Coping: With Corporate Feudalism Futility & Future

Oilman2’s kids are a damn-sight better’n most.   What a lot of kids don’t realize is that parents really do hear what the kids say.

So here’s an insight into the mind of the today’s “low 20’s” in East Texas…language warning….but this is real:

I went to my Moms Friday and met my son and 2 friends at the farm, where they were clearing the fence line. After they decided to take a break, they walked back to the tractor shed where I was twiddling with the ignition switch on one of the tractors…

(overheard when they were behind shed)

“My Dad owned 3 different companies, and every time it was a greedy partner that sank them. Every time one greedy guy screwed up an ongoing, working company. My Dad even had my grandfather working for him, so it hurt us twice!”

“Hahaha dude. As soon as the word corporation gets tacked on, the bullshit starts.”

“Yea, but you can’t make the big bucks without getting big in business.”

“Well, whoever the dick was that decided bigger was better and more is better ought to get his ass kicked. Why the fuck does everything have to be fuckin huge to work?”

“Don’t know, but the real thing is all we got is time. We trade our time doing something for money. It’s always money, and it’s always more-more-more or you are classed a loser.”

“Our generation is all losers then bro – we got nothing and all our parents are both working their asses off. Look at us out here doing this, just hoping we can get a shot at even making a living. Your parents busting their asses, yours too. Mine been paying for tuitions with all they got for over a decade. That’s why I hate asking them for anything. ”

“I damn sure don’t want to be like my Mom and Dad – working their asses off and paying 40% to Washington, then more to Texas and even the county. I think we need to go in the other direction.”

Watcha mean?”

“I think we should get the farm big enough to pay the bills and have just 25-40% more for income. Then, instead of growing bigger and paying more taxes and dealing with more bullshit, we do less work and enjoy more time.”

“Doing what?”

“Whatever the fuck we FEEL like, dude! If we got food and housing paid for, then what else do we need? We can always build stuff and sell on Etsy or Ebay in slack time we aren’t doing farm work like planting or shit like that. I know I sure don’t ‘need’ the crap that everybody is trying to sell us.”

“Hahaha – yea, like a new fucking car. Hey, didn’t you get that F250 for like $6500?”

“Yea – Dad and I knew what was broke and cut a good deal.”

“That’s fucking awesome. I wish I knew enough about cars to do that.”

“It’s not hard if you just do homework on it online. The actual fixing isn’t even that hard – remember when we did your brakes? Took us hour and a half and saved $450!”

“Well, it’s time versus money again then, right?”

“Yea but we paying more for other peoples time – costs waay more then.”

“Well, you gotta ask yourself like, what you need and not get all tripped up in the whole bigger is better shit. Like someone I know with a $3000 stereo in his car…”

“Hey – chicks dig it!”


“Well, I agree that most of the shit we buy is crap we don’t need, but what we do need always fucking breaks. Shit don’t last. I would pay more if I knew it was going to last or even if it was fixable. Most shit costs more to fix or isn’t even made to fucking BE fixed!”

“Yea  like that shitty backpack sprayer we got.”

“Hahaha – yea, that was a piece of $100 shit. What did your Dad pay for this one?”

$150, but it’s simpler and we can fix it.”


“Dude – I did that stereo before I knew how fucked up things would get. Best we can do is get this going, stay under the radar and try to figure out what to grow and sell.”

“I don’t know exactly what, but I do know that bigger and huger are not the cool thing – just wastes money and time cuz hunger takes more time and money to work. That’s why I am doing a micro-house. Dad spends at least a weekend a month screwing with keeping the house up. And it’s only him and Mom there now.”

Let’s go help your Dad with that mower.”


Well, I don’t know what all that means, but I thought you might enjoy reading what my 22-24 year olds are thinking…


They sure sound like good kids to me, but there is something missing.  I don’t know how to put my finger on it (especially halfway through a bowl of chili for breakfast) but seems to me they miss the “excellence” part of living and that’s a key part of it.

I think everyone likes lazy – at least to start with.  Over time, though, doing without just plain sucks.  So in order to have all the toys and not do without, you’ve got to work at something and be especially good at it.

I figure I can wring out $10,000 a year from farming (bring back some goats, bring back the chickens, get serious about self-sufficiency) but I enjoy exercising my skillsets doing other things: designing educational curriculum, consulting with companies on how to grow/make more money, building things around the house (like a recording studio for fun and podcasts) and so forth.

All those things take moolah…  Did I mention I’m selling my airplane, BTW?  LOL.

Done right, life’s a smorgasbord and you need to have money in order to sample a lot of the “foods” of life.

Maybe that’s what the kids aren’t getting: Striving to be truly excellent. 

On the other hand, if they really are serious about farming, picking up on Oilman2’s plans to put in fresh water shrimp and do some serious organic farming, then certainly they can (and likely will) find success there.

I’ve got a theory that sometime between age 12 and 40, something will grab your attention and your heart and you’ll just go for it with heart and soul into it.  That’s the magical moment…ijts when people become unstoppable and almost godlike in their actions.

Sounds like they are “on the verge” and they’ve got some ideas.  But it doesn’t sound like it’s the passion at the deep level that ensures the optimal outcome.  At least, just yet.

This isn’t about “talking” something.  This is about missing meals, working at something for 20-hours straight…never giving yourself a break.  Not because you’re a slave-driver, but because you’re that deep into whatever it is you’re doing.

If there’s ONE secret idea to think about, it’s finding that mix of attitude, aptitude, and passion that changes whole worlds.

I look back on 65 years and the one thing I’ve tried to do is remain totally passionate around whatever it is I’m doing.  Once the passion’s gone, what’s the point?

That’s maybe what the boys are still searching for.  What is that one thing that you’d do every hour or every day that’s big enough to provide not only money, but enough income and personal growth that it’s worth the time invested?

For me it’s been multiple trips through that smorgasbord line: Family, sailing, flying, broadcasting, inventing, learning, writing, ranching, recording, music, electronics/ham radio…software and my list goes on…  In every one of these I’ve spent whole days and weeks to the exclusion of everything else.

I know Oilman2 has been there, too.  He goes on a regular basis – which is why he’s one of the few people who’s a friend.  People who don’t push (themselves and whatever their passion is) don’t cut it and yes, those are the much-feared “average” people. 

You can’t sink holes in the ground 24-7 and not be committed to a project and a schedule.  In software engineering we called in “signing in” to a project.  It’s what drives a programmer to sit on the floor, keyboard in lap, monitor on the floor in a start-up and run for 96-hours straight watching elegant code flow forth.  In that zone there is no time.

I’m not sure how I say it, but one of my “measures of people” is summed up in the question “Have you ever been so involved in something that you can’t stand stopping…so you just keep going because you’re so overwhelmingly involved in it?”

If you haven’t, give it a try sometime.

In order to end corporate feudalism, we need more small businesses.  And whether OM2’s kids grok that vision, or not, is only measured by one thing:  Do they have the passion for the work and do they leap out of bed every morning because their life is so cool, they can hardly wait to get back to it?

Not everyone can answer yes to that.  And if you can’t, then it’s getting kinda late in the game, ain’t it? 

As my first broadcast mentor, the late Lloyd Jones (brother of a famous Q. Jones) one told me when I was 17:  “Lookie here George:  Life is only 18,000 days long and every morning when your feet hit the floor, you burn one of them.”

To this day I hold that if you can’t hardly wait to wake up and get back into living your life, it’s long past time to make some serious change.

Or, in the case of the boys – they need to go stare more at what’s on that smorgasbord (everything) and then pick the one that turns them on and they can “sign into.”

That’s done, we get enough signed-on, committed people, doing small businesses without lazy/greedy ‘tards, and then the world will change and we’ll grow out of the corporate feudalism stage.

The Other Future-Problem

I did a report recently about the opportunity matrix that’s slowly revealing itself in the field of driverless cars.  Among other things, I pointed out that with driverless cars, we would likely get to self-fill service station robotics at some point, and we’d also see the end of all those motels along the highways.

In their place would be the Love’s Truck stops on steroids:  More showers, more food, while people would be able to sleep their way across the country while their cars do the driving.

A reader of ours has a very useful point on topic:


I own a business a distributorship that sells traffic signals to city and state agencies, I have tried to get the various Traffic signal manufactures to contact Google and see how they could help produce a intersection controller that Would talk with the vehicle…. but they don’t get it.

So it seems that we will go the way of the buggy whip after the car was manufactured.

Liked the article and the build out to how the driverless car will change society…. Google seems to want to provide Vehicles on a pay service like cabs or bus.

The one thing I don’t get is how anyone will be able to buy the vehicles, there won’t be any jobs.

And if you visit other countries that lag behind the USA they will ask for a drivers license before renting a

Car, so will we have to hire chauffeurs to drive the rentals ???”

Ah…the traffic light problem!  Yes, in a driverless world they would still be needed, but they would be Wi-Fi-triggered as vehicles approach key intersections.  The vehicles would slow automatically and “stage” themselves to maximize traffic flow.  Gotta be a patent in there for our reader.

Complete centralization?  Oh let’s build a monolithic terrorism target, shall we?  Toss in many scoops of single point of failure, too.

All this brings us to an interesting template being played out at all kinds of levels:  Which model:  Many, many, small, not-so-many-medium, or monolithic large?

Not an impertinent question, either.  Since the number of big companies that will see their share prices double this year is very small.  But the number of small companies that will see share double is huge.

Just like government could (and should) be decentralizing back to the Home Districts (of Congress) for example, lots of other businesses (and cities) have hung on to the excessively concentrated human densities model.

Towns used to be small and spaced a day’s walk between them (which is why towns were 30-miles apart). 

At the  design level, we can see how discreet answers (towns, traffic lights) coalesce into new solutions:  megalopolis and freeways.  Nothing discrete about it.  Not even likeable.

Yet when “freeways” passed their capacity limits, the old technology returned (traffic lights) to meter the onramps.

There’s some truly Zen-like meaning in there, but it’s too early in the day to delve into the pattern of it.

But be careful of that “buggy whips” analogy:  You price one lately at a tack store?

Even more indicative on the mental trap:  You can still buy a buggy whip at Amazon.

Signal-of-Life, Optimal Noise Follow-up

Many outstanding comments on our “noise” and “signal of life” note from Monday’s Coping section, but we’ll get to that Thursday, so ya’ll come on back…

Write when you break-even, or achieve Nirvana…or even 9-Inch Nails…