Hi, I’m Skyler.

Welcome to my website.
Who the hell am I?
Just a man.
And a husband.
And a father of 3.
Also a writer.
And a podcaster. (Join me?)
Sometimes a web designer.
But always a seeker of riches.
And the richness of life.
Explore what I do or have done at the links above.

 

Contact me if you please.


My Latest Content 

    Skyler J. Collins (Editor) – Everything-Voluntary.com

  • What Should We Do When a Loved One Starts a Life of Crime?

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    It’s not very often, but it’s not incredibly rare either, that I hear a story by a fellow voluntaryist that a friend or family member has chosen to pursue a life of hunting down peaceful people, to hurt them and to take their stuff.

    It’s typically not an evolution either, like someone who’s out to make a quick buck and finds it a relatively simple thing to engage in petty theft. Sooner or later the heists get bigger, and with it the need to become accustomed with the use of violence.

    It’s more often a seemingly spur of the moment revelation. Something they’ve been thinking long and hard about, and the prospect of both a sufficient, regular payout and the “thrill of the chase” to give one “purpose” is just too much to resist. That or they’ve developed some sort of righteousness-based motivation, a belief that their crime is a necessary evil in order to keep the bosses happy, or other, worse bosses will one day take over.

    Whatever the reason, when this happens, what should a voluntaryist do? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. I only have questions.

    Should we try our darndest to talk them out of going through with it?

    Should we lecture them on how it makes us feel (betrayed, disgusted, outraged, et cetera)?

    Should we shame them?

    Should we ostracize them from our life and hope never to cross paths with them?

    Answering these questions depends on who this person is. I’m sure the answer would go one way for a college roommate, and another for a close family member. It’s easier to ostracize an old friend than it is a brother, for example.

    Are we the only other person in their life who feels terribly about their choice to pursue crime?

    Are we alone in our retaliatory crusade, or do we have support?

    That probably depends on the exact nature of the crime being pursued, and a million other considerations each person has to weigh in the context of their relationship with the pursuant criminal.

    I have criminals in my family. One time I offered a joke/criticism of an [unfortunate] achievement by one of them, only to be met with what I gathered would have been my own ostracism had I not made amends.

    What if we don’t do anything, but continue on, business as usual?

    What if we keep attending barbecues together, and talking about football, or the latest binge watch?

    What if we are too attached to those who engage in crime? Love them? Adore them? Care less about what they do and more about ensuring they make it home to us safely every night?

    When will this attitude toward these criminals start to bite us in the ass? What if it already is? What if our society is already sick from the disease of criminal worship and the horror that entails?

    Tough questions. Do you have the answers?

  • Jack’s Journey, Autarchism, & Life-Coaching (54m) – Episode 099

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 099 welcomes Jack Carney to the podcast for a chat with Skyler. Topics include: living all over the world, Auckland, autarchism and political labels, moral principles and aggression, freedom schools and unschooling, psychedelics, early adulthood, life coaching, humanistic spiritualism, our emotional brains, his philosophical journey based on loss, and more.

    Listen to Episode 099 (54m, mp3, 64kbps)

    Show Notes

    Jack Carney, Facebook Profile
    Personal website, “University of You
    Website, “Pairing Today
    Facebook Group, “Autarchists Atheists Only
    Robert LeFevre, “Autarchy versus Anarchy
    Thomas Gordon, Parent Effectiveness Training

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  • Limit Your Self-Censorship and Tell the World Your Truth

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Words are powerful. They have the ability to enrage or to soothe. They can be triggering, or calming. One of those things we learn in life is to censor ourselves lest our words inspire backlash from other people. Something else we learn is to uncensor ourselves in order to strike another person.

    I have slowly become more comfortable with speaking to other people about my relatively radical beliefs. Voluntaryism and radical unschooling can be very triggering topics for many people. Nobody likes to hear that they support what I consider to be terrible practices like political scheming, punitive parenting, and compulsory schooling.

    I can get myself into trouble by sharing my opinions surrounding these topics with the wrong people. But every day that goes by, I find myself less and less inhibited in this way.

    I am increasingly of the mind that people should self-censor less about the many opinions they hold. It shouldn’t matter how radical or crazy or weird they are, too. Let every opinion find the light of day. How else can we learn about them, talk about them, discard them, or adopt them?

    I agree with my friend Aaron White who wrote,

    If someone says they want to murder people or they believe in murdering people … it could be a very productive thing to discuss their ideas openly. Why? Because it is possible that you can avert something horrendous … but even more importantly, this person is merely the person vocalizing their thoughts. Many more people might feel the same thing. By airing out horrendous ideas and discussing them openly, these ideas don’t stew angrily in the minds of alienated people only to be released violently.

    Most people have had ideas on race, gender, politics, behavior, etc, that fit far outside generally accepted ideas. By airing them out we can have a productive discussion. By closing them off and shaming them, we create school shootings, violent crime, terrorism, resentment and alienation.

    I openly talk about all ideas that someone can discuss civilly. This includes genocide, rape and murder. The moment I end conversation is when someone can’t discuss things civilly, or they take action on their violent thoughts.

    He cuts right to the jugular, as it were. On my recent podcast episode about how to stop the epidemic of rape and sexual assault, I gave a very detailed account of my first experience with masturbation, around the age of 12.

    It might seem strange to you that I talked about something like that so publically. But I didn’t feel strange. It felt quite natural and appropriate for the conversation we were having. I think that if more people felt comfortable being open talking about these things, we’d have less of these problems in the world.

    There’s a lot of fear and shame around the sexual impulses that we have, or don’t have. Maybe the conventions that created this type of environment are somewhat responsible for any so-called deviancy in this area.

    In any event, I consider it a courageous thing to voice one’s opinion or tell one’s story about any subject. I want to see more people do this, even if, especially if, I don’t agree with those opinions. As powerful as words can be, censorship is commensurately as dangerous. What’s going on today on college campuses regarding free speech is a travesty for the future well-being of humanity.

  • Assumption of Risk, Where Art Thou?

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I’m thinking seriously about and making moves toward selling property and casualty insurance, part-time. (No, I’m not leaving my current employment, just hoping to expand my skillset and supplement my income.) In order to do so, the company I wish to sell for requires that I obtain a bit of education and a license from my local rulers.

    In the course of obtaining this education I have come across a concept called “assumption of risk”. Here’s how my materials explain this concept:

    Assumption of Risk – The injured party was aware of the risk and put themselves in a situation in which he or she could get hurt; that, the injured party assumed the risk.

    Under the assumption of risk argument, an injured person is not able to hold someone else responsible for his or her injuries.

    For example, Sharon was hurt bungee jumping at the Bigbadbugee Amusement Park; Sharon had signed a waiver telling her about the dangers of the activity; therefore, she is not able to hold Bigbadbungee Amusement Park responsible for her injuries.

    One of the major lessons we learn growing up is understanding the concept of risk, that is, the possibility of getting hurt. Different activities have more or less risk as it concerns our physical safety.

    When we join a gym, our assumption of risk is explicit in the form of a written and signed waiver. This protects the gym from being sued when we injure ourselves.

    Less explicit though no less of an assumption is going for a hike in the mountains. If we get injured, there’s no one to blame but ourselves. We take protective precautions in order to mitigate the risks that we have assumed.

    Does this concept have any place in the current discussion on sexual harassment and sexual assault?

    Can we say that men and women take on the assumption of risk of these sorts of dangers when they put themselves in certain situations?

    Maybe it’s a test. Based on the concept’s explanation above, when a person is aware of a risk and voluntarily puts themselves in the risky situation anyway, they have assumed the risk. The two key qualifiers seem to be knowingly and voluntarily putting oneself in a risky situation.

    Here’s a situation where I would consider the assumption of risk to being sexually assaulted applies: A college girl who likes to party, dance, and get drunk goes to a soiree at a nearby fraternity house. She willingly attends, gets drunk and is then taken advantage of sexually by a couple of mostly sober college boys.

    Here’s another situation where I would consider the assumption of risk to being sexually assaulted applies: A college boy who likes to keep his female friends safe offers to be the designated driver for a group of them. He sips soda all night while they get plastered. When he’s trying to get them all in the car to take them home, a couple of them drunkenly start to grope him, manage to get his belt unbuckled, pants down and start to rub his crotch. Thanks to “arousal nonconcordance” he gets an erection anyway trying to fend them off without hurting them, and this causes his friends to think he’s into it, so they continue their drunken, sex-based attack on him.

    Here’s a situation where I would not consider the assumption of risk to being sexually assaulted applies: A career woman lands a high paying management position over a team of marketers. The company is dedicated to combating sexual harassment and other types of inappropriate workplace behavior. Another manager is stricken by the beauty of this career woman and decides to romantically pursue her. Taking a queue from Seinfield for brevity, yadda, yadda, yadda, one day a few weeks later, he’s fed up that all of his advances are turned down and gets physical in the break room, grabbing her arm to spin her around and rips open her blouse.

    These situations make the applicability of the assumption of risk to being sexually assaulted pretty clear. Of course, life is not always so clear, but there are times when the risk is real and times when the risk [should not be] real.

    I don’t think it’s either wise or fair to lump all situations together and say that a victim of sexual assault is always free from fault. I believe in the concept of assumption of risk and believe it should be a part of this conversation.

    I think we do responsible adults an injustice when we ignore this concept, especially here. Mostly sober men taking advantage of a party girl or drunk girlfriends taking advantage of a gentlemen boyfriend are not instances of sexual assault. But when a career woman is attacked by a colleague in a place she believed was safe, that is.

    These instances should not be treated the same, in my humble opinion. And we would be wise parents to teach our children about the assumption of risk for the activities they choose to engage in.

  • How to Stop Raping People (1h44m) – Episode 098

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 098 welcomes Jessica Burden back to the podcast for an important and lively conversation on what people should do stop the epidemic of sexual assault. Topics include: pedofilic neighbors, sex offender registries, community vigilance, hitting children, what trauma is and what causes it, adult connections with children, childhood autonomy, sexual drives, puberty, personal responsibility for one’s security, double standard on inebriated responsibility, institutional analysis, false accusations, Trutheum, and more.

    Listen to Episode 098 (1h44m, mp3, 64kbps)

    Show Notes

    Jessica Burden, Facebook Profile
    LibertySearch.info Query, “Sex Offender Registry
    Chantel Quick, “Five Decades of Research Confirms: Spanking Produces Similar Outcomes in Children as Physical Abuse
    Skyler J. Collins, No Hitting!: A Short Guide on Why Spanking is Unnecessary
    Emily Nagoski, Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
    Aaron White, “On the Harvey Weinstein Scandal
    Thomas Knapp, “And Now, A Prairie Home Sexual Harassment Complaint
    Trutheum, Website, Whitepaper (pdf)
    Jennifer Grossman, “Not #MeToo, But #MeFirst
    Jef Rouner, “Teach Your Daughters to Hit People Who Touch Them

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  • Be Brave Enough to Roar Your Truth!

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Two songs in particular give me goosebumps when I consider their implications in the life of a voluntaryist: “Brave” by Sara Bareilles, and “Roar” by Katy Perry.

    Get a load of these opening lyrics in “Brave” (emphasis added):

    You can be amazing
    You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
    You can be the outcast
    Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
    Or you can start speaking up
    Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
    And they settle ‘neath your skin
    Kept on the inside and no sunlight
    Sometimes a shadow wins
    But I wonder what would happen if you
    Say what you wanna say
    And let the words fall out
    Honestly I wanna see you be brave

    This is exactly why I write, podcast, and discuss these ideas freely and openly. Am I brave? Yes, in many respects I am very brave, and darn proud of myself for being so. It’s not always easy, especially at first, to open up about such controversial topics as politics and economics, parenting and childhood education.

    I’m a radical extremist on all of these fronts, relatively speaking.

    Here’s more, from “Roar” (emphasis added):

    I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
    Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
    So I sat quietly, agreed politely
    I guess that I forgot I had a choice
    I let you push me past the breaking point
    I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything
    You held me down, but I got up (hey!)
    Already brushing off the dust
    You hear my voice, your hear that sound
    Like thunder, gonna shake your ground
    You held me down, but I got up
    Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
    I see it all, I see it now
    I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
    Dancing through the fire
    ‘Cause I am the champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
    Louder, louder than a lion
    ‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

    Goddamnit that’s a beautiful admonishment!

    Everybody should find the bravery to roar their truth to the world, in every way they can! Start a blog. Start a podcast (or join me on mine). Give your respectful and thoughtful two cents on every social media post you can.

    Don’t be afraid!

    And don’t stop at roaring. Include the doing, too!

    Ignore anybody and everybody who tells you that you can’t do something. They’re wrong. You can, and you should.

    Do you want flip off your boss and storm out because you’re unhappy and unsatisfied at work? Do it.

    Do you want quit school and follow your dreams? Do it.

    Do you want to keep all of the money you earn? Do it.

    Do you want to start a business without first asking permission? Do it.

    Do you want to smoke a joint? Do it.

    Nine times out of ten, you are your biggest obstacle to accomplishing anything you want to accomplish. Use these songs to inspire you to find that spark deep inside, to find the bravery that you were born with to roar as loud as you can!

  • Eric’s Journey, #1 Jet.com Insider, & Libertarian Politics (1h2m) – Episode 097

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 097 welcomes Eric Martin to the podcast for a chat with Skyler. Topics include: winning the Jet.com Insider contest and his stock options reward, what Jet.com’s sale to Walmart for $3.3B meant for Eric, running for US Congress in 2012, Ron Paul’s influence on his journey to libertarianism, types of libertarians, cryptocurrencies, future education plans for his children, and much more.

    Listen to Episode 097 (1h2m, mp3, 64kbps)

    Show Notes

    Eric Martin, Facebook Profile, TwitterSteemit Introduction
    SplinterNews.com, “This guy used an insane get-rich-quick scheme to become a start-up millionaire in three weeks.
    Fortune.com, “This Guy Is Set to Become a Multimillionaire With Jet.com’s Sale to Walmart
    Bloomberg.com, “The Ron Paul Effect” (Eric’s name under Pennsylvania)
    Eric’s Startup, Ideadash.com
    Eric’s Article, “14 Trends to be Thankful For

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  • Riley’s Journey, Anarcho Agenda Podcast (1h26m) – Episode 096

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 096 welcomes Riley Blake of Anarcho Agenda to the podcast for a chat with Skyler. Topics include: Riley’s podcast, getting into audio processing, the challenges of being blind, origins of our libertarian journeys, podcasting challenges, free market of ideas and never censoring people, self-directed education (unschooling), the cycle of abuse in parenting, school, and the state, power vs. freedom, negotiating with children, becoming better people through libertarianism, and more.

    Listen to Episode 096 (1h26m, mp3, 64kbps)

    Show Notes

    Riley Blake, Facebook Profile
    Anarcho Agenda Podcast, Archive
    Free Talk Live Daily Digest

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  • What Can Heleum Do For Your Savings?

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Full disclosure: I work for my good friend Pace Ellsworth’s new fintech startup company, Heleum. I’m their Support Manager and Knowledge Base author. If anyone has issues, they come to me. I tackle the issue and get it straightened out.

    A little over a week ago, I interviewed Pace on what Heleum is all about. You can listen to that here.

    Heleum was founded by Pace, his brother Taylor, and another mutual friend, Dan Pratt. All very good guys and ideological compatriots. I’ve known and worked with them for years, and Pace offered me the opportunity to join this amazing fintech startup, I jumped on board immediately.

    I’ve also funded my own Heleum account to the tune of around $1600, so far. Why? Because I believe it’s one of the best and easiest places to store my savings and watch it grow, hands off.

    How does Heleum work? Here’s an informative Knowledge Base article to explain. And a short animated video:

    Heleum exploits cryptocurrency volatility to produce gains through automated currency exchange. Though it’s still a very new technology and a very young company, Heleum has done some amazing things. Their Private Beta lasted 6 months earlier this year and averaged 21% growth. You don’t have to know a thing about cryptocurrency to use Heleum. Sign up here.

    Since my own funds have been moving around in Heleum balloons for over a month, I thought I’d reveal what’s happened. Heleum doesn’t allow balloons to pop (return to base currency) with anything less than 2% in gains. And Heleum only collects its fee from your gains, so it’s completely free to use (read more about how Heleum makes money here).

    My first balloon pop (Balloon 1) occurred early while my total funding amount was still very low:

    As you can see, it launched at $26.66, moved to BTC (bitcoin), and then a day later moved back to USD, causing it to pop at $28.65. Why did pop so quickly? That’s just the circumstances in which the algorithm found itself at that time. In a mere 34 hours it grew 7.5%, calculated after Uphold’s transaction fees were removed. (Uphold is the platform on which Heleum runs. See their press release about Heleum here.)

    My second balloon pop (Balloon 2) occurred early and quickly as well, USD to LTC (litecoin) and back:

    This small balloon lasted only 16 hours, and grew 7.1%. My third balloon pop (Balloon 3), another USD to LTC and back:

    This one lasted a mere 4 hours, but grew 2.5%. My fourth balloon (Balloon 8) pop occurred about a month later, and started with a bigger amount:

    Now we’re really moving all over the place! This balloon hit BTC, LTC, ETH (ether), and NZD (New Zealand) on its trip back to USD. Starting at $83.34 and popping at $95.28 produced 14.3% growth in a much longer 30 days. My fifth balloon pop (Balloon 9) lasted just as long:

    This one went through all the same currencies as the last, plus JPY (Japan). In 29 days it grew from $83.34 to $101.19, or 21%. And my last balloon to pop (so far, Balloon 13):

    This one started at $84.73 and popped at $107.42, earning me $22.69 in gains, or 27% growth!

    I still have 13 balloon that have been inflated for over a month from different launch amounts, my highest showing a current gain of $42.83 from a $201 launch amount, or 21% growth. Some of them currently show a loss. Here’s the full picture of my balloon activity to date:

    Remember, balloons won’t pop by themselves for less than a 2% gain. Those balloons currently showing a loss will stay inflated, making moves, to achieve their goals before coming back to USD (unless a withdrawal is requested). All the while, other balloons are being inflated and popping, producing gains at varying levels, and reinflating into new balloons. Each new balloon launch waits at least 48 hours from the last in order to diversify among time and exchange rates. Amazing!

    It’s not perfect, however. The team is constantly working on updates to the app and the algorithm in order to make it both safer and better at growing your savings. It’s absolutely stunning what this small team has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time. If you’d like to give it a try, sign up here.

  • Rodger’s Journey, the Free State Project, & Radical Unschooling (47m) – Episode 095

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 095 welcomes Rodger Paxton of The LAVA Flow to the podcast for a chat with Skyler. Topics include: Rodger’s podcast production company Pax Libertas Productions, mid-90s awareness of Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, the New Hampshire Free State Project, the importance of homeschooling to advancing liberty, Rodger’s experience with radical unschooling, the heavy costs of authoritarian parenting, drunk driving as a victimless crime, and more.

    Listen to Episode 095 (47m, mp3, 64kbps)

    Show Notes

    Rodger Paxton, Facebook Profile, Twitter
    Podcast, The LAVA Flow
    Pax Libertas Productions, Website, Facebook Page, Twitter
    Free State Project, Website, Facebook Page, Twitter
    Podcast, Essential Libertarianism

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