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Thoughts of a Misplaced Wanderer
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Strawcat's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
12:07 pm
Folklorama 2015
Celtic-Ireland - Food was decent but slightly overpriced for what I was getting. Overall, this is similar to the Irish-Ireland pavilion but not as good and the acoustics here are even worse.

Spain - Food is still good but this year it was overcrowded and the lineup to the food stretched halfway around the room such that it blocked the stage. So when it was time for the performances to begin, they made the line bend outside and those of us in that part of the line couldn't see the performance. Disappointingly there was no live flamenco music this year but the dances were still mostly fun to watch.

Slovenia - There's always lots of nice desert selections, which brought me back again but this time I stayed for the show. I expected more sleepy dance numbers but was pleasantly surprised by the live band and things really perks up when they brought out a fully costumed trickster which I cannot even begin to describe.

United Kingdom - I tried a generously-portioned date square and that was more than enough to eat. The performances are very professional with an agenda that seems to be organized to the second so that the show flows seamlessly. The live band(s) are also great.

Israel - The food was fine but had miserly portion sizes for the price. The performance was a one-act show featuring a professional folk dance group paired with skilled musicians and vocalists. Very entertaining but also loud. Bring ear protection.

Indo-Caribbean - Set your expectations to Indian rather than Caribbean. Some dancers were graceful and entertaining enough to watch but overall fairly noisy and the gym acoustics did not help. I didn't like the food. My chicken rotti was somehow spicy and bland at the same time and you had to be a forensic scientist to find the chicken.

Casa do Minho Portuguese - Same small location as Spain, so once again, standing room only. But unlike Spain, the organizers made no attempt to heed occupancy limits and seemed to take a perverse pride in that the venue was so ludicrously packed because of this. The performers wore dour expressions and looked like they were bored and didn't want to be there. I even pitied the children. Their performances were just as listless. My soup tasted peculiar and had a queasy hue but I ate it anyway because it had kale and that makes it healthy, right?

Afro-Caribbean - You may now safely set your expectations to Caribbean. The gym was so loud, even with ear protection, that I took leave of the performances for a while to clear my head. The song , particularly when compared to the otand dance, as I recall, was nothing too special but the limbo dancer/fire eater was an impressive and memorable bit. They even had the mayor up there limboing. A nice touch was there steel drums you could play in the cultural display area. I thought the jerk chicken was rather tasty.

Serbian Kolo - I didn't stay for the performances. I got to try lots of food but it was rather bland for the most parther Serbian pavilion.

Punjab - Colorful dress and lively performances, some of which are unique to this pavilion as opposed to other Indian pavilions. I especially liked the fashion show. I didn't try the food.
Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
5:23 pm
The Rock versus Mr. Fantastic
Mindless disaster flicks don’t usually get me thinking. But San Andreas did. Mainly because it presents some interesting moral dilemmas that, because they could really happen, are worthy of some consideration. Furthermore, because it treats its characters’ choices as pat reflections of their contrasting moral character, the movie fails to frame the situations out of which these choices emerge as the difficult dilemmas that they are. This glib treatment of context and character begs for a little more scrutiny, which, when indulged, brings to light some rather surprising conclusions.

Obviously, if you don’t want parts of this movie’s predictable wisp of plot spoiled, you should stop reading now.
Read more...Collapse )
Sunday, June 21st, 2015
10:09 pm
My Crazy Philippines Adventure
Hello LiveJournal! Greetings to the 4 – 6 people who still come here after all these years.  In appreciation for your tenacity, I present to you a tale of great misadventures and adventures. It is the tale of what happens when you’re going out with someone who expects you to accompany them on the long journey to their homeland. This trip will last much longer than any Caucasian Canadian should sensibly remain in the summer of a sweltering Asian country, with someone who turns out to be completely, utterly incompatible with them in every conceivable way. This is the tale of what happens when you choose the path less traveled while ignoring that little voice in your head that says, “are you freaking kidding me?!” when you decide to say yes to all of this, instead of going to work as usual and watching weekly installments of Wayward Pines in the comfort and safety of your own home. It would also be a terrible waste of expensive plane tickets to back out of this and I do abhor waste even if this kills me.

It all begins in ManilaCollapse )
Monday, August 18th, 2014
4:19 pm
Folklorama 2014: Week Two
Andean
Once again the Notre Dame Recreational Centre proves to be a place of terrible acoustics. From the vast distance that separated me from the stage, where the sound was almost bearable, it was difficult to see the detail of what was going on, but the pan flute player left the impression that he was lip-synching. I liked at least one of the dances and the dress was varied and colorful. I only tasted one item, the thousand layer cake, which was basically just dulce de leche between many thin crisp layers of pastry, but it was good.

Alo Brazil
The food was decent here and it had the best cocktails that were fairly priced. The performances were entirely musical with some martial arts finesse thrown in. Everyone was enthusiastic and professional. It was a good show and much more bearable to listen to than last year's Brazilian pavilion with its loud and awful acoustics.

Croatian "Zagreb"
The sausage and shish kebob was good, and the dessert (custard pie) was to die for, but the cabbage rolls were sour and barely palatable. The performances were unfortunately bland and a bit sleepy, and couldn't hold my attention so I left early.

Ethiopian
The food was okay, but most of it was not my personal taste. It was fairly priced, through. The dances, while alright, could use a little more variation. It would also be nice if they could turn down the volume. I wasn't the only person holding my ears.

German
 What a confusing pavilion! They have a booth to buy tickets for food and drink outside, and a few places to buy those things indoors too, only they serve slightly different things at different prices. It took me a while to figure out at the entertainment was actually hidden somewhere within the labyrinthine building and -not- the band that seemed to be setting up in the beer tent outside. When I couldn't find a seat they suggested I check out the second floor, but that section too was uncomfortably crowded and I left halfway through the entertainment. From what I could glimpse of the entertainment, it was simplistic and merely passable. I enjoyed the sausage, however, and the respectable quantity of wine was fairly priced.

Hungary-Pannonia
 The food was alright here, but not as tasty as some of the other European pavilions. The dances were not bad in themselves, but yet another variation on the holding-hands-and-going around-in-circles-at-a-leisurely-pace theme that characterizes the folk dances of so many European nations and I suppose I was beginning to tire of that after two weeks, no offense.

Korean
 There was barely room to stand let alone sit in the hot crowded gymnasium but the food was fairly good quality and the performances were professional and varied, including one of the most impressive live martial arts demonstrations I've seen.

Spain
 The paella was to my liking even though it could have used more flavor. The performances lacked variety as it was entirely flamenco guitar/dancing but this was not an issue for me since I thought it was entirely satisfying and this made it my favorite performance of the week.
Monday, August 11th, 2014
5:09 pm
Folklorama 2014: Week One
More brief reviews of the cultural pavilions this year at the festival.

Chinese
Dances were graceful and paired with elegant dress and pleasing music. The food was substandard, about food court quality though not as bad as at last years Indo-Chinese pavilion. At least prices were fair. I enjoyed the cultural display here with its hands-on activities and staffed with encouraging volunteers.

Irish-Ireland
Sausage and stew as good as always but colcannan a bit oniony for my tastes. Irish mist was interesting. Guiness wasn't for me. Entertainment wasn't as good this year: other than the usual dancers, there was only a traditional/rock band that played about 7 songs and was too loud for my tastes.

Nayong Philipino
Once again these professional dancers make the entertainers from most of the other pavilions look like amateurs. The food was also delicious. Still one of my favorites.

Scandinavian
I enjoyed my sausage and my imported apple cider from Sweden but the meal options were a little pricy for the quantity of food you were getting. The staff were friendly and helpful but the entertainment was unfortunately not of a professional caliber -- at times a bit goofy and unnecessary, such as when children sang along to "Let it Go" from the movie, Frozen.

Serbian "Beograd"
The food was meaty and fairly price with many dessert options to choose from. The entertainment was alright but the MC was a bit awkward with her nagging insistence upon applause before each performance before it could be offered freely, and her apparent embarrassment over the hyperactivity and errors of the young children performers.

South Sudanese
Some truly unique dances but the sound could be ear-piercingly shrill and loud at times. The food is about what you'd expect and is fine if you like African food.

Ukraine-Kyiv
This was probably the most organized and systematized pavilion with 1000s of volunteers though the reservation process seemed overly complicated and led to some delays. It may have been more convenient actually to come without a reservation and the reserved tables were no better. You still had to crane your neck to see. The food wasn't the best I'd ever tasted of the pierogi-and-sausage variety but it was still decent enough. Performances were professional and well-executed but the band that played was kind of hokey. Also, a shot glass of wine is kind of a tease.
Monday, November 4th, 2013
1:06 am
Folklorama 2013
Some brief notes to myself about my experiences at the cultural pavilions so I remember for next time.

African Pavilion - Performances were entertaining -- food was okay.

Caribbean Pavilion - Great Performances -- booze was bad/overpriced -- didn't try the food.

Cuba Va - Bad acoustics (Notre Dam Rec Centre), poor performances and bland, overpriced food. Avoid!

Greek - Claustrophobic location, boring performances -- food was okay but they were out of the good stuff.

Indigenous Mardi Gras - Good food, unique/interesting performances. Recommended.

Portugal - Noisy, unpleasant performances, food was passable -- some things served cold.

Russian - Good food. Performances were alright.

Scotland - Good cultural display, performances mixed but poor acoustics (Glenlawn CC), food is alright.

Slovenija - Didn't see performances, food is good but can be a bit pricy.

Belgian - Fun atmosphere, good music, good foods and drinks -- decently priced. Recommended.

Brazilian - Food is decent, including cheap drinks, but it is too noisy in the curling club.

Indochina-Chinese - Awful food, performances are hit and miss.

Irish-Ireland - Food is surprisingly good, performances are decent. Positive atmosphere. Recommended.

Japanese - Food was poor by restaurant standards. Performances were somewhat laughable. Avoid.

Philippine Nayong Pilipino - Best dance performances. Good food. Recommended.

Romanian Pavilion - Food was alright, but performances didn't resonate with me.

Warsaw Poland - Some good performances, but acoustics not ideal (Glenlawn CC). Food was alright.
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
4:24 pm
Progress in Philosophy
(One part of a philosophical correspondence...)

I believe the 'big questions' are the ones that have been around since the dawn of civilization and are still pertinent today. What happens after we die? Does God exist (and for that matter, which God?) Are we truly free or is the path of our lives and our decisions somehow predetermined? However, questions like these will always remain a matter of faith and are difficult if not impossible to 'resolve' philosophically due to their expansiveness and impenetrability.

Well, then, we have our first disagreement. I hold that the "expansive and impenetrable" Big Questions are indeed soluble, they are merely recondite. It took man fifty thousands years to crack the atom, but, he did it. Whether it can be done within the span of this conversation, or in another fifty thousand years, we will crack the problem of the liberty of the will.

In fact, I will go further. I am a Catholic Fremen, and I have zero faith in the existence of the One, Cardinal Cusa's (1401-1464) term for "God". I know the One exists; I have faith not in His existence, but, rather, in His character. But, even this an ongoing process of strengthening of faith to the sticking point of irreversible certainty.


Rebuttal...Collapse )
Friday, May 29th, 2009
1:54 am
What do you think ... of the DOG O MATIC?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1183016/Is-Dog-o-Matic-owners-best-friend.html

While some people think it is cruel to subject animals to this device, I think that apart from any consideration of its supposed cruelty, it seems to create an alienating barrier to what would otherwise be a healthy part of maintaining the human-pet relationship through normal routines of direct interaction. I have to wonder what will be next - putting the dog onto some giant enclosed hamster wheel so that you no longer have to walk them? If people are more interested in convenience rather than fostering a healthy relationship between them and their pet then maybe they shouldn't have them in the first place.
Sunday, April 5th, 2009
8:22 pm
Privacy and Anonymity on the Internet
     The expectation of privacy in everyday life is nothing out of the ordinary. We usually take for granted that we’re not going to be asked for identification when we buy something at the grocery store, that the postal post office is not going to verify that the return address on the mail we send is valid, or that our mailman is not going to read our mail. The ideal of privacy on the internet, however, is generally regarded to be somewhat quaint. E-mail is notoriously unprivate: since messages are sent as unencrypted text that usually pass through several relaying hosts before they reach their destination, administrators of any of these hosts can easily eavesdrop on this information (Eklund). Web servers can log the unique IP address of the users who access and exchange information on them. This information can be used to create market surveys that are sold to corporations, or to persuade ISPs to release personal information about the user associated with the IP address (Eklund; Palme, 2002). Another threat to privacy is that ISPs are able to create identity profiles on their users based on their internet activity (Eckert and Pircher, 2001).Read more...Collapse )
Friday, November 7th, 2008
2:00 pm
Quick opinion on Prop 8
The whole situation is pretty sad. I don't think voters realize the full significance of what they've done. Especially in those places where people fought to have rights recognized that govern the way they live fundamental aspects of their private and personal lives, and succeeded in the highest courts, only to be forced to go back to square one by those who aren't even personally affected by the outcome. Go ahead and do this with matters of taxation and government spending, but it is an atrocity even for the matter of gay marriage to be reversible to the extent of potentially flip-flopping indefinitely.

Imagine what it would be like if after the courts first decided that women had the right to vote in federal elections, the outcome of a referendum reversed the ruling shortly before the next election. It seems to transform the optimism of civic progress into an apathetic uncertainty of how long the incremental achievement of the minority by patient self-advocacy will last before it will once against be undermined by propaganda pitched at a susceptible majority, as swiftly as marking an x on a slip of paper. My heart goes out to the thousands gays, already married or planning to be, who are forced on this long-overextended roller coaster ride of hope and fear orchestrated by the tyranny of the majority.
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
7:48 pm
Spirituality and Society at Crossroads
As society became increasingly liberalized, technological, and compartmentalized in its functions, there developed a growing chasm between the shrinking domain of religion, and the secular. This development is widely championed as an indicator of social progress, reminiscent of Enlightenment-era attitudes. In some ways, particular reforms and assurances may have been necessary to organize and maintain a more complex, interconnected and multicultural world. Separation of Church and State purports to prevent the political process from being co-opted by narrow, dogmatic interests and the same thing could be said about attempts to preserve the integrity of scientific methodology.

Still, in other ways, secular interests have co-opted many societal arenas and functions that were once holistically-centered and integrated with spiritual values, by foisting paradigms of further compartmentalization and modes of atomistic and reductionistic thinking, especially upon marginalized and traditional peoples. In the guise of "foreign aid", technologies are exported that promise greater wealth (at least in the sense that wealth is defined within the mindsets of the exporters), but instead destabilize local systems that are sustainable and replace them with unsustainable systems that increase dependence and subservience to developed nations. In Bali, for instance, a highly complex agricultural system that had operated for at least a millennium was intricately connected to the traditional water-based religion, where the distribution of the limited water available was controlled by priests through rituals attuned to water and pest cycles, which facilitated cooperation among farmers and allowed for the optimal function of the whole system. When the Green Revolution came to Bali, social capital, such as trust and cooperation, was eroded away in the interest of monetary profit, which depended upon competition and pushing the role of the priests to the sidelines. Productivity gradually fell each year, despite the imported crops being specially engineered for high yields, as water and nutrient cycles were controlled in ways that ignored traditional ecological wisdom. The old rituals still continued, but remained divorced from their integrated and practical significance. It was ultimately the emphasis on a purely secularized, technological approach at the expense of the previously integrated units that led the failure of the Green Revolution and the disenfranchisement of local populations in this region, who eventually wished to return to the old way of life.

In many societies, health, healing and spirituality were intimately connected. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being were of unified concern and often treated together by the same experts. As we came to conceive of the body as a machine separated from, if not devoid of soul, major advancements in medicine promoted the proliferation of much data, information and knowledge which both resulted in numerous specializations and compartments required to organize and advance the complexity of this knowledge within each sub-field. The mind, now often treated as an epiphenomenon of brain function though conceptually severed from the whole of being, could also be delved into by specialists who could be further classified depending on the emphasis of their approach. The reductionistic models of "chemical imbalance" promoted by pharmaceutical industries in characterizing and treating common 'neuroses' like anxiety and depression fail to account for the social, environmental, and more holistically-situated factors often involved, nor can it account for the the sharp rises in these ailments that are more likely to be intertwined with the kind of alienation that has resulted from the broader fragmentary scheme. More broadly, the issue is exacerbated when psychiatrists attempt to treat problems codified into little conceptual boxes packaged strictly as psychological disorders but are often actually broader than the narrow confines of their field permit. Problems brought to psychiatrists frequently have existential or spiritual dimensions that the secular practitioner is seldom willing or able to delve into. The same dilemma must also confront the physician from time to time when the reality of death and dying suddenly sinks in after patients are steeped in a culture of death-denial throughout the course of their lives. Now we see a doctor for our bodily ills, a psychiatrist for our mental ills, a councilor for our emotional ills, and a spiritual adviser or chaplain for our spiritual ills with few opportunities to address, let alone trace the interconnections between our broken fragments of self, that were originally closer to being an indivisible whole.

And so too has our society shattered into divisive fragments that are often needlessly at odds with each other. Today, when we conceive of what the religious and the secular mean for each one of us, when we are asked about our beliefs and values, it is often framed as a mutually exclusive choice, in which we must place ourselves in one diametrically opposed camp or the other. As the secular camp gains dominance and the religious camp starts to wane in many parts of the world, increasing scrutiny and skepticism are shed on those who would side with the religious camp. It is seen as a way of life that is of little practical significance and written off as irrational. And given that the reach of spiritual influence and discourse is often limited to semi-private happenings of this or that church or temple, whose rituals are sometimes divorced from their original context and viewed as "empty" as the post-Green Revolution rituals in Bali must have seemed, it is no surprise that religion, by the secular, is seen as pointless folly. And as a backlash reaction, some of the religious grow more fundamental, more persistent and dogmatic within this polarized arena of confrontation, fueled by the fears of losing more ground. Edicts and ancient guides for prudent living are taken to literal extremes to the point of having moral jurisdiction in the lives of non-believers and more moderate practitioners, and when met with resistance, force their way into politics in spite of purported church-and-state separation. This furthers the polarization and widens the chasm, setting in motion a positive feedback loop. Ultimately, the decoupling of the spiritual with the mundane has created a schizophrenic breakdown in the collective consciousness of society, leading to manifestations of self-delusion, cognitive dissonance and ultimately alienation within individuals who identify with both the religious or the secular camp.
Thursday, March 20th, 2008
4:21 pm
LJ Strike planned
Just as a semi-addendum to my last entry, it looks like because of some of the recent unsettling changes there's a 24-hour LJ "strike" being planned for Friday, March 21st. I have mixed feelings about this. It also evokes many questions. Hasn't the new administration already demonstrated that they don't care much about what we think about their policies by implementing them in secret and ignoring user and adviser feedback? If their revenue is already spoken for, is one day of inactivity enough incentive to even get their attention? Would a longer strike period be more likely to be make a difference? Although there are casual users like me who probably become a participant by 'deault', are the majority of users even capable of not posting or commenting for more than a day? :P What do you think about all this? Do you support the cause? Will you participate?

Just in anyone still isn't sure what this is about (because I got flak for assuming most people were aware of the contents of the URL I linked last time), here are the main reasons for the strike:

* It's about free and ad-free LiveJournal accounts being abolished for new members, ignoring the advice from the newly-formed Advisory Board.
* It's about LJ staff trying to sneak this decision in under the radar, and when people found out, telling the users it was done 'to make the signup process less confusing'.
* It's about LJ staff failing to apologize for trying to hide the facts from view and for lying about the actual reasons for their actions.
* And finally, it's about the latest decision to hide certain user interests from the list of Most Popular Interests, some of them being fanfiction, bisexuality, sex and depression. This decision was not announced or explained in any way. Users found out for themselves.

Plus, some even MORE background in case you're still scratching your head ;)
http://beckyzoole.livejournal.com/394838.html
http://beckyzoole.livejournal.com/395310.html
Friday, March 14th, 2008
4:35 pm
Livejournal, from social community to profit machine
As Brad outlines the history of LJ's need to find a balance between revenue generation and maintaining a growing community, we see that a simple pattern emerges. The changes in ownership can be characterized by a gradual succession of larger/richer corporations with progressively more ambitious agendas that co-opt our community as a better profit machine than its predecessors. There isn't anything novel or unusual about this; if LJ can be considered a commodity, it mirrors the history of most other products. When ever an entrepreneur is innovative enough to conceive of ways to produce and sell a product more efficiently than the current producer, everyone is better off if this person can buy out the means of production and take over, at least in theory (in practice, it's usually the consumer who gets the short end of the stick, they just don't always realize it because cutting corners tend to be manifested in gradual or subtle ways that are not immediately apparent). The main reason the current owner will be persuaded to accept the offer is because it is predicated on the buyer's projection of future profits exceeding those of the seller.

There are problems with conceiving and treating LJ purely as a commodity, though. This is because it is a social community, which complicates things. When Brad points out that "freeloaders" are contributing much of the content that paying members are paying for, he illuminates the special nature of value within LJ. Unlike most commodities, this value is not reducible to whatever the producer adds through the production process, but rather it is 'decentralized' and distributed through its base of consumers by means of sharing. Increasingly, the urge to make a bigger, better profit machine out of LJ seems to exacerbate rather than facilitate its function as a community, but a lot of people are unwilling to leave because it is difficult for them to place a monetary value on what they would give up if they looked for greener pastures. There is a certain non-substitutability at stake where you have an interest in maintaining your ties with particular groups of people. I think that the extent to which the owners of LJ externalize the mutual social benefits when thinking of ways to maximize profit, is the extent to which they undermine the original spirit and purpose of this place as a community.

I think I need to make it clear that I realize that LJ is also a service and there are costs associated with providing this service, which is why at the outset, I recognized the need for finding a balance and between revenue generation and maintaining a community. But it seems that where we see a community that runs on basic services, certain corporations see an investment in a commodity to the expense of other considerations. Can you think of other ways that LJ differs from a commodity?
12:22 am
Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
3:04 pm
Who likes House?
Every time I watch "House" (which is not very often), it feels like the episode I'm watching is one that I've already seen before, when actually it isn't. That's because the plot is essentially the same, and all they do is replace the patients and their 'mystery disease' with new ones. Basically House and his colleagues are stumped about the patient so everyone gets a bit frustrated and they tease and make fun of each for a while. But House always has the advantage because of his unique hobby of playing mind games with everyone. So, he'll mess with his colleagues' minds until they get fed up, and then do the same thing with his patients. At some point someone realizes that, "oh yeah, we're employed as *doctors* so maybe we should return to the task of figuring out what the mystery disease is". Numerous hypotheses are proposed, and debated, because House always disagrees with his colleagues as to which one is correct. There's only one way to find out though, and upon testing the patient, it turns out that no one was correct. It’s back to the drawing board. Everyone is stumped. Frustration ensues. Rinse and repeat the cycle a few times. Only now the stakes are higher because the patient's condition has worsened! It therefore becomes paramount that the hypotheses are good ones. Bets are made, temporary alliances and schisms are formed, and deceptive and possibly unethical strategies are employed to try to get at the truth. One would think that as the patient's condition worsens and House's fallibility is demonstrated again and again, he would be more cautious in his approach, but actually he just gets more arrogant about having the correct idea and will employ riskier procedures to prove it. By the end, he's *so* sure that he's right that he makes a life or death decision, and lucky for him, he's finally made the right choice. House gets to keep his job and his colleagues grumble amongst themselves and the episode conveniently ends before the patient is presented with a $300,000 medical bill from countless inappropriate tests, procedures and treatments.
Friday, January 18th, 2008
3:05 pm
Otherkin is to furry as Scientology is to science fiction.

Discuss.
Thursday, December 20th, 2007
10:18 pm
Name change
Just in case anyone is wondering, the account, "botcat" has been renamed to strawcat, courtesy of dongstyle_ltd.

Current Mood: thankful
Sunday, December 16th, 2007
9:33 pm
Polar Express
The Polar Express is still the most frightening movie readily available in the Christmas season. All the waxy-looking CG children with soulless eyes, creepy expressions and jerky movements are sure to disturb you more than any other poorly CG'd zombies that might stand out in recent movie memory.
5:24 pm
The Problem of Unspecified Purity
Dear Ivory,

I have always wondered how the consumer is supposed to interpret the popular slogan that your soap is 99 44/100% pure. While many people will be impressed by seemingly high numbers that do not appear to designate anything specific, the more conscientious consumer will have to ask, "99 44/100% pure what?" The most intuitive assumption is that Ivory soap is 99 44/100% pure soap. If 99 44/100% = 99.44% (I'm not sure; I've never seen a percentage expressed in that way), this means that Ivory's soap is made up of 0.56% non-soap. In other words, Ivory soap contains 5600 ppm impurities. This may not mean anything at first, but if you consider that tap water only contains 150-500 ppm impurities, the advertisement of unspecified purity appears result in the opposite to the intended effect.

If I were choosing between brands of vanilla ice cream, I would be a little concerned if one brand claimed it was 99.44% pure vanilla ice cream, because then I would have to wonder, "Just what kind of impurities would I be putting into my system if I were to eat this stuff?" since the ingredients of the ice cream would compose 99.44% of the product, which would be listed, and the 5600 ppm of mysterious unknowns may be unlisted. I would feel safer choosing the "100% pure vanilla" even if they're not particularly rigorous about defining their terms. I would also prefer a brand that made no claims at all about purity.

But this is probably not what you mean. What you probably mean is that your product contains 99 44/100% active ingredients (or cleaning power) and the remainder are things like fragrance. However, this does not seem to be the most obvious definition of purity, and most people who seriously contemplate the matter of unspecific purity would sooner jump to the previous, unsavory conclusions.
Thursday, November 22nd, 2007
11:26 pm
Free Market Environmentalism and its Criticisms
Okay, I don't usually post papers related to school here (what kind of place would LJ be if everyone did that constantly?), but as this is 1) my first attempt to do research on an economic issue at a fully academic capacity and 2) has to do with a subject I have some interest in, I have decided to share this. Keep in mind that since this was written for a second-year course, there isn't supposed to be much original commentary, and the level of conceptual rigor pertains only to theoretical generalities. There are a lot of aspects I'm not satisfied with, but it will have to do. And now, BEHOLD.
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