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Simplicity is beautiful freedom. Who will free us?

 
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Once upon a time, a free person could raise an animal, process that animal, go to market somewhere, and cook and sell a tasty meal to a hungry friend, neighbor, or weary traveler.  What a beautiful thing, the willing and necessary exchange of such goods and services involving food, which both nourishes the body and pleases the palate!  Nowadays, our relationship with food is more complex: it's filled with extra processes, preservatives, chemically altered flavors, protective containers and labels, food-miles, institutions and guidelines, recommendations and regulations.  

Our souls crave simplicity, and yet, our tendency leans toward complexity.  Simplicity is beautiful.

As Leonardo da Vinci once wrote:“A poet knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”



Don't get me wrong, I am enthralled with the modern grocery store.  The modern grocery store, generally speaking, is one of my favorite places in the world.  (That means a lot, as I have literally been all around this world!)  The sheer variety of food at our disposal astounds me every time I walk in, and I must give thanks for that provision.  I do give thanks.

But still, I have to ask:
  • Is our relationship with food in the Western world becoming a "more perfect union", or is it becoming a complex, strained relationship? A civil war even?
  • Is our food truly safer and healthier than it was only two hundred years ago?
  • Is the food itself more delectable than it was for our ancestors?  Are the flavors today richer, or does our food taste dirt poor?

  • Perhaps complexity is not sophistication, but mindlessness?  Perhaps like Leonardo implied, simplicity is perfection?  And what if our brains are rigged to the former, and we struggle with the latter?

    ***

    Having finished serving in the military, I began researching starting a business.  With hopes to maintain as much independence and simplicity (read: beauty) as possible, I decided to learn just a little about the regulations for meat.  More specifically, I sought to learn more about exemptions within the United States Department of Agriculture's meat regulations, and I came across  Part 303.  After downloading the section and reading a little of it, I've became sad.  Disappointed, really, in myself, in my own reading comprehension and logic skills even, as it will take me more time to understand it and map it out than I feel it should.

    But I'm also sad, because this is regulation by and for "We The People".  I feel that "We The People" should have the right to pursue happiness as evident in simplicity and beauty and freedom in independent food systems, even if this is at the expense of our own "safety" via deviation from established regulations. I'm talking about voluntary, willing, knowledgeable, and direct intrastate exchange.  Let the People have greater independence to feed each other as best as they see fit, sans involuntary regulation.  If the wheels of government or central commerce, or energy, or communication systems should grind to a halt some day, the people need that independence from complex food systems to already be well established and available.

    I personally feel that my religion beckons me to such independence, that I should...

    "make it (my) ambition to lead a quiet life: (I) should mind (my) own business and work with (my) hands, ...so that (my) daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that (I) will not be dependent on anybody."


    Is that too much to ask for?

    ***

    For kicks I did a word count in my Libre Office document processor of just that one Part 303 of the code of regulations which I downloaded.  The word count after download was more than 5000 words, telling me what I would have to do just in order to be exempt and free from regulation and inspection to produce and sell food to others.  And yet, the US Founding Fathers, when establishing the entirety of a new government, only needed about 4,400 words (not including their signatures nor amendments).  That kind of simplicity is beautiful, in my opinion.  Perhaps you may think it's not.  James Madison, a farmer himself, and the "father of the Constitution", and his colleagues weren't perfect, but I truly wonder what they would say if alive today, concerning the state of our freedom to live a quiet life and mind our own business with like-minded individuals.  At face value, the ability to produce food and share it with others in a commercial way is a beautiful and simple thing indeed.  It's truly art.  Will we let the poets seek perfection?   With the spirit of the founders gone, what modern minds will free us from the burdens, and ugliness, of complexity?
     
    pollinator
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    Hi George.

    Your argument makes me feel. I think that I agree more with the sentiment than the reason, though.

    Simplicity works really well when it's just a small group who share similar values and care intimately about outcomes, perhaps more than even profits, except to keep the systems running.

    Such simplicity and freedom to choose over what risks we are willing to undertake doesn't work when you have individuals and business interests added to the mix who care less about the people for whom they're providing food or the animals they're raising than they do about the money lining their pockets.

    It is often claimed that there's too much regulation in food production and sales, and I am not usually one to disagree, for the most part. But even with all this regulation, look at the state of what conventional agrobusiness produces as "food." It's apparently (not a doctor) so nutrient-deficient, due primarily to depleted soils and fast macronutrients, that it's the cause of most thyroid issues in the untied states. I have heard many of the same criticisms linking nutrient-deficient "food" to the obesity epidemic in the states, as well as cancers and issues of epigenetics and gene expression.

    If you take a tomato grown in field conditions in depleted soil and another in pampered, rejuvenated soil with high beneficial microbiological counts and test them both for nutritional value, it's often that it appears that the rejuvenated soil tomato's test results have been messed up. When subsequent tests prove accurate, it becomes clear how deficient the starved tomato really is. No wonder they often lack any real tomato flavour.

    Something is clearly broken, in my opinion. That seems clear. But while the current regulations don't work, I don't think eliminating them all would, either.

    I feel that the local and ethical food movement is at the heart of the solution here. I think that to bolster the ethical side, the local aspect enables you to personally meet and greet and inspect the animal and growing conditions. It also cuts out food miles, undesirable packaging, and render any arguably "necessary" shipping and storage treatments unnecessary.

    On the producer side, I feel that the answer lays very much in the local, mobile, on-sight animal harvesting and processing industry. I don't see it getting anywhere unless either there's a grant program or something, and laws would require changing regardless, to both lay out what "safe" entails with regards to mobile slaughter hosting and operation, but it's not like every small meat producer would need to pick it up as a side-hobby (though it wouldn't hurt in the short term). Producers who try it and find a talent might get government training to add "mobile livestock harvester and butcher" (and charcuterier, perhaps?) to their repertoire of gigs to supplement their income.

    I suppose the non-meat corollary to that would be farmer or farmers' market CSAs, whereby the smaller producers get together to cut out the middlepeople that are unnecessary under a local-to-local plan. It would be good to make connections with private supermarkets, or with smaller chains that would agree to purchase directly from the CSA to cut out the shipping and storage, and to be able to offer something unique to the larger stores, not only something that is nutritionally superior, but something that can be sold truthfully as keeping local money local, and whose ethical and environmental claims can be checked with a drive-by visit to any number of producers.

    The answer is us, George. We will free ourselves. That's why we come to this site.

    And I honestly feel that one of the first, best steps is taking the initiative individually to go to the farmers' markets and CSAs that already exist and give them your money instead of the big guys. If we want to tell the giant grocery corporations that what they do and how they do it is unacceptable, they will eventually but invariably change. The way we do that is to be extremely selective with how we shop.

    This lets us each take action now, to whatever extent we can afford, and starts sending the message at the same time as improving what we put into our bodies and keeping our money in our communities.

    Hey, I can't afford to go to a butcher for local organic grass-fed beef or whatever every day, even though I would love to and I ate meat that way in years past. But I don't need it that often, so I might have some high-quality, ethically-raised meat once a week or so, maybe more if I also pick up local organic bacon. Sometimes I go weeks without, though, and don't think about it.

    My much better half and I vote with our dollars on many issues. We don't buy anything, food or otherwise, with palm products in it. When I buy dairy, it's always the one with the cow symbol on it that indicates it's entirely Canadian in origin, though when we get out of the city, I would much prefer to go to a local dairy, so I know that my neighbours, who I can check up on, are being supported and rewarded for their ethical and grass-fed organic initiatives. Also, with every product we buy, we look at the ingredients. For coconut milk or cream, I want only two ingredients, coconut and water, and I'm happier if they omit the water. That general observation holds whatever I'm buying, and we make almost everything we eat from scratch at home, which cuts down on a metric fuck tonne of additives and just plain shit you don't want contaminating your system.

    I feel that for non-local goods, we need to return to the more natural north-south trade corridors. Until we get thousand-tonne cargo capacity heavy-lift airships to replace them, or failing that, perhaps high-speed electric trains, cargo freighters are the most energy-efficient means of shipping goods, which probably won't change much, especially if, as is currently starting, smaller shipyards are thinking about sail with solar electric/wind backup wooden freighters as the next stage in environmentally friendly freight. I forget the name, but there's one currently being built in a shipyard in Costa Rica, if I remember correctly. I will try to find the article. It was fascinating.

    Deregulation isn't necessarily wrong, per se; I agree with much of what you've written. But especially in this current market environment, where caveat emptor is balanced with the harmed consumer's ability to sue, and that's considered fair, I feel it would be disastrous if we were to eliminate broken regulations, and not replace them with best-practices rules and guidelines. It would be taken by every agribusiness profiteer as open season on people who need to eat but can't afford to do their own due diligence, which is essentially the strength of the local part of the idea; you do your own due diligence, essentially. Those grocery shopping at Walmart would bear the brunt of the food crimes that would unfold, and they might not find out about it for years.

    Lastly, on simplicity, I find it telling that the healthiest, most biodiverse systems out there self-complicate, and that the way you know a system is unhealthy is that it keeps simplifying itself by killing off elements of itself.

    So while I feel we agree on many points, I don't agree with Da Vinci's worship of simplicity, except through the specific lens of engineering and design. Some things are better complicated, and more interesting, more often than not.

    -CK
     
    George Yacus
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    The answer is us, George. We will free ourselves. That's why we come to this site.



    Point of order: are you Canadian, or US expat?  Not to sound rude, and I apologize for taking your time, I should have clarified: with this post, when I ask "Who will free us?" from the burden of ever-growing food and food system complexity, I am referencing We The People meaning the United States' citizens and politics, specifically...those under the United States Constitution, US laws, CFR rules, and their respective state/territory laws and regulations along with county laws, city laws, local community customs and HOAs, family preferences, etc.  

    Open forum of course, but I'm really addressing a narrower group rather than trying to achieve the global perspective on regulation preferences.  The values, problems, and solution set for one group of people is not necessarily best for another set.

    Simplicity works really well when it's just a small group who share similar values and care intimately about outcomes



    ^That's all I'm hoping for.  The future freedom to simply grow, raise, and process as much healthy and wholesome ecological food in the way I want to, for myself, my family, my friends, and other good people via intrastate commerce, without the burden of any other 3rd party rules or interference, other than me paying normal sales/income taxes to keep the roads from getting potholes.
     
    Chris Kott
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    Canadian, of course.

    You make unnecessary distinctions, though. As with any permaculture project, the specific site dictates the needs. The larger observations apply.

    If, for the sake of argument, all Canadians started buying only 100% Canadian dairy, like we do, how do you think the free market would react? Because I doubt any Canadian company would be seeking to buy dairy products for sale or process from the untied states.

    The states, collectively and individually, have great buying power. As government-run single-purchaser setups are viewed with distaste by many in the states, I feel that it's up to the private industry to dictate the direction of the free market. You do this with the type of CSA-writ-large buying groups I was talking about. It's why Costco works, and that seems to appeal to consumers in the states. So you do that, but locally, ethically, and with stringent rules on stuff like plastic packaging (none) and food miles traveled to depots (minimal).

    But if there are differences you see as insurmountable, please do illuminate them. I'm sure some collective effort can break down any obstacle.

    Keep us posted, and good luck.

    -CK
     
    pollinator
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    Alright, I had a beautify articulated post written out a few days ago but realized I could not post here without pie and lost it....I am now back with a fist full of pie, but I can't remember exactly what I wrote so yall get a mediocre paraphrase.

    Government has a 100% historical failure rate (its almost like people don't like it when somebody from far away they never met tells them what to do and how to do it). Personally I put my faith in my religion (more accurately a personal relationship) because unlike most governments that fall into civil war or get conquered (and are changed as a result) Christianity has always had someone in the group that has kept it the same as it was 2000+ years ago (despite some groups trying to turn it into a government). Where as the United States has set a record of lasting a bit over 200 years (not resetting the count at a civil war). I have no doubt it will fail like all other governments before it.

    The focus should be local and on the people & land around you. I have found that when I stick to God's designs in nature and listen to him, even when my circumstances suck (government caused or not) all will be fine.
     
    George Yacus
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    T Simpson wrote:
    The focus should be local and on the people & land around you. I have found that when I stick to God's designs in nature and listen to him, even when my circumstances suck (government caused or not) all will be fine.



    This is the Way.  I'm with you here.  

    Indeed, this past week I read something (I think it was on Joel Salatin's blog) that convicted me that I need to focus less on what regulations are preventing me from doing, and focus instead on the things around me that I can do.  It's a tough mental shift, as I often have a deep drive to analyze, problem solve, and (attempt to) make complicated systems around me become more open and efficient, rather than just go with the flow.  And in such a connected world, everything tends to seem to become a "local" problem.

    For instance, I remember attending an exciting cider making workshop with my family many years ago.  We saw freshly plucked apples grinded and pressed right before our eyes on an old-timey machine.  We each got a small cup of the fruits of the labor.  The cider was bright, crisp, fantastic!  With so many apples, the workshop hosts poured the bulk of the pressed juice into big gallon-sized jugs.  I was so excited about the taste,  I wanted to take some home and asked:

    "How much for a gallon of cider?"


    they replied

    "We can't sell it to you.  It's unpasteurized.  It'd be against the law."


    It was safe enough to give it away and drink freely.  But don't dare try to sell it because... government regulations say that's not safe.

    Most people seem to want food safety and food security so much, that they don't mind tossing away a little local control liberty here and there.  Others try to fight tooth and nail.  

    I believe there are grave dangers inherent in centralized control of food policies and systems when they happen at the expense of private liberty, food production, and property.  The saddest example I can think of is what happened to Ukraine during the Голодомо́р.  For perspective, more Ukrainians died under Stalin's genocidal, man-made, famine-inducing ag policies from 1932-1933, than all the world's COVID-19 deaths combined this past year so far.



     
    Chris Kott
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    Yes, and life has a 100% mortality rate. It's almost like all that is born is fated to die.

    As I said, we will free us. All that attributing everything to one's idea of a creator does is create conflict when one's theism rubs another's the wrong way.

    I feel that focusing on the human condition, on questions of what it means to be human, free of religious dogma or strictures, is probably the best way to determine what we, as individuals and as a species, need. I firmly feel that religious doctrine that is only useful in its own context, and that takes huge chunks of people's time that could be used more productively, is more harmful than it is useful.

    Imagine if "worship" was replaced by personal reflection during solitary outdoor tasks, say in a garden. That's at least one to two hours more work a week, and that's only for the once-a-week Christians, for the sake of argument; my grandmother would go daily, and does attend via video services during the time of COVID.

    Worse is the tendency to sit around and do nothing to effect change, except for praying for divine intervention, once described by a favourite role-model of mine as, "...a long wait for a train don't come."

    So to my mind, it's best to maintain a solid separation between what people believe in a religious sense with everything else, especially education and issues of governance policy. There are myriad ways that belief systems can destabilise or ineffectualise governance policy. Casting doubt on clear-cut medical or scientific issues, for instance, can make any public health mandates issued very hard to maintain.

    At the same time, it is essential, I feel, to have governments shift to a very humanist-oriented ethos, and to focus less on partisanship and combativeness, and more on talking about people's duties to each other, and to society by extension. I feel that in an era where so much of the world's wealth is held by so few, reminiscent of times throughout history where the poor rose up and fought against the greed of the upper classes, it is necessary to navigate the waters with extreme care.

    I feel it is possible to get civilisation through to the point where we are so flush with resources and energy that we have no want to fight each other for them, such that a life spent as it is today, in pursuit of money for its own sake, would be seen at best as silly, and at worst as really, really dumb, and evidence of mental health issues.

    But fighting over what another role model of mine would term "primitive god concepts" is an obstacle to such simplicity.

    It would be much different if we had much more enlightened societies, able to relish the differences in each other as a sort of spice to life not available in any dish. We lack appropriate guidance to lead us to that place, though.

    I don't propose anything drastic in this respect, only that rules concerning the separation of church and state be observed stringently anywhere it's an issue. People should be free to believe whatever they like, so long as it accords with the basic tenets of society and doesn't necessitate  infringement upon the rights of others. Many faiths are well-represented by basic adherence to the Golden Rule (NOT do unto the numerator what is done to the denominator, but the message is similar).

    I am not joking when I say this, so don't think I am making light of anything. If I were to design a religion, it would revolve around permaculture as a design science and as approached using the scientific method, with a specific focus on the creation of perfect interlinked systems in which there is no externalisation whatsoever. The models of perfection to which it would look would be microcosms and macrocosms of the biosphere, and so solutions to problems would invariably be modelled after biological processes and solutions; biomimicry would be a cornerstone of this new religion. I think it would probably be called Gaianism, but it could develop an identity all its own.

    Ideally, it could operate as a philosophy unto itself, free to coexist with any system of belief that didn't directly impinge upon its ideals, and so not a religion at all. In Star Trek, the Vulcan IDIC, both a symbol and a philosophical ideal, stands for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. If that were accepted as the standard, and we adapted to adopt more cosmopolitan sensibilities, the basis for arguments that involve "othering" target demographics would cease to exist.

    The moment conflict can exist and be resolved on an individual basis, rather than instantly being taken up by causes to which they are only peripherally related and blown out of proportion, the sooner social stability can return. But first, all the problems of social and economic inequality need to be addressed, and elements of humanity, those that currently play life as a zero-sum game where winning necessitates seeing someone else lose, need to mature past creating such externalities in their systems.

    I propose that self-complexity and self-complicating systems are beautiful freedom, and I maintain that we will free ourselves. This is as true for the smallest group of people as the largest. I feel that when we acknowledge that we are the story-telling ape, and that each of our stories differ, our collections of stories differ, but we're still all the same. To quote someone not from science fiction, "When there's only one race, and that's mankind, we shall be free."

    -CK
     
    T Simpson
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    I've become a bit of a fan of malicious compliance, loopholes and the like. A few examples:

    1) Its not a firearm suppressor it is an "oil filter" it just happens to have compatible threads. (Oil filters don't require a $200+ dollar tax)

    2) I'm not violating county ordinances by not anchoring my fence in concrete because it is not a "fence" it is a "trellis".

    3) This food isn't for human consumption it is really "animal feed" (but nothing is stopping human consumption).


    It is also worth noting that in the US city municipalities, police departments etc. are technically private organizations and don't have anymore constitutional rights than you do unless you give them more rights than you verbally or through contract. (unless of course you are actually hurting someone or damaging property). Using Affidavits of status, fact, etc. paired with B.A.R grievances to get rid of city attorneys (private contractors) you can pretty much get any local government to drop any kind of traffic citations, property tax, fee or anything non-criminal with a bit of legal jujitsu. The constitution gives the individual effectively the same privilege as any local legislative body as long as you don't waive your rights (which they are trained to get you to do).

    People that actually leverage their rights can get away from registering and licensing a vehicle, using insurance and drive freely without being ticketed because they have the right to travel but to be a "driver" you need all those things. You can drive (travel) and not legally be considered a "driver". Social pressure is the only reason people accept licenses. However problems may arise if you were to injure someone or damage something.

    I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but my point is there are loopholes around even the strictest of local ordinances if you play the game like you have the same power as the local legislator, because in many ways you do.


    You can always just do things and ask for forgiveness later, it is not like the government regularly inspects your property, you pretty much have to consent to an inspection anyway. As for anything that prevents you from selling something there is always trade, fiat paper money, and cryptocurrency but then you might end up as the illegal "dairy dealer" on your local street corner.
     
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    delete-o
     
    Chris Kott
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    We "play" this "game" in order to "buy in" to the collective agreement we refer to as "society."

    The need to aquiesce to the requirements of society stem mostly from the observation that your freedom to swing your fist ends not just before my nose, but in actuality at the extent of the reach of my fist's swing. Basically, we all decided to get along so that we didn't need to regard every individual as someone that needed killing to preserve our freedom or lives.

    We do this in a number of ways. Mainly, we set up systems of justice and adhere to laws that keep us from behaviour that causes harm to others.

    We also pay taxes, so that those we choose to represent us in a collective sense have resources to not only operate, but to take steps to protect the collective well-being in ways individuals can't by themselves.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list. It also clearly doesn't claim that these systems are perfect. As with any human activity, they require constant monitoring and willingness to adapt in order to remain relevant, which is why looking backwards two centuries, or two millenia, for that matter, is sometimes considered a foolish way to find the path forward.

    The systems are necessary, but need to be fixed. Destroying them would basically look like the current pandemic, but with real issues of food and resource shortage coupled with utilities issues the likes of which only Texas currently knows.

    I believe you can renounce your government identity, incidentally. You would no longer have any benefit of the systems you'd be renouncing, and you'd still be responsible for any harms you'd cause, and you'd be held accountable without any defense, so there's really no point.

    Better to play nice with others. Otherwise it's time out.

    -CK
     
    George Yacus
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    As the OP, here is a concrete list of things I'm super interested in learning, specifically via this 'politics' thread:
  • Discovering quality US-based organizations, leading individuals, corporations, and non-profits, who are on the cutting edge of the US food freedom movement.
  • Noteworthy US stories of cottage food laws and food system deregulation victories, specifically with the aim to learn how to expand or re-create the successes.
  • First or second-hand anecdotes from US food producers (and consumers too) regarding difficulties understanding or complying with food regulations.
  • First or second-hand anecdotes from US food producers on overcoming these regulations via:
    1)How "the regulations aren't that bad for small scale producers if you just..." followed by advice or stories on how surprisingly easy compliance with the food system can be; like how food regulators are actually super helpful; meat processing in home-scale systems and selling direct to consumers without inspection is legal in US if XYZ, etc.
  • 2)Tactics to comply legally, while still maintaining maximum simplicity and autonomy in food production. Like this mentioned tactic:

    T.S. wrote:This food isn't for human consumption it is really "animal feed" (but nothing is stopping human consumption).


  • Other research about our mental propensity towards more complexity, regulation, clutter, and system growth, rather than innovation through subtraction. (Or research to the contrary.)


  • As the OP, here is a diverse list of topics I believe deserve a different thread, because they are just way too complex to address here:
  • The merits or beauty in self-complicating systems, whether they are government, ecological, or religious in nature.
  • Global, or non-US food policies and regulations.
  • Global food freedom movement.
  • Benefits of corporations vs. individuals.
  • Merits of humanism vs. the merits of spirituality and religion.
  • What it means to be a human.
  • How best to spend one's time.
  • Separation of church and state.
  • Designing a religion.
  • What constitutes "worship".
  • Social and economic inequality.
  • Designing for a post-scarcity world in resources or energy.

  •  
    Chris Kott
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    George Yacus wrote:As the OP, here is a concrete list of things I'm super interested in learning, specifically via this 'politics' thread:

  • Discovering quality US-based organizations, leading individuals, corporations, and non-profits, who are on the cutting edge of the US food freedom movement.
  • Noteworthy US stories of cottage food laws and food system deregulation victories, specifically with the aim to learn how to expand or re-create the successes.
  • First or second-hand anecdotes from US food producers (and consumers too) regarding difficulties understanding or complying with food regulations.
  • First or second-hand anecdotes from US food producers on overcoming these regulations via:
    1)How "the regulations aren't that bad for small scale producers if you just..." followed by advice or stories on how surprisingly easy compliance with the food system can be; like how food regulators are actually super helpful; meat processing in home-scale systems and selling direct to consumers without inspection is legal in US if XYZ, etc.
  • 2)Tactics to comply legally, while still maintaining maximum simplicity and autonomy in food production. Like this mentioned tactic:

    T.S. wrote:This food isn't for human consumption it is really "animal feed" (but nothing is stopping human consumption).


  • Other research about our mental propensity towards more complexity, regulation, clutter, and system growth, rather than innovation through subtraction. (Or research to the contrary.)


  • As the OP, here is a diverse list of topics I believe deserve a different thread, because they are just way too complex to address here:
  • The merits or beauty in self-complicating systems, whether they are government, ecological, or religious in nature.
  • Global, or non-US food policies and regulations.
  • Global food freedom movement.
  • Benefits of corporations vs. individuals.
  • Merits of humanism vs. the merits of spirituality and religion.
  • What it means to be a human.
  • How best to spend one's time.
  • Separation of church and state.
  • Designing a religion.
  • What constitutes "worship".
  • Social and economic inequality.
  • Designing for a post-scarcity world in resources or energy.



  • I wish you all the best, George. It's difficult to discuss such an inter-connected list of topics while not discussing the examples that exist around the world, or addressing systemic issues causing the problems being indicated.

    I think the simplest approach vis a vis the selling of food goods that are way better than grocery store goods but non-compliant is, as mentioned above, selling those goods as "for animal consumption." The only caveat there is that you have to either know the producer yourself, or have some other system that guarantees the person you're buying from, that you don't know from Adam, isn't there selling something harmful just to make a buck.

    I think that on the one-to-one scale, you'll have much better success than something that is actually marketed, largely because of the litigious nature of conflict within the untied states. The barter economy can work well on the small-scale.

    As to the underlaying assumption, I should qualify my earlier criticisms of simplicity as an end goal. Simplicity of design works very well with single-use tools that only have to function one way, for one user. If I am taking gear camping, I want no extra bells and whistles on my critical gear, because not only is it just more weight to carry, oftentimes, a broken bell or whistle in an over-complicated design can render that item useless.

    Politics is as much a living system as a biological one, in my view. If it doesn't self-complicate, it isn't capable of adaptation for all users, and so might also find long-term adaptation difficult.

    -CK
     
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