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Damon Styer
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Damon Styer commented on a post on Blogger.
I'm descended from farmers. Dad was mostly an herbalist--not much in the way of produce, more just toppings and seasonings and tisanes. None of his siblings tend much garden that I know of, and none of the subsequent generation habitually garden, as far as I'm aware. Deb's gardening tends to focus on succulents, perhaps not least on account of their few demands. It's likely going to take abject necessity to turn my own thumb any shade of green. I won't be surprised to find that opportunity foisted on me anytime soon.

I am surprised there wasn't any farming going on at the monastery! Aren't monasteries forever on the lookout for regular chores to keep monks' hands busy? What were they all occupied with, if not a garden? (rhetorical: I'm sure there are plenty of tasks an abbot and/or the community can find to apply monks to).

You might find this article interesting, at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/15/north-carolina-needed-6500-farm-workers-only-7-americans-stuck-it-out/?utm_term=.e0017891f3d3, vis-à-vis farming and immigrants in the southeast US. I read it a couple weeks ago (may even have posted it on FB), but only just now realized it's from four years ago. Still, I don't imagine the numbers have changed significantly: it says each year between '98 and 2011, between 130,000 and 489,000 North Carolinians were unemployed, and given the opportunity to take farm work, through the state's Growers' Association, which is required to offer jobs to non-immigrants before anyone else. At the peak of unemployment, in a year when 6500 farm workers were needed, only 268 non-immigrant people, total, asked to be referred to farming jobs. Of those, 245 were hired. Only 163 showed up on the first day, and only 7 of those were still there by the end of the growing season. "As a consequence, the vast majority of the workers who start work at NCGA farms are Mexican H-2A visa holders", 90% of whom stick with the job at least through the growing season.

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Here's a nice, brief primer, with helpful links, discussing behavioral economics w/r/t the perceived value of well-designed, hand-crafted, and self-made items in the marketplace.

"Things you make yourself are more valuable to you (Dan Ariely/Ikea Effect) bring more joy (Don Norman/Emotional Design). We perceive the output of things that bring us joy as being of higher quality than the output of things that do not (Placebo). So: make your own amazing dripper, and experience coffee nirvana."

As someone who roasts my own coffee (but hasn't made my own dripper), I'll attest to that. And as someone who helps make a living for myself and a number of employees and clients, by generating useful information out of cans of paint, I'd add that other people ascribe some value to the perceived sense that an actual person put discernible labor into a thing, even if that actual person is not oneself.

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Lawdy, I loves me some Awl! I don't understand half of what they're on about (and maybe I should take that as a clue that I'm one of the stupid people they'd rather not have reading?), but they write it in such a way, I feel like, on any given day, I'm susceptible to an influx of wisdom...

Soon cities will be stratified into classes of on-demand laborers, Herrman says, "app playgrounds" zoned by service radii. It’s going to get more interesting when you replace those people with robots, Buchanan says, adding that everyone will be eating soylent while the rich eat solid foods in surge-priced restaurants. "I can’t wait for the progressively priced food market," Herrman says, with genuine enthusiasm, "that’s going to be great." Struggling to keep a straight face, Buchanan describes college lectures with professors delivering sponsored native ads indistinguishable from the course — environmental science brought to you by Exxon. "In-app purchases for college! College premium! I can’t wait!" Herrman says. "The future is going to be amazing," Buchanan says, dryly. "I’m so glad I’ll be dead."

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Closest I've come to enlightenment all day.

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Tomorrow is the annual Garden of Memory event, at the Chapel of Chimes, in Oakland. It happens from 5 to 9pm (that's tomorrow, Sun, 21 Jun), and it's $15pp (or $5 for kids, age 5 to 12), and I could hardly imagine a more fascinating place to take oneself, or a date, or one's family (unless you have a reasonably deep terror of losing your children in a crowd... in a maze of cadavers and cremains). This place, if you've never been, is a warren of aisles winding between alcoves, chapels, indoor gardens and water fountains, in a mish-mosh of devotional architectural styles, and tomorrow evening, every little cubby hole and hideaway is hosting some people and their ersatz instruments making peculiar sounds for your perusal.

Highly recommended to you and yours!

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Well, I'm certainly not likely to shell out whatever hundred-plus bucks this self-quantification thingy demands, and, for that matter, I'm not much likelier to consciously add to however many steps I take in a day, for any price; but, hey, if they're givin' 'em away, may as well make a play...

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I just want to know when this is going to be distilled into a website with some slider controls, to which images can be uploaded and manipulated.

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'Bout time to spruce up the wallpaper: my desktops have been sporting some of Haeckel's "art forms of nature", and Ben Barry's "onehundredpatterns", handsomely, for many moons now, but it may be time to tap an artificial neural network for redecorating tips.

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Kinda wanna hear Jello sing "Let's Lynch the Landlord" at City Hall this weekend...
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