Friday, November 26, 2010

Nuggets of Knowledge

If you're a turkey on November 24th in the USA, just before the inevitable is about to happen, life is a wonderful thing. You are fed, cared for by your owner, who may occasionally have a longing look, so that generally - based on past experiences - why wouldn't the next day be the same as the last?

Such is the danger of habit, for this poor turkey (unawares) is about to be devoured…

My thoughts were provoked by a headline in the New Yorker this morning "Gobbled" with a trio of active turkeys pictured in the glorious morning light of a country setting… A quote from Susan Orlean's piece:

"Unlike megafarm turkeys, which have been engineered to have breasts so disproportionately huge that the birds can’t stand up when they’re full-grown, Royal Palms are athletic and lively and curious."

Read more here:

In the Turkey World, something close to genocide has just occurred, and with a jocularity and banality which, to this vegetarian and Buddhist, is almost unfathomable. Almost - but I have it in me too. I am not so arrogant to think I am immune to the way we all desensitise ourselves to horror.

Would I upset your sensibilities if I described it as systematic, organised industrial murder? Probably, so I won't do that. We are not accustomed to thinking this way when it comes to animals.

Loving a cockroach is one of the many challenges I have undertaken, and do continue to endure, in my current life. Only when it is our beloved chewawa, or cat or other pet that we have taken for companionship, are we are allowed to indulge in anthropomorphism. But not if we plan to eat the creature.

(Susan isn't going to eat hers.)


So why the morbid meditation on the fate of the turkey?

Because, based on the past, we can not know the future. However, we mostly live as though the future will be a continuation of the past. Like the turkey, if every day was like this, then we can't imagine that November 25th will be any different from November 24th.

Recently I have discovered the failings of the inductive process. Nassim N. Taleb's book "Black Swan" has a lot to say on this subject. But mine is not an intellectual discovery, mine is a raw emotional ride I have been on these past few weeks. (Does it ever stop?)

Life has become unimaginably different these past weeks - edifices built upon deep conviction and emotion evaporating before my protruding eyes. Right now I am musing on the nature of the changes that I am both author and witness too. I can not be concrete, but will let slip nuggets of knowledge as those that will be affected by my changing, will themselves be informed by it.

The biggest news, hidden here for those who actually read my rantings, is that I have closed BodyChance in Sydney. Everyone knows, so that can be public. I'll share more about the Sydney decision, but not now. My other news is already made public, but only for those that can see what they usually fail to notice.

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