Friday, March 30, 2012

let it sit a bit

I spent about 2 ½ hours last evening at a talk on food fermentation with Sandor Katz. You might wonder how a person finds himself in that position, but it was by choice. Katz has been a leading light in the fermentation revival as a response to what he calls the clearly failed experiment of the factory food industry. He’s one of those people you rarely (unfortunately) come across who gives you the feeling that a type of life or society is better than others. X once pointed out while we were driving through Vermont with its open spaces, friendly people, and good ideas that it's all “total bullshit. Who’d want to live like this…” She’s funny. After spending the evening with Katz that joke ran through my mind: living like that would be so horrible, wouldn’t it?

The auction for L.’s school last weekend went well. I think the Parents’ Association made about $25k from the event, so that’s a lot of activities to promote. We managed to get all the food done over 10 hours spread across Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday morning/afternoon. From what I could tell by the number of trips made for new platters of food everyone ate and drank well. By the time I got home Saturday night I was beat; X kept everyone away as I partook of a four hour Sunday nap. I’m just about back to normal.

The kids are vacating the area over the next few days for spring breaks across North America. The Eleven is once again heading down to the Jefferson Pools in Warm Springs for a long weekend; we’re actually stealing Monday off in order to make it a two-night deal.

I was trying to relay this morning how I find this lottery craze being a bit mispresented by the mathletes. I understand the 1-in-175,000,000 data that is based on tickets sold, etc. What I find strange is that there is no caveat to the number, something along the lines of how every person has an equal chance. A long shot chance, but equal nonetheless. Normally we are bombarded by percentages, probabilities, and statistics that are relative to some other input: 1-in-123,000 high school basketball players make it to the NBA; only 1.5% of children from single-parent families on the south side of Chicago will earn a 4-year college degree. These are numbers that are referential to some other variable. They sort of make sense because we can manipulate them in our minds and build a picture. The lottery? Even Steven. Same odds for everyone. My point is, if you want to drop $5 on the lottery have at it because the odds aren’t for or against you in relation to anyone else. There isn’t much in life where that applies. If you’re kid plays high school basketball you don’t tell him, “Listen, Preach, you has just as good a chance as Jimmy of making it to the NBA. The odds are 1-in-123,000 – every kid is equal and has the same chance. In fact, no need to practice or work hard from here on in. Equal is equal.” That would be insane. The lottery? It’s a flyer, have fun.

I have nothing else to say.

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