It’s crazy that my last post was nearly ten years ago.
There was additional content from later 2011 and 2012, which I posted on a self-hosted site (versus my archive, which was hanging out on WordPress.com’s free servers). This content was lost because I was too broke to renew the hosting this year.
The lost content had some gooey shit written in anticipation of my impending marriage. Fittingly, the divorce from the said marriage was why I was too broke to renew the hosting service. Good riddance to bad ideas and institutions.
A fuck-ton of stuff was happening in my life when I left off in January, 2011.
I would propose, impregnate, and get married to my girlfriend that year. That proposal precipitated the need for a “real” job to support a family. This led me to reach out to then-friend Graham Hill, which led to my position at LifeEdited, which thrust me into the real-estate industry.
It was in 2011 that I essentially stopped writing my spiritually-focused blog in earnest to focus on my job and family. After years of working for free alone in abstraction, money, purpose, and company were welcome changes.
At this same time (2010-2012), my father was rapidly deteriorating from terminal lung cancer. I was shuttling back-and-forth between Brooklyn and Boulder, Colorado. He eventually died in July of 2012, nine days before my first son, Finn, was born.
Suffice to say, it was a lot for me to handle and any attention I gave to the self-driven, unpaid writing was displaced my growing bevy of responsibilities.
I was initially hired by Graham to be a project manager for our prototype apartment, LE1. After the bulk of my PM duties concluded or were offloaded to our architects, I focused on marketing and PR for the project. Graham suggested we start a newsletter to capture an audience for he unit sales that never came.
By the end of my five-year stint with LifeEdited, I cranked out hundreds of newsletters covering the growing micro-housing, PropTech, YIMBY, and minimalist movements. Since LifeEdited as a business never got beyond being extraneous design partners, the newsletter, or the press I helped generated, really was LifeEdited.
By so consistently churning out quality, timely content on housing innovation, I had amassed an amazing network of leaders from the real-estate, design, and startup scenes.
And while I didn’t actively promote my personal site and philosophies, the content on my personal site was consistent with the “minimalist” philosophy LifeEdited was preaching. (I would later find out it was such a perfect match because he ripped off my content and used my 2009 New York Times feature as the basis for starting LifeEdited.)
I also became a better writer and thinker in this time, crafting 250-1,500 word posts, often five-days a week.
After tiring of Graham’s continued focus on bullshit vanity projects, I left LifeEdited in May, 2016. I leveraged my reputation from the newsletter and other endeavors to start a successful real-estate called Hothouse Marketing and Communications. I left my wife around this same time as well, a relationship which bore many similarities with my relationship with Graham,
During the Hothouse years (2016-2019), I solidified my reputation as the housing innovation guy. I had a cult-following for my newsletter. I did a solo podcast as well as a joint one with my then-friend Dror Poleg; he played the commercial real-estate-focused straight man to my residential-focused, intellectually robust, punk-rock, irreverent persona. The two of us also hosted cliquish, invite-only dinners for the cool kids in the NYC and international PropTech and development scenes.
To illustrate the sort of company I kept, in 2017-2018 I collaborated with IKEA’s innovation team on their future-forecasting and prototyping initiatives; I also produced a white paper about the future of housing for Lowe’s Home Improvement’s Innovation Labs. I was the guy people called when they needed a missing piece or a critical connection in the housing industry, among others. [I will get more specific in coming posts about people and projects, besides LifeEdited, whose success was directly tied to my interventions.]
By mid-2019, I felt like I had one of the more positive reputations of any human on the earth. I had faced some deep self-limiting traumas set-forth as a child needing to take care of his mom.
I started to allow myself to be seen the way others saw me. I started to acknowledge how people knew me as a man of high moral fabric with deep intellectual reserves. This rep built me an unparalleled network of truly influential people–I was the guy who knew the real influencers whose reverberations could be scene everywhere. And to those in my network, I was generous with sharing what I learned and the connections I made.
When I became aware of my influence, I thought–perhaps for the first time–what would happen if I used it to enrich and serve myself first?
I’m sure there’s a post on this site about my mommy issues, but I have them. More specifically, I have a history of co-dependency borne of a childhood spent caring for my drunk, promiscuous mom. As such, many of my past relationships were characterized by me acting as care-giver to narcissist abusive addict types.
These were the issues I was working through in mid-2019, inspired by persistent interpersonal issues arose during my never-ending divorce as well as the two-year-long rebound relationship I was in at that time.
It turns out it wasn’t just my issues that made my relationships so difficult.
I had a knack for collecting extreme narcissists, whose inexhaustible material and emotional needs fuel my need to be needed and the big man.
It turned out a significant portion of my amazing menagerie of thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and trophy relationships were parasitic narcissists–men and women, almost always rich and white, who could not comprehend a situation where their needs are not met and not met first.
When an enabler puts their needs before the addict, it’s extremely disruptive for both parties, especially the addict.
When I started to advocating for myself, focusing on and believing in my personal and professional priorities; when I asked for proper recognition and compensation for my efforts; when meaningful support from my gaggle of addicts was nowhere to be found, despite their access to massive resources, the addict-enabler relationship got disrupted.
While my professional situation was shifting, my newfound swagger also caught the eyes of several womenfolk in my life, some of whom had written me off as an also-ran or a clever boy-toy. These women–not just the obvious one–seeing my newfound gusto, each launched her own respective campaign to ensure my ongoing participation in fulfilling their unrequitable daddy-needs.
There’s a lot to say about not always having your heart open–or at least not opening it until you know its full contents…more on that later.
Basically, my life went from the top of the mountain to the depths of a cesspool in a matter of months. My kids were taken away from me, my never-ending divorce didn’t end, and I would be pulled into three separate legal situations that resulted in me losing all access to my young boys, Finn and Ryder, who are my reason for living, and I’ve been arrested four times in 2020 over nonsense charges I’m too broke too fight.
When it was clear that virtually none of my closest relationships gave a shit about helping me when it didn’t help them, when everyone stopped picking up my calls or responding to my emails, I said said to hell with my good reputation.
I got nasty like Ike Turner.
I launched a public campaign against the reputations of the members of my once-esteemed network of friends and colleagues; the ones who were only too happy to receive my help when they needed it.
I figured, correctly, that if I could hoist them up, I could just as easily knock em down.
Most people just disappeared.
Others wanted to characterize my campaign against them and their nonexistent value-systems as mental illness. The gals at The New York Times and Graham Hill were the main champions of this narrative. Instead of listening to what I said and trying to help my, and society’s numerous woes, they silenced me and told me get medicated.
Graham went so far as to fly across the country and host the world’s saddest and shortest intervention with a dude named Dr. Phillip and a cadre of startup nitwits like Kael Goodman of Blank Slate/Brownstoner and Scott Blew.
This intervention had nothing to do with my mental wellbeing, which was largely tied to the ongoing stress of my life’s circumstances, which, as a divorcing father of two without millions in the bank, was quite different than the Venice-beach-volleyball-playing, childless Graham. No, he was concerned with the health of his Instagram following, which presumably took a hit after I called him an enemy of climate and social justice on that platform and several others. I’ll dig into Graham’s lameness in future posts.
So why I am I writing now?
For one, I’m a writer. It’s one of those things I do and must do.
Secondly, I’ve been deplatformed to the extent I need to control my medium (though I’ve had my websites hacked too). I’ve been arrested over political Instagram posts. I’ve been kicked off of LinkedIn twice now and flagged every-which-way on on Facebook. Many of my press contacts (NYT, WSJ, Dwell) have blocked me. I need a place to share and record my story.
I’ve launched a few sites in the past year such as The Homeless Real Estate Developer and Brokesmith Jogging. These popup sites were primarily designed as weapons in the aforementioned war on the pathogenic elements of my network and society. This site will feature more than takedowns, though I won’t promise there won’t be many of those.
Third and final, I’m ready to create and think I can do it in a way that may be valuable in way, shape, or form. The main engine for my creating is The Change Order Group, my new development company that will connect all the disparate parts of my history into the most important company of the 21st century. Mark my words.
What you can expect of my new content.
- It’ll be raw. For good reasons, I do not want to talk shit about Graham Hill on my company’s site. But I want people to know he’s a piece of shit. Real reality is so much cooler than Graham’s whitewashed version. This site will be the vessel to say what I feel needs to be said, but can’t be said on social media or professional outlets. Check my back catalog for good-feels inspiration.
- It won’t be over-edited. There will be typos and a tendency towards Dickensian brevity. I will avoid factual errors, however. I’ve spent much of my life being hyper-concerned about having concise, coherent narratives concerning every aspect of my life. This is my place to be long-winded and incoherent, should I so choose (though it’s rarely my inclination to choose that route).
- It’ll occasionally (maybe often) seem inappropriate. Appropriate is subjective. Get over it and/or get lost. Follow my logic, not the rules.
- It’ll be overtly spiritual and metaphysical. This is a site of me that’s developed quite a lot in the wake of last years events. I’ve enriched or taken on new beliefs about the nature of existence that’ll sound like bullshit to my scientific-humanist readers. I’ll talk seriously about things like reincarnation and astrology. While I can’t force non-believers to believe, I can ask to be judged based on the strength of my arguments, logic, and evidence.
- I’ll be occasionally be overtly sexual (though not graphic). While I have deep queer roots and celebrate all cool people regardless of orientation, I am a cis male who feels there’s a distinct lack of appreciation for good old fashioned heterosexual romance. Despite my foibles with the fairer sex, I’m still game to use my body, mind, and heart for one its most essential duties. I think some of this sex-specific utility has been lost in era of everyone is equal and the same pan-sexual idealism. As such, my content will sometimes be sexual in nature, coming from my perspective as a hetero male (no pun intended). I will not speak for someone else unless it’s clear they can’t do it for themselves, which does happen in matters of sex on occasion.
I’ll stop writing here, as this this is far longer and more didactic than I’d prefer. But I am covering ten-years of terrain and I’m not sure if anyone is reading, so there you have it.
I’ll be sharing a lot more short-form content, links to interesting stuff, and expansion on the situations and stories worth expanding on.