Thursday, September 6, 2007

463 Re: The paradox of dog littering 474 Subliminal Seduction 475 Pet Therapy 476 477 Industrial Ecology

Message no. 463[Branch from no. 460] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 6:13pm Subject: Re: The paradox of dog littering

HI Class, Please forgive the many typos in my last post (for example I wrote "Karl Mark" instead of "Karl Marx" and made many other mistakes!

I am writing on a computer with a messed up screen and a german keyboard and it is late! I will try to proofread better before I post again (yes, I should follow the advice we gave to Varshawn and use microsoft word -- and I should spell and grammar check and all that -- instead of going on long tirades in the discussion window! I have learned my lesson! :)

Message no. 474[Branch from no. 470] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Thursday, February 22, 2007 2:58pm Subject: Subliminal seduction

You guys might be interested in an old, seminal book that popularized the subject of how advertisers get into our minds and hearts. It is called "Subliminal Seduction" by Wilson Bryan Key, and it had an intro by Marshall McLuhan (The Medium is the Massage(

Message no. 475[Branch from no. 471] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Thursday, February 22, 2007 3:09pm Subject: Re: Pet therapy

As you mentioned to Michelle, Patrice, aren't we responsible for making our domesticated animals the way they are? As you pointed out, they didn't begin that way (wolves did start out happy to see us and dependent on our every command before we turned them into dogs, and felines were ferocious hunters before we tamed them into cuddly cats...).

One chilling thought is that we have literally genetically engineered, through breeding, for our pets to give us pleasure. In other words we have made slaves out of them. They can no longer help being excited to see us, and devoted and giving of themselves unconditionally, because we bred them to do exactly that. In this way we robbed them of their freedom, some would say. Others say we robbed them of their dignity.

There is a great fiction book about this called CITY (the french title that I read it under was "Demain Les Chiens", "Tomorrow the Dogs") by Clifford Simak. You can read a review of it here:

Basically it is about a future in which dogs have become the dominant species and they debate whether or not they were created by a mythical creature, now extinct, called "man". It is fascinating!

I wonder what our dogs would really say if they could talk. Have you guys seen the Planet of the Apes series? Do you remember the one called "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" when they show how we domesticate and enslave the apes to serve us?

There is something to be said (in a political ecology context) for how we have turned animals into machines to serve us -- in a sense we have "MAN-ufactured them" for all the traits we like so much about them.

We have done the same to plants by the way: read Michael Pollan's "Botany of Desire" and see!

Message no. 476[Branch from no. 466] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Thursday, February 22, 2007 3:20pm Subject: Re: relational summary

Nice summary Michelle! I hope you feel that you are not "trapped" in the house or the halter monitor when you come visit us on-line and realize that you are, at the very least, not cut off from the outside world (imagine, you are now talking to North Africa!).

I once went to meet Stephen Hawking and hear him speak. I was amazed by his grace, trapped in that wheel chair and talking through a computer voice. I have a friend at UCLA who is also confined to a wheelchair and has to move things with a straw in his mouth. He amazes me with all he gets done (he is a Ph.D student and travels around the world fighting for the rights of the disabled.) We have talked at length about how Cairo, which he has visited, places a particular burden on people who cannot walk because there are NO sloped curbs on inclines, and no ramps or wheelchair access to ANYTHING. Besides that the curbs are so high that it takes at least two people to lift a person in a chair onto the sidewalk to cross the street. This environment is hell for the disabled. I learned that when I broke my leg and had to get around on crutches. But the people were so friendly and helpful it was touching.

I imagine you have seen the remake of Hitchcocks film "Rear Window" with Christopher Reeve, who played the part from his wheelchair on his breathing machine. He was quite a hero.

I can only hope that even as we advance medical technology to repair all of us when we get "broken", we also work very hard to design environments that make it so that we never feel handicapped by any loss of ability to use our bodies in the optimal way.

I certainly hope communications technology and supportive friends as in this course can help you raise your spirits! Don't be depressed, Michelle, we are hear listening and conversing and eager to connect with you at any time!

The Prof

Message no. 477[Branch from no. 468] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Thursday, February 22, 2007 3:33pm Subject: INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY -- the way out of this mess!

Hi guys,

I will have much more to say about this subject in time, but if you want to know the best solutions for the waste problem, you MUST get this book -- "FROM CRADLE TO CRADLE -- rethinking the way we make things", by William McDonough and John Braungart.

Here is the book review:

strange environments) and a crowd gathered around me asking how I could read a book in the water. I showed them that the book, although it felt like paper, was made of a new plastic polymer that is completely waterproof, but light weight. Thus no trees had to be cut to make the book, which means not only more forests, but no dioxin (they use dioxin in making paper to bleach it, and this poisions rivers and kills fish and causes cancer). The book can be endlessly recycled.

Recently we bought a cook book by the same publisher. It has lovely color photographs and great recipes, and if you spill all over it, no problem. You just rinse it off, or put it in the dish washer along with the dirty dishes (Make sure you use cold water though!)! At the restaurant it was advertised by the cashier inside a fish tank so you could see that, yes, it is waterproof!)

This all goes along with our chapter 11 -- using design changes to make positive environmental changes!

And it makes me feel good to know that I can support industrial ecology with every purchase I make!

More on this to come!

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