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Messages - ergophobe

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Water Cooler / Re: Good story. Mine's better.
« on: August 14, 2018, 04:16:51 PM »
Classic. Just spent three weeks in Rochester including a doctor's visit with my father-in-law at the Mayo Clinic.

Some years ago, I remember hearing reports about concussion in soccer. It's been awfully quiet on that front. When the concussion issue comes to "cool" sports, what then?

Water Cooler / Re: Free steel
« on: August 12, 2018, 04:32:41 PM »
And... I just got an email from the company in Grand Rapids that was behind the bike share. They are abandoning the GR pilot program to focus on electric scooters and other markets.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Note the date - this article is from July 23, 2018. Since when do snowboarders get profiled by mainstream sports publications in July ever, let alone in a July that is post-Olympic, not a runup to the next season's Olympics?


Malls and print magazines would be dead even if GenZ loved them. Nobody else is using them either

Cash... yeah, that's a progressive generational thing. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be comfortable with new payment methods. Until a major problem happens, in which case they'll never go back... like my grandparents generation after the Depression.

Football. The article talks about brain injury. That's the parents' concern, not the kids. What I see, though, is that in the places that I frequent, football is no longer cool. Maybe in Middle America it's the same as always. But I grew up and have spent a lot of my life in and around ski towns and mountain towns. When I was a kid, despite crappy football teams on the one hand and Olympic gold medal skiers on the other, there was no replacing the star quarterback position in the social hierarchy.

Now what I see already with the generation in their early 20s, is that the coolest kids are playing soccer or are snowboarding or doing some "sport" that wasn't even a sport when I was kid.

As in: "My buddy Jako is a sick slackliner! Check out his [insert social media channel that I'm not cool enough to know about either]".

The football kids are like some quaint, Normal Rockwell reminder of simpler times, when people didn't care about social media and traumatic brain injury.

In fact, I think the shift in the culture (selfies, Instagram, Facebook) all tend to create pressure against team sports with anonymizing uniforms and toward individual sports and especially individual sports that allow some time of personal expression.

So even though New England still turns out Olympic Gold skiers, most of the younger generation is not interested in a sport where following a perfect line a few inches tighter than the previous guy is what it's all about. They want people in the half pipe showing their moves.

They don't want Roger Staubach, that's for sure. But I think they're also moving away from Carl Lewis. Husain Bolt and want Bode Miller are in traditional sports, but they have panache that goes beyond the sport.

I expect the big names will look more and more like Chloe Kim. She is the ultimate GenZ American sports figure so far - individual, "expressive" sport that has a sort of anti-tradition cool to it.

Of course, all of the above is just the ill-formed opinion of a guy who doesn't follow sports and now qualifies for the senior discount at a whole host of chain restaurants. So quite likely to be bullshit.

Saw that in Le Monde. Big news in Europe.

Then I went and checked CNN, Vox, Fox etc... nary a mention.

PETA engineered those ticks in a lab and are secretly transporting them across America. Don't accept ticks from anyone in vegan shoes. Always look at the shoes. That's the giveaway.

And this... "it's the vibration"

I've never seen that one before. I think what little faith I had in humanity may have just been destroyed.

I think those are the people that are the market for this.

I see what you're saying now. Could be so. I was thinking the market is people who have solid reasons, but they just really like meat. I would give up ice cream for many reasons if it didn't taste so damn good.

But then they will pay $50 for Hello Fresh to package some vegetables and other stuff in a styrofoam cooler and ship it across the country

I try to stay out of other people's meal planning... but yes, that one is pretty crazy.

And yes, people are often clueless. The whole gluten-free thing... I have a nephew who has celiac and it's a life or death issue. But half the gluten-free people don't even know what gluten is

in love with saying they are a vegetarian than actually being a vegetarian

I'm not sure that's fair. People have a lot reasons for cutting out meat. I'd explain more behind the curtain, but I'll say my reasons have changed a lot over the 36 years. Now, one driving factor for me and many others is concern for the carbon footprint of foods (not just meat, but beef tends to be the worst, though airdropped asparagus from Chile is as bad or worse on a per-calorie basis... it's complicated). For others, it's animal welfare.

So there is a place for "fake meat" for people who crave the taste, but have reasons for avoiding it. Personally, I never craved meat. Some people I know try to go vegetarian and they just keep dreaming of cheeseburgers. So if a product like this helps some people get off meat, I won't question motives.

That said, I think this is an uphill battle.
1. The one I mentioned. Though I have no problem with people wanting to eat factory food in order to get off meat, it's just really out of step with so many other trends and it is the people who avoid factory food who, in general, are thinking about food. And regardless of what else you may say, this is a product for people who think about food (by which I mean, this is not a default choice for anyone).

2. They just can't get out of the shadow of meat. As long as people think of it as "fake meat" (and most articles refer to it as such, despite all the efforts of the PR department) instead of real something else, I think they're doomed. Again, what is the market that wants fake meat? It's not me. I couldn't care less about how closely something resembles meat. It's not DrCool. He wants the real thing.

But at the same time, it's a battle that must be won before the world gets richer. As more and more people around the globe can afford beef, the footrpint becomes bigger and bigger. Some people estimate that it's already bigger than the entire transportation sector in the US (and other dispute that, but nobody disputes that it is huge).

500,000 pounds is a start. The total for beef is 25 billion pounds. So there's a ways to go. But if they can get it right and people *want* to eat these products, it's a huge win on climate in particular and environmental degradation in general. But getting people to *want* this will be a slow process.

It's been so long since I've eaten real meat, the resemblance to actual meat is not even a criteria for me. I don't think I would know.

Some years ago I ordered a bean burrito in a dark setting and bit into it and thought I was tasting spoiled, putrid vegetable. I spat it out and said "Oh God. I think the beans are moldy!"

Theresa shined a light on it and laughed, "That's not beans! They gave you a beef burrito, not a bean burrito."

So for me, if it tastes nothing like meat, but I like it, that's enough.

For the masses... probably not so much. It's a hard market. Most of the people who want to get off beef are looking for a more whole foods, less processed diet, and these burgers are the epitome of processed food. Their take is that meat is just plants processed by cattle, which is true, but I think that's a tough marketing point to make

Has anyone here tried one of their products?

I'd be very curious. And slightly uneasy.

Traffic / Re: In lieu of refusing guest posts
« on: August 06, 2018, 02:53:45 PM »
My fees reduce a lot of back and forth communication.

I've found that saying nothing results in 3-4 followup letters.

Saying "not interested" results in 1-2 followup letters.

Marking them as spam results in no followup letters, but I know they're just doing a job and I hate to put them in the spam filters and make life *that* hard for them.

This seems like the kindest solution. I they came back for 50% of my quoted price, I'd take it ;-)

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