This Isn’t A Real Blog Post
December 23, 2010, 12:28 am
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And these aren’t real thoughts….

Kids in a certain age-range seem to crave sugars & starches (and absolutely nothing else) so much that maybe we should just listen to them. Maybe 4-12 year old kids just need a crapload of sugar and starch, biologically (and not only that but if there’s any ‘green stuff’ on or mixed in with or even near the rice, or noodles – or any kind of non-cheese-based sauce near it at all – this destroys the starchy nutritional value their young bodies need). And maybe by resisting all this and trying to heartlessly force e.g. vegetables, etc. on them we’re inadvertently causing a national epidemic of sugar-starvation. Why aren’t we listening to the evolutionary signals our kids are trying to send us? I’m actually kinda starting to talk myself into feeling bad about it.

You know how you can either buy like brand-name cereals, or generic knock-off versions that cost half or 1/3rd or 1/4th as much? I noticed that the knock-offs don’t have cool stuff (cartoons, games, etc.) splashed all over the box (if they even have a box – often they’re in bags). And I miss all that stuff. There’s nothing to read/play while you eat! You think they have like expert comic-book authors and game-creators on staff, to create those things? Maybe that’s what you’re actually paying for when you buy the brand-name cereals. And, indeed, maybe they’re actually a good value – and the knockoffs are a ripoff – when you factor that in. Have we all been duped by Big Generic?

The politics of marijuana legalization are strange to ponder, because often the same people who want to demonize, regulate, propagandize against cigarettes – but of course, tax them and use those taxes as crucial funding! – are the ones who want to legalize marijuana. But it’s not like marijuana cigarettes (“doobies” or “joints” in the vernacular, I hear tell) are somehow wholesomey-good for your lungs, or that the arguments used against tobacco cigarettes somehow magically don’t apply to marijuana cigarettes. So what’s going to happen when the latter are legalized? Is the idea to legalize-and-then-demonize? Maybe there’s just a dual morality at play in peoples’ minds: cigarettes are evil precisely because they’re legal, whereas marijuana gets a pass cuz it’s not? But then what happens when it is? Or will (in a legalized scenario) Big Marijuana get a pass because (we all assume) its kingpins won’t generally be easily-despisable fat bald white men from North Carolina, but rather, Birkenstock-wearing balding-up-top-yet-gray-ponytail-sporting sensitive NPR-listening hippy types from Reading, California, and we don’t mind them getting rich? (At least, I think we don’t. That’s what it seems like.)

By now everyone has noticed that their supermarket chain wants to track all the food purchases you make. You either have a card or use your phone number and get little pseudo-discounts for letting them do it, and this helps them do data-mining. Fair enough, I suppose, but I wonder if/when the supermarkets (or whatever consulting firms they outsource the analysis to) will start to realize that the data they get just might be polluted by a load of crap? It’s not like a huge amount of security or quality control is applied to this ID tracking involved. You can just borrow someone’s card, or give them any old phone number (your wife’s, friend’s, etc); actually I often get the impression that the cashier would be perfectly willing to just let you use their phone number if it’ll get you the discounts and make you happy. I even think I’ve had it happen. So suddenly a purchase history full of maxipads, pre-made sushi and organic-everything is buying up cheese puffs, beef jerky and a 12-pack of Cup O’Noodles. Ha! Let’s see your algorithms deal with that, oh so clever ‘data miners’! Don’t like it?, well maybe you should never have left the cushy confines of that Operations Research graduate-school program! This is the real world!

So yeah, seriously, you shouldn’t have read any of that. You just lost a few minutes of your life you’ll never get back,

5 Comments so far
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Re: supermarket phone numbers: just make ’em up. No need to borrow someone’s. Just make them the hell up, like a hot girl at a club getting hit on by too many guys…. if you feel guilty about giving a stranger’s number, then say your area code is 555. Even if the cashier is smart enough to know what 555 means, they’re not going to fight over it.

Re: marijuana. I recently read a blog post which changed my views a lot: After reading that, my mind was changed in two ways: 1. I’m not so fearful of tobacco any more, just of *cigarettes*. If someone took some home-grown tobacco leaves, and wrapped them into a tobacco blunt, I’d willingly smoke it, even though I’m very anti-tobacco in general. 2. I realize that mj legalization doesn’t magically mean we’ll be able to buy pure quality marijuana at the drug stores. The cynic in me realizes we’d probably get shitty “marijuanarettes” infused with over 9,000 toxic chemicals none of which are needed and none of which are present in current, black market marijuana. Ah, the powers of capitalism…

Comment by Xamuel

Yes, it occurs to me that I should just make up phone #s for those things. Which makes it even more dubious that the data they gather are of any value. I suspect the whole endeavor primarily provides jobs for analysts/consultants.

I really do wonder how legalization would play out. For the record, I support legalization, but it’s hard to imagine marijuana becoming all corporatized. Given our litigious culture, if people can sue over hot coffee, they’ll find a reason to sue over some corporation’s marijuana product. Hence, corporations (as opposed to Berkeley co-ops and suchlike) will shy away; having marijuana be fully ‘legalized’ as a consumer product just doesn’t seem like a stable state. But maybe that’s a failure of imagination on my part.

My real point is just that I don’t understand why self-styled ‘liberals’, who (rightly, IMHO) are in favor of marijuana legalization, ended up coming down on the anti/puritanical side of things when it came to cigarettes. But that link you gave is very interesting and maybe is part of the answer; why do ‘cigarettes’ have all that added junk in it, and why is that allowed, given all the other regulatory regimes (FDA, etc.) we have in place to regulate everything else? Seems like liberals have gone off the rails – pursuing this weird harrass/propaganda/PR-campaign/tax strategy against cigarettes, when they should have just gone back to their Progressive roots and focused on having the FDA make sure the product was good, pure tobacco.

Comment by Sonic Charmer

I crave tremendous amounts of illicit sex with as many anonymous women, under the age of 30, as possible.

Could it be that such cravings are also natural and healthy?

Whether they are or not, I am convinced they ought to be indulged.

Comment by Pastorius

Indeed. Another evolutionary signal being cavalierly ignored! When o when shall we learn?

Comment by Sonic Charmer

[…] here and there, in exchange for the gory details of your purchases. I remind you, though, that it would never occur to me to suggest that you give them a dose of Garbage In: It’s not like a huge amount of security or quality control is applied to this ID tracking […]

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