Welcome to the new portal into the mind of Cognitive Dissonance. This website has been a long time coming, well over forty years now that I think about it, so please be patient since this is a work in progress. Come on in and look around. We think you will be pleased.
Below is our thinking behind and purpose for this website, a mission statement if you will. We would greatly appreciate it if you would take ten minutes and read it through. Mrs. Cog and I believe that Two Ice Floes is a very unique web destination and we would like to share the genesis of our passion with you.
Why We Are Here
Essentially we exist on two ice floes, one consisting of the physical, social and political world we physically live in and the other within our mind and inner being, our consciousness for lack of a better word. For the vast majority of us these two worlds are permanently locked together and seemingly inseparable. But for those of us who begin to open our minds and plumb the depths of the rabbit hole there is an increasing awareness that the two ice floes can and will not only move separately, but at different speeds and levels of awareness.
On this website we wish to explore the process of changing the way we physically live and spiritually grow within a much larger reality not of our own making, the so called ‘real’ world, while simultaneously exploring the physical and esoteric ties that bind ‘us’ to that world. As we progress in our personal growth one of our goals is to attempt to sever, and then rebuild, many of the social and personal dysfunctional (and conditioned) financial, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual connections along the way.
In many respects this is analogous to attempting to change the tire on a car while traveling down the highway at 70 MPH, an obviously difficult (but not impossible) task. However, doing so requires that new tools and techniques be conceived, fabricated and repeatedly employed if we are to be at all successful. To abuse a well worn phrase we need to live, think and ‘be present’ well outside the box while still functioning inside an insane world not of our own making, but one we (still) think of as ‘ours’. By the time we leave school we have been fully trained and conditioned to live as just another spoke in the machine’s wheel, fully assimilated and harmless to all but ourselves. Breaking those connections is not easy, but it can be done.
Mrs. Cog and I have already begun this process, at least on a physical and financial basis. Those who follow my comments and contributing articles on Zero Hedge may already be aware that we recently relocated from a suburb of DC to the Blue Ridge Plateau of Southwestern Virginia, or “The Mountain” as the local community refers to our immediate surroundings.
I in turn have severed all remaining ties to my former source of income, divesting myself of my practice as a financial planner and stock broker. We are in the process of selling most of our remaining investment assets that are tied to debt or that expose us to risk we don’t wish to shoulder, and are using the proceeds to pay off outstanding debt. In order to help free the mind and live a more sustainable lifestyle, the shackles of debt servitude must be severed as completely as possible. We look forward to lowering our credit scores because we no longer service debt.
Nothing is Free in Life
This brings us to the reason why Two Ice Floes, while partially open to those who visit, is a paid subscription environment. To be perfectly frank we need your help and willing participation if we are to devote the time and energy needed to make Two Ice Floes a superior alternative destination website.
All websites are partially or fully supported by one of three methods. For most ‘hobby’ websites, the website template and the bandwidth used are often provided by so called ‘free’ portals or by the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). Regardless the underlying web foundation is supported by ISP subscription fees, advertising revenue and occasionally by the hobbyist him or herself.
For many ‘free’ commercial web sites, the financial support is derived from the sponsoring company itself along with revenue from advertising. Others follow various derivations of the ‘Gillette’ sales method and give away free content in order to convince the visitor that they should purchase the proffered premium product. Interestingly enough even those paid sites often contain advertising from other premium product sites.
Then there are ‘fee’ or subscription web sites, where the main source of financial support comes from the fees charged for the premium content, either as a onetime fee or more often as reoccurring subscription charges. Once again, in many instances even those subscription web sites contain advertising. Lately I have seen subscription web sites actually charge an extra fee if you wish to remove advertising from the site when logged in. This is sort of like charging you an extra fee in order to remove their own garbage.
The bottom line is that nothing is ‘free’. Rather, the real cost to you is often hidden under several layers of camouflage. And for some people that suits them just fine. Just as long as they don’t have to directly open their wallet, anything and everything is fair game. For many people the Internet is just a commodity, and ‘free’ content that fills your needs can be found if you look hard enough.
Ultimately it all comes down to value both ‘real’ and perceived. For those looking for social affirmation and ‘connection’ the web is full of free sites to do just that. Want to know the latest celebrity news? It’s all just a few clicks away. If cute cat videos float your boat (I admit to a few errant clicks to watch a bundle of fur frolic) have at it. There is nothing wrong with having fun for fun’s sake. Contrary to what Mrs. Cog says I am not a curmudgeon…..…at least not all the time.
A Different Value Proposition
What Mrs. Cog and I are offering is a different value proposition, one specifically directed towards a small minority who value introspection and experimentation on several levels. We are following the Field of Dreams build-it-and-they-will come business model, one that appeals to a tiny slice of humanity ready and willing to embrace personal change and not just talk about it. Obviously we understand that some who will subscribe to this site are far ahead of us on this journey while others are just getting started or waiting in the wings. Our purpose is not to judge or lecture, but to share…..hopefully in both directions.
We will not allow display advertising on this web site, even the ‘free’ portion. While it is impossible to live in this world and be hypocrisy free we don’t wish to post an article about (for example) becoming debt free while banner ads are proclaiming that now is the time to buy (on credit) the latest adult toy or bauble. We are not judging any other site that follows the advertising model. Rather we simply wish to walk the road less traveled and not allow advertising to distract from the message or the reception.
In return for your subscription we promise to share our journey with you, though Mrs. Cog made me promise that we will retain a modicum of privacy. Our web creation will not be a ‘Prepper’ or ‘Doom Porn’ web site; though there will be plenty of articles and observations about preparing for life away from centers of civilization as well as getting ready for the unknown. Nor will it be a New Age web site; though I will continue to explore deeply the collective insane asylum of the herd and our participation within it.
Mrs. Cog and I will share with our readership our biggest mistakes and our greatest triumphs. We are relative novices when it comes to more sustainable living, but we are not trying to become totally self sufficient. We wish to withdraw to a lesser degree of dependency, not abandon the world. Both Mrs. Cog and I will share our individual projects with you and we welcome feedback and constructive criticism. But please hold the abuse and derision.
There will be videos posted, including those we create, that we find interesting and informative, as well as guest posts and commentary. Mrs. Cog plans a whole article series on alternative health solutions as well as canning/food preparation. I will be concentrating on the physical rehabilitation and expansion of our home and land as well as the continued exploration of the mind. I also plan to speak in more detail about finance and politics now that I am no longer a broker. The sky is the limit and we plan to try out many different ideas.
How It Works
Essentially there is one paid membership level as well as the limited free content for those who are just visiting. The Premium Membership level requires registration with a valid email address and payment to receive your password. We will not sell, barter or give away your contact information. The ‘Premium’ subscription level affords the reader admittance to all web site content including access to the discussion board or Forum, affectionately called ‘The Insane Asylum’, as well as the ability to comment under any article posted. Visitors will not be able to post comments on the Forum or under the articles, but they will be able to see what others have posted.
We tier the Premium Subscription level this way to afford maximum entry for minimum cost. Since moderating and contributing to the comments under the articles as well as the discussion board will consume considerable time on our part we decided to charge for the portion of the website that costs more to produce. But Premium Members will also have access to new posts by Cognitive Dissonance and Mrs. Cog before they are ever released to the general public.
Because the Premium subscription level is very reasonably priced, and Mrs. Cog and I have committed ourselves to a minimum of one year before we reevaluate the viability of Two Ice Floes, we ask that you commit as well and subscribe for six months or one year, with the one year plan discounted $10 compared to purchasing a six month subscription and then renewing for a second period.
In addition I will be available for private consultation and conversation on a fee basis. Several years ago when I first began my journey I found great value in several one-on-one phone consultations with someone whom I felt could provide me with guidance and feedback. There is just no substitute for a real time dynamic interaction with someone who can convey where they have been and how they got there. Please use the ‘Contact the Webmaster’ selection under the ‘Membership’ category at the top of the web site for more information if interested.
Finally, we understand that for some people any subscription fee, no matter how minimal, is too much. With this in mind we once again ask for your help. We will offer, on a case by case basis, a limited number of free subscriptions to those who truly cannot afford one. That is our commitment and contribution back to the community.
We ask of those readers who can afford to, and who are moved to help, to please use the ‘Donate’ button under ‘Membership’ and contribute money towards helping others gain access to this web site. Your donation will remain anonymous if you wish or we can post your name and contribution with others on an ongoing basis. Just let us know your intention when you make your donation either in the PayPal form itself or by contacting the webmaster.
Thank you for taking the time to read this introduction. Please, we desire your feedback, comments and observations. Use the ‘Membership/Contact the Webmaster’ page and let us know how we’re doing and what we can do to improve the site.
P.S. I would like to offer a vigorous round of applause to this web site’s webmaster, the extremely talented Mrs. Cog, for the incredible amount of time and effort that went into creating Two Ice Floes from scratch. The learning curve was steep and bumpy and we are both delighted with the results of her loving labor. Thank you Mrs. Cog.