Jan 12, 2014

January 12, 2014: Chat with My Shoes, Spanning Generations, Grow to Understand

Our daughter, who is now a mature young lady, has moved to Europe wherein she is pursuing her studies.  Referred to herein as “Shoes”, she obtained that moniker as an infant which began by my calling her, innocently enough, ‘my little two-shoes’, quickly shortened to simply ‘shoes’.  She hated the nick-name when she was young asking plaintively why I called her that.  “You are as comfortable to me as wearing a pair of old shoes” I recall telling her.  I knew that as she got older she would grow to understand.  What follows is a short chat I had with her this morning via Skype over the internet.  The conversation spans continents, oceans and generations. It is done in a bit of short-hand as any communication with souls who have long since got to know each other will be and begins by an exchange of photographs via the net and moves on to more serious subjects.  I include it here because it represents yet another furtive attempt to hammer out a collective understanding of where we have been, where we are, and where we may be heading.


[8:57:34 AM] Joe Camfield: hi shoes

[8:57:47 AM] Shoes: hey dad

[8:57:49 AM] Shoes: how are you?

[8:58:33 AM] Joe Camfield: I’m doing alright, fixin to go back to work over at Ducey

[8:59:03 AM] Joe Camfield: i got your message that you are back safe and sound

[8:59:35 AM] Shoes: that I am

[8:59:40 AM] Shoes: still on American time though

[8:59:50 AM] Joe Camfield: that’s got to be awful

[9:00:07 AM] Joe Camfield: especially when you’re trying to get back in the harness

[9:00:38 AM] Joe Camfield: oh for the days when the world moved much more slowly

[9:00:48 AM] Joe Camfield: the body and the mind could adjust

[9:01:00 AM] Joe Camfield: there was no jet lag when there were no jets

[9:02:23 AM] Shoes: lol

[9:02:24 AM] Shoes: yes

[9:02:30 AM] Shoes: we only hit icebergs and froze to death.

[9:02:34 AM] Shoes: I'm sending you the picture of Holly [Pictures of our dog, taken while visiting over Christmas]

[9:02:39 AM] Shoes: Kate was asking for

[9:03:06 AM] Joe Camfield: oh yes I’ve got some pictures we scanned i need to send you

[9:03:12 AM] Joe Camfield: how do you do it on this thing? [Request for intergenerational assistance]

[9:04:29 AM] Shoes: you can open the folder and drag the file into the conversation

[9:05:01 AM] Shoes: or in Skype, hit the little "plus" sign at the top of the screen, next to the "video call" and "call" buttons [Intergenerational response saves the day]

[9:07:27 AM] *** Joe Camfield sent eldred.jpg eldred.jpg ***  [Image of a flyer for an event celebrating the life of my cousin who passed away last August]

[9:07:49 AM] Joe Camfield: this is the Eldred flyer see if this works

[9:07:59 AM] Shoes: got it

[9:08:20 AM] Shoes: he was sweet

[9:08:26 AM] *** Joe Camfield sent 013.jpg 013.jpg *** [Image of Shoes and I riding an elephant at the Ionia Free Fair]

[9:08:45 AM] Joe Camfield: us dominating the Republican Party

[9:09:01 AM] *** Joe Camfield sent 014.jpg 014.jpg ***

[9:09:09 AM] Joe Camfield: me and my shoes

[9:09:15 AM] Shoes: lol

[9:09:29 AM] Shoes: sweet :)

[9:09:36 AM] Joe Camfield: i love riding the Rescumlican

[9:09:57 AM] Joe Camfield: not so majestic when you’re sitting on his head

[9:10:32 AM] Shoes: lol

[9:10:40 AM] Shoes: poor party

[9:10:58 AM] Shoes: I am curious to see how they will change as the number of minorities in America grows

[9:11:24 AM] *** Joe Camfield sent a01_vista_1950s_grpl.jpg a01_vista_1950s_grpl.jpg ***

[9:11:38 AM] *** Joe Camfield sent A1_VISTA_AERIAL_1950s.jpg A1_VISTA_AERIAL_1950s.jpg ***

[9:11:57 AM] *** Joe Camfield sent a02_vista_1950s_grpl.jpg a02_vista_1950s_grpl.jpg ***

[9:12:27 AM] Joe Camfield: here are some pictures of the Vista when she was built. [A Drive-In Theatre, now gone, located in Grand Rapids Michigan.  I managed the theatre between 1974-76]

[9:12:41 AM] Joe Camfield: i need to post them on that theatre website.

[9:12:56 AM] Shoes: you should

[9:13:02 AM] Joe Camfield: only pictures of her online at those sites are when she was rotting away

[9:13:14 AM] Joe Camfield: it was a magnificent facility in her day

[9:13:38 AM] Joe Camfield: had two marquees

[9:13:52 AM] Joe Camfield: capacity for over 1,000 autos

[9:14:13 AM] Joe Camfield: i actually filled the place a couple of times

[9:14:25 AM] Joe Camfield: hadn't been done in over a decade before i got there

[9:15:02 AM] Joe Camfield: my office was just to the right of the box offices

[9:15:11 AM] Joe Camfield: second floor overlooking the place

[9:15:23 AM] Joe Camfield: that’s where the pictures of matt sitting at my desk were taken

[9:15:28 AM] Shoes: awwww

[9:15:34 AM] Shoes: damn

[9:15:37 AM] Shoes: that's a lot of cars

[9:16:18 AM] Joe Camfield: yeah it was. Imagine cars lined up down that 440 foot driveway, out into the adjoining streets both ways and down the sides of the road waiting to get in.

[9:17:19 AM] Joe Camfield: you can see on the aerial view the size of the driveways and the two marquee locations.

[9:18:01 AM] Joe Camfield: I was 25 when they put me in charge of the place in a desperate effort to do something about declining business

[9:18:29 AM] Joe Camfield: hadn't filled more than a third of the place any more than twice in the last three years

[9:19:05 AM] Joe Camfield: it was 85 percent empty on average during weekends over the last three summers, during the peak of the season

[9:19:09 AM] Joe Camfield: and losing money

[9:19:20 AM] Joe Camfield: so they decided they would take a chance

[9:19:27 AM] Joe Camfield: not easy for a company like Butterfield

[9:19:34 AM] Shoes: indeed

[9:19:53 AM] Joe Camfield: I met with he vice president about a week after i took over

[9:20:24 AM] Joe Camfield: and basically he said told me that they didn't understand drive-ins and were at wits end....so here I was

[9:20:41 AM] Joe Camfield: it was a challenge but a lot of fun and very rewarding experience

[9:21:18 AM] Joe Camfield: especially since the place wasn't run down and falling down around my ears like what it was like at the Lansing Drive In later in my experiences

[9:21:38 AM] Joe Camfield: i left the place and the comany in 1976 to attend Boston University

[9:21:43 AM] Shoes: challenges are always a fun experience

[9:21:53 AM] Joe Camfield: yes they are

[9:22:35 AM] Joe Camfield: anyway how’s the job going?

[9:22:47 AM] Shoes: good, they're going to send me the whole package to work on next week

[9:23:04 AM] Joe Camfield: that'll get you up to your eyebrows

[9:23:52 AM] Shoes: yes

[9:24:01 AM] Shoes: schedules rarely work out the way they should

[9:24:18 AM] Joe Camfield: yes i know

[9:24:35 AM] Joe Camfield: I’ll save those materials on project management if you like

[9:25:08 AM] Joe Camfield: you doing any work on six sigma in relation to that?

[9:26:11 AM] Shoes: no

[9:26:14 AM] Shoes: but please do save them

[9:26:24 AM] Shoes: I just had way too many things to bring back more books

[9:26:37 AM] Shoes: nearly broke my back carrying the books in my backpack because my suitcase was too full

[9:26:43 AM] Joe Camfield: i remember Kate had to work on six sigma when she was doing the researches on project management

[9:26:59 AM] Joe Camfield: i helped by teaching her some statistics

[9:27:15 AM] Joe Camfield: yes i know

[9:27:21 AM] Joe Camfield: there are limits to travel

[9:27:45 AM] Joe Camfield: get a chance to review forrester's book? [Reference here is to a report issued by the “Club of Rome” in 1971 under the title “World Dynamics”.  It was the first full-scale computer simulation of pollution and resource and population variables projected out into the 21st century according to several world-wide response scenario’s, including what would happen if mankind did nothing]

[9:27:50 AM] Shoes: not yet

[9:27:54 AM] Shoes: I've been working on a paper

[9:28:16 AM] Joe Camfield: I don't recall how much they got into climate change

[9:28:40 AM] Joe Camfield: but the discoveries since the report came out have not made the prospects any better

[9:28:49 AM] Joe Camfield: most of the feedback loops are negative

[9:28:59 AM] Joe Camfield: such as the melting of the polar ice caps

[9:29:15 AM] Joe Camfield: release of methane from the permafrost

[9:29:16 AM] Joe Camfield: etc.

[9:30:11 AM] Joe Camfield: what i wanted to bring to your attention is that the climate issues are part of a larger set of interrelated disasters awaiting us until we come to terms with who we are in the greater scheme of things

[9:30:27 AM] Joe Camfield: and we've known this for some time now

[9:30:45 AM] Joe Camfield: in any case it could serve as a benchmark for the work you are doing

[9:31:07 AM] Shoes: indeed

[9:31:16 AM] Shoes: it will be interesting to see what the next IPCC reports say

[9:31:26 AM] Joe Camfield: wherein your study of eastern religions becomes increasingly relevant

[9:31:27 AM] Shoes: I'm currently writing a short paper on the relation between climate change and public health

[9:31:29 AM] Shoes: specifically public perception

[9:31:41 AM]  Shoes: I wanted to write about another topic but there's so little information available

[9:32:01 AM] Joe Camfield: it has always seemed to me

[9:32:13 AM] Joe Camfield: that the way to deal directly with the american male

[9:32:23 AM] Joe Camfield: in relation to climate change and public health

[9:32:56 AM] Joe Camfield: is to cite statistics on damaged sperm cells and the ability of the beer guzzling couch potato to reproduce if he doesn't get his act together

[9:33:09 AM] Joe Camfield: hit him in the nuts

[9:33:17 AM] Joe Camfield: or you won't get his attention

[9:33:38 AM] Joe Camfield: that's your politician father speaking

[9:33:44 AM] Shoes: lol

[9:33:49 AM] Shoes: yes

[9:34:01 AM] Joe Camfield: it will be laughed off otherwise

[9:34:18 AM] Joe Camfield: as some kind of left wing conspiracy

[9:34:24 AM] Shoes: same thing as changing reproductive rights to men's rights

[9:34:26 AM] Shoes: vasectomies or not

[9:34:27 AM] Shoes: etc

[9:34:29 AM] Joe Camfield: dedicated to sacrifice ourselves to the spotted owl

[9:34:40 AM] Joe Camfield: yes

[9:35:52 AM] Joe Camfield: unless you can convince them that the current practices threaten their ability to wantonly reproduce their inspired ignorance, they will see it as someone else’s problem at best, if they see it as a problem at all.

[9:37:14 AM] Joe Camfield: anyway it sounds like you are going to have some fu

[9:38:38 AM] Shoes: but it's interesting to see these things in the context of development, where technological innovation isn't such a priority

[9:39:15 AM] Joe Camfield: technology isn't an end in itself

[9:39:44 AM] Joe Camfield: which is one of the issues that is driving this thing

[9:40:50 AM] Joe Camfield: I think we need to dig up Marx's old delineation between market value and use value.  Simply because it has market value doesn't mean it needs to be produced, if the damages outweigh the benefits

[9:41:10 AM] Joe Camfield: Use value is the more important determining value

[9:41:20 AM] Joe Camfield: likewise with regard to technological research

[9:41:43 AM] Joe Camfield: simply because we can do it doesn't mean that there exists an imperative to do it

[9:42:12 AM] Joe Camfield: I’m reminded of Edward Teller's imperative to develop the hydrogen bomb simply because it could theoretically be done

[9:42:26 AM] Joe Camfield: it wasn't needed

[9:44:00 AM] Shoes: well, technology helps to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and cleaner technology would be the key... it can also be used for research and analysis, helping to determine whether or not a city could benefit from utilizing green rooftops and whatnot

[9:44:11 AM] Shoes: but that's basically what developed countries can do

[9:44:44 AM] Shoes: what's needed in developing countries are easy and cheap ways to deal with climate change, but also to help them develop strategies and to be able to gain access to electricity in a green and efficient manner

[9:44:51 AM] Shoes: but also in a sustainable manner

[9:45:06 AM] Shoes: so if you're in a typhoon zone, no wind power, that kind of thing

[9:45:32 AM] Shoes: but the developing world uses mostly biofuels which are awful for the environment and only contribute to the problem


[9:47:05 AM] Joe Camfield: yes i quite agree.  Technological problems, and climate change, world population growth, pollution and resource depletion are all the result of technological changes, demand technological solutions. I wrote about that in my piece on Thoreau's "Walden" which I consider to be one the greatest pieces of literary pornography ever written [See my post on Walden in March of 2008]

[9:47:50 AM] Joe Camfield: there are no non-technological solutions to technological problems

[9:48:00 AM] Joe Camfield: the population is too large for that

[9:48:25 AM] Joe Camfield: consider water resources, food production and delivery as simple examples

[9:49:33 AM] Shoes: and where it's feasible, technology can help boost an economy as well

[9:49:45 AM] Joe Camfield: yes that's right

[9:49:51 AM] Joe Camfield: solar panels

[9:49:53 AM] Joe Camfield: etc.

[9:50:58 AM] Joe Camfield: the problem with a lot of "back to earthers" is that the solution is seen as a series of singular steps overlooking the larger impact.  It is mistaking the tree for the forest as it were

[9:51:46 AM] Joe Camfield: imagine putting, if you could, 6 billion persons, each family with its own 10 acres and a mule, burning wood for fuel.

[9:51:53 AM] Joe Camfield: the carbon output would choke us

[9:52:10 AM] Joe Camfield: i give you 19th century Birmingham England as a textbook case

[9:52:45 AM] Joe Camfield: to put it another way, many in my generation think, for instance, that wood fuel is clean

[9:53:07 AM] Joe Camfield: in fact it is no cleaner than coal inasmuch as both are carbon

[9:53:28 AM] Joe Camfield: the major difference is one is older and more compressed.

[9:55:15 AM] Joe Camfield: anyway i'm trying to get a handle on all this to do a follow up on my last blog post

[9:55:21 AM] Joe Camfield: it's so simple and yet so complicated

[9:55:39 AM] Joe Camfield: and i thank you for your forbearance

[9:57:10 AM] Shoes: it is complicated

[9:57:23 AM] Shoes: even more complicated is fracking

[9:57:34 AM] Joe Camfield: yes i know

[9:57:47 AM] Joe Camfield: dick Cheney was a great advocate of it

[9:58:01 AM] Joe Camfield: This should be an indicator of what a bad idea it is

[9:58:11 AM] Shoes: lol

[9:58:28 AM] Joe Camfield: in that sense it isn't so complicated

[9:58:36 AM] Joe Camfield: but technologically, i understand, it is

[9:58:56 AM] Joe Camfield: but you have a textbook case here

[9:59:00 AM] Shoes: well yes because opposition to fracking is theoretical

[9:59:24 AM] Joe Camfield: of what happens when simple minds confront technologies

[9:59:38 AM] Shoes: it has its flaws but those have largely emerged due to the lack of regulation, which is the case with anything, but it hasn't been proven to be environmentally harmful in itself

[9:59:46 AM] Shoes: and it is cleaner than convention method

[9:59:53 AM] Joe Camfield: yes

[10:00:00 AM] Joe Camfield: but you hit it on the head

[10:00:09 AM] Shoes: the problem, aside from the environment, is that nobody can be 100% certain how much we have in reserves

[10:00:15 AM] Joe Camfield: no technology is without unforeseen consequences

[10:00:16 AM] Shoes: which makes it unreliable

[10:00:37 AM] Joe Camfield: i give you the automobile, the drive-in theatre, and the rise in illegitimate birth rates for instance

[10:00:44 AM] Joe Camfield: the question is social controls

[10:00:47 AM] Shoes: lol

[10:00:58 AM] Joe Camfield: mores, laws, customs, acceptable behaviors

[10:01:38 AM] Joe Camfield: adopting new technologies, which includes uses of drugs and chemicals, is a bit like going to war

[10:01:45 AM] Joe Camfield: you hope for the best

[10:02:19 AM] Joe Camfield: but you rarely, if at all, ever end up where you thought you would be once it gets underway

[10:02:39 AM] Joe Camfield: there are too many imponderables

[10:02:46 AM] Joe Camfield: too much room for variance

[10:02:57 AM] Joe Camfield: it takes eternal vigilance

[10:03:16 AM] Joe Camfield: which is one of the big reasons we create governments

[10:03:20 AM] Joe Camfield: it's what the word means

[10:04:20 AM] Joe Camfield: another collective misunderstanding of the Teabaggers

[10:04:36 AM] Joe Camfield: freedom only has meaning within the context of restraints

[10:04:45 AM] Joe Camfield: unlimited freedom is anarchy, rapine and plunder

[10:04:57 AM] Joe Camfield: Hobbes’ "State of Nature"

[10:05:50 AM] Joe Camfield: and so, as the founders said in the Declaration of Independence "That in order to secure these rights governments are instituted among men..."

[10:05:57 AM] Joe Camfield: so regulation is right and proper

[10:06:21 AM] Joe Camfield: and, as the constitution says "by all means necessary and proper"

[10:06:30 AM] Shoes: it shocks me that people oppose the EPA, no understanding of what companies were doing to our water before regulations were passed

[10:07:31 AM] Joe Camfield: yes and as soon as the next scandal appears great wailings and lamentations will be heard throughout the land wherefore a cry will go up "where in hell was the government?"

[10:08:06 AM] Joe Camfield: great conspiracy theories will emerge about how the government was hijacked by a cartel of villains....

[10:08:29 AM] Joe Camfield: bent on the exercise of evil for its own sake

[10:08:57 AM] Joe Camfield: only to discover that a group of lazy incompetent jackals had been put in charge and had been asleep at the helm

[10:09:15 AM] Joe Camfield: eternal vigilance had taken a vacation

[10:10:08 AM] Joe Camfield: which reminds me: Where in hell has the justice Department been?

[10:10:20 AM] Joe Camfield: Why no anti-trust actions since Clinton?

[10:10:34 AM] Joe Camfield: anyway that's another story

[Deleted here was a short discussion about posting this chat on this blog]

[10:13:21 AM] Shoesw: actually the paper I'm writing about talks about different perceptions across generations

[10:13:38 AM] Joe Camfield: yes and i hope you have good news to report

[10:14:07 AM] Shoes: well it's different from America, most of the people in these studies understand linkages because they can't flee to air conditioned palaces

[10:14:10 AM] Joe Camfield: for the generation of swine are not known to possess enlightened self-interest

[10:14:28 AM] Shoes: though I read a study about Malta, a highly-developed EU country, and like 15% of people have no idea what climate change is

[10:14:30 AM] Shoes: an embarrassment

[10:14:54 AM] Joe Camfield: actually I’m encouraged by those numbers

[10:15:36 AM] Joe Camfield: Robert Kennedy used to say that 25% of the populations were dependably against anything at any given point in time

[10:15:44 AM] Shoes: lol

[10:15:45 AM] Shoes: well but it's the EU

[10:15:54 AM] Shoes: and the EU is going on and on and on about climate change all the time

[10:15:57 AM] Shoes: that's what's so embarrassing

[10:16:03 AM] Shoes: anyhow

[10:16:06 AM] Shoes: I do have to write this paper...

[10:16:10 AM] Shoes: it's why I've been kind of quiet

[10:16:15 AM] Shoes: trying to find sources before I get started

[10:16:20 AM] Shoes: it's a short paper but I had to change my topic a few times

[10:16:24 AM] Shoes: now it's time to get down to business

[10:16:40 AM] Joe Camfield: Well it's time to get cracking

[10:16:44 AM] Joe Camfield: I'll let you go

[10:16:47 AM] Joe Camfield: miss you

[10:16:58 AM] Shoes: we can talk anytime this week, except Wednesday

[10:17:04 AM] Joe Camfield: cool

[10:17:04 AM] Shoes: I won't have a paper due :)

[10:17:16 AM] Shoes: I miss you too

[10:17:21 AM] Joe Camfield: it's nice to be in that position

[10:17:23 AM] Shoes: I'm more homesick this time than I've been before

[10:17:31 AM] Joe Camfield: i miss my bunny

[10:17:37 AM] Shoes: I miss you too

[10:18:13 AM] Shoes: imagine a bone-crushing hug now ;)

[10:18:18 AM] Joe Camfield: yes

[10:18:23 AM] Joe Camfield: loves you

[10:18:25 AM] Shoes: loves you too

[10:18:30 AM] Joe Camfield: bye now

[10:18:32 AM] Shoes: bye bye