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morning reflections © Robert Sommers 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

On Morton's Fork and Avocado Toast

Zeno's Paradox
On the eve of embarking on a major roadie, already exhausted, not to mention tapped, immune system whacked, (I shot some varnish in a non ventilated area the other day and sneezed for two days, feet are leaden, must move forward.)

Hope that the promoters can stretch the shows out a little more next year, five shows in seven weeks is murder, that is if we still have a business. I think the election angst has really killed things of late, for either political side and the stock market drop certainly doesn't help.

I already miss Google plus and it won't even be gone until next August. Haven't found a suitable replacement. Twitter is a blowhard paradise but way too much slagging and woe to he or she who attempts to have a nuanced middle position. Worse than Facebook. Was set upon from the right and the left today because I tried to have a rational talk about the caravan and sovereign borders.

How dare I, cultural appropriation, the land is stolen from the native americans anyway, yada, yada. I will not be long for that world. Member since 2008 but rarely used. And seventy % of the retweeted news is bullshit. Takes a whole lot more time than I have to build a following and I really don't care enough.

There are a lot of writers on Twitter, and reporters, many of whom I respect. And I have noticed something funny, in a Mcluhanesque way, they steal impressive sounding words from each other. Last year it was redound. First caught wind of it with Rachel Maddow repeating it over and over.


Soon everybody was carelessly redounding away, hither and thither. Spread like a virus.

One of the new hip words is anodyne. All the smart talking heads are busy working it into their feeds or conversation. I hear it at least three times a week on MSNBC.

"Listening to the droll Chuck Todd was an anodyne to the typically sharp conversation."

Occam's razor is also getting a lot of play these days.

"Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor) is a principle from philosophy. Suppose there exist two explanations for an occurrence. In this case the one that requires the least speculation is usually better. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation."

Occam was a 14th century logician and Franciscan friar, better known as William of Ockham, which was somewhere near Surrey. The Razor is also known as the Law of Parsimony.

Which makes me hearken back to some of the ground we have already tilled here, Buridan's Ass and Hobson's choice and the like. From the BHB:
Named for 14th century French philosopher Jean Buridan, Buridan’s Ass is an illustration of a paradox in philosophy in regards to moral determinism and free will. A donkey is placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water. The conundrum assumes the ass will always go to whichever is closer, so it will die of both hunger and thirst since it cannot make a rational decision to choose one over the other. Sort of like the zen koan of the strawberry and the tiger. A cousin of Zeno's law - the arrow can never hit the target because it must first travel an infinite number of half steps.
Love to quote myself. Hobson's choice? Again:

A Hobson's choice is really having no choice at all, the choice between picking something and nothing.
The etymology is interesting.  The phrase comes from one Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a man who owned a livery stable in Cambridge, England. He had a barn full of forty horses yet he offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door or taking none at all. There was only one horse in rotation. Hence, Hobson's choice. He was not necessarily being mean or vile, this was a way for him to keep his horses fresh and from being overused.
The Quaker scholar Samuel Fisher referred to the phrase in his religious text, The Rustick's Alarm to the Rabbies, 1660: "If in this Case there be no other (as the Proverb is) then Hobson's choice ... which is, chuse whether you will have this or none."

And Morton's fork?
Under Henry VII John Morton was made archbishop of Canterbury in 1486, then Lord Chancellor in 1487. He raised taxation funds for his king by holding that someone living modestly must be saving money and, therefore, could afford taxes, whereas someone living extravagantly obviously was rich and, therefore, could afford taxes.
As in screwed no matter what you do.

Which leads me to my last little peeve, Avocado Toast. I have noticed it cropping up on local menus, both at Brooktown, Z Cafe and who knows where else? Because it is now the trendy and oh so fashionable dish in big cities all over the world.

This is avocado central. I lived on Fuerte Dr. as a child, on a large avocado ranch. Then to Joris Way in La Mesa, another avocado growing area. This is my thirty ninth year in Fallbrook. The first ten were at a Bacon/Zutano avocado ranch with an occasional Fuerte, Reed, Duke and Topa topa for spice.

My current abode was once a Haas ranch. We kept a few Fuertes for family fruit trees. My point is, that Fallbrook was once proud to be the Avocado capitol of the world. Everybody lives on a grove or a stone's throw from a remnant of one. Every Fallbrookian worth his kosher salt has been putting avocado on toast since christ was a corporal. To see it now become some chic trendy thing revisiting its ancestral home seems plain wrong on some level. Like taking Duke Snider to Live Oak Park and making him play softball with some fat guys from the beer leagues, it makes a mockery of our local ancestral heritage.

We were eating them long before they were hip, sonny.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sommers bummer: Quoting 60 dollar words to pocket change friends.

Blue Heron said...

Fuck you Kerry.

Renee C. OBrien said...

Anodyne....I think the noun is more useful in these trying times.

Blue Heron said...

Great point.

Emergefit said...

Didn’t know Google+ was on it’s way out. Social media is in its infancy.

Anyway, thanks for the distraction — going to share it in Facebook 😉

Blue Heron said...

Thanks Roy!

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that Fuertes are rare because Trump deported them. Also, for what it's worth, I enjoy big words. Good luck with your shows!

Sanoguy said...

I have been in FB 22 years... was an avo farmer for most of those years. Not once have I had avo toast! Missing out, I suppose!

wcgypsy said...

I've lived on avo toast most of my life and also find it a kick that it's currently the Big Thing....lol..

wcgypsy said...

My 'new to me' word, taken from author Elizabeth George's books is 'ineluctable'...don't think I will adopt it, but at least know now what it means...

Anonymous said...

I like to say big words that I don't understand so I can look biometrical.

Blue Heron said...

That is just nonsense.