I quit software engineering to go back to school and work on serving marginalized populations by developing sustainable infrastructure for small-group communities, especially experimental and improvised communities.
Sustainable Community Development is my main focus; my most recent undergraduate degree is in Urban Studies and Planning (I also have eight others). Lately most of my times goes to consulting as well as working with a team to crowdfund and buy lands all over the country and put them into trust so anyone can go live there for free. We also host free permaculture conferences at these lands to help people learn the skills they need to build communities there. I personally specialize in sustainable off-grid infrastructure.
I am currently working on an MBA with an emphasis in AI Ethics. My plan after school is to invest in funding sustainable community development projects all over the country, and in particular to help communities become more resilient and sustainable by organizing collective ownership and good governance of their lands and infrastructure.
My investment thesis is that we should be betting on tomorrow's more sustainable incumbents and against today's unsustainable incumbents by identifying more sustainable alternatives to our leading institutions and waiting for nature to take its course.
To prepare for my upcoming academic program in AI Ethics, I am begining to do a lot of creative work with AI in order to explore what's possible and how to leverage the state of the art tools to create long-form text as well as photos.
I am posting a lot about the exciting ways AI can help create positive and helpful content. The takeaway is that it can just as easily be used for evil.
"Write me an illustrated story about gardening," could just as easily be, "write me ten-thousand conspiracy theories designed to convince people to be fascists." My goal with this project is to show how easy this creative process is and to help people develop a healthy skepticism of the motivations behind the content they are consuming online.
In addition to pointing our problematic uses of AI like mass manipulation and digital advertising networks, I am highlighting ethical uses in order to help inspire people to explore applications outisde of capitalism.
One example is creating fascinating short stories or having it write posthumous letters or essays based on the work of particular historical figures or philosophers.
AI is also really good at finding interesting connections between different philosophical and literary genres or at comparing and contrasting complex concepts.Check Out Critique.AI
I am also leveraging AI to generate a lot of fascinating digital art, mostly for the purpose of illustrating long-form text on Critique.AI. You can see all the AI Art I'm working on here...Check Out My AI Art
High Ground will be a research institute and a community. Together we will work on R&D for sustainable alternative infrastructure, and on educating visitors and the public at large about these solutions.
The mission will be two-fold. On the one hand, we will be developing models and examples of solutions for each of the major categories of community infrastructure. This will be part of a central focus on education on sustainable infrastructure for small permaculture communities.
On the other hand, we will be developing partnerships and making direct investments in sustainable infrastructure projects in order to empower permaculture communities to survive and thrive in a changing world.
Working at ClipperCreek, I learned about GRID Alternatives. GRID is a nonprofit providing solar power, electric vehicles, and charging infrastructure to people in marginalized groups. I was able to get an internship with GRID where I learned all about the state of the home solar power industry.
Critically, I also learned about all the funding sources GRID uses to be able to provide all their infrastructure projects at little to no cost for people who need them.
I took a summer job at ClipperCreek between semesters. They design, build, and sell chargers for electric vehicles. They do all of this in one main building in California. This was an amazing opportunity to learn all about electric vehicle infrastructure, the state of the industry, and its place in the broader sociopolitical landscape.
Working at ClipperCreek is also how I learned about GRID Alternatives, which is a nonprofit providing solar power, electric vehicles, and charging infrastructure to people in marginalized groups.
I planned to travel to all the national parks this year! I built a custom self-sufficient camper to do it. Check out my adventures at MovingCabin.com.
I made it to 35 national parks in 28 states before disasters and changing school policies drew me back home for now.
I have visited lots of experimental and improvised communities around the country and documenting how they are addressing their basic infrastructure needs in radically sustainable ways. Check it out at NomadPedia.org
As part of my tour of all the national parks this year, I'm visiting experimental communities around the country to document radically sustainable solutions to their infrastructure needs.
I recently spent several days at the now infamous commune that went viral on TikTok. It's often wrongly called a cult. I can attest that it's just a normal communal farm. They are doing a really great job with radical sustainability and it was a joy to get to know them and ask lots of questions about their infrastructure solutions.Check It All Out Here
During the Coronavirus pandemic, I found that a lot of people are suffering from the lethal threat of isolation. I have been kayaking for over twenty years, and generally go about once a week. I recently bought a new kayak and so I have an extra. This led me to invite others to kayak with me since kayaking is naturally a socially distant activity.
When I posted pictures and video, many people asked to be invited. This inspired me to create a facebook group whith regular weekly events for people to attend.
Note: Unfortunately while these outdoor gatherings are safe amid coronavirus, they are not safe with smoke. Also many of the destinations are on fire. The fires put this project on hiatus and then winter came. I will work to revive this project come spring.
Update: Unfortunately the rivers we usually run are too low this spring to float down. We are looking for other options, stay tuned!
I had asked several professors about which populations are the most impacted at Sierra College or which groups have the lowest success metrics compared to the average. I was surprised to learn that no one knew the answer so I decided to create a list of all populations which could be filtered and sorted by success.Check It Out
I studied the effect of various techniques and materials on prolonging that magical sleeping time in the morning before the temperature inside the tent gets too high to keep sleeping. I also compared expensive Shiftpods to cheap alternatives.Check It Out
I wrote an honors project proposal in Spring of 2020 for a project that would use radio interferometry to listen to things like pulsars and quasars in order to triangulate their positions relative to the antenna array. This would basically work like a super high-precision GPS that would work anywhere in the universe without relying on GPS satellites.
I also proposed to use the data to detect the propagation of gravity waves across the line of sight from the stars the array was listening to. This might be a much better way of detecting gravity waves than our current detector technology since it relies on observing a known stable transmission as it propagates across the interstellar medium.
The project was shot down by the department because it was too complicated but NASA has since duplicated part of the work I proposed. They completed a pulsar-based GPS system, but have not yet published any research on using it to detect gravity waves.
I later wrote at length about my proposal and the future potential of radio interferometry. It's a topic I'm still very interested in and actively researching when I have time.
There has been a lot of recent interest in phased antenna arrays since Elon Musk announced his Starlink internet service would use them in the residential reciever arrays.
At least three white-nationalist neo-Nazi groups were active at Sierra College in 2019. They posted propaganda and recruitment flyers around campus on at least a dozen occasions. I worked on putting together a coalition between many student groups and outside groups to track and document this activity. I also built a blog for the strategic partnership to use as a central place to document and chronicle all the activity.Check It Out
For years I have saved all the best memes I've seen and categorized them by topic. Recently I decided to make this archive publicly available. Check it out, I'm sure you will find something you enjoy.Check Out Memes
While it's easy in America to find an endless stream of opinion presented as news and curated to reinforce whatever the algorithms think you already believe, it's hard to get actual objective news coverage today. When I say objective in this context I mean news that is being presented with an effort to avoid making political and ideological claims.
I created this simple web app some years ago to try to bring together several excellent sources of news from around the world. It just shows a very short audio clip of the current events reported without politics or ideology from several reputable sources around the world. It makes it very easy to click onto the page and get a quick update.
Check it out!Check Out The App Check Out The Code
I conducted an experiment to measure the effectiveness of simple diy methods for improving indoor air quality. This new project builds on earlier work done to measure the effectiveness of expensive Shiftpod tents versus cheap alternatives.
As someone with severe asthma during a respiratory pandemic which overlaps with wildfire season, this is a particularly salient issue for me personally. I did some personal experiments with filtration methods last year which I built on with this new work. Check out my results!Check It Out
These projects are not under active development but I am hopeful that I will one day be able to work on them.
I cofounded the first ever SF Bay Area chapter of Burners Without Borders! Ironically though the international network is headquartered here, they have not yet had an active chapter here.
The era of covid has been a struggle. Initially we launched three projects and held public meetings to get them started, but because of the many overlapping disasters, we have been forced to refactor.
One of my greatest long-term aspirations is to open a venture capital firm dedicated to ethics, justice, and sustainability. I like the phrase "Community Capital" which seems to convey these points while also conveying a dedication to both crowd funding and crowd sourcing.
There are many examples of socially conscious VC funds, but there is a new perspective developing at the intersection of business and sociology which argues that sustainable and ethical business practices are better investments.
In the case of the Vanguard ESGV ETF, their portfolio focuses on companies which value best practices in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). This is a good example where the argument ESG is making is that these ESG-conscious companies will outperform other companies.
I plan to eventually start a VC firm which focuses on ESG investments and helps companies develop into better ESG citizens. Putting out information about this topic will also be an excellent way to lead social change while drawing in further investment.
About a decade ago, I opened a cafe in Chico, CA. It's still there today though I am no longer involved as I moved away for school. I have had a great deal of time to reflect on my challenges and successes in that project, and to compare my work to other cafes around the world. I plan to open a new cafe in the bay area which focuses primarily on RTD&E price-accessibility and providing food for a diverse array of cultural needs.