A Low Carbon Turkey

Every Thanksgiving, we engage in an annual tradition where we watch parades sponsored by department stores trying to capture the attention of consumers at the beginning of the holiday shopping season and we then consume more food than we really need. Others spend their time writing screeds encouraging us to look at a Native America view of the day.

Then there are always the efforts to get people to think about, and do something about hunger and homelessness, in Philadelphia, in Westport, CT and in Williamstown, MA for example.

For me, I am looking at Thanksgiving from new perspectives. Are you having a ‘low carbon’ Thanksgiving? Recently, I heard a global warming activist claim that the average bite of food travels 2000 miles to get to our mouths. He spoke about how this was yet another aspect of our dependence on foreign oil. To put things into perspective, that is just about as far as the pilgrims traveled to get to the new world.

Since then, I’ve found people talking about a lower carbon diet. A great example is from TerraBlog about Low Carbon Beer.

Kim and I are now searching for various low carbon foods. We set out to find a turkey that was raised locally. The closest we got this time around was one raised in Pennsylvania. We did get some honey from an apiary a few towns away, and we are searching for other food that is closer to home. Hopefully our Christmas goose will come from a place even closer to home.

This thanksgiving I am thankful for the food I will receive. I am thankful people that have helped me think in new ways about our country, the people who were here before us and the people that will be here generations later. I am thankful for everyone who is out trying to make the lives of the people around them a little bit better, and I’m thankful for my wife cooking, what I trust will be a great lower carbon turkey.

ANONYMITY, PERSONAE, PSEUDOYNMS

Colin’s class is talking about ANONYMITY, PERSONAE, PSEUDOYNMS. This is an old topic that academics have been writing about for years, and I even have a few posts about it up. I would encourage people to check out my entry, Pseudonymity and Anonymity online that I wrote last year. In it, I talk a little bit about pseudonyms that Charles Dodgson, Samuel Clemens, and W. Mark Felt used, long before people used pseudonyms on MOOs.

I talked a little bit about Gursting. Check out SocioAnthro SIG Transcript for the Online Reading Group. As another random resource, I would encourage people to check out Impression Formation in Cyberspace: Online Expectations and Offline Experiences in Text-based Virtual Communities. While it was written about MOOs, it applies pretty well to blogs as well.

Brenda asks, “So what happens when the face-to-face disappoints? I imagine it’s quite a letdown.”. When I’ve met people whom I’ve known and become good friends with online face to face for the first time, I’ve often been surprised, but never disappointed. They don’t look at all the way I imagined them. I think it ties nicely into Dr. Jacobson’s paper. Even when they are gender-benders presenting in a gender different from their ‘real’ gender, or when I’ve found them particularly physically unattractive, I’ve not been disappointed. Instead, I’ve come to appreciate them for the quality of their thoughts as they present them online.

You know, thinking about it, we might be better off if we met and developed friendships with people via text before we ever meet them face to face. It might go along way to breaking down prejudices and generally making our world a better place.

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Back...

Well, the server I've been using went down again, so I thought it was probably time to migrate to a new server. If you are seeing this post, and there is a slightly new format, you are on the new server.

Hopefully, things should be working the same as before, maybe even a little better. If there are things that seem like they should be working and aren't, let me know.

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McMeme Part 2

If I leave here tomorrow,
Would you still remember me?

Over in Colin’s class, Scott writes about bloggers, saying

their existence was purely as information, as an electronic media. They were not people, but they were their blogs. Look at Alden, for example: With a Longfellow Beard like he had just come out of a solitary time in the woods (or the wilderness of the electronic world), and wearing a shirt on which was stitched the word "Blogger" where a nametag would normally go.

From an empiricist, bordering on solipsist perspective, perhaps that is really how the people we encounter exist, as information. Having the computer mediate that information, as opposed to the visual, auditory, and even olfactory information that we receive when we are physically near each other perhaps makes this more apparent. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird Lyrics is also, perhaps, a reminder about how we exist as information in the form of memories. Do we cease to exist when the brain stops functioning? When the body stops functioning? Or, perhaps, when we are forgotten?

So, if a blogger falls in the solitary woods, and no one reads his blog, does he exist?

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For Sale: Orient Lodge


Orient Lodge Living Room
Originally uploaded by Aldon.

Here ends the road that leads to all good comforts

Some of you have asked where I got the name for this blog. Well, in 1992, I bought a house in Stamford, CT known as Orient Lodge. It is a unique house, built in 1904. It is log construction, including logs for the inner walls in the great room. It has an Arts and Crafts/Mission/Prairie style with oriental motifs throughout.

At the time, I was working full time on Wall Street. I knew the house would take a lot of work, and I put on a new roof, replaced the septic system and planned for greater restorations. However, my first marriage ended and then in 2000 I left my last full time job on Wall Street. Restoration plans were put on hold.

As political consulting starts taking up more and more of my time, I find it is time to move on from Orient Lodge. Kim thinks we should move closer to Hartford or New Haven where more of her work is likely, and closer to her father. With my work, it is hard to tell where the best place might be. I could end up working just about anywhere in the country, or perhaps even out of the country.

So, we are starting to look around for someone who wants a unique house that needs and deserves some TLC.

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