Wildcard Wednesday 4/27/16

In a previous post, on a Tuesday long long ago, I mentioned Dan Barber’s idea of responsibility and how actions metaphorically corresponded to deposits and withdrawals from a collective bank. I also mentioned that ideas of responsibility don’t always mesh since I disagreed at first with one conception of it. 

The idea of responsibility has, for a long time, dominated my thoughts. So naturally part of that analyzing involves pondering what responsibility means? I think there are actually two types of responsibility. 

On a small scale, micro-responsibility, like micro-economics, is what can be directly attributed to, or seen as a result of, your actions. This would be legal responsibility. A caused B to happen and A could guess C could potentially result. B did lead to bad result C. If not for A creating B, no C. How reasonable is the implication of C? If it’s very reasonable for C to flow from B then A is very responsible. If it is a stretch to think that C would flow from B then A is not that responsible. Legally, it’s a question of “reasonable.” You are only legally responsible for what you can “reasonably” foresee occurring. 

But, Dan Barber is discussing another, larger, type of responsibility. It opposes arguments that people don’t matter. “Why vote in elections when there are so many people? Why does one single drop of water matter in an endless ocean?” Dan Barber argues, I think, that “yes, in fact, your voice does matter.” 

If we view our actions as investments in a bank, and see that we all access that account, a global account for all people (unfortunately not a real account I have access to), we realize that every action in some way effects us. Macro-responsibility like macro-economics. You shouldn’t feel aimless and drowning. You shouldn’t feel like your actions are entirely pointless. You should feel like your actions are at least somewhat meaningful. They amount to a deposit or withdrawal that changes the account balance that some other entirely random person may confront. And they may change the balance you confront. 

In Dan Barber’s analogy the Earth, the world, our society is akin to the bank. Because you have access to the account, any action you take changes the available balance. You know that, so while you might not be legally held responsible for an action, you can reasonably assume that, because you can access the account, your actions may change the balance.

Taco Tuesday 4/5/16

Taco Tuesday 4/5/16

April 5, 2016 in Taco Tuesday

Music didn’t suddenly disappear from existence on Monday. But I kind of did. I was traveling, but fear not! Musical Mondays will return very soon. Probably as soon as next week. In the interim, time continues its forward march. And, to form, today is already Taco Tuesday. Yum. 

Awhile ago, on the FBook, I shared a link to an episode of the “Chef’s Table” on Netflix. The episode centered around the chef, Dan Barber. Dan Barber, to me, is the restauranteur equivalent of Michael Pollan. 

As I established earlier, I really like Michael Pollan. In case you missed it, I recommend watching any or all of “Cooked” on Netflix (A four episode documentary, 1 hr an episode). Even more I recommend reading “Cooked,” the book by the same name goes much more in depth. Mr. Pollan authored a number of other books, including “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which I think all schools should teach and all earthlings in general should read.

So, if you find Michael Pollan even slightly as interesting, as I do, then I feel like Dan Barber puts some similar thoughts into practice in his restaurants. 

Dan Barber puts a lot of emphasis on the idea of responsibility. Now I hate when the ideas of responsibility and kindness are conflated. Your kind acts are not “responsible” acts, they are nice acts. But, in a way, I guess they are responsible too.

Shoot. I just used a thought about what Dan Barber does to sink my own concept of responsibility. See, it’s easy to extend responsibility only to your immediate actions. In fact, I think you should at the least do that. However, you're a person, I’m a person, we’re all people. So even if we’ve never met, if you believe that your actions have even minor consequences, a “butterfly effect,” then every person alive, or still to live, will receive some effect from what you do. 

In Dan Barber’s terminology, your actions deposit or withdraw from a collective bank. The account does not belong to just you, it belongs to each person alive. Dan Barber believes that crop rotation equals depositing in the bank. People eat lots of wheat. Farm land needs crop rotation in order to replenish minerals and grow wheat. Otherwise the farm suffers significant soil depletion. By creating a demand for the necessary crops for rotation one human encourages a farmer to rotate crops. That rotation equals the best wheat for all people. With a little longer, big picture view, it’s responsible to everyone, including yourself, to rotate crops. So it’s good selfish to be responsible. I suggest being good selfish and learning about Dan Barber.