Decisions, decisions. What should these stubby fingers be typing about this evening??
Our blogging buddy at The South Roane Agrarian has dropped a gauntlet in the form of a new header photo and a weekend reading list from a rather robust agrarian library. Facing off against such a collection will require significant grit. I may be able to earn a spot in the contest, but am not disposed to imagine a fortunate outcome. Hmmm, with Winter Olympics on the near-term horizon I wonder whether such a contest might resemble a bloody hockey match, speed skating, or one of those skiing and shooting events. Brian is a Good ol’ Boy from the South – matching him with gun could be difficult. I have played hockey, maybe that’s the metaphor I need for a matchup. On a recent dust up about our relative agrarian literary holdings Brian fired the first shot with a 1908 publication on sheep. I answered with an 1891 Agricultural Report from here in Ohio. Just as in hockey, it appears we have a low scoring affair. Maybe a 1-1 tie at the end of the first period?
Another blogging buddy in England (Small Farm Future) likes to speculate about the future of food provisioning on our planet once the oil runs out. Chris imagines a farm future dependent upon much greater human involvement in the process. And if future technological feats fail to produce portable fuels which could allow us to continue harvesting enormous acreages as we do now then he is certainly onto something. He tends to favor poking at politics with his pointy stick, and I’ll admit there is something to that… but plant breeder that I am I have to consider more and better offerings from our herbal domesticates an avenue worth pursuing. Hard to enter a useful debate about policy when your stomach is growling.
Still others in the blogosphere want to gripe about or trumpet science and scientists to buoy some argument or other they find themselves hold up in. Science says this, or science says that… 96% of scientists agree that… What hogwash. Only shows how small minded most folk are about the whole scientific endeavor. If science were a democracy, we’d still be clubbing small game to make a meal. And there are plenty of scientists who play along with the game – publishing opinion pieces disguised as research in peer reviewed journals. These latter yokels should rightfully be held up to ridicule (along with the editors that pass such drivel into print). Now I’m not suggesting scientists have no business publishing their opinions. What is this blog after all? But when the message is “We’re scientists, we asked 100 people their opinion, we dumped a bunch of responses into our favorite model, the model chewed on it for a few microseconds, Bayesian priors (and other sciency stuff) were employed – this has to be important – it’s scientific. Well, when that is the message it is time to look for real scientists.
And then there is the news that Jeff Bezos has narrowed his search for a second headquarters for Amazon down to 20 cities (and the fact that Columbus, OH made the cut). Wikipedia puts Jeff’s net worth at a paltry 117 billion (poor guy, hope his McD’s coupons haven’t expired). Telling is the fact that this net worth figure can bounce around in a nine-digit range in very short order. Not bad for a fifty something white dude. Can you say plutocrat? Mr. Rogers thinks so. But while this paragraph might seem to suggest I’m not a fan, I should hasten to add that I just bought a six pack from a local Whole Foods store, and the fact that his net worth cracked a smile because of it doesn’t bother me a bit. If the world is going to have plutocrats, I suppose we could do worse.
So now Brian is wondering what on Earth Mr. Bezos has to do with anything that matters here at Gulliver’s Pulse. And I’ll admit – aside from the Columbus in the top twenty bit – there really isn’t much. But here I should hasten to add that a certain local high school English teacher thought it might be cool to assign her pupils to hone their cover letter writing skills by submitting hypothetical letters to Mr. Plutocratic in search of employment with Amazon. And hence the – Dear Jeff.
My editorializing pen is blowing in the wind. I could dive further into any of these subjects. Should I pull out the cell phone and photograph some agrarian works from my humble library and, keeping my stick on the ice, have a go at Mr. Miller? Or should I sharpen up a pointy stick of my own and make a case that more and better food coming from breeding efforts is just as important as political chafing? Maybe a deeper dive into badmouthing scientists who’d do better to form hypotheses, conduct an experiment or two, and leave the policy making to elected folks… OR… hang up the microscope and run for office. And then there is Jeff. I think he has a sense of humor. I’d love to pretend to be about a dozen high school seniors wanting to work for Amazon. One of my letters would surely start out: Dude!