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Alex

Changing the world can be done with only a few minutes of your time. You may not be able to donate millions of dollars to a political campaign. You may not be even able to volunteer in a campaign. But what you can do is use a dash of your time to have a material affect in the political realm. What is even better, about this method for change, is that it can be done through an avenue that a lot of people use  for entertainment every day.

This magical tool is video ad viewing on the internet. Most of the ads I view are a result of my time on YouTube, but I see a number of others on other websites. When an ad pops up about a candidate that I disagree with I don’t get annoyed and skip the ad the moment that counter goes to zero. I take an extra minute and 15 seconds to finish watching the ad. Yes it is a weird behavior but I just cost that campaign 20 cents and stopped them from reaching a person who may have been more susceptible to their message. If nothing else I get to utilize half of the sunk time cost for those ads I have to watch before accessing a website or video.

On the other side of that behavior is what I do to help the causes I identify with. I immediately skip the ads for causes and candidate I already agree with. I save those campaigns 20 cents and let them use those funds to reach someone who has yet to be persuaded.

The same tactic can be used on companies, products and organizations that utilize YouTube commercials. I have found this method to be  an emotionally satisfying way to divert small amounts campaign resources in directions that I approve of. For my approved candidates and causes I divert the resources to more productive endeavors.The effect may be small but it can add up and it lets me do my small part for the world.

Alex Maxwell France

quarter share a trader taleTrader Tales by Nathan Lowell is a science fiction series set in the the 24th century also known as the golden age of the solar clipper. The main character Ishmael is orphaned at age 18 and needs to find a way off of the company owned planet now that he is no longer a dependent. Ishmael manages to find employment on a ship called the Louis McKendrick where he grows into and learns what it means to be a spacer (space sailor). The Tales are very well written and the narration brings the characters to life. Trader tales has my recommendation as a great read.

One of the best things about the series is that Ishmael never becomes larger than life. Even when he is the captain of his own ship much later on in the series Ishmael is very easy to relate to. He shows how some hard work and out of the box thinking can make a big difference in quality of life aboard ship and anywhere where else. Another fantastic theme in the series is the constant entrepreneurship and capitalism practiced by Ishmael and his friends. They move goods to planets where those goods are desired and get paid good money for it. The free market at work is a beautiful thing.

Nathan Lowell is by far my favorite author and narrator. What is even better is that his the majority of his  work is available in audio form for free in the podcast section of the Itunes store. Most of Nathan Lowell’s work is science fiction but he does have one fantasy book out with more on the way. On the Itunes store Nathan Lowell pretty much always receives five star ratings. Another thing that tells you how good his books are is that Nathan Lowell makes money by selling physical books to the people who like the book so much that they want a physical copy for their book shelves and for loved ones who don’t listen to audiobooks.

I have enjoyed his audiobooks while driving running and waiting in lines. Whatever I may be doing at the time Nathan Lowell keeps the boredom at bay and makes the time fly.To listen to his work for free you can go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trader-tales-1-quarter-share/id216922503 or podiobooks.com.

Solid savings options

Solid savings options

I find that it can often be quite difficult to keep increasing the amount of money in my savings account, considering that it is way too easy to transfer money from savings to my debit account. As a young adult, I have trouble not spending money that I don’t need to when whatever small item I want is just a card swipe away. I can only imagine how my easy spending habits would be magnified with a steady income.

My best savings strategy by far has been to lock my savings into something that can’t be accessed online within minutes of opening up my bank’s website. Whenever I get a respectable savings balance, I make a withdrawal and go to my local pawn shop where I purchase all the bullion I can afford which is pretty much always silver. Of the silver bullion options out there, I prefer pre-1964 – 90 percent silver coins.

These are commonly referred to as junk silver, but the term is misleading. If you compare the look and feel of a silver quarter to the crap that passes for pocket change today, you will find that it is a beautiful and real store of value. This may be odd, but I think the clink a handful of silver makes is much more satisfying than that of modern coins.

Someday I may liquidate my silver savings to fund a surefire business idea or pay for an emergency expense, but until then, it will remain in a safe place where it can’t be stolen without extreme difficulty or sold by myself when the current dollar price becomes too tantalizing to pass up.

Cha Ching and until next week (hopefully),

Alex

An ounce of motivation

An ounce of motivation

I have made a deal with myself and my mother to keep myself committed to this blog. In her possession I have placed 25 ounces of my silver savings and for the next  25 weeks every week that I neglect to put up a new blog post is one less ounce of silver in my savings. I used to get a few dollars for a good grade so why not reverse that motivation scheme now?
It’s not as if I don’t want to blog, I just needed to find a good solid way to motivate myself. When this method of motivation works and the 25 weeks is over I will most  likely be addicted to blogging. Even as I write this post I can breathe a little easier with the reassurance that an ounce of my silver is safe.

My mom, Sylvia France, the marketing guru and social media maven has her own blog on www.evolvingcircus.com. She convinced me to start my own blog since she thought my rants and thoughts might be interesting to some people and its a great way to build my credibility as an entrepreneur. We started this process by developing a content calendar and identified the areas in which  I will be blogging – myself, health, bit coin, precious metals, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute (www.mises.org), an economics think tank in Auburn, Alabama.

        This is my first ever blog post and I would appreciate any constructive criticism, encouragement and suggestions.

Cha Ching and until next week (hopefully),

Alex