OT: Have we become that stupid ..

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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Nope. As I said, I have family that have "given it a go". It is unquestionably hard work (as are all successful endevours) but more importantly, you have to have a passion for it. I don't. I've certainly spent time on a farm working and I learned pretty quickly it wasn't for me however much I enjoyed being on a farm (a lot).
Note that at no point have I denigrated the work ethic, importance, and honorability of farming. All I've argued in this thread is that the "barely surviving" argument is at obvious odds with the great and increasing success seen in agriculture over the past 5 decades especially. I freely admit that *some particular* farmers may be having economic problems (just like some dentists, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, and carpenters might) but this is hardly grounds for declaring the entire industry imperiled.
ISTM that what is being said here subtly (by you and others)is that the *family-owned/small farm* is in trouble. That may well be true. Corporations have brought an economy of scale to the agribusiness with which the smaller farm may not be able to compete. Again, this does not really speak to the industry as a whole.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote: ...

That's true and I've not said you have. You do exhibit a fair lack of up-to-date knowledge of current farming techniques and the economics of much farming colored by a particular political viewpoint. Not that all don't have viewpoints, I've mine...

I think you over-estimate the the claims made by me in particular and others in the characterization of the "entire industry as perilized". That said, there's no doubt that farm profitability has taken a severe hit over particularly the last 20 years.
I think you're equating general farm income and profitablility to that of the "poster child" individual operations w/ the large subsidy payments that make the Post headlines and the large commercial pork and poultry producers.

I'm not subtle at all... :)
And I have no idea what you think a typical *family-owned/small farm* is--I can assure you that the 80 A homestead farm is completely a thing of the past for other than the hobbyist or "townie" who piddles around a little on the weekends.
"Corporation farming" has a very specific meaning in farm country. Most of the major agricultural states have, in fact, legislation which prevents such operations. There are, otoh, a great many "family farms" which are set up as corporate entities rather than as sole proprietorships or partnerships simply for legal and accounting purposes. Many of these are quite sizable by previous standards and are every bit as efficient or in many cases more so than your hypothetical idealized "corporate" farm.
And despite your beliefs, much of the farm economy is is pretty serious straits as can be observed by shrinking and aging populations, falling net incomes, failing small towns and infrastructures, etc., etc., etc.
I think the major problem is that your information is dated and supplied by sources which are not particularly well informed either as well as perhaps having unspoken agendas.
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With the Euro these days, The Nobel isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
Perpetual motion is unattainable because it is a closed system. If you have a generator driving a motor which drives that generator in the first place, you will not be able to keep that closed system running due to heat-losses, bearing friction etc. Disorder is introduced. The law applies, demonstrated by the model. (First law.)
Now hook up a voltaic solar panel to the motor generator model and it will keep running (assuming the panel has sufficient power to over compensate for the aforementioned losses. It is now an open system, allowing energy to be fed into the loop. The model will not demonstrate the First Law, but, given enough time, it will demonstrate the Second Law as we have introduced entropy and opened up the argument to nebulous proportions.
Farms are an open system as one can add energy from a variety of sources. It is not expected to supply its own energy and be left with a net gain. It is, in fact, hooked up to an outside source of energy.
But if you use 20 cents for fuel (let's say 500 calories worth) in your moped to bring a seed to the middle of a field, and that seed turns into a tree which has potential biomass/energy. When burnt, that tree could yield millions of calories in energy. That energy did not come from your moped. Are you starting to see your simpleton errors?
To suggest that I need to re-write the laws of thermodynamics in order for your misguided understanding to work, is not only humourless, but also puts a magnifying glass on how little understanding you have when it comes to matters dealing with energy. Any kind of energy. Save your wise-cracking for people who don't see right through you.
Thank you for playing.
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Robatoy wrote:

My my, how tender and sensitive we are. I completely "get" the idea of outside energy sources adding net energy to the system. What I don't get, and what you continue to refuse to demonstrate, is how today's systems - that demonstrate a net loss of energy - are in any way remarkable.
Any real system will have a *net* loss of energy - even you seem to grasp this. So what? Here is a simple, observable fact: Today's farms feed more people, using less land, less labor, and at a lower overall cost than ever in history. This is not my opinion, it is an observation. This is an observable fact even in the face of your (apparent and largely incoherent) argument that today's farms are not as energy efficient as in the past (utter nonsense for the most part). Even if this were indisputably true, the fact remains that more people get fed, for less, using less land, and using less labor than ever before. Once again, easily observed Reality trumps eco-whining fantasy.
But you wail on wringing your hands about the loss of farm land like there is some terrible problem on our doorstep because (and I quote):
In many cases, the energy consumed to weed/seed/harvest etc. is greater than the energy produced (in calories)
It's a strawman argument - designed to invoke sympathetic emotional response. But it is an argument without relevance or importance. i.e., It is the same earth-worshiping drivel heard on a regular basis from the eco-weenies around the world who are long on invective and short on science.
Here is a nice softball question for you. If we are all going to eco-hell at he moment, then why has virtually every single indicator of human happiness, success, and achievement (lifespan, environmental cleanliness, crime rates, leisure time ...) all *improved* over the past hundred years or so? And not just in the 1st world, it's improving *everywhere* just not as fast in the undeveloped world. If today's systems and processes are so doggone ineffient/bad/mean to Ma Nature, then why do they work so very well?
Thank you for playing indeed...
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Talk about a straw man. I'm not going to chase down every diversionary tack you take in this discussion.
I stated that crops yield less calories that the calories required to harvest/grow/yield/transport/fertilize them. I posted some links and references supporting that position, take the time to read them.
I also don't give a rat's ass whether or not you find my statement remarkable or not.
Arguing for argument sake is a waste of my time.
Have a nice day.
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Robatoy wrote:

Of which crops are you specifically referring and for what purpose?
There are certain individuals/organizations w/ specific agendas which are propogating misinformation and distorted analyses for their specific purposes.
DOA/DOE has done some recent studies on the energy returns on bio-fuels which are available at the DOE site. Recent results are roughly 1.6 out/in.
As noted elsewhere, other crops are grown for purposes other than net energy. That doesn't negate their value.
Regarding you fallback to irreversible processes, on that basis we might as well all just stop doing anything since the ultimate source is going to burn up one day anyway and we can't make more.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Note that the previous reply was inadvertently misthreaded...sorry.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

It isn't necessarily true to the systems under discussion because there are more inputs than outputs. Much of the output energy of ag products is derived from the sun--ever hear of photosynthesis?
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LOL..I didn't even dare to go near the energy balances during chemical conversions, but yes, every time you convert energy from one kind to another, you will deal with losses. (Entropy) All regulated by the Second Law.
Photosynthesis is a particularly intriguing equation because CO2 converts to O2 with C staying behind as a complex fibre for us to stick in a lathe or bandsaw. (Don't shoot me for this over-simplification... I'm trying to connect with Tim here...:)
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Robatoy wrote:
<SNIP>
ond Law.

No you're not. You're trying to subtly argue some variant of the usual earth-worshipping nonsense that declares modern technology as regards to farming (in this case) as inferior to past methods. It is baloney.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

'Inferior' covers a broad range of considerations.
One consideration is yield per acre. Hand cultivation yields more per acre than mechanized farming, but the number of farm workers working by hand needed to equal the product of one mechanized farmer is staggering, and therfor the cost is prohibitive.
Weeding by hand has advantages over using herbicides, but the smae argument applies as above.
And so on.
Modern techniques may be considered 'inferior' only in the narrow view of a couple of criteria. Looking at the big picture tells a different story.
As for the energy used in farming compared to the energy we get from the food, well, my body runs a lot better on sugars than it does on diesel.
Getting back on-topic though, it seems that forest grown woods for the most part are superior to silviculured wood. Compare old-growth doug fir to the second grwoth stuff, or pine, or most of the softwoods and many hardwoods.
Second growth red oak is stronger than old growth though, which looks better is a matter of aethetics.
--

FF


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Actually , Yes they are. New York has had hurricanes and every where along the east coast to the souther tip of Texas has has hurricanes.
Do you have some attraction or Smelly Hippie FETISH?
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Leon wrote:

Of a magnitude and severity as to shut down NYC the way NO has? I think not.

What about the entire West coast? A not insignificant population I'd say.

Naw, they just offend me socially, culturally, politically, intellectually, and aesthetically. Other than that, I kinda like em ...
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Re: Have we become that stupid .. these guys wrote: Group: rec.woodworking Date: Tue, Aug 30, 2005, 2:57pm From: snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com (TimDaneliuk) Leon wrote:
PGP Key: http://www.tundraware.com/PGP/
and ITS NICE TO LIVE IN A PLACE WHERE ONE IS ALLOWED TO BE OFFENDED AFTER ALL IF THIS WAS SADDAMS' IRAQ THEY (smelly hippies ) WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED LONG AGO , AND THEN WHAT WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO WHINE ABOUT? LOL -------------------------------------------------------------- Justin Pollack
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 12:35:11 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

The thing that separates New Orleans from other US cities is if the pumps stop on a dry day the city will still flood.
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They do build some nifty bikes. One show is OK to watch but the same chatter (screaming), over and over, gets boring on the second episode. Just watch the last five minutes to see the end product.
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wrote in message news:design->

I really like to see the creative processes and different kinds of technology used to make the various parts. And some of the bikes are really original. Paul Jr does have a definite gift for this sort of thing.
Essentially as long as I restrict myself to machinery and the bike itself, it is watchable. Everything else is crap.
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I tracked down a cpl of episodes. Fabulous bikes, indeed. WAY too much theatrical diatribe bullshit. That artificial deadline crap gets reallly stale quick.
What have we become??
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wrote:

There is so much quality and creativity there, why would you want to pollute it with artificially contrived soap operas? Particularly as a discovery channel show. They don't do this crap with their other shows.
And I just love some of the bikes. My favorite include the fire bike that honors the fallen fireman of 9/11, the Dixie bike with the big lawn mower engine, the miller electric bike with the little tow behind trailer with a miller welder on it and the futuristic, extremely raked bike made for the will smith movie, I-Robot.
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 02:48:57 -0400, "Lee Michaels"

What I find interesting, as I've watched American Chopper almost from the beginning, is that its evolution has been to a point where the soap opera part was almost intolerable and then has receded a bit to where Senior is far more human and the "drama" seems almost contrived as a parody of itself. But the Paulie/Vinnie/Rick dynamic is really good and I really enjoy watching them fabricate.
On the other hand, the sister show (same channel, same producers) American HotRod has basically imploded. Although it's just television, they've managed to make Boyd Coddingtion look like a narcissistic martinet, driven two of the major characters off the show (and out of the shop), and temporarily a third, and even yielded a wry, bitchslapping putdown out of Stacey David on a recent Trucks episode (I love that show, too). I don't even bother watching it any more.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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