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lachoy (1663)

lachoy
  chris.winters@gmail.com
http://www.cwinters.com/

I am actually Chris Winters; I am actually living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; I am actually married and have three cats. (Guess what one of them is named?) I am the "OpenInteract" guy, which could be good or bad.

Journal of lachoy (1663)

Monday February 11, 2002
12:09 PM

Actions matter

[ #2775 ]

I am a vegetarian, so you could say that I'm predisposed to its arguments. But Fast Food Nation greatly disturbed me. I already knew (to some degree) how food animals are treated and the amazing disregard the companies in the food chain have for the health of consumers. But more shocking to me was the way these companies -- both packing companies and fast food service companies -- treat their workers. Reading this along with various other current actions (wal*mart, behavior in traffic, Enron, etc.) is thoroughly depressing And I'm a very optimistic person.

However. One of the things this cemented in me was the idea that individual actions matter, even in the context of global corporations. I often forget this because I'm so spoiled by the opensource community and how you can immediately affect something (code, design) or at least bend the ear of someone who can.

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  • I read that book too and think it should be on every person's reading list since I found it to be well researched. The things we are willing to forgive in the name of capitalism astound me.

    • Well, realize that many things you think of as many people being "willing to forgive" are things that many people don't think need to be forgiven in the first place.

      You can't change people's minds by calling them blind or stupid or lacking moral fortitude. You have to realize people simply disagree with you, for good reason, in the first place before you can attempt to persuade them in the second.
      • Gee, I didn't think anyone called anyone else stupid or lacking in moral fortitude.

        Do you think most people know the conditions in which their food is produced? In my experience people know that "something bad" happens but don't want to hear the details. I don't agree with that, but I can understand why people make this decision (even if it's a non-decision).

        But (again, IME) even most of them would be shocked to hear what happens to the people doing the work. If people got all worked up by the condition

        • Well, I wasn't replying to you. :-)
        • If people got all worked up by the conditions of workers in east asia making Nikes, don't you think they'd get a little peeved at what packing companies do to people in Texas or Kansas?

          Which is precisely why they don't listen. Like a parent that sees a condom wrapper on their teenager's nightstand and doesn't recognize it as such, or a policeman who ignores his best friend being a wife-beater, sometimes people find it much easier to ignore problems.

          Which isn't to say that there's evil in the capitalist

          --

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          You are what you think.
          • Like a parent that sees a condom wrapper on their teenager's nightstand and doesn't recognize it as such, or a policeman who ignores his best friend being a wife-beater, sometimes people find it much easier to ignore problems.

            You know, I'm not entirely sure about the equivalence of those two. Certainly it's hard not to accuse the hypothetical policeman of moral cowardice even without context. It's much harder to do so about the condoms; so much depends on what's been discussed between parent and child, le

            • Well, equivalence of scale wasn't implied, but yes, there's context lacking there. Let's see...

              Like a parent that sees a condom wrapper on their teenager's nightstand and still thinks the teenager isn't having sex...

              ...I should have been more specific, but my deranged sensibilities, for some reason, implied that I shouldn't mention sex. I don't know why. :\ While I'm fixing things...

              ...or a police officer who ignores a best friend being a spousal abuser...

              ...I should probably fix that too. 'pol

              --

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              You are what you think.
        • Well, it's much like people who drive SUVs liking their gas cheap and try to ignore the rape of the land needed to produce such cheap gas...there doesn't seem to be much concern for anything in the states if it doesn't take a bite out of the individuals wallet. The Cargills of the world keep fast food cheap for the consumer. My mother's side of the family were farmers who kept the land but took day jobs after they were blacklisted for speaking out decrying the price fixing by the conglomerates.

          I lived in C

          • Well, it's much like people who drive SUVs liking their gas cheap and try to ignore the rape of the land needed to produce such cheap gas

            No ... we just don't think of it as rape in the first place. There's nothing to ignore.
    • Just a note: the author was recently interviewed by powells.com [powells.com] too.