Thomas Blower is a close friend of mine. I met him while working at Shakespeares. He was only 19 at the time but always seemed to have a lot of wisdom for a 19 year old. Hanging out with him always entails an effortless between from cooking, talking, and jamming. He's open and honest and hardly hesitates to share his perspective, which is always insightful. Thanks for the interview, friend!
Recorded on 2016-06-01
Speakers: Joseph Weidinger and Thomas Blower
Okay. Thomas Blau, er, you're a student, poet, musician, and you rolled the most perfectly round pizza's I've ever seen. You want my fair people because you're not afraid to say how you feel. You put it out there on the line and welcome the ensuing discussion, and you're different. You're so different for me in terms of upbringing. But yet I feel like your brother, as if you're a younger brother who has very old and wise things to say and your worldly interested in interesting.
And speaking of worldly, you just got back from a ten day trip to Alaska to visit, eh living communities. Last commune, which we'll talk about a lot in a bit. But first, I'm gonna ask you some general questions about you to put this all in the context. What is your earliest memory? You know, this is a difficult one to answer, because I think they sort of flawlessly added, You know, by watching old home videos, you can sort of remember things they don't actually remember, at least just little flashes.
Images of childhood. But I have a few from when I was three or four, like, you know, casting out a toy fishing around with, like a gold is a Tweety bird goldfish. Rodney just cast out of the yard and pull back. I think I was about three or four when that was happening. But there's just a lot of pictures from back then, too, so I can't be sure. Really. Not a lot. Really. Early memories. A lot of so, Yeah, somewhere in there, Castaic.
There's my answer. The official answer is casting out the Tweety Bird goldfish in along on Windsor Street. What's now called Sick Porch? Actually, my family lives there. Right over there. Lindsay on Ripley, south of town? No, no. Right. Appear. And then Steven's been seen. That's right. Yeah. Okay. So on my side of Broadway, Yeah. Interesting. Windsor in Brooklyn with Big Blue House with Used to live there? Yeah, from the ninety eight to two thousand.
And then he moved across the road that we moved over with pain. It's just just for a year. Payne Avenue. Yeah, I've delivered a lot pizzas there. But nothing comes to my mind for some reason when you say that. But anyways, Yeah. Cool. What? Or who was your earliest role model within your media family. You know, I'm not sure. I mean for who is the most you know, influential early on. Well, I mean, both parents.
I certainly spent a lot more time with my mom, my dad, because she was a state home long so certainly was very influential in my upbringing. Where is my dad? Was sort of like the guy just got shit, took care of business, which also is sort of inspiring. That's something I wanted to. I aspired to do myself later. But I don't know. I can't really say that I had any, like huge. It was in my meat fan role models I came, remember role models in my life.
It was more like just fill your role. You know, I was never really told Tow Try and be somebody else, so right so well, your was your upbringing. More hands off in a way and more more appearance, craft the environment in. You're just free to roam with me back. That's the thing. My mom was certainly permissive parent. There's all hands off on, you know, sort of suggestion. Like suggestions. Intentionally. Um, I don't know, maybe, but I think it's sort of just more fit her demeanor in way of parenting, just, you know, sort of hands off.
Not going to be anything close to authoritarian Or is that that's really when my dad was all about authoritarianism. Like, I am the father, you know, I make the rules. You follow them kind of stuff. They used around less often so that, yeah, authoritarian and certainly there all the time after the divorce. That eight years old, there certainly a much more sharp contrast between the parenting sounds because each had their own house to parent like that, you know?
So is bouncing back and forth between permissive just, you know, like no permissive parenting over to, you know, authoritarian parenting every day too, you know? So I got both worlds. Is that something looked back as look back on as, Oh, that that was an interesting experience. Or is it something that you look back in your life? And that was just miserable, That switch all the time. It's like both, you know, because it's hard, you know, Really, It's not that I don't think that's the way it's that children are, too.
You grow up. You know, I don't think it's quite right to have like the family dynamic is not really coherent, you know, whenever you have that sort of separation, me. So you're a fan of the family. I like that. Yeah. Idea for raising kids. Yeah, some. Not even necessarily nuclear family with some sort of familial environment, you know, with lots of, like, multiple generations by participating in the raising of children.
But for me, I mean, I think it was really, you know, like anything, a blessing and a curse. I really got to see both ends of the spectrum on parenting. I got to see the benefits and the sort of, um, consequences of both styles. And I think for the most part, have been able. Tio Gordo always said I'm not parenting here one yet, but I should hope that I could, you know, incorporate the better of both worlds.
So what? That's something you think about. Like today in general, This time in your life, when I'm a parent, I'm gonna do things this way, but not barren yet, so, Or is it? You know, I'm never gonna be a parent. And it's not just the big question. I wonder if I'll ever be apparent. You know, I've been told. I do believe that, you know, we need north. It's terrible. You know, I can't even say it out of not wanting to sound.
So you going to say, But we need more parents, you know, like you and I, you know who can think critically and also provide, You know, the things that child really needs going up more so than like the, you know. The iPads you see as like the new paths of fires and children. But that could be my own bias. I've sort of resistance to this cultural shift or screens. I'm replacing human interaction, so but that's one thing that I said If there's one thing I really think about, you know, changing for the next generation on my my family's sake, you know would be to reduce.
Presence of screens in the home. It wouldn't be like you vigorous thing. It was George Carlin that said, whatever happened, the letting kids stare out the window? Yeah. No. Go outside right now, and you have to strike a balance with that, too. Like everything you can't like, completely isolate them from society. But you don't want them to get, you know, But we lost respectively. There, right? And you say that as someone that's coming from, huh?
Someone who was like everyone. Basically, these days, you know, immerse in a world of screens, at some points are various points, or I mean, to certain extent, even the president. There's more of a conscious choice of when you want to turn on, turn off. But, um, you know, at some point, your life, you made a firm decision that, like, I don't like this thing. And I wantto try to limit. I wonder if I only did it get that far into the matrix percent.
I only got that immersed because of the way I grew up. At least from my mom was, you know, it was like, outside go out and play. We're going to spend most of money on food. There's no Internet, you know. No computer TV, whatever is TV with four channels. If you want to watch like day telling I didn't then by the time middle school came around, you know, there's two separate houses. My dad's house had all the Internet video games on the screens my moms didn't, so I certainly gravitated towards up and, yeah, overindulge.
And I got to see if the consequences of that my ALS a love. It's declined first. You know, I think as a consequence of spending eight plus hours a day on screen, which is like that is extreme. But that's becoming more with normal. Oh, yeah, like the average American family watching five hours of television a day. Wow. And that's just on average. So that's you know, what about They appeared screen user, you know.
There's a lot of hours spent staring into screen instead of that other people interact, right? I think that's a really essential part of the experience. You know what? Well, then what do you think about staring at screens in and, you know, people at the same time like face timing based timing or skyping or, you know, in the future, virtual reality, you know? Um, yeah. I mean, what do you think I'm wearing?
Okay. Very conscious of that. I certainly think I don't think it could be a fully adequate substitute for real human need to have interpersonal communication in, like, a quote. Intimate setting, you know, where you actually with the person present? Uh, yeah, that you can't really get that on a virtual reality. No. Yeah, you're right. There's just one movie that I saw when I was like, eleven. It's like you walked down the stairs and someone's watching a movie, and you see, it's like a one minute clip before like, Hey, what do you do?
Know your get out of here? You know, because it's not. It's like a rated R movie or whatever, and I just have the seeming grain in my brain forever. You know what? I think it was like maybe a Sylvester Stallone's or something I don't even know. But they're having it was this guy and his girl virtual reality, get getting hooking up you know, And, uh, they're both in the same room and they lit some candles, and then you put on these goggles and, you know, they did some simulation of, like, oh, what would this be like?
And we'll have lots and they're just sitting there, you know, in whatever. But that was in the movie. Yeah. Yeah, but yes, it was probably been at least fifteen years, you know, feel interesting Now is they actually have an industry, Of course. Yeah. Evolving and know it's hilarious idea is alert, but at some point, I think the guy's Sylvester Stallone and he's like, you know, it is not, so let Sylvester Stallone it's some other, you know, that kind of actor, everything involved huge explosions and big jumps and guns and stuff.
But he you can't do it, takes it off. He's like, Can we just do it the old fashioned way? And the girls, like, disgusted and like, you know it's It's just kind of humorous thing, but, uh, well, yeah, I mean, sorry, I don't know why, but things are about to get they're in more interest, particularly. And like how we're going to maintain, you know, communal health, individual health, accountability and communication skills.
Real communication skills are essential to being able to survive. You know, adversity, really difficult situations you need to be able to communicate. To be open and honest, you know, implies vulnerability and talking about things you don't like talking about. Wish you know, I think people are the capacity to do so on average, being eroded by all the time spent instant messaging and e mailing and breaking into a screen rather than into human skies.
Well, that's interesting, because in a way, people by looking screens and chatting and texting or whatever it's like there's a there's a sort of hyper communication that people have. Um, but you said something about how having the difficult conversation or that in probably that those don't really happen over you can go over all this time. She, like Think about how you're going to phrase things to say you can.
You can choose not to say things where you going, sort of bite your tongue, you know, and it's very different experience to admit something to a screen you know, and not have to be there and be in the presence of the person reacting to it. You know that because I think that way sort of get become. We're afraid of the judgment, you know, the reaction to something we share of ourselves, you know, and we don't have to see it on a screen, but more even more importantly, we don't even have to share anything that could elicit that.
Like, I'm sure that most maybe on some, you know, serious dating websites or whatever else people could have really heartfelt intimate conversations on insta messaging platform. But for the most part, you know, even even doing that, then once here in person with that same individual, it could be a lot a lot harder. Different experiences are much different, and I think certainly more important. Yeah, the latter.
Yeah. No, I experienced that, too. I'm like cash. I'm a total victim of this knot of it. I don't want to be a thing. It's like, you know, this affects me directly and like I when you have a text, when you send text, for example, you can you could be more articulate in away, right? And it's better and in the other person in particular, in in law cases that preference of communication kind of works out when it's just business or whatever kind of it's that articulate that.
Well, it is. And maybe for you, you know, your English skills are pretty good, and you can understand that, but, well, but that's the problem is that when you concentrate really hard on what to say, any other person does in you both have this concise, well thought out conversation short, and there's a record of it. You know it. Everything's clear. Yeah, but and but the problem is, is that is that an actual conversation face to face?
I can't do that, you know, because I'm not as as good at that. In a way, you know, it's because it's a social skills, you know, it's a skill right practice to develop. And now the question is there, Like you said, like we feel victim to that, can we? We have to choose between killing a victim to that, like of the circumstance or being one of the twelve, but the one graced with the realization that it's something we need to work on, something that matters.
And since we're the ones who have awaken to that reality, we have the opportunity to work on that and sort of preserves the human spirit preserved were we're carrying the flags of Yeah. Like to notice that way, really need to cultivate the human interaction skills, really being able to communicate clearly and open yourself to, you know, difficult topics of conversation. Yeah, heartfelt, open discussions about you know what's really going on, you know, right?
That's how you overcome anything. I think I was talking to my brother about this not too long ago, but it is something long lines of of its easier in a way to excel in in today's business world or whatever, for instance, because he owns own business by just being incredibly good at just normal conversation and normal dealings with business and just just have what would have been like fifty or a hundred years ago.
Just a pretty solid foundation of negotiation in communicating is like translates in today's world that that really time skill translates tio of really standout feature, Oddly enough, because it sze increasingly a dying art for se young being last time. Most people, which is funny, though, isn't it? Because, like you said, fifty years ago, just like that's the norm. That's how business works. Really communicate that way.
But I think it's not just business. It's how you know humanity works. You know, it's like if you wanna have a functional family, don't have healthy relationships with anyone, your work environment or your home environment or wherever you go, you know, you have to be able to do that on really, listen, communicate. You know, sit down labels and service allusion. You know, opposition that, like, you know, defending these belief systems, we build up, you know, and not being able to just find common ground talked about things without you knowing what making it a a disaster.
People often just avoid the conversations that right neither the most. And then it's like, Well, then, you never had that conversation. You never found peace on that issue. Yep. You've never come to, you know, any resolution with that person. You just sort of left those loose strings and moved on without. And I think there is something. I mean, I haven't read much about it, but I think there's something health related about finding that resolution.
You know, like going going through difficult waiting through all that stuff. You know, particularly with other people, Stuff that's like relation, all right, and finding resolution, you know, and that can only be done. I think through this kind of like you interpersonal communication. Yeah, you're right. That's what keeps you up at night and and wake up early in the morning Are you know it is. I think it's a big waste of time, too.
Is Teo be obsessed or think about something too much? Because you haven't gotten resolution. And as you're in this book called Getting Things Done by David Allen, it's so much about it's more of the spirit of Oh, I'm a small business owner. How did I manage my time and my resources and Teo to be the best manager? I can't or whatever. Um, but it hasn't it all has to do with is the main central tenant of all those philosophies are Get this off your chest, basically.
And he has lycan in basket work, all the concerns that yes, you know, he just writes it down and puts it in a basket. And he reviews that basket regularly, for instance, once a week. But but the point is, is that is that if you have a trusted system what? You're writing something down and you know that you're going to review it again soon, Then you don't have to worry about it all the freaking time, you know, and your mind doesn't have be preoccupied.
And in worrying about forgetting the does, you know, a handful of important things you have to do or you have to buy, or you have to discuss with somebody or whatever, but but the whole point is that in which this relates to what you're talking about is that is that Come on. Yeah, it's so much better and healthier. Just tow. Have some completion O r to get it off your mind On with the business owner, There's a huge sense of urgency doing.
I think the world could gain a lot from taking that sent the same sense of urgency and motivation to just be a good business because you're sort of accountable for their well being. I'm of your business. Yeah, way could do that with our own lives, our personal lives, you know, and just really address every concern that comes up and, like, seek resolution on it as quickly as possible. You know, think of how much more progress we could make a species or even just on an individual basis.
If you could just, you know, find a conclusion resolved that issues that keep you up at night for, like, a long period of time, you know, or put you into a spell of depression or whatever else it is sort of leave. Just suspended for like, years of your life, huh? Even things like the fear of death. You know, like most the ultimate you know, challenge we're all facing is that we're all like, walking towards death way.
Don't know what that is. The unknown, the infinite, all that. And you know, it's anything. We'll just put that off until you're like, it's Now you gotta do it, you know is your time. But those things I think if we could find the resolution just, you know, make a little list and, you know, whatever is there within reach, start working on it, right. A sense of urgency in resolving your own internal conflicts and relational conflicts.
I could go along way. Yeah, I like that. Speaking of death for some reason this powder, my head When I think street when I when you said that and I was like, I wonder what this community, how they feel more about life and death or if it's different. But anyway, then I was like, Well, we have to start talking about that. So So you spent ten days in Alaska. What city was again? It was just outside of Castle off.
The peanut peninsula, southern Alaska. The nearest bigger town is sold out and living in a commune. Do they call it a commune? They don't call it coming. His native conscience it probably would be fairly accurately described it coming. But I know that you're really depending on, you know. I think they like to go for, like, you know, even calling intentional community or equal rights or whatever. Yeah, yeah, it is.
What? What is the questions? And there are I'm just tryingto get picture of what we're talking about it in my mind, but And there's, like, forty or fifty people living there. Yeah, and have been living here for a couple days. Numbers? Yeah. I heard different ports, and I never really counted. I never head count, but I heard the force between thirty and fifty. Shit. I definitely think it because with fifty side, Yeah, it's a community of people that started about thirty years ago.
With four family, five families. Originally, one family dropped out first year. But at the most interesting thing to me, there's a lot of interesting things. But one of the biggest shockers around that was it. Ours. I brought it to my awareness by one of the founding, one of the founders, that the whole place started out of a refusal to work for money and a sort of disillusionment with the whole economic paradigm and the whole spectacle of society.
My goal was to just get completely removed from that and start fresh start scratch, start from scratch with, um, just a whole new mom holding environment to raise kids and just to make a whole new life. And so they did that. They started one of them. One of the one of the founders had an endowment. I think they got some sort of inheritance that allowed them to buy some land. And they spent the first winner and teepees.
And I think an Alaskan Alaskan with Alaskan winter. Six months in teepees, you know, So they started with very few things. Yeah, they had really nothing. What? They drove up there with you, and they were very for They all had lots and lots of children of smaller family, I think had eight or seven children. Wow. You know, so anywhere between like seven and thirteen children per couple. And what's there like, people who have that Me children are, uh, you know that either farmers no, go back fifty years ago?
Yes, more or less, but or they're Catholic for there. Maybe Amish, Or have some other religious leaning that they have Cem Cem carry over from a sort of culture that lots of kids is part of the norm. Well, not necessarily part of the norm, I don't think. But there was a very much idealists, you know, they were in order that I was told that in order to start anything like that, you have to be very much an idealist, you know?
And I think the ideal was a number of things they were building off the macrobiotic model. Just sort of a model of how to eat and interact with the environment in a way that is conducive to balance, you know, really sustainable. In that sense, the main point is harmony have fighting harmony between contracting and expanding elements of forces. Right. So once they have that foundation of we're not going to make a society, that's that's just generating money or yeah, or it will be more of that.
I think I'm not sure what they had in mind. I think it was really just like a place to explore, like a life without that, right. That's what they wanted most. And filling up that hole, That sense of a clan tribe, you know, has Elisa, one of the fund members talked about out, But that being said, it's like they were kind of mean, obviously, very radical extremists in writing. This was, like, lived in teepees.
And the next summer that in one summer they all built cabins for their families only had log cabins in cabins as in, go out to the woods, cut the tree down. Yeah, Shave. I mean, this is from nothing but whatyou as you said, surprised me. Though you said they have Internet, their electricity. You know, it's come a long way. So they've built that up over the past few decades. Decades. But But they're not, I guess, with the thing in my mind, I'm like, Oh, these They're not voluntarily.
You know, we're very deliberately keeping everything out. No, they're not living by some creed that says don't want doing use electricity. Oh, no, no, no. They are living by a clarion call Creed that says Don't eat animals, right? That if there's one creed that Stephanie Stone eat animals, Yeah, I can't think of anything else that they really stood by its like one creek out, but so its own away. Their identity.
Their identity has changed over the years. They didn't start out with this picture. And they exactly. This picture, their own identity has has changed. Evolved over the years. It started with a big open question is like, let's not do this. How do we do it? What? How can we do it better? You know, let's try. Let's just try from scratch. Let's do everything yourself. That's what they did. But that implied that in the first decade or so, they're so poor.
They're like dumpster diving, you know, like making soups out of life. Spoiled lettuce and cabbage Step found behind supermarkets. Okay, so they are relatively close to some civilization. Yeah, I think it's like a half hour drive to the nearest small town. Very small town. Which inn? That's probably where they went for their dumpster diving. Yeah, At first I was like, Well, they dumpster diving their own dumpsters, which have nothing in them.
So I to hear the whole story of how they got from that point to having, you know, I think they had a least eight or nine different cabins. At least you like ten or a dozen when you went there? Yeah, they had a big, big community center and another like multiple. That letter a sawmill. I had a really huge barn that's in construction, still willing. So it's come like it's now really big. It's driving compared to what it came from and how they did.
That was through various forms of government subsidies and grants for building projects. And no sort of a lot of subsidies come from the mental health field because it's sort of gotten into local state boards. Committees for mental health and wellness on sort of have made the found made the argument that they all do what they're doing out of a mental health. Concerns, you know, like is that simply can't wait with society on this place is just so escape from that, you know, find a more peaceful, holistic, you know, connected way of what it was on DH.
They've gotten, you know, pretty significant amounts of money from that. So now they all just share resources and all they spend their money on. It's like food, you know, Steph, building materials set to maintain gardens. That's about it. A lot of a lot of the deal was that didn't want to have to work that like I said that I have to work for money. I don't want to have to write. The whole very idea of work was didn't settle.
I guess so. To this day, they call it activity. You know, something you do because you want not because anyone's making, so it's a very just open ended, you know, do whatever you want. Kind of thing. Although you are expected to participate, you know, that's the deal you have when you're expected to participate in something, do something. But that something could be whatever you'd like to be there is now formal school like progression are they're all home schooled with school is Just do what you want about Go do it.
Very hands on. So What was it like observing the work ethic? People that live there, You could tell it's hard for them to fine structure and, like, build their own structure and make progress on things. The all for the most part that I saw expressed a difficulty running into problems. That and a desire to leave and go into the world to see what that's like trying to do that, you know, like be financially independent.
I have a work schedule and a school schedule, if you want, you know? But that's something none ever dealt with, you know, kids, But they've all expressed desires to do or to have anything. You gotta see what that's like. I think most like everyone I talked to did. Yeah, but you knew. So you're talking about kids. This is the second generation, right? So that there's a third generation is now the one that's like they're babies.
You know, they're right. All five younger. So there's the second generation. They're all, you know, twentysomethings now, and they're all you know, having children. But, uh, no, they're not on a popular thing to do these days that I used to have a baby Ionia, That's the name of the only in place. But yeah, pretty much. Everyone I spoke with had at some point left or expressed a desire to leave. And they want to a lot of things.
They talked that wass were financial independence, have a work schedule going to school trying that out. Come on, DH also just experiencing like hot climate for hot climate in big cities. So that's generally stops make. Thing is, what's really interesting is that's encouraged among like everyone who grew up that they all have, like just money that Khun fund any soul searching to do. So one of the guys went into the hall, built like a school one.
One guy went to Ethiopia in India. You know, Sam, my friend, went to Texas and in New York Climate, Big city. All right, got it. They ended up here in Colombia. But that whole traveling and going out into the world is highly encouraged, which I thought was very nice. But it's still in one of the conversations I had there. It has the It's the same sense of like being a trust fund. Baby, you know, it's like being a trust fund, baby without trust fund.
We're just born into this place where you could do whatever you want, right? Have to do anything in what? Your reactions of that? Yeah. How do you How do you find you make meaning out of that, You know. How do you find happiness in that? No. And that's that's an ongoing thing. That's something that was clearly still fresh on the minds of secretary oration, even as they're having so yeah, that there's no point now, sort of like rediscovering what it means to be because I think every generation used to do that.
Yeah, no. So it was really interesting to walk into that social dynamic of the sort of tension in the air, the contrast between the generations. They're on their belief, systems out what it means to live in that community, what, where they want to go from there on how to organize, you know how to encourage activity, as they call it. Encourage actually collected Angie and using it because it was clear it was like, you know, people are really comfortable just eating that three meals a day and cooking and cleaning take care of babies.
And aside from that, it's like, Well, you could read, even watch movies, shows whatever is a lot. I was really kind of surprised at the amount of watching movies, screens, really, some teenagers. They're just watched TV all day. And don't do anything weird. Stares screen ends like even here, Okay, at Ionian, where you have the whole natural world around you and there's nothing you have to do. People shows.
Teo, that's not everyone course young Rick is actually like to get out more than the other kid's butt. People chose to just watch TV. Well, it's interesting that you know, because it's like the Hollywood spectacle when people from other countries, yeah, they see American music or TV, intelligent films, you know, there's this, like, wow, this is that's a happening place. I wantto that's where the big city thing like and and Plus, I guess through movies or through TV, you get to see worlds that are in your own when you live in that big, Yeah, so they're seeing all these things because, you know, in the winter, there's not a lot to do.
Oh, yeah, drink you When I went to last Get Was is like, Oh, what do you guys do? Your anyone minerals like drink? Yeah, I mean, inside there, inside by a fire months, the time reading, writing, drawing of doing whatever out. But movies were apparently really, eh? Coleman. Their movies were a critical part, the sort of sanity, the cohesiveness of the community, concerned that the biggest difficulty for them was to find common ground on things.
They would talk every day. They still talk every day, every morning there's a meeting show up and talk about the community was going on and the people in it. But to find common ground, you know wass of immense difficulty for these four families. Because when with anyone, if you living with them just like your lifetime commitment, it's hard, especially just coming from different places. But at the same time, you know, it was six out in my head is like, Oh, that's that's very interesting visitor.
It's hard to find common ground yet you all came here to live under like a big purpose. Yeah, common purpose. Being rediscovered and explored on DH. It's clear that it's not. It's not all in harmony as they would. That sort of appears as appears on paper. And was that your initial impression of it, or is that something? I mean, seems like everything was every answer book. And are they? Are they there? Oh, very aware of Or are they under the impression that things are perfect?
Oh, no, definitely not. They had no. Things are far from perfect. Actually, don't like whenever people paint him into positive light, because it's like you're missing the whole struggle of being here. It's not all fun and games, but apparently in the winners. They watched movies a lot together, you know, because as a village as a village yet and they get together in their movie room, which had like heated floors, you know, it's crazy.
The amount of, like architecture and construction they did, so I'm curious. Do the third generation, wherever they get to experience that the third generation do their parents. So the people about our age, teens, twenties probably having these younger kids are they are their partners within the village, too. Or the partners from outside. That's a mixed bag. Now. There actually has been Cem diversification per se.
There's a guy Cuban guy who married one of the Johnson sisters. It has to two children with her. So there's that there's a couple different Asian women. There's like a Korean woman and Japanese woman. A Chinese woman. I think no, there's had. I think there's to at least one child. It's, you know, mix Asian American. And then there's a guy who came from France, you know, wolfing now he settled down and as a child, another guy who's from L.
A. I think a lot of wolfing and soul searching on the road, then settled in time. No. So in second generation, there's a lot of marrying into, like, visitors people, right? We're not out of, but that's I mean as it should, because otherwise it's like, Oh, yeah, I have a large could you imagine? Yeah, no genetic diversity. It's like growing up when you're four years old and you're like, Well, one of my classmates is gonna have to be my wife, because there's literally no one else is like, Well, that's weird.
Yes, I think that I'm sure that has like a big, big emotional weight to it, you know, living like as any growing up in those families, it's like fairly whenever visitors would show up, you know, at least in the last couple years, less so now because they're owns pregnant sort of relationships. But in prior times, whenever you like a young, attractive visitor woodshop, It's like a bunch of really like, you know, just sexually frustrated the Iranians like pound, sexually frustrated.
I own just like, you know, that's to me. The name of song. Yeah, right. They just live in relative isolation, you know, and then, like, oh, like everyone who comes, you know, I mean, went out of their way to show up to this community, like, right, already special. So it's like, let's give it a go on it. It's there already special. They they already think they already want to be there, and they they're attracted to something.
They're, you know, they're trying something different. That's the thing. It's like when we try something different. Let me see what this is all about. Clearly, like they've already shown a great interest in what they're doing there. If they show up, you know, like, you know, a hundred dollars on plane ticket is no small investment. Anyone who just lives on community right. One hundred dollars. I mean, sure.
I mean, for the for the float plane trip, right? That Yes, eighty five. Just for, like, a half hour flight. I Yeah. All right. Yeah, it is interesting to hear about that. And I was glad not to run. That issue was not pounds found by any like, uh, single twenty somethings. There's only now there's only two women, two girls left of the second generation that or not married and are having children out of, like, ten.
Or don't even know man. Honestly. Well, that's right, because it's taken a lot. And there's love it, too, because a lot of moved and not all of them came back, right? So probably only half of second generation is actually there if that if that. You know, I have two questions kind of related that is that the first generation ever go back to the states, lower forty eight and visit family? No, I think so. But I didn't ask about that.
I do know that in the first year, Johnson family sort of gave it one last shot. They left like gave society living in society. One last shot they left after the first year, I couldn't do it and then built a school bus back. But I don't know as faras how often I mean, imagine if they're encouraging, like young people to go explore than deal that people can too coarse, you know? Right. And I heard a few stories, you know, anecdotally about doing that but couldn't tell you from a general from springing.
And what were the careers for previous careers of those first four families are five. Whatever. I remember many. Really. I know that. I can tell you for sure about Sam's dad, Bill Johnson. He just passed. Just passed? Yeah, last month. I believe he had worked as a carpenter. Believe he's a carpenter. He worked in construction. Who's an architect. You also own businesses. You know, like a couple of restaurants. Apparently, I tried a lot of different things.
I think maybe anything beyond that. I couldn't really, I'm not sure of. I heard a few different things, and now I can't remember them. Exactly. But they weren't. I mean, just, you know, struggling professions, whatever, like trying all sorts of different things. I know a few of them did a lot of drugs. He did a few of the first generation did. Maybe all I don't know, there's, you know, like you can become extreme.
And was that extremity comes, I assume the sort of experience ation you mean is probably, like, collusive. Yeah. Most of saying psychedelics. Very fine. Second, Alex, our genes. Right? Okay. Um, yeah, I didn't surprise me, you know, going along with you. Experimentation and visionary. Idealistic. It's Yeah, it's tourism is a rebellious place. Yeah, very much so when they were there, the city's right. Obviously, I was like, Let's break every social norm.
Let's break every rule society has, right? Which did get all the way into you Relationship Norm's. Right. And that's in the first generation only. Yeah, that's where communes get. Yeah, they're sort of connotations. Yeah, and that was a thing there. Fairly. And that wasn't I'm sure I only there are a lot of places like Ionian. Yeah, of course, all over the United States is really to hear about. That was very interesting.
And Teo Teo here, woman, One of the women say it was a first generation, you know, after all these years, one of the biggest things that remains unresolved for one of the hardest questions for dances she still doesn't know is man woman relations. And what how sex is supposed to work. You know what? What is best for humans? My regard, right? No. And I mean that's that's that's very telling you. No, she's trying all this rebellious experimenting.
Why not, You know, and nothing in her mind is still is yet confident that this is the best thing. Yeah, this is is the best sort of way to live a cz faras relationships or sex game. Well, I mean, it certainly has to be different to come from that. Like to know that these four couples are like your reality. This is the rest of your life coming out of these four couples. It's like they shared money. They shared food, they shared everything.
It's like, Well, we got share, right? Everything you know, but that just with human nature that leads to conflict and jealousy and insecurity and stuff and I I saw it. It was still playing out right at that insecurity, that dysfunction. But I don't I can't say whether or not that was accentuated are, you know, made worse by that cross referencing as they called it. I like all these activities. I know they have their also rather, like lingo they developed, You know, how much their own jargon.
Now, there's an interesting thing, um I mean, it's fascinating, I think I don't know. Most people are obviously just content. Eric traditions exists so that people have toe reinvent that Well, I guess. Or this's this works for us. And so I'll just stick with that and never experiment. And then there are all those people who who want to just go all out and and really deeply question and why things are the way they are and maybe come up with some different or maybe just continue, have very unresolved ideas.
Yeah, and it's hard because you have to be able to say, I don't know, you know, when you don't know, be honest about that. But then you also, despite not knowing, you have to be willing to do something like make your best shot, you know, like, you can't let the I don't know, turn it like being excuse for complacent to your apathy. Like, I don't know. But here's some ideas I have. So I'm like, All right, I'm going to go in this direction and see how it goes.
And it's telling to see that, you know, I've seen people who you know, grew up like they were married there are lives at the end. We're very much like I did the right thing. This is right. This is good for me. Come. And I've also probably I think I've seen people who did that. And then it's been been, like, you know, was that right? I don't know. It was at a social construct. That was that marriage really filling me.
But the same you said over, you know, on the other end on these open relationships, they're still questioning it, too. So I think it's much more individualized. I don't think there's a right or wrong, like, inherently socially constructed way of doing things. It's just like I do think there's some sort of evolutionary advantage. Two. Well, you know, and even a question that I like the nuclear family dynamic.
The whole Ionian thing was like, That's not a good way to do it. You know that's two is now a good number, All right? For raising like a small like a family. You know, you gotta have peer support present pure support. Here's the four years of war. Thank you, peer to peer support out. Which is important, I think. Yeah, to like take some of the weight off because it's a financial burden and just day to day burden of having children whenever you have no other.
Oh, yeah, it's Tara. Oh, it's it's insane. It's yes, misery. So I certainly see that, but I don't know whether that you know, you can. In my own case, I don't know if I believe that that's the same as saying. Well, you know, might as well just be in a relationship with All right, well, that's an extreme, obviously, you know, I think my own brothers and sisters and, you know, they all live kind of across the road from each other, and they go through times when they're, you know, they're coming across the road and visiting on a daily basis or hanging out every other day, you know, as a family, you know, mother and father, three kids and then another mother, father and two kids and whatever.
And, uh, well, I mean, I can say that that them just living in very close proximity to each other and them meeting fairly often takes a lot of burden off of like, what you said is there their kids can play with each other all the sun because they have a kid that, you know, three and and my sister is a kid. That's three. And all of a sudden, the three worlds can kind of entertain there ourselves in the three year old ways.
And and then, you know, my brother, you know, they can help each other out. Andi, I think that's for all that having been said about the open relationships around. Yeah, that was that was really confined to the first generation. I think it's telling to see that the second generation haven't grown up under that just would not have anything but it was it really that that's just not gonna work for us. Wow.
Happening. I think that's felt because they saw they experienced firsthand log dysfunction and tensions that come from, like, sort of opening that up. Given the nature of the human ego, you know, And the way that works is like, second, Easy. I think, you know, there are more and less popular members of that first generation, that s o that gravitating towards one man or the other kind of thing. You know, male competition and female competition.
You know all that. Clearly didn't sit too well with the children. Right, But the competition's on going. It is that it's still there. Still male competition there in that first generation. Oh, no, that's got there sort of a their age. But I'm saying one second generation, even though they've decided strictly, like, No, we're not doing strictly except for, like, two guys. One guy he's like. I mean, come on, I shouldn't have Tio.
Yeah, but he's not in his surly and minority, but great. Yeah, it's just it was telling to me to see that, like, kids who saw that? Yeah. They seem to have an answer, You know, right By the first marriage thing, I still don't know kids. Like now I know that's not right. And they know the answer despite putting a lot less effort into the experimentation. Yeah. Yeah. So because they sort of live there were byproduct of experimentation, right?
And it's not so much to say they know the answer, but they know the answers for them. You know? They're like, Yeah, this is like, what's gonna work for me? I know myself well enough to say I'm not going to do that right. I think that's the important thing is the difference between an answer for you and the answer. There is no one answer to anything. It's just like what we're for you. Good. Ah, And so now you're going to, uh I was going to talk a little bit about Peru.
Unless you want to say anything else, I only briefly or any out. What's the one take home thing that you you like most of all, Or that really struck you in a positive way on all More than anything it was is a place that was perfect for just awakening your imagination and sort of your connection to the infinite remembering. Infinity is all around you, you know. There's a saying that says Never do anything that doesn't lead you to the infinite.
Yeah, and I really got to see quite a few glimpses of just eternity. That is something that is really inspired. I think not just eternity, but the realm of possibility. You know, the range of possibilities for my own life and being able to imagine something better. A change of lifestyle, of living situations, you know, trying to. Because I had always wanted to do something like that. That was like my ideal.
But I could never see it happening, you know? So now I went. I went there and I saw the reality of that, you know, that they've done it. Yeah. And look how difficult it wass and looking, how many problems they still have and look how rewarding it was. Look how beautiful it is. But clearly nothing like nothing is perfect. It is very mixed bag. And I got to see that, you know, that no one has all the answers, and I don't have I still don't know what is best for me, but I certainly open the door for exploration and, yeah, the possibilities, you know, being able to imagine imagination is really right taking off, which is something really important.
I think we've got something else that's eroded by constant immersion and like the skeptical of screens everywhere, you know, because you're in someone else's Imagine they were just like things being imagined for us. Yeah, we have to do is we don't have to actually create anything that reminds me and we actually get to the point I did, at least where it's impossible to believe anything you can imagine come true.
Like that's just a night dream, kid. Get right. It's like there's no way I could ever achieve that, you know, So you have to let go and settle for less. Whatever they tell you, it's possible. But going there was like, wow, that they did not settle for less. They did that thing they like, You know, this is what I want to do differently. I'm gonna go out and do it And that was really inspiring to see. And it really was simple as finding each other.
That was one thing they said If you're interested in doing this, just find each other and talk about it and start doing it. You know, simple as that is, find each other exploring options on start times, right? Seven. They will look at more ego villages find people who are into that. That's the next step. So when you go to prove what do you gonna be doing down there? Briefly? No. It's involved with something called the Healthy Kitchens Initiative.
Very poor people living outside of Crisco on living these these shacks without chimneys and cook on open fires inside the home, just like inside the home inside the home. So the women and children are usually around the kitchen area of the house, where there's just seems like they're chronically inhaling fumes. You know, there was a carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and whatever else you know coming smoke, and that leads to a lot of, you know, serious health issues, health concerns.
So I'll be going down there and be a part of a team that goes through these tiny little villages, I think, just like outside of Brusco thirty, forty minutes out on like cleaning the kitchens, building with the family, a small stove like a cleaner, burning, more efficient clay and adobe mud stuff installing. They're giving them water filters, ceramic water filter mom and something called ICO fridge, which I'm not really familiar with.
I'm assuming it's like something to just contain food Santa like santelli that toured in storage. Yeah, store food at a temperature that prevents as much possible like exactly that and that And just like sort of teaching about Clinton like sanitation, right and how to, you know, keep it clean, which I don't know how in fact, you will be at doing because I don't know the language. All right, All right.
Doing more of the labor and the experiential stuff with it's more about going and means people and see how they live. Scene. Oh, right. Of course. I like living like sharing that experience with them. You know, we're really getting to see, because it's all about like, I can't imagine you. No, I literally cannot American. That's like what I want. Will that be a bigger village? I don't know. No idea. I just know we're going to a new house every day.
Holy crap. To do one house today. So I'm twenty one down there in four weeks. That's a lot of water. And you'll be back at Mizzou in the fall for finish your last year or one of my last year than you for sure not going back there. Done except in August. Oh, yeah, this one last year. Yep. Awesome, man. Uh, well, it's one eleven. So she really went over an hour. Okay. Lost during one of the questions you have. You want to hit it?
I want to do some more. Just a few more. More fine. Alright. Few more easily. Be more general. Okay, here we go. You're probably familiar with these. A few for Adam, but what's the most different significant difference between men and women physically aside? Now I think men are in general, more inclined to be competitive. Masculinity often entails some sort of brute force, some sort of strength now dominance.
Whereas traditionally, this is our tradition. Femininity, femininity, femininity. There you go. That sounds like something like that typically was more submissive, Certainly more nurturing, like a mother. Like a maternal sense of mothering Sense the mothers. You know, I think I like the ones that want to care for the kid. Not not. Let's get hurt where I was like, go try it, give it a shot and you get out.
You might get hurt, but you're learning, you know, right? But I think those, like anything there's sort of naturally as much, eh? A biological phenomenon as they are a social, like a social one. Right? Like I think Certainly, social roles are changing. Now, Andi. It's a sign of the times were like breaking out of three much every social on we can and some subcultures you know down. But that being said, I think there's sort of a pretty pretty good reason.
Biologically, evolutionarily for why there are these differences, right? Sort of. Mannerisms. Nine manners, But come on. You know Yeah. Difference is you have differences in the there's an evolutionary reason why women are more nurturing. Yeah, it's not a social thing. Yeah, exactly. Women are more nurturing with babies or the minute like you gotta go kill the well a beast or, like, fight the wars, you know, So there's more like this aggression this I need out of physical dominance or like force, you know?
Or is it? Women are like, the nurtures in pyrotechnics. Yeah, yeah, but now we have with the rail place that size to involved into way have all these norms. We're sort of broke, right? Well, the physical requirement of being a human being is tremendously gone down in a way that biological differences are not as Yeah, I think that sex is there not nearly as polarized. They used to be. I think people are more open to having, like mail is having feminine traits and females having masculine traits.
That's maybe largely just part of the LGBT meeting right now. But it's something that certainly, maybe it's always been true, but now it's becoming more of a socially accepted. Yeah, like a human phenomenon. Definitely. Why, Oh, you're not going. You're not going to be persecuted for even having a different thought or having a different inclination in that freedom from persecution for the booth l a phobic and invaded areas, right?
But for the most for yeah, it's incredible social progress with that. Good. Um, are the laws of nature cruel? Well. On ly As cruel as it is like beautiful. You know, like it's both It's like it's You can't just say it's cruel. You know what? Whatever the opposite of cool is it's also that you know, right? Well, the question isn't like by the laws of nature. You're right. It's kind of it's kind of like is lot.
Is the world just brutal? Is it just, like, cruel be alive, you know, and like, well, there is suffering in every life, you know, everyone must die. Everyone gets sick. Everyone will see all of their family members die or they will die. I like it. I mean, it's just death and suffering waiting. All of us. Yes, but we're here. There's a lot of Incredibly, we get to experience life itself. There is a universe experiencing itself on how many what?
How many parts of the university that ourself where are cognitively aware of that? Right? And you have the capacity to do things with it as we do. You know? So I mean, I don't like these were cool. Good. The American Indians in Eastern culture respect their elders. Can you explain westerns? Culture disdain for old age with. I think there's this general idea that old age is obsolescence. You know, like you're no longer I mean, the point of life is to build up this identity, you know, succeed, achieve things.
You get respect, get money, whatever. Be on top of the world. You know, win the game, all this stuff. Then when you're older, you're dying here and your son is setting. You know you're going and your decline. No one wants to see that. It sort of reminds them I think of their own mortality, but also is, I think, just a sign of Yeah. A sign of just the the value systems with values that we have in the western world very much around like no useful things.
Growth in progress, progress and not dad. Clive's There's no exactly. There's no place for death in the climb In our world of what is good for his progress, what is the course of things is they should be You said obsolescent or ups lead part you think, Is it old people in Western culture, the eyes of Western culture are and process becoming obsolete as age or something like that? I mean, well, we abandoned them and nursing homes and say, We don't deal with you anymore.
Go live the rest of your lonely years here. You know, right in a general, there's a general thing always all the time. What? Which I think, you know, there could be a lot of wisdom and old age, but their could also just be just the same close minded neuroses as you know as ever. Old age is not necessarily eh, Grant a guarantee of wisdom, you know? Well, yeah, And that's why I was interesting when you said obsolescence.
Camera. Exact context, you said. But I was thinking just the other day of you know, huh? The wisdom quoted Ko isn't that old person accumulates is less and less relevant. You know what? He do this this faster and faster changing world so Yeah, but the thing is, it's not love. It's less is less relevant to the way we do things in the spectrum, in society, at large, right? But maybe, like the wisdom, like we're speaking about earlier with, like, human communication skills on how to navigate conflict, you know, and just life, life issues, you know, that's none no less relevant today than ever.
But I think maybe the ability to get it across like the generational divide is more, more, I don't know, Desperate now. There weren't. Yeah, yeah, not not desperate, you know, disparity. Is a huge gap. Huge get the generational gap is really difficult to do it. So I think that something too, because it just we're living in, like, a completely different we're like, going today. I could not even fathom the world of what it was like for the robberies.
Right? Grand parents. Can you understand what's going on today? Yeah, I was just thinking when you said that, I'm like, I wonder which is harder. Yeah, it's like both and like there's no riel. You do. Common ground is not really their Other than that, we're the same blood, You know? Where humans, right? Like again to return that sort of common ground. Good. Yeah, that's a good one. Go and we'll do one more question.
If your ruler of the world always do on your first day, don't ask that question. I'm not gonna even maintain that question. Um I would never be alone again. That's that sort of imagination thing we're talking. Yeah, that's starts with Ward. If which is typically implies. Imagine this. I can't do that. I could never imagine being the ruler of the world. You can't imagine. Okay, cannot simply. Um, how do you find peace of mind resolution?
Like we talked about addressing issues that need to be addressed and resolving them. Speaking about them, you know, with those who have may concern if it's a personal problem, there's not. It's not relational, just with the new write about it right out in clear terms, you meditate on it, share it with someone, you know it's easier to cross his things and shared setting. And really just it's in order to overcome anything any thought.
You have to be able to articulate it clearly. So listen to it for what it is on often times the things that bothers most of those, which we don't ever articulate. Really right. Which sort of goes around in circles and bothers us, you know, chronically. But never like really acutely you never see. It never materializes into a coherent, very coherent thought and weaken a sentence that we can write down really making it clear, you know, articulating what's going on on the resolving it by whatever means are most appropriate.
Unnecessary? Yeah. That is where the peace of mind comes from knowing that you've done all you can, right? And you are doing all you can do what you want to do. You know what you think you belong to. Or even all of you all you can to explore that. Try and discover what you belong doing, right? Well, awesome. Thank you, Thomas Block very much. Thank you. Just today, June first. I don't think I mentioned the date in there, but it's good.
I hope I made a little sense in. There's a lot of sense. Thanks so much.