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Old 04-03-2013, 05:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Crazy email

WTF!

This is an email I got from Burpee seed company. Now normally it's just a normal save 30% on shipping, it's comes WAY to often but still a normal junk mail after you buy something type thing.

but today I see this.....

Quote:
Let me be frank. I oppose “growth” and object to the “growing economy,” I take exception to “growing” companies. These terms—used chronically and uncritically by politicians and pundits—leave me vexed and perplexed. Why? Because I am convinced that “growing” is precisely what economies don’t do. They might increase or expand, but they grow not.

At some point in the 20th century, “growth” grew into shorthand for an increase or expansion in the amount of goods and services produced by the economy. “Grow” is now used as a transitive verb, as in Paul Hawken’s manifesto, “Growing a Business.”

Even as a metaphor, “growth” has its limits, soon apparent in the absurd, oxymoronic terms “flat growth” and “negative growth”. A governor of a large state recently declared he wanted to “grow” the size of his economy’s “pie”. Block that metaphor!

I hear your protests. “Grow” is a figure of speech, a metaphor, Mr. Ball! Why put this harmless butterfly of a phrase upon a syntactical wheel?

I hear your protests. “Grow” is a figure of speech, a metaphor, Mr. Ball! Why put this harmless butterfly of a phrase upon a syntactical wheel?

My animus derives partly from my role as the head of a “growing business,” a 136-year-old firm specializing in plants and seeds, things that really grow. Our long-term motto, “Burpee seeds grow,” is not a metaphor, but a statement of fact.

The indiscriminate use of “grow” and “growth” has profound implications for how we view our economy. The anthropomorphism of the “growth” term, endowing business and financial statistics with animate, living qualities, is imprecise to the point of being delusional. The notion of a “growing economy,” I suppose, puts color in the cheeks of pale, sexless numbers.

The use of “grow” or “growing” as a synonym for expand, increase, develop and enlarge is largely a 20th century creation, or growth, one that should be pruned from the English language.

Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations (1776), makes multiple references to “growing” and “growth”, but he is referring to seed (of all things!) grain, fleece or timber, not economies. Thomas Malthus, the unheeded prophet of the limits of growth, in his An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) , likewise applies the terms to, simply, things that grow.

TheOxford Dictionary of English Etymology defines growth as “Show[ing] the development characteristic of living things.” The word “grow”, I might add, derives from the Indo-European term word for “grass”. Tell me, is the economy growing like grass?

“Grow” is one of many terms that have migrated from agriculture into business. We speak of “seed money”, “hedge funds”, “yields”, and “plants.” “Share”, as in stocks derives from the “shearing” of sheep and, thus, a unit of raw wool. No surprise that the rise of agriculture back in 8,000 B.C., give or take a millennium, brought economies into being.

Not so many centuries ago, agriculture pretty much constituted the economy: economic growth and the growth of plants and animals were inextricably bound. The ancient Mesopotamian currency, the shekel, introduced around 3,000 B.C., was based on a weight of barley: 180 grains, to be precise. Seed capital, you might say.

I fear one result of using our “growing” terminology is that we ourselves cease to grow, because we’ve stopped thinking. Try this thought experiment: if the economy is growing, is the hidden hand of the market growing with it?

Talk of the “growing economy” is a pathetic fallacy: projecting our wishes and feelings onto external phenomena, resulting in angry skies, brooding mountains and roses that art sick. The effect belongs in poetry, not the economy nor in economics, that properly dismal science.

The notion of economic “growth” is pure magic realism. It’s as if we imagine that cheek-puffing zephyrs propel clouds, autumn leaves gaily cartwheel across the lawn, and water sprites dance in our water glass.

The economy represents and involves numbers and statistics—and precision. Innumeracy is a now serious issue in this country. The myopic, hazy, lazy thinking behind our talk of “growth” appears to be shared by our children, whose math skills are perilously close to those of their peers in debt-ridden Spain, Portugal and Greece. Unless we start taking our economic numbers seriously, the problem, not the economy, will only grow.
WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY GOING ON ABOUT? and WHY?

Dont think i'm going to buy anymore seeds from this crazy pants company.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like someone's been drinking too much fertilizer in an attempt to "grow" his mind....
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I understand what he is saying even though im not sure that was the best thing to send a customer out of the blue. especially one who might not understand. Its a bit unprofessional at a minimum.

Last edited by Yoshiko Fazuku; 04-03-2013 at 07:32 AM. Reason: you tube url didnt seem to stick
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's like some discussion in a university bar-after a few drinks.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I liked it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's an odd thing for a seed company to send out but I pretty much agree with his thesis and I'm impressed with his writing.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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We used to have some great conversations in university bars...about so many things.
For the most part I loved it. Every once in a while I would wake up the next morning and think "WTF was I saying???"
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My reaction was basically

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnie Carling View Post
WTF!

This is an email I got from Burpee seed company. Now normally it's just a normal save 30% on shipping, it's comes WAY to often but still a normal junk mail after you buy something type thing.

but today I see this.....



WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY GOING ON ABOUT? and WHY?

Dont think i'm going to buy anymore seeds from this crazy pants company.
Well, that was interesting. I could quite get behind some of it until this...

"The myopic, hazy, lazy thinking behind our talk of “growth” appears to be shared by our children, whose math skills are perilously close to those of their peers in debt-ridden Spain, Portugal and Greece."

And then I went huh? And checked that Burpee seeds are in the US.

And thought hell, what does the guy know about math skills in Europe, or is this just a little hyperbole for "international effect".

Somebody call Ely Hynes and ask her about math skills in Portugal and if this is really a good comparison. I can kinda sort of predict the answer, but hey.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ariadne Korda View Post
Well, that was interesting. I could quite get behind some of it until this...

"The myopic, hazy, lazy thinking behind our talk of “growth” appears to be shared by our children, whose math skills are perilously close to those of their peers in debt-ridden Spain, Portugal and Greece."

And then I went huh? And checked that Burpee seeds are in the US.

And thought hell, what does the guy know about math skills in Europe, or is this just a little hyperbole for "international effect".
He's not so much talking about math skills as he is magical thinking. I think he's using "math skills" in the figurative sense there.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree. WTF?

also i like groworganic.com and the baker seed company. isn't burpee owned by monsanto or something like that?
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Really, the thing that makes it odd to me is that if was from Burpee seeds.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Vivianne Draper View Post
I agree. WTF?

also i like groworganic.com and the baker seed company. isn't burpee owned by monsanto or something like that?
Burpee, GMO And Monsanto Rumors Put To Rest - Burpee.com
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahar Aabye View Post
Sounds like someone's been drinking too much fertilizer in an attempt to "grow" his mind....
Actually he's got a point, weird, rambling, and long-winded as it is.

Economies are built, not grown. It's people working to build an economy that make it happen, it's not something done by mindless plants.

That said, putting it where he did? Odd. And it's waay to long-winded.

If they're looking for a slogan . . maybe this? "Burpee, where plants grow and leave the bullshit to people."
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Aliselia Aeon View Post
thanks I did not know this. but still, you are wanting to buy heirloom seeds. bees don't, in general, care for hybrids
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Vivianne Draper View Post
thanks I did not know this. but still, you are wanting to buy heirloom seeds. bees don't, in general, care for hybrids
I think many heirloom plants are more hardy too, if I remember correctly. I certainly like the taste of heirloom tomatoes better.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Aliselia Aeon View Post
It was the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that started that but it was about Johnnys seeds. Now any company that does or has done biz with Seminis gets hit by internet claiming "they are owned by Monsanto"


Here is a good blog post about the whole Monsanto/Seminis thing
A Brief History of Monsanto and Seed Houses Who Got Screwed


Any way this is one of the reasons the whole anti-Monsanto thing drives me nuts.. yes I think they are bad too.. but EVERYTHING is not their fault <- no soapbox smiley so I will use that one
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnie Carling View Post
It was the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that started that but it was about Johnnys seeds. Now any company that does or has done biz with Seminis gets hit by internet claiming "they are owned by Monsanto"


Here is a good blog post about the whole Monsanto/Seminis thing
A Brief History of Monsanto and Seed Houses Who Got Screwed


Any way this is one of the reasons the whole anti-Monsanto thing drives me nuts.. yes I think they are bad too.. but EVERYTHING is not their fault <- no soapbox smiley so I will use that one
you blaspheme! monsanto is responsible for ALL THE THINGS!!!!!

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Old 04-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I think part of the thing about Monsanto is those who are old enough to remember Vietnam...and Agent Orange. There was a hell of an uproar over that, and some still ate them for it. I never hear of people being enraged about Bayer's involvement in WWII, though.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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A bit long winded and in a weird forum for it, but hes essentially on point. The magical thinking he talked about is a big part of why our housing market crashed so fucking hard. It will be part of the reason that the rest of the economy crashes as hard as it will when the 'growth' culture that is pervasive comes to its final conclusion.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Are you certain this wasn't sent yesterday?
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #22 (permalink)
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actually i wouldn't mind monsanto if they weren't so dead set against labeling GMO foods, weren't trying to destroy small farms, and weren't suing small farmers for seeds that the went blew into the small farms that the small farm didn't want in the first place.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:47 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivianne Draper View Post
actually i wouldn't mind monsanto if they weren't so dead set against labeling GMO foods, weren't trying to destroy small farms, and weren't suing small farmers for seeds that the went blew into the small farms that the small farm didn't want in the first place.

The last bit is a bit of a canard. The cases I remember reading involved situations where the seeds/pollen might have blown in (and another where the guy sold the next generation's seeds to a grain elevator and then bought them back), but I think, if I remember correctly, that in these cases the farmers then went and planted over a thousand acres with the seeds they obtained. The "wind blew it in" case, Schmeiser involved 1,030 acres of canola of which 95-98%, according to the court, was the patented variety. The court also felt that it was unlikely that the wind had blown the seeds 5 miles from the nearest farm that grew that variety.

It's not that I doubt that they'd be willing to go after small farmers for planting an acre or two illegally, it's just that with what Monsanto's legal team probably costs, I'd think that any executive who decided to go after an actual small farmer would be removed by the board for wasting company money.

I'm also not trying to defend them, but unfortunately when there are so many urban legends involving things that just aren't factually true, stating the simple truth turns into "defending" them.

But I'm not asking anyone to take my word on it, here's the Canadian court documents from that case:

Federal Court - Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahar Aabye View Post
The last bit is a bit of a canard. The cases I remember reading involved situations where the seeds/pollen might have blown in (and another where the guy sold the next generation's seeds to a grain elevator and then bought them back), but I think, if I remember correctly, that in these cases the farmers then went and planted over a thousand acres with the seeds they obtained. The "wind blew it in" case, Schmeiser involved 1,030 acres of canola of which 95-98%, according to the court, was the patented variety. The court also felt that it was unlikely that the wind had blown the seeds 5 miles from the nearest farm that grew that variety.

It's not that I doubt that they'd be willing to go after small farmers for planting an acre or two illegally, it's just that with what Monsanto's legal team probably costs, I'd think that any executive who decided to go after an actual small farmer would be removed by the board for wasting company money.

I'm also not trying to defend them, but unfortunately when there are so many urban legends involving things that just aren't factually true, stating the simple truth turns into "defending" them.

But I'm not asking anyone to take my word on it, here's the Canadian court documents from that case:

Federal Court - Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser
Quote:
Since the mid‑1990s, Monsanto indicates that it has filed suit against 145 individual U.S. farmers for patent infringement and/or breach of contract in connection with its genetically engineered seed but has proceeded through trial against only eleven farmers, all of which it won.[130] The Center for Food Safety has listed 112 lawsuits by Monsanto against farmers for claims of seed patent violations.[131] The usual claim involves violation of a technology agreement that prohibits farmers from saving seed from one season's crop to plant the next, a common farming practice

Monsanto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
In its report, called Seed Giants vs US Farmers, the CFS said it had tracked numerous law suits that Monsanto had brought against farmers and found some 142 patent infringement suits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states. In total the firm has won more than $23m from its targets, the report said.

Monsanto sued small famers to protect seed patents, report says | Environment | guardian.co.uk
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:44 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I think part of the thing about Monsanto is those who are old enough to remember Vietnam...and Agent Orange. There was a hell of an uproar over that, and some still ate them for it. I never hear of people being enraged about Bayer's involvement in WWII, though.
That was supposed to read "hate them for it". None of us ate any of them. Honest.

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