Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 702469 times)

yesno

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #630 on: April 13, 2009, 02:55:55 PM »
I think you need to draw a distinction between processed food and the "green revolution"/industrialized plant agriculture.  Food grown using pesticides and nitrogen fertilizer might not get a nice certification but it's hardly the same as a Tastykake.

Whether or not these technologies have, on balance, decreased human misery, stuff like the Haber process (I IMBD'd that) definitely help us grow more food on less land (in the short term at least).

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #631 on: April 13, 2009, 03:11:50 PM »
Yeah, good point.  The devastation of which I speak probably has a lot more to do with economics than farming methods (as did the similar pattern in the US from the 1870s to the 1930s).
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JBillington

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #632 on: April 13, 2009, 03:47:49 PM »


Up next is either The Kid Stays in the Picture

This is much more enjoyable if you know what Bob Evans sounds like then read it in his voice. Is it? You bet it is.

Matt

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #633 on: April 13, 2009, 04:58:05 PM »


Up next is either The Kid Stays in the Picture

This is much more enjoyable if you know what Bob Evans sounds like then read it in his voice. Is it? You bet it is.

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nec13

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #634 on: April 13, 2009, 10:18:46 PM »
I haven't read the Evans book. But I thought the documentary of the same name was excellent.

Has anyone read the book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" by Peter Biskind? Really interesting book about Hollywood in the 60's and 70's. Although, it has a tendency to get a bit "tabloid-y" at times.
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Denim Gremlin

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #635 on: April 14, 2009, 12:14:12 AM »
I haven't read the Evans book. But I thought the documentary of the same name was excellent.

Has anyone read the book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" by Peter Biskind? Really interesting book about Hollywood in the 60's and 70's. Although, it has a tendency to get a bit "tabloid-y" at times.

easy riders is a great book, but if you think thats tabloid-y read Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger, you ain't seen nothin yet
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JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #636 on: April 14, 2009, 09:19:25 AM »
I wonder if that's actually true that processed food has enabled more hungry people to eat. 

Well, my understanding is that the Food and Agriculture arm of the U.N., the W.H.O., World Bank, IMF, etc. work together to distribute food to third world countries (of course, because corrupt, self-interested governments get involved, this can get derailed). And much of that food comes from U.S. overabundance. In Kenya, for example, the staple food for many families is "unimix" - a concoction of corn oil and milk powder imported from other nations by the U.N.  I am talking partially from knowing, and partially out of my ass. I would need to investigate further.

Now I'll shut up about "In Defense of Food."  The Bob Evans book sounds like much more fun.

Also, Jon, I think that should be the name of your Foo Fighters cover band.

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Bryan

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #637 on: April 14, 2009, 10:06:09 AM »

Well, my understanding is that the Food and Agriculture arm of the U.N., the W.H.O., World Bank, IMF, etc. work together to distribute food to third world countries (of course, because corrupt, self-interested governments get involved, this can get derailed). And much of that food comes from U.S. overabundance. In Kenya, for example, the staple food for many families is "unimix" - a concoction of corn oil and milk powder imported from other nations by the U.N.  I am talking partially from knowing, and partially out of my ass. I would need to investigate further.


I'm also mostly uninformed, but my impression is that third world governments would prefer to receive cash, but the US insists on donating grain which it has subsidised massively, which screws up the markets in the countries receiving this aid, and discourages local grain production. Also, I've read that smaller farmers in Asia who adopt industrial methods see their incomes fall, even if their yields rise.

At one point Pollan says (more or less convincingly) that organic farming is actually more productive per acre than intensive agribusiness type farming. Doesn't this suggest that his attitude is not in fact terribly elitist? Especially since a huge portion of the grain we raise is used to feed animals instead of people - which is obviously grossly inefficient.

I think that much of the reason organic food is much more expensive than conventionally-grown food is because 1) it can be - it has a cachet with the middle-class, and they (uh, that would be "we," actually) are willing to pay for it; and 2) many producers aren't big enough yet to take advantage of economies of scale.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #638 on: April 14, 2009, 02:06:49 PM »
If you are interested in this whole food debate, watch this:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6262083407501596844


But don't watch it unless you're ready to wrestle with the desire to murder the board of directors at Monsanto.

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #639 on: April 15, 2009, 10:46:35 AM »
Also, Jon, I think that should be the name of your Foo Fighters cover band.
That is a damn good idea, Jason. I think the name is good enough to justify the band! You're on drums.

I hope you like Buddy Rich!
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Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #640 on: May 08, 2009, 01:58:37 PM »
I just finished Siva Vaidhyanathan's Copyrights and Copywrongs, which was actually pretty great -- a truly interdisciplinary study that includes pretty much all of my favorite nerd obsessions: music, literature, technology, cultural studies, politics.  And also law, with which I am not really obsessed. 

Then I just tore through book one of the comic DMZ, which was pretty awesome, and better than I'm finding the monthly comic (which I started picking up on Laurie's recommendation, I think).

Now, in a possibly futile attempt to keep myself sane during this movie project, I'm reading a Writers' Guild Fund benefit anthology wherein screenwriters write about their first jobs.  It's called The First Time I Got Paid For It, and I picked it up for 2 bucks in a used bookshop in either Austin or Berkeley.  So far it sucks, but I've only read the William Goldman and Alan Alda essays.  I think I'll try reading it out of order.
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masterofsparks

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #641 on: May 08, 2009, 02:30:34 PM »
Now, in a possibly futile attempt to keep myself sane during this movie project, I'm reading a Writers' Guild Fund benefit anthology wherein screenwriters write about their first jobs.  It's called The First Time I Got Paid For It, and I picked it up for 2 bucks in a used bookshop in either Austin or Berkeley.  So far it sucks, but I've only read the William Goldman and Alan Alda essays.  I think I'll try reading it out of order.

I don't know anything about that book, but per APMike's Twitter "The First Time I Paid For It" will be the topic on next week's Mike Show.
I'll probably go into the wee hours.

yesno

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #642 on: May 08, 2009, 02:41:20 PM »
Grote, you may not be interested in law. But law is interested in you.

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #643 on: May 08, 2009, 03:08:33 PM »
Oh, the law has taken an interest in me more than once.  But if I admit that I am actually interested in it beyond even the most casual way, then I'll start obsessing about how I should have gone to law school instead of getting a goddamn MFA.

That is awesome re. Twitter.  I haven't been on it in a few days.
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Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #644 on: May 14, 2009, 06:33:30 PM »
Bump.  That Writers' Guild book was a dud, so I switched to the first book of Kurt Busiek's Astro City.  I go back and forth on Busiek, but I have to admit that it was pretty great.

Currently reading the Toronto-based philosopher Mark Kingwell's book on architecture, Concrete Reveries.  I first discovered his stuff in Harper's and I love it.  I'm a little obsessed with architecture and city planning.
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