Update: Apple Encryption Success!

Earlier this year I wrote about Apple’s new encryption deployed on all new iPhones or those running the more recent firmware and that this was good news for anyone concerned about their iPhones and their personal privacy.

Wired published an article this week stating that in New York, 92 criminal cases have come about where an iPhone running Apple’s new encryption was a piece of evidence and that in 74 cases, the NYPD were locked out of the iPhone altogether. We can bet that in the 18 cases where the phone was accessed, they were not utilising the alphanumeric passwords I discussed in my earlier article.

That makes the encryption mechanism somewhat successful in the face of one of the biggest police departments in the World.

Stories like this will have major repercussions in terms of laws regarding encryption on devices such as the iPhone, and if the UK is anything to go by, its likely America will introduce some kind of legislation against such forms of encryption.

Eliminating Consumer Behaviour (Part I)

This is going to be a fairly long post, split into two parts.

The next part of my self improvement adventure is to reduce my consumer behaviour. I already talked a lot about reducing the amount of money I spend on food in an earlier article, but I am going to continue in this vain, reducing my consumer behaviour and increasing my productive behaviours.

What is my motivation for reducing/eliminating my own consumer behaviours?

Western society is fundamentally miserable. We want, want, want. We spend aimlessly and thoughtlessly with no thought for our future. Buy consuming we put more money into the pockets of corporations who seek to influence government legislation and have us buy more and more of their products. Spending money is unfulfilling. Producing content, creating and selling products and improving ourselves is much more fulfilling. I’m sick of seeing those around me consume and I’m sick of seeing some of those traits in myself too. Above all I’m eliminating my consumer behaviours in the hope that I can be a happier person. Apologies if this sounds like a rant – That’s because it is one!

The first step in eliminating my own consumer behaviour is looking at what I consume that can be eradicated or reduced to as little as possible:

  • Clothes
  • Caffeine drinks
  • Social Media
  • Alcohol
  • E-Liquid
  • Time spent in nightclubs/bars
  • Pop culture

Clothes

I will happily admit that I have spent a lot of money on clothes. I own entire collections of various brands. Buying these clothes makes me temporarily happy and I will admit I get a long term enjoyment from wearing nice clothes and people telling me how well dressed I am and asking where they can get the threads I wear. On the negative side I have spent far too much money on clothes and realised the other day that realistically I could go a whole year without having to buy any new clothes, with the exception of suits. I may do just that. People buy clothes because they like the feeling of novelty and guess what? That feeling dries up the longer you have your once new clothes for, so you have to buy more clothes to get that feeling.

Caffeine Drinks

Again, I’m addicted to Diet Coke and am partial to a lot of other junk drinks. I’ve gone four days without a Diet Coke at the time of writing and I honestly cannot remember when I have gone this long without. If each bottle costs £1, I estimate that I am spending somewhere in the region of £350-£500 a year on this addiction alone. That is staggering and unbelievably it’s something I’ve never really thought much about. On the plus side, I own shares in Coke and Pepsi, so…

Social Media

This isn’t really financial consumerism but more of a time sink. I shudder to think about the amount of time my use of social networks adds up too, but it must be a lot. Even checking your Facebook for 20 minutes a day adds up to five days a year spent on Facebook. Most people have Twitter, Instagram, etc. Spend 20 minutes each every day and that’s FIFTEEN DAYS a year spent browsing those sites. I discovered what I call Facebook withdrawal – A sinking feeling that happens when you don’t check your Facebook for several days that I suspect is due to lack of Dopamine and possibly a secondary feeling of “Thank God, I’ve escaped”. Who knows. 120 hours of working even at minimum wage is almost £800. When you think of it like that…

Alcohol

Admittedly, these days I’m not so much of a drinker, but I still spend money on booze and it also causes/encourages a myriad of consumer behaviours such as spending money wastefully, eating crap food and doing nothing. Even buying as little as a four pack a week costs £250 a year. And I know people who drink that much every day.

E-Liquid

E-Liquid costs nothing compared to cigarettes but if you buy expensive liquids it can still add up. For me kicking cigarettes was the start of a renewed interest in consumer behaviour because it is addictive, costly and not good for you; the three characteristics I think makes up so much of reckless consumerism.  I buy all my juice wholesale so I pay about a third of the price and I’m looking at mixing my own juices.

Time spent in nightclubs/bars

I spend a few hours a week at least inside nightclubs and bars. I spend money in these places so I can consume more pussy. That is almost the sole reason I go out. I have plenty of friends and I make plenty of acquaintances and associates anyway. What’s worse is it has held me back from meeting higher quality women because you won’t find quality women in the places I frequent. It’s a harsh truth. When I’m in bars and clubs I’m also spending money on alcohol too. I don’t spend much, but it adds up. Frankly I’ve spent the best part of ten years going out and getting hammered and pulling girls in those kind of environments. I’m bored of it and I don’t want to be hanging out in bars when I’m thirty, either.

Pop Culture

We all consume pop culture on some level. Social networks practically shove it down our throats. The same with mainstream media too. Does anyone in the western World not know about Kim Kardashian fathers sex change? More worryingly I know people who know more about the goings on of the Kardashian family than their own. I’ve never been a big consumer of pop culture but I still watch junk on the Internet from time to time and find myself clicking on pop culture related clickbait. Fuck that.

Part II will be published ASAP.

Ibogaine – An Actual Miracle Drug?

I came across Ibogaine reading advice for someone who was trying to give up a 15 year Heroin habit. I must confess, I had never heard of Ibogaine before, not on the old Rorta forums or anywhere else and when I heard it could cure Heroin addiction in one treatment I was sure it was a complete scam or a drug manufactured abroad by a questionable Chinese pharmaceutical firm.

Perhaps I should be less cynical.

Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive drug with psychedelic properties that can be found in several plants. It’s also a tryptamine similar to drugs like AMT but its tripping potential isn’t what interests me. What interests me is its reputation as a drug that can cure addictions. People have reported its success in treating Opiate, Alcohol, Stimulant and cigarette addictions.

Ibogaine seems to achieve this by encouraging introspective thoughts where people look at their what led to their addictions in the first place as well as alleviating the symptoms of Opiate withdrawal, which as any Opiate user will tell you is fucking awful and is one of the biggest reasons why quitting Opiates is so tough.

Of course it’s not a commonly found drug on the black market and has a dubious legal status in many countries meaning that independent research is difficult to achieve.

There are a lot of trip reports and detailed encounters with Ibogaine, such as the links below. I’ll be publishing any new information I hear about in further articles.

https://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=86662

https://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=38833

http://www.vice.com/read/can-a-psychedelic-root-cure-heroin-addiction-234

Most Blogs and Websites Don’t Want to Help You

Don’t bother expecting 99% of online sites to want to truly help you. I say this as the author of this blog and the webmaster and administrator of over ten other sites/forums.

Most blogs and websites generate money through advertising and clicks, thus explaining why the vast majority of websites today are based on nothing more than clickbait. They use bold titles that seem like they can make miracles work in order to make you click on their link and generate them a tiny sum of money. Some are actively trying to sell you their product or a product they take a cut on. Others are interested in merely the ego boost of knowing a lot of people click on their site and read their shit.

Others, the absolute minority, like myself on this site, truly want to change people’s lives for the better and to inform them. I don’t want this site to grow because I see the vast amount of people as being unworthy of the information that Rorta has to offer. They are far more interested in spending money on bullshit and supporting the establishment through consumer behaviour to grasp any benefit from the information I want to get out there.

On all manner of blogs and similar websites you see generic advice that is catered for SEO and clicks that is completely worthless to the vast majority of people who visit the site.

If only ten people come here a month and can learn something or take something away from this site then I have achieved my goal. You’ll never see adverts on this site either. I’ll pay the bills out of my own pocket. Publishing articles and maintaining Rorta to me is a pleasure, just as watching mindless hours of television is to others. It always has been and it always will be, no matter what form Rorta takes.

Hermit spends 27 years living alone in the Maine woods!

This is an amazing story, a couple of years old now, but I only heard about it today. To give the low down, a guy disappeared into the woods for 27 years, having human contact only once, but feeding and supplying himself through breaking into peoples homes and creating a status of myth in the local area.

Here’s the story – give it a read because its the best thing I’ll probably read all week. 

David Cameron wants to ban use of Encryption…

The absolute privacy of Facebook and Twitter users can no longer be tolerated in the face of international terror, David Cameron suggested yesterday.

Tory MP Henry Bellingham asked the prime minister whether the attacks in Tunisia meant it was time “companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter… understand that their current privacy policies are completely unsustainable?”

Cameron agreed, saying that the security services must always be able to “get to the bottom” of online communications.

From the articles I’ve read, it mainly looks like DC and the Conservative government will be targeting technology companies, rather than the individual, but I suspect regardless of the outcome, the legislation that is proposed will have serious ramifications on individuals utilising encryption methods to protect their data.

Read the whole story here and here.

More updates to come as this story progresses.