Welcome to the home page of Carl Milsted, Jr., Ph.D. I am a physicist by training and programmer by career, who dabbles in political philosophy and strategy when time permits.
Once upon a time I was quite active in the Libertarian Party, and conducted quite a few experiments to determine why we weren't winning elections. The result was a new political philosophy which advances multiple values: freedom, equality, nature, and morality. I tried to get the Libertarian Party to enlarge its ideological tent to include those who like my new philosophy back in 2006. The result was a bit of a mess, but the party has run more realistic presidential candidates since. I have no idea how much my efforts had to do with this change, but I can honestly say that the party platform became less frighteningly radical as a result of my efforts -- at least for a while. I left the party back in 2008.
Over the years I have created multiple sites promoting creative win-win solutions to current social and economic problems. I used to be able to get some traction promoting these sites and people were interested. Then, in 2020 both the search engines and the social networking services started throttling anything which doesn't fit the Corporate Narrative. (It wasn't just Trump and right wingers who were throttled.)
So I decided to build a better service. Commercial funded sites like Facebook and Twitter have a perverse incentive to be addictive and mind-numbing in order to make you see more ads. And they need to censor content to please advertisers. I am building a service which allows you to keep up with friends, contacts, bloggers, etc. without scrolling through a mind-numbing feed.
The service is in alpha test mode. If you want to play with it, send me an email at carl at this domain and I'll send you an invitation code if you prove that you are a real person.
I'm in the process of A-B testing two different branding approaches:
Fnora -- the Social Network Which Doesn't Fry Your Brain. Fnora is what you get when you squoosh Fora [the plural of forum] with Fnord. That is, Fnora is multiple fora where you are allowed to see the fnords. The floating eye in the pyramid with mouth wide open in the logo is supposed to symbolize the Powers that Be freaking out over what people are allowed to talk about.
It is perhaps too obscure a reference to a previous paranoid era. And my favorite color scheme is perhaps too loud for most people. But it was fun to write the first draft of the application that way, and the domain fnora.net is short and easy to type.
But you can use Conntects as a blogging platform or to host fora as well. It's the same product but with a different skin.
The big downside of Conntects is that it's hard to spell. All the good domain names based on the word "context" were taken.
If you sign up for either of the above, you are a member of both. They are just two views of the same product.
With all political civility gone and riots in the streets, I am getting back into the political game. I'm working on applying the ideas in my Business Plan for a New Political Party to launch a new movement, which may turn into a new party. I thought about going Upper Left (more freedom and equality), but the Left has become dangerously humorless these days. So I'm going Eco Conservative with a bit a populism thrown in. It's actually a reversion to where I was back in high school.
Anyway, I'm working on a manifesto as both book and web site. The web site is Green and Free. Some of the articles there will be turned into chapters of a manifesto if all goes according to plan.
My biggest idea site is Holistic Politics. I use the term "holistic" in a technical sense, not in a New Age sense. All too often political factions are out to promote a particular value, such as freedom, the environnment, helping the poor, promoting morality and so on. There are trade-offs between these values. However, in the fight over which values are more important, many synergies get overlooked. It is possible to dramatically cut the size of government and increase equality; socialism is not necessary to reduce the power of the rich. It is possible to grow the economy and preserve the environment. It is possible to empty half the prison cells and reduce crime and promote Christian values.
And if you are trying to reach me, try the contact page there. Email is your best bet for prompt response. I try to keep my Facebook friend list down to Dunbar's Number or less, so unless you are an old friend or family member, I will probably not respond to your friend request -- and Facebook messages to non-friends are hidden by the interface; expect a month delay or more for a response. As for text messaging, I consider it a joke technology devised by malevolent space aliens. Phones are for talking.
My earliest site is The Enhanced Precision Political Quiz in 2D. Back in 1999 I had concluded that the World's Smallest Political Quiz was too small. The small size made it impossible to detect moderate libertarians. So I developed a longer quiz for old Windows machines and in 2001 made a web version. This site also has a collection of old essays on Libertarian political strategy, many of which are applicable to third parties in general.
Once upon a time, I was chairman of the Libertarian Party of Buncombe County, N.C. The word "bunk" comes from "Buncombe", and if you saw the wild mix of political factions there, you would see why: hippies, hardcore conservatives, fundamentalist Christians, New Agers, and even a former NAACP leader with a penchant for waving the Confederate flag.
This was a great place to live and a great place to promote new political ideas. But still, the LP was a hard sell. The party disbanded a few years ago, and now an entirely new group is having a go at it. So I have nothing to do with the current site. To see what it was like when I was running the site see here.
After seeing what could be done with hard work, press coverage, etc. most of us in the Buncombe County LP decided that it was the overly radical LP Platform that was holding the party back. So, we launched the Libertarian Reform Caucus, in an attempt to convert the LP from a club of borderline anarchists to a real political party. I was the webmaster for the first couple of years, and led a successful effort in 2006 to scrap most of the old LP platform. The membership oath and bad branding remain; however, so I have handed over leadership of the Caucus to others. They are making strides, but there is much left to do, and I think starting a new political party from scratch is the easier option.