AMRAYC in 15 mins of: 20 Prisoner Squats

AMRAYC in 15 mins of: 20 Prisoner Squats, 25 Mountain Climbers, 25 Crunches @cabal_fang #WOD

Garry Defeats Earth

IUmbrellan 1999, chess master Garry Kasparov defeated Earth — the entire planet — in a game of chess.  Fifty thousand people collaborated online and they still couldn’t beat the master.

Stop.  Think about this.  Fifty thousand excellent chess amateurs with books, time, and access to resources, tried to beat Garry Kasparov at a game of chess and failed.

I cite this as an example of how, contrary to popular belief, crowds aren’t smarter than the best in their fields.  Yes, it’s true that collective wisdom is really good at guessing how many beans are in a jar, and yes, poll numbers have value.  But collective wisdom can only get you so far.

As physicist Richard Feynman famously said, “Hell, if I could explain it to the average person, it wouldn’t have been worth the Nobel Prize.”

So what happens when the things that matter most can’t be understood by most people?

The 2008 financial collapse was the direct result of relaxed regulation of derivatives trading.  The average person doesn’t understand derivatives trading.  I have been working in Accounting and Finance since 1989 and I don’t  understand fucking derivatives!  As a result, when we hear that Congress still hasn’t clamped down on it, and may be about to roll back derivatives rules, the average person just can’t seem to get irate.  But we should be.  Because the idiots who caused the meltdown are going to be free to do the same thing all over again.

Take genetically modified organisms, GMOs, like Monsanto corn and Round-up-ready soybeans.  The average person understands neither the science of how organisms are genetically modified, nor the complicated environmental and economic repercussions.

These companies are the real-life counterparts of Umbrella Corp., and they are attracting the world’s greatest minds.  Smart people aren’t stupid enough to work for peanuts.  They go to the best schools, and when they get out, they get on the payrolls of companies like Monsanto, Lehman Bros., Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs.

These folks are smarter than us, and the old adage “there’s strength in numbers” just isn’t true any longer.  How do we beat them?  Haven’t got a clue.  But we need to figure out a way.

“Let a man in a garret but burn with en

“Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the world.” #Exupery #quotes


Thanks to you I just hit 10,000 views on this blog.  I appreciate you stopping by to read a thing or two or say hello.  And to those of you who came to visit because you are fans of my books and other products, thanks also for giving my stuff a chance.

Time is the only commodity that really matters.  You spending some of your precious treasure on me is very touching indeed.


How to Make Cloth Bags for Sand and Chain

For years I have been using sandbags for fitness.  For larger bags (25 – 60 lbs) I cut the straps off of old backpacks.  Here’s how to make a smaller bag, for weights 25 lbs. and under — great for doing Sandbag Burpees, adding a little weight to your Jump Squats, grip strength training, and so on.

If you’re going to use sand, don’t put it straight into the bag!  Using contractor-grade trash bags and some zip-ties, and the same technique for making birdseed sachets for a wedding, make some small sandbags to put inside.  Cut out squares of plastic, add a scoop of sand, gather up, and zip shut (use pliers to pull shut very tightly).  Trim off excess plastic, flatten, and add duct tape to prevent leaks.  Pro tip: lots of small sandbags are better than fewer large bags.

Or you can use chain.  It’s more expensive, but there’s no muss, no fuss, and you can do other stuff with it — like draping the chain around your shoulders to add more weight during Squats and Pull-ups.

Anyway, here’s the slideshow.  Enjoy.

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Walk 6 miles @cabal_fang #WOD

Walk 6 miles @cabal_fang #WOD

Living Spirituality

Sunset view getting into my truck after work.

Sunset view getting into my truck after work.

If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change…. science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality.”  ~Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama¹

Spirituality must be alive, fluid, adaptable, and ever evolving.  Holy books are at best of little value.  At worst they are dangerous tools used as weapons by traditionalists to punish heretics and blasphemers.  The ideal method for teaching in spiritual matters is experiential, initiatory, and oral.

“However, transmission can fail.  When this occurs a tradition no longer focuses on or even appreciates direct experience of the sacred.  Then what is left is an institution largely devoid of direct experience of the sacred, without firsthand understanding of altered states and the transcendental experiences they access. Techniques for inducing altered states then give way to mere symbolic rituals, direct experience is replaced by belief, and living doctrine fossilizes into dogma. We might call this degrading process the ritualization of religion.”  ~Roger N. Walsh²

Some of the ancients took great pains to prevent the fossilization of spirituality into dogma.  This is why there is a great deal written about, for example, the Eleusinian Mysteries, but not not much written about what was actually experienced.  The experiences were the most important part, and each person’s differed.

This is why in Cabal Fang we use initiations to bring on spiritual awakenings that are unique to each explorer.  What a person needs is a guide to individual discovery, not someone to tell him or her what is right and what is wrong.


¹ “Our Faith in Science” NY Times, Nov. 12, 2005  (by way of the excellent article at SOMA)

²Walsh, Roger N., The Spirit of Shamanism, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., Los Angeles, 1990, page 8