2009.12.10 01:00 - Food for Thought

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Calvino Rabeni. The comments are by Calvino Rabeni.


    Things get underway, with a mostly European flavor. 

    Calvino Rabeni: Hi Nymf!
    Nymf Hathaway: Good day Calvino and Wester :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Wester is here somewhere
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't see wester though
    Wester Kiranov: hi!
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi, wester.
    Truman Underwood: hello
    Wester Kiranov: sorry, my mom called just as i was logging in
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Truman :)
    Wester Kiranov: hi sinterklaas :)
    Truman Underwood: ni Nymf and Wester and Calvino
    Truman Underwood: how are you?
    Nymf Hathaway: Just celibrated Sinterklaas... on our way to Christmas now :)
    Nymf Hathaway: celebrated
    Truman Underwood: well, I'm kind of brisging the gap :)
    Truman Underwood: bridging the gap
    Wester Kiranov: yes, sinterklaas is definitely over now
    Nymf Hathaway: Wonderful :)) don't let my kids hear it :)))
    Truman Underwood: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Truman, do you and nymf know one another?
    Nymf Hathaway: Yes I do
    Truman Underwood: we have met, yes
    Wester Kiranov: my kids haven't completely realized he's gone till next year (sinterklaas)
    Nymf Hathaway: ooooh I have a 4 year old the same
    Truman Underwood: well, Wester, maybe they can get some Christmas cheer
    Nymf Hathaway: still putting his shoe by the door :)
    Truman Underwood: :)

    Considerately, I felt, Truman hands me a backgrounder link about this Sinterklass custom. I take a little time to read it, and think about the common origin of some of these customs in class conflict, etc.  But that's so unseasonable a thought,  I don't do anything with it.

    Truman Underwood: for Calvino: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas
    Wester Kiranov: still singing sinterklaas songs
    Calvino Rabeni: thanks Truman
    Nymf Hathaway: Sounds Gezellig :) Wester
    Wester Kiranov: my kids are very Gezellig :D
    Nymf Hathaway: Gezellig: cannot really be translated in English :(
    Nymf Hathaway: hahhahah
    Truman Underwood: cozy?
    Wester Kiranov: hi arch
    Nymf Hathaway: well more than that Truman
    Calvino Rabeni: Now you make me a bit curious :)
    Wester Kiranov: actually i think the scandinavians have a similar word. except it's a verb
    Nymf Hathaway: oke :)

    I arrange to intercept the words we are speaking before they get to the wiki, here. 

    Wester Kiranov: cal: shall i claim the session this time?
    Calvino Rabeni: I just did that
    Wester Kiranov: darn ;)

    A familiar avatar shows up, and the sense of the group shifts accordingly.

    Truman Underwood: hello Archmage
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Archmage
    Archmage Atlantis: Hello, Wester, Truman, Nymf, Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: How are you , Arch?
    Archmage Atlantis: I'd say it would require a slang word in English, maybe a few
    Archmage Atlantis: I am good, thank you Cal


    Truman Underwood: nice snow
    Archmage Atlantis: Especially since much of the meaning is carried in the tone it is said, like the phrase "man, that's bad" can mean either something is wornderfully amazing, or just that it is horrid :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Words are trickly little buggers
    Wester Kiranov: that's true. and a good reason to take extra care of what you say here in SL
    Calvino Rabeni: things are simpler perhaps, because you don't worry of tone of voice is not congruent with words
    Wester Kiranov: and words are escpecially tricky if you try to talk about something like PaB

    Archmage Atlantis: Agree, Wester

    There is a lengthy-seeming pause.  I am feeling just a bit like choosing my words carefully :)

    And then the good old standby - "let's talk about the weather" - comes to the rescue:

    Truman Underwood: wow, lots of snow :)
    Wester Kiranov: and a frozen pond :)
    Truman Underwood: :)
    Truman Underwood: I should not have sent the reindeer home
    Wester Kiranov: lol
    Nymf Hathaway: Seems snow is in rl heading for the Netherlands... and I am sooooooo happy for that, I missed it :)

    An opportunity for abstract reflection emerges:

    Archmage Atlantis: Even between generations in the same biogical families, word meanings change, evovolve and de-evolve
    Wester Kiranov: *looks out the rl window* no rl snow here in the netherlands yet
    Nymf Hathaway: no... next week Wester, be patient :)

    Wester injects a little body language into the conversation:

    Wester Kiranov: wait a whole week? *stamps foot*
    Archmage Atlantis: Haha, no snow here in South Florida, either.....yeah!
    Nymf Hathaway: :))))

    ... Calvino can't resist AA's line, and goes for it:

    Calvino Rabeni: Picking up AA's last comment - sometimes it seems in families, not much attention is given to the words
    Archmage Atlantis: That is a good observation, Calvino
    Calvino Rabeni: The subtext is what captivates people
    Calvino Rabeni: I had a conversation that hinged around the definition of the word "lazy" :)
    Calvino Rabeni: But it seemed like a roundabout thing to do
    Archmage Atlantis: That is an entire philosphy course, Cal, must have been some conversation of sure :))
    Calvino Rabeni: I noticed in some places I visited, the word did not have a negative connotation
    Calvino Rabeni: But where I grew up, it does :)
    Calvino Rabeni: One person thought it meant behavior - as in, lying around not doing anything
    Calvino Rabeni: Another person thought it meant feeling, like - not being motivated to take action


    Truman redirects the group's attention from semantics (or is it family dynamics?) to politics:

    Truman Underwood: well, then there is also the term promoting how industry should be free of government restriction -> lazy fair
    Calvino Rabeni: is that a translation of the French term?
    Truman Underwood: hmm, not sure
    Truman Underwood: I thought it came fomr the beatles -- "let it be"
    Wester Kiranov: i hadn't realized immediately. of course, laissez-faire -> lazy fair
    Truman Underwood: seems to describe the ideal for some industires, doesn't it
    Calvino Rabeni: LIke the catering industry...
    Calvino Rabeni: Adult entertainment?

    Calvino Rabeni: Actually I find it hard to think about that - just kind of joking a bit, sorry

    Nymf establishes a theme that everyone can get into, and, we're off and running...

    Nymf Hathaway: Is (naieve) and hopes we will get to a time and age where industry, consumption and pollution will be history
    Truman Underwood: that would be a genuine ideal
    Nymf Hathaway: yes but the olders I get the less I think it will be reality :(
    Calvino Rabeni: I've never been able to idealize that
    Truman Underwood: maybe its like that in heaven
    Wester Kiranov: or we should be able to transform industry and consumption. has anyone here read cradle to cradle?
    Calvino Rabeni: perhaps, if everyone there has really good judgment.
    Calvino Rabeni: I have looked at the reviews, however
    Nymf Hathaway: I haven't Wester
    Archmage Atlantis: Well, in English I think this is the most "pure" meaning ....... laissez faire - the doctrine that government should not interfere in commercial affairs
    Wester Kiranov: i haven't read it yet either i must admit. just seen the documentary
    Truman Underwood: seems quite a few things come around to bite us from behind
    Calvino Rabeni: There is a book on that idea
    Truman Underwood: industry did it with pollution, antibioticis did it with population ...
    Archmage Atlantis: Whether it comes from archaic French, or is some English modification of French, I do not now
    Wester Kiranov: but the idea that you should think about the "end" of the life cycle right in the beginning looks good to me
    Nymf Hathaway: I agree Truman
    Nymf Hathaway: Nice Wester
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Things-Bite-Back-Consequences/dp/0679747567/
    Calvino Rabeni: It is worth planning ahead, but unintended consequences ultimately can't be avoided
    Nymf Hathaway: We will not buy a christmas tree this year... yes it took me a while to explain to the kids about the why? but I am happy to say they agree and we will decorate more friendly from now on :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Agree, Cal, that is a difficult lesson
    Archmage Atlantis: But a valid one
    Truman Underwood: we don't have trees at the north pole Nymf (not yet any way)
    Nymf Hathaway: Its crazy... millions of people around earth cut off a tree and after two weeks burning it :( and at the same time complain about CO2
    Archmage Atlantis: Why did you not buy a "christmas tree Nymf
    Archmage Atlantis: ?
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a renewable resource
    Wester Kiranov: http://www.amazon.com/Cradle-Remaking-Way-Make-Things/dp/0865475873/
    Archmage Atlantis: They are farmed, like wheat and potatoes
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, and there is a cycle for disposal also
    Calvino Rabeni: THe non-cycled materials are the ones to be most concerned about
    Archmage Atlantis: I assume it is a symbolic act, not and economic one
    Archmage Atlantis: *an
    Nymf Hathaway: We just shouldn't
    Calvino Rabeni: shouldn't what / why nymf?
    Nymf Hathaway: But maybe (I am not religious) thats easy for me to say... do not want to offend anyone
    Calvino Rabeni: I will not be offended
    Archmage Atlantis: I am not offended
    Wester Kiranov: i think christmas trees are actually Co2 neutral, if you grow them from scratch


    Another familiar avatar shows up:

    Fael Illyar: Hi Everyone :)
    Nymf Hathaway: Hi Fael :)
    Wester Kiranov: hi fael
    Calvino Rabeni: Fael, hello.
    Archmage Atlantis: Hello Fael :)
    Nymf Hathaway: In Europe people do not have the space to have a christmas tree from scratch Wester.. called 2 hoog achter :)
    Truman Underwood: hi Fael
    Wester Kiranov: although i must admit fertilizer and transport in probably not CO2 neutral :(
    Archmage Atlantis: Good point Wester
    Wester Kiranov: someone is growing them from scratch
    Wester Kiranov: maybe I should get an organic christmas tee ;)
    Wester Kiranov: *tree
    Calvino Rabeni: They hava a better flavour
    Wester Kiranov: lol
    Fael Illyar smiles about organic.
    Nymf Hathaway: 2 hoog achter means living in an appartment high up
    Archmage Atlantis: That is why the Christmas tree farms in Florida grow them using a non-traditional local species
    Nymf Hathaway: well something simular
    Calvino Rabeni: Northwest USA has huge christmas tree farms
    Archmage Atlantis: And often in pots, to plant after Christmas
    Wester Kiranov: and then they die in your back yard
    Truman Underwood: I wonder if artificial Christmas trees are more appropriate for the season
    Wester Kiranov: they don't smell as nice
    Calvino Rabeni: There is nothing like the real thing
    Nymf Hathaway: no they do not Wester... but thinking about whats more important I do not think a nice smell should be the reason for me to put more CO2 in the air...every year again
    Archmage Atlantis: Well, Christmas trees are an infusion of Germanic pagan tradition into Christianity
    Calvino Rabeni: A mix of Art and Nature
    Archmage Atlantis: There is no simple answer, I believe that is the point I wish to make
    Wester Kiranov: or get one like this http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article6934109.ece
    Calvino Rabeni: It makes sense for local conditions to be taken into account.
    Fael Illyar: well, tree taken from a natural forest is guaranteed organic :)
    Nymf Hathaway: No the answers are hard.... keeping the philosophy even harder :) but everything worth while is :)
    Calvino Rabeni: If you live in a forest anyway, ...
    Archmage Atlantis: And the trees renew themselves, and the old growth forest is not stripped
    Nymf Hathaway: and than the lightning during christmas... I think its complete idiot
    Wester Kiranov: are you a vegetarian nymf?
    Nymf Hathaway: No not fully... almost though
    Wester Kiranov: i thought you would be ;)
    Archmage Atlantis: That is a reasonable question, Wester........I was not, but then all animal flesh began to have a bad taste to me
    Nymf Hathaway: I just am concerned people do not see the importance of reducing what we buy...consume
    Truman Underwood: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: No philosophical decision
    Archmage Atlantis: Just happened
    Calvino Rabeni: But the meaning is also important
    Wester Kiranov: that sounds good arch
    Calvino Rabeni: Not just the carbon cycle
    Nymf Hathaway: agree Calvino
    Wester Kiranov: i think so too cal
    Calvino Rabeni: You may have other ways to be primitive
    Fael Illyar: I had a week or so of not being able to eat meat the summer of 2008 and a few days on summer 2009 too.

    I was curious about exactly what happened during those brief periods, but didn't engage it.

    Calvino Rabeni: We grow a lot of food in a city plot
    Fael Illyar: ... oh... might that be the reason why I'm still not touching the sausage package in my fridge.
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't eat packaged food
    Calvino Rabeni: And am concerned about the mono-culture agriculture practices
    Fael Illyar thinks back ... yes, no meat for two days now.
    Fael Illyar: but eggs and milk I do eat.
    Archmage Atlantis: I wish I still had my father growning vegetable on his property, as he did after he retired......They were the freshest and the best
    Calvino Rabeni: Strange, I may be a vegetarian and not know it - I don't pay much attention to it

    I was headed in the same direction, but Wester got there first:

    Wester Kiranov: have you read michael pollan? http://www.amazon.com/Omnivores-Dilemma-Natural-History-Meals/dp/0143038583/
    Calvino Rabeni: YEs, that is a good book
    Wester Kiranov: he definitely changed the way I think about food
    Wester Kiranov: it's quite subtle an nuanced and at the same time very clear
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes that makes it a good read


    We've been talking customs, culture, politics, economics, philosophy, ecology, language, habits... no one's said anything about Being :)

    Calvino Rabeni: Just thinking more about it, is good

    ... but my reflective maneuver doesn't work, and we head into a very concrete line of inquiry:

    Fael Illyar: the only reason I ate meat three days ago is that the food offered at the cafe I was at had meat in it.
    Fael Illyar: (school cafe)
    Truman Underwood: well, thanks for letting me sit with you folks -- now I need to go wax the skids on the sleigh -- so bye bye, and happy holidays :)
    Wester Kiranov: bye truman
    Calvino Rabeni: thanks for joining us, see you later
    Nymf Hathaway: Bye bye Truman :))
    Fael Illyar: bye Truman :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Have a nice sleigh ride, Truman
    Wester Kiranov: i often only realized dinner was vegetarian, or vegan, or vegetarian except for that stock cube, after I've finished
    Calvino Rabeni: I liked Poulan's critique of - I guess you might call it - the technological attitude
    Wester Kiranov: meat is not something i feel is obligatory
    Fael Illyar: my breakfast just now was rye bread, cheese, butter and a fried egg. a glass of orange juice and a mix of coffee and hot chocolate with milk
    Wester Kiranov: what kind of egg? ;)
    Fael Illyar: dunno, the cheapest in the shop :)
    Nymf Hathaway: :)))
    Archmage Atlantis: Assume not emu or ostrich :)
    Wester Kiranov: so it's not free range, probably
    Fael Illyar: yes, chicken egg
    Calvino Rabeni: Food attitudes vary a lot by culture
    Calvino Rabeni: although cultures are changing
    Archmage Atlantis: I can still eat eggs, the cheapest are unlikely to be organic, free range or vegetarian feed here in the US
    Wester Kiranov: my breakfast was bread with chocolate paste, and coffee
    Calvino Rabeni: I had green tea, and a scone at a cafe
    Fael Illyar: in addition, I just finished a peanut choco bar :)
    Archmage Atlantis: An now the free range are defined by the government with very low standards
    Wester Kiranov: I alway buy organic, eggs. meat and vegetables. For the rest I get the cheapest option.
    Archmage Atlantis: Not like they were in the early days of the organic movement
    Calvino Rabeni: urban farming is on the rise
    Wester Kiranov: pollan has got some nice things to say about free range too

    The bibliophiles trade another link for good measure:

    Calvino Rabeni: Wester, have you read the book "The Culture Code"?
    Wester Kiranov: no - who wrote it?
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Code-Ingenious-Understand-People/dp/0767920570
    Calvino Rabeni: French author
    Archmage Atlantis: Based on the treatment of the animals, or the health of the resulting meat for humans, Wester?
    Wester Kiranov: looks interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: Not just about food, but its discussion is interesting
    Wester Kiranov: put it on my wish list
    Nymf Hathaway: Sorry to say but I need to log off, thank you all for this interesting discussion and thoughts, have fun :)
    Archmage Atlantis: You have mentioned a number of books on food production and consumption that sound interesting, Cal

    The meeting suddenly goes "Poof!", but I think by now there is always the sense it can continue in another meeting, or perhaps, actually IS going on in some even more virtual reality.

    Calvino Rabeni: See you later, Nymf
    Nymf Hathaway: Bye bye :)
    Wester Kiranov: I have to log off as well, I have already stayed longer than I planned to
    Wester Kiranov: bye all
    Archmage Atlantis: Later Nymf, the hour is up, and I should go also
    Wester Kiranov: namaste
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye, all :)
    Calvino Rabeni: _/!\_
    Fael Illyar: See you later Calvino :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Take care

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