Tag: latin america

Nayarit Peyote Adventure: Episode 164

The Story: Peyote journey in Mexico

A few weeks ago, I (Kurt) decided to take a short trip out onto a ranch in Nayarit, about 4 or 5 hours from my home in Guadalajara, in a native American community. Once upon a time, peyote was an important tradition for the Wixárika (Huichol) people in this region, and they would walk for about ten days to arrive at the sacred site of Wirikuta – known as the birthplace of the earth – crossing almost directly over the mountains to perform the pilgrimage. Nowadays, almost nobody in this community takes this sacrament, though many who live closer to Wirikuta still partake, and some native Americans even eat peyote every day, from the time they are children.

According to the mythology of the Wixárika people, the tribe was once lost and without food, and sent off a group of young men to forage. As the scouts were wandering in the desert, they saw something very strange – a blue deer. They took it as an omen, followed the deer, and realised that the animal was sustaining itself by eating a certain cactus that grew close to the earth – peyote. If you notice a blue deer in some artwork, you can be sure that the artist is Wixárika, and is referring to this myth.

In this episode, Kurt tells the story of taking peyote out on the ranch, explains what visions he had, why the peyote told him not to take peyote, about how so much of our lives is based around our interpretation – to the extent that we don’t even see the interpretations.

Join us on another star-gazing episode of … The Paradise Paradox!

The Eps:

Peyote Spaceship part 1

Peyote Spaceship part 2

The Links:

A life-altering peyote trip

The Cash:

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The Episode:

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Tapalpa Check-In

Living in Mexico, I’m constantly getting into conversations where people ask me “Have you been to Mazatlán? Have you been to Mazamitla? Sayulita? Manzanillo? Xochimilco? Guanajuato? Querétero? You absolutely must go!” Everybody has their own idea of which town is the perfect place to visit in Mexico, but it’s not often that I make the effort to travel and see them.

So, last Friday, despite the obstacles, I finally decided to put on some pants and go to Tapalpa to enjoy a little bit of the Mexican countryside and small-town hospitality. These are a few thoughts I had while I was out in the quaint “Pueblo Mágico” of Tapalpa.

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Episode 114 – A Postcard From Colombia Part 2: Island Adventure

The Episode:


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The Cash:

We really appreciate all of your contributions! Every cent and satoshi we receive lets us know that we’re doing something worthwhile, that you are entertained by our program, and that you’re starting to question what you know more and more. Please be generous. Donate to The Paradise Paradox. Or buy some stuff on Amazon using this link. Or buy some of our great T-shirts here.

The Story:

To set foot in a country where you know nobody, where you barely know the language, and you don’t really know what to expect, is a thrill that too few people experience. Will you able to get around, buy food, manage to not get your drink spiked and your organs involuntarily donated to a sicario’s trust fund? Probably. But you can never be quite sure until you stare into yourself and find the courage to do something a little crazy.

Your friends might be supportive of your decision, or they might try to scare you with wild third-hand stories that they’ve heard repeated, dumping all their fear and insecurities on you to prevent you to do something truly interesting. In any case, the ultimate decision must come from you, guiding your finger onto the mouse, to trick it into pressing “confirm”, before you can chicken out.

In this episode, Kurt tells a story about his first trip in Colombia, deciding to make a journey to Cartagena to visit a costeño friend, armed only with the words “Come to the Isla de Barú my friend; don’t worry – it is easy to find,” and a little faith. Unfortunately, arriving at the island wasn’t as simple as it first seemed. Join us on another adventure, in this episode of The Paradise Paradox.

The Eps:

Episode 112 – A Dirty Postcard from Colombia

Episode 40 – Tulum Time Machine

Episode 75 – Andreas Antonopoulos: The Disruptarian

Episode 86 – Juan Galt: Seeking Freedom: The Acapulco Files

The Episode:


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The Cash:

We really appreciate all of your contributions! Every cent and satoshi we receive lets us know that we’re doing something worthwhile, that you are entertained by our program, and that you’re starting to question what you know more and more. Please be generous. Donate to The Paradise Paradox. Or buy some stuff on Amazon using this link. Or buy some of our great T-shirts here.

The Story:

Ever since the peaceful anarchist event, Anarchapulco, in 2015, many people from the US and Canada have decided that moving to Acapulco, Mexico might improve their lives. Many found ways to make money off the Internet or to transfer their existing jobs to a new location, and start a new life where they didn’t have to worry so much about any government interfering their lives, threatening them for operating their business in a way that the state didn’t like, or getting their dogs shot by police officers for no apparent reason.

They may face many obstacles on their journey, including their friends and family warning them to stay away from the city which is run by drug cartels, where the police periodically go on strike, and which is reputedly the fourth most dangerous in the world. Nevertheless, these brave soldiers journey on, and many of them are willing to share their expatriation wisdom experience with the world. It takes one man to document the evolution of this community of liberty-minded individuals, this Latin American “Galt’s Gulch”, and his name is Juan Galt.

In this episode, Kurt interviews Juan and talks about the ways that cryptocurrency might be used in the near future to replace government property registry systems, his documentary (renamed since the interview as “Seeking Freedom: The Acapulco Files”), and ways to break down borders using Bitcoin and smart contracts. Join us on a jet-setting, freedom-fighting, border-bounding episode of … The Paradise Paradox!

The Eps:

Episode 50 – Juan Galt: Ethereum and the Future

Episode 52 – Juan Galt: The Panopticon & Your Privacy

The Links:

“Seeking Freedom: The Acapulco Files” on Disruptek.Info

“Seeking Freedom: The Acapulco Files” on Facebook

“Seeking Freedom: The Acapulco Files” trailer on YouTube

Disruptek.Info

Juan Galt interviews Andreas Antonopoulos

BitHalo: Mother of smart contracts

Bitnation – Governance 2.0

 

Episode 82 – Tuur Demeester: Adamant Research

The Episode:


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The Cash:

We really appreciate all of your contributions! Every cent and satoshi we receive lets us know that we’re doing something worthwhile, that you are entertained by our program, and that you’re starting to question what you know more and more. Please be generous. Donate to The Paradise Paradox. Or buy some stuff on Amazon using this link. Or buy some of our great T-shirts here.

The Story:

Tuur Demeester of Adamant Research states that Bitcoin is “as if gold was invented 7 years ago”. Bitcoin was indeed designed to have all of the qualities that make sound money, and has provided what was thought to be impossible – a scarce digital commodity – a crypto-anarchist’s wet dream.

Since Bitcoin’s initial rise in popularity, many people have began to question what the word “money” even means, forcing many economists to question their theorems and assumptions. And, when comparing cryptocurrency to fiat currencies around the world, an inquiring mind may eventually come to the conclusion that there is nothing more dangerous or destructive than to have money under the control of central banks – enabling endless wars and imprisonment of many peaceful people.

Since 2007, many central banks have been colluding with governments to increase currency supplies, creating an excess of “cheap money” – that is, currency from loans with artificially low interest rates. The low interest rates encourage entrepreneurs to borrow more and more – which, in the short term, appears to stimulate the economy – however, this then becomes an unstable economy, because the business owners have been fooled about the true amount of resources available. This leads to many bubbles – and the subsequent bursting of these bubbles.

Take the Australian economy as an example. Over the past ten years, or longer, Australia has been riding the wave of the commodity boom, caused by artificially cheap credit and loose investment, accompanied by strong buying power from a booming Chinese economy. Now, however, many prices in the commodities market have been falling for the past twelve months, and nobody knows where they will find a bottom, and the Chinese stockmarket is suddenly struggling with its own crisis. As a consequence, many mutual funds and other investment firms are left out to dry, holding derivatives from companies such as Glencore, which have overextended themselves using cheap loans. Furthermore, many regular Australians might be left holding houses and other property, fueled by the collective delusion that is financially sound to undertake a 30 year contract to pay off a loan and get that family dream home.

The icing on the cake is that there is a surge of baby boomers that are looking to retire this decade. They are feeling very comfortable with their investment portfolio and with massive equity held  in the family home. “Now is the time to enjoy myself after a lifetime of work”, say Mr. and Mrs. 65. Unfortunately, if international markets continue to tumble under the pressure of falling commodity prices and the collective population awake to the reality of the insolvent banking system – retirement could quickly become a luxury of past years.

It’s here that the immeasurable value of the new virtual asset, Bitcoin, will play a major role in access to and storage of your own money. Perhaps a safe haven to park you money, or at least a little bit for the soon coming rainy day. In this episode we speak with Tuur Demeester, where we talk about Bitcoin, the future of the world economy, the Australian economy, and his investment newsletter. Join us on a rollercoast ride from boom to bust, in the next thrilling chapter of … The Paradise Paradox!

The Eps:

Currency Collapse Normalcy Bias

Episode 70 – Glencore Risk: Credit Crunch Crisis Crash

The Links:

Tuur’s Q&A at LaBITconf

How to Position for the Rally in Bitcoin by Adamant Research

Australia bet the house on never-ending Chinese growth. It might not end well

Episode 74 – Latin America Bitcoin Conference LaBitConf Arrival

The Episode:

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The Cash:

We really appreciate all of your contributions! Every cent and satoshi we receive lets us know that we’re doing something worthwhile, that you are entertained by our program, and that you’re starting to question what you know more and more. Please be generous. Donate to The Paradise Paradox. Or buy some stuff on Amazon using this link. Or buy some of our great T-shirts here.

The Story:

Argentina was once one of the richest countries in the Americas, and in the world. One hundred years ago in Paris, the phrase “rich as an Argentine” was a common phrase. Now, not so much.

Today, Argentina is a country plagued by the whims of corrupt bureaucrats and central bankers. Over the last 60 years, the Argentine peso has been devalued 4 times, now being worth approximately one ten trillionth of what it was worth. Because of this, when Argentinians such as Rodolfo Andragnes heard of Bitcoin, they were particularly receptive to the idea of sound money with no central point of failure – no corrupt bankers that could steal or print their wealth away. These ideas captured the imagination of Andragnes, and in 2013 he decided to start the first Latin American Bitcoin Conference, Labitconf.

Many Latin Americans are excited at the possibilities that it offers, perhaps giving Venezuelans a way to escape the hyper-inflation of the Bolívar, and giving favela-dwellers in the depths of urban sprawling Rio de Janiero an opportunity to build a reputation, trade outside of their direct communities, and grow real wealth.

In this episode, we describe our arrival in Mexico City to attend the third Latin American Bitcoin Conference, and talk about what we expect to happen at the event, and all the interesting speakers we hope to interview.

The Links:

Localbitcoins

Bitso

Andreas Antonopoulos on Twitter

TDV Interview Series: Jose Rodriguez on Latin American Bitcoin Opportunities

E-coin ATM card

Bitnation ATM card

Coinjar ATM card

Episode 56 – Cubanitos & Cuba with Niki and Rav

The Episode:

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If you enjoyed the episode, don’t keep it a secret! Feel free to share it on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit, or your office bathroom wall.

The Cash:

We really appreciate all of your contributions! Every cent and satoshi we receive lets us know that we’re doing something worthwhile, that you are entertained by our program, and that you’re starting to question what you know more and more. Please be generous. Donate to The Paradise Paradox. Or buy some stuff on Amazon using this link.

The Story:

Cuba is Cuba! There is no other! A real human life time capsule.

Today, Cuba is known for its cigars, old cars, beautiful women, sandwiches and suppressed economic state. For most travellers and for the weekend visitor that is all that they are going to see. What you may not see is how fast Cuba is changing, very soon it will be returning to what it once was, a buzzing, popping, trading hub of activity.

With a mega rich history, connected to the Spanish Empire, this colony up until early in the 20th century continued to benefit from foreign investments, hence industry development, and of course high immigration. All this positive movement was drawn to a halt once its relationship status with the United States became complicated.

On the dark side of Cuban history we find pirates, the Cuban revolution, the cold war and the trade embargo. This US government imposed trade barrier was the seal that closed Cuba off to the world. Totally effecting trade, production income and the country’s economic health, a travel ban was also imposed on U.S. citizens visiting Cuba, a bullet in the head for the tourism industry.

Cuba has shown its resilience, sustainability and creativity, naturally taking on a hacker culture, where everything becomes repairable. Most household objects might find themselves a second or third life. This changes the way the communities view experiments, science and innovation. Harsh limitations on materials, open the peoples minds and changs what they are willing to experiment with. This completely new perspective of innovation can be seen impacting other areas of the society. In particular we can see how this collective mentality has impacted the medical establishment, where research is less bound by status quo judgements and predispositions. Within this culture we can see homeopathy taken seriously, where these medications are now being mass-produced.

This is an example of how Cuba is in a time of change. As this blockage is lifted the Cuban industries will begin to pick up the pace. Tourism will find the next gear and continue to boom, manufacturing will increase, consequently exports will rise and their will be employment for the people. This integration of economies will be beneficial to all parties, except for perhaps the local tourism in Miami. We are only weeks away from seeing commercial ferries opening routes from Miami ports. We already see Cuba welcoming three million visitors per year, new waves of tourists should bump that up. Who knows, Cuba may be the new spot for spring-breakers!

In this episode, we are again joined by Niki and Rav for part two of their Latin travels. They share more travel stories such as: taxi adventures, how they dealt with the two Cuban currencies, struggles with the local Spanish language and tips for all the future travellers to Cuba. We also discuss communism from a tourist’s perspective and from other sources – what we do know about the system, in particular regarding the education system and research in the field of medical science. These were just a few topics amongst many more. Please enjoy another episode of The Paradise Paradox.

The Links:

Lonely Planet Cuba (Travel Guide)

Trip Advisor Cuba

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)

Cuban Sandwich Recipe

Cuban sandwich on Wikipedia

Cuba’s DIY Inventions from 30 Years of Isolation

The Men Who Stare at Goats – psychical and bizarre research in the US military