (from donations) on a movie script…imagine that. 200.000 dollars gone, and no movie script. I found them to be very incompetent and yet they pretended to be capable to “build the world”. I honestly don’t want to be a jerk with them. I love TVP’s ideas, but they got too cocky about this “We, and only we, can build this new world” attitude. So then I said: I don’t know anymore what the fuck we are we doing….so let’s write a book about this monetary system “problem”. I want to understand what this is and if/how others tried to change it for the past 200 years, plus how TVP compares with that. And boi’ … I learned a lot! 1 year of intense work, and my views changed (read as in: improved). How?

a. Money is just one of the many trades out there. That I got since before writing the book, but I didn’t realize how confusing it has become over the years to focus on money and not on trade. People got so confused that they thought a solution to money is bitcoin or other forms of trade. The focus on money was thus very confusing. People around TVP didn’t even understand (at least some) why cryptocurrencies might be a bad idea for example. So, focusing on money was super confusing and very incorrect. Therefore I switched to “trade” from that moment on. The monetary system was not the problem anymore, the trade system was. I hoped that TVP would switch to that too, to cut from the confusion, but they never did. They focused on this “monetary system” entirely.

b. Scarcity leads to trades. That was the conclusion. When you have everything you need and want, you don’t need to trade anymore. I knew that before, but I solidified that idea into my head quite a lot and I explained it in length.

c. The solution is still abundance, like I presented in TROM Documentary, but I better defined it in the book. I can summarize it as: abundance means fulfilling most requests. TVP does a bad job, in my view, to detail what abundance may mean, so I felt it was necessary to explain it better. TVP never improved on this aspect as far as I know, even after this book that was written for TVP Magazine.

d. TVP is not such a unique set of ideas. Others like Technocracy, Communism, Socialism, Metabolism, or Bucky Fuller, had very similar ideas. Very similar!

e. Top-down change seems not possible. The world is too complex. Despite Jacque saying TVP is neither top-down or bottom-up, it seems to me that for the past years TVP is certainly a Top-Down approach. Again, they proclaim to have the blueprints for this new kind of world and they want to build (demo) it. Technocracy proclaimed the same. I became very skeptical about this approach. Maybe, maybe, I agreed that a test city can showcase the technology and some aspects of human behavior in action in such an environment, but I could not take TVP seriously anymore. It started to smell like any other organizations before it who imagined this “brave new world”.

f. Focusing on a problem is more important than any solution out there. This didn’t grow as much in my head back then, but it will in the next years, so much that it became the central point of my understanding of the world.

In all, this book made me realize that trade is the source of most problems (sure, scarcity drives trade), and that imagining the future is just that: imagining the future. Change does not come like that, by planning like TVP does. Others tried and failed and for good reasons since the society is too complex for a group of humans to try and re-organize it. The overall solution still seems to be abundance so that we make scarcity irrelevant. However, I started to also get that you can sell abundance in today’s world….and that was confusing…somehow there seems to be trade even when there is abundance…hm….ok…weird…maybe we need abundance everywhere so we don’t see this kind of an outcome. Anyways, I finished the book.

It was the book that made me 100% go from: Money as the problem and TVP-RBE as model for a solution, to Trade as the problem and Abundance + Education as a solution. And maybe that we could try and build some test cities to prove that this kind of world is possible, but I completely gave up to the ‘dream’ that TVP is capable of such a task (if I ever had any such “dream”). I pushed TVP away from my mind, mainly because I could not agree that TVP is anything more than an inspirational idea. To me TVP was/is an inspirational idea, a model of how a society that makes trade obsolete could look like, based on an educated guess. But that’s all.

Although I presented money (and slightly mentioned barter and such) as the problem since 2011 documentary, and abundance + scientific education as a solution, I had a very weak understanding of these notions up until I wrote this book. Therefore, this book made the situation a lot more clear to me. 370 pages of mental cleansing.

10. The biggest mental change. Breaking up from TVP allowed me to be more mentally free and express myself better and in my own rhythm. Something “lurked” inside me from the last book…..this thing about focusing on the problem not the solutions….trade not money…..and what about this scarcity and abundance thing…are these that important? People want an RBE…some want the money free party….some TVP’s RBE specifically….some a gift or open economy….some want a new currency….wtf…confusing. So, I said, let’s spend another year or more focusing more on the problem. Because if we don’t know the problem in great detail, then what the fuck are we doing?

I wrote The Origin of Most Problems (over 1 thousand pages long), and I learned a shit ton:

a. This “trade” thing is bloody important. Many people have no idea how many trades there are out there. The “Money Game” is irrelevant at this point. It is the Trade Game that we need to be aware of and fight against. Data trade, influence trade, social credits, cryptocurrencies, the world of trade is much bigger than I realized in the previous book. And in today’s world is crucial that we get this, else we will get tricked by this massive tsunami of currencies and trades that is inundating our society everywhere. I can’t stress enough how important “trade” is if you want to know what creates most problems in the world.

b. Trade is not solely a result of scarcity – trade can be seen in abundant systems like online platforms that are an abundant stream of content for the users, yet users are paying for that with their data. I give many examples in the book. I realized this: we already live in an abundant environment from clothes to software, food to services, and everything in between. It’s just that we distribute this abundance in a very very unequal manner. Mostly via trades. People need to trade to get this abundance. We rarely have scarcity in this world. So saying that scarcity creates the problems is confusing, despite you calling it “artificial scarcity”. Like there are so many cars yet I don’t have one ‘cause I can’t get it. Call that as “artificial scarcity”, but is confusing. You better define that situation as: there is an abundance of cars but I can only get one if I TRADE for it. If that car would be available as trade-free for me, then that would be a good situation. An abundant one for me in terms of cars. If all cars would be available as trade-free to everyone, then that would immediately mean an abundance for all. See? We don’t need to focus on scarcity. Focus on trades and it makes things much easier to define and more clear. Citizenship, social credits, and the like are also trades that are forced upon you. Hard to explain that with “scarcity”. People are forced to give away their freedom for accessing whatever (roads, water, etc.). It is a trade-off. It is a forced trade.

c. If scarcity is seen as the problem and we want to fix it, then abundance is a great solution to it, except it is unrealistic to do anything with that. Some people told me: look, youtube is an abundant stream of videos for people but the reason they still want trades (like data mining or attention grabbing) is because they LACK something. Google doesn’t have access to what it needs and wants, and so it engages into trades to be able to get that. It is true, however it is pointless. Google can and will always grow and want more, so in that sense they can never have access to what they need and want. It can grow indefinitely. So what do you propose? To give Google what they need and want in order to make them not want to engage into trades? The theory is nice, the practicality of doin’ something with it is null.

Probably TVP people might say that this is the reason we need to restructure our entire society so that entities like Google will not even exist in this abundant society. Again, nice theory and I agree, but that translates to me into: “Wait for the BIG change, one that TVP will bring on a global scale”. Sounds too unrealistic and leaves people in limbo. Understand that I agree with the theory, but there is no practicality to it unless you dream about this different kind of society that TVP envisions.

A second argument I’ve heard: Google wants people’s data because data is scarce. If data would be abundant, Google won’t want that. This is a bizarre argument that is again on the fantasizing realm. For one, data is either abundant or it will never be abundant. You pick whichever you want to believe. So one can say data is already abundant for so many – but google decides to use it to make profits (trade), because Google has the means to build these big bloody servers and AI systems to take advantage of this abundant data that anyone has access to (think of billions of websites, can you create a search engine out of them that is better than google?). On the other hand, data can never be abundant. If Google had access to all the data it wants, then tomorrow it needs more data because it is another day and more data is being produced by people. Of course Google cannot have access to ALL THE DATA it needs/wants. Ever. Like data means anything: heartbeats, people having sex, breathing, walking, sneezing, gadgets and all their sensors, whateverthefuck. These mental-theories are ridiculous.

Actually these mindsets pushed me away from TVP even more, since TVP people seem to like to give these “out of this world” examples and analogies that can never be true. “What if Google had all it needs and wants, will it trade? What if Google had access to all the data?” What if sharks had legs, would they participate to marathons? Ridiculous thoughts that have nothing to do with the real world.

d. Speaking of being unrealistic, I realized even more how unrealistic it is to want to change the society in this TVP-way of building a “model society” and having this BIG change. I looked at what changed society for the past thousands of years and it was never a big change. And please don’t argue that: “well the past is not the present, maybe now we can do it in this big way.” Because if that’s the only argument then it is meaningless. What changed society were problems. We had the X problem and it bothered us, until we came with a fix for it. That’s how it happens, and it happens in small steps. Lots of solutions. So, if say we focus on scarcity as the problem, then we might be able to eventually create abundant systems here and there, although people could still make a trade off of them, however this seems like a bloody hard task to do. How can you honestly do that? Unless you have a shit ton of power in this world I don’t see such systems emerging anywhere.

Here is a simple example:

Back to Youtube with their abundant system and trades.

Adam says: “Scarcity is the problem in this case! Of data, of what youtube wants and needs.

Tio: “I agree Adam, but what can we do about it?

I have no realistic answer for this. Do you? If so please tell me, Adam. Can we say: let’s create an abundant Youtube service? Well, it is already abundant for people. It leaves me without a solution.

Eve says: “Trade is the problem in this case! Of data, of attention, of currency.

Tio: “I agree with you Eve, but what can we do about it?

Eve: We have to create a trade-free video platform or stop the trades with Youtube. Oh, look, Archive.org. Peertube. Webtorrent and Bittorrent. Archive.org pushes no trades into people’s faces despite them lacking a lot in terms of resources or not even having an abundant content stream like youtube does. Compare Archive with Youtube and you’ll see how one is much better than the other. Youtube incentivize moronic content and competitiveness, Archive does not. Archive won’t push you to stay as much as possible on their platform because they need attention, or ban videos because it is inappropriate for their advertisers. That’s the difference!

So my point here is, that if you want realistic solutions then take trade away from goods and services as much as possible. A video platform that wants something from the users (like data, attention coins, whatever) is going to become like Youtube, regardless if they provide an abundant service. A video platform that does not engage into trades with the users, it is like the Internet Archive. And so it will happen to any domain in this society.

Less trades, better: science, entertainment, human values, products, etc.. Less trades, less: crime, waste, corruption, and the like.

The chicken and egg dilemma.

This is an interesting discussion but maybe it is pointless. Is it trade the source of most problems? Is it scarcity? Is it profit? Is it ownership? We can argue for years, but one thing you should give me is a path forward if we focus on any of these. Because at the moment what I know for sure is that focusing on trade will, for one, highlight a problem that creates a billion other problems (so the focus is on point), and second that it allows me, and you, and others to DO SOMETHING about it. I am creating trade-free services like TROM Tools, I can advertise my site as being trade-free because I want nothing from anyone, and if you give me 1 billion dollars I can do a billion things with that in this direction. Actually I will write an entire book about what would I do with a few billion dollars if I had them.

I think is a lot more unrealistic to think that any organization out there can create a small-scale world to showcase how the future will be, and then that to spark a world-wide change. Sound intriguing, but not realistic at all in my view, and I think my view is supported by history.

Ok. Enough.

It took me many years to realize these things and I best explain them in the materials I created over the years, especially in The Origin of Most Problems book. If anyone disagrees I ask to please first read that book because that is my argument. Else is like I would decide to not listen to 90% of what you, whoever you are, say.

A brief message to TVP-folks:

Look guys and girls, I don’t disagree on fundamentals with Fresco at all. I was a TVP watchdog for many years and Jacque and Roxanne themselves told me several times that I understand TVP so well in their view. Jacque was perhaps the only human that had a big impact on my way of thinking and I fuckin’ miss the old dude. I wish he would have lived for 600 years. But I feel like TVP today is not what I understood form Jacque. To me Jacque was a sharp minded, well-educated and humble person, who wanted to show us, the mortals, what is the problem in our society and what society we could build. This is why he focused so much on the behavior aspect to showcase that this fucked up monetary system makes us despicable, and we need to change that environment in order to change these behaviors. His TVP-RBE vision was an educated vision about the future but even he said that’s not how it should be built. If the concept/fundamentals behind his vision were abundance and an intelligent management of Earth’s resources as a solution for our current system, and TVP currently pushes the same concepts, then TVP is doing a good job. But I feel like TVP is taking Fresco’s ideas too literally, and regardless, as I explained, I don’t see this path forward with abundance leading anywhere realistically. In theory it sounds great and I agree with the concepts 100%. In practice I doubt it sounds like anything.

BUT regardless:

1. I honestly cannot see anyone able to create a model of society and that to be relevant in any way….I just can’t because I know about medical studies, and Bittorrent, and GMO debates, and Vimeo, and traditions, corruption, sports or whatever other trillion things that make up a society, and I feel like you cannot model anything that would be relevant, even if you build a “test” city. On top of that I don’t think there is any piece of unique  technology or implementation out there that TVP can demo. Modular designs, self driving cars, automation, are all demoed in today’s world in abundance. Thus, I think that you cannot “model” – showcase – how a society could look like, or that this is relevant really.

2. Any organization that gets billions in funding, because you need a lot of money for such a project, is subject to trades. I find it hard to believe that anyone would give a lot of money to any such project and not want anything else in return. So I fear that such a massive project, even if funded, will have many strings attached to many organizations and rich individuals. I even heard Roxanne talking about these model cities being like a theme park and selling tickets for those who want to visit. I think that’s a very slippery slope.

3. I observed how TVP is incapable of many things in terms of doing something. They could not create a movie script with 200.000 dollars. I cannot trust that they can create a model of a society with a few millions dollars. I am sorry, but I simply can’t.

I don’t want to spend time debating over these topics, unless people also listen. I listened to TVP for at least 13 years now. Maybe others should to listen to TROM a bit too. Then discuss. But be open minded and ready to upgrade your “operating system”.

In the end, if our method with “trade” succeeds in making the world a bit better, then amazing. If TVP’s method works for the same purposes, amazing. But I am not waiting for TVP and RBE, I am doing something now, that will both educate and help people, and also project this big plan underneath the skin of this approach (of this massive change to a Trade-Free society – eventually), because removing trades from this complex world-wide society seems way more realistic to me than trying to rebuild it from scratch. What we do is volunteering combined with a protesting mind about this fucked up society. Addressing the (or if you want to say “a major”) root cause of today’s problems is not patchwork.

If TVP builds the world, then I’ll still pay attention to trades within their system 😉 – ’cause where there are trades, there are problems. Cheers!

TVPC – The Venus Project Company

TVPC – The Venus Project Company

HEY! Mind you, this is posted in “rants”. I allow myself to let my brain vomit when it comes to rants. So take it as that :). This is my personal place where I am allowed to say whatever I want :P. This is why such posts are not going to be shared on TROM networks except TROM Curated News ;). Anyways….

I had enough with The Venus Project. They are a company that does not care about so called “changing the world”. They only care about TVP and they have become properly cultish.

Since I left TVP in 2016 I didn’t care much about them. I focused on TROM and we grew an amazing project. So many people are involved now with TROM and all of them are so friendly and hard-working. I didn’t have time to even think about TVP. But I said I will add their newsletter RSS feed to TROM Curated News and their Youtube channel to TROM Curated Videos so that we try to still inform people about them. But for the past months I lost my last marbles of respect for TVP. For the past months several Points of Contact for TVP got in contact with me and complained a lot about TVP. Similar stuff I’ve been through with TVP for many years. Volunteers’ work is ignored, they are treated badly (almost as if they are employed by TVP), and how cultish TVP is (they said). I had a relief-laughter knowing that now I have nothing to do with TVP, so fuck them with their backwards attitudes. I knew they are like that, so it was no surprise. But a series of events clicked inside my brain and I said “Fuck them completely” and I removed them from TROM Curated News and honestly I won’t even mention their website to anyone. Why? What events?

1. TVP volunteers continuing to complain about TVP – these are people that I know and are super nice and friendly and hard-working people and some helped/help TROM a lot and it hurts to see TVP shitting on their motivation and work.

2. I hear that TVP is more and more pushy with “asking” (cough’ – forcing) volunteers to sign all kinds of papers, like Non-Disclosure papers (something I was asked to sign several times); a recent one in particular is to sign that you won’t help any other RBE organization. Like, what? Are these people crazy?

3. I hear that TVP “high-rank-officials” ( 🙂 ) are asking those who also help TROM why are they donig that and not helping TVP more? Maybe because you don’t let them TVP?

4. I hear that in let’s say a particular interview/doco that I am about to appear TVP-close-friends are fussy if/about Roxanne should appear in that interview too because Tio is in’it. Such a sick way of thinking.

5. I posted this on FB which was an image that said the following:

It was from a TVP Mag that I wrote and Fresco and Roxanne approved. Of course it stirred the TVP fanatics’ hive and one of them in particular started to troll me saying I am irrelevant and attacking me personally. Unfortunately they deleted the comments, I am surprised to see now…So the TVP fanboys don’t even like when you post about them. How you dare?!

6. They don’t care about “creating a better world”. We started to make a series of videos called TROM Poems. Seb is doing it. Great series about short important topics like wars, poverty, corruption, etc.. He mentions at the end of each video TROM, TVP, and TZM. Seb is such a polite guy and he asked me if he should remove TZM and TVP since we are making these for TROM and I said it is up to him. He left them there. It was equally ok for me. I told him to also share these videos with TZM and TVP facebook pages since these videos are universally important. TZM shared a few, TVP said something like: these are great videos but we only share videos that are about TVP and with our footage so come work with us. They are so ego-centric that they refuse to share some “great” (in their views) videos, unless it is ONLY about them. Surprisingly the same guy who responded to this, was the guy who trolled our above TROM facebook post. Such “amazing” official TVP characters!

Aren’t we all, these organizations, trying to highlight the immense injustice in this world and point to solutions? How can you tell me TVP cares about such things when they refuse to share such videos? Actually look at their social networks and their website and you’ll see that they super rarely or never share anything unless it is from them or only about them. I know this too well since I worked with them for 4 years and I realized this very quickly.

Oh, I apologize, TVP shares other people’s work on their “recommended books” page. Well, you have to buy those books. And well, TVP makes money off of that through Amazon partnership. Actually pretty much every adblocker blocks that TVP page and years ago I made them aware of that and told them to put there a frickin’ message if they want for people to see these recommended books. It took a while but they put this message:

I see no “can you please disable”. Straight simple: “you can disable”. haha what a great attitude. But why TVP? Why is adblocker blocking these? Do they track me? Am I trading more than my money to buy these books? Of course, I am trading my data to Amazon through TVP’s website.

7. TVP is just a marketing machine. Speaking of selling stuff. The next thing that almost made my frustration with TVP explode was when I’ve read their latest newsletter and I realized that pretty much all of it is advertising their on-sale videos and products. I then looked at all of their newsletters over the past year and more than 60% are dedicated to advertise their on-sale products. Marketing! There you go:

Not only that but they are charlatans about them. They offer “free” ‘lectures’. But there is a catch (see, no trade-free?): you have to give them your data, and a lot of that:

An here’s their “privacy policy” – is TVP Apple? Who reads this?:

And in their “terms and conditions“, besides the carnival-mess of a lawyer-istic language we find:

Their excuse that “we are forced to comply with the law” that I heard from Roxanne many times is, in my view, non-compliant (to use their language) with the values that TVP tries to project through their documentaries and lectures. They could at least mention that they have to put these on their site to comply with the law. I would even apologize for putting this charlatan mess on the website. Oh, here’s Jacque saying that lawyers are charlatans:

…..but TVP uses lawyers a lot. Again, maybe they are forced to, but damn this is so un-jacque.

If you look throughout their website you’ll see that they employ charlatan marketing tactics to sell stuff, like the .99-type of price. Here, and here:

And when they started the online store it was full of .99 price schemes. I insisted for them to give up on that. And finally they did the change for some products. But took them a while. And they still have such prices on their site.

8. The straw that broke the camel’s back. I saw that TVP only accepts volunteers that go through their training process now. Something akin to Scientology if you ask me. You have to go here and follow the many steps, videos, pages to read and quizzes. The “test” starts with:

TVP and its obsession with “levels of education”. Jacque talked about the nonsense of these things, but apparently TVP is crazy with these and pushes them onto everyone who wants to volunteer for TVP. Anyways, they have some 7 “levels” and their quiz is designed to not let you move to the next “round” until you complete the first, then second, and so forth. You are given a code that you have to add to the next quiz, and so forth. Man, these people are not joking! :)). The quiz questions range from very dumb to cultish.

Examples:

And my favorite:

Apparently no one but TVP aims to “prepare people for changes that lie ahead”. Just, wow.

An now happily sign the Non-Disclosure Agreement!!

You know what happens after that? From my 4+ years experience and lots of other people who were or still are volunteering for TVP: they will put you into a team or more; add you to lists; skype groups; you’ll talk and have to ask for permission; the stuff you do must be reviewed several times and will never be published; probably you’ll have to pass more quizzes and some “mentor” course to prove you are on par with TVP’s excellence. I even heard people saying that TVP told them to buy a $400 “package” from them with books and videos in order to become a volunteer.

Here’s a joke: how is TVP changing a light-bulb?

They send a newsletter asking for volunteers to help with it and for donations for a new light-bulb. Volunteers must go through a 5 step quiz, and several TVP website pages before submitting their request to become a volunteer. Once accepted, they sign a Non-Disclosure Document and are put into a skype group. They will debate what to name the light-bulb changing team and what logo to make for it. They won’t agree on the colors, but at one point they’ll have to submit the idea to a TVP supervisor. They wait a few months and after being dragged into several other skype and Facebook groups, they wonder how would Jacque change the light-bulb. Months later and the room is still dark, and those volunteers are dragged back into their normal life. One day Roxanne enters the room and observes there is no light-bulb. She asks if there are any volunteers helping with it. They decide to send a newsletter to ask for volunteers and for donations for a new light bulb. Volunteers must go through a 5 step quiz, and several TVP website pages before submitting their request to become a volunteer. Once accepted, they sign a Non-Disclosure Document and are put into…..

🙂 Admit it, it was funny! 🙂 And honestly it was true. That”s what I experienced with TVP.

I can rant about TVP enendlessly, but I need to stop. I’ll only mention one more random thing:

TVP used to say their phase 2 is a Major Motion Picture, but now they include “documentaries” to perhaps say that they are in phase 2 since the Major Motion Picture is nowhere in sight. TVP raised a shit load of money for the script of the movie, since I think 2009 or so, and basically fucked all of the money on different script writers and have no finished script many years later. Also, nearly zero transparency with the process.

What’s next? Phase 3 goes from “Experimental Research City” to “Digital Books and Experimental Research City”?

SO, all of this made me finally say: TVP, the organization, is just a company. That’s all.

They want to make money, they are all about TVP and nothing else, and they have become a cult with Jacque transformed into their cult leader. It smelled like that since 2012 when I first got to work with them, but I hoped that I have problems with my nose. Then others started to complain about the same smell. And now I am sure, the smell is real. I accept it and move away from it.

I will still talk about the idea of TVP and Jacque’s ideas, but bloody hell I don’t want to hear about anything else when it comes to TVP. This organization is worse, in many aspects, than Apple or Facebook. It is deceiving, non-transparent, aggressive at times, has many fanboys (the nice word for cult members), sells the “truth about the world” like any conspiracy-prone and money-grabbing and Facebook-liking organization that you see the Internet being full of. I am not sorry for saying all of this because it is true and I had enough. Why “be nice” with this organization? They are not nice with their volunteers or the rest of other organizations that are trying to help out.

Now that I kicked TVP in the butt, I accept kicks back because this is the rant section. So, go for it 🙂 – In a way rants are good. Let it out. But also, let it in.

The Internet “see me” mentality

The Internet “see me” mentality

So today I learned something that really bothered me and I am sure many people think it is stupid to get annoyed by this. But I think it says a lot about our culture. So I am using Riot, a great open source and decentralized messaging tool. It is awesome for teams so we use it for TROM. Send files, talk, chats (one on one) or rooms (multiple users), it even has video and audio calls as options. Awesome! Today I was making an account for someone and added that someone to one of our rooms in Riot and I realized that on her instance you could see whoever sees a message when you post it. I was like “WTF I never see that on my instance!”. Then I realized that for the past 2+ years since using Riot I had no clue that others can see when you see their messages. Apparently I disabled that from my Riot 2 years ago, but that option only hide this “feature” on my instance like I will not see who sees what, but others can see if I see a message. This is the Riot option:

In my mind that option, being disabled, should have hide my “watch activity” from others too. What’s the point to hide it from myself? It is nonsense.It is like choosing to be “invisible” but that’s only invisible for me and not for others…what!?

So, again, what Riot does is when someone is posting a message and you see it, it adds your avatar besides the message to showcase that “this guy saw the message”. In my view this is a useless feature and I am going to rant about it because it is something the internet users nowadays are so used to.

For one, this Riot opt-in opt-out thing felt very un-intuitive to me as I explained, but second I feel betrayed and embarrassed for not realizing this. I have this weird habit of “getting rid of notifications” on my laptop. So, when I receive any email I quickly open it in a new tab in Thunderbird to read and respond later (hours or days). I simply hate to see “unread” stuff on my computer. I do the same with Riot whenever someone posts a message I click the notification that opens Riot and then minimize Riot – I have a mouse with 20 buttons so I do such things lightning fast since I have customized those buttons for such actions. If someone posts on Riot I click it to stop the notification and at times quickly peek to see if there’s something worth my immediate attention, then minimize Riot. This behavior made me look a bit crazy perhaps to the others when every message was quickly “seen” by me and then I got back to them (replied) in a few days time when I had time to deal with that message. For me it was a quick way to get rid of notifications and to also see if there’s something that needs my immediate attention. At times I was talking to someone and I was like “Ok I am out now, it is late, bye!” and then I realized “Shit, I have this awesome idea about tromsite.com” and I spent 2 more hours doing that and the same person may send me a message in that time and I do my “open Riot and minimize” thing to get rid of it until tomorrow or later on when I can answer, and that person may have seen (I now realize) that I did not go to sleep or whatever haha which is very funny to me now when I think about it. It is like you are lying or it gives the wrong impression. It s like if anyone asks me if I ever use FB I say no, but if you would see my entire browser activity  you’ll see that at times I visited or will visit FB for reasons other than the vast majority – like for TROM page, or to check something with a project that I find, etc.  – however if you would only see how many times I visited FB for the past month you’ll say “Aha, well you at times visit FB” because you see a simple output that has no meaning if you don’t know my intentions, and the same is for this shitty “message seen by” – you have no clue what that really means. Probably I didn’t even read that message, maybe I had Riot opened and I was sleeping. Whatever.

Why does this matter to me though? Isn’t this nonsense? It is but that’s not what bothers me, what bothers me is that I feel like I lived in a room that had glass walls and only now I realized it. I trusted Riot not to be the fuckin’ Facebook with its “live lives” kind of concepts. I do not want a “mark as seen” for my emails, my messages, my online presence, simply because I don’t fuckin’ want that kind of online life.

I remember the early 2000s. I was spending lots of time in IRC chats, if anyone remembers. They looked like this:

The good ol’ days when your username was @Hacker_Penguin or @M1trix67. You chose your name on the fly and hoped no one in the IRC has that name, else you could not choose it. You could talk whatever you wanted and create your own channel. At times admins would ban you but you had to be a filthy mouth for that to happen. And you could get back with another username in seconds – ahahah. No one could see if you watch the chat (read it), no one knew your “real” name, see your profile, or anything of the sort. It provided you with a comfy anonymity that is hard to explain nowadays. You would talk for hours with strangers about all kinds of things. I spent hours on IRC and I had my own channels where me and my online friends would meet from 18:00 to like 19:00 because the Internet was limited to a few hours a day. I felt like exploring a new world without anyone seeing that I am a 12 year old in my living room. It was a brain to brain experience. Simple and no engagements 🙂

I also remember those days exploring the “web” by typing in the URL bar all kinds of websites at random to see what I find: chair.com, whale.com, what.com, earth.com, everything dot come. No search engine was popular or known by me at that time. Then I would save those websites (I learned how to do that) and explore them more offline when I had no internet connection. It was my own world and I LOVED it. No one would bother me. My computer, my world! With or without the Internet it always felt like my world. At worse, the internet was a window to another world, but a tinned window that I could close and open whenever I wanted and no one could get inside my house. Like a tinned window from a 5th floor apartment that I looked through.

Today the internet and computers could not be more different. My Android phone feels like it is rented, where apps and settings are added and changed at the will of the company who sold the phone. Many apps I cannot uninstall, for some I cannot turn off the notifications. So I gave up on that. I use my phone as a phone to keep in touch with my parents. The rest I give no shit – maybe except when I use it for GPS navigation. So my laptop is my window to the internet and my laptop listens to me. I have a customized Manjaro Linux installed (TROM-Jaro) and I can control pretty much every aspect of it. It is my best friend! The apps I have installed are of the same nature. They don’t do things I don’t want them to do.

So back to Riot and the “see me” internet culture: maybe I am “old fashioned” but I want the ol’ internet back where you used it not for relationships, but to explore the world, learn, scratch your curiosity, and also collaborate on projects and build stuff. Relationships were offline. I want to be anonymous online. If I can choose any identity why in the fuckin’ world would I choose my “real” one? Let me exert the powers I have in this digital realm! And let this internet world be something I control on my own computer, not the other way around! When I write and post a message to a chat, I do that voluntary and I can control that. BUT when I read a message on a chat that’s not something I have any choice in the sense that if I open the chat and the chat recognized that action then will display that I have read the message, so for fuck’sakes I have no saying in that. Maybe I opened the chat and I wanted to do something else (use the menu, or I opened it by mistake) so don’t forcefully say that I have read a message just because I put a window into focus.

I honestly hate ping-pong discussions, and live discussions on video, audio, or chat are always like that. Yeah I still like TROM-Cast because it may not be like that since we discuss subjects that are not “small talks” and subjects that I know a good deal about – but still I prefer writing or email.  If someone sends me an email I have hours or days to think what to reply. In some cases some email clients can check if the other one has opened the email, which is horrifying for me for the same reasons. Like, give me a fuckin’ break and don’t broadcast that I opened the bloody email. Give me some basic privacy. It is almost like FB saying “Hey, Maya is on the toilet and she saw your live video with a grumpy face” kind of thing. Do we want that? Well, is not far off! Like, give people some fuckin’ privacy in their own homes on their own devices. What if we could see on any website, and any FB profile and youtube video who is watching it. Imagine you watch a youtube video and that would be publicly broadcasted to everyone who is watching that video (maybe that’s even a thing – it is for sure on FB). I understand that in some cases people might enjoy this kind of live interactions when it comes to ping-pong discussions where they chit-chat, but this should not be the default, this should be an optional thing you have to enable!

Maybe I am bitching about it because I don’t really chit-chat online – I engage in discussions that require you to think about your responses so I am bothered if a message is marked as “seen by me” because it pushes me into a ping-pong discussion like “Hey, Tio saw your message, you know…” – I feel like it forces me to reply quicker and I hate that!

The slope is very slippery and big companies are responsible for the irresponsible attitude towards privacy from users’ perspective. Yes, it may not matter to you normal FB chit-chatty always-live and feeling-lucky creature, but for one your attitude is simply a burp from the crap you have eaten from companies like FB that want your attention and want your engagement NOW and NOW, and second because you accept these then companies in all domains will feel ok with implementing more and more privacy invader features and now even an app like Riot follows suite and wants to be “cool-man” and implements these FB like nonsensicalities. To me privacy is not a way to become safer from the “dark sides of the inter-web”, since I don’t think anyone can harm me just because they can see some details about my real life, but to me privacy is a way to be comfortable with exploring the internet without ever feeling like someone is watching behind your back and you are broadcasting every move you make. If you know that your friends and family are seeing what you post on FB, then that will strangle your creativity and curiosity and you will self-filter yourself because you are a “public persona” now, one that has a real identity that can face consequences if you post/say something that’s taboo.

The main reasons I was able to make my own blog and write whatever the fuck I wanted and be 100% sincere, then TROM, was because no one was looking over my shoulder and I was not concerned about anyone knowing the “real” me so I could express myself exactly like I wanted to without hearing “my friends” barking reactions at me for what I was posting online, or feel under-pressure to not say some things. Anonymity online is the essence of sincerity and creativity for sincere and creative people, and a breathing ground of trolling for trolls. I care more about those sincere and creative people.

My point here with this rant is that today’s internet forces you to broadcast yourself to the world and I personally think this is crippling people’s ability to be sincere, creative, and unleash their curiosity. It creates ping-pong discussions at the expense of thoughts. No one needs thoughts in the internet era – they need views, engagement, clicks! “Don’t think about this message or post, we want you to REACT! NOW! PLEASE! DO IT!” That makes them profits! So please don’t create an internet where you force my hand to tell the world that I’ve “seen a message”, where I am, what I do, with whom, what I watch, who I am, what I eat. Let me have my private life if I choose so, and only offer those as options (opt-in). Ok Riot? 🙂 I trust and love you because you are open source and great, but please don’t try to be FB!

Because of all this Riot made me not want to “peek” and see if anyone needs my attention for TROM, because I simply feel uncomfortable. I simply DO NOT WANT to force me to show the world when I read a fuckin’ message! Let me disable that! So I’ll ignore more Riot notifications from now on and only read them at once when I use Riot more actively. I want to be 12 and do not feel like I am leaving a fingerprint when I explore the internet. I don’t want to feel like I am 12 in my living room, and 40 people are watching over my shoulder what I do. I don’t want that.

I contacted Riot and submitted this issue and I am happy to know now that they are aware of this and are trying to fix it. Thank you! Let’s see this fixed asap. Until then I am blocking ads and scripts with Firefox, I only use trade-free apps, and a clean trade-free operating system. I feel filthy using the internet nowadays so I need these vaccines and pills to keep me sane and healthy, and this is why I am creating TROM-Jaro and tromjaro.com to help others do the same.

I have to admit, I hate so much this FB and Insta kind of world of today with their “always present” presence online, and lack there of in the offline realm. A trade that, to me, is creating lonely, sad, simple minded, and narcissistic people. Plus, no one thinks anymore, everyone reacts!

Chewing more than I can swallow

Chewing more than I can swallow

When I was in highschool I LOVED movies. Loved them! So much so that I would watch at least 2-3 a day, almost with no exception. 100 days means 200-300 movies, 360 days means around 1k movies. Several years means thousands of movies…. I was so passionate that I made websites where I would recommend and review movies, I burned thousands of CDs with movies as well, and overall I knew pretty much every english movie out there.

I somehow get into this craze with things that I really love and I want them all. NOW! 😀 – I had a huge list of movies back then and I would randomly pick 2-3 every day to watch, just because I wanted to see ALL movies that exist haha.

Today I changed the “things” and not the approach. For the past 10 or so years I shifted from movies to documentaries. I watched thousands of documentaries in the same “style”. I simply cannot help it. I like it so much! I really want to know everything about the world and documentaries are a great way of getting your head filled with good stuff. And I do the same now for podcasts, free and open source software, news, educational videos, and who knows what else. Every day I am digesting these “things”: In the morning, when I eat I watch TROM curated videos; throughout the day I read pretty much all TROM Curated news, when I design books or do more mechanical work I listen to podcasts, and many times I watch one or two documentaries before going to bed. I also squeeze in my obsession with FOSS and I search for new apps and Linux “tricks”.

Because of these obsessions of mine I created tools where I share with everyone all of these “things”: TROM Curated Videos, TROM Curated News, TROM Curated Podcasts, VideoNeat, and soon there will be a page about TROM-jaro (the Linux operating system I customized) where I will add FOSS apps and stuff like that, and there will also be other such tools like MusikWave (music streaming website I made).

To “maintain” these “things” I pretty much have to dedicate hours every day to find them and curated them and post them on those online “directories”. Not easy! When I find a good documentary I have to add it to VideoNeat in a way that anyone has access to it, if you know what I mean. Find a podcast and I have to listen to several of their episodes before I decide if it is good enough to add to our curated podcasts. FOSS? Needs to be tested for several days, maybe weeks, before I can recommend. News sources or youtube channels? The same, they need to be “watched” over a period of time to make sure their content is ok.

On top of this craze I have to do lots of other stuff, and let me enumerate some:

  • Write in-depth TROM books. This needs research, writing and rewriting, design, promote, make memes, post on tromsite, archive links, etc. Some books took me  1 eyar to finish.
  • Review books – same process as above.
  • Maintain 4 websites: tromsite.com, tiotrom.com, videoneat.com, musikwave.com – they need constant maintenance. For example recently videoneat.com was “hacked” by automated bots that were posting spam comments on the website – so I spent several days fixing it (super difficult). Same happened to musikwave and tiotrom. I need to update plugins, keep an eye to see if all websites work well, fix bugs, etc.
  • Build TROM-jaro: this amazing operating system needs testing and testing and it takes a while to do that. Still not fully released because I am looking at fixing some stuff. To give you an example it had a bug where if you closed the laptop lid and open it again (so the laptop would go into suspend mode) the desktop (at times) was messed up. I had to ask for help from Manjaro’s forum and we had to test different themes and settings until we kinda figure out where the issue was. I also report bugs for applications to developers and keep track of that – and I do report a lot!
  • I have to reply to emails and messages. Trust me it is not easy to do this. Some emails and messages require you to be focused and provide a good answer. Even though no more than 15-20 people contact me weekly, it is still difficult to engage with them all.
  • I have to deal with our new thing, TROM-Cast. Had to learn to use OBS Studio so that the streams work and look great and are functional, have to find news for the week to discuss them in the cast, and deal with a lot more.
  • Manage social networks: make memes, post them, reply to comments. Again, unless you manage several social network pages you may not understand that this is very time consuming.
  • Deal with finances and backups for the projects
  • and more…

For example these days Philip contacted me that he wants to make TROM books as epub and printed copies and that requires a lot of focus from myself tu simply quantify what he wants to do, then I am talking to Dima about our upcoming TROM-Cast and also about his Entertainment book that we still review, Rafa translated a huge TROM book that I had to add to tromsite + the TBF search engine that I had to re-build for the spanish language, Aaron is translating some of the blog posts from here and he told me 2 videos are not working from one blog post so I had to replace those, I was talking to Ziad about some tromsite bugs and/or features and I had to test some stuff, Cody needed me for accessing DTube where he wants to move TROM videos – needs the login and some stuff not working there so I have to check, I am checking new podcasts and made a new podcasts page on tromsite, I had to change the backpage for each trom ebook and re-upload them to tromsite, I had to engage in conversations about several bugs I reported for several foss apps, I had to fix something important with VideoNeat that took me days to do, added new sources to our curated search engine, and I am sure there are other things but I cannot remember. Mind you, this is stuff I had to do for the past several days, not even one week. And it can get super confusing for me if I talk with someone about epub versions of TROM ebooks, with another about a TROM bug, with another about updating some TROM ebooks, with another about something else, and doing other things at the same time. At times I lose my focus completely 😀

Maybe I want to do more things that I humanly can….like take TROM-Jaro…this operating system, although is simply a customized Manjaro, can be one single full-time job with fixing bugs, adding new features, making a website for it and tutorials, finding new foss apps, etc.. Or writing TROM books…that takes a huge amount of times. Or curate stuff.

But I simply cannot stop. And I do not want to do things at 50% I want to do them at 96-100%. Like I do not want to make a meh operating system, I want to make a WOW operating system. No simple curated news, but AWESOME curated news. No nice book, but AMAZING book. At least in my view.

BUT, I am not complaining- It is super difficult, it is true, and at times I get confused and I hate it, but generally I LOVE it because I do not want to be bored and have no ideas about what I want to do or no one to contact me about these projects. That would be a complete disaster. But if you don’t see me writing TROM books so often is because I have to deal with a lot of other relevant stuff on a daily basis. And also there are several people who help TROM project a lot so that I don’t have to do all of the lifting!

And now I am writing this blog post…damn! 😀

Another ‘big’ change to VideoNeat

Another ‘big’ change to VideoNeat

I started VN a few years ago because I wanted to reference good documentaries for articles or in general to say to people “Hey look at this documentary to learn more about X”. You see, when it comes to documentaries there are 2 big “enemies”:

  1. Bad quality
  2. Location is unreliable

 

1. Bad quality:

A book is as good as its content is, and the same is true for documentaries. Just because a video is called “documentary” it does not make it good. From my experience, curating documentaries for the past years, most documentaries are BS. Made to shock and sell. The best documentaries come from governmental financed entities, that are independent of course, and who produce kinda “boring” documentaries in the eyes of the “normal” human that lives in our super-cool-man-breakthrough-society!

So to find good (well-made) and factual documentaries requires a lot of digging into the mud that the Internet has become because of our trade-based society. This is why I am checking every single documentary that goes on VN (or lecture/movie for that matter). Of course this relies on me doing a good job. And I try to do it well. This makes the process slow, I know, but I watch a lot of documentaries and so far I added a ton of them regularly. This is the best feature of VN. Since the project is involved into no trades (no ads, no data collection, etc.) then it is an honest project so you’ll find only quality materials there. I cannot say this about the vast majority of such similar websites that simply post dozens of documentaries a day for the sake of “views = money”.

2. Location is unreliable:

I know that many do this, but I feel like I’m having a heart attack when I see people watching a documentary on youtube or facebook. To me is like you eat food that you find on the street while you are driving at fast speeds. You pass by, see some food, grab and eat it, and if you like it or not you pass that place so you don’t know how to get back to that place if you ever want to + do you really want to eat food that you find in the streets randomly? I can make a documentary about any kind of crazy topic and make it look very scientific and post on youtube or facebook, and gullible people will watch it and think it’s the “real shit”. I never watch a documentary unless I know who made it. Else it is easy to get scammed into bullshit.

Also these online places like facebook and youtube only produce disposable products. The same documentary that you see today on those platforms will be deleted tomorrow. It simply is unreliable. So then, how can you use these good pieces of information to inform others or as sources? You can’t. They are like electrons sensitive to any measurements, too damn sensitive for today’s copyright trolling world. So we have to adopt a new approach. But the approach should not be to use other streaming websites rather than youtube, but use p2p. Meaning, that video file (documentary/movie/lecture) is stored on people’s computers and they share with each each other in an automated fashion. This way there is no central point that this documentary is stored on, so it becomes very reliable as long as people “seed” it. By seed it is simply to upload it to others – to let others download pieces of that content on their computers too. This is automatic. You download a p2p file and normally the torrent client that you use is then going to also “seed” that file to others who want it. It is neat and it has survived laws, political changes, even technological change for the past decades.

And this is why VN relies on “magnet” which is nothing more than a bunch of numbers and letters that once opened with your favorite torrent client it knows how to download that file in this decentralized way.

So that you are not confused if you are not new to this, p2p basically means peer-to-peer and it describes the technology behind this; torrent is mainly the file that contains the info to download the other files – it does not contain what you want to download, but the info about what you want to download and from where; and “magnet” is simply the same as the torrent file but instead of relying on a digital file that you have to download and then open with your torrent client, it works by this kind of unique number (hash) that it has attached to it – it is almost like sharing a link. That’s why is better to rely on magnets and not torrent files.

So, what changed to VN?

My idea is to rely 100% on magnets since that’s the best option, but the problem is that good documentaries are not very popular on p2p so there are less to no seeds, and thus downloading them is very slow (most of the time), and not at all (sometimes). I am trying to personally improve the situation but I am just one guy (computer) into the system. If anyone wants to help VN, please download and seed any VN documentary!

Because of this I am forced to add links to streaming or downloading websites that are not p2p. Up until now I had a database of such websites and every time I added a new documentary to VN I had to manually search for it on every single such website, and check to see if it works, and then make a button for that particular website and add the link and then the button to the documentary’s page. One by one! This made it very uncomfortable to add new materials to VN because it took me quite a while to do so. On top of that these websites are also as sensitive as electrons, and they get banned, blocked, shut down, or they change their url or their content. To combat that I tried to rely on people flagging links as broken, but that added more to my work since I had to fix them. After a while we ended up with many broken VN links for the download and watch sections for each documentary. This was not sustainable!

So what then?

I said why not create 2 custom google search engines for each of the “watch” and “download” that simply are using the same database of websites to search for a particular material. After all it is similarly to what I had to do manually, except that now I don’t have to take each and every website and search on it manually. And when a website goes down for whatever reasons I don’t have to do anything since the custom search simply won’t find any results on that website. I am also able to add a lot more websites to these custom search engines. So basically I had to manually replace the links for ALL VN materials one by one to work with the custom search engines. I still have to make sure that the results are sensical and not nonsensical, but I have to do this 2 times for one documentary (for watch and download) instead of 50 times for each documentary for every website like I did before. This took me several days to fix. Now it is all done, and this is the ‘big’ VN change that has several PROs and CONs.

PRO:

  • searches on way more websites so it is more likely to find links to download or watch a particular materials
  • 10 times less work for me for each documentary, and this allows me to post more often on VN
  • no more broken links
  • very automated

CON:

  • Google! I hate google and they may change their business model so they may even remove this custom search engine service and/or limit it, etc.. Thus, in the long run it is unreliable, but I found no other alternative to this
  • The results, at times, may be completely off. Say you want to find the documentary Life by BBC made in 2001; well, the engine will get confused because it is such a short and common name “life” and will show you crazy and unrelated results. So you have to put up with that and sort through the mess.
  • Ads. All such external links will be full of ads and scams. Of course no one should use the internet without an adblocker but even with it you’ll still see ads.

So get used to VN in this ‘new’ format 😉

 

IDEALLY

Ideally I would love to see VN similar to popcorntime:

Popcorn time is an amazing application promoting dumb content. Popcorn time only relies on p2p to stream the content. Simple, useful, efficient, non-destroy-able. To make VN this way it is in theory possible, but we would need tens of people seeding VN content at all times and to integrate it with WebTorrent technology so that people can stream the content from p2p. Difficult task for me.

Right now we kinda do this in a way. If people have WebTorrent installed on their system then simply click VN magnet links and they, if enough seeds, should be available for stream directly without the need to wait until they are downloaded.

If the seeds thing was not an issue for VN, I would remove the “watch” and “download” links entirely and rely only on magnets. If I find help with this then that’s what I’m going to do.

But for now, because VN’s content is quite unique in the world of p2p, I will have to keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past years.

I DO NOT recommend that you use anything but the MAGNET on VN. And please SEED!