Preface: This blog post is about the eleventh Porcupine Freedom Festival, an annual event held in Lancaster, NH, that is designed to promote the Free State Project. The Free State Project is the world’s best hope for establishing freedom, primarily because of the advantage of putting outside-the-system activists in physical proximity with one another. I lay out a roadmap for why/how I think the FSP can and will succeed here.
I make the assertion that people should go ahead and sign the FSP Statement of Intent, because it doesn’t matter if people change their minds and not all 20,000 make the move. One of the reasons I make this assertion is that, while the FSP is going on, more natives who sympathize with them will come forward. At PorcFest, I spoke with a NH native who noted how lucky he was that he knew about Keene CopBlock before hearing about Ron Paul (who is arguably numerically the most successful Libertarian/Anarchist/Voluntaryist activist in history). It was a beautiful thing.
I registered for Porcfest and got my campsite 3 weeks prior. The tent sites were all taken. I had to get an RV site, despite not owning an RV. If I wasn’t in a hurry, It was about a 13-minute walk from my tent to where the majority of the events were occurring. I lost some weight.
Walks from my tent to where the action was were rarely linear. While walking, there were many things to look at. Everywhere. Walking to “Agora Valley”, the name for the cluster of shops on the campground during Porcfest. Walking to the bathroom. Walking to the tents and the pavilion at the end of the campground. Everywhere. There were tents with nice decorations, like gold and black flags, or fun pro-freedom phrases. There were cars with bumper stickers to read. Lots of cars and tents with something distracting. But one of the biggest and most pleasant distractions was bumping into people. I encountered people I knew only through contact on the internet through email, internet forums, etc. or people I knew indirectly through hearing about their activism or hearing them appear on podcasts. Or just people I had never heard of before.
I could not fairly summarize the great conversation I had with new people at my first Porcfest, but some conversations I had stick out. Like a conversation I had with a government official who is hacking away at the harmful effects of the state, slowly, one-by-one. She was very principled, and I was impressed by how well she was able to give clarity and distinction her ideas. In addition to being successful at getting elected, she has been known to hold signs by the side of the road to inform drivers of suspicionless checkpoints. She mines Bitcoin. And she has turned away job offers on principle. It was an amazing thing to hear. What an activist! A state rep who also likes outside-the-system activism!
One of the things I’d recommend to Porcfest newcomers is to avail yourself to the novelty of watching podcasts live. Just try it once. Most of the podcasters who attended porcfest held their show inside the LRN.fm media room, which was a room with a table and a lot of chairs for people to sit down to watch. The concept of celebrity is not a concept I’m really into, so I did not collapse in awe when I saw may favorite podcasters. I appreciate the work that many porcupine (the slang term for Free State Project sympathizers) podcasters do to educate the world, to bring forward the facts, news, and ideas that the people need to know about and enjoyed seeing them live.
A pleasant observation I’ve made about Porcfest is that there is a community. “Unity”, “brotherhood” whatever good word you wanna use. Examples?:
- A Porcfest attendee I just met put on some GOTH makeup for me to goth me up for the Big Goth Dance Party (I regret not taking a photo of my makeup).
- Stranger standing by me at Lancaster Trading house looking up the grams of silver/USD exchange rate for me because my cell phone reception was poor.
- People who’ve already made the move to NH were talking to me about the towns they live in. Quite thoroughly. MULTIPLE people were offering to give me tours of Keene and Manchester. People know that getting a new mover over there is a worthwhile endeavor and will take the extra effort to speed up the process.
- People who saw me in the Knitting course came up to me later to ask about my progress
- Muslims for Liberty was getting ready to leave the campground and started *giving away* food. It was dark outside, so I couldn’t really tell what it was, but it had rice in it, I had some, and it was good.
Other exemplars of *community* were walking about, but these were some of the ones I encountered personally.
I traveled to New Hampshire by plane. On the return trip, I stopped at an airport in New York. I didn’t remember if the airport was in New York City. But then, when I noticed the airport had some newfangled technology stuff that I’d never seen and confused me, I knew I was in NYC.
When I got off my final flight and left the airport to drive home, I took some photographs. Photos with symbolic nature. Photos showing that I had left that oasis of Bitcoin enlightenment, and was re-entering a world plagued by bad technology.
Competition was fierce in the One-pot Cookoff. This event was so good that TWO of them were held at Porcfest! This event has been going on for 9 Porcfests! Judges paid a fee, and in return, they got good food. The competitors prepared food items for the judges to consume. There were some sizable cash prizes. I tried a large variety of items, many of which I do not ordinarily eat. The exposure to unfamiliar items was great! In this photo you see blueberry bread and sourdough bread with feta.
That’s all the Porcfest content I have for now. See you later!
And don’t just take my word for it! Avail yourself to other coverage of Porcfest!