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Ecofarm

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ecofarm

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Everyone makes their own introduction thread? While I, personally, certainly deserve such... it seems strange.

I value life and liberty, in that order (no absolutes, of course). I'm ecocentric. Vegan (~10 years). AGW skeptic. My pros: life, gay rights, legalization and the free market. I'm anti-death penalty because it sets a poor example for how to deal with problems, not because I weep for horrible criminals.

I support environmental regulations of the incentive sort (perhaps including cap-and-trade), but dislike government involvement in welfare and education; I guess we all have exceptions to any 'small-government' views.

In foreign policy, I'm a hawk; I believe we are morally and ethically obligated to liberate the victims of tyranny. I believe in the Democratic Peace Theory and that we will not have world peace until we have world democracy - in fact, I refuse to have world peace until then.

89 Private University
90-94 3/505th PIR 82nd Abn (joined during war, no combat because it was over before my training was)
98 BA Environmental Studies
03 MSc International Environmental Science, European University
04-6 Completed classes for PhD, Interdisciplinary Ecology (tropical mountain developing world low-input agriculture specializing in gender)
07-9 Screwed off
'10 Dissertation Proposal accepted, Quals passed, buying ticket to Africa for 1 year of dissertation research. I'm out of here in about a month.

Random stuff... married twice (I take the blame for the first divorce), I've done research in rural villages for months at a time twice, I've been to South America and lived in and travelled Europe. I'm macho straight but have no animosity towards gays; make a joke about me being gay and you will not find someone who cares (unless it is funny, then much obliged). I don't like religion, but I believe in a collective sub-concious of all entities (to include non-animates, such as mountains and lakes - which I believe bear influence [soul]). I don't believe in anything supernatural, only what I can observe or theorize and I know landscapes can influence people. I ascribe to Deep Ecology, minus the sexism and supernatural stuff in it. I'm self-aware (actualizing and realizing even) and find my values, beliefs and morals to be consistent. 6'1, 180lbs, brown blue and strong body. 39 years old.

I can't wait to get back in the bush, but I'd like to debate in the meantime.
 
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ecofarm

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It seems I cannot edit the OP. I just wanted to add, feel free to ask about any political specifics if you are wondering where I stand on something or why.
 

spud_meister

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welcome to DP, hope you like it here, we can't have too many short people :mrgreen:
 

aps

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Hmmmm. I don't know why you couldn't edit your post. You may have not looked in the right area. Now, there's a time limit that you can edit your post, but seeing that your second post is the same time as your first post, you should have been able to edit it.

Welcome!
 

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Everyone makes their own introduction thread? While I, personally, certainly deserve such... it seems strange.

I value life and liberty, in that order (no absolutes, of course). I'm ecocentric. Vegan (~10 years). AGW skeptic. My pros: life, gay rights, legalization and the free market. I'm anti-death penalty because it sets a poor example for how to deal with problems, not because I weep for horrible criminals.

I support environmental regulations of the incentive sort (perhaps including cap-and-trade), but dislike government involvement in welfare and education; I guess we all have exceptions to any 'small-government' views.

In foreign policy, I'm a hawk; I believe we are morally and ethically obligated to liberate the victims of tyranny. I believe in the Democratic Peace Theory and that we will not have world peace until we have world democracy - in fact, I refuse to have world peace until then.

89 Private University
90-94 3/505th PIR 82nd Abn (joined during war, no combat because it was over before my training was)
98 BA Environmental Studies
03 MSc International Environmental Science, European University
04-6 Completed classes for PhD, Interdisciplinary Ecology (tropical mountain developing world low-input agriculture specializing in gender)
07-9 Screwed off
'10 Dissertation Proposal accepted, Quals passed, buying ticket to Africa for 1 year of dissertation research. I'm out of here in about a month.

Random stuff... married twice (I take the blame for the first divorce), I've done research in rural villages for months at a time twice, I've been to South America and lived in and travelled Europe. I'm macho straight but have no animosity towards gays; make a joke about me being gay and you will not find someone who cares (unless it is funny, then much obliged). I don't like religion, but I believe in a collective sub-concious of all entities (to include non-animates, such as mountains and lakes - which I believe bear influence [soul]). I don't believe in anything supernatural, only what I can observe or theorize and I know landscapes can influence people. I ascribe to Deep Ecology, minus the sexism and supernatural stuff in it. I'm self-aware (actualizing and realizing even) and find my values, beliefs and morals to be consistent. 6'1, 180lbs, brown blue and strong body. 39 years old.

I can't wait to get back in the bush, but I'd like to debate in the meantime.

Welcome. No offense, but you seem to be an intresting collection of oddities.

For instance, this...
AGW skeptic
And this:
I support environmental regulations of the incentive sort (perhaps including cap-and-trade), but dislike government involvement in welfare and education; I guess we all have exceptions to any 'small-government' views.
....seem to be contradictory positions, and the following pair...

I don't like religion, but I believe in a collective sub-concious of all entities (...which I believe bear influence [soul]).
I don't believe in anything supernatural, only what I can observe or theorize
...seem a little at odds with each other also.

You're just a mass of nontraditional opposites, aren't you? Ex-military hawkish Vegan who doubts AGW but believes in Deep Ecology and Cap-n-trade...

Odd.

Well... welcome to DP anyway. :mrgreen:
 

ecofarm

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While I am an AGW skeptic, there are other issues surrounding the emission of CO2 and increasing the efficiency of our fossil fuel use. The apparent contradiction is really a matter of paying attention to details more than party lines.

Regarding religion, I don't believe in anything supernatural. I believe that the interaction of our will (both concious and subconcious) is obvious to anyone who looks. We affect each other. This affect, or influence, is what I refer to as a 'soul'. It lives beyond us and goes to 'the afterlife' or 'the future' with everyone involved. I don't believe in any afterlife, except the future in which we all take part like a ripple in the ocean. Some people might make bigger waves than others, but every drop counts - often in ways unnoticed.


There are no opposites in any of my beliefs. People might see opposites because they see party lines, or because they are unaware of the details. My beliefs and values are entirely consistent under the banner of life and liberty. Reducing the impact of fossil fuel use and making it more efficient are good ideas whether or not global warming is caused primarily by humans and my spirituality is entirely mundane.

There is no contradiction between being a hawk (or ex-military) and a vegan. I respect life and am willing to enforce liberty, as long as I prevent more suffering than I cause. Vegan does not equal pacifist (though most are), it equals respect for life. My best friend in my platoon was vegetarian, even in the field (I wasn't vegetarian then).


I'm definately odd. All of my values line up rationally (given fair compromises between life and liberty) and without whole-hearted respect to anyone's ideology. That's odd, for sure.



ps. My second post was over 3 hours after the OP and there is a 25 minute time limit on edits.
 
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ecofarm

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I'm past the edit time limit, but I wanted to note... I'm sure he would have eaten meat in combat (so as not to endanger us by lacking nutrition) but vegetarian was sufficient protein, calories and fat under training conditions and (more importantly) logistics.
 
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ecofarm

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Regarding the definition or limitations of "life"...

I question it based on the fact that inanimate objects can influence people in very real and transforming ways. Deep ecology holds this belief. Unfortunately, it does so excessively and to a supernatural extent, going as far as to say being 'moved by a landscape' (so to speak) is a prerequisite to enlightenment. Zen Buddhism and Animism, of course, also see life and influence among inanimate objects.

I also question it based on its rather temporal assumptions that are just a bit too absolute. For instance, a carbon molecule in my body is alive at the moment. When I die, it will be dead for a bit and then incorporated into a living organism and suddenly, kinda magically, it is "alive" again. There's something shady about that.



I'm a vegan ecocentrist who ascribes lightly to Deep Ecology and might find himself being an apologist for ELF. Not so weird, right? But combine it with ex-paratrooper and political hawk and we start to move into the realm of free-thinkers.


ps. I'm thinking of copying this to my introduction thread, as it is quite descriptive. That wouldn't be weird, right?
(from a thread about abortion that explains my views there some)

http://www.debatepolitics.com/abortion/74613-do-we-go-here.html
 
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ecofarm

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The old member's pics thread is over a year old, and I don't see a new one.

Too bad no pics with long hair (couple years ago) are at hand. I'll look for them later perhaps. The second pic is from a couple weeks ago and was for a forum where someone didn't believe I was the person in the first pic (how funny is that).

(She's Russian [geographically Ukraine], 30-something, has a couple Masters Degrees, lives in Europe and will be joining me in Kenya for some time) No, she is not a mail-order bride. We met in school in Europe and lived together for a bit. The pic is from when she visited my low-rent apartment near university while I was working on my PhD proposal last summer. We're not exclusive, but we're really good friends.



ps. My laptop batteries arrived today. Time to buy the ticket.
 

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Hello ecofarm!

I think we met each other already in debate. Still I want to say "hi" again here. :)

Your opinions are an interesting mix. It's always nice when someone finds his own way instead of just joining the mainstream or partisan lines.

Also, your vita is rather interesting. Obviously, you have quite a lot of experience on different fields. I'm sure that can be a good input for many debates.

When will you leave for Africa?

All best wishes!
 

Gardener

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Hey there Ecofarm (and you, too German Guy if you are looking in).

I hope you stick around!

It is refreshing to have intelligent posters who are not at all dogmatic.
 

ecofarm

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I fly to Kenya next week.

This site has been a blessing to me. It's like I a coming off two bad relationships in a row (over a year each) and then found this place. I began delving into internet political debate at a couple of other sites, and let's just say that now I know things do not have to be totally messed up all the time. Now I don't think that everyone on the internet is a creepy scumbag. I wish I had more time to repair the wounds of sticking loyally to the first site or or two that I found, but really my couple weeks here has already been cathartic.

I'll be popping in each day this week at least once, and perhaps I'll send an update from Kenya now and then.


Thanks for the kindness and don't forget to do the right thing,

Harry
 
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ecofarm

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It is refreshing to have intelligent posters who are not at all dogmatic.
To be fair, I'm pretty dogmatic about the democratic peace theory. I support the Iraq and Afghan wars, and even think Bush will be reflected well in history for them. To really see the extreme, note that I support Reagan and North in Iran-Contra and can overlook the abuse of authority therein. I'm also not likely to respect pessimistic predictions regarding an invasion and nation-building of Iran.

I guess we hadn't really gone there much and my support of Israel made your comment somewhat self-serving (kinda, right? You can see that.). I don't mean to call you out, I like you... but I thought we should consider the above.



Side note. The above post is from when I bought my ticket.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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Interesting, I love your intro! Very open and "there" - rather refreshing.
We've already shared words but "hello"

Good luck on your dissertation - my sister just wrapped hers up after 2 years of non stop work on it, it definite sounds easier than it really is!
 

ecofarm

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I'll be in the field for research about one year. I need data from the full agricultural cycle, including prices etc during the dry season(s). I hope it doesn't take more than six months to wrap it up after that... depends on how hard I work once back here.

No electricity, no tap-water, no police station and no city for 2 hours - I'm almost on the way and I cannot wait to get there. Life in the bush is totally where its at (hah, that alludes to pro-life, sorry).
 
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Aunt Spiker

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I agree with that!

Life is very simple - basic shelter, food, water . . . no drama, just life. Especially if being in it means you're going to satisfy a need for knowledge or help someone else improve theirs.
 

ecofarm

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I wanted to note, I've no delusions that I'm "saving" anyone (let alone the earth). I work and play where I do because I like it. I had a few priorities in deciding where I like:

A passive coastline. I grew up in Miami and I like a nice beach. I don't want big punishing waves and I've only tried surfing once (Hatters), I want a gently sloping shelf and well-refined sand.
Tropical. I spent a winter in Georgia, a couple in North Carolina and one (real winter) in Sweden. I don't want no more snow.
Rural. I just like rural settings.
Free. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I will not support open oppression. Kenya first had open democratic elections in 2003 (just before my thesis research there) when Moi stepped down peacefully (a rare event among 20+ year leaders, his predecessor ruling for nearly 40).


So I found a place I like that has what I want to do (gardening/farming). It's all about making myself happy, really. Of course, doing the best we can for a better future makes me happy - but pretending that altruism is a motive for my (or anyone elses) actions/plans is foolhardy. We do what makes us happy; let's hope that most of us are made happy by good things.

Perhaps the most important (largely unintended) aspect of what I want to do is reversing the brain drain. I do believe we need a new exodus of educated developed world people to the developing world. We need to stop sending stuff and make the problem of poverty ours. Only when we own it, when we need to live there and make it better, will world poverty be alleviated. I like to call it the "Neo-Exodus" - when we begin to own poverty and address the source instead of the symptoms. I'm not the first (see: NGOs), but I'm joining the team (as an independant).

After my PhD, I plan to teach public highschool 'introduction to environmental science' (to give back) and then I'm retiring to Kenya.



ps. I do independant research. I provide my own funding and am not affiliated with anyone beyond the university issuing my degree. My work is entirely at my own direction and I am the only possessor of any intellectual property rights involved (I wish). In my life, I've learned that I do what I want and that I don't react well to authority I percieve as inferior to my own values.

I did it my way.


I like Leonard Cohen better than Frank, I hope I get references in to 'Democracy', 'Everybody Knows' and 'One of Us Cannot be Wrong' before I leave for research.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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I love Cohen!

after your done with your dissertation consider uploading your finding through scribd or something of that nature and then share it with us, here, so we can read your works :)
 

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I fly to Kenya next week.

This site has been a blessing to me. It's like I a coming off two bad relationships in a row (over a year each) and then found this place. I began delving into internet political debate at a couple of other sites, and let's just say that now I know things do not have to be totally messed up all the time. Now I don't think that everyone on the internet is a creepy scumbag. I wish I had more time to repair the wounds of sticking loyally to the first site or or two that I found, but really my couple weeks here has already been cathartic.
I feel very well where you are coming from. I've been posting online for years as well, but my favorite site slowly died a painful death and is now almost unpopulated, and another site was very much like you said your site was, everything messed up and so many creepy scumbags (the worst of them me, I guess :p ). This site now seems to be a refreshing change, both in terms of popular activity, variety of opinions and level of challenge.

I'll be popping in each day this week at least once, and perhaps I'll send an update from Kenya now and then.

Thanks for the kindness and don't forget to do the right thing,

Harry
All my best wishes for your journey! Hope to see you here again!
 

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To be fair, I'm pretty dogmatic about the democratic peace theory. I support the Iraq and Afghan wars, and even think Bush will be reflected well in history for them. To really see the extreme, note that I support Reagan and North in Iran-Contra and can overlook the abuse of authority therein. I'm also not likely to respect pessimistic predictions regarding an invasion and nation-building of Iran.

I guess we hadn't really gone there much and my support of Israel made your comment somewhat self-serving (kinda, right? You can see that.). I don't mean to call you out, I like you... but I thought we should consider the above.



Side note. The above post is from when I bought my ticket.
I was commenting more on the views expressed in your opening which didn't strike me as part of a whole package of predictable views as espoused by so many others.

I'll gladly accept the self serving comment, though, if for no other reason than to hold off all the gathering hoards here attemting to canonize me at any momemt due to my most obvious degree of saintliness.
 

ecofarm

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I didn't mean to crap on your compliment but I wanted to look at things closely, as I'm sure you are capable. I'm trying to determine just how dogmatic about the DPT I am and if you could have seen it. I don't want to appear dumb, as if looking a gift horse in the mouth (you're obviously intelligent)... but I wanted to take this opportunity for introspection. I had not really considered myself dogmatic about DPT before, but you got me thinking.
 
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