Rahil Patel


I’m Rahil.

And this is my website. It’s kinda like my bedroom: a mess, until reason or loafing leads to organizing it. On this site you can see things I’ve done, things I’ve written, and written things I’ve organized.

Lifelong Goals:
To influence people to consistently interact with people nearby, as opposed to exclusive social networks and media, as a method of gaining wisdom by creating new social experiences, resulting in an increase of physical awareness in society (and therefore better decision-making and increase of sharing), knowledge embedded in public [urban] material, and generally healthier communities and better places.

Consistently try to make a positive impact [within the restrictions of time, space, and society].

Disorganize: Create new media in public spaces bringing awareness to new experiences, fostering interaction for the public, and throwing people off from their daily routines (urban intervention).

Organize: Create public spaces with my values, attracting others, then let the values of the people in the space radiate outward, into the public, consistently creating new ideas (social intervention, public policy-making) and designs by combining local material, new media and technology, attracting playfulness in the public, allowing more people to make civil decisions for themselves, increasing the amount of sharing of material, incrementally making a better environment to live in and a better society to participate in? [todo: rethink]

Possible lifestyles:
1. Live in a developing area. Empower people. Consume local materials and local culture as inspiration to create stuff, functional and artistic, whilst working.
2. Live in or near a post-modern city. Work toward creating a better city, by creating tools to help, and remember to take trips out of the city!
3. Keep drifting between various human settlements.

Possible next moves:
*. Make money. :(
– 1. try grants toward civics
– very limited for individuals. Maybe fit civil projects under an existing organization, then apply.
– long-term limit to movement, and therefore nomadic ideas
– 2. try scholarship for master’s in urban planning in a school in an urban area to buy time
– apply in late December to March
– also limits movement long-term
– 3. last resort: independently sell commodities (teach, rent, tea, crafts, short games, short films), as opposed to freelance design and programming, to buy time. Or, exploit capitalism and select more lucrative gigs (ghostwrite college applications for Asian students)
– selling Chai was successful, but limited by the town’s social limits. Maybe can sell illegally in Taipei? Maybe hit up a freelance gig in a target city.
– 4. give into the devil that is global capitalism and move to an affluent country and do social or labor work: farming in New Zealand and Australia (doubles as travel, can circle the islands via scooter), social work in New York or cities with sunny weather
– 5. give into the devil of past and remotely work while having more meaningful work within my locality. Hopefully remotely work for tools for organizing, self-education, and civic technology
1. Scooter or walk around Taiwan
– stop by civic organizations along the way
– write letters to organizations and people to incite action or take action
– focus actions toward impact, avoid non-practical fine art and philosophy
2. Create a social space, use hostel and street stall financial models for income. Create technology to the benefit of the people and their organizations.
x/3. Build a house in nature for myself, with very cheap land rent, to distance self from society’s problems. Use the experience to build minimalist shelters in the future (and maybe even minimalist gear).
– Past societies have done since time immemorial, maybe better to just use camping gear more often while traveling around Taiwan and other nearby countries.
— I think what I meant by the first line is: there is no point of using time for basic needs, when I could spend less time doing high-wage work, then spending the rest of the time toward my interests.
– It’s possible to live a simple life anywhere, it just requires more discipline against contemporary culture of larger cities. Maybe temporarily hiding out at nearby small town is enough. One adapts to live simply, eating grains and vitamin, and living ascetically.
– Still, the point of experiencing the feeling of being entirely self-sufficient in nature exists.
– A middle way may be to live on 蘭嶼 (Orchid Island) for a period of time, initially living simply with a tent, water filter, and oatmeal, but progressing toward self-sufficiency.
x/4. Teach in the most progressive and/or lenient environment.
– Maybe simply running periodic workshops from a public space is enough. Avoid brain drain into higher institutions, or even progressive primary education. Education is free.
– Have become less interested since I’ve written this, favoring self-education through technology and exploration, likely because I’ve recently been hitting the e-books.
5. Learn everything there is about Taiwan by constantly traveling and talking to people. Also reading a history book or two about it. Could start Humans of Taiwan for this again, using it as a platform to create a reality for the nation. Could extend to nearby countries to compare.
6. Constant travel. Friends in cities and universities. Personal selection of Silk Road from Yunnan to Netherlands to Ireland. Central and South America.
*. Always think about design and technology and civic engagement and decision-making in general, to where it changes reality.

interests: riding bikes, riding scooters, playing things, making things, playing outside, public spaces [place-based communities], wandering about ethnic enclaves of cities, public art, realism art, neorealism films (especially from New Wave movements), travel, travel art (HONY, Vincent Moon), culture, people, New York

interests reduced to academic gibberish: “sociology (especially critical theory), human geography (especially critical geography), community building, public sphere, social change, design and technology (civic-technology a la MIT Center for Civic Media, educational technology, art and technology, philosophy of technology), pragmatism, urban planning, criticism of capitalism (especially from the New Left and anarchists), urban interventionism, philosophy (epistemology, politics, cognitive science [decision-making, awareness, action]), other holistic things like sociocultural anthropology, film essays” aka Chris Marker, Taiwan

Want to join me? Holla at me at me@rahilpatel.com.

World Trade Center light performance

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