Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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30 Responses

  1. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Fo2 –

    Forgotten crops hold key answers, according to CFF. By investing in neglected local plants, countries can reduce their reliance on imported crops and their carbon-heavy supply chains.

    So they’re going to buy into some autarky food miles nonsense and cut down more of their forested land to grow crops. Sounds like a great plan to fight climate change and promote biodiversity.Report

    • Yeah depending on execution of course, but this seems like one of those things that might be a better idea on paper than practice. In moderation would be a good thing, but there are reasons those 4 crops work so well. Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

        I’m also curious how much diversity there is within the big 4 crops. It’s probably narrow enough that a significant blight on one strain would be disruptive in the short term, but not catastophic in the medium or long term. (I’m also thinking of the every few years ‘death of the banana’ article which has yet to yield results commensurate with the level of alarmism)Report

      • Yeah. I was going to point out that the four are well-suited to industrial agriculture, survive low-tech storage for months/years, can be handled brutally during transport, and at least of one of the group will do reasonably well over precipitation levels ranging from semi-arid to sub-tropical.Report

  2. I think there’s something to that. You ingrain yourself into a certain scene, say art for example, and learn the language and be accepted into the circles but not be able to rise out of the group to the level of self-support. Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

      You seem to be reading a lot btw/ the lines there.

      (Saul’s comment isn’t appearing for me)Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:


      I was going for something else. The world economy has gotten advanced enough to produce a class of prosperous but largely income wealthy people. These are basically your upper-middle class professionals. They can do many things for their children but can’t set them up to be so wealthy that those children will never need to work. My anecdotal observation says that in the United States this class takes two paths when teaching their children about passions:

      1. Path #1: You are smart and able. You should study whatever you want and things will work out in the end because you will show employers that you can apply yourself; or

      2. Path #2: Your future is not secure. You need to study something practical to maintain your position, etc.

      The veracity of each statement is hard to ascertain. I do think that Path #1 probably produces a lot of kids with arts-backgrounds and educations but in areas where supply still outstrips demand. But I also think that a lot of parents usually get some kind of psychic pleasure over arts-educated children and this goes beyond basic piano lessons.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Fo3: the day I find the recipe for McDonald’s breakfast sausage patty is the day I never go to McDonald’s again.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Hi1: Pisa was one of the four great maritime republics of Medieval Italy. The others being Genoa, Venice, and Amalfi. Venice had the coolest official name of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. It played an important part in organizing the Crusades and expanding commerce during this time.

    Fo2: If Malaysian scientists really want to make forgotten crops popular again, they need to turn to modern marketing. The forgotten crops will be huge if they can be promoted as having legendary health powers.

    Re4: Social scientists and other intellectuals are arguing on why Americans are more religious than other people in developed nations for decades. The traditional argument was that America had a free market in religion thanks to the First Amendment and therefore religions had to compete for worshippers. I’ve always found this argument unconvincing. The other British derived countries like Canada, New Zealand, and Australia had free markets for religions but a similar decline in faith. Many European countries were not as dominated as the official state church as most people assume but saw a decline in faith. The United Kingdom had a long and strong non-conformist tradition that lasted well into the 20th century. It was only during the late 1960s and early 1970s that religious observation began to decline fast.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Really, any sort of mythology about an ancient or forgotten food might be used to market an otherwise-forgotten crop, at least in the USA. Mythology need not have anything to do with scientific knowledge about the food — viz. the “paleo diet” which has at best a passing resemblance to what we can reconstruct about what paleolithic peoples actually ate.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Re4: On world value surveys, English-speaking countries group more traditional than other OECD countries. LINK So I don’t think a complete discontinuity argument works, particularly given the First Amendment didn’t apply to the states 100 years ago and the states were where religious requirements were traditionally found.Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Kudos, @andrew-donaldson, for the music links embedded in today’s Sunday Brunch. I’m enjoying them muchly.

  6. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    [Ar5] strikes me as first being infused with “my judgement of the value of art is the only possible judgement” and second being angry with government-supported arts. As best I can tell, government support for arts is tiny, particularly in fiction, as she seems primarily concerned with.

    Government support in things like sculpture and mural and architecture is somewhat more, since governments, by necessity build buildings and parks and monuments. But novels, not so much.Report

  7. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Boy, two things really jumped out at me on that Pew link: US being similar to China and Russia in terms of income inequality, and the way income inequality and the way religious belief tend to skew together.Report

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