The Business of Free

freeth world free website design and other services

My original post can be found at http://freethworld.com/the-business-of-free/

The success of Google has transformed the economy of the world. In the 20th century the model of business remained largely unchanged. A business offered a product or service for a specific cost to the buyer. For the most part; the price of a product or service depended upon the amount of profit which could be earned above the cost of production and what customers would pay to keep a business alive.

Google changed that by offering their services to people for free. With Google, any person can search the wealth of information available on the internet, receive electronic mail, obtain phone service, and benefit from a tremendous range of other services – completely for free. Google is a company who transformed people; rather, users, into their product. Instead of selling a product or service to the consumer, Google sells the consumer’s information to the business.

Businesses became Google’s customers; offering a revolutionary method of targeting customers (users) with advertisements. Because their customers are businesses, and they offer services to consumers for free, Google has fashioned a model of providing valuable services without cost to the user of those services. This is a model which I hope yo enhance with an organization I have created called Freeth World.

I believe that success in life and business is all about relationships. Seeing ideas, projects, and solutions come to life is becoming less about what you know (although that is certainly important) as who you know and how we connect with each other – especially in the online information arena.

My intent by creating Freeth World is to build an organization that provides services, helping people build relationships both in the online world, and the natural world, completely for free. We will only accept donations in return for the services we provide.

Freeth world is an organization which builds relationships with our clients that are based not on the bottom line; or, money in return for services, but on trust. We trust our clients to exchange an amount they believe is fair, and which they can afford.

It is my hope that in using this model, we are able to provide useful and high quality services to any person and help others, regardless of their financial state, to achieve success. We believe that as we help our clients succeed, we will also succeed, creating a win-win professional relationships. We make our client’s success, our success as well.

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Raising Funds to Plant Communities

Learn about my work to plant communities.

I believe the key solution to ending poverty in our world is by planting communities where people share resources and services with one another, so that no person is left in need of life’s most vital qualities (water, food, shelter, and friendship).

How do we plant communities which embody the principles of giving and sharing with one another?

Step 1 in planting a community is to build relationships with people who have a common interest in the mission, cause, and function of the community. Since our goal is to eliminate poverty, building relationships with those who are currently suffering from the injustice of poverty is crucial to establishment of the liberation we hope and believe our communities will bring to those in need of water, food, shelter, and friendship.

Step 2 is to locate and receive land, homes, or buildings to be used for the purposes of community shelter, space for growing food, and community gatherings. It is myhope to raise funds by providing free services in return for donations for the mission of ending poverty through community plants and receiving donations by traveling the world to campaign for solutions to global problems.

This is the beginning of my plans to help those on earth who need our help most. I hope that you will join me. Please feel free to say hi and let me know what you think about this solutions by leaving a comment below.

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Your Words Have Power

I believe that all of life is made by love; therefore, we are alive to simply love one another.

Problems in our lives and in our world have a spiritual root-cause. Depression, greed, anger, fear, and hatred, are all aspects of the spiritual nature, that when allowed into our hearts and minds produce that which is the cause of problems in our life and in our relationship to the world.

I believe in the power of words to either create or destroy life. When we speak words of love, peace, joy, and acceptance to one another, grace is imparted, and in grace is the power and encouragement to believe in the truth of life, possibilities, and hope.

My first priority in my exploration to end poverty, is to simply be a friend to all who need a friend. To listen, ask questions, and simply share genuinely love and friendship with others. Love, I believe, is the source of all solutions for every problem we ma face in life.

If you would like to be my friend, please send me a message below, and I would be honored to talk or discuss anything with you.

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When I See…

When I see foreclosed-empty homes, warehouses with “for rent” signs, and other vacant buildings, I see people laying on the streets in open doorways and sidewalks who have a roof for the night.

When I see barren land, I see bountiful gardens of food growing tall so that no person awakes tomorrow to wonder of where their next meal will come.

When I see people with disease, I see people coming around them to help receive the treatment they need and the best treatment of all – love and friendship.

When I see electricity, I see energy being produced from sources of wind, water, geo-thermal, and solar, sources which produce absolutely zero pollution to the air.

When I see a man on the street corner begging for change, I see a friend.

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People Who Live Without Money. Yep, It Is Possible.

Mark Boyle

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From an article in the guardian:

“I live without cash – and I manage just fine
Armed with a caravan, solar laptop and toothpaste made from washed-up cuttlefish bones, Mark Boyle gave up using cash.

In six years of studying economics, not once did I hear the word “ecology”. So if it hadn’t have been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi in the final term of my degree, I’d probably have ended up earning a fine living in a very respectable job persuading Indian farmers to go GM, or something useful like that. The little chap in the loincloth taught me one huge lesson – to be the change I wanted to see in the world. Trouble was, I had no idea back then what that change was.

After managing a couple of organic food companies made me realise that even “ethical business” would never be quite enough, an afternoon’s philosophising with a mate changed everything. We were looking at the world’s issues – environmental destruction, sweatshops, factory farms, wars over resources – and wondering which of them we should dedicate our lives to. But I realised that I was looking at the world in the same way a western medical practitioner looks at a patient, seeing symptoms and wondering how to firefight them, without any thought for their root cause. So I decided instead to become a social homeopath, a pro-activist, and to investigate the root cause of these symptoms.

One of the critical causes of those symptoms is the fact we no longer have to see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect. The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the stuff we buy. The tool that has enabled this separation is money.

If we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today. If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior decor. If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t contaminate it.

So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up cash, which I initially decided to do for a year. I got myself a caravan, parked it up on an organic farm where I was volunteering and kitted it out to be off-grid. Cooking would now be outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove; mobile and laptop would be run off solar; I’d use wood I either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode, and a compost loo for humanure.

Food was the next essential. There are four legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering, and using waste grub, of which there is loads. On my first day, I fed 150 people a three-course meal with waste and foraged food. Most of the year, though, I ate my own crops.

To get around, I had a bike and trailer, and the 34-mile commute to the city doubled up as my gym subscription. For loo roll I’d relieve the local newsagents of its papers (I once wiped my arse with a story about myself); it’s not double-quilted, but I quickly got used to it. For toothpaste I used washed-up cuttlefish bone with wild fennel seeds, an oddity for a vegan.

What have I learned? That friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is of the spiritual kind. That independence is really interdependence. And that if you don’t own a plasma screen TV, people think you’re an extremist.

People often ask me what I miss about my old world of lucre and business. Stress. Traffic jams. Bank statements. Utility bills.

Well, there was the odd pint of organic ale with my mates down the local.

• Mark Boyle is the founder of The Freeconomy Community. In a subsequent blog he responds to the comments below.”

Daniel Suelo

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Article from details.com

Daniel Suelo lives in a cave. Unlike the average American—wallowing in credit-card debt, clinging to a mortgage, terrified of the next downsizing at the office—he isn’t worried about the economic crisis. That’s because he figured out that the best way to stay solvent is to never be solvent in the first place. Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit.

His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo. Suelo’s blog, which he maintains free at the Moab Public Library, suggests that he’s both. “When I lived with money, I was always lacking,” he writes. “Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.”

On a warm day in early spring, I clamber along a set of red-rock cliffs to the mouth of his cave, where I find a note signed with a smiley face: CHRIS, FEEL FREE TO USE ANYTHING, EAT ANYTHING (NOTHING HERE IS MINE). From the outside, the place looks like a hollowed teardrop, about the size of an Amtrak bathroom, with enough space for a few pots that hang from the ceiling, a stove under a stone eave, big buckets full of beans and rice, a bed of blankets in the dirt, and not much else. Suelo’s been here for three years, and it smells like it.

Night falls, the stars wink, and after an hour, Suelo tramps up the cliff, mimicking a raven’s call—his salutation—a guttural, high-pitched caw. He’s lanky and tan; yesterday he rebuilt the entrance to his cave, hauling huge rocks to make a staircase. His hands are black with dirt, and his hair, which is going gray, looks like a bird’s nest, full of dust and twigs from scrambling in the underbrush on the canyon floor. Grinning, he presents the booty from one of his weekly rituals, scavenging on the streets of Moab: a wool hat and gloves, a winter jacket, and a white nylon belt, still wrapped in plastic, along with Carhartt pants and sandals, which he’s wearing. He’s also scrounged cans of tuna and turkey Spam and a honeycomb candle. All in all, a nice haul from the waste product of America. “You made it,” he says. I hand him a bag of apples and a block of cheese I bought at the supermarket, but the gift suddenly seems meager.

Suelo lights the candle and stokes a fire in the stove, which is an old blackened tin, the kind that Christmas cookies might come in. It’s hooked to a chain of soup cans segmented like a caterpillar and fitted to a hole in the rock. Soon smoke billows into the night and the cave is warm. I think of how John the Baptist survived on honey and locusts in the desert. Suelo, who keeps a copy of the Bible for bedtime reading, is satisfied with a few grasshoppers fried in his skillet.

Read More About Daniel Here

Heidemarie Schwermer

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Article from BusinessInsider.com:

In her early 50s, Schwermer decided to see what it’d be like to leave her cushy job as a psychotherapist and live money-free, a journey that’s been documented in the film “Living Without Money.”
Sixteen years later, she hasn’t looked back. Schwermer, now pushing 70, recently took a pause during her stay in Hamelin, Germany to chat with Business Insider about why she decided to leave everything behind.

WWII refugees, Schwermer’s family fled from Prussia to Germany in the 1940s. Her father had owned a successful coffee roastery and kept a nanny and full-time gardener on his payroll. “We were well-off but ended up as riff-raff,” she says. “Then we became rich again and (we) had to defend it. I’ve always had to justify myself, whether we were rich or poor.”

Throughout her life, she became fascinated with finding ways to live without money. A former teacher and psychotherapist, Schwermer formed Germany’s first exchange circle, “Give And Take Central” in 1994. The group helped locals exchange simple services like babysitting or house cleaning for tangible goods. “I noticed that I needed money less and less,” she told Business Insider. “And so I thought, I can try to live one year without money.”

Schwermer attempted to live without money at least four times, she says, but it wasn’t until a friend asked her to house sit for three months that she finally took the plunge. “I said, ‘The time is right. Now I’ll do it.’ I gave everything away.” That included her apartment, which she sold first, and everything that wouldn’t fit into a small suitcase.

What was only meant to last 12 months became her life for the next 16 years. “I only wanted to try to do an experiment and in that year, I noticed a new life,” she said. “I didn’t want to go back to the old life.”

Family and friends weren’t on board when she pitched the idea. She only sees her two children and three grandchildren a few times per year, but says they’ve warmed up to her come-and-go lifestyle. “Now they’re proud of what I’m doing. It’s enough for us,” she says.

After divorcing her first and only husband 40 years ago, Schwermer hasn’t re-married. She’s clearly not in any rush. “If it happens, I’m interested, yes,” she says. “Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heidemarie-schwermer-has-lived-without-money-for-16-years-2012-6?op=1#ixzz2J8pzM2dt

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Christian Personal Finance Advice

“One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” – Jesus

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The Church Is Not A Building – But It Does Own Many Of Them.

Many have come to the realization that “the church” is not a building – but it does own many of them. A building is merely materials constructed together to form a shelter for people from the elements. The Church, being committed to serving the poor, has HUGE spaces with which could be used for homelessness to end. I understand that many churches do provide shelter to those in need. But with the modern church moving toward a culture of marketing and performance, bigger spaces are being built to hold thousands of people for a Sunday morning, and are left empty, and guarded by security at night. What if that space were used for more than merely hosting a performance event? What if that space were used to do what I believe would actually make the church appealing to the world – service.

If a building is not being used to give people shelter from the elements for a night, feed those hungry, give water, and give clothing; it’s pointless and worthless having the building at all. Why are we afraid of opening our doors to those without shelter? Why are we afraid of each other?

We are not called to fear people but only God. When you fear God, all fear of people vanishes and all you can do is open your heart to others. My definition of a “spirit-filled church” has greatly changed. Much of the church views being “spirit-filled” as a feeling of atmosphere or lack of restriction in how people praise during the concert portion of the production. If I had the Goo Goo Dolls and Tony Robbins and I could create the biggest spirit filled church in the country based on those factors.

God doesn’t care how nice your facility is and whether or not the people feel comfortable there. However, much of the church has concerned themselves with tailoring their service for the new comer to feel comfortable – fear of man. This is born from a business mentality where we want new customers to buy our product. God wants you to be uncomfortable because that’s the only way this world has ever changed, and God’s will is that our world become like heaven.

Open your doors to those in need and you will really see the Spirit of God move. When did music become classified as “worship”? Sure, people worship with music, but somehow in our culture that has become the primary thing we call “time of worship.” When I walk into a building and see hands raised, people on the floor, dancing, singing, etc., I don’t think to myself “people are really worshiping here.” I don’t make an opinion at all, because that is not for me to judge. When I walk into a church where people are feeding the hungry, providing clothing, and a place to sleep, all out of a heart to simply love people with equal value to ourselves; there I know the people understand worship & love.

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My favorite photo I snapped in Santa Cruz

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What A Blind Man Sees

I’ve been told that I see the world differently than most.

At the age of 16 when I attempted to receive my driver’s licensed, I was asked to take a vision test. I was asked by the woman behind the desk, “what letters do you see?” to which I replied “what letters?” My eyes could only view a white blur within the viewfinder.

After several doctor visits; it was determined that I had a rare eye disease called keratoconus, a misshaping of my cornea which prevented my clarity of vision. The only solution, I was told, is gas permeable (hard contact) lenses. These lenses did provide vision for me to obtain a license to drive; however, after a few months the lenses scratched and scarred the cornea of both eyes, and I was then unable to use them without immense amounts of pain.

The next solution, I was told, is a cornea transplant, which I had performed on my left eye. The surgery was successful; however, my vision has only slightly since improved. I still cannot recognize faces until within 2 or 3 feet, reading signs is nearly impossible, and I reading menus usually means a conversation with worker behind the counter instructing me on their selection.

For many my visual capacity (or incapacity) would be viewed as a great impediment to my life and abilities. When I inform people of my visual ability, the most common response is something like “oh I’m so sorry.” To which I ask them not to be, as I am not defected in anyway. I simply informed so they may not think me rude if I do not say hello in public because I did not see them.

But there are a great many things which I do see, perhaps in greater clarity due to my lack of physical visual ability. A streetlight at night, has light which is refracted into a multitude of patterns and shapes, and it’s quite lovely. Many things are an adventure to me.

I believe that where I am restricted, my vision has also liberated me into seeing and learning in ways most never use. I’ve made many friends by saying hello to a stranger, thinking they were someone I knew, which then initiated conversation. I’ve learned to travel by foot, bus, air, and train, relying on asking others questions about places to get from place to place. I utilize my memory of places and people to know what is happening, and there are a vast array of other senses which I believe have been activated in order for me to adapt to my surroundings.

I am quite thankful for the way I see, and wouldn’t ask for anything more. It is my hope to do things in life which most would say is impossible. I want to walk as much of the earth as possible within my lifetime, “seeing” as many sites, and meeting as many people as possible. More than that, I want to prove that money is not the requirement to travel, but simply truly having the will to do it, then do it, without letting any thought or excuse stop you.

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The Property of Ownership, Africa Land Grabs, and Injustic

I would like, for a moment, to write about the property of ownership. Is the belief that we have ownership over a section of land, building(s), automobiles, and other items, man-made or not, a healthy thing for humanity?

The danger with ownership is that we believe we possess something, but that some-thing also possesses us, many times to our demise. One of the contributing factors to the depletion of many African resources and land, came when the white men discovered they had no law which said they owned their land. They simply lived on the land, farmed for food, and lived a quite communal lifestyle, free of laws. Well, because they had no law, the English decided to make their own, stating that where law did not exist, that land was under the law of Britain, and was free-game for the whites to conquer and claim as their own.

This process of “land grabbing” is continuing to this day. Here is some information about the issue from www.stopafricalandgrab.com:

“Land grabbing is the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions; the buying or leasing of large pieces of land in developing countries, by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals. While used broadly throughout history, land grabbing as used today primarily refers to large-scale land acquisitions following the 2007-2008 world food price crisis. By prompting food security fears within the developed world and newfound economic opportunities for agricultural investors and speculators, the food price crisis caused a dramatic spike in large-scale agricultural investments, primarily foreign, in the Global South for the purposes of food and biofuels production. Initially hailed by investors and some developing countries as a new pathway towards agricultural development, investment in land has recently been criticized by a number of civil society, governmental, and multinational actors for the various negative impacts that it has had on local communities.
The target locations of most land grabs are in the Global South, with 70% of land grabs concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other primary areas of note are in Southeast Asia and Latin America.”

I will write more on this subject at a later time… stay tuned and please feel free to comment leaving your thoughts below.

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