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Author Topic: PLATO's Bitcoin Road Trip Completed! [June 19-? Bonus round! SFO PDX SEA YVR]  (Read 22169 times)
PLATO
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March 21, 2011, 11:20:18 PM
 #1

Map: http://goo.gl/CflUH
Twitter: twitter.com/therealplato
Blog: therealplato.com (RSS at bottom)
Email: plato at subvert.me


Update, 06.13: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=4752.msg212128#msg212128
Update, 05.30: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=4752.msg152973#msg152973
Update, 05.11: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4752.msg116126#msg116126
Update, 04.07: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4752.msg81244#msg81244



Stuck in Hartford with no job or rent money, I've been tossing around the idea of leaving my apartment and road tripping across the US. I've decided to do it; I'm leaving as soon as I can develop a coherent plan - which I need, because my goal is to not spend any fiat money, either cash or credit, between leaving Hartford and arriving in LA... only bitcoins.

I have enough bitcoins now to get to, probably, Florida; I'm hoping to make it the rest of the way through micropatronage. ("Patronage" being the centuries-old idea that someone with money pays an artist's living wage so they can create their art; micropatronage meaning that a bunch of people each send me a bitcoin or three.) In exchange for your contributions, you'll get to hear my stories about what it's like to live on Bitcoins.

I'll chronicle my adventures in a blog as I travel, using a laptop and 3G tethered cell. I'll release podcasts where I interview the people I meet along the way. My blog is located at therealplato.com, and my twitter feed is at twitter.com/therealplato.

I intend on couch surfing and camping instead of paying for lodging, so the only things I will need to buy are a 3G cell connection, gasoline, car repairs, and food.

I'm not sure what my total cost will be, but I imagine it'll be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 - 1500 bitcoins, depending on the route I take. I'll set up a counter on my blog showing a list of donations, as well as details about what I'm spending the bitcoins on.

I have 200 bitcoins of my own to start out with. I'll start driving as soon as it's apparent that the trip is possible through your contributions. I'd like to leave soon - hopefully in April. My biggest concern is gasoline; my car gets about 250 miles to the tank, so I will need to find people spread out along the route I end up taking. Are you in the US, and willing to sell me gasoline for bitcoins? Please drop a red pin at your location on my road trip map to help me plan my route - http://goo.gl/CflUH!

My motive for this trip is primarily an overdeveloped sense of adventure, but as a close second, I want to evangelize Bitcoins. As I talk to people I meet in my travels, I'll be explaining Bitcoin and why it's great. I'd love to stop by universities, libraries, or other venues along the way and speak about my trip and bitcoins - drop me a line if you want to set something up. (Also contact me if you want to buy ad space on my bumper for your Bitcoin project.)

--
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fabianhjr
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March 22, 2011, 12:29:31 AM
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Now, the question is, where would you get food and water for Bitcoins?

Try to figure it out first locally. You don't need to go on a trip to find out if you can find those from a store. Smiley

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March 22, 2011, 12:35:06 AM
 #3

Vladimir: I posted in that thread; the original bounty poster said he wouldn't fund this unless I bought my car, clothes, etc. with bitcoins. Too much trouble; this is going to be hard enough as is.

fabianhjr: I expect my food + drink will be pretty spartan. I'm not too concerned about water as I can just fill up jugs at public sources. I will probably make a large amount of granola/pemmican/trail mix before leaving, for the times when I can't find anything.
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March 22, 2011, 05:08:56 AM
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If you'ld consider a passenger (or passengers) for segments of the trip, there are rideshare directories:


might help defray the cost a bit without making things too much more complicated.

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March 22, 2011, 05:53:06 AM
 #5

This is awesome! 

Come through Fayetteville and I'll help with gas / sofa in the sunroom!  Also, I'm VERY interested in doing an article on your trip.  Sounds like there are some great stories.

What an adventure!

-Spencer

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PLATO
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March 23, 2011, 03:00:37 AM
 #6

You can help me finance this by buying stuff I've listed on -OTC:
http://bitcoin-otc.com/vieworderbook.php?sortby=price&sortorder=ASC&type=&nick=PLATO&thing=&otherthing=&eitherthing=&notes=
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March 24, 2011, 03:43:45 AM
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Plato, i live very close to you but I have contacts in Colorado. I may be able to arrange for you to purchase a tank of fuel near Hudson CO. 
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March 31, 2011, 01:22:47 PM
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Just read your last post on Tumblr, and I'm glad your still trying to figure out the logistics.  What's the latest word?

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PLATO
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March 31, 2011, 02:24:30 PM
 #9

Status report:

Thanks for the pins, everyone! I have enough to get to Florida - http://goo.gl/CflUH.
I haven't picked a hard departure date yet but I'm leaning towards the week of April 10th. I'm gonna head to MIT in Boston for a day or two (thanks Llama!), then head to Schenectady NY to give a talk on Bitcoin at my alma mater, Union College. I'll be explaining how the system works, what it is, etc. and talk about my trip. Details to follow when they're hashed out. I'd love to give more talks along the way, so if you know of a potential venue, get in touch with me.

Here's some pics of my ride: http://imgur.com/a/MixaF

God I can't wait to get to some warm states - Connecticut has not been warm since September.

PLATO
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March 31, 2011, 03:10:25 PM
 #10

Will you take any video footage? Be good to youtube a video diary or something.

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March 31, 2011, 03:27:31 PM
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Why don't you see bigger and raise a bounty to finance an "around-the-world with bitcoins" trip?
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March 31, 2011, 03:36:38 PM
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I will probably make a large amount of granola/pemmican/trail mix before leaving, for the times when I can't find anything.

It's not an adventure unless you're eating pemmican! Good luck.

Also, if you make a detour through Saint Louis, I can proxy buy you food/gas/etc. I've put a pin on the map just in case.
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March 31, 2011, 06:12:12 PM
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There is a chance your route has toll roads...how will you deal with this?


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PLATO
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March 31, 2011, 06:54:00 PM
 #14

Will you take any video footage? Be good to youtube a video diary or something.

I'd like to, but I don't have a working camera. I have a webcam and my cell, a T-Mobile G1. If anyone wants to lend me a better camera, or sell me one cheap, I promise to take tons of awesome pics + video (probably enough to make a documentary)

Quote from: jimbobway
There is a chance your route has toll roads...how will you deal with this?"
My preloaded EZ-Pass should work for some states. Otherwise I'll consider it on a case-by-case basis, and pick whatever'll make a better story.

I will probably end up making some exceptions like using USD for toll booths or any mandatory fines I end up with. I'm also going to allow myself to buy more bitcoins with USD along the way.
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March 31, 2011, 07:17:58 PM
 #15

mandatory fines?   a fine is a legal agreement .. hence you SIGN a ticket and agree to pay the contract .. don't sign the contract .. and hence .. don't pay ... that's lawful.
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March 31, 2011, 09:16:25 PM
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mandatory fines?   a fine is a legal agreement .. hence you SIGN a ticket and agree to pay the contract .. don't sign the contract .. and hence .. don't pay ... that's lawful.

Wonder how that argument would go over with the local law enforcement...
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March 31, 2011, 09:56:47 PM
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Someone please bitcoin Plato a decent cam-corder to film this adventure.

I'd sell you one myself if I were on your route Plato, but I don't think you'll be detouring to Europe.Smiley

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March 31, 2011, 10:16:10 PM
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I put my pin in central Florida. My advice is don't go down to the bottom unless you just really want to see Miami or Fort Myers (or get some sponsors there). Getting from the east side to the west side is a huge waste of time and gas if your purpose is getting the word out about Bitcoin. I would take I-4 straight across. Which isn't to say I don't like south Florida, but in terms of a mission and a limited budget, you might be better off otherwise.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I'm part of a group that may be interested in having you speak (and may be willing to donate) in Orlando.

Gun accessories - www.shamblindistribution.com

My list of sites giving away btc - http://davidshamblin.com/bitcoin/free-bitcoins/
PLATO
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March 31, 2011, 11:52:35 PM
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mandatory fines?   a fine is a legal agreement .. hence you SIGN a ticket and agree to pay the contract .. don't sign the contract .. and hence .. don't pay ... that's lawful.

this (long) post has a lot of evidence supporting that: http://realitybloger.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/killing-your-strawman-2-a-free-mans-chronicle/

But, I think I'd rather pick my battles... 'Officer I swear they have value just go to mtgox.com'

Distribution: I got an offer of a free tank of gas in Palm Beach; the guy pulled his pin from my map for privacy concerns. I did kinda have a vision of pulling up my firebird in some Miami parking lot, plugging in an extension cord and amp, and throwin' down a random party.

Here's the VCI-100 I use for DJing:

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April 01, 2011, 12:42:52 AM
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Distribution: I got an offer of a free tank of gas in Palm Beach; the guy pulled his pin from my map for privacy concerns. I did kinda have a vision of pulling up my firebird in some Miami parking lot, plugging in an extension cord and amp, and throwin' down a random party.



Cool, as long as you have a plan, otherwise, it could be a waste of 12 hours. But yeah, let me know when you might be here. That group meets once a month and they're pretty big, so I could get you as a speaker to talk about Bitcoin and what you're doing. And like I said, many of them are pretty generous, so you might get some donations (I guess it would have to be like food and gas though). And maybe you could give them back a Bitcoin or something, just to get them started.

Gun accessories - www.shamblindistribution.com

My list of sites giving away btc - http://davidshamblin.com/bitcoin/free-bitcoins/
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