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  • Simon Norton
    There may well be some truth in the concept that discrimination against fat people is a reflection of guilt about over-consumption generally. It is notable
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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      There may well be some truth in the concept that discrimination against fat
      people is a reflection of guilt about over-consumption generally.

      It is notable that many people seem to apply higher ethical standards to food
      than to other consumer items. We are conditioned to regard the wasting of food
      (as opposed to other consumer items) as unacceptable. Campaigners talk about
      "food miles" but I have never heard a mention of (to quote a particular consumer
      item mentioned in the posting) "hair dryer miles", even though local sourcing of
      consumer goods is likely to be a lot easier than local sourcing of foods for
      which particular microclimatic and soil conditions may be essential.

      Even before we come to voluntary simplicity, I think there is a concept of
      "voluntary non-complication". This is weaker because it just involves the
      rejection of items that do not contribute significantly to the quality of life.
      Using the same example, I can't imagine why anyone would want, let alone need, a
      hair dryer -- what's wrong with letting one's hair dry naturally ? I also
      remember in a compilation of some of the Notes & Queries series in the Guardian
      seeing the question "What's the purpose of ironing ?" to which I don't think
      anyone gave a convincing answer. And a third consumer item which I objected to
      last time is deodorants -- hypocritical for those who introduce odours that are
      unhealthy as well as unpleasant by smoking or driving, and significantly
      responsible for the past damage to the ozone layer.

      Simon Norton
    • De Clarke
      ... and to regard greediness about food as far more sinful than greed for an ever-growing heap of consumer possessions. even fitness becomes a consumer
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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        Simon Norton (norton@...) wrote:
        > There may well be some truth in the concept that discrimination against fat
        > people is a reflection of guilt about over-consumption generally.
        >
        > It is notable that many people seem to apply higher ethical standards to food
        > than to other consumer items. We are conditioned to regard the wasting of food
        > (as opposed to other consumer items) as unacceptable.

        and to regard greediness about food as far more sinful than greed for
        an ever-growing heap of consumer possessions. even "fitness" becomes
        a consumer quest, with shiny high-tech "exercise machines" (some with
        elaborate electronic control systems requiring AC power) abounding.
        the morally righteous quest for "fitness" justifies the stereotypical
        (but unfortunately all too real) drive of 100 miles to ride your bike
        in a state park for a couple of hours; the squandering of petroleum
        and general decadence of this version of cycling is ignored, whereas the
        fact that you're "getting exercise" (after sitting in a car for hours)
        makes it morally excellent. getting exercise by walking the kids to
        school or walking/biking to the grocery store, on the other hand, is
        not nearly so glamorous.

        > consumer goods is likely to be a lot easier than local sourcing of foods for
        > which particular microclimatic and soil conditions may be essential.

        hmmm. actually I'd guess that local sourcing of consumer goods is rather
        difficult, esp. when you get down to raw materials. not everyone has
        bauxite from which to make (with horrific energy inputs) aluminium. and
        so forth. this whole long-distance hauling economy started with extracting
        raw materials from one place and sending them off to someplace else to be
        turned into things (infrastructure, weaponry, consumer goods) or used as
        fuel for the engines of commerce. I doubt anyone in my town could make
        a hair dryer out of locally-available materials... unless we count the
        city dump as a local natural resource :-)

        > Even before we come to voluntary simplicity, I think there is a concept of
        > "voluntary non-complication". This is weaker because it just involves the
        > rejection of items that do not contribute significantly to the quality of life.

        amen to that!

        > Using the same example, I can't imagine why anyone would want, let alone need, a
        > hair dryer -- what's wrong with letting one's hair dry naturally ?

        the hair dryer is a byproduct of the corporate/factory work schedule. you
        *have* to look fresh and clean for your office job. you *have* to get up
        early and have almost no time at home before you must rush off to work
        (whether by transit or in your private car). you *have* to get your hair
        dry before you get to work (or even out in public) so you can look
        "respectable." therefore you "need" a device that will dry your hair in
        no time flat. presto: hair dryer. if you didn't have to punch the clock
        at the office and could linger over breakfast or walk to work, instant
        dry hair wouldn't be important. the hair dryer is another one of those
        devices that only exists because people are expected to conform to rigid,
        production-line schedules in personal life as well as on the factory
        floor. or so I've always thought.

        > I also
        > remember in a compilation of some of the Notes & Queries series in the Guardian
        > seeing the question "What's the purpose of ironing ?"

        it makes the sheets feel rather nice :-) apart from that, just another of those
        habits/privileges of the gentry which the proles were supposed to imitate. if
        your clothes were freshly ironed, in say mid C19, it meant that you were Somebody --
        at least somebody wealthy enough to hire an ironing maid or pay for outside
        laundry. I fancy that with drip-dry fabrics, polyester blends and so forth,
        the "freshly ironed" look no longer means much; it's no longer a class indicator.
        we now rely on other indicators like watches, shoes, quality of tailoring, and
        of course the completely crass expedient of checking the logo or tag.

        > to which I don't think
        > anyone gave a convincing answer. And a third consumer item which I objected to
        > last time is deodorants -- hypocritical for those who introduce odours that are
        > unhealthy as well as unpleasant by smoking or driving, and significantly
        > responsible for the past damage to the ozone layer
        > Simon Norton

        well, not all deodorants are the pressurised spray. but I agree that
        (Americans especially!) people have a strange, phobic attitude to human odours.

        I've heard an American colleague go on and on and on about the "stink"
        of sitting next to a European on an international flight, how "you
        could actually smell his sweat -- it was just disgusting" -- yet they
        think nothing of not being able to walk anywhere in their own home town
        w/o breathing carcinogenic drek from the tailpipes of thousands of cars
        (their own included). or about having to filter their city water because
        they don't trust its quality.

        average urban Americans would freak if they saw a meat market in rural S
        America with its un-plastic-wrapped, recently-skinned carcasses hanging
        in the open air. but they happily eat meat contaminated in various
        ways (hormones, chemicals, artificial colorants, fecal matter from the
        slaughterhouse, etc) as long as it is tidily cut into invidual servings
        and wrapped in shiny plastic, so that it looks "clean"... there's a
        whole sector of America that believes organic food is Bad For You --
        dangerous to eat because it's "dirty" (big chemical ag pays a stable
        of disinformation agents to go around on the rightwingnut talk show
        circuit spreading this doctrine). and we all know about the popularity
        of factory-farmed fruits and veggies with no flavour and diminished
        nutritional value -- they look so "perfect" and clean, saturated in
        pesticides to ensure that no nibble marks or other flaws are visible...

        you could write a book -- and I think several people have -- about
        perceptions of "dirt" and "cleanliness" in different cultures. in the US
        we are so very concerned about being Clean that we clean our bathrooms and
        kitchens with toxic chemicals, and exterminate insects with neurotoxins
        that can damage our pets and children. we also don't ride bicycles
        because you can get dirty and sweaty riding a bike. it's very important
        to be Clean you know :-) Pontius Pilate syndrome, perhaps?

        if an entire culture becomes obsessed with surface appearance and packaging
        to the exclusion of physical reality, what happens to it?

        de

        --
        .............................................................................
        :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
        :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
        :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
        :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
      • Fitzsimmons, Diane
        ... I have many pet peeves about human consumption and, if prompted enough or if I feel comfortable with the listener, I will share them. But many times I
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Simon Norton [mailto:norton@...]
          > Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 6:41 AM
          > To: carfree@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [CF] consumption
          >
          > Using the same example, I can't imagine why anyone would want, let alone
          > need, a
          > hair dryer -- what's wrong with letting one's hair dry naturally ?


          I have many pet peeves about human consumption and, if prompted enough or if
          I feel comfortable with the listener, I will share them. But many times I
          keep my mouth shut because I often find there is a good reason for the
          consumption -- we just don't practice moderation or have the right person
          using it.

          For instance, your hair dryer example. There are times in my life when I do
          need a hair dryer. That's because I have seborrheic dermatitis, a type of
          skin problem that is exacerbated by wetness. I get red, scaly and itchy
          patches in places that get damp and can't get dry easily. I have a topical
          steroid that keeps it under control but much better is to make sure all
          those nooks and crannies on my body dry quickly. Because I have long hair
          and wear glasses, I must be particularly careful behind my ears and at the
          nape of my neck in regards to drying. When I have a particularly bad
          flair-up, especially in winter, I resort to a hair dryer.

          IMO better questions might be "Why do we have 80-kajillion brands and types
          of hair dryers?" and "Why do we make hair dryers to be disposable?"

          So hair dryers are needed for people like me, but maybe not people like you.
          Our problem is that we have hair dryers for everyone. Just the same as
          cars.

          Diane Fitzsimmons
          Norman, Okla.
        • RIIN GILL
          ... I *very rarely* use a hair dryer, but I do use one a few times a year. I use one in the winter, if it s really really cold out, and my hair is still wet
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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            On Tue, 23 Sep 2003, Fitzsimmons, Diane wrote:

            > I have many pet peeves about human consumption and, if prompted enough or if
            > I feel comfortable with the listener, I will share them. But many times I
            > keep my mouth shut because I often find there is a good reason for the
            > consumption -- we just don't practice moderation or have the right person
            > using it.
            >
            > For instance, your hair dryer example. There are times in my life when I do
            > need a hair dryer. That's because I have seborrheic dermatitis, a type of
            > skin problem that is exacerbated by wetness. I get red, scaly and itchy
            > patches in places that get damp and can't get dry easily. I have a topical
            > steroid that keeps it under control but much better is to make sure all
            > those nooks and crannies on my body dry quickly. Because I have long hair
            > and wear glasses, I must be particularly careful behind my ears and at the
            > nape of my neck in regards to drying. When I have a particularly bad
            > flair-up, especially in winter, I resort to a hair dryer.

            I *very rarely* use a hair dryer, but I do use one a few times a year. I
            use one in the winter, if it's really really cold out, and my hair is
            still wet when it's time for me to head out in the morning. If I ride my
            bike when my hair is wet when it's really cold out, I get chilled. Even
            if I put on a balaclava under my helmet, if my hair is wet, I'm cold! I
            need to have dry hair before I go out there in the cold! The rest of the
            year, I wouldn't think of using one. My hair is just gonna get sweaty
            anyway, and then it can air dry once I get to work. My hair actually
            looks better when I let it air dry.

            ***********************************************************
            Riin Gill
            Interlibrary Loan 734-615-6168
            Taubman Medical Library fax 734-763-1473
            University of Michigan
            ***********************************************************
            If you were riding your bike, you'd be having fun by now.
          • Jason W. Neiss
            ... Sadly, I have a friend who is a microbiology grad student at OSU who has made this exact argument to me. I ve been unable to convince her that I d really
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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              On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 10:45, De Clarke wrote:

              > there's a
              > whole sector of America that believes organic food is Bad For You --
              > dangerous to eat because it's "dirty"

              Sadly, I have a friend who is a microbiology grad student at OSU who
              has made this exact argument to me. I've been unable to convince her
              that I'd really rather have a nice, natural E. Coli or two on my veggies
              and be able to wash them off than have a lot of chemicals I can't name
              and miscellaneous genes spliced in without my knowledge, and not be able
              to do anything about it.

              She remains unconvinced.

              Jason
            • Norman DeBrus
              would a healthy society not scorn over-consumption? ... From: Simon Norton Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 07:41:10 -0400 To:
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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                would a healthy society not scorn over-consumption?

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Simon Norton <norton@...>
                Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 07:41:10 -0400
                To: carfree@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [CF] consumption

                > There may well be some truth in the concept that discrimination against fat
                > people is a reflection of guilt about over-consumption generally.
                >
                > It is notable that many people seem to apply higher ethical standards to food
                > than to other consumer items. We are conditioned to regard the wasting of food
                > (as opposed to other consumer items) as unacceptable. Campaigners talk about
                > "food miles" but I have never heard a mention of (to quote a particular consumer
                > item mentioned in the posting) "hair dryer miles", even though local sourcing of
                > consumer goods is likely to be a lot easier than local sourcing of foods for
                > which particular microclimatic and soil conditions may be essential.
                >
                > Even before we come to voluntary simplicity, I think there is a concept of
                > "voluntary non-complication". This is weaker because it just involves the
                > rejection of items that do not contribute significantly to the quality of life.
                > Using the same example, I can't imagine why anyone would want, let alone need, a
                > hair dryer -- what's wrong with letting one's hair dry naturally ? I also
                > remember in a compilation of some of the Notes & Queries series in the Guardian
                > seeing the question "What's the purpose of ironing ?" to which I don't think
                > anyone gave a convincing answer. And a third consumer item which I objected to
                > last time is deodorants -- hypocritical for those who introduce odours that are
                > unhealthy as well as unpleasant by smoking or driving, and significantly
                > responsible for the past damage to the ozone layer.
                >
                > Simon Norton
                >
                >
                >
                > To change your settings (such as receiving CarFree in digest form or read the archive: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CarFree
                > To Unsubscribe by email; CarFree-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                > For problems email; CarFree-owners@yahoogroups.com
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >



                Who the hell is Booz, Allen, and Hamilton ?!?
                http://makeashorterlink.com/?P201549F5

                *


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              • Norman DeBrus
                i would, any day, take a society in which it was fashionable to live in balance in such a case, i would not scorn the fact that it is fashionable
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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                  i would, any day, take a society in which it was fashionable to live in balance

                  in such a case, i would not scorn the fact that it is fashionable

                  unfortunately, fashions pass

                  *

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                • Tom Genereaux
                  Better that your immune system be mildly challenged on a regular basis - you re less likely to get surprised. ... -- Tom Genereaux
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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                    Better that your immune system be mildly challenged on a regular basis -
                    you're less likely to get surprised.

                    On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 18:16, Jason W. Neiss wrote:
                    > On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 10:45, De Clarke wrote:
                    >
                    > > there's a
                    > > whole sector of America that believes organic food is Bad For You --
                    > > dangerous to eat because it's "dirty"
                    >
                    > Sadly, I have a friend who is a microbiology grad student at OSU who
                    > has made this exact argument to me. I've been unable to convince her
                    > that I'd really rather have a nice, natural E. Coli or two on my veggies
                    > and be able to wash them off than have a lot of chemicals I can't name
                    > and miscellaneous genes spliced in without my knowledge, and not be able
                    > to do anything about it.
                    >
                    > She remains unconvinced.
                    >
                    > Jason
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > To change your settings (such as receiving CarFree in digest form or read the archive: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CarFree
                    > To Unsubscribe by email; CarFree-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    > For problems email; CarFree-owners@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    --
                    Tom Genereaux <entropy@...>
                  • De Clarke
                    ... I can t put my finger on it at this moment, but I seem to remember some epidemiological research that indicated the following not-too-surprising pattern:
                    Message 9 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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                      Tom Genereaux (entropy@...) wrote:
                      > Better that your immune system be mildly challenged on a regular basis -
                      > you're less likely to get surprised.

                      I can't put my finger on it at this moment, but I seem to remember some
                      epidemiological research that indicated the following not-too-surprising
                      pattern: children who were kept strictly away from every kind of dirt
                      were actually less healthy overall than children who routinely encountered
                      mud, animals, etc. I think it must be that same benefit of stimulating the
                      immune system gently now and then, to keep it rarin' to go.

                      de

                      .............................................................................
                      :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                      :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                      :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                      :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                    • Theo Schmidt
                      ... Of course organic food has nothing to do with unwashed food. ... A study by the Swiss Lung Society showed that children who grew up on farms (lots of
                      Message 10 of 10 , Sep 25, 2003
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                        Jason W. Neiss wrote:
                        >On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 10:45, De Clarke wrote:
                        >> there's a
                        >> whole sector of America that believes organic food is Bad For You --
                        >> dangerous to eat because it's "dirty"

                        Of course organic food has nothing to do with unwashed food.

                        > Sadly, I have a friend who is a microbiology grad student at OSU who
                        >has made this exact argument to me. I've been unable to convince her
                        >that I'd really rather have a nice, natural E. Coli or two on my veggies
                        >and be able to wash them off than have a lot of chemicals I can't name
                        >and miscellaneous genes spliced in without my knowledge, and not be able
                        >to do anything about it.
                        >
                        >She remains unconvinced.

                        De replied:
                        >Tom Genereaux (entropy@...) wrote:
                        >> Better that your immune system be mildly challenged on a regular basis -
                        >> you're less likely to get surprised.
                        >
                        >I can't put my finger on it at this moment, but I seem to remember some
                        >epidemiological research that indicated the following not-too-surprising
                        >pattern: children who were kept strictly away from every kind of dirt
                        >were actually less healthy overall than children who routinely encountered
                        >mud, animals, etc. I think it must be that same benefit of stimulating the
                        >immune system gently now and then, to keep it rarin' to go.

                        A study by the Swiss Lung Society showed that children who grew up on
                        farms (lots of contact with various bacteria) were considerably less
                        likely to get asthma and die prematurely than children who grew up
                        "hygienically".

                        Actually, although I always get organic ("biological") food if I can,
                        I don't believe I am very much healthier by this, I get the organic
                        food for *political* reasons.

                        Most people who by organic food (I think 47% in Switzerland) however
                        do so because they believe they will be healthier and are prepared to
                        pay considerably more for this food. Most of these same people will
                        however *not* give up excessive car driving or sometimes even stop
                        excessive smoking or drinking, etc. Why is organic food so much more
                        successful than cycling, etc., which must be hundreds of times
                        "healthier" than eating organic food? I think it must have snob
                        appeal and gives you feeling of superiority. Also, just buying
                        different food doesn't cost a rich person any extra effort.

                        If "carfree" is ever to succeed voluntarly, it will have to be
                        because "opinion leaders" become carfree. At the moment, there is no
                        chance of this, inasmuch as cars are an easy way for celebreties to
                        move without being seen or molested, hence they will tend to drive
                        more than other people. Here in Switzerland some celebreties do make
                        a show of using trains, but it usually backfires and they are
                        ridiculed by the media. With the Swedish foreign minister's tragic
                        death recently also politicians in all "safe" countries will think
                        twice before mingling too much in public places.

                        Theo Schmidt, Switzerland
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