Wednesday, July 21, 2010

starting points II

Truth settlement

* skip down to the asterisks if you desire to bypass my rantings…

I had a discussion in class last night with someone who was pontificating on the environment, organic stuff, and how there’s no way the cows could be causing problems. “The cows! Seriously? That’s so funny…”, he put forth before I joined in whilst mopping. I asked him if he knew why the science people discussed cows (and factory farming, etc.) as a problem but he just stared at the wall. I asked him if climate change was an issue since he’d just announced that it was “just a theory”. Nothing. I pointed out that there aren’t any serious scientists who debate the existence of climate change/global warming but there is certainly an array of opinions on how the make-up of causes can be applied. Whether you fall in the category who think 50% of the issue is man-made or the group that feels <5% of the problem is man-made, the problem is still present. There isn’t a valid position that pits all or nothing against the other. And this leads to the follow-on problem: those who know we influence our environment and those that deny that connection. For me, it comes to this: you are free to not like science and you are free to ignore it. What you aren’t free to do is actually deny it. The best parallel I can come up with is smoking. If you smoke then you know it’s bad for you. We all know it’s bad for you. It’s science. If you want to smoke then by all means blaze up and burn ‘em. But, you can’t be standing outside (in the smoking area) on your soapbox denying that smoking isn’t bad for you. Period. Stand there like a man and say, “I know this’ll take years off my life and cause loads of health issues to the day I die but I don’t care.” To that I say, well done. For those that aren’t onboard with attempting to hold the line or reverse our use of resources, you’ve got this that you can freely quote, “I know the science says this is some pretty bad stuff but I don’t give a shit.” At least I can then peg you into the right hole and not waste my time or money trying to change you. Easy peasy.


There’s a behemoth multi-stage piece in the WaPo this week about the military/industrial/government/national security complex that I don’t have much interest in reading. It seems to be all the talk around town and the coffee area because it simply feeds more nutrition into the confused lives of our huge population. Another pylon to support the badge-wearing, business casual tribe’s gabfest that centers on themselves; even if that wasn’t its goal.

My co-“worker” and I headed down into Vienna over lunch to checkout recumbent trikes and I decided to swing by my favorite bakery for sandwiches. As expected, a stunning smoked salmon offering and a side order of a pistachio/chocolate canolli, which I hadn’t had before. Amazing stuff. Oh, and a ciabatta for dinner panini tomorrow night. My canoli mastery needs a lot of work. As it was slow toward the end of the lunch rush I managed to have a little talk with the owner about coming in to do an externship in the fall. He seemed pretty cool with the idea and told me to email him in September. Time or hours wouldn’t be a problem since I found out he runs the place 24 / 7 to keep up with his demand. The potential, for me, is huge on this one. His huge selection of handmade, artisan breads is as good as any bakery you’ll find anywhere. If I could spent 10 or 11 weeks working with him and building on what I’m learning this quarter I’d be simply ecstatic. As the summer rolls on I’ll keep everyone (?) posted.

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