jc blog - tales of a modern-day nomadic hunter-gatherer

Follow jcomeau_ictx on Twitter This is the weblog of Intrepid Wanderer. You never know what you might find here; graphic descriptions of bodily functions, computer programming secrets, proselytizing for the antichrist, miscellaneous ranting and kvetching, valuable information on living off the land... if you don't share my rather weird interests you may want to try slashdot instead.

You can consider my Del.icio.us links an extension to my blog, as are my LifeTango goals and my other to-do items. My to-buy list is also public, but only for sharing any useful ideas that might be there; I'm not requesting charity, neither do I offer it.

You can find me easily in google searches, as jcomeau, jcomeau_ictx, or jcomeauictx. There are lots of other jcomeaus, but AFAIK I'm the only jcomeau_ictx out there so far.

If you want to comment on anything you see here, try the new Facebook comments, reachable by clicking the "[comment]" link at the end of each post. If for some reason that isn't working, go ahead and email me, jc.unternet.net. You know what to do with the first dot. Make the 'subject' line something reasonably intelligent-looking or it goes plunk! into the spambasket unread.

This RSS feed may or may not work. Haven't fiddled with it in forever. RSS Feed

2020-12-29-1610Z

Got my handtruck and PV panel back yesterday, thanks again to those same benefactors.

It was also confirmed that my hunch was correct about who called the cops on me.

Now, let's get back to the premise that having to show proof of purchase, or identification, is wrong. I actually had to spend time thinking about it, because even though my visceral response is to reject it under any circumstances, if I had just been robbed of my possessions, wouldn't I want the cops to check if they saw someone carrying something that looked like my stuff?

It comes back to what you value more, human dignity or goods. In a simple anarchic society, if you suspect someone has your bike or your car, you first simply ask them. Don't just listen to their words, watch their eyes and body language. If you think for sure they have stolen your property, take it back by force, enlisting friends to help if necessary. If it turns out you were wrong, you would have to make things right with your victim.

Same thing, pretty much, with Nozick's "dominant protective association". They'd want to have pretty solid proof of your ownership before they'd go after someone, because if they violate another's rights, they will have to pay.

But police suffer no penalty for being wrong. They just demand compliance, and will lock you up if you disobey. Let's say you agree with that, and that anyone caught in the street with something that might be stolen property can be made to prove ownership of same, or at minimum have a report made out with their name, place of domicile, and time of incident, so they can find you if they get a match on the description of the property in their complaints file. How far do you want to take this? Should cops have the right to enter every car and house, and inventory all your goods to make sure you don't have anything belonging to someone else? Do you want to have to keep receipts forever? If you answered "no" to any of the above, what makes it right if it's a pedestrian who is subjected to this type of behavior?

I'm still convinced that a voluntaryst society wouldn't tolerate anything like that. And that any so-called government that violates people's rights in this manner is tyrannical, even if most of the society agrees with it. And that I would rather risk death than willingly cooperate with such a corrupt and inhumane system. Although, for the sake of prudence, I will from now on probably state my objection while showing my ID, in any Mexican jurisdiction. My people will suffer if I don't, and I can't have that on my conscience either. [comment]

2020-12-27-1454Z

So, yesterday morning, I was off to Colonia Pitahaya with two of my bulkiest possessions, the 250W solar panel and hand truck. I made it as far as the corner of Prieto and Nayarit when a police car drove right up to me, blocking my way. They started demanding to know who I was, what I was doing, and where I was going. I asserted my human rights and refused to answer anything I hadn't already made public on social media. They ended up calling a higher-up who spoke English, because my Spanish was insufficient to get my point accross (and vice versa), but he turned out to be worse. He demanded identification and I said no. In a Tony Montana accent, he said something like "You gonna show me ID or I gonna fuck you up, motherfucker", so I just said "OK, kill me then", pointing to my forehead. "Just shoot me right now."

Then he went apeshit, cuffing me, trying to smash my head into his car, which I was able to blunt with my chest, and arrested me, apparently for "resisting arrest" from what I was able to understand later, even though I never did anything but object verbally. They first took me to a booking facility and then to the jail, throwing me in a 10-by-10 foot cell with a concrete bench and a toilet with no flush. I have to note here that once you're in the domain of the cops, there's little concern for covid-19. Masking was optional, they wouldn't let me use my good respirator, and the prisoner in the cell nearest mine was screaming at the top of his lungs and spitting.

Oh, and at the booking facility, the same cop, I'll call him Mr. Bravo, warned me that if I didn't answer every question he was going to take me to his "private room", insinuating extreme interrogation methods. I just said "Yes, sir."

On the way to the jail, I was able to get a phone message through from my cell. And it didn't take long—maybe two or three hours—until people who love me were able to improve my situation. I don't know if I can ever relate publicly what exactly happened, but suffice it to say that I'm relatively free again, that I took my situation mostly stoically throughout, and I did my best to educate my captors. It's going to cost me some significant funds, but I'm not sorry I did it. Mejor morir de pie, que vivir de rodillas.

They still have my solar panel and hand truck. I've been warned that the chance is slim that I'll get them back. And they apparently kept all my change, along with my pocketknife and wine opener that they called "armas blancas". There may be other things missing as well, but it looks like they left all my forms of ID alone, and my credit and debit cards.

I think I acted rightly at cusp, for the most part. And survived. [comment]

2020-12-20-1031Z

That lump in my throat went away pretty quickly yesterday, so by dinner time I thought a few beers were in order. Drank 3 small ones. Woke up some time around midnight with a headache: a big red flag warning me that that was a mistake. Drinking water now, but expecting a virus to hit me hard sometime in the next 24 to 48 hours. [comment]

2020-12-19-1410Z

Throat feels a little weird today. I'd better kick beer for a while and stick to probiotics until it's back to normal.

Yesterday I rented a place in La Paz, colonia Pitahaya. It was a handshake agreement, so it may not help with getting my drivers license. But it's a workspace and gardening area, and only USD100 a month at current exchange rates.

There's another place I'm checking out too, farther south in colonia Calafia. I found a back way into town, a dirt path off the highway, that can be used in case the military presence at the checkpoint gets in people's faces. [comment]

2020-12-11-0143Z

I've been thinking about renting some space to use for a workshop slash kinetic sculpture studio for a while. In the Petaluma area, it's prohibitively expensive, but here in La Paz, BCS, I can get a house in the remoter parts of town for under $200 (that's USD... in pesos, about $4000 at current exchange rates) per month. I went to check out one of the neighborhoods today, way out on Forjadores on the way to Los Cabos, not far before the propane refilling place. The "Colonia", or "Fraccionimiento", is called "Camino Real". It's a lower middle class or upper working poor neighborhood, and I couldn't find any free wifi, and barely found a public restroom in time. But it looks like a decent place to rent, if I can ever get a clear reply from the lady who owns it.

I was disabused of the notion I'd heard earlier this year, that in the poorer neighborhoods almost nobody masks up, by this visit. Almost invariably, people on the buses, walking on the street, even driving, were wearing masks. It was only in the neighborhoods surrounding Centro that I saw lots of people not wearing them. Almost as if the tourists setting a "bad" example were the impetus behind the revolt.

I saw somebody harvesting tamarindo fruits a few days ago in Jardin Velasco. Right now there are green, brown, and black fruits on the trees, representing new, one-year, and two-year-old fruits. The brown ones, ripe and sweet, are ideal for picking. The black ones are inedible, and the green ones are completely edible, even the seeds, which are rock-hard in the brown ones, but too sour for many uses. Dates are also ripe this time of year, but too far out of reach unless you can climb the trees. Both have been harvest-ready for at least a month now, but I've kept forgetting to blog it. [comment]

2020-12-10-0156Z

After two days going kayaking, I noticed all the cracked, dead, skin on both feet is gone! I guess getting them wet in salt water once in a while is a good thing. [comment]

2020-12-03-1605Z

One of my older systems started complaining during certbot upgrades. I copied the script to the /root folder and edited it. Changed /etc/cron.d/certbot to point to that instead, and added the --no-self-upgrade switch to the call.

root@ns004:~# diff /usr/local/bin/certbot-auto /root/
1121c1121,1123
<     error "Your system is not supported by certbot-auto anymore."
---
>     if [ "$NO_SELF_UPGRADE" != 1 ]; then
>       error "Your system is not supported by certbot-auto anymore."
>     fi
1128,1129c1130,1133
<       error "Certbot will no longer receive updates."
<       error "Please visit https://certbot.eff.org/ to check for other alternatives."
---
>       if [ "$NO_SELF_UPGRADE" != 1 ]; then
>         error "Certbot will no longer receive updates."
>         error "Please visit https://certbot.eff.org/ to check for other alternatives."
>       fi
[comment]

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