arthur brock

arthur brock.png

intro’d to Arthur – i guess the earliest – contactcon..

so mostly via Venessa.

then re-intro’d via Kevin‘s desktop regulated state

co-created: emerging leader labs, agile learning centers, metacurrency project 


sept 2014:

What is happening with the metacurrency project?

3 parts: emerging leader labs, agile learning centers, metacurrency project

now 4 agile learning centers

alc mosaic as one

Arthur et al

1:02 – how to solve all the problems at once. hard to communicate that. so we were in the shadows figuring out how to communicate that.

1:07 – how do you explain stuff. we figured out we’re better at building it than documenting it for someone else to code.

1:09 – ceptr – like having an underlying language capacity – that then gets assembled into ie: english.. fundamental capacity out of which all protocols are built – a grammar for creating grammars… our basic memory unit is a semantic tree

creating programs that operate on meaning..

1:14 – we’re basically doing a fundamental change in the computing stack.. so ie: we couldn’t build this on top of bitcoin, but bitcoin could be built on top of this… it’s got the  multi instant

1:22 – not just about changing money – we’re seeing things we don’t think are possible.. we’ll be able to self-organize in ways we ought to be able to – instead of having power struggles..

when we see this it’s like – whoa – we have to do this.. but then how to explain this.. a difficult story to tell

so – perhaps – model another way .. no?


2011 at occupy wall street:

36 min – currencies that make themselves obsolete – a prop till we get back to us ness

42 min – we have a lot already – we just suck at sharing it.. the better we get at sharing – the less of the grip ie: banks have on us.. you start to turn the system upside down. we have ridiculous abundance already

43 min – a key place to start – where are the flows blocked.. haves/needs. how can you reveal that flow.. what do you need to say to reveal it. the wealth that comes from an unblocked flow – the wealth of now rather than from currency/et al.

expressive value – to see what’s right in front of us – and what is the grammar underneath it. figure out an underlying grammar to state all meaning. a brand new expressive capacity that’s a bigger shift on the planet than was the arrival of language.


mar 2016 – Arthur on blockchain design flaw – mar 2016 (excerpts from Arthur via Michel):

Stop the Nonsensus! (Nonsense Consensus):Systems will never scale if you require global consensus for local actions by independent agents

perhaps design flaw lies in not realizing/acting upon this opportunity to disengage from consensus .. (jo freeman understood – perhaps – if i’m understanding right. and.. broken record here.. i know. but .. can’t not.)

That adds an overhead of ridiculous complexity for something which needs to follow the principle of pushing intelligence and agency to the edges rather than center.

exactly… to any consensus or measurement or validation..

Bitcoin and blockchains are built around authorized tokens embedded in every transaction/record, which embeds unnecessary complexity and limitations for scalability into every interaction. Tokens are not what makes a decentralized system work,


cryptographic signatures and self-validating data structures are.

i don’t know… why does anything have to be validated..? ie: if we stop to validate.. that takes our time.. and then others spend time looking at our validation and us at there’s. perhaps better to just let the tech/blockchain.. leave a trail (unvalidated in the sense we use/know today)

But today we have self-validating data structures like hash-chains and Merkle-trees which leave evidence of tampering by breaking structural integrity, cryptographic hash, or counterparty signatures when the data is altered. This makes it possible to distribute the storage and management of data and ensure that the people holding it can’t tamper with it.

what if we make this.. not even about not being able to tamper with.. and more about.. not having a desire to tamper with.. ie: gershenfeld something else law. seems we’d save a ton of time/energy with that. (may sound crazy impossible but isn’t trying to resist tampering moreso..? – starfish ness…)

you could be an authority to show your own account balance, yet not be able to tamper with your account history.

imagine the time/energy saved… if we weren’t dealing with any type of account balance. perhaps we just try.. a nother way.. with no measuring of transactions.

What you need to distribute in a system of collective intelligence is the ability to distribute reliable processing according to shared agreements. *Consensus then becomes something used for to ensure the integrity of the processing, rather than the medium upon which processing is executed. This approach, lets you confirm that your copy of the process is valid, so you can rely on it to work according to the agreed upon rules and proceed authoritatively without having to wait for the rest of the network to validate, verify and update itself with your state.

*or perhaps consensus is no longer needed.. tech connects us.. rather than makes us efficiently decide the same thing/rule. we have the capability for 7 billion curiosities dancing together daily. why would we hold that up with consensus. 95% of dna junk dna (entropy ness et al) if we spend time labeling/deciding it so…. perhaps instead we spend our energy listening to and being its rhythm.

One of the beautiful outcomes from this is such a massive reduction in the processing and storage requirements that it becomes feasible to run a full node on a mobile phone instead of requiring specialized mining hardware.”

agreed. imagine it even smaller – ie: ginormously smaller.. full node on chip.. then use blockchain – or whatever as server farm..


Arthur’s above excerpts from his meta currency project postings on medium:

View at



If you only read one article on going Beyond Blockchain, read this 1 on Simple Scalable Cryptocurrencies, on CEPTR,

article is from march 2016 – and is linked to image above – collection from meta currency on medium

In the MetaCurrency project we started with a different goal. Rather than trying to make one global, anonymous, digital cash (“One ring to rule them all…”), we are interested in the resilience that comes from building a rich ecosystem of *interoperable currencies. We seek to empower communities of all shapes, flavors, and sizes to organize themselves and their flows of resources more effectively. Our different assumptions and design requirements has led us down a different path toward implementation.

*imagining a nother way – where we focus on interoperable people/ideas.. rather than currencies..

  • A currency does not have to be money. It may be a reputation currency, or data used for identity, or naming, etc.

reputation currency.. data for identity.. i don’t know..  still measuring/validating us

You might optimize for anonymity if you think of cryptocurrency as a tool to escape governments, regulations, and taxes. However, if you think of it as a tool for building and sharing wealth inside communities, or if you want to establish and *manage membership in new kinds of commons, then identity and accountability for actions may turn out to be necessary ingredients instead of anonymity.

*manage/membership.. don’t seem fitting with concept of commons

*Managing consensus about a shared reality is a central challenge at the heart of all distributed computing solutions.

*managing consensus..? perhaps could call it that.. i’m thinking more.. redefine decision making and disengage from consensus ..  ie: bring people of like ideas together when needed.. rather than getting people in space to come to consensus.. et al

Blockchain is about managing a consensus about what was “said.” Ceptr is about distributing a consensus about how to “speak.”

a nother way about facilitating dissensus & connections (people w/selves/others)

  1. Empower every node with full agency (the ability to execute processes to transform itself).

yes that.

This allows each node that intends to be honest to be sure that they’re running the same processes as everyone else. So when two parties want to do a transaction, and each can have confidence their own code, and the results that your code produces. Then you treat it as authoritative and commit it to your local cryptographically self-validating data store.

? how is that diff..  can’t we disengage from validation..?

As long as each transaction (link in the chain) has valid linkages and countersignatures, we can know that it hasn’t been tampered with.

imagining a world where we regain energy.. we keep perpetuatingly losing.. from thinking we have to validate.. or that others will tamper with.. ie: gershenfeld something else law..

Either the node has the credits or it doesn’t. I don’t have to refer to a global ledger to find out, the state of the node is in the countersigned, tamper-proof chain.

thinking: either the being is human or it isn’t. if alive/free.. people will only seek that which is their art. cuts out all our fears/obsessions w countersigning/tamper-proofing..

Just like any meaningful communication, a protocol needs to be established to make sure that a transaction carries all the information needed for each node to run the processes and produce a new signed and chained state. This could be debits or credits to an account which modify the balance, or recoding courses and grades to a transcript which modify a Grade Point Average, or ratings and feedback contributing to a reputation score, and so on.

whoa. imagining a world that doesn’t cling to that kind of info.. that doesn’t cling to measuring transactions.. validating people.. et al…

It turns out when you focus on distributing process first you end up with even more greatly distributed data. This is because each participant holds only their own data. In contrast, blockchains store everybody’s transactions in a single database that every node verifies and copies. The underlying foundation of distributed process enables deeper distribution of data and parallel architectures. Ethereum and smart contracts, are doing this the other way around — layering processes on top of a global ledger.


Ceptr enables a developer to focus on the rules and transactions for their use case instead of building a whole framework for distributed applications.

imagining framework simple enough for all of us..

Blockchain cryptocurrencies are fiat currencies. They create tokens or coins from nothing. Bitcoin does this through mining, allowing the miner who completes a complex processing task first, to commit the next block of transactions to the chain along with a transaction that creates a bunch of new coins. These coins are just “spoken into being” (the meaning of “fiat” in Latin) by the node committing the new block. Thus begins the challenging task of tracking all the coins that exist to ensure there is no counterfeiting or double-spending. You wouldn’t need to manage consensus about whether a cryptocoin is spent, if your system created accounts which have normal balances based on summing their transactions. Sounds simple, right?

There’s a name for this completely peer-to-peer approach to issuing managing a currency supply: mutual credit. In a mutual credit system, units of currency are issued when a participant extends credit to another user in a standard spending transaction. Picture a new mutual credit currency with all accounts having a zero balance.


So, that brings us to what we’re really building in Ceptr at the MetaCurrency Project…

We are not building a currency. We ARE building a platform for the decentralized evolution, deployment, and operation of many currencies and other distributed applications.


Most will be non-monetary currencies, tracking ratings, feedback, reliability, timeliness, or other dimensions of reputation. Some will be monetary tokens for exchange of value. All need an infrastructure that doesn’t require a mountain of venture capital to launch and an army of geeks to maintain.

We believe this is the foundation of the next networked economy. And we *want to ensure we’re not carrying over the same broken assumptions and patterns in the currency that perpetuate structural problems of inherent inequity. We can’t just replace the banking elite with a geek elite. We need to be able to build *using the same organizational patterns as living systems.

*same broken assumptions… ie: tracking ratings, reputation, exchange value, .. anything that measures us.. compromises us.. no?

** where in nature/living systems.. are transactions measured.. et al..


find/follow Arthur:

link twitter

his site:


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perhaps.. you can’t have community if you’re measuring transactions in any form…


jan 2017 – future is not govts

View at

One person can’t actually represent many

public consensus always oppresses someone


It will need to a P2P, fully-distributed, digital democracy that will be so different from how we think of government, that it may better be thought of as a kind of social network. You jump on, scan your feed, participate in conversations you’re interested in, weigh in with “likes” or other similar feedback, etc.


the cells in our body figured out how to do extremely sophisticated self-governance on scales of trillions. Fully P2P governance. No cell is President or Dictator of the system.


  • All people willing to leave old pictures of government behind and experiment with new self-governance

begs we leave behind any measuring of transactions.. deep enough.. human\e constitution

For the technology side of things, please check out Ceptr and how you might be able to participate there. For the reinvention of governance, check out the Art of Governance site I’m building this week.


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Representatives can’t represent us.


agile/adaptive governance approaches outperform structures which focus heavily on the decision-making process. When we minimize the cost of trying something, learning from it, and changing it if we didn’t get it right, then we’re leveraging human intelligence in the learning, rather than in predicting an unknown future.


data taken out of context is not information, it is misinformation

science of people ness


This inaccessible jargon is an unavoidable part of “compressing” the massive complexity of a problem into sentences we can actually speak

idio jargon – use to our advantage.. dance freely


The hidden benefit of the current crises happening in numerous governments is that people are loosening their irrational faith in the system, and opening to new possibilities they couldn’t have considered even just a year ago.

art of gov site:


via arthur fb share

View at

my concern is that this system of governance will collapse BEFORE we have the infrastructure and a solid enough foothold in solving real/practical problems with these new tools. If that happens, people grasp out of desperation and alternatives, and they’ll take the one offered by the same people who crashed the system, or the one that the oligarchs who have been running the old one extend.

kind of what we’ve been living for many yrs.. no?


Said differently, we’re not nearly as good as our cells at this multi-cellular organism thing. In biological terms, the apex of our accomplishment — the corporation — the zenith of modern efficiency and markets is structurally a CANCER. It is a subsystem which is structured to use its resources for its own growth at the expense of its host.

We blame politicians. We blame CEOs. We blame the 1%. But collectively we made these social organisms, and we’d better get a hell of a lot better at doing so, and fast.


That’s what happens with the arrival of fully distributed Social DNA.

esp if based on structure that’s already there so an uncovering.. which would make many things irrelevant.. ie: money.. measuring of transactions..

orland and  charles convo-

17 min – orland: us secret service says this about u.s. dollar/econ/empire.. greatest risk to national security is not terrorism.. it’s whether we believe the money is real or not.. if we think it’s not real.. the empire collapses.. this is the biggest national security threat of our age.. not nuclear war/terrorism.. but the global belief that someone else’s authority have power over our lives..



arthur: we need to build some healthier patterns

eric: the primary thing we’re trying to create w holochain is a uncloseable carrier for doing communication interaction

jean: why do we want a decentralized internet..? because we want agency, autonomy, security.. those 3 things are really important and we’re losing that today

arthur: blockchain.. is also burning the planet.. and repeating all these things they were claiming to fix.. but the claims.. the goals were good

maybe.. i’m thinking not deep enough.. if we want healthy planet.. healthy people.. we need to disengage from measuring transactions..

arthur: holochain.. for solving similar problems.. but w/o bottlenecks.. et al

what if the bottlenecks aren’t the problem.. what if the problem is.. we’re trying to solve the wrong problem..

ie: not about security.. about antifragility..

jean: holo is a bridge to mainstream audience.. so everybody can participate in the new internet

deeper problem.. we don’t want everyone participating in .. we want everybody alive..we need the energy from that

blockchain or holochain or whatever.. but use for (hosting life bits) hlb via 2 convos .. to get at basic needs

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

arthur: you get paid for providing the hosting services


eric: you get these applications that are human centric as opposed to money centric.. which is what i think they are right now

we need to get rid of money.. if we want to get back to us

what you’re proposing sounds like a nicer (than blockchain) nicer (than bitcoin) nicer .. version of the same thing.. ie: people wanting change.. but not going deep enough.. not letting go enough to say.. good bye cycle..

arthur: hold things together.. make sure everyone is following the rules.. to have an immune system *kick out bad actors.. natural systems the way our body does this w **cells.. i think it’s going to be a ***bigger game changer than we can imagine

*we can’t do that.. if we want a human centric system.. has to be for all of us.. no strings.. no judgement.. assume good..

the body kicks out **cancerous ness.. so.. let’s get rid of our bad dna/rna.. not people.. best way to do this..? gershenfeld sel.. and.. your own song ness.. roots of healing.. et al

***imagine deeper..

dang.. you guys are so lovely.. i wish we could talk


Still trying to wrap your brain around #blockchain or even better @holochain? Satisfy your curiosity with this fun interview exploring living systems wealth and post-monetary economies

Original Tweet:

Curiosity Talk: Currency Expert Arthur Brock Founder of Holochain & Ceptr – feb 2018


money is medium of exchange currency.. what is currency is the more interesting question.. about the ability to see flows.. not necessarily monetary.. money is a small part of that

2 min – i would be quite a heretic about money.. i’d say .. where we are headed is post monetary economy.. things that are driven more by measures and metrics in reputation of trust rather than money as a substitute for trust

how to measure trust..? thinking you either do or you don’t

3 min – i’m all for people exploring landscape of currencies available.. ie: time banks

4 min – college degree is a reputation currency.. makes hiring in job space a lot more simplified.. can you imagine if you had to .. in hiring. interrogate about that whole domain to determine expertise

ugh.. just a few questions might be more accurate than a degree.. but more important.. if we were all truly free.. we wouldn’t be asking to do a job we weren’t expert in.. so the credential would be.. that the person was asking to join in..

5 min – these are the things we use to track flows.. a flow of ed occurred

it did..?

the college degree you earn by getting these credits.. and credits are a unit of account currency..

are you sure..?

that show how many course hours you spent in the domain.. but the credits only count if you get a good enough grade..


grades are performance metrics.. and you divide up the power in the university by who gets to issue which currency..  prof issue grades.. dept issue credits.. university issue degree..  then the whole flow of education.. of students.. they navigate w these three non monetary currencies


we use these things all over the place .. we just don’t recognize that they’re currencies..

6 min – i think the black mirror type.. neg aspect of reputation currency .. come from how de humanizing monetary currency is

holy cow..

when we get treated as number.. one dimensional

similar de humanizing when we get treaded as a letter.. grade.. as  degree.. as someone else’s judgement of our reputation..

when you understand that reputation currencies are not one dimensional.. many diff types of degrees.. in diff domains.. from diff issuers.. diff unis.. you could have badges that id diff skills/achievements.. it isn’t about numbers.. the whole of pretending that currency is just about tradable units.. not only de humanizing .. destructive to the health of natural living systems..

so too is rating each other..

8 min – holo is designed as a transitional currency.. can run on monetary or reputational currency

holochain doesn’t have a currency in it.. want many currencies to run on top of it.. it’s so efficient don’t need to incent people..

9 min – the reason people think blockchain needs an incentive is it’s so energy inefficient

10 min – we built it on a hybrid so it can weather the transition from monetary to non monetary

12 min – if you don’t get that a lot of the econ problems that we have really come from core underlying power imbalances.. like who gets to issue the money

like.. who gets to issue the grade/credit/degree..? no..?

14 min – enclosablity (rather than distributed et al). has to do w communication medium..  the person sitting next to me can’t grab my words out of the air and prevent you from hearing them.. it’s an unenclosable carrier.. no one is controlling it.. you can create some interference.. but you can’t control it

15 min – if i write you a message though.. that paper is enclosable carrier..

16 min – when you can build unenclosable carriers.. they’re not subject to central control.. point of holochain.. and i think blockchain that i think people have missed.. we can hold data in a way collectively that it can’t be tampered with.. and that’s some real power


17 min – on wealth being the wellness of the whole.. heal health.. weal wealth.. yet we take it in personal way.. like about my bank balance..

18 min – so currencies that are able to go across these diff types of wellness boundaries.. or constrain diff types of boundaries.. understanding the diff types of currencies rather than wanting one currency to rule them all

what if it’s the currency ness that is making us unhealthy/unwealthy

marsh exchange law

19 min – trying to bring everything down to one set of numbers.. extremely reductionist.. and tends to break healthy systems..

so too is credentialing/labeling.. organisms (humans) are always changing.. they gain from disorder.. from uncertainty.. not from reputation.. et al

so in metacurrency project we wanted to see.. what are the dynamics for restoring these systems.. what are the kinds of currencies involved..

why currencies.. ?  let’s use holochain or whatever to focus on and facil/restore.. the root/basics.. needs..

and what are the kinds of tools needed to run those currencies.. and that’s why.. you mentioned earlier.. ceptr.. it’s like rebuilding the computing stack for the next leap in collective intelligence we need as a species

let’s try tech as it could be.. for a deeper leap

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

21 min – read book in 2001 – bernard..  future of money.. that showed this is just one way.. that we created..  his view was still very money focused..  shifted my thinking to .. where is the leverage point for being able to make change.. if you can change the currencies.. all the co’s will optimize that to being the big incentive.. not about money.. but about seeing the flows.. can do social/culture hacking w currencies


24 min – holochain.. a carrier.. that allows you to try many different structures

35 min – on the exchange being recorded.. so if cheated.. others see you as cheater and can block you.. that’s how things operate on scale..

? how is that healthy/wealthy.. open..inclusive..?

1:09 – this is the way you build resilient systems.. the mainstream econ is structured as ponzi scheme which collapse when reach limit of growth.. we are there w currencies and nation states.. if we don’t have some of these real crypto econ tools tied into real human needs before those things collapse.. i think we’re in pretty big trouble.. i think that’s the thing that makes this so imperative..

good.. but have to disengage from econ/crypto ness as well..

tech as it could be..

reason holo has to come first..  how to build foundatoin for new crypto currency econ

1:12 – what we’re trying to learn.. what are the feedback loops.. to create stable value.. the right supply formulas.. et al.. how does this become a self regulating breathing system that sustains itself..

by ‘tying mech into real human needs’ ones that resonate w 7bn people today
ie: maté basic needs.. deep/simple/open enough


fb share by michel (from feb 2017) – Broken Assumptions of Governance


I believe we need to do a reset, and stop limiting next-gen governance by the tools and assumptions of our past approaches. To meet the huge challenges confronting us, we need more than incremental digital tweaks, we need a breakthrough in large-scale collective wisdom. I hope to provide a sense of how that is possible.

if we build next-gen solutions on broken assumptions, we’ll stay stuck in patterns of dysfunction.

So, let’s shake up some of our assumptions about governance we mostly take for granted..t

yes.. let’s.. see below

Humans won’t just follow software anyway, we demand an emotional experience of choice.

cure ios city

The real goal is to be treated equitably and fairly, not as identical interchangeable units.

indeed.. equity: everyone getting a go .. everyday

perhaps best means for that.. listening to every voice .. everyday

What if the goal wasn’t just “one person, one vote” which is about equalizing the power of your vote or your voice, but was instead about finding the highest wisdom or best path?..t

what if goal was just connecting locally .. everyday.. per curiosity

Your “governance feed” becomes tailored to your interests, attention span, ways you like to contribute or participate…t

let’s really ‘shake up assumptions about gov‘ (from above)
ie: imagine no need of gov feed..if facil ing curiosities.. aka: meadows undisturbed ecosystem law

meadows undisturbed ecosystem lawin undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that     o serve and stabilize the whole..

We might be able to keep governance fun and call out the best in people..t

gershenfeld sel as governance (if we need to use that term)

groups where the process for discourse went deep enough that alignment was clear without a need for counting votes..t

2 convos.. as infra

Representatives can’t represent us.


we significantly overestimate our ability to predict the outcomes of our decisions,

so why spend time focusing on decision making.. i’m imagining that if we focused more on facilitating curiosities.. we’d be talking less about the realm of decisions we keep thinking we decision making for

But the sticky point for me is that data taken out of context is not information, it is misinformation (alternative facts?)

aka: data on any of us..  because we’re all currently out of context.. it’s like we’re taking data on whales at sea world..

begs self-talk as data to get us back to us first

First, as far as governance goes, blockchain doesn’t have any. They skipped the step of building social processes for decision-making for changes to the underlying technology, so even the blockchain is vulnerable to all the challenges of human irrationality as it evolves.



Arthur on reputation

Arthur Brock (@artbrock) tweeted at 3:21 AM – 24 Jan 2019 :
Why do so many people make the same mistakes when making reputation systems? See my post: Avoid Common Blunders Designing Reputation Systems (

perhaps.. ‘Avoid Blunders by not Designing Reputation Systems’

money occupies so much of this space in our imagination.

Here’s the crux of it: Reputation currencies do NOT operate the same way as monetary currencies

Keep in mind, I’m working hard to reclaim the word currency to mean something much more than money. It can be a useful mnemonic to think “Current-See” — indicators of currents. We use currencies to build shared, living maps of flows in social spaces.

Currency: A formal symbol system for shaping, enabling, and measuring flows.

we’ve got to stop measure ing.. stop reputation ing

Reputation currencies are predicated on continuity of identity. They make no sense without the ability to stay tethered to an identity.

reputation as bad 1\ becomes an incentive and 2\ confines you to an id

There is often a chain of relationship required to engage in a reputational transaction

cancerous to relationships

Issuance: Reputation, by its very nature, comes into being one of two ways:

  1. It’s spoken into being from nothing by declaration (like you are my friend, Bob is employee of the month, Jane is our Office Manager), or
  2. It’s derived from visible indicators such as measurable performance of actions (like a score on a test, measuring how often you log into a web site, or counting votes in an election).

what if reputation is at the heart of our problem. what if – in order for each one of us to be free – we have to give up our obsession with labeling people.

There are many great ways for reputation currencies and monetary currencies to interact with each other, but please, *do not make the rookie mistake of thinking they should be collapsed into a single currency. In fact, **if you want to preserve dimensions of value that your community cares about when transacting with each other, you should probably expect to use more than just two currencies.. t

perhaps *don’t make mistake of conflating humanity with reputation

perhaps **don’t use any currencies – ie: 10 day care ness


Simone Cicero (@meedabyte) tweeted at 5:20 AM on Thu, Jul 23, 2020:
“The current architecture of the Internet makes it hard to create non enclosable carriers of communication: if your communication system is enclosable you don’t really have the ability to operate in p2p fashion” @artbrock
@Boundaryless_  (join live:

let’s try cure ios city via 2 convers as infra – open to all..

idio jargon to encrypt (?) so we’re not overwhelmed by noise.. distracted from our itch-in-the-soul.. fittingness


lisa arthur & tomas on decent govt